Back on June 13th, rookie Andrew Schartner nearly won his first career small block super modified feature, in just his fourth feature ever try in a small block supermodified.Ã‚Â Schartner was passed by veteran Mike Bond, just two laps shy of the upset victory in the Tom Aaserud owned Crow Motorsports entry.Ã‚Â Schartner went on to a second place finish that day.
Rob Pullen and Dave Danzer paced the field from the front row to take the green flag.Ã‚Â Pullen would occupy the lead, as Schartner fought with Danzer and Shawn Walker, from his 4th place starting position.Ã‚Â By lap five Schartner was in second position, and the pursuit was on.
Early incidents on the speedway had removed some of the top competitors from competition.Ã‚Â Mike BondÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s TMS Racing #26 was towed to the pits with some heavy damage.Ã‚Â Points leader Dave Gruel, along with top runners Dave Cliff and Kevin Knopp were also involved in on-track incidents.
Bond and Cliff were both done for the night on laps 4 and 6, while Knopp and Gruel were able to continue for a few more circuits.Ã‚Â Gruel later appeared with the rear body of the car removed from the #50.
The one top three contender that was able to get through the mayhem was Russ Brown, in the Pike Racing #60 small block.Ã‚Â Coming from 17th starting position due to an incident in his heat race, Brown reached the top five by lap seven.Ã‚Â Muscling his way past Danzer, Steve Abt, and Jack Patrick, Brown entered the top three on lap 11.
At that point, Schartner had been assigned two missions: hold off the hard charging, fellow Hedger Chassis driver Russ Brown for second place; and find a way to pass Pullen for the victory.Ã‚Â ThatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a lot of spinning plates for a rookie.
The top three stayed in that exact order for the next several laps, each driver calculating their next move, while maintaining speeds in excess of 110 miles per hour.
Further back in the pack, Thursday nightÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s NORA / USAC winner Brian Sobus was recovering from an earlier incident which sent him to the rear of the field.Ã‚Â Advancing to 9th from his 12th place starting position, Sobus headed back to 17thÃ‚Â position after a lap four crash involving several small block supermodifieds.Ã‚Â SobusÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ ascent saw him in 7th on lap 13,Ã‚Â and 5th by lap 25.Ã‚Â A late race battle with recent Mr. Small Block Supermodified winner Stan Gates for 4th would prove successful.
Back at the front, Schartner calculated his options, as the laps wound down.Ã‚Â On lap 28, Schartner found the opening that he had been searching for for the last twenty plus laps.Ã‚Â A quick dive underneath of PullenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s #25 found the two racers side by side, with some slight wheel-banging.Ã‚Â Both cars continued despite the inadvertent contact, and Schartner cruised to his first ever win in the small block super modified division.Ã‚Â Pullen successfully held off Russ Brown for second, with Brown coming home third at the line.Ã‚Â Brian Sobus and Stan Gates rounded out the top five positions.
Tim Barbeau also recovered from that lap four disaster to finish 6th, followed by Jack Patrick, who limped across the line in 7th place with engine problems.
Past small block supermodifiedÃ‚Â and current super modified competitor Lou LeVea Sr. jumped into the Mark Castiglia owned #90 for the feature, to help with some setup or diagnosis of the car.Ã‚Â LeVea drove to an 8th place finish before jumping back into the #61 super for the feature.Ã‚Â Chip Wood finished 9th, and Bryan Haynes earned his first top ten finish.
Official order of finish: 1. Andrew SchartnerÃ‚Â 2. Rob Pullen 3. Russ Brown 4. Brian Sobus 5. Stan Gates 6. Tim Barbeau 7. Jack Patrick 8. Lou LeVea Sr. 9. Chip Wood 10. Bryan Haynes 11. Dave Danzer 12. Brian Osetek 13. Steve Abt 14. Barry Kingsley 15. Dave Gruel 16. Kevin Knopp 17. Shawn Walker 18. Jason Simmons 19. Dave Cliff 20. Mike Bond. 21. Ken Pierce 22. Guard Nearbin