Rich Vleck, WOODHULL, NY, (May 10, 2014)- In the last three Patriot Sprint Tour events at Woodhull, Chuck Hebing had become almost human as he finished in the top five each time but never ended up in Victory Lane. On Saturday Night though he returned to a class of his own and kicked off the 2014 season on the right foot.
Hebing, of Ontario, NY, scored his 38th career Patriot Sprint Tour A-Main win, his sixth at the Woodhull Raceway. “The Cobra” has always been the pied piper at the 1/3-mile high-banked oval, but he has not looked as dominant as he did on Saturday in years.
“We had a really good car tonight,” admitted Hebing in Victory Lane after leading all 25 laps. “The crew has put a lot of hours in to the car and it was just great tonight.”
Hebing was the last car to arrive on Saturday Evening, after spending the morning in Northern New York watching his daughter Kelly graduate from college. Because of his tardiness, Cobra missed out on the hot lap session; it did not seem to phase him much though as he went out and blew away the field in heat race three.
After redrawing the outside pole position, Hebing jumped in to the early race lead in the feature before a pair of quick cautions. On the second restart, Shawn Donath, who also won his heat race, made a bid for the lead, as he attempted to slide in front of Hebing in turns one and two. Donath would make contact with the No. 45, which allowed Hebing to get back in front. On all ensuing restarts, Hebing would hug the bottom line and found greater success.
The race hit a long green-flag stretch through the mid-section of the race, and during that time, Hebing was able to lap up to 9th place before a lap 18 caution flag. Under a new PST rule though, the lapped cars were removed, which allowed the battle for the win to continue their battle.
Donath, along with hard-charging Robbie Stillwaggon would make their bids for the lead during late-race restarts, but for both, their attempt would drop them back in to the grasps of their pursuants.
As Hebing was driving to his fifth Woodhull Win in the month of May, things got hairy behind him as Shawn Donath and Jamie Bodo came together while battling for third, and spun, collecting Steve Collins in the process.
Stillwaggon would hold on for a runner-up finish in his first visit to Woodhull. After the incident in turn four, driving up to finish third was heat winner George Suprick. The podium finish was the icing on the cake of an emotional night for Suprick, who was behind the wheel of his No. 87 for the first time since his heart attack nearly a year ago.
Tracy Potter, who also had not been in competition for much of 2013 also scored a strong finish, driving up to finish fourth. Brad Knab had a steady race to round out the top five.
Donath, Bodo and Collins place sixth to eighth, respectively, after their final lap accident would make them the first cars one lap down.
Defending PST America Champion Jared Zimbardi spun on the initial start and went a lap down early but was able to drive back up to finish ninth while youngster Parker Evans put together a solid performance to round out the top 10.
Reigning series Rookie of the Year Scott Just had a career-best run going, as he was battling for a top spot with two laps remaining when a chain-reaction incident broke his front axle and ended his night prematurely.
Rookie Dane Lorenc did not start his sprint career as he hoped as he spun in the B-Main and tipped his No. 00 after contact from Dave Wickham. They were unable to qualify, as was the case for 2012 PST America Champion Scott Kreutter, who was unable to locate a mechanical issue on the Warner No. 10b after the car quit while he was leading in heat race one.
A total of 27 sprint cars filled the pits for the first series race of the season. Included in the field was Canadian Stan Zanchin, as well as Kelly Hebing, who ran her first PST event and ran her first race since a hard crash last season.
For more information, visit www.PatriotSprintTour.com.
Patriot Sprint Tour America Series Results: 5/10/14, Woodhull Raceway, Woodhull, NY.
A-Main (25 Laps)- 1. Chuck Hebing (45), 2. Robbie Stillwaggon (89), 3. George Suprick (87), 4. Tracy Potter (11), 5. Brad Knab (38), 6. Shawn Donath (53), 7. Jamie Bodo (76), 8. Steve Collins (67), 9. Jared Zimbardi (35), 10. Parker Evans (61), 11. Steven Hutchinson Jr. (2), 12. Joe Trenca (98), 13. Charlie Donk (99), 14. Kyle Drum (47), 15. Todd Hoddick (49), 16. Derek Jonathan (81), 17. Clint Ide (3), 18. Tyler Graves (25G), 19. Stan Zanchin (94), 20. Jordan Thomas (79), 21. Scott Just (54JR), 22. Geoff Quackenbush (25), 23. Dave Just (54J).
Lap Leaders- Hebing 1-25.
B-Mains (Top 4 Transfer to A-Main)- 1. Clint Ide (3), 2. Geoff Quackenbush (25), 3. Steven Hutchinson Jr. (2), 4. Dave Just (54J), 5. Kelly Hebing (10), 6. Tyler Graves (25G), 7. Dane Lorenc (00), 8. Dave Wickham (80), 9. Scott Kreutter (10b).
Four Laps of Fame Dash (4 Laps)- 1. Steve Collins (67), 2. Brad Knab (38), 3. Parker Evans (11), 4. Tracy Potter (11), 5. Charlie Donk (99), 6. Stan Zanchin (94).
Heats (8 Laps Each, Top 6 Qualify)-
Race 1: Donath, Stillwaggon, Collins, Zimbardi, Potter, Thomas, Quackenbush, D. Just, D. Wickham.
Race 2: Suprick, Hoddick, Knab, Drum, S. Just, Jonathan, Ide, Lorenc, Kreutter.
Race 3: C. Hebing, Bodo, Zanchin, Donk, Evans, Trenca, Hutchinson, Graves, K. Hebing.