COTTLE CLOSES “EASTERN STORM” WITH SUSQUEHANNA WIN; CLAUSON TAKES TITLE
Newberrytown, Pennsylvania…….Shane Cottle of Kokomo, Indiana finished off the 2013 Rotondo Weirich “Eastern Storm” with a win for the hometown crowd as he put Pennsylvania car owner Gene Franckowiak and his tribute “City of Syracuse Special” in victory lane on Sunday night at Susquehanna Speedway Park. It was Cottle’s third career National Sprint Car win, and first in the state of Pennsylvania.
Cottle started from the front row and set the pace early as he and front-row mate Tracy Hines stretched it out over the rest of the field. The red came out on lap seven as Joey Biasi was caught up in a turn-three spin. That restart set up the longest green-flag section of the race, with early-race mover Dave Darland fading from a podium spot. Kevin Thomas, Jr. moved into the show position with a couple big slide-jobs, and he brought Bryan Clauson and Robert Ballou along past the halfway point.
With just 11 laps to go, Hines got a big run on Cottle and followed him into turn-three. Finding a strip of rubber through the middle, Hines flew by just as they exited turn-four, but the red flag was flying as Tim Glatfelter flipped in turn-one. Cottle retained the lead for the restart, giving him another chance to hold the lead.
On the restart, Thomas dove to the bottom of turn-one and bounced up in front of Hines, who was unable to turn back underneath him. Now with less than ten laps to go, Thomas reeled Cottle in and threw a succession of dive-bombs, with Cottle countering every one with a cross-over off the corner.
With the white flag waving, Thomas got a good run down the backstretch and tried one more monster slide-job but Cottle drove back underneath and nearly brought Hines with him. At the line, it was a .114-second win for Cottle in the Viper Risk Management – Specialty Rigging #65 Spike/Rider.
“This was kind of a throw-together deal, but Gene Franckowiak put together a good car for us. It took us a couple nights to figure it out, but we threw some things at it tonight, and it worked. It was hard to find where to be, and then I was sick as I saw Tracy go by. Luckily the red came out, and I got another chance. I figured that was where the rubber was, so I moved down a bit there. I knew he (Kevin Thomas, Jr.) was gonna blow through the rubber, so I just had to focus on hitting it and staying smooth with our tires going away there,” Cottle said.
Thomas held off Hines by .26 seconds to finish second in the Mike Dutcher/Rotondo Weirich/Tri-Star Motorsports – Black Jack Oil Company #17RW Maxim/Fisher.
“The restart gave us a chance at the top two. There was just a fine line, and it was hard to hit it on a slider. It was a pretty good race for us, and I’m happy to get back on the podium after kinda having a rough week out East here. I threw everything I had at him for the win. I drove it off in there the last lap pretty hard and it didn’t stick, but that’s a well-deserved win for those guys and I’m happy with our run,” Thomas said.
Hines just missed his opportunity at the win with an untimely red flag, but still held on for third in the Hansen’s Welding – Motor City Auto Transport #4 DRC/Stanton Mopar.
“I knew I showed everybody when I passed him for the lead where the track was. Kevin got us there with his slider on the restart, and I could get back to them, but there wasn’t much room to do anything. You really only get one shot at it on a track like that, but the red flag just got us there. The last two nights went pretty well for us, so I’m pretty excited to go back home and race again,” Hines said.
Clauson came home fourth in the Tony Stewart/Curb-Agajanian Racing – Chevy Performance #20 Beast/Kistler, locking up his second-straight Rotondo Weirich “Eastern Storm” championship by just one point over Darland.
“We were one of the first to find the clean groove tonight, and picked our way from eighth. The late red didn’t help us, but our car was good tonight. We had our work cut out for us tonight to win the week, but we ran our butts off and are really happy to pick up another Eastern Storm championship. It’s a lot like a basketball game, where if you win all four quarters you can’t lose, so it’s good to be as strong as we were out here and kinda get going well again,” Clauson said.
Ballou rounded out the top-five in the Baldwin Brothers Racing – Fox Paving #5 Maxim/Kercher Mopar.
