Buckwalter Survives Late Race Challenge for Fourth Win of the Season
The “Royersford Rocket”, Steve Buckwalter raced from his eleventh place start and into the lead on the sixth lap of the ARDC feature event to take his fourth midget win of the 2013 season – his second at the New Egypt Speedway. Buckwalter was the opening winner at New Egypt, moving himself ahead of six-time ARDC Champion, Ray Bull who had accumulated four wins at the New Jersey track. Buckwalter claimed his fifth New Egypt victory on opening day and then added number six with his win on Saturday night.
Jason Rice of Danielsville, PA took the race lead at the drop of the green as Nick Wean raced into second as the field completed lap number one. Ryan Greth came to a stop in turn two on lap four, drawing the first caution of the race. Rice held the lead over Wean, Steven Drevicki and Steve Buckwalter when the green flag waved for the start of lap four.
Buckwalter quickly moved up to third and then slid his Elite Chassis #0 into the lead on lap six. Wean followed to take over second. Alex Bright raced his way into the third spot on lap nine after starting in fourteenth.
Buckwalter led Wean, Bright, Rice and Drevicki at the half way mark.
As the laps counted down, Wean began to close in on Buckwalter as Bright began to close the gap on Wean. The 2010 ARDC Champion handled the challenge of lapped traffic but Wean and Bright were still in hot pursuit.
A battle for a top five spot was on as Drevicki held down fifth to the challenges of Bruce Buckwalter, Jr., PJ Gargiulo, Trevor Kobylarz and Kyle Lick. There were a lot of cars racing for the same real estate as the cars of Gargiulo, Lick, Steve Craig and Jamie Speers tangled in turn one. Lick and Speers required wrecker service while Gargiulo and Craig rejoined the field.
Two laps remained as Buckwalter lined up nose to tail with Wean and Bright within striking distance on a clear race track. Another caution was needed with just one lap remaining as Rice’s strong run ended in turn two after contact with another car.
Buckwalter held the lead as Bright slid past Wean to take second, It was a three car dash to the checkered as Buckwalter took his sixth career win at New Egypt over Bright, Wean, Drevicki and Bruce Buckwalter, Jr.
Qualifying heats were won by Nick Wean and Kyle Lick.
Race Notes – Big movers in feature action were Alex Bright who finished second after stating fourteenth and Brett Arndt who drove from nineteenth to eighth at the checkered flag. Arndt overcame mechanical problems that plagued the Topton racer from warm-ups to the feature. With little time between warm-ups and qualifying, the problem was not successfully diagnosed, forcing Arndt out of the heat race. Bruce Buckwalter, Jr. late race charge moved him into a top five finish. Rookies Tony D’Mattia and John Barnett both picked up top ten finishes. 2012 ARDC Rookie of the Year, Brett Wanner made his return to action and finished tenth. Jim Radney made his first ever start in an midget, finishing 13th in his new Hyper entry.
ARDC moves south to Potomac and Winchester for a doubleheader this coming weekend.
FEATURE FINISH (20 LAPS) 1. Steve Buckwalter 2. Alex Bright 3. Nick Wean 4. Steven Drevicki 5. Bruce Buckwalter, Jr. 6. Trevor Kobylarz 7. Tony DiMattia 8. Brett Arndt 9. John Barnett 10. Brett Wanner 11. PJ Gargiulo 12. Mark Gilmore 13. Jim Radney 14. Steve Craig 15. Jason Rice 16. Greg Fitzpatrick 17. Billy Courtwright 18. Kyle Lick 19. Jamie Speers 20. Dave Shirk 21. Ryan Greth