For the third time this season, Tim Buckwalter drove to victory in an American Racing Drivers Club (ARDC) wingless midget event. Just as he did during the third race of the season, Buckwalter piloted Mike Heffner’s #27 to the front of the field and ultimately, to the checkered flag, to capture his third win of the season and second for the team owned by Mike Heffner and wrenched by Sean Michael.
And not unlike his earlier win, Buckwalter raced against second year ARDC competitor, Tommy Kunsman, for the lead. Kunsman and Shawn Jackson led the field to the start with Kunsman grabbing the lead at the green flag. They were three wide for third as Brett Wanner, Brett Arndt and Buckwalter raced for position behind Kunsman and Jackson.
Buckwalter was on the move from the start, racing side by side with Wanner for third at the end of the first lap and then taking on Jackson for second on lap two.
The caution waved with three laps scored as Jason Rice tried to take evasive action to avoid the slowing car of PJ Pavlick but made hard contact with the yuke tire down the middle of the backstretch. The field realigned nose to tail for the restart with Kunsman holding the lead over Buckwalter, Jackson, Arndt and Wanner.
Buckwalter moved in to challenge for the lead but Kunsman maintained the top spot until Buckwalter slid by in turns three and four to take the lead on lap seven. Jackson raced in third while Brett Arndt and Trevor Kobylarz raced for fourth with Kobylarz moving ahead on lap eight.
Kobylarz then closed in on Jackson for the third spot but Jackson held off the challenges for two laps before he slowed on the backstretch on lap thirteen. 2014 ARDC Champion, Steve Drevicki put his DeGree Engineering #19 into a slide to avoid making hard contact with Jackson.
Buckwalter led the way at halfway as first Kobylarz and then Arndt advanced by Kunsman for second and third. Nick Wean cracked the top five on lap fourteen but was then challenged for position by Ryan Greth.
As the laps counted down, Kobylarz erased Buckwalter’s lead and came within striking distance with two to go but Buckwalter held his line and led the way to the checkered flag for his third win of the season. Kobylarz added another runner-up finish followed by Arndt, Greth and Wean. Bruce Buckwalter, Jr. finished sixth followed by Drevicki who rebounded for a seventh place finish. Kunsman finished eighth followed by Brian Gilmore and Danny Stratton.
ARDC action returns to Path Valley this Saturday, July 25th as a final warm-up to the USAC/ARDC combined shows coming to Path Valley, Lincoln and Susquehanna August 18-20.
ARDC MIDGET FEATURE (20 LAPS)
1. Tim Buckwalter, 2. Trevor Kobylarz, 3. Brett Arndt, 4. Ryan Greth, 5. Nick Wean, 6. Bruce Buckwalter. Jr. , 7. Steve Drevicki, 8. Tommy Kunsman, 9. Brian Gilmore, 10. Danny Stratton, 11. Brett Wanner, 12. Shawn Jackson, 13. PJ Pavlick, 14. Jim Radney, 14. Jason Rice, DNS – Billy Courtwright