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.