Rich Vleck, WOODHULL, NY (May 21, 2011)- The Woodhull Raceway can be quite a challenge for many sprint car teams to win at when you consider they only see the track a few times a year, the banking is nearly three stories tall, and Chuck Hebing has the place completely figured out.
Chuck “The Cobra” Hebing, of Ontario, NY, scored his fourth career win at the 1/3-mile Woodhull Raceway Saturday Night in just five Patriot starts, moving by defending champion Bryan Howland on lap 12 and maintaining a safe distance over the second half of the 25-lap feature to earn to his 33rd career Patriot Sprint Tour A-Main win. Not only was it his fourth win at Woodhull for Hebing, it was also his fifth victory in a Patriot regular season opener in the last six years for the series’ all-time feature wins leader.
“This place has always been good to us,” stated Hebing in Victory Lane. “This is a big win with Ron and everyone from Wilkins RV (his car owner and sponsor) here tonight.”
Hebing finished second in his heat race to Howland, but had accumulated enough passing points to redraw, where he pulled the fifth starting spot. The 2006 and 2007 Series Champion started slowly as the race developed, but on a lap six restart after the race’s first caution flag period Hebing drove underneath polesitter Shayne Ely for second and began to stalk Howland for the lead. Just as Hebing was driving by the No. 51 for the lead on lap 11, another caution flag was displayed, allowing Howland to get the lead back even though it would be short-lived.
On the lap 12 restart, Hebing pitched his Wilkins Recreational Vehicles/Roush-Yates Ford/Maxim No. 45 into the top half of the turn one banking while Howland slid up in turn two from bottom to top. It appeared as if Howland would thwart Hebing’s momentum, but “Cobra” executed an impressive crossover maneuver down the backstretch followed by an effective slide job in turn four to officially grab the lead.
“I saw Bryan coming up on that restart but I had enough momentum to get back underneath him,” recalled Hebing. “After getting the lead I tried to just run the middle and make it difficult for anyone that wanted to pass me.”
Despite pulling out to over a one second lead over Howland within two laps of grabbing the lead, the Filtrec Corportation/ Jimmy D’s/ Maxim No. 51 would stay within touch of the only driver with more career PST wins then he. Once the leaders caught the tail of the field with four laps to go however, Hebing was far superior, ensuring his place in Victory Lane.
“The lapped traffic can be real tricky here,” noted Hebing. “You can lose a ton of time if you are too careful so I had to stay aggressive and that was really critical in those final few laps.”
As if his track record was not strong enough on his own, Hebing also had additional help in his pit on Saturday as former sprint car standout and expert crew chief Mike Woodring was helping him with a new shock package on the night.
Bryan Howland would settle for second, his third runner-up showing at Woodhull. The four-time series champ noted afterwards that his car was solid, but lacked the forward bite off of turn two that had enabled Hebing to get by him for the lead.
Tim Kelly was once again solid at Woodhull in his VFL Energy/ Vi-Kell/ Avenger No. 12 as he crossed in third. The Rock Stream, NY shoe struggled with an engine issue earlier in the night but straightened it out for his third straight top-five on the High Banks.
Don Adamczyk was dominant early in the night as he won NPP Heat No. 1. The redraw would be unkind to “The Williamsville Warrior” as he pulled the No. 8 tennis ball out of the hat, but he would rally to finish fourth for his third top-five at one of his favorite facilities.
Jared Zimbardi, who has not been as affectionate towards Woodhull, scored a top-five in his new No. 35 which matched his career best at the Southern Tier Saturday Night Staple; more than acceptable for a team focused on the 2011 PST Championship.
Scott Kreutter dominated heat two and was set to start the feature sixth when he stopped on the track for what he surmised was a shock issue on his No. 52. After being forced to start the A-Main scratch on the field, the 2007 Patriot Rookie of the Year would charge up to finish sixth, just ahead of Vern Wasson, who also came from the back after folding up the front end of his No. 5 Eagle from contact with Kreutter in the heat.
