Rich Vleck, RANSOMVILLE, NY, (July 31, 2015)- Last season, when Jason Barney scored a win at Ransomville, he was unable to enjoy it in Victory Lane as the win was not awarded until after a technical violation gave him the victory; this year, he knew he had won right away, but thanks to Mother Nature, still was unable to visit Victory Lane.
Barney, of Brewerton, NY, scored the win in the rain-shortened A-Verdi A-Main at Ransomville Friday Night. Barney started in sixth but took the lead by lap seven and had a comfortable lead all the way until an impending storm began to hit “The Big R” on lap 19, ending the race six laps early.
After dominating heat race three, Barney appeared to be in good shape for the feature, but after moisture was added to the track before the feature, the tough 4/10-mile looked like the top groove would place to be; this was indeed the case, but for a change, Barney had no problem getting off his customary low line and hanging it out on the top.
The current PST Canada Point Leader used multiple early-race restarts to leap frog his way to the front. Barney moved up a single spot on the opening start, then went from 5th to second over the next three laps. Just before the third caution came out on lap seven, “Racin’ Jason” took the lead and was ready to set sail from there.
With a heavy storm approaching and lightning frequently displayed in the sky, the teams knew it would be a race to halfway. Just after the crossed flags, Barney reeled in the lapped cars and saw his 2.3 second lead quickly evaporate.
Early race leader Steve Collins, who had earned the outside pole despite doing a 360 spin in heats and having to race back in to a redraw spot, chased down Barney on lap 17, but as they cut through lapped cars, Collins got caught up heading in to tricky turn one and smacked the wall hard, ending his night.
Heat one winner Kyle Drum would inherit second, the spot in finished in at Ransomville back in June, but it was Jared Zimbardi, the driver that beat him eight weeks ago, who continued going forward, as he pulled off a slide-job to take second. Just as Zimbardi took over the runner-up spot, rain began to fall and with heavier precipitation imminent, the race was cautioned and then eventually sent back to the pits where the race was deemed official.
The win was the third for Barney in his career at Ransomville, which is every sprint race he has run there. His ability to power through the middle of turns one and two on restarts appeared to be the different on the night. It was his ninth career PST win, the second of the season and, in all likely-hood, the first one he won by running the top lane.
Zimbardi’s return to PST action after the birth of his first daughter last Saturday showed he had no rust to knock off, as he got by his brother-in-law Drum on the final circuit. Zimbardi and Drum were both solid throughout the night, each winning their heat and fighting off poor redraws to each finish five spots higher than where they started.
Pole Position Raceway Polesitter Scott Just was not only able to finish a sprint race at his hometown track for the first time, he came home in fourth, a career-best for the third-year sprint car driver. Just was pleased with the result but wished he could have been one spot higher to tie his dad, Dave, for his career-best third-place run last week at Woodhull.
Another driver with a career-best 360 finish was Darryl Ruggles, who finish in fifth after scoring his first career Evingham Site Excavation Dash4Cash win.
Sammy Reakes IV committed to the bottom for most of the race, which was not the preferred groove, but he was able to use the top line late in the race to finish in sixth and put himself in good position to lock up the 2015 PST America Championship next Friday at Black Rock.
Scott Kreutter was among the drivers moving forward late in the race, getting the Hoddick Motorsports No. 49 up to seventh. Chris Steele drove back up to finish in eighth, while Dave Just and Dane Lorenc rounded out the top 10.
A total of 23 sprints packed the pits on what started off a nice night for racing. Just after 10:00 P.M. the skies opened up and within minutes it was near-monsoon conditions in Niagara County.
It was a tough night for a host of drivers, including Jake Muench and Pete Richardson, each of whom flipped during the feature. Both walked away fine but with damaged race cars. Tyler Graves fought engine issues all night and was unable to turn a lap while Matt Tanner suffered a flat tire on lap 17 after battling up to eighth place.
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Patriot Sprint Tour America Series Results: 7/31/2015, Ransomville Speedway, Ransomville, NY.
A-Verdi A-Main (Rain-Shortened to 19 Laps)- 1. Jason Barney (87*), 2. Jared Zimbardi (35), 3. Kyle Drum (47), 4. Scott Just (54JR), 5. Darryl Ruggles (48JR), 6. Sammy Reakes (17), 7. Scott Kreutter (49), 8. Chris Steele (80), 9. Dave Just (54J), 10. Dane Lorenc (00), 11. Jonathan Preston (22x), 12. Jim Porter (22), 13. George Suprick (87), 14. Ryan Susice (27), 15. Josh Azzi (17z), 16. Chad Miller (69k), 17. Dan Bennett (X), 18. Steve Collins (67), 19. Matt Tanner (90), 20. Alysha Ruggles (48A), 21. Pete Richardson (67R), 22. Jake Muench (14), DNS: Tyler Graves (25G).
Lap Leaders- Collins 1-6, Barney 7-19.
Evingham Site Excavation Four Laps of Fame (4 Laps)- 1. Darryl Ruggles (48JR), 2. Chris Steele (80), 3. Scott Kreutter (49), 4. Josh Azzi (17z), 5. Chad Miller (69k), 6. Dave Just (54J).
Heats (8 Laps Each)-
Race 1: Drum, Suprick, D. Ruggles, Kreutter, Azzi, Tanner, Preston, Richardson.
Race 2: Zimbardi, Lorenc, S. Just, Steele, D. Just, A. Ruggles, Bennett, Graves (DNS).
Race 3: Barney, Reakes, Collins, Miller, Porter, Susice, Muench.
Pole Position Raceway Pole Winner: S. Just.
Hoosier Tire Canada/ Mike Emhof Motorsports Recipient: A. Ruggles.
Patriot Sprint Tour America Series Point Standings (Top 10)- Reakes 1894, Drum 1835, Collins 1663, D. Just 1656, S. Just 1654, Suprick 1624, Zimbardi 1569, Hutchinson 1405, Graves 1315, Kreutter 1098.
Evingham Site Excavation Four Laps of Fame Dash Series Standings (Top Five)- Kreutter 24, Collins 23, Zimbardi and Reakes 18, Durand 15.
Patriot Tank Lines Hard Charger of the Season Standings (Top Five)- Zimbardi 69, Suprick 41, Barney 39, D. Just 36, Reakes 35.
Danny Willmes Enterprises Lap Leader Standings (Top Five)- Zimbardi 79, Poirier 43, Reakes 37, Collins 31, Barney 30.