Apr 19, 2009 02:04 PM EDT
Sprint Car Teams Rapidly Preparing for May 1 Lid Lifter at Black Rock
By RICH VLECK
It hasnít taken long for the sprint car teams of New York to shift their focus to Black Rock. They have prepared all winter for the 2009 season, but they still may not completely know how the preparations made at Black Rock over the past few months will change the race.
When A-Verdi Storage Containers presents the Lucas Oil ASCS Patriots invade Dundee on May 1, it will be their first time seeing the 4/10-mile oval, which now has 25 feet more of track on the inside of both sets of corners. In the weekly competition already, many drivers has been found diving to the inside in their stock cars, while others still keep the momentum wound up at the top of the track. It is just another changing element to get a hold of at the trick Yates County Oval.
Last year, the inside wall that had become synonymous with Black Rock was removed and things changed, yet only slightly. In each of the sprint races run at Black Rock, Justin Barger was Victorious. If anything it made the track even faster, the same could be true in 2009.
In both of the events, Bryan Howland and Chuck Hebing ran strong. While Hebing is a four-time Patriot winner at BRS, Howland has never found Victory Lane in his No. 51. Together they have captured four of the six Patriot Championships, with each walking in amongst the favorites on May 1.
Jared Zimbardi won one of his biggest races in 2007 at Black Rock, out dueling Hebing or all 25 laps of the event. Zimbardi is set for his first Championship, and is perhaps Howlandís most clear-cut threat to dethrone him.
Scott Kreutter dominated micro sprint action at BRS in 2006, before moving to his sprint. He has been a consistent frontrunner at every track in his No. 52, including Black Rock, where he has a best of 4th.
The Breen Brothers won their first career races at BRS in 2004, and were both winners on the ASCS Patriot tour in 2009. The track where they got their start is one of their best and one, if not both of the brothers should factor in on May 1.
Chris Muhleisen leads a group of locals that always circle Black Rock races on their schedule. The Arkport driverís best career finish at BRS is a 2nd. Lance Yonge and Tim Kelly both have won at their home track. Yongeís last win was in 2004 with the Patriots while Kelly, of Rock Stream, won in 1997.
Ray Preston of Romulus, Robbie Shuttleworth of Geneva and Bubby Kerrick of Stanley have yet to grace Victory Lane just down the road from their residence. A win on the first night of the year would certainly get their night off to a strong start.
Because this is a Lucas Oil ASCS Patriot event, you know that means the likes of Don Adamczyk, Gary Troutman, Derek Jonathan, Dave Wickham, Kyle Moffit, Jared Fink, Bubba Broderick, Joe August Jr., T.J. Newton and many more will be on hand.
There are a slew of drivers expected to invade the Finger Lakes for a rare Patriot start, including Scott Bonnell, Doug Emery, Jeff VanDusen, Alain Bergeron, Tommy Wickham, Andy Noto, Geoff Quackenbush and many more.
To add to the fun, the Hot Wings TV of cameras will be on hand to record the action for Time Warner Cable SportsNet Channels throughout New York later in the month.
The car counts should be high, the excitement should be grand and perhaps the best part, tickets will be only $13 for General Admission! The night of racing will also include the standard Super 6 racing classes, plus a $1,000-to-win Enduro and Ladies 4-cylinder FWD/RWD Challenge.
This Week: $20 Car Load Night
Donít forget that before April closes out, racing continues this Friday with a Super 6 Racing Card, plus a Firefighter Enduro. It is $20 carload night, before 6:30 p.m., so come on in early and load up the station wagon to see a great night of racing at a great bargain. For more information, visit www.BlackRockSpeedway.com.