TOLEDO, Ohio — Jo Jo Helberg won the Hemelgarn Racing/Super Fitness Rollie Beale Classic at Toledo Speedway Wednesday night.
It was the inaugural event in the King of the Wing Sprint Car Shootut promoted by Davey Hamilton along with support from the Auto Value Bumper to Bumper Super Sprints.
Helberg powered around the outside of Garrett Green to take the lead on the 11th circuit. He then fended off a furious challenge from Troy DeCaire before pulling away for the victory. Davey Hamilton Jr. finished third with Ryan Litt and Cody Gallogly filling out the top five.
“Once I got out front was just cruising and trying to take it easy,” Helberg said. “Figured if somebody showed me a nose I could fend them off. Well two people showed me a nose. When Jason (Blonde) went to the outside I picked it right back up. Then I moved up track little bit and Troy (DeCaire) came out of nowhere and cleared me with five to go. I had to run it wide open the rest of the race. I could make the moves if I had to, just tried to save the tires. I’m so glad to win at Toledo in the first King of the Wing event. This is a testament to the Helberg Motorsports team.”
With a feature inversion of eight, Green and Jason Blonde led the 19-car starting field to the green flag in the 40-lap event. Green got the jump to take the early lead with Blonde settling into second spot and Jacob Wilson running third. In the opening laps Helberg was able to get around Wilson for third.
At the five-lap mark, Green had constructed a gap of 1.667 seconds over Blonde with Helberg, Wilson and Gallogly filling out the top five. One lap later sixth-running Dave Baumgartner dropped off the pace and pulled to the infield.
Green continued to pull away from Blonde and Helberg until the first yellow waved on lap nine when Kevin Feeney slow dramatically in turn four.
On the restart, Helberg had a tremendous restart advancing to second around Blonde and began working on Green for the first position. He completed the pass for the lead on the 11th circuit but Green and Blonde remained close.
Just before halfway, Wilson shredded a tire and the caution flag was out. Helberg continued to pace the event with Green, Blonde, Litt and DeCaire filling out the top five.
When the race restarted Blonde got around Green using the outside grove as he was then searching for a way around Helberg. At halfway, Green dropped off the pace as Blonde continued to pursue Helberg for the race victory.
During the final 10 laps, Blonde made a final attempt to take the lead as DeCaire, Litt and Hamilton Jr. were making a move to the front. Blonde then was trying to hold on to an ill-handling car as DeCaire, Litt and Hamilton Jr. chased Helberg.
With about five to go, DeCaire pulled even with Helberg exiting turn 2. Helberg was able to hold on to the lead and then pulled away to win by 1.252 seconds over DeCaire. Hamilton Jr. earned his second consecutive third-place finish at Toledo with Litt and Gallogly filling out the top five.