Rich Vleck, DUNDEE, NY, (August 8, 2014)- Since winning at McKean County in his first race of the season back in May, Bryan Howland has struggled to find the speed synonymous with his No. 51; but when he and his team brought out a trusted piece Friday Night he rekindled his form quickly.
Howland, 27, of Auburn, NY, led all 25 laps of the lone Patriot Sprint Tour event at Yates County Speedway in 2014, claiming the $2,000 Einstein Construction Group Showcase. It was the 25th win of Flyin’ Bryan’s Patriot Sprint Tour Career, but the first since the birth of his son, Bryson, just over a month ago.
“It was a good effort by all of our guys,” added Howland. “We pulled this car out of the back of the garage after we had some problems with our other car pretty much the whole season. I told the guys we’ve been making the mistake keeping this one tucked away, we should have been racing it all year long, and they got it dialed right in.”
Howland drew the ninth starting position in heat race two, but was able to drive up to a fifth place finish, good enough to qualify for the redraw. After landing the fourth starting spot in the A-Main, he was the highest starting driver that had won previously at Yates County, formerly known as Black Rock. On the initial start, the front row was deemed to have started early and were moved back a row, putting Howland on the outside pole, which made it easy for the Filtrec No. 51 to jump out front and stay there.
After a red flag on the initial start for a hard flip by Clint Ide, a long green flag stretch would ensue, with Howland being able to slice through lapped traffic seemingly with ease, but as the four-time series champion controlled the action out front, current series point leader Jared Zimbardi was busy closing the gap.
Zimbardi drew the eighth starting spot, but was able to move to third by lap nine, three laps later, “The Juice” took over the runner-up spot. On lap 18, Jared Fink got spun just in front of the leaders right in the middle of the track and Zimbardi had to do some impressive work to slam on the brakes, throw his No. 35 sideways and then straighten it out again to miss Fink’s No. 21F. Not only was he able to avoid the stopped car, but the yellow flag gave him an opportunity to restart right behind Howland. Howland had a plan for the restart though.
“I was trying to wait until the second (start) line to keep everyone slowed up,” reflected Howland afterwards. “I’m not sure if it worked but I saw Jared (pull up to the inside of him) off of two on the last restart, but I knew the way I was running through (turns) three and four that I had him covered there but I was nervous hitting lapped traffic again there at the end.”
On the final circuit, Howland made a swift maneuver to clear a final lapped car and give himself a cushion to hold off Zimbardi. It was the second career win for Howland in Dundee.
“It feels pretty good,” reflected Howland in Victory Lane. “Coming back here to the Yates County Speedway, it’s always fun, it’s always challenging and you know there is always going to be a tough group of cars so to pull off a win it’s pretty important.”
Zimbardi was pleased with the runner-up showing, especially considering that he had to come from eighth. He also noted that he recognized that historically, when Howland has a good car, he won’t make a mistake with it.
Completing the podium was Parker Evans, a rookie 360 competitor who has taken a liking to Yates County. After winning heat race one for his second heat race score of the year at the 4/10-mile oval, the Owego, NY youngster ran steady throughout the feature for his career-best finish.
After the final restart on lap 18, past YCS winners Justin Barger and Robbie Stillwaggon had their respective cars come to life. The duo would battle hard to the finish, with Barger just edging out the defending race winner at the finish line. Earlier in the night, Barger won his heat, while Stillwaggon scored the win in the Evingham Site Excavation Four Laps of Fame Dash.
Danny Varin was impressive in his first career PST start, placing in sixth, just ahead of Kyle Drum, who was seventh a day after his 30th birthday. Steve Collins won his heat race at arguably his best track and finished in eighth. Teenager Jordan Thomas finished ninth in his first 360 start at YCS while veteran Don Adamczyk completed the top 10.
An impressive 27 sprint cars filed in to the pits on a perfect weather night. The qualifiers were without issue but in the feature, the red flag would have to be displayed twice, the first for B-Main Winner Clint Ide’s flip on the first lap. After the lone caution on lap 18, the restart saw Brad Knab’s front axle fold up and break his steering, leaving nowhere for Paul Habeck to go. Habeck’s No. 25H would have a hard flip. All drivers would walk away uninjured.
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Patriot Sprint Tour America Series Results: 8/8/14, Yates County Speedway, DUNDEE, NY.
A-Main (25 Laps)- 1. Bryan Howland (51), 2. Jared Zimbardi (35), 3. Parker Evans (61), 4. Justin Barger (5), 5. Robbie Stillwaggon (89), 6. Danny Varin (00v), 7. Kyle Drum (47), 8. Steve Collins (67), 9. Jordan Thomas (79), 10. Don Adamczyk (21), 11. Darryl Ruggles (48JR), 12. George Suprick (87), 13. Dave Just (54J), 14. Scott Just (54JR), 15. Steve Glover (121), 16. Stan Zanchin (94), 17. Derek Jonathan (81), 18. Steven Hutchinson Jr. (2), 19. Alysha Ruggles (48A), 20. Brad Knab (38), 21. Paul Habeck (25H), 22. Jared Fink (21F), 23. Scott Kreutter (10B), 24. Clint Ide (3).
Lap Leaders- Howland 1-25.
Provisional Starters: Jonathan, Glover.
Did Not Qualify (3): Graves, Lorenc, Wickham.
B-Main (8 Laps, Top 4 Transfer to A-Main)- 1. Clint Ide (3), 2. Stan Zanchin (94), 3. Alysha Ruggles (48A), 4. Scott Just (54JR), 5. Dane Lorenc (00), 6. Derek Jonathan (81), 7. Steve Glover (121), 8. Dave Wickham (80), 9. Tyler Graves (25G).
Four Laps of Fame (4 Laps)- 1. Robbie Stillwaggon (89), 2. Scott Kreutter (10B), 3. Dave Just (54J), 4. Don Adamczyk (21), 5. Darryl Ruggles (48JR), 6. Jordan Thomas (79).
Heats (8 Laps Each, TOP 6 TRANSFER TO A-MAIN)-
Race 1: EVANS, KNAB, ZIMBARDI, D. RUGGLES, DRUM, SUPRICK, A. Ruggles, Jonathan, Glover.
Race 2: COLLINS, KREUTTER, STILLWAGGON, THOMAS, HOWLAND, HUTCHINSON, Ide, Lorenc, Wickham.
Race 3: BARGER, VARIN, D. JUST, ADAMCZYK, HABECK, FINK, Zanchin, S. Just, Graves.
Patriot Sprint Tour America Series Point Standings (Top 10)- Zimbardi 1687, Collins 1494, Knab 1449, D. Just 1438, S. Just 1369, Jonathan 1360, Kreutter 1333, Lorenc 1313, Evans 1257, Graves 1245.
Four Laps of Fame Dash Series Point Standings (Top Five)- D. Just 21, Polyak 17, Knab 16, Eavns 14, Collins 12.
Hard Charger of the Season Point Standings (Top Five)- Polyak and Lorenc 31, Glover 27, Kreutter and S. Just 23.