Not only was it Bright’s first win of the season but his first ever win at the Grandview Speedway – the track that is the closest to Bright’s Collegeville, PA home. “We’ve always struggled at Grandview,” Bright related. “We’ve been good this season on the heavy tracks or early in the night but we’ve struggled on the hard slick tracks.”
On this race night, Bright had some help. His Presidential HVAC #92 got some help from five time ARDC winner, Alex Bright and his crew chief, Eddie Heffline who made some suggestions to improve the younger Bright’s performance. He had some help from his brother in the feature line-up as well. When Alex drew the pole after winning the third heat race, he volunteered to start 12th for the twenty-five lap main – the last of the redraw positions. That moved Brenden up to a third place start. “I need all the help I can get,” Brenden stated as he looked over the starting grid.
Brett Wanner and Billy Pauch Jr. led the field to the green flag but Wanner fought for control as the rear wheel came off his #44 as the field headed into turn one. The inside row slid up for the complete restart, pitting Brenden Bright against Pauch Jr. on the front row. Pauch immediately took the lead as Brett Arndt slid under Brenden Bright to briefly take second.
Pauch had the Mike Heffner owned #27 on the bottom of the track as Brenden Bright and second year driver, Jim Radney battled for the runner-up spot. Radney like the high line around the track and took over second on lap four. Pauch led Radney, Brenden Bright, Tim Buckwalter and Brett Arndt with five complete.
Alex Bright had advanced to sixth but slid high and lost several positions. By lap seven, Radney was putting the pressure on Pauch for the lead. Radney ran the top with Pauch on the bottom as the two dueled for the top spot.
The field was three wide through turns one and two following a caution for Alex Bright just before half way.
Radney took a run on the outside of Pauch as the two drivers raced down the backstretch on lap thirteen with Radney becoming the race leader at the half way point. With ten laps to go, Radney led Pauch, Tim Buckwalter, Brenden Bright and Ryan Watt who was behind the wheel of the R/T Racing #20.
Austin Burke ran into trouble in turns three and four while moisture on the race track caused a tangle between Alex Bright and Bruce Buckwalter Jr. in turns one and two, bringing out what would be the race’s final caution. While the field circled under caution, race leader, Jim Radney came to a stop on the homestretch with battery failure. Radney’s bid for a first ARDC win would be postponed for another night. Pauch led the field back to the green flag for the final ten laps as the race leader.
Brenden Bright wasted no time taking his car to the outside to challenge Pauch for the lead on the back stretch. The race had a new leader as Brenden Bright led the way.
Watt challenged Tim Buckwalter and took over third with five laps to go. 2013 ARDC Champion, Trevor Kobylarz and Brett Arndt battled it out for fifth.
At the end of twenty-five laps, Brenden Bright headed for his first checkered flag of the season followed by Billy Pauch, Jr., Ryan Watt, Tim Buckwalter and Trevor Kobylarz.
This Friday night, ARDC heads west to race at the Path Valley Speedway Park – a return to the Central PA track after an absence of nearly twenty years.
Billy Pauch Jr. made his first start of the season in Mike Heffner’s #27 midget, wrenched by Sean Michael. Ryan Watt subbed for Carey Becker and drove Becker’s #20 to a third place finish. When electrical issues sidelined point leader, Steven Drevicki’s #19. DeGre Engineering car owner, Greg Fitzpatrick turned over his #28 to Drevicki for the night. The point leader raced his way to an eighth place finish at the end of twenty-five laps. Danny Stratton had the Steward #33 out in front of the first heat before rear end problems brought Stratton to a stop in turn four. Fast time of the night turned by Ryan Watt in the first qualifier when Watt turned the third mile track in 15.128 seconds.
