|Date: 3/16/2013 11:00:47 PM|
HOWARD REPEATS AS SELINSGROVE 358 ROC MODIFIED WINNER
By Jeff Gromis
Selinsgrove, PA - (March 15, 2013) - Duane Howard like racing in March at Selinsgrove Speedway, no matter what the outdoor temperature!
The thermometer was dropping through the 40s but Howard of Oley, PA was hot as he captured the 358 Modified ROC Icebreaker 25 sponsored by the Blaise Alexander Family Dealerships at Selinsgrove Speedway on Friday night. It was the second straight year that Howard captured the Opening Night win in the RoC 358s at Selinsgrove.
“We made a lot of changes in the off-season and are really focused on winning races,” commented Howard. “Chad Sinon provides me with great equipment and the crew does an outstanding job on preparing the car. The crew sure seems ready for the season and I know this driver is!”
At the drop of the green it was pole sitter Larry Wight of Phoenix, NY, and Doug Manmiller of Shoemakersville, PA, racing side-by-side past the starter’s stand with Manmiller getting the edge off turn two in the Josh Biever/gmi Mechanical 46. Ryan Godown of Ringoes ,NJ, charged from his fifth starting spot to second on lap two in his own 26 and closed up on Manmiller. As they came down to complete lap three, Manmiller suddenly slowed with mechanical woes as Godown charged to the point. The yellow flew and Manmiller retired from the event along with Craig Von Dohren of Oley, PA, who was running sixth.
Godown was away like a shot and quickly pulled away from Larry Wight under green while Duane Howard, who started third and dropped to fifth on the opening lap. Re-establishing himself as a contender on the tail of Wight, Howard charged into second on lap five but was unable to cut into Godown’s lead margin until the leaders began lapping the field on lap 11. Godown remained in control until the yellow flew with 15 laps complete as Pat Ward broke on the frontstretch.
On the restart went in to turn one and set the Chad Sinon-owned, BGP 4 hard and dove under Godown off turn two. Howard took command followed by Godown, Wight, Danny Johnson of Phelps, NY (who started 10th) and Bobby Varin of Sharon Springs, NY (who started 8th).
When asked by track announcer Steve Inch if he had a plan on the lap 15 restart, Howard shared, “The track was fast tonight. I went into turn one hard a couple times earlier in the race and the car rotated real well. If I hit it right, the car really came off turn two.”
Little changed until lap 20 when Danny Johnson’s 7z failed just as Stewart Friesen of Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, was dropping out of the event, bringing out the events final yellow. This brought Billy Decker of Unadilla, NY, Jerry Higbie, Jr. of Newburg, NY, and Chad Brachman of North Tonawanda, NY, into the battle for a top five finish. Godown made a run on the inside of turn one on the restart but Howard held him off and went on to the $2500 win. Godown finished second trailed by Larry Wight, Decker, Bobby Varin, Jerry Higbie, ARDC midget champion Tim Buckwalter of Douglasville, PA (in his first race in the Gary Spotts Modified), Mel Schufer (Middletown, NY) and Mike Mahaney of King Ferry, NY.
Heat winners in the 27 car field were Ryan Godown, Stewart Friesen and Craig Von Dohren.
The RoC 358s were joined by the Selinsgrove roadrunners on the card with Brian Johnson of Ashland, PA, taking the win. Second-place starter, Johnson pulled into the lead at the start of the roadrunner race. Johnson was chased by fourth-place starter Bob Bussey for the entire distance. However, for the final two laps, Bussey moved within striking distance and put in a bid for the lead and win. At the checkered flag, Johnson held off Bussey by the slimmest of margins for the victory. Corey Collier, John Schoch, and John Fowler rounded out the top five.
The Roc Big Block Modifieds were scheduled to compete at Selinsgrove on Satuday afternoon starting at 4PM but snow falling throughout the morning Saturday forced the speedway to postpone the event at 9:30AM. After further evaluation of the weather, the decision was made at 10:45 that the Sunday raindate would not provide a reasonable opportunity to race and the Big Block Modified Blaise Alexander Family Dealerships Icebreaker 40 was canceled.
