EAST SMETHPORT, Pa. — After racing had to be cut short Thursday night due to fog rolling in, McKean County Raceway completed the four remaining features prior to the scheduled racing.
With the ‘make-features’ a total of 11 were run, making for a packed night.
When the final checkered flag had fallen on one of the strangest nights in racing history, Boom Briggs had captured the NDRL’s ULMS Super Late Model win. Briggs had totally swept the Fall Classic a few years ago and looks to be on track to do the same this year.
John Waters started out the evening by winning the BRP CanAm feature began the previous evening and then won the wreck-strewn night capper, called short due to exceeding the time limit, taking the lead from race-long leader, pole sitter Ray Bliss.
Chris Withers, the point champion at Raceway 7 this season dominated the Close Racing Supply Street Stock feature from Friday night, shorten from the original fifteen laps to just ten laps in an event that had seemingly constant yellow flags. In the feature scheduled for Friday night the first twenty-four cars were inverted from the finish Thursday so Withers was mired deep in the field for the start. Rick Tripodi started from the pole and dominated the event until spinning out at lap eight just as time expired for the event, allowing Ted Masco to lead the green/white/checkers and collect his second win of the season at McKean.
Thursday’s Mini Stock feature started with Mitch Boylan on the pole and leading the first twelve laps through several cautions, but losing the lead to Larry Mitchell on the back straight. With the rules stating that restarts are lined up from the last completed lap and the time limit being exceeded, Boylan was declared the winner. The Friday mini Stock race was a close race throughout with Eric Canfield leading most of the way but Holden Heinemann challenging over the last half of the event and finally gaining the lead on the final lap in a three-way scramble for the lead.Heinemann then went on to the win.
The Sweeney Chevrolet RUSH Crate Late Model feature was one of the wildest ever at McKean County Raceway. After the RUSH Late Model starting spots were set through four heat races set by time trials Thursday (Chad Ruhlman set fast time), a dash, and two B-Mains, the twenty seven starters took the green flag with dash winner Ryan Montgomery and Damien Bidwell on the front row. Montgomery led from the green but only two laps were in the books when four cars got together in turn four, slowing the race. Montgomery, a Fairmont, WV native, and Bidwell, of Eldred, PA, led the field back to green with the race getting only to the second turn before trouble again struck, this time involving three cars. On this start Bidwell got the lead at the flag with Montgomery second and RUSH points leader Mike Pegher third. McKean County Raceway champion Max Blair was up to fourth by lap five when caution again flew, not only erasing Bidwell’s lead but putting the second place car next to him for the restart. The outside line again proved to be the fast line, allowing Montgomery to regain the lead. Caution number five immediately fell but again Montgomery led from outside at the start. At lap eight Blair challenged, and got by Pegher just as yet another yellow flew. Yet again Montgomery and Bidwell brought the field to green, this time with the leader choosing the preferred outside line. Again Montgomery led with Bidwell, Pegher, Blair, and John Waters following. Cody Mason looped his mount in turn two and was sent to the pits during the caution, his second of the event. At this restart officials determined that the front row was accelerating too early and thus was penalized back to the second row, leaving arch-rivals Mike Pegher and Max Blair on the front row. Pegher took off with the lead. Unfortunately only two more laps could be completed before yet another yellow flag, this for a multi-car incident coming out of turn four. Pegher, Blair! Bidwell, and Montgomery led the way with fast timer Chad Ruhlman filling out the top five. Ruhlman ran alongside Montgomery for several laps but was unable to gain the advantage. Lapped traffic altered the outcome with two to go when Garrett Mott and the leaders got together, with Blair getting turned in front of Bidwell and Montgomery, eliminating all three from contending for the win. This time Pegher and John Waters led the field to green but Pegher spun out of the lead, deemed to be due to contact from Waters. Waters was sent to the rear and with the time limit reached, Chad McClelland was declared the winner with Zach Carley second, Brad Mesler third, Matt Harvey fourth, and Ed Carley fifth. For McClelland, it was not only his first start at MCR, he had never even seen the facility.
