|Photo Credit: World of Outlaws STP Sprint Cars|
Williams Grove is a tough track. She is unforgiving and she picks her champions with skill and sometimes heartlessness. She proved that again tonight when one of her own came within 100 yards of winning the first race of a double header inside her fences. But instead it was an Outlaw Champion who picked up his 17th win on her red banks that took home the trophy.
Qualifying of the 46 car field went quickly with Daryn Pittman, the former Posse member setting quick time with a lap of 16.534 seconds or 108.867 mph. the rest of the top five included Joey Saldana, Sammy Swindell, Donny Schatz, and Sam Hafertepe Jr. Last night’s winner Danny Dietrich would qualify a disappointing 32nd.
The heat races were quick and definite. With 12 cars in each race the fields more resembled B main’s than they did heats. The first heat of the night was won by Criag Dollansky who set the bar early for the Outlaws. He was followed to the line by Paul McMahan, Daryn Pittman, Sam Hafertepe and Pat Cannon.
The Outlaws would again strike hard in the second heat when Kraig Kinser would take the checkers over Fast Freddie Rahmer, Brian Montieth, Stevie Smith and Joey Saldana. The Outlaws were building a hefty score card early in the night.
The third heat would start with drama. During the warm up laps Danny Lasoski and Jason Leffler would get together sending Leffler out of the track over the Turn 2 wall. Leffler was uninjured but his night was over. Lasoski would retire from the heat race with a badly damaged 1Z. When the green flag flew it was Yung Money Kyle Larson who lead the way - the entire way as a matter of fact. Larson would come home ahead of Brad Sweet, Sammy Swindell, Steve Kinser and Tim Kaeding.
The final heat of the night would mark the first strike of the Posse when Brent Marks and Greg Hodnett took the checkers in front of Donny Schatz, Chad Layton and David Gravel.
In the C Main each side would add a name to the last chance showdown line up, the Posse with winner Don Kreitz and the Outlaws with runner up Jac Haudenschild. The other seven competitors were sent to the house for the night.
The Dash was made of 5 Outlaws, 3 Posse and 2 Invaders. The battle was for the pole position in the A main. Brad Sweet would lead them to the green, but he wouldn’t hold the position long. Freddie Rahmer would capture the point for the Posse on the first lap. But on the second lap Paul McMahan would take the point and hoist the Outlaws flag on the hill to claim the pole position. Rahmer would come home second with Greg Hodnett third and Daryn Pittman fourth.
The Last Chance Showdown would decide the last 4 competitive entries to the A Main. The Outlaws would win the battle but the Posse would increase it’s numbers in the A. Chad Kemenah would come home the victor followed by Logan Schuchart, Gerald McIntrye and Ryan Smith. Taking provisionals to get into the A were Cody Darrah and Kerry Madsen for the Outlaws and last night’s winner Danny Dietrich and Davey Sammons. With the field set, it was time to do battle.
Paul McMahan would lead them to the green and would hold that spot for six laps before Greg Hodnett slid by McMahan on the low side in 1 and 2. Fred Rahmer would quickly take advantage of the open door and take the second spot from McMahan as well. Pittman would pull a daring slide job in 4 to take the third and second spots to challenge Hodnett. Pittman tried the top but couldn’t make the car stick. He tried the bottom but the car slid up in the middle of the turns. He tried the middle of the track but couldn’t get a run on Hodnett. All the while Donny Schatz was making his way from the 12th spot. Schatz cleared Rahmer and then Pittman and set his sights on Hodnett. Hodnett was able to hold off Schatz and it looked, at the white flag, like the Posse might notch win number two when in the final turn, just 50 yards from the finish line, Schatz pulled a daring high side slide to the bottom to take the lead and the race. It was his 17th victory at the Grove.
The race was the best race of the season without a doubt. The door to door racing and three abreast served Williams Grove proud. Her track slicked off nicely and she widen out to allow three-groove racing. It also served as a reminder as to why Donny Schatz is the reigning champion. The final corner pass was a daring but well-planned move. There was no guessing and there was no room for error. But then again Schatz didn’t need any room. He had the car and the talent to get the job done.
“It’s not very often I get excited. And I’m damn excited right now,” said the reigning Outlaws Champion from victory lane. “I bounced it off the cushion and got around him.” When asked if he ever thought that his race was done, Schatz replied, “Oh hell no as long as we aren’t a lap down we have a chance.”
Runner up Greg Hodnett, who was injured earlier in the season was visibly disappointed, “I spent too much time in the corner and gave it away. Bad decision, but I had a great car.”
Third place Fred Rahmer gave Schatz his due, “Donny was awesome. We were a little off with the car and with these guys you can’t do that. You can’t be off.”
