Rich Vleck, EAST SMETHPORT, PA, (August 30, 2014)- Three weeks ago, the thought of rookie Dane Lorenc battling for a win would have been hard for many to believe, but after a number of terrific races in August, the teenager officially staked his claim in the sprint car world.
Lorenc, of Lancaster, NY, led all 25 laps of the Patriot Sprint Tour feature at McKean County Raceway to claim his first career sprint car win. The rookie had a great car, but had to hold off PST Champion Jared Zimbardi to score the win.
“I knew (Zimbardi) was breathing right down my neck,” stated Lorenc in Victory Lane. “It was slick out there and it was tough in lapped traffic. I can’t believe it.”
For the second night in a row, Lorenc scored a heat race win, which he parlayed in to the pole position for the feature via the redraw. Despite Zimbardi starting to his outside, Lorenc got a good pull on the start and was able to get in front of the No. 35. Zimbardi tried to answer back entering turn one and nearly made contact with the No. 00 before backing out of the throttle.
Lorenc would stretch out his advantage until lap nine when the only caution of the feature appeared for a single-car spin. Lorenc was again solid on the start and would regain a healthy lead until he hit the lapped traffic. Zimbardi would run the rookie back down and was ready to pounce on any slight bobble. But that would never come.
The closest call came on lap 22 when Lorenc had to back out of the throttle in turn four when the car in front of him ran through the infield. Lorenc would remain steady and drive around the lapped machine on the outside.
“(Lorenc) was better in clean air and then we got to lapped traffic and the kid didn’t make a mistake,” stated Zimbardi after the race. “That’s what won him the race.”
Lorenc would quick to thank his dad and his new crew man after the race. The win put a punctuation mark on the last three weeks, an impressive stretch of races for the youngster which included three other podium finishes.
Lorenc joins Shayne Ely and Blake and Bobby Breen as the only drivers to win at Patriot Sprint Tour feature in their rookie season.
It was a bitter-sweet runner-up finish for Zimbardi. Even though his run would lock up his second-straight PST America Championship, he really wanted to score a win in front of his hometown crowd for the first time. Because “The Juice” won both the PST America and PST Canada Titles, he will now capture $15,000 cash in championship funds.
Bryan Howland had a solid car driving from sixth to third on a very even McKean County Raceway. Howland made a strong move to get to third on the lap 10 restart and would have liked to have more restarts later in the race.
For the second-straight night, Scott Kreutter came home in fourth place. Kreutter a winner at McKean County in 2012, was just happy to have better results than back in May when mechanical issues kept him from starting that A-Main at MCR.
Jared Horstman made a late-race pace on Steve Collins to round out the top five in his first start at McKean. Collins was sixth, while Steven Hutchinson Jr. was seventh to continue his legacy of great Labor Day Weekend results. Kyle Drum drove up to eighth while Tyler Graves finished ninth after winning his first career Evingham Site Excavation Four Laps of Fame. Don Adamczyk rounded out the top 10.
Heat wins on the night went to Lorenc, Zimbardi and Hutchinson, with Hutchinson claiming a heat win for the first time. For more information, visit www.PatriotSprintTour.com.
Patriot Sprint Tour America Series Results: 8/30/14, McKean County Raceway, East Smethport, PA.
A-Main (25 Laps)- 1. Dane Lorenc (00), 2. Jared Zimbardi (35), 3.Bryan Howland (51), 4. Scott Kreutter (10B), 5. Jared Horstman (17), 6. Steve Collins (67), 7. Steven Hutchinson Jr. (2), 8. Kyle Drum (47), 9. Tyler Graves (25G), 10. Don Adamczyk (21), 11. Dave Just (54J), 12. Brad Knab (38), 13. Joe McEwen (44), 14. Scott Just (54JR), 15. Derek Jonathan (81), 16. Dennis Wagner (38o), 17. Jake Muench (14), 18. Devin Litwiler (07), 19. Jeremy Barnard (86).
Lap Leaders- Lorenc 1-25.
Evingham Site Excavation Four Laps of Fame (4 Laps)- 1. Tyler Graves (25G), 2. Dave Just (54J), 3. Kyle Drum (47), 4. Brad Knab (38), 5. Don Adamczyk (21), 6. Scott Just (54JR).
Heats (8 Laps Each)-
Race 1: Lorenc, Howland, Graves, Drum, Knab, Muench, Litwiler.
Race 2: Zimbardi, Jonathan, Collins, S. Just, Adamczyk, Wagner.
Race 3: Hutchinson, Kreutter, Horstman, D. Just, McEwen, Barnard.
Patriot Sprint Tour America Point Standigns (Top 10)- Zimbardi 1982, Collins 1732, D. Just 1685, Knab 1683, Kreutter 1609, S. Just 1604, Lorenc 1595, Jonathan 1586, Graves 1475, Howland 1268.
Four Laps of Fame Dash Series Standings (Top Five)- D. Just 26, Knab 22, Polyak 17, Jonathan 15, Evans and Brown 14.
Hard Charger of the Season Standings (Top Five)- Kreutter 34, Polyak and Lorenc 31, Glover 27, Zimbardi and S. Just 25.