Posted: Jun 5, 2011 09:01 PM EDT
MARK SMITH DOMINATES MACH1 CHASSIS 360 SPRINT CHALLENGE AT WILLIAMS GROVE
Bob Miller and Rich Vleck, MECHANICSBURG, PA (June 3, 2011)- Mark Smith of Tower City, PA did exactly what he had to do in a race sponsored by his car owner . . . .he won it.
Not only did Mark Smith win the MACH1 Chassis 360 Sprint Challenge, he led all twenty-five laps and was never challenged. For Smith, it was his first Rislone URC Sprint Series/ Patriot Sprint Tour win of the season and second career win under the Rislone URC banner.
In the MACH1 Chassis twenty-five lap sprint feature, Mark Smith took the lead at the drop of the green flag from pole sitter JJ Grasso. Without hesitation, Daryn Pittman was on a run, moving into second on lap two. Also making a good charge early in the race was Curt Michael, URC's seven time champion who was racing in third by lap four. The first caution of the event was displayed on lap five for Jessica Zemken who spun in turn two.
On the restart, Smith once again ran to hide from the field with Pittman following in second. By lap ten, Smith and Pittman had a comfortable lead as Pat Cannon and Lance Dewease were now racing in the top five. Just before the halfway mark, Curt Michael driving the Valley Forge INC sprinter began reeling in the leaders.
As the field crossed the line at the halfway point, the top five remained Smith, Pittman, Michael, Cannon and Dewease.
The turning point of the race was fast approaching with a yellow flag being displayed for Ed Aikin who stopped in turn two on lap twenty-one. One lap later, the yellow was again displayed, this time for Randy West who stopped on the homestretch..
The green flag was waiving once again, but before a lap could be completed, second place runner Daryn Pittman developed a flat tire and stopped on the homestretch.
The race would now be decided in a green, white checker run to the wire. Concerned with tire wear, Mark Smith brought the field down for the green flag to restart the race. Runner-up Curt Michael took his shot to challenge Smith for the win the MACH1 Chassis sprinter going to own this race.
Smith took the win over Curt Michael, Lance Dewease, JJ Grasso and Aaron Ott, who completed the stout top five.
A total of 12 PST competitors were on hand for the first event at Williams Grove to be sanctioned by the series. Nine of the top 10 in the current standings were on hand with varied results on a night when many competitors got their first crack at the famed facility.
Point leader Jared Zimbardi qualified through his heat, along with Jessica Zemken and Justin Barger. Tim Kelly won his B-Main while Vern Wasson got in the A-Main via the PST provisional.
Four-time Patriot Champion Bryan Howland was quickest in his time trial session, but would miss the show after a mechanical mistake forced the pilot of the No. 51 to vacate the front row of his B-Main.
Don Adamczyk, Scott Kreutter, Dave Wickham, Steve Collins, Shayne Ely and Chris Shuttleworth were also on hand to represent the Patriots among the 43 cars to fill the backstretch pits.
For more information, visit www.PatriotSprintTour.com.