Brett Wanner of Shoemakersville, PA picked up the win in the twenty lap American Racing Drivers Club (ARDC) feature on the Bridgeport Speedway quarter mile on Friday night. Wanner became the fourth different driver in four races to capture a win in 2015 ARDC competition.
Wanner is in his fourth season of ARDC competition, having been named ARDC Rookie of the Year in 2012. Wanner picked up his first wingless midget win during his Rookie season. After dealing with mechanical issues during the three previous events, everything went Wanner’s way as he drove to the win.
It was a different sort of Victory Lane for Bridgeport announcer, Jeff Ahlum since Wanner is hearing impaired but there was no denying his enthusiasm and celebration!
Brenden Bright and Wanner made up the front row for the start of the feature event. Bright jumped out to the early lead but action quickly came to a halt when several cars tangled in turn two and Ryan Greth rolled off the backstretch. As the field began to form for the restart, Bright’s Presidential HVAC #92 was leaking fluid. When it was determined that Bright was losing fuel, he was sent to the pits for safety reasons.
Wanner took the lead on the restart as PJ Gargiulo zipped between several cars to take over second at the end of the first lap. A move in turn four one lap later, had Gargiulo facing the wrong way as the caution came out for the Morton, PA driver who restarted at the rear of the field. Wanner led the way over Jimmy Radney, Bruce Buckwalter Jr., Tim Buckwalter and Nick Wean.
Wanner began to put some distance on the field as Tim Buckwalter moved up to third and Trevor Kobylarz moved into the top five. Kobylarz was on the move as he moved up to challenge Tim Buckwalter as the Wanner led Radney to the crossed flags to complete lap ten.
Mechanical issues found Tim Buckwalter stopped in turn three on lap twelve, setting up a single file restart. Wanner led Radney, Kobylarz, Bruce Buckwalter, Jr. and Steven Drevicki with nine laps remaining.
Kobylarz tried to make a move to the inside of Radney on the backstretch but Radney held his position. Kobylarz slid by Radney on lap thirteen to take over second and set his sights on Wanner who had begun to pull away from the field.
With five laps to go, Kobylarz was closing on Wanner as Radney ran third followed by Bruce Buckwalter, Jr. and Nick Wean. Kobylarz tried to slide Wanner for the lead in turn four but was unable to clear the leader. After contact was made, Wanner stretched as lead as Kobylarz continued in second. Bruce Buckwalter Jr. raced Radney for the third spot as Wean moved in to challenge.
With two laps remaining, Kobylarz had a rear axle break in turn two, setting up a two lap shootout to the finish. Wanner his lead as Wean began to advance through the top five. Radney pulled off the track with mechanical woes just a lap short of the finish as Wanner led Wean, Bruce Buckwalter, Jr., Steven Drevicki and Gargiulo to the checkered flag.
Bright and Gargiulo won the two qualifying heats.
ARDC action moves to the Grandview Speedway and the Thunder on the Hill opener on Sunday, May 24th.
FEATURE FINISH (20 LAPS)
1. Brett Wanner 2. Nick Wean 3. Bruce Buckwalter, Jr. 4. Steven Drevicki 5. PJ Gargiulo 6. Tony DiMattia 7. Carey Becker 8. Jim Radney 9. Trevor Kobylarz 10. Tim Buckwalter 11. Shawn Jackson 12. Brett Arndt 13. Tommy Kunsman, Jr. 14. Brenden Bright 15. Ryan Greth