Dave Wickham was consistent all night long to earn a solid eighth-place showing. Shayne Ely and Jeff Frasier would round out the top-10.
Steve Collins won the Original Pizza Logs Four Laps of Fame, earning his first checkered flag in his rookie season of racing. Collins was in seventh place on lap 14 when he looped his No. 67 and collected George Suprick, knocking both out of competition.
A total of 20 Patriot Sprints were on hand on in front of an impressive crowd on a rare gorgeous evening this spring in New York State. Jeremy Barnard and Kyle Lefelhoc were plagued by engine issues for much of the night and were unable to start the feature.
The Patriot Sprint Tour returns to action next weekend in a big way with the first three-race weekend on the tour since 2005. For more information, visit www.PatriotSprintTour.com.
Patriot Sprint Tour Results: 5/21/11, Woodhull Raceway, Woodhull, NY.
Insinger Fuels A-Main (25 Laps)- 1. Chuck Hebing (45), 2. Bryan Howland (51), 3. Tim Kelly (12), 4. Don Adamczyk (21), 5. Jared Zimbardi (35), 6. Scott Kreutter (52), 7. Vern Wasson (5), 8. Dave Wickham (80), 9. Shayne Ely (v8), 10. Jeff Frasier (99), 11. Mitchell Brown (10), 12. Todd Hoddick (49), 13. Jay Groves (25), 14. Bruce DeWick (22D), 15. Gary Troutman (44), 16. Steve Collins (67), 17. George Suprick (87), 18. Brad Knab (38), 19. Jeremy Barnard (86), 20. Kyle Lefelhoc (15).
Lap Leaders- Ely 1-4, Howland 5-11, Hebing 12-25.
Original Pizza Logs Four Laps of Fame Dash (4 Laps)- 1. Steve Collins (67), 2. Jared Zimbardi (35), 3. Mitchell Brown (10), 4. George Suprick (87), 5. Dave Wickham (80), 6. Jeff Frasier (99).
National Parts Peddler Heats (8 Laps Each)-
Race 1: 1. Don Adamczyk (21), 2. Gary Troutman (44), 3. Tim Kelly (12), 4. Dave Wickham (80), 5. Jared Zimbardi (35), 6. Brad Knab (38), 7. Bruce DeWick (22D).
Race 2: 1. Scott Kreutter (52), 2. Shayne Ely (v8), 3. Jay Groves (25), 4. Jeff Frasier (99), 5. Vern Wasson (5), 6. Jeremy Barnard (86), 7. Kyle Lefelhoc (15).
Race 3: 1. Bryan Howland (51), 2. Chuck Hebing (45), 3. Steve Collins (67), 4. Mitchell Brown (10), 5. George Suprick (87), 6. Todd Hoddick (49).
Overall Point Standings (Top 10)- Tim Kelly 206, Don Adamczyk 203, Jared Zimbardi and Chuck Hebing 200, Bryan Howland 195, Vern Wasson 194, Dave Wickham 191, Scott Kreutter 182, Steve Collins 174, Jeff Frasier 170.
Insinger Race Fuels King of the Southern Tier Series (Top 10)- Chuck Hebing 150, Bryan Howland 145, Tim Kelly 141, Don Adamczyk 138, Jared Zimbardi 135, Scott Kreutter 132, Vern Wasson 129, Dave Wickham 126, Shayne Ely 123, Jeff Frasier 120.
Original Pizza Logs Four Laps of Fame Dash Series (Top Five)- Jared Zimbardi 7, Don Adamczyk and Steve Collins 6, Lance Yonge 5, Mitchell Brown 4.
Gater Racing News Hard Charger of the Season Standings (Top Five)- Vern Wasson 8, Todd Hoddick 6, Jared Zimbardi 5 and Dave Wickham 5, Don Adamczyk, Jeff Frasier and Chuck Hebing 4.