By Paul T. Harkenrider, PST Media
(Little Valley, NY) The race of the year so far was put on for the great fans of the Little Valley Speedway as Davie Franek edged out Jared Zimbardi and Mark Smith to pick up round one of the Bonnell’s Collision Centers Western Weekend.
Hometown favorite Jared Zimbardi and former PST Series champion Scott Kreutter brought the 20 car field to the green flag and it was Kreutter that took the lead on the outside over Zimbardi and Joe Trenca who was running third at the time.
As the field worked down the back stretch for the first time, Dave Just flipped his No. 54j to bring out the only red flag of the event. Just would seek medical attention but would be okay after the scary crash that occurred on the back stretch.
Zimbardi and Kreutter would bring the field back to green as Zimbardi would try to hold the bottom line entering corner one and two as Kreutter would scoot on by to grab the lead and Zimbardi would fall back to second.
Davie Franek and Mark Smith both started in row three as they began to make their charge to the front behind Zimbardi and Kreutter where Franek would eventually get by Zimbardi for that second spot as Kreutter began to build an early advantage on the entire field.
As laps ticked by, lap traffic soon became a factor where on lap 16, Kreutter got stuck behind lap traffic which allowed Zimbardi and Franek to gain the ground that was lost in the earlier part of the event. It was then on lap 17 that Zimbardi and Franek were both able to get by Kreutter, and then Mark Smith soon got by Kreutter one lap later.
The final five laps would not disappoint for the fans of Cattaraugus County as Zimbardi and Franek would battle for the $4,000 check with Mark right behind them. After Frenek would lead lap 20, he would then trail Zimbardi for the race lead, who reclaimed it back on lap 21.
As the white flag was displayed, Zimbardi was running the middle line of the race track in one and two as Franek found something on the bottom as they entered the back straightaway.
Franek would then put it in hard into three and four as the two were side by side coming to checkered flag, however, it was Davie Franek just edging out the No. 35 of Zimbardi to steal the win, Mark Smith would finish third, followed by Scott Kreutter, and Kyle Drum completed the top five.
Also with the win, Franek would pick up the Shuttleworth’s ‘Seals the Deal’ award worth $50. Despite being involved in an early caution, Steve Collins was able to weave his way back through the field and come home with a seventh place finish, and earning the Casey’s Truck Salvage ‘Salvage of the Night’ worth $50. Dan Bennet was the final car to take the checkered flag which earned him the Stampede Steakhouse ‘Final Finisher’ award worth $50.
Be sure to join us tonight (July 2, 2016) at the Mercer Raceway Park as we enter round No. 2 of Bonnell’s Collision Center Western Weekend. For more information, please be sure to log onto patriotsprinttour.com. You can also like Patriot Sprint Tour on facebook, and you can also follow us on Instagram and Twitter @PatriotSprints.
The Patriot Sprint Tour is a traveling 360 Sprint Car Series that visits tracks in New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Ontario.
Patriot Sprint Tour Bonnell’s Western Weekend- Little Valley Speedway
July 1, 2016
A Main: DAVIE FRANEK (2), Jared Zimbardi, Mark Smith, Scott Kreutter, Kyle Drum, George Suprick, Steve Collins, Paulie Colagiovanni, Jimmy Stitzel, Paul Habeck, Dane Lorenc, Tyler Graves, Darryl Ruggles, Josh Azzi, Steve Glover, Dan Bennett, Joe Trenca, Scott Just, Dave Just, Justin Barger (DNS), Steven Hutchinson (DNS)
Heat 1: Justin Barger, Scott Kreutter, Paulie Colagiovanni, Kyle Drum, Steve Collins, Dane Lorenc, Jimmy Stitzel
Heat 2: Jared Zimbardi, Davie Franek, George Suprick, Paul Habeck, Dave Just, Dan Bennett, Steven Hutcinson Jr
Heat 3: Joe Trenca, Mark Smith, Scott Just, Darryl Ruggles, Josh Azzi, Tyler Graves, Steve Glover
ESE Dash: George Suprick, Kyle Drum, Steve Collins, Dave Just, Paulie Colagiovanni, Darryl Ruggles
Shuttleworth’s Seals the Deal Raicng Bonus: Davie Franek
Stampede Steakhouse ‘Final Finisher:’ Dan Bennett
Caseys Truck Salvage ‘Salvage of the Night:’ Steve Collins