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Sep 10, 2010 11:45 PM EDT

Bobby Breen and Alain Bergeron Claim Wins in Sweet 16’s in Black Rock’s Fall Sprint Nationals

By RICH VLECK


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On a night when the Black Rock Speedway surface was nearly perfect, having a quality starting spot for the Sweet 16 features were vital, and that is just what Bobby Breen and Alain Bergeron got as they ran away to feature wins.

Breen, of Savannah, NY, jumped out into the lead in the first 16-lap feature, sponsored by Insinger Race Fuels, and never looked back, as he had very little issue with lapped traffic and scored his first feature win of the season in the caution-free event.

“This is the first time we’ve have the 360 in this car this season and it worked really well,” said the modest 20-year-old in Victory Lane about his J&J he had used primarily in 410 action this season. “This track was in great shape tonight and you could really blast it on the top.”

After moving from seventh to fourth in his first heat race, Breen dominated his second heat race and earned a front row spot for the first 16-lap feature. After a bad start sent Josh Weller back a row, Breen drove around Bubba Broderick from the outside and slammed his No. 9 around the track on the cushion.

Weller would take back second when Bubba Broderick slipped up in turn two on lap 10 but just did not have enough to close in on Breen, who was perfect on this night.

Breen, who is the only driver to attend every sprint event at BRS since April of 2004, is in his first month of college in Lima, Ohio and had to deal with this weekend as well.

“It has been tough to drive home the last few weeks,” admitted Breen. “This makes it somewhat worth it though. A win tomorrow definitely would make it worthwhile.”

Weller would hang on for a solid second-place showing. Had the caution flag been displayed, the No. 63 might have had something for Breen, but without one was along for the ride.

August winner Bryan Howland slid underneath Bubba Brodreick in the closing laps to claim third. New Jersey’s Robbie Stillwaggon would complete the stout top-five.

Alain Bergeron came with two laps of winning the Fall Sprint Nationals in 2006, the last time the race was run, and set him up for a chance to avenge that close call with a win in the second Sweet 16, which was sponsored by M&W Aluminum Products.

Bergeron, of St. Pie, QC, scored his first feature win of the season and his first career at Black Rock in what in all likelihood is his final season of sprint car competition.

The No. 8B acquired the pole from the top-4 inversion and wasted no time jumping into the lead and on to the cushion. Keeping his car as straight as possible along the berm on the top of the track, he held a steady distance over some top cars.

Half way though the event, Bergeron closed in on young Devin Caron, who he has been helping out over the season. Even though he would finally clear the No. 24k, took a few laps for him to get by.

“The 24 was tough,” stated Bergeron in Victory Lane. “We are friends but he was still good so I had to wait for a spot to get by.”

The 11-year sprint car veteran who recently had his numbered retired by his former mini sprint club was able to tame the cushion that kept building up as the 16-lap event ran along caution free. Had Bergeron not hit his mark every time, he might have had challengers for the lead.

Jared Zimbardi stormed into second in his No. 35 but had trouble staying with Bergeron as his car did not run as straight of a line as the leader. He would cross in second.

Don Adamczyk put together a quality run as he would finish in third in his No. 21 and close in on Zimbardi in the waning laps. Two-time Fall Nationals Champion Trevor Lewis was fourth with local Tim Kelly completing the top-five.

Joey Biasi brought out the only red flag of the night when his No. B1 tipped over in turn one in the second set of heats. Tim Hogue was scratched for the night with a motor issue. Just before the second Sweet 16, Chuck Hebing, who was slated to start on the outside pole, was forced pit side with a major engine issue.

Ben Murphy, originally from Enola, PA, dominated the 1000cc mini sprint A-Main, featuring the Empire Lightning Sprints and the Sidewinder Sprints.

Murphy started in third and moved by the sidewinder sprint of Joe Robertson on lap four and set sail on the pack. Matt and Doug Norrie would reel in the Henchcraft No. 1, but had nothing for the youngster on two late-race restarts.

Lapped traffic became a major factor among 11-lap stretch of green flag action. Murphy was able to carve his way through and keep a steady lead over the Norrie Brothers.

“The lapped cars weren’t a real problem for me because I caught them right and I usually had somewhere to go,” stated Murphy in Victory Lane.

Behind Murphy would be Matt Norrie holding off younger brother Doug for second. Robertson and heat winner Ralph Utter completed the top-five.

Chuck Hebing made things look easy in the Original Pizza Logs 600cc Feature, as he held a comfortable lead over the pack the entire way to win the 20-lap feature.

Hebing, of Ontario, NY, jumped into the Danny Wilmes No. 45x for a rare start and never lifted when the green flag dropped. He flat-footed the car around the track and each lap was just enough quicker than Jim Radney, who would finish in second.

“This thing had a killer engine, it was just great on restarts,” noted Hebing in Victory Lane. “This is a tough track to drive in one of these things. My arms are really tired.”

Radney had a transmission, inhibiting him on the starts, but would come to life in the No. 81x on long green flag runs and finish in the runner-up spot.

Modified regular Charlie Donk, who teams with Hebing in micro sprint action, made a pair of bids for the runner-up spot on Radney on early race restarts on the bottom but just could not clear him and would have to settle for third. Youngsters Tyler walker and David Ferguson completed the top-five.

With double the purse on the line, Terry Povoski dominated the 4-cylinder 15-lap feature. The 2010 Signs Plus of Kanona 4-Cylinder Track Champion moved by Mike Ziarno on lap 10 and pulled away for his 12th feature win of the season.

