|Horstman, Valenti win final-lap thrillers at Limaland|
|Monday, August 12, 2013 12:29 AM|
LIMA — Whenever the white flag is involved in motor sports, it indicates to all concerned that there is just a single lap remaining in whatever total length the race at the moment has been contested.
Through the years at Limaland Motorsports Park, there have been quite a few dramatic circumstances that have produced thrilling final-lap encounters.
On this particular Friday night, both Jared Horstman and Shawn Valenti dealt successfully with those defining moments and added another chapter to their stellar 2013 seasons.
Horstman started on the outside of the front row for the 25-lap K & L Ready Mix NRA sprint car feature. He is the only driver, along with Randy Hannagan, to have won an NRA or track division sprint car feature at the western Allen County facility in 2013.
Pole starter Butch Schroeder led the field into the opening circuit before a 5-car collision in turn number three ultimately took three competitors out of the race. Schroeder’s hold on the lead was short-lived as part-timer Dustin Stroup produced an impressive slide job pass through turn number two to take the lead on lap three.
Stroup rocketed his red-colored #10X entry to the top of the racing surface and took command of the event. He was pulling away from the rest of the field and had built a full-turn advantage over Schroeder, Horstman and the hard-charging Nick Roberts. Unfortunately for Stroup, one of Kyle Sauder’s open wheels appeared to make contact with Tim Allison through turn three on the initial white-flag lap and resulted in a dramatic rollover accident for Sauder.
The incident forced a white-flag restart with Stroup looking to finish off his otherwise strong performance. While Stroup stayed in the middle to upper groove into the final lap, Schroeder drove his car to the bottom and attempted to slip in front of Stroup coming out of turn two. The two cars collided as Schroeder’s pass halted Stroup’s momentum and effectively took both cars out of contention.
A second white-flag restart set up a showdown for the new race leader, the rookie Roberts and the veteran Horstman. While Roberts had the on-track advantage with the single-file restart, Horstman went to the faster high side and got past Roberts coming out of turn four to cross the finish line first. It was Horstman’s third win of 2013.
“We have been preaching patience for the whole season,” said Horstman after the thrilling finish. “The 10 car (Stroup) sure had a good car and I don’t know if we had much for him. Butch (Schroeder) was also fast but I just held my own even though I about stuffed my car in the fence a couple times. We are bringing it home in one piece on the trailer and we are excited about that.”
The 15-lap Budweiser Thunderstocks feature produced another stirring battle between Valenti and Jeff Koz. The two drivers have posted a collective eight wins on the season, including the recent Fricke Thunderstock Select race.
Front-row starter Nick Bowers led the first lap around before Koz took over from his outside row two starting position on the second trip around. A pair of caution periods didn’t slow Koz at the front, although Valenti had moved to the runner-up position and was in hot pursuit. Beyond lap number 10, the two drivers were engaged in a thrilling side-by-side battle with Valenti taking the lead on lap number 14.
The first of two white-flag restarts resulted in a caution that set up a second time for the final lap showdown. Again, a side-by-side matchup brought the crowd to its feet. Koz slipped just a bit and that was all it took for Valenti to nudge ahead at the finish line for the triumph.
“My hat is off to Jeff Koz as there was a couple of times he could have turned me but didn’t,” said a grateful Valenti. “I was fortunate to hold him off on the restart and not get a slider too bad and we were able to pull it off. He’s fun to race with and I’m just glad we were able to put on that show for the fans.”
The 20-lap K & N Modified feature saw multi-time former champion Terry Hull set the pace from his pole starting position through the opening four laps. UNOH Racer Kody Weisner was noticeably charging to the outside of Hull and eventually made an impressive pass for the lead on the fifth circuit.
The race saw three caution periods but none of the restarts proved significant because on this evening, the ‘Michigan Missile’, Weisner, was too strong for the rest of the field. He ruled the event from the top of the track and was never threatened, despite a season best runner-up finish for the veteran Hull in only his third start of the campaign.
“I was able to get through traffic really well tonight,” said Weisner, surrounded by his Racer teammates on the front straight. “Two weeks ago, I wasn’t really aggressive enough as I should have been. Tonight, I had to make up for that. My guys with the school (UNOH) are great and now we are in the points battle for next week’s championships.”
Limaland Motorsports Park returns to action on Friday for the 2013 Limaland and NRA Championships, along with the King of the Quarter Mile races. Champions will be decided in the Budweiser Thunderstocks, Elwer Fence Sprints, K&N UMP Modifieds and the K & L Ready Mix NRA Sprint Invaders. The extra payout King of the Quarter Mile Races will match up the respective feature race winners from throughout the season in 10-lap showdowns. Gates open at 5 p.m. with hot laps beginning at 6:30 p.m. Racing begins promptly at 7:30 p.m.
All the latest news and information about America’s premier quarter-mile dirt track can be found at www.limaland.com. You can also find 2013 Limaland Motorsports Park on Facebook and Twitter.
McDonald’s Dash for Cash
1. Bill Reimund.
Heats (8 Laps - Top 4 Transfer)
Heat 1: 1. 54-Matt Westfall; 2. 10-Bryan Barber; 3. 42-Bob Baldwin; 4. 4B-Darryl Banks; 5. 67-Eddie Shaner; 6. 8R-Jesse Rush; 7. 6-David Sibberson.
Heat 2: 1. O1-Joel Ortberg; 2. 40-Terry Hull; 3. 65-Todd Sherman; 4. OO-Dwight Niehoff; 5. 5X-Jerry Bowersock; 6. 19B-Brandon Ordway; 7. 18N-Derrick Noffsinger.
