|Date: 10/17/2011 9:00:27 PM|
Kurtz Accord Winner,Johnston Junior National Champion
Accord Speedway was the setting for the final race in the 2011 Junior National schedule which gives the younger Slingshot drivers a chance to show their talents at 7 different speedways ranging from 1/8th mile to 1/4 mile in distance.
18 of the best Junior racers converged on the Gary Palmer prepared speedway and after 2 qualifiers the top 3 in each heat were called to the pit shack for a redraw with Michelle Campbell picking the lucky pill for pole honors.Starting outside was 2011 Accord All Star champion Jesse Leiby as the young teenager bolted on a 2 barrel carb. for the 20 lap A Main.
With the green waving Campbell wanted the high line heading into turn 1 and Leiby got shuffled in the mix as Jared Labagh and Chris Kurtz took the lowside and settled in behind Campbell for lap 1.
3 wide racing on lap 2 found Labagh getting under Campbell with Kurtz shadowing the move also getting by Campbell.Leiby was now back into the 5th spot,regrouping for his move back to the front.
Kurtz and Labagh had the fans on their feet running side by side for 3 laps until Kurtz powered under the 38 and took the lead.
Hard luck would hit the Abbey Price 9A as the muffler fell off taking the 9A from competition as she was making her way through the field.Kurtz would continue stretching his lead as Leiby now was working Labagh hoping for a mistake.
As the pair got to turn 1 Leiby was dead even with Labagh,but crossed over a little too soon and there was contact sending the 9 around,bringing out the yellow.Campbell's great run would come to an end as a left rear flat put the 22JR into the pits.
The green was back waving and Kurtz knew what he had to do to stay in front,but a new challenger was approaching the X5,as Junior National point leader Tyler Johnston was slowly closing the gap,hoping for another yellow to wave.
Tommy Zwart who was running in the top 5 coasted to the infield as a broken chain ended his day.With Kurtz and Johnston out in front the fans were being treated to a 3 car scramble for 3rd as Dylan Martin,Brandon McGill and Cole Hentschel all wanted the final podium spot.
As the checkered waved under the Kurtz X5,Johnston had to settle for the runnerup spot with 2011 Hamlin Junior Champion Dylan Martin getting the Gray's Garage 33 in for 3rd.
Rounding out the top 10 were Brandon McGill,Cole Hentschel,Kevin Predmore,Jesse Leiby,Carly Velez,Alex Shaffer and Kyle Gruber.
A stroke of luck for the Johnston team as mechanical problems beset the 5 right after the checker and the car had to be towed to the scales and tech area.
Jim Strouse had the top 5 at tech with a carb check and also a suspension check.All cars were cleared with the $400 being awarded to the winner.
Some great racing by the up and coming stars at the 1/4 mile had the fans cheering as the drivers headed off the speedway.
With his 2nd place run Tyler Johnston was crowned the 2011 Slingshot Junior National Champion with family and friends all celebrating his accomplishments with 3 wins on the tour.Crew chief Randy Johnston had the TriState Roofing # 5 finishing every event with his worst finish of 5th at Borgers being quite an accomplishment.
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