Feature Finish (25 laps)
1. Brenden Bright 2. Billy Pauch Jr. 3. Ryan Watt 4. Tim Buckwalter 5. Trevor Kobylarz 6. Brett Arndt 7. Ryan Greth 8. Steven Drevicki 9. Kyle Lick 10. Tyler Brehm 11. Tony DiMattia 12. Tommy Kunsman 13. Austin Burke 14. Billy Courtwright 15. Jim Radney 16. Bruce Buckwalter, Jr. 17. Alex Bright 18. Justin Grosz 19. Brett Wanner 20. Nick Wean DNS – PJ Gargiulo
Buckwalter has been the winner of both twenty-five lap ARDC main events. During the June race, Buckwalter raced with Billy Pauch, Jr. and Tim Buckwalter before taking the win. In July action, it was current ARDC point leader, Steven Drevicki who held the race lead when Buckwalter challenged.
Williams Grove & Lincoln Speedways Celebrate ARDC’s 75th
It was all about history.
It was all about the present.
It was all about the future as the American Racing Drivers Club (ARDC) celebrated their 75th Anniversary with the help of the Williams Grove & Lincoln Speedways and the Eastern Museum of Motor Racing at the Latimore Valley Fairgrounds this weekend.
When the last checkered flag waved, it proved to be a weekend about Alex Bright who emerged with his fourth and fifth wins of the season by capturing the first wins of his career at both Williams Grove and Lincoln.
Williams Grove Friday night
It has been nearly fifty years since ARDC ran their first race at the Williams Grove Speedway in 1955.
Justin Grosz and Bright shared the front row as they led the field to the green flag for the twenty lap feature event.
Bright grabbed the lead and Bruce Buckwalter drove to the inside of Grosz to take over second as they raced into turn three. The racing came to a quick halt as Grosz caught the track the wrong way as he approached turn four. Grosz caught the wall with the tail of his #99G and then got up in the air and turned around before settling back on the track. Grosz was not injured.
The field realigned for a complete restart. Bright put his Lightcap Electric #77 out in front as Bruce Buckwalter, Jr. took over second. 2013 ARDC Champion, Trevor Kobylarz moved up to third as PJ Gargiulo took over fourth. Bright pulled away from the field as he led Buckwalter, Kobylarz, current point leader, Steven Drevicki and Gargiulo with five laps scored.
Drevicki was on the move as he took third one lap later and then made his way past Buckwalter for the runner-up spot on lap eight. By that time, Bright was out of the line of sight of his nearest competitor.
Bright, Drevicki, BJ Buckwalter, Kobylarz and Steve Buckwalter raced in the top five at the half way mark.
There were any number of competitors who were looking for a caution in those final ten laps but there was not a yellow to be found.
BJ Buckwalter was successful in holding off the challenges of Kobylarz for the battle for third as the laps counted down. Buckwalter got airborne with just two laps to go as he caught the track the wrong way in turn four. While the BDB Construction #83 got some height, several competitors were able to go by but Buckwalter saved the car and finished the race in sixth.
With the checkered flag waving, Alex Bright drove to his fourth win of the season with Drevicki following in second. Kobylarz picked up the final podium spot followed by Gargiulo and Brenden Bright.
Eastern Museum of Motor Racing
The EMMR celebrated the 75th Anniversaries of both ARDC and the Williams Grove Speedway during their annual convention weekend.
There was a roundtable discussion on Friday that included several ARDC past competitors – Brett Mowery, Hank Rogers, Jr., Lenny Boyd, Ken Brenn Sr., Jimmy McGuire, Ron Lauer and six time champion, Ray Bull.
The ARDC Midget teams were invited to the beautiful ground of the Latimore Valley Fairgrounds to make their preparations for the upcoming events at the Lincoln Speedway on Saturday night. It gave the teams a chance to catch up with some old friends – like Ken Brenn, Sr., Jimmy McGuire, Stan Lobitz and many more while race fans had the opportunity to watch the team’s prepare for the race. It was a great time for the fans to see the midgets and the drivers up close.
ARDC competitor, Kyle Lick even had the opportunity to drive on the track at Latimore Valley in a vintage URC sprint car owned by his grandfather.
After an absence of several seasons, the ARDC midgets returned to the Lincoln Speedway and it wasn’t long before everyone was reminded of the great combination that Lincoln and the midgets make!