AMSOIL USAC SPRINT CAR NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP RACE RESULTS: June 9, 2013 – Newberrytown, Pennsylvania – Susquehanna Speedway Park – “Eastern Storm”
QUALIFYING: 1. Dave Darland, 71P, Phillips-17.187; 2. Kevin Thomas, Jr., 17RW, Dutcher/RW/TriStar-17.252; 3. Brady Bacon, 69, Dynamics-17.429; 4. Levi Jones, 39, Walker-17.451; 5. Tracy Hines, 4, Hines-17.525; 6. Shane Cottle, 65, Franckowiak-17.662; 7. Robert Ballou, 5, Baldwin-17.774; 8. Bryan Clauson, 20, Stewart/Curb-Agajanian-17.827; 9. Daron Clayton, 92, Clayton-17.841; 10. Chris Windom, 11, Walker-17.990; 11. Brent Marks, 19M, Marks-18.066; 12. Dalten Gabbard, 77, Gabbard-18.070; 13. Chase Stockon, 32, 32/TBI-18.156; 14. Nick Drake, 55, Cline-18.162; 15. Joey Biasi, B1, Biasi-18.192; 16. Landon Simon, 41, Stensland-18.259; 17. Hunter Schuerenberg, 35, Byram-18.315; 18. Tyler Courtney, 23c, Courtney/Anderson-18.360; 19. Mark Bitner, 15, Bitner-18.380; 20. Tim Glatfelter, 50, Strausbaugh-18.386; 21. Kyle Moody, 99M, Moody-18.499; 22. Mark Smith, 1M, Smith-18.793; 23. Billy Pauch, Jr., 175, Pietrofitta-18.836; 24. Ryan Smith, 69K, Kreitz-18.862; 25. Rick Horn, 01, Horn-19.367; 26. Denny Gross, 2, Gross-19.763; 27. Michael Hamer, 47, Hamer-19.778; 28. Tim Stallings, 59T, Stallings-19.879; 29. Dan Mazy, X, Mazy-20.374.
FIRST HEAT: (8 laps) 1. Clayton, 2. Darland, 3. Hines, 4. Courtney, 5. Stockon, 6. M. Smith, 7. Gross. NT
SECOND HEAT: (8 laps) 1. Thomas, 2. Cottle, 3. Bitner, 4. Windom, 5. Drake, 6. Pauch, 7. Hamer. 2:30.03
THIRD HEAT: (8 laps) 1. Marks, 2. Bacon, 3. Ballou, 4. Glatfelter, 5. Biasi, 6. Stallings, 7. R. Smith. NT
FOURTH HEAT: (8 laps) 1. Schuerenberg, 2. Clauson, 3. Jones, 4. Gabbard, 5. Moody, 6. Horn, 7. Mazy.
SEMI: (12 laps) 1. Biasi, 2. Moody, 3. M. Smith, 4. Pauch, 5. Hamer, 6. Mazy, 7. Gross, 8. Stallings, 9. Horn, 10. Stockon, 11. Drake. NT
FEATURE: (30 laps) 1. Shane Cottle, 2. Kevin Thomas, Jr., 3. Tracy Hines, 4. Bryan Clauson, 5. Robert Ballou, 6. Dave Darland, 7. Levi Jones, 8. Brent Marks, 9. Daron Clayton, 10. Brady Bacon, 11. Chris Windom, 12. Hunter Schuerenberg, 13. Dalten Gabbard, 14. Mark Bitner, 15. Billy Pauch, Jr., 16. Chase Stockon, 17. Tyler Courtney, 18. Kyle Moody, 19. Dan Mazy, 20. Tim Glatfelter, 21. Michael Hamer, 22. Joey Biasi, 23. Mark Smith. NT
FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-30 Cottle.
**Simon flipped in Qualifying. Biasi flipped on Lap 7 of the Feature. Glatfelter flipped on Lap 20 of the Feature.
NEW AMSOIL NATIONAL SPRINT POINTS: 1-Darland-633; 2-Stockon-600; 3-Clauson-599; 4-Thomas-584; 5-Bacon-582; 6-Schuerenberg-560; 7-Hines-537; 8-Ballou-518; 9-Cottle-404; 10-Windom-366.
FINAL ROTONDO WEIRICH “EASTERN STORM” SPRINT POINTS: 1-Clauson-182; 2-Darland-181; 3-Clayton-180; 4-Jones-163; 5-Cottle-158; 6-Hines-156; 7-Thomas-146; 8-Bacon-143; 9-Schuerenberg-138; 10-Windom-120.
NEXT AMSOIL NATIONAL SPRINT RACE: June 21 – Terre Haute, Indiana – Terre Haute Action Track – “Tony Hulman Classic”