The cancellation of the sixth annual Alexander Family Dealerships Icebreaker 40 for the Race of Champions big block modifieds is the first since the event’s inception in 2008. The race will not be rescheduled this year.
358 MODIFIED BLAISE ALEXANDER FAMILY DEALERSHIP ICEBREAKER 25-LAP FEATURE - 1) 4 Duane Howard, 2) 26 Ryan Godown, 3) 99L Larry Wight, 4) 91 Billy Decker, 5) 19V Bobby Varin, 6) 3B Chad Brachmann, 7) 55 Jerry Higbie Jr., 8) 91B Tim Buckwalter, 9) 84 Mel Schrufer, 10) 77x Mike Mahaney, 11) 6x Jackie Brown (-1), 12) 151 Joey Colsten (-1). DNF: 13) 7Z Danny Johnson, 14) 1J Stewart Friesen, 15) 42P Pat Ward, 16) 145 Alan Rudalavage, 17) 99 Craig Whitmoyer, 18) 59J Jesse Kline, 19) 46 Doug Manmiller, 20) 1c Craig Von Dohren, 21) 41 Jon Kellner, 22) 16x Danny Creeden. DNS: 357 Frank Cozze, 9s Matt Shepard, 9 Jeff Brown, 29 Sammy Piazza, 2 Billy Van Pelt.
8-lap Heat Finishes:
Heat 1: Godown, D. Johnson, Ward, Mahaney, Buckwalter, Ja. Brown, Rudalavage, Colsten, Shepard (DNF). Time: 2:39.754 (95.475 mph).
Heat 2: Friesen, Manmiller, Kellner, Brachmann, Higbie, Van Pelt, Schrufer, Creeden (DNF), Piazza (DNS). Time: 2:42.860 (93.654mph).
Heat 3: Von Dohren, Howard, Wight, Varin, Decker, Whitmoyer, Kline, Cozze (DNF), Je. Brown (DNS). No Time.
SELINSGROVE ROADRUNNER 12-LAP MAIN: 1) 201 Brian Johnson (Time: NTR: 5:10.507), 2) 76 Bob Bussey, 3) 44 Corey Collier, 4) 89 John Schoch, 5) 02 John Fowler, 6) 31B Brandon Shultz. DNS: 29B Ricky Bender, 8K Jeremy Kline.
Three different drivers turned in laps at an average speed of over 95 miles per hour in competition on the fast, half-mile clay over. The fastest was by Ryan Godown at 96.252 in first heat action who also turned a feature lap at 96.063. Matt Shepard clocked a 96.092 lap in the first heat as well. Duane Howard was next with a lap at 95.860.
Howard’s margin of victory over Godown was 0.849 seconds.
The feature started at 8:38PM and was completed by 8.56PM. A big block modified hot lap session did follow the 358 Modified winner circle activities.
BLAISE ALEXANDER FAMILY DEALERSHIP ICEBREAKER 25 AWARD WINNERS:
Penske Racing Shocks – Top 3 highest finishing cars using Penske shocks on all 4 corners will have the opportunity to buy 3 shocks and get the 4th free $1,500 value - Chad Brachmann, Craig Whitmoyer and Tim Buckwalter.
Lenny Krautheim Auto Sales – 3rd place finisher in feature receives a $150 cash bonus - Larry Wight
Zemco Speed Equipment – Heat race winner will receive a Zemco Gift Certificate $50 value - Ryan Godown, Craig Von Dohren, Stewart Friesen.
Reid's Tannery/Deb Rahmer - Race winner recieves custom embroidered equipment bag $200 value - Duane Howard
Middleburg IGA/Gary Wagner – Race winner receives trophy - Duane Howard
Bair Wheel Repair – Feature winner will receive a Bair Wheel Repair Gift Certificate $50 value - Duane Howard
Keith Sweigart Electric – Hard Charger Award (driver who advances most position from original starting spot) $100 cash bonus - Billy Decker
Shiley Fabrication – Hard Luck Award complete front and rear bumpers and rub rails kit - Billy Van Pelt
JGK Motorsports – Jack Bagley Memorial Award $100 cash - Doug Manmiller
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