Brenden Bright returned to racing action with the American Racing Drivers Club Saturday night at the Path Valley Speedway Park and came away with his first win of the season.
Bright, who has been plagued with mechanical issues since the first race of the 2015 season, made his first ARDC appearance since the end of May and won both his qualifying heat and feature event before the night was over.
Hackettstown, NJ driver, Brian Gilmore took the lead at the start of the twenty-five lap feature event and led for the first two circuits around the Path Valley track. Bright was challenging by the end of lap two and the two drivers raced for the lead with Bright going to the outside in turn two and then ducking to the inside as the leaders raced down the backstretch. Bright had his Presidential HVAC No. 92 out to front to complete lap three.
Bright led Gilmore, Jim Radney, Austin Burke and Ryan Greth through lap five.
Radney closed the gap on Gilmore and made his bid for the runner-up spot with an inside move in turn two on lap seven. Greth moved in on Burke on lap nine and began to pressure the 2014 ARDC Rookie of the Year for position. Gilmore, who was running in third at the time and ahead of the Burke/Greth battle, ran into problems in turn one as his car stalled when he hit the brakes . Gilmore got sideways in front of the competition but managed to save it and continue on. Burke and Greth moved to third and fourth and Gilmore continued in the fifth spot.
Bright continued to stretch his lead as he ran the outside of the track. He met the challenge of lapped traffic as he approached the five to go mark. Radney continued to chase the leader from second as Burke held off the challenges of three time winner, Greth. Gilmore was feeling some pressure from 2014 ARDC Champion, Steve Drevicki as the laps counted down.
Bright sailed to the checkered flag for the win with Radney finishing second. Burke picked up his first ever ARDC podium finish with third followed by Greth in fourth. Brian Gilmore put in a best ever ARDC effort with a fifth place finish. Drevicki, Shawn Jackson, PJ Gargiulo, Justin Grosz and Brett Arndt rounded out the top ten. It was Grosz’ first ARDC start of the season after driving from his new home in Charlotte, NC on Saturday morning to race at one of his favorite tracks.
Heat races were won by Jim Radney and Brenden Bright.
Next on the 2015 ARDC schedule is the three race, co-sanctioned USAC/ARDC events coming up on August 18, 19 and 20 at Path Valley, Lincoln and Susquehanna Speedways. The big names in USAC Midget racing are headed to Pennsylvania for three days of competition and will include 2015 Chili Bowl Champion, Rico Abreu, Tracy Hines, Zach Daum, Christopher Bell, Bryan Clauson and many more!
FINISH (25 LAPS)
1. Brenden Bright, 2. Jim Radney, 3. Austin Burke, 4. Ryan Greth, 5. Brian Gilmore, 6. Steve Drevicki, 7. Shawn Jackson, 8. PJ Gargiulo, 9. Justin Grosz, 10. Brett Arndt, 11. Trevor Kobylarz, 12. Bruce Buckwalter, Jr. DNS – Troy Betts