MERCER, Penn. – Jared Zimbardi scored the victory in the ASCS Patriot Sprint Tour event at Mercer Raceway Park on Saturday.
The triumph allowed Zimbardi to stretch his lead in the standings for the touring series. He ran third earlier in the season in a 410 Sprint Car race at the track, and said that it was an important learning experience.
Kyle Fink, the points leader in the Approved Toilet Rentals 358 Modifieds, captured his second win of the season, after a spirited battle with Lonny Riggs and Jimmy Holden. C.J. Jones copped the Outlaw Sprint Warrior main, presented by Bonnell’s Rod Shop. Chris Loghan, the last racer to arrive on the grounds, took the nightcap for the Rock Concrete Modified Lites.
“It was going to get interesting in lapped traffic,” Zimbardi said. “I was pretty good around one and two on the high side, but I guess he (Steve Collins) made it a little easier for me.”
Collins clipped a lapped car, spinning both, and that gave Zimbardi control of the event. He almost gave the race away by making an adjustment to his top wing. “I slid the wing back on that last restart and the thing hooked up so much I just about drove over the frontstretch cone.”
Canadian Mitch Brown and Dr. Steve Collins brought the field down to the green flag, but Dennis Wagner took advantage of his superior knowledge of the track to make a bold move from the third position to challenge for the lead.
Collins rode the cushion to the front, though, and Wagner and Brown were battling hard for the second spot. As the filed crossed for the first lap, Wagner spun wildly into the infield with a flattened left front tire.
That gave Collins the point for the restart, with Brown, Zimbardi, Paige Polyak, and George Suprick in tow.
Zimbardi hung close to the leader as they closed in on the rear of the field. Collins looked to the inside to lap a car, and that opened up the top for Zimbardi.
Polyak had moved into third during the eight-lap skein. Brown continued to hold off Suprick and Parker Evans. Collins got away cleanly, and he maintained a cushion of several car lengths as he approached the rear of the field once again.
This time, though, he had difficulty getting by the slower machines. Collins closed in rapidly on a car coming through the third and fourth corners. He made contact as they came off turn four, sending both cars around. Another back marker had nowhere to go, and struck Collins’ disabled car.
Collins’ misfortune put Zimbardi up front, with Polyak, Brown, Suprick, and Evans right behind. Polyak looked to the inside as the leaders roared into turn one, but Zimbardi had enough smoke to pull away coming off turn two. Polyak got another shot at Zimbardi on the final restart, with four laps remaining, but Zimbardi was well prepared. He led the way for the final circuits.
Zimbardi, Polyak, Brown, and Suprick were the first four to cross the finish line. Joe Trenca moved up to fifth in the final standings.