Heat 3: 1. 20-Kody Weisner; 2. 67W-Rocky Wilson; 3. 44-Zack Schroeder; 4. 20K-Bill Keeler; 5. 69-Tommy Beezley; 6. 19-Ryan Ordway.
Heat 4: 1. 55M-Justin Matson; 2. 28-Chad Rosenbeck; 3. 22T-Tony Anderson; 4. 21S-Mike Hohlbein; 5. 22B-Andy Bibler; 6. L5-Casey Luedeke.
B-Main (8 Laps - Top 4 Transfer): 1. 5X-Jerry Bowersock; 2. 69-Tommy Beezley; 3. 67-Eddie Shaner; 4. 18N-Derrick Noffsinger; 5. 19B-Brandon Ordway; 6. 19-Ryan Ordway; 7. 8R-Jesse Rush; 8. 6-David Sibberson.
A-Main - (20 Laps) [#]-Starting Position: 1. 20-Kody Weisner; 2. 40-Terry Hull; 3. 10-Bryan Barber; 4. 54-Matt Westfall; 5. O1-Joel Ortberg; 6. 65-Todd Sherman; 7. 5X-Jerry Bowersock; 8. OO-Dwight Niehoff; 9. 67W-Rocky Wilson; 10. 4B-Darryl Banks; 11. 28-Chad Rosenbeck; 12. 44-Zack Schroeder; 13. 42-Bob Baldwin; 14. 69-Tommy Beezley; 15. 22T-Tony Anderson; 16. 20K-Bill Keeler; 17. 21S-Mike Hohlbein; 18. 18N-Derrick Noffsinger; 19. 67-Eddie Shaner; 20. 55M-Justin Matson.
Heats (8 Laps - Top 4 Transfer)
Heat 1: 1. 11-Tim Allison; 2. B20-Butch Schroeder; 3. 12R-Nick Roberts; 4. 12-Kody Swanson; 5. 2-Brent Gehr; 6. 4X-Bobby Clark; 7. 4J-Bob Gehr.
Heat 2: 1. 7K-Cole Duncan; 2. 49-Shawn Dancer; 3. 2M-Dallas Hewitt; 4. 10J-Jarrod Delong; 5. 22D-Dennis Yoakam; 6. 23M-Jack Miller.
Heat 3: 1. 10X-Dustin Stroup; 2. 23-Devon Dobie; 3. 7C-Max Stambaugh; 4. 49T-Gregg Dalman; 5. 69-Scott Curren; 6. 22R-Kevin Roberts; 7. 4K-Tj Michael.
Heat 4: 1. 17-Jared Horstman; 2. 6S-Jr Stewart; 3. 2S-Kyle Sauder; 4. 18-Todd Heuerman; 5. 28H-Hud Horton; 6. 27-Beau Stewart; 7. 29-John Ivy.
B-Main (10 Laps - Top 4 Transfer): 1. 22D-Dennis Yoakam; 2. 29-John Ivy; 3. 28H-Hud Horton; 4. 27-Beau Stewart; 5. 22R-Kevin Roberts; 6. 4X-Bobby Clark; 7. 2-Brent Gehr; 8. 4J-Bob Gehr; 9. 23M-Jack Miller; 10. 4K-Tj Michael; 11. 69-Scott Curren.
A-Main - (25 Laps) [#]-Starting Position: 1. 17-Jared Horstman; 2. 12R-Nick Roberts; 3. 11-Tim Allison; 4. 7K-Cole Duncan; 5. 7C-Max Stambaugh; 6. 2M-Dallas Hewitt; 7. 6S-Jr Stewart; 8. 49T-Gregg Dalman; 9. 27-Beau Stewart; 10. 29-John Ivy; 11. 22D-Dennis Yoakam; 12. 28H-Hud Horton; 13. 12-Kody Swanson; 14. 10X-Dustin Stroup; 15. B20-Butch Schroeder; 16. 2S-Kyle Sauder; 17. 23-Devon Dobie; 18. 49-Shawn Dancer; 19. 18-Todd Heuerman; 20. 10J-Jarrod Delong.
Heats (8 Laps - Top 8 Transfer)
Heat 1: 1. 22T-Tony Anderson; 2. 7C-Jordan Conover; 3. 48-Tim Cole; 4. 21H-Dave Hollon; 5. 89-Keith Shockency; 6. 2-Cody Hodge; 7. 32-Scott Boyde Jr.; 8. OO-Travis Walters.
Heat 2: 1. 7B-Shawn Valenti; 2. 25-Nick Bowers; 3. 19-Bill Reimund; 4. 27-Frank Paladino; 5. O1-Bobby Rose; 6. 9-Dave Keysor; 7. 8C-Brad Conover.
Heat 3: 1. 16-Jeff Koz; 2. 82-Chris Douglas; 3. OOM-Bryan Martin; 4. 6-Emily Gade; 5. 1-Elvin Sawyer; 6. 21K-James Kepling; 7. 93-Zack Gustatson.
A-Main - (15 Laps) [#]-Starting Position: 1. 7B-Shawn Valenti; 2. 16-Jeff Koz; 3. 22T-Tony Anderson; 4. 82-Chris Douglas; 5. 19-Bill Reimund; 6. 48-Tim Cole; 7. 6-Emily Gade; 8. OOM-Bryan Martin; 9. 25-Nick Bowers; 10. 8C-Brad Conover; 11. O1-Bobby Rose; 12. 21H-Dave Hollon; 13. 27-Frank Paladino; 14. 89-Keith Shockency; 15. 1-Elvin Sawyer; 16. 93-Zack Gustatson; 17. 2-Cody Hodge; 18. 7C-Jordan Conover; 19. 32-Scott Boyde Jr.; 20. OO-Travis Walters.