There was a lot of close racing in the qualifying events that was just a prelude to the action that awaited in the twenty-five lap feature event.
Steven Drevicki led the field to the start and quickly took control of the field when the green flag waved. Steve Buckwalter used the top of the track to move into second after starting fifth. Gargiulo took third on lap two but it was Wean who ran third just one lap later. Buckwalter pressed Drevicki for the lead and took the top spot to lead lap five. Drevicki, Wean, Gargiulo and Arndt made up the top five. At this point in the race, Alex Bright raced outside of the top five as he looked for a way to the front.
Bright was the only change to the top five at lap ten as he moved up to take fifth. That’s when Bright retried the high, outside line and found it to his liking. He took fourth from Gargiulo on lap twelve as S Buckwalter raced well ahead of the field. For several laps, Bright raced Wean for third. With ten to go, Wean held the spot as Arndt moved into fifth ahead of Gargiulo.
Bright took third from Wean and began to reel in the DeGre Engineering #19 of Drevicki. On lap nineteen, Drevicki had Bright on his rear bumper.
As Drevicki and Bright battled for second, they came up on the lapped car of Tyler Brehm. Just as the two contenders closed in on Brehm, Brehm had a water line break on his Jackson #97 in the midst of a lot of steam and water. The caution was thrown and everyone negotiated the situation successfully. Buckwalter’s huge lead was erased as the single file restart had Drevicki and Bright lined up right behind the 2010 ARDC Champion.
Bright took it to the top of the track, passing first Drevicki and then Buckwalter to lead lap twenty. Buckwalter battled back from the bottom of the track but Bright had all of the momentum coming off the top.
Bright took the win ahead of Steve Buckwalter and Drevicki. Wean and Arndt battled side by side for fourth for the final laps of the feature with Wean holding the edge at the line over Arndt.
Williams Grove Speedway (20 lap feature)
1. Alex Bright 2. Steven Drevicki 3. Trevor Kobylarz 4. PJ Gargiulo 5. Brenden Bright 6. Bruce Buckwalter, Jr. 7. Brett Arndt 8. Kyle Lick 9. Jim Radney 10. Brett Wanner 11. Nick Wean 12. Tommy Kunsman, Jr. 13. Austin Burke 14. Clayton Glassman 15. Steve Buckwalter 16. Ryan Greth 17. John Barnett 18. Billy Courtwright 19. Greg Fitzpatrick 20. Justin Grosz DNS – Tony DiMattia
Lincoln Speedway (25 lap feature)
1. Alex Bright 2. Steve Buckwalter 3. Steven Drevicki 4. Nick Wean 5. Brett Arndt 6. Ryan Greth 7. PJ Gargiulo 8. Trevor Kobylarz 9. Brenden Bright 10. Eric Heydenreick 11. Drew Heistand 12. Kyle Lick 13. Brett Wanner 14. Justin Grosz 15. Tony DiMattia 16. Austin Burke 17. Tommy Kunsman 18. Tyler Brehm 19. Jim Radney DNS – Clayton Glassman, Billy Courtwright, Brian Gilmore, Bruce Buckwalter, Jr.
A weekend celebrating the 75th Anniversary of the American Racing Drivers Club (ARDC) will be held this weekend as ARDC races at the Williams Grove Speedway on Friday evening (8/15) and then the Lincoln Speedway on the following night. (8/16).
The Eastern Motorsports Museum of Racing (EMMR) will be hosting events to honor both ARDC and the Williams Grove Speedway who are both celebrating their 75th Anniversaries this season as part of the EMMR’s Annual Convention. Crocky Wright will also be honored on this very special weekend.
The EMMR will host a round table discussion on Friday morning from 10:30am-noon that will feature six time ARDC Champion, Ray Bull on the discussion panel. Friday evening, the ARDC midget teams will head to the Williams Grove Speedway for qualifying events as well as a twenty lap feature. Then on Saturday morning, the museum will be providing space for the ARDC teams to prepare their car for the night’s action at the Lincoln Speedway. Fans will be able to watch the teams at work during this time. Late in the day on Saturday, the racing teams will head to the nearby Lincoln Speedway for a second night of midget racing.