With the score 1-all, the Outlaws and the Posse will head into tomorrow’s Morgan Cup to settle the battle. Will it be the Outlaws taking home the cup for another year or will the Posse claim it for 2013? Only The Grove knows for sure and she isn’t talking.
Qualifying Results: 1) Daryn Pittman 15.534 108.867mph 2) Joey Saldana 3) Sammy Swindell 4) Donny Schatz 5) Sam Hafertepe 6) Brian Montieth 7) Tim Kaeding 8) Greg Hodnett 9) Paul McMahan 10) Fred Rahmer 11) Brad Sweet 12) Chad Layton 13) Craig Dollansky 14) Kraig Kinser 15) Kyle Larson 16) Brent Marks 17) Gerald McIntyre 18) Chad Kemenah 19) Alan Krimes 20) David Gravel 21) Ryan Smith. 22) Logan Schuchart 23) Davey Sammons 24) Mark Smith 25) Pat Cannon 26) Stevie Smith 27) Cory Haas 28) Jason Sides 29) Adam Wilt 30) Cody Darrah 31) Steve Kinser 32) Danny Dietrich 33) Kerry Madsen 34) Lance Dewease 35) Don Kreitz 36) Jim Siegel 37) Jac Haudenschild 38) Steve Buckwalter 39) Danny Lasoski 40) Bill Rose 41) Nicole Bower 42) Kyle Moody 43) Jason Leffler 44) Ryan Taylor 45) Jacob Allen 46) Troy Fraker
Heat 1 Results: 1) Craig Dollansky 2) Paul McMahan 3) Daryn Pittman 4) Sam Hafertepe 5) Pat Cannon 6) Gerald McIntyre 7) Ryan Smith 8) Kerry Madsen 9) Jac Haudenschild 10)Jacob Allen 11) Nicole Bower 12) Adam Wilt
Heat 2 Results: 1) Kraig Kinser 2) Fred Rahmer 3) Brian Montieth 4) Stevie Smith 5) Joey Saldana 6) Chad Kemenah 7) Lance Dewease 8) Steve Buckwalter 9) Logan Schuchart 10) Troy Fraker 11) Cody Darrah 12) Kyle Moody
Heat 3 Results: 1) Kyle Larson 2) Brad Sweet 3) Sammy Swindell 4) Steve Kinser 5) Tim Kaeding 6) Davey Sammons 7) Don Kreitz 8) Cory Haas 9) Alan Krimes 10) Jason Leffler 11) Danny Lasoski
Heat 4 Results: 1) Brent Marks 2) Greg Hodnett 3) Donny Schatz 4) Chad Layton 5) David Gravel 6) Mark Smith 7) Jason Sides 8) Danny Dietrich 9) Ryan Taylor 10) Jim Seigal 11) Bill Rose
C Main Results: 1) Don Krietz 2) Jac Haudenschild transfer to the B 3) Steve Buckwalter 4) Jim Siegal 5) Ryan Taylor 6) Troy Fraker 7) Nicole Bower 8) Bill Rose 9) Danny Lasoski 10) Jacob Allen
Dash Results: 1) Paul McMahan 2) Fred Rahmer 3) Greg Hodnett 4) Daryn Pittman 5) Brad Sweet 6) Joey Saldana 7) Kraig Kinser 8) Craig Dollansky 9) Kyle Larson 10) Brent Marks
Last Chance Showdown: 1) Chad Kemenah 2) Logan Schuchart 3) Gerald McIntyre 4) Ryan Smith 5) Cody Darrah 6) Mark Smith 7) Davey Sammons 8) Don Kreitz 9) Danny Dietrich 10) Adam Wilt 11) Cory Haas 12) Lance Dewease 13) Kerry Madsen 14) Jac Haudenschild 15) Jason Sides 16) Alan Krimes
A Main Results: 1) Donny Schatz and the KSE Hard Charger 2) Greg Hodnett 3) Fred Rahmer 4) Daryn Pittman 5) Paul McMahan 6) Brad Sweet 7) Kraig Kinser 8) Craig Dollansky 9) Brent Marks 10) Sammy Swindell 11) Kyle Larson 12) Joey Saldana 13) Steve Kinser 14) Sam Hafertepe Jr 15) Brian Montieth 16) Logan Schuchart 17) David Gravel 18) Cody Darrah 19) Chad Layton 20) Stevie Smith 21) Danny Dietrich 22) Pat Cannon 23) Ryan Smith 24) Tim Kaeding 25) Chad Kemenah 26) Gerald McIntrye 27) Davey Sammons 28) Kerry Madsen
Provisionals: World of Outlaws: Cody Darrah and Kerry Madsen Williams Grove Points: Davey Sammons and Danny Dietrich
KSE Hard Charger of the Race: Donny Schatz - 12th to first.