Rich Vleck, RANSOMVILLE, NY, (July 27, 2012)- The last time Chuck Hebing was at the Ransomville Speedway he flipped out of the park in turn three and ended up between a pair of trees. After being bitten that night three years ago, “Cobra” bit back with an impressive performance Friday Night.
Hebing, of Ontario, NY, shot around Tim Kelly on lap 16 and drove away to score his second PST win of the season, his series-record 37th. He drove from ninth to fourth in his heat race to easily make the redraw, where he selected the seventh starting spot. Chuck knew though in order to get to Ransomville Victory Lane for the third time in his career though he and his crew would have to work hard to ensure that his No. 45 was able to drive to the front.
Hebing actually started in fifth after the field was shuffled just before the feature. On the drop of the green flag, Tim Kelly won the initial drag race down the backstretch over pole sitter Justin Barger to grab the early advantage. Hebing would slide back to sixth on the opening circuit but as the field hit turns one and two for the second time, he found the cushion to his liking and rocketed into third.
“We changed our car quite a bit from the heat race,” reflected Hebing in Victory Lane. “The track became a nice hard edge up on the top, (the modifieds) put a hard lip on there so you could ride right against it. The top was the fast way around. It was a little challenging but it showed again, that’s the line you got to run if you want to pass cars around here.”
As the laps clicked away, the two-time Patriot Champion continued to gain ground on the top using a line that most had not yet discovered. He took the runner-up spot from Barger on lap eight and then set his sights on Kelly for the lead. On lap 16, Kelly moved his No. 12 back to the bottom of turn two, opening up the line for Hebing to drive by into the lead.
The race’s only caution flag waved two laps later after Tommy Wickham slapped the wall and cut down his right rear tire. Hebing pulled out to a healthy advantage, but Kelly lost the runner-up spot to Barger. It was then the driver of the No. 5 who began chasing down the leader in the closing laps as they lead duo reeled in the back of the field using the same high line Hebing had used all race long. Traffic was dense in the final two laps, but it did not appear to have bothered Hebing.
“The car felt good and I felt as long as I kept smooth nobody was going to get back by me on the bottom,” he stated afterwards. “Just keep it smooth and not wreck it.”
Barger took one bid at the lead heading in to turn one on the final lap but once he realized he did not have the momentum to complete the slide job would settle for second in only his second appearance at the 4/10-mile since.
Tim Kelly would cross in third, tying his best finish in 11 starts at “The Big R”. He noted after the race that he wished he could install a rearview mirror in his No. 12 to know where the fast line was before Hebing drove by to show him.
Jared Zimbardi won the first ever Original Pizza Logs Super Dash, a special five-lap dash event paying bonus money. He put that extra track time to good use as he drove up to fourth for his seventh straight finish within the top four at Ransomville.
Current PST America Point Leader Bryan Howland won his heat race for the third straight time at Ransomville and backed it up with another solid top-five finish. It was the best result at the Niagara County Oval for the four-time tour champion since 2006.
Charlie Donk was impressive in his first sprint car start at a track he ran sparingly in his modified, crossing in sixth. Donk nearly pulled off the win in heat race and was able to hold off Tommy Wickham at the finish of the feature. Wickham’s seventh place showing was not without extreme effort as he came from the back on two occasions with a line similar to Hebing’s as continuously put his No. 75 against the wall.
George Suprick, a winner at Ransomville in 2007 was eighth; Scott Kreutter, the driver who was the runner-up to Suprick in that event was ninth. Steve Collins rounded out the top 10 in his first appearance at Ransomville.
While the night of action was largely without incident, a red flag on lap two of the first heat for rookie Steve Hutchinson Jr. and Paul Habeck left many in the pits with a sour taste afterwards. Hutchison hit the wall entering turn one and when his No. 2 tumbled down the track it left Habeck nowhere to go as his newly-prepared No. 25H slammed into’s Hutchinson on the right side. Paul would be taken to the medical center for attention to his right arm.
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Patriot Sprint Tour Results: 7/27/12, Ransomville Speedway, Ransomville, NY.
A-Verdi A-Main (25 Laps)- 1. Chuck Hebing (45), 2. Justin Barger (5), 3. Tim Kelly (12), 4. Jared Zimbardi (35), 5. Bryan Howland (51), 6. Charlie Donk (99), 7. Tommy Wickham (75), 8. George Suprick (87), 9. Scott Kreutter (52), 10. Steve Collins (67), 11. Don Adamczyk (21), 12. Brandan Warner (10B), 13. Derek Jonathan (81), 14. Clint Ide (3), 15. Bruce DeWick (31B), DNS: Steve Hutchinson Jr. (2), Paul Habeck (25H).
Lap Leaders- Kelly 1-15, Hebing 16-25.
Original Pizza Logs Four Laps of Fame Super Dash (5 Laps)- 1. Jared Zimbardi (35), 2. Scott Kreutter (52), 3. Don Adamczyk (21), 4. Clint Ide (3), 5. Brandan Warner (10B), 6. Derek Jonathan (81).
National Parts Peddler Heats (8 Laps Each)-
Race 1: 1. Tim Kelly (12), 2. Justin Barger (5), 3. Tommy Wickham (75), 4. Chuck Hebing (45), 5. George Suprick (87), 6. Don Adamczyk (21), 7. Clint Ide (3), 8. Steve Hutchinson (3), 9. Paul Habeck (25H).
Race 2: 1. Bryan Howland (51), 2. Charlie Donk (99), 3. Steve Collins (67), 4. Jared Zimbardi (35), 5. Scott Kreutter (52), 6. Derek Jonathan (81), 7. Brandan Warner (10B), 8. Bruce DeWick (31B).
Patriot Sprint Tour America Championship Point Standings (Top 10)- Bryan Howland 945, Tim Kelly 935, Scott Kreutter 891, Tommy Wickham 881, George Suprick and Jared Zimbardi 859, Steve Collins 826, Chuck Hebing 824, Brandan Warner 755, Don Adamczyk 738.
Original Pizza Logs Four Laps of Fame Dash Series Standings (Top Five)- Don Adamczyk 29, Tim Kelly 14, Scott Kreutter 12, Todd Hoddick and Jared Zimbardi 10.
Gater Racing News Hard Charger of the Season Standings (Top Five)- Bryan Howland 41, Chuck Hebing 27, Charlie Donk 23, Tim Kelly 22, Jeff Cook 18.