Apr 14, 2007 03:10 AM EDT
Steve Paine and Adam Depuy Take Top Honors on Night 1 at Black Rock
By RICH VLECK
It was cold, it was windy, it even snowed for more than an hour, but with 99 cars and a perfectly manicured racetrack, Black Rock kicked off the 2007 New York dirt racing season.
Steve Paine had no issues with the weather, or with any of his competition, as the multi-time track champion was in true form on Friday Night, capturing the T-3 All-Star 358-Modified Feature win.
Paine was the dominant force all night long. After winning his heat race, “The Hurricane” redrew starting spot No. 9 for the feature. He moved up to sixth on lap 6, when he slid underneath three cars in turn three to close in on the front of the pack; by lap 10 he was in the lead, and would not relinquish it.
“My car was good, but it was tight, which I know everyone had an issue with,” said Paine in Victory Lane. “(On Lap 6) they all pushed up at the same time.”
Even though the Waterloo, NY hot shoe would lead the final 25 laps, he didn’t do it without withstanding challenges. Ray Bliss started moving up in the second-half of the race and on lap 28 was set to get around Paine in lapped traffic when a caution flew. On the restart, “Zeke the Streak” hung with the No. 7x, but was unable to stay with him to the finish.
“There was just a lot going on,” added Paine when asked about holding off Bliss, along with Billy Van Pelt. “I knew if I just didn’t get off the bottom I would be alright.”
The bottom line in recent years has not been the victory line, but on Friday night it was the “Paine Lane”, as well everyone else’s preferred line. Billy Van Pelt was able to sneak by Bliss in the closing laps by using the bottom and finish in the runner-up position to start off his campaign for a third-straight T-3 Championship. Dylan Dewart and Bryan Terwilliger completed the top-5.
The inaugural race for the Mr. DIRTcar Street Stock Series was Rich Shaprsteen’s to have, until a broken tie rod slowed him with 3 laps left to go and handed the lead over to Adam Depuy.
Depuy, who in his only Black Rock appearance in 2006 resulted in a win in the Street Stock/ Pro Truck challenge, used his experience to stay near the front for the 30-lap feature and made sure to capitalize on the opportunity that was presented to him.
Scott Smith picked off three spots in the closing laps to finish second, ahead of Darl Ellis Sr., Bubba Burnell and Andy Michael.
Sharpsteen led the first 27 laps and was a straightaway ahead when his mechanical problems occurred, he was able to limp home his No. 83T to a 7th place finish.
The first-ever crate-only DIRT Sportsman race saw Todd Henderson walk away with the victory, just like he did in the sportsman open back in October. The Canandaigua Champion and resident won his heat and led all 20 laps of the feature as he was in a class of his own. Junior Green and Loren Lincoln completed the podium.
The super stock feature had a look very similar to 2006: with Jeremy Wonderling out front. “Mr. Excitement” hugged the guardrail the entire event and steadily pulled away from Larry Knowles and his brother Mikey Wonderling to win the opener.
The 4-cylinder feature saw two drivers have the win firmly in their grasp, only to have Scott Yaw steal it away from both of them. Defending champion Jack Ayers led until lap 17 when his No. 1a snapped around in turn 4. Ray Speicher inherited the lead and was doing a valiant job holding of Yaw on the final lap when he slowed down thinking the caution was out for an incident on the track; the caution never came out and Yaw came out victorious.
Earlier in the night, Tom Austin Jr. won the Black Rock Bandit feature, holding off Dylan Cecce to become the ninth winner in the youth class in the last 12 months.
For more on the season lid lifter, be sure to visit www.DougsDirtDiary.com to hear interviews from the winners and view pictures from BRS.
The first regular card of racing will take place next Friday, including the first Street Stock/Pro Truck race of the season. This night, like all others, will start at 6:45 p.m.