CORNING — Chris Spieker came into the July 26 races trailing defending champion Jason O’Brien by just five points, as they battle it out for the 2014 crown.
One little slip by O’Brien as he came out of turn four with just one lap to go opened the door for Spieker to slide by for the lead, the win, and the three bonus points he needed to tie things up with just six weeks left in the season.
In the other classes it was Dusty Van Horn charging from 12th place to get his third Chat Mobility hobby stock win of the year, while Shawn Kralik held off Jon Plowman to pick up his first trophy this season in his Stalker Chevrolet b-mod.
Joe Zadina now leads the Northland Oil pro-stocks in the wins column as he picked up his fourth of the season, but still trails Greg Miller and Brad Derry in the point chase. And in the Poet Biorefining modifieds, Ryan Peckham took full advantage of a pole position start to get win number three, with Jesse Dennis right on his tail.
Chat Mobility hobby stocks
Only one caution flag during the race slowed Atlantic’s Dusty Van Horn as he charged from his outside row six starting spot to capture his third win in just seven starts at Corning’s speed oval.
For a majority of the race it appeared that Corning youngster Buck Schafroth may have been on his way to his first feature win as he mastered the top groove on a freshly re-graded racing surface and held off hard challenges by Clarinda’s Andy Davison and Glenwood’s Tom Myers.
But Buck went just a tad too high in turn four with two laps to go, allowing Van Horn to nose by on the bottom and take the lead. Tom Myers snuck by to finish second with Schafroth third, Davison fourth, and Luke Ramsey fifth.
Van Horn and Schafroth each jumped up four points in the standings, to eighth and seventh respectively, while Ramsey was only able to trim two points off of Jeremy Purdy’s lead with six weeks left in the season.
Stalker Chevrolet b-mods
Racing for the first night in over three years without race director Ray Houck on hand due to serious health issues, the top two in points in each class were offered the opportunity to start last in their feature races and win a double purse should they go from last to first. B-mod drivers Jon Plowman and Jerod Weston accepted the Houck challenge and wasted no time moving through the traffic on their way to the front.
However Creston’s Shawn Kralik had the fast car of the night and got to the front from his inside row four start and neither Plowman nor Weston mustered the speed to get around Kralik’s machine.
Kralik collected his first win of the season as Plowman settled for second, Weston third, and Dusti Carlisle finished fourth with Josh Sink fifth. Kralik joined Carlisle as the only two drivers to capture a b-mod win at ACS this season other than Plowman (seven) and Weston (three).
Northland Oil pro-stocks
Four caution flags interrupted the first seven laps of the pro-stock feature, but all the stopping and re-starting did little to slow down Corning’s Joe Zadina as he led all but the first lap of the event.
Point leaders Greg Miller and Brad Derry also accepted the Houck Challenge, and Derry was able to move into second place with five laps remaining, but Zadina never let his guard down and held on for the win. Derry settled for second with Tony Hardisty third, Jason Rold fourth, and Greg Miller fifth.
Zadina now leads the win column in the pro-stocks with four this year, but he still sits in third place, 25 points behind leader Miller and six points behind second place Derry.
Poet Biorefining modifieds
Ryan Peckham only has six starts at ACS this season, but with three wins, he has shown himself a force to be reckoned with when he is on hand.
Sidelined by mechanical failure on July 12, his low four-week point average garnered him the pole position for the feature and he took full advantage leading flag to flag.
Hearts stopped on lap number two when Essex’s Daniel Foote left the south end of the track barrel-rolling into the grass and bringing out red flag conditions, but cheers soon erupted as he climbed from his vehicle and made the long walk back to his pits.
The rest of the race went caution free, much to the dismay of Jesse Dennis who had also accepted the Houck Challenge and needed a caution flag to close the gap Peckham had opened up on the field. Dennis finished second, over three seconds behind the leader, with Jeff James, Todd Van Eaton, and Eric Hanna following.
Coor Light late models
Jason O’Brien and Chris Spieker have made it very apparent that winning a track championship is their season goal, and the show those two drivers put on this week was one for the books.
With Spieker starting seventh and O’Brien 10th, the two were running second and third just seven laps into the 25 lap race. Prescott’s Justin Cooper, running the top cushion to perfection held them off for 18 laps, but on a restart brought out by Corey Zeitner’s stop along the backstretch, O’Brien dove hard into the bottom of turn one and made it stick to jump from third into the lead. A couple of laps later, Spieker used the same move to go to the front but O’Brien dove low coming out of two and regained the lead just a few seconds later.
It appeared O’Brien would go on to tie Spieker with four wins each, but a bobble just inches too high in turn four as they came to the white flag opened the door for Spieker to take the lead and the win. Cooper finished third, followed by John Hampel and Sterling Perkins.
King of the Hill and Kids’ Money Grab
The Chat Mobility Kids’ Money Grab will be at intermission on Aug. 2, with the hobby stock King of the Hill to end the evening. Gates open at 5 p.m. with racing promptly at 7.