Rich Vleck, BUSTI, NY, (May 26, 2012)- Tommy Wickham came in to Stateline unsure if he had even been to the speedway before, but he left with his first career Patriot Sprint Tour win, making an authoritative statement in his pursuit of the 2012 PST America Championship.
Wickham, of Constantia, NY, led all 25 laps of the only PST A-Main of the year at Stateline Speedway to become the fourth different winner in as many American races this season. In addition, “Quickham” or “Quick Wick” becomes the 50th different winner in Patriot History.
“It feels reel good,” exclaimed Wickham after the event which was indeed his first at Stateline. “Everything came in to play tonight. It was awesome.”
After driving from fifth to third in his heat race, Wickham earned a position in the redraw, where he selected the pole position. As the 22-car field hit the track for the feature, a light rain hit the 1/3-mile oval and changed the complexion of the track. After 10 minutes of running the racing surface back in and the persistent precipitation weakening just enough, the field reformed in two-by-two formation for a start to a race with plenty of unknowns present.
When the field took the green flag, Wickham quickly placed his Kleis Equipment/ Timberwolf/ Lawson Products No. 75 out front, something that had been tough to do from the inside row all night long. After what would be the race’s only caution flag flew on lap three, Wickham once again jolted to a comfortable advantage and never looked back.
Steve Collins quickly moved into second place, but would the runner-up spot to Don Adamczyk on lap 11. Both drivers had stayed in touch with Wickham up until that point, but as the lapped traffic became denser, the No. 75 seemed to excel, growing the gap between himself and his nearest challengers.
“A couple of times (the lapped traffic) was pretty hard, I had to bonsai it a few times, but we made it threw there and worked our way to the top side. It worked well on the top side. I never ran the bottom all night,” recalled Wickham. “I didn’t hear anybody close but mentally I was telling myself to calm down a little bit. I almost lost it there a couple of times.”
Once Wickham clicked off lap 13, the race became official and with the rain picking up it was possible that the race could be called if another caution flag would come out. On the flip side, despite holding a healthy lead, a caution flag could have been the opportunity Tim Kelly needed to have a shot at the win.
Kelly started in 10th, but his extra time on the track in the Original Pizza Logs Four Laps of Fame allowed him to soar up through the pack, especially in the final 10 laps. On the final circuit, Kelly drove by Don Adamczyk to come home in second.
Adamczyk’s third place effort tied his best career finish at Stateline, where he now has 10 straight top 10 finishes. His No. 21 was extremely fast early on, but Wickham was not deterred by lapped traffic, making it tough to close during the mid stages of the race.
Great racing was found throughout the pack, including the battle for fourth place, which saw reigning Stateline Winner and defending PST Champion Jared Zimbardi hold on for the spot.
Glenn Styres, who won the Original Pizza Logs Four Laps of Fame Dash, knew as soon as that event was over that had gained plenty of knowledge about the track he had never been too before. “The Ohsweken Flyer” would charge up to round out the top five.
Steve Collins was battling with Wickham for the lead early on but the car faded just enough down the stretch, as he would settle for sixth, just ahead of Scott Kreutter, both of whom won their heat race.
Rick Wilson would climb up to eighth in his first race at Stateline since 2005, while George Suprick, who won that race seven years ago, was ninth.
Point leader and four-time PST Champion Bryan Howland had to pull off in his heat race with a fuel filter issue but would transfer through the B-main and drive up to round out the top 10 after his dead-last starting spot.
A total of 25 sprint cars added to an already full pit at Stateline, the best showing by PST at the site of the inaugural series race since 2005. The night starting off sunny and comfortable, but light rain showers would invade the area shortly after 9:00 and put the completion of the event in peril.
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Patriot Sprint Tour Results: 5/26/12, Stateline Speedway, Busti, NY.
A-Main (25 Laps)- 1. Tommy Wickham (75), 2. Tim Kelly (12), 3. Don Adamczyk (21), 4. Jared Zimbardi (35), 5. Glenn Styres (0), 6. Steve Collins (67), 7. Scott Kreutter (52), 8. Rick Wilson (42w), 9. George Suprick (87), 10. Bryan Howland (51), 11. Dain Naida (07x), 12. Keith Dempster (5), 13. Todd Hoddick (49), 14. Jamie Collard (7x), 15. Mitch Brown (10), 16. Brandan Warner (10B), 17. Dave Wickham (80), 18. Jay Groves (25G), 19. Steve Hutchinson Jr. (2), 20. Stan Zanchin (94), 21. April Wilson (15aw), 22. Clint Ide (2).
Lap Leaders- T. Wickham 1-25.
B-Main (Top 4 Transfer to A-Main)- 1. Dave Wickham (80), 2. Bryan Howland (51), 3. Steve Hutchinson Jr. (2), 4. Jay Groves (25G), 5. Geoff Quackenbush (25), 6. Jeremy Barnard (86), 7. Erica Bell (31B).
Original Pizza Logs Four Laps of Fame Dash (4 Laps)- 1. Glenn Styres (0), 2. Tim Kelly (12), 3. April Wilson (15aw), 4. Todd Hoddick (49), 5. Rick Wilson (42w), 6. Mitch Brown (10).
National Parts Peddler Heats (8 Laps, Top 6 from each Transfer to A-Main)-
Race 1: 1. Steve Collins (67), 2. Tim Kelly (12), 3. Tommy Wickham (75), 4. George Suprick (87), 5. Clint Ide (3), 6. Stan Zanchin (94), 7. Dave Wickham (80), 8. Erica Bell (31B), 9. Jeremy Barnard (86).
Race 2: 1. Scott Kreutter (52), 2. Don Adamczyk (21), 3. Glenn Styres (0), 4. April Wilson (15aw), 5. Rick Wilson (42w), 6. Jamie Collard (7x), 7. Steve Hutchinson (2), 8. Bryan Howland (51).
Race 3: 1. Jared Zimbardi (35), 2. Keith Dempster (5), 3. Dain Naida (07x), 4. Todd Hoddick (49), 5. Mitch Brown (10), 6. Brandan Warner (10B), 7. Jay Groves (25G), 8. Geoff Quackenbush (25).
PST America Champion Points (Top 10)- Bryan Howland 540, Scott Kreutter 522, Tommy Wickham 520, Tim Kelly 515, Jared Zimbardi 472, Steve Collins 468, George Suprick 465, Todd Hoddick 459, Brandan Warner 414, Chuck Hebing 411.
Originial Pizza Logs Four Laps of Fame Dash Series (Top Five)- Don Adamczyk 12, Todd Hoddick 10, Tim Kelly 9, George Suprick and Glenn Styres 6.
Gater Racing News Hard Charger of the Season Standings (Top Five)- Bryan Howland 21, Chuck Hebing 19, Scott Kreutter 16, Tim Kelly 15, Charlie Donk 13.