VERNON, N.Y. – After Sunday night’s Lucas Oil Empire Super Sprint A-Main event at the Utica-Rome Speedway Shawn Donath can now say that he’s beat Chuck Hebing by using a slide job twice.
Donath, driving his Doug Emery Motorsports mount, came from the 19th starting position to claim his third win of the 2012 season in impressive fashion.
Donath used a lap 18 restart to slide job Hebing in the first turn. Making the win even more impressive is that Donath had driveline issues in hot laps and was unable to get up to speed in his heat race. He then went out and captured the win in the B-Main and drove his way to the front in the 25-lap feature.
The win came as part of the overall chase for the championship as well as part of the SUNY Canton Racing Series as well as the Universal American Stars and Stripes Tour.
Donath earned $2,050 for the win while everyone making the starting lineup earned $320 courtesy of the “Friends of Utica-Rome Speedway” which included several sponsors from the area.
“That was great,” said Donath about the win. “We had all kind of problems earlier in the night. This was a great job by the whole DM team.”
Current series point leader, Lance Yonge, started on the pole for the A-Main and took the lead at the green flag while Jeff Cook moved into second and Hebing jumped to third from the tenth starting position on the first lap.
Hebing wasted little time taking the lead as he went to the high-side of turns one and two on lap three to power by Yonge as he attempted to make it work on the bottom of the speedway.
Hebing ran away from the field and was the leader near the halfway point when Charlie Donk slowed and stopped in turns three and four. Hebing held the lead on the restart while Donath moved into second. The laps clicked off and Donath closed looking for the top spot.
On lap 17 the caution came out as Matt Tanner slowed on the front straightaway. On the restart Hebing elected to use the outside lane while Donath used the bottom. Donath got the jump but that caution came out negating his pass for the lead. On the next restart, Hebing switched lanes going to the bottom.
Hebing got the jump on Donath until they got to the first turn when Donath slid up in front of him and took the lead. He maintained the lead on the outside of turns three and four.
“I could him hear him alongside me we were side-by-side going in there,” said Donath of Hebing. “Both of us where waiting to see which one of us was going to lift but I don’t think either one of was going to. I went in there wide-open and I wouldn’t have done that but my dad taught me that years ago. If you can man up and go wide-open into turn three and not lift you normally come out on top.”
Donath motored away while Kevin Ward Jr., closed in on Hebing for the runner-up position. Ward, who started 11th, made the move on Hebing and pulled a slide job of his own in turns three and four to take the spot on lap 21.
With two laps to go Donath battled traffic and got over the cushion in turns three and four. He had enough of a lead to hang on and lead the final two laps.
Ward, of Port Leydon, N.Y., coming off his tenth place finish in the Selinsgrove Speedway National Open, rode that momentum to a second place finish.
“I’m really, really happy,” said Ward afterwards. “Things have changed for us and things have been real good. It’s nice that things are finally going our way.”
Ward put an impressive move on Hebing to take the second spot.
“I was going to just hang out in third because I didn’t want to take a chance on ruining a good run,” commented Ward. “I was just going to ride it out but my mind told me different. It ended up working out.”
Hebing, who had hit the wall on lap nine, was fortunate to hang on to finish in the third spot as he did damage to the rear of his No. 45.
“Shawn (Donath) had a lot better car than we did tonight,” stated Hebing. “I hit the fence early and bent the rear-end. I didn’t have much of a car and the restarts were killing me. I must have overheated my tires because I was good early but I wasn’t very good at the end.”
Cook rebounded to finish in fourth after falling back as far as tenth in the A-Main while Yonge fell back ended up completing the top five.