Of course, the museum and all of its facilities will be open throughout the weekend for people to few the history on display.
The weekend of activities will be concluded on Sunday with the roast of Stan Lobitz, a long time friend of ARDC and racing in general. Lobitz has been an advocate of the preservation of racing history and has supported the sport and the museum in many ways over the years. The roast should be entertaining at the very least – full of many stories from over the years.
Make a weekend of it and take in two nights of racing as well as the EMMR Museum on the grounds of the Lattimore Valley Fairgrounds.
Our next event is ARDC’s 75th Anniversary weekend celebration starting next Friday August 15th @ Williams Grove, Saturday August 16th @Lincoln, and Sunday August 17th @Latirmore Valley.
|ARDC POINTS STANDINGS THRU BIG DIAMOND, 7/25/2014|
|1||19||Steven Drevicki**||1282||1||19||Greg Fitzpatrick**||1282|
|2||92||Brenden Bright||1132||2||92||Ted Bright||1132|
|3||83||Bruce Buckwalter, Jr.||1031||3||83||Bruce Buckwalter, Sr.||1031|
|4||1/20||Trevor Kobylarz||1024||4||77||Joseph Hemler***||972|
|5||77||Alex Bright***||972||5||1||RT Racing||920|
|6||46||Brett Arndt||913||6||46||Scott Arndt||913|
|7||78||Nick Wean||789||7||78||Rick Wean||789|
|8||54||Austin Burke – R||780||8||54||Shawn Burke||780|
|9||50||Tony DiMattia||771||9||50||Alex DiMatta, Jr.||771|
|10||8||Kyle Lick||755||10||8||Terry Lick||755|
|11||4||Ryan Greth||745||11||4||Wayne Lesher||745|
|12||44||Brett Wanner||702||12||44||Marilyn Wanner||702|
|13||13||Brian Gilmore||696||13||13||Dale Gilmore||696|
|14||5||P.J. Gargiulo*||676||14||5||P.J. Gargiulo*||676|
|15||0||Steve Buckwalter***||670||15||0||Steve Buckwalter***||670|
|16||52||Tim Buckwalter*||640||16||52||Steve Buckwalter*||640|
|17||21||Tommy Kunsman – R||639||17||21||Tommy Kunsman, Sr.||639|
|18||33/20||Billy Pauch, Jr.||507||18||20||RT Racing||533|
|19||28||Greg Fitzpatrick||505||19||28||Greg Fitzpatrick||505|
|20||15B||John Barnett, Jr.||430||20||75||Fred Schell||499|
|21||17||Clayton Glassman||429||21||15B||John Barnett Sr||430|
|22||95||Jim Radney||407||22||17||Clayton Glassman||429|
|23||75||Ryan Watt||369||23||33||Jerry Steward||426|
|24||7||Shawn Jackson||283||24||95||Wayne Lesher||407|
|25||11||Eric Heydenrich||203||25||7||Bill Jackson||283|
|26||33||Danny Straton||143||26||11||Eric Heydenrich||203|
|27||75||Billy Courtwright||130||27||12||Don Cin Transport||154|
|28||12||Drew Heistand||129||28||34||Jerry Steward||99|
|29||20||Carey Becker||127||29||10||Dale Gilmore||92|
|30||10||Mark Gilmore||92||30||99G||John Grosz||59|
This was ARDC’s first race at Big Diamond since the 2012 season and ironically, Alex Bright was the winner of that race as well. Bright has added many accomplishments to his credentials within the last year – including a win in the Magic Man 34 in Australia last November and a fourth place finish in the renowned Chili Bowl in January of this year. Bright drives the Lightcap Electric #77 owned by his grandfather, Joe Hemler. He has won two of the last three ARDC events.
The top six qualifiers in the two heat races drew for their starting positions in the feature event. Bright shared the front row with Bethlehem, PA hot shoe, Kyle Lick. It was Bright who grabbed the lead on the start as Lick, Brett Arndt, ARDC newcomer, Tyler Brehm and Trevor Kobylarz raced in the top five at the start of the race. Kobylarz was on the move as he raced his way to third on lap two.
