WOODHULL, N.Y. – Chuck Hebing continued his winning ways with the Patriot Sprint Tour Saturday night, earning his first win of the eyar and 36th of his career with the series at Woodhull Raceway.
Hebing won Saturday’s feature despite losing the lead for four laps to Scott Kreutterand. He battled a difficult race track over the second half of the 25-lap feature before he could claim his first win of the year.
Hebing finished second in his heat, which was good enough for a spot in the A-Main redraw where he received the fourth starting position. He put his sprinter in third during the opening set of corners as polesitter Tim Kelly held off Jamie Bodo to lead the first lap.
Bodo would take the lead on the second lap and soon after Hebing was also around Kelly and going after the lead.
On lap four, Bodo and Hebing exchanged slide jobs in each set of corners, with Hebing finally prevailing after the fourth exchange to complete lap five. As the duo entered turn on lap six though, a lapped car got crossed up in front of Bodo, leaving him nowhere to go and flipping his No. 76. Bodo was uninjured but dejected by the opportunity lost.
With Hebing in front five laps in, most of the massive crowd on hand felt he had the race in the bag, but Scott Kreutter was not among that contingent and he proved it as he stalked the No. 45 on the three laps following the restart and eventually took the lead on lap nine when Hebing bobbled in turn two.
Over the next half-dozen laps, Hebing would move his line on the track down one groove and get his bearings reset. He would later admit, “I had to get off the top side because I couldn’t run the top anymore.”
On lap 13, as Kreutter and Hebing were working through heavy lapped traffic, Kreutter closed on a car too fast in turn one and wheel-hopped him, nearly sending his No. 52 for a wild ride.
Kreutter was able to maintain the lead, but four laps later, the duo was once again in lapped traffic, which is where Hebing made a nifty three-wide move to drive around Kreutter and another car to take the lead back. A lap later, Kreutter broke the left front torsion arm, reducing any ammunition he might have for a rebuttal.
“First it was me and (Bodo) going at it, that was pretty good. Then it was me and Kreutter having a good race, he just made a couple bad choices in the lapped traffic,” noted Hebing.
The biggest challenger for the two-time PST Champion down the stretch would be the cushion. On multiple occasions, Hebing nearly lost control of his No. 45, including with a lap and a half remaining when he started to spin back down the track before correcting it.
“The track was definitely a challenge tonight,” admitted Hebing in victory lane. “The track was interesting but it was tough. You couldn’t get near that cushion but I kept getting on it. But that was the only way it was fast.”
The win was Hebing’s third straight in the May Woodhull event and fifth at the third-mile oval.
Kreutter finished second, followed by Bryan Howland, Tim Kelly and Don Adamczyk.