Povoski was followed by youngster Dylan Cecce, who won the heat. Mike Ziarno was third with Rick Amidon and Val Stephens rounding out the top-five.

Ronnie Hill won his second FWD 4-Cylinder Enduro at Black Rock, passing Mark Sincock on lap 11 for the lead and checking out on the pack for the victory in his No. B3. Sincock would hang on for a career-best second, with Kale Wilkins making a daring move to round out the top-three.

For more information, visit www.BlackRockSpeedway.com.

Black Rock’s Fall Sprint Nationals Night 1 Results: 9/10/10.

Insinger Race Fuels Sweet 16 #1 (16 Laps)- 1. Bobby Breen (9), 2. Josh Weller (63), 3. Bryan Howland (51), 4. Bubba Broderick (5), 5. Robbie Stillwaggon (89), 6. Lance Yonge (17J), 7. Shayne Ely (90e), 8. Blake Breen (8), 9. Bruce DeWick (22D), 10. April Wilson (15AW), 11. Ross Vleck (2), 12. Joey Biasi (B1), 13. Vern Wasson (5v).

Lap Leaders- Bo. Breen 1-16.

M&W Aluminum Products Sweet 16 #2 (16 Laps)- 1. Alain Bergeron (8B), 2. Jared Zimbardi (35), 3. Don Adamczyk (21), 4. Trevor Lewis (21L), 5. Tim Kelly (12), 6. Dylan Swiernik (7c), 7. Rick Wilson (42w), 8. Mike Stelter (36), 9. Devin Caron (24k), 10. Bobby Podolak (90x), 11. Jeff Frasier (36w), 12. Chuck Hebing (45), 13. Tim Hogue (39).

Lap Leaders- Bergeron 1-16.

Set 1 Heats (8 Laps Each)-
Race 1: 1. Jared Zimbardi (35), 2. Robbie Stillwagon (89), 3. Bryan Howland (51), 4. Joey Biasi (B1), 5. Devin Caron (24k), 6. Don Adamczyk (21), 7. Mike Stelter (36), 8. Bruce DeWick (22D), 9. Ross Vleck (2).
Race 2: 1. Josh Weller (63), 2. Lance Yonge (17J), 3. Chuck Hebing (45), 4. Bobby Breen (9), 5. Blake Breen (8), 6. Rick Wilson (42w), 7. Tim Kelly (12), 8. Shayne Ely (90e), 9. Tim Hogue (39).
Race 3: 1. Alain Bergeron (8B), 2. Trevor Lewis (21L), 3. Bubba Broderick (5), 4. April Wilson (15AW), 5. Bobby Podolak (90x), 6. Dylan Swiernik (7c), 7. Vern Wasson (5v), 8. Jeff Frasier (36w).

Set 2 Heats (8 Laps Each)-
Race 1: 1. Bryan Howland (51), 2. Don Adamczyk (21), 3. Jared Zimbardi (35), 4. Robbie Stillwaggon (89), 5. Mike Stelter (36), 6. Bruce DeWick (22D), 7. Ross Vleck (2), 8. Devin Caron (24k), 9. Joey Biasi (B1).
Race 2: 1. Bobby Breen (9), 2. Chuck Hebing (45), 3. Shayne Ely (90e), 4. Tim Kelly (12), 5. Josh Weller (63), 6. Lance Yonge (17J), 7. Blake Breen (8), 8. Rick Wilson (42w), 9. Tim Hogue (39).
Race 3: 1. Bubba Broderick (5), 2. Trevor Lewis (21L), 3. Dylan Swiernik (7c), 4. Alain Bergeron (8B), 5. Jeff Frasier (36w), 6. Vern Wasson (5v), 7. April Wilson (15aw), 8. Bobby Podolak (90x).

1000 Showdown (Empire Lightning Sprints vs. Sidewinders) Feature (20 Laps)- BEN MURPHY, Matt Norrie, Doug Norrie, Joe Robertson, Ralph Utter, Mike Kiser, Mark Strickler, Jerry Sehn, Jason Stahl, Mathieu Bougoin, Mike Zielonis, Chris Wright, Jamie Kiser, Justin Phillips, Jason Eisenhart, Tracy Readinger, Rohan Beasley, Rich Halter, Dale Friedley, Travis Willow, Rick Hench (DNS).

Lap Leaders- Robertson 1-3, Murphy 4-20.
Heat Winners- Utter, Murphy, M. Norrie.

Original Pizza Logs 600 Feature (20 Laps)- CHUCK HEBING, Jim Radney, Charlie Donk, Tyler Walker, David Ferguson, Nick Cooper, Steve Doell, Darryl Ruggles, John Smith, Alysha Ruggles, Paul Habeck, Cory Donk, Kevin Carlson, Ben Kysor, Mike Foster, Greg Kysor, Eric Wise, Kirsten Dombroski, Matt Smith, Cory Gramich, Andy Snider, A.J. Bogino.

Lap Leaders- Hebing 1-20.
Heat Winners- Hebing, Ferguson, D. Ruggles.

Signs Plus of Kanona 4-Cylinder Feature (15 Laps)- TERRY POVOSKI, Dylan Cecce, Mike Ziarno, Rick Amidon, Val Stephens, Rob Wilcox, Randy Schwartz, Russ Wassner, Kailey Wassner, Brent Ayers.

Lap Leaders- Ziarno 1-9, Povoski 10-15.
Heat Winner- Cecce.

FWD 4-cylinder Enduro Top 3 (30 Laps)- RONNIE HILL, Mark Sincock, Kale Wilkins.

Lap Leaders- Sincock 1-11, Hill 12-30.