Bright started to pull away from the field but his efforts were negated when Bruce Buckwalter, Jr. drew a caution with just three laps on the books. On the restart, Kobylarz challenged Lick for second but it was 2013 ARDC Rookie of the Year, Tony DiMattia who was on the move, taking over 4th on lap five. Unfortunately, DiMattia was the reason for the red flag one lap later as he went for a wild ride in turn four. DiMattia was uninjured. Brett Arndt and Brian Gilmore headed to the pits when the yellow lights came back on.
With Bright out in front, Kobylarz again challenged Lick for second. Lick fought off the advances as they headed through turns one and two but Kobylarz made it stick when he raced down the inside groove on the backstretch. Lick fought back but Kobylarz held the position.
The race for fourth was heating up as the race approached the half way mark. Nick Wean raced Ryan Greth for the spot as Brenden Bright and Steven Drevicki were closing in. At the crossed flag, Bright led Kobylarz, Lick, Wean and Brenden Bright.
As Bright negotiated his way around some of the slower cars, the battle was on for third. Lick, Wean and Brenden Bright raced side by side and wheel to wheel for the last ten laps of the race. Inside, outside and down the middle, these three cars raced under a blanket for the third spot. Wean won the position in the final laps.
With the checkered waving, Bright took his third win of the season followed Kobylarz, Wean, Lick and Brenden Bright. Greth, Drevicki, Bruce Buckwalter Jr. who rallied back from the lap four caution, PJ Gargiulo and Tyler Brehm.
Gargiulo and Drevicki won the qualifying heats.
ARDC heads to Potomac, MD and Winchester, VA for action this Friday and Saturday.
FEATURE FINISH (25 LAPS)
1. Alex Bright 2. Trevor Kobylarz 3. Nick Wean 4. Kyle Lick 5. Brenden Bright 6. Ryan Greth 7. Steven Drevicki 8. Bruce Buckwalter, Jr. 9. PJ Gargiulo 10. Tyler Brehm 11. Clayton Glassman 12. Austin Burke 13. Tommy Kunsman 14. Brett Wanner 15. Tony DiMattia 16. Brett Arndt 17. Brian Gilmore DNS – Eric Heydenreich, Tim Buckwalter
Current ARDC point leader, Steven Drevicki and Alex Bright led the field of wingless midgets to the green flag with Bright using the outside line to take the lead on lap one. Bright ran and hid from the field as he extended his lead lap after lap. Bright was already reeling in the back of the field by lap eight as Drevicki, Brenden Bright, Tim Buckwalter and Ryan Watt raced in the top five.
But disaster would strike for the young Collegeville, PA driver on lap eleven. Bright was preparing to negotiate his way through lapped traffic when contact was made between the Lightcap Electric #77 and the car driven by Eric Heydenreich. Bright took a wild ride in turn two before coming to rest on the inside of the track. Bright exited the car uninjured but his bid for his third ARDC win of the season ended with ten laps complete.
Drevicki took the lead on the restart as Brenden Bright and Tim Buckwalter battled for second in front of Watt. Tim Buckwalter took over second when the pair raced through turn three. Steve Buckwalter slid into third before the half way mark. After a two lap battle with Tim Buckwalter, Steve Buckwalter moved up to second. The caution waved for Tyler Brehm who sat on the infield just off of turn four with just eleven laps remaining.
Drevicki now had Steve Buckwalter on his back bumper for the single file restart. Drevicki and Buckwalter swapped the lead back and forth but Buckwalter took the lead for good on lap seventeen as the pair headed down the backstretch.
Steve Buckwalter had the lead to himself as Tim Buckwalter closed in on Drevicki in the final laps.
When the checkered flag waved, it was Steve Buckwalter for the win. Drevicki held off Tim Buckwalter’s challenges to finish second. Brenden Bright followed in fourth. Kyle Lick made a late race charge to crack the top five as he crossed the finish line in fifth at the end of twenty-five laps.