Rich Vleck, SMETHPORT, PA, (August 4, 2012)- On less than four hours of sleep and in a race car he did not expect to be piloting, Scott Kreutter finally had all the stars align for the first time this year.
Kreutter, of Alden, NY, lead all 25 laps of the Patriot Sprint Tour event at McKean County Raceway in Smethport, PA Saturday driving the Hoddick Racing No. 49x, a car he competes with Friday Night’s at Ohsweken Speedway but not in Patriot Sprint Tour competition. Up until late Saturday Morning, he was expecting to unveil a new car that night, but regardless the chassis or the number on the wing the sixth year sprint competitor was just happy to be in PST Victory Lane for the third time.
“My car owner (Trey Hoddick) is here tonight so it makes it great,” stated Kreutter in Victory Lane. “We wrecked a car a few weeks ago so hopefully this makes up for it. We’ve been doing a lot of work at the shop trying to put another car together but they let me drive this car tonight and I couldn’t be any more appreciative.”
Kreutter won the feature from the pole, but to earn the ability to draw for that position, he had to drive from ninth to fifth in his qualifying heat, no easy task at the competitive 1/3-mile oval. “The Straight Shooter” would rocket in to the lead on the opening green flag, but a series of spins in turn one would require an original restart; once again Kreutter was flawless.
The race would find a long green flag stretch, which saw Kreutter initially jump out to a healthy advantage, only to have Jamie Bodo begin to reel him back in. Bodo, who started third, got by Tracy Potter for second on lap seven and began to chomp down his deficit by running the bottom line in turns one and two. As the two began to navigate through denser lapped traffic, Bodo began to search around for a lane by the lead. On lap 15, the lapped cars in front of the leader were running side-by-side, which brought third place Bryan Howland into the mix. A lap 16 caution would clear out the traffic though and ended up being a major hurdle for Kreutter to clear.
“I wasn’t really sure if (the caution) was a good thing or not,” reflected Kreutter after the event. “I didn’t know how far guys were behind me because I wanted to put a few lapped cars between us. I think it was a good thing though because we came out with the win.”
On what would be the final restart of the event, Kreutter pulled out to a healthy advantage over Bodo, who would soon have his hands full with Howland. Kreutter would have one final car to lapped car to pass on lap 24 and once he cleared him it was smooth sailing for the 2007 Patriot Rookie of the Year to become the 10th different winner in 12 PST events this season.
Jamie Bodo was able to hang on for a solid second place finish. The run was noteworthy on a number of fronts including his car being 14 years old, his left rear tire being used and six years old and this being just his third start of the year.
Bryan Howland’s third place effort was another solid step towards his fifth series championship. Howland won his qualifying heat and drove up from his sixth place starting spot to round out the podium at a track he had not seen since 2001 in a mini sprint.
Tommy Wickham had an up and down night. First, he spun on the opening lap of his heat, then raced back up to finish fourth. He then won the Original Pizza Logs Four Laps of Fame Dash and parlayed that into a fourth place finish in the A-Main.
Tim Kelly was steady once again, finishing fifth for his sixth consecutive top five finish. Kelly had to move by local favorite Jared Zimbardi in the late stages. Zimbardi, who won Heat 2, was battling for third early in the A-Main when he bottomed-out entering turn three, which skirted him up the track and caused him to lose three spots.
Tracy Potter was able to cross for seventh, just holding off George Suprick at the line. Dave Wickham put together a ninth place finish, while Bruce DeWick rounded out the top 10.
Ten of the competitors on the night ran on the 1/3-mile oval for the first time Saturday Night, however the opportunity to make their maiden voyage was in peril just before hot laps when a heavy storm system split and skirted the McKean County Fairgrounds. The storm cell pounded other areas of the county, but left the Fairgrounds with nothing more than a sprinkle.
For more information, visit www.PatriotSprinTour.com.
Patriot Sprint Tour Results: 8/4/12, McKean County Raceway, Smethport, PA.
A-Main (25 Laps)- 1. Scott Kreutter (49x), 2. Jamie Bodo (76), 3. Bryan Howland (51), 4. Tommy Wickham (75), 5. Tim Kelly (12), 6. Jared Zimbardi (35), 7. Tracy Potter (11), 8. George Suprick (87), 9. Dave Wickham (80), 10. Bruce DeWick (31B), 11. Steve Collins (67), 12. Clint Ide (3), 13. Adam Anderson (5B), 14. Mitch Brown (10), 15. Brandan Warner (10B), 16. Mike Lutz (1), 17. Steve Hutchinson Jr. (2).
Lap Leaders- Kreutter 1-25.
Original Pizza Logs Four Laps of Fame Dash (4 Laps)- 1. Tommy Wickham (75), 2. George Suprick (87), 3. Mitch Brown (10), 4. Adam Anderson (5B), 5. Clint Ide (3), 6. Brandan Warner (10B).
National Parts Peddler Heats (8 Laps Each)-
Race 1: 1. Bryan Howland (51), 2. Bruce DeWick (31B), 3. Tim Kelly (12), 4. Tommy Wickham (75), 5. Scott Kreutter (49x), 6. Adam Anderson (5B), 7. Brandan Warner (10B), 8. Steve Hutchinson Jr. (2), 9. Steve Collins (67).
Race 2: 1. Jared Zimbardi (35), 2. Dave Wickham (80), 3. Tracy Potter (11), 4. George Suprick (87), 5. Jamie Bodo (76), 6. Mitch Brown (10), 7. Clint Ide (3), 8. Mike Lutz (1).
Patriot Sprint Tour America Point Standings (Top 10)- Bryan Howland 1086, Tim Kelly 1070, Scott Kreutter 1041, Tommy Wickham 1019, Jared Zimbardi 991, George Suprick 985, Steve Collins 944, Brandan Warner 865, Chuck Hebing 824, Steve Hutchinson JR. 789.
Original Pizza Logs Four Laps of Fame Dash Series Standings (Top Five)- Don Adamczyk 29, Tommy Wickham 15, Tim Kelly 14, Scott Kreutter 12, George Suprick 11.
Gater Racing News Hard Charger of the Season Standings (Top Five)- Bryan Howland 44, Chuck Hebing 27, Tim Kelly 24, Charlie Donk 23, Jeff Cook 18.