The ULMS Super Late Models started twenty four cars for $3000 to win with fast timer Dylan Yoder on the pole and former Fall Classic champion Boom Briggs outside. After a false start Yoder led the way with Briggs and Chad Hollenback following. With seven complete Briggs was alongside Yoder and leading a lap later. The race went eleven laps before caution was necessary when Matt Urban spun. When green was again shown it was Briggs again showing the way. By fifteen in, Dave Scott was up to fourth behind Hollenback with Mike a Knight fifth. At twenty five laps the leaders caught the rear of the field but traffic did not become a problem. Yoder spun at lap 28, dropping back to sixth. The finish was Briggs, Hollenback, Scott, Dan Stone, and Mike Knight.
Scooter Pangrazio and Steve Dixon, after a rough flip on Thursday, started on the front row for the A&MP UEMS 20-lap night capper with Dixon grabbing the immediate lead. Pangrazio stayed with him and the two were side by side at the end on the first lap. Dixon had sole possession of the lead after two laps with Dave Hess now third, up from sixth at the green. Dan Davies edged ahead of Hess at lap eight but Hess fought back, but had not regained the spot when caution fell for a skirmish between Cale Crocker and Carl McKinney. Crocker had spent the day repairing major damage from a nine-car pileup Thursday night then finished second in his heat. One lap shy of halfway Dixon led the field back to green with Davies claiming second before the first lap back under green was finished. A three car tangle in turns three and four again slowed the race at lap eleven. At lap thirteen Brent Rhebergen took over second from Pangrazio and set sail for Dixon. With five laps remaining the gap was four car lengths. Dixon put some real estate between he and Rhebergen, but not for long as Rhebergen closed on him towards the end but it was too late as Dixon sped to to the win over Rhebergen, Pangrazio, Davies, and Randy Hall.
Ray Bliss and Mikey Wonderling brought the 26 car BRP CanAm 360 Late Models to the green. Bliss led lap one but seven cars did not make it out of turn four at the end of the lap, slowing the race. John Waters came to third at the restart but five cars brought out caution number four after just one more lap of green. Mikey Wonderling spun from the second spot at five laps in, putting Waters to the runner up spot and Jon Rivers to third. Buck Paye had advanced to fourth at this point with Brian Knowles fifth. Not another lap was complete before seven cars were involved in a mess on the back straight blocking the track and bringing out the red flag. Again only one lap was completed before another caution. Bliss continued to lead one more lap before yet another yellow, which sent the race beyond the time limit. A green/white/checkers was set up with Bloss leading the way to the green, which would be the final green of the race. Waters surged by at the drop of the green which only got one lap before a three car wreck on the front straight finished the event with Waters awarded the win. Bliss was second with Brian Knowles third. Steve Hartman was fourth with Mikey Wonderling fifth.
Rick Tripodi and Levi Watson started the 32-car Street Stock feature from the front row with the lineup being Thursday night’s (actually run at the start of Friday’s racing) finishing order inverted for the top twenty four. Tripodi led the way with Watson second until Ted Mascho got by on lap four. At six laps Watson slipped back in the pack with Joe Chamberlain up to third and Butch Talbot to fourth. Elain Best got into fourth by the time of the third caution at lap eight when several cars had a problem with turn two. The field only got to turn two on the lap eight restart when the leader spun, taking several cars with him, leaving Mascho with the lead over Eric Harvey and Talbot and Elaine Best. Talbot spun in turn two on lap nine and then took an exceptionally hard hit from Andy Michael. The hit was hard enough that the red flag was displayed but both drivers walked away. With the time limit being reached the g-w-c had Mascho leading Best, Harvey, Andrew Smith, and Gary Fisher to the checkers.
Jason Berichner and Fred Ely brought the 23 car Pure Stock field to the green with Berichner leading lap one. Berichner led through to the checkers through several cautions with Ely running second, Jason Dobson, third, Mike Parmenter fourth, and Dustin Michvek fifth.
After a first lap caution Paul Campbell and Duane Powers again brought the Mini Stock field to the green with Eric Canfield and C J Irons in row two. Powers led to turn four then got wide allowing Campbell to lead at the end of the lap. Canfield took over at the front after green and went on to lead until Holden Heinemann began challenging at lap eight, getting alongside several laps. Heinemann got turned sideways at lap twelve losing ground but came right back, taking the lead on the back stretch of the final lap. Powers wound up second with Irons, Nick Snayczvic, and Mitch Boylan filling out the top five.