Friesen outduels McCreadie for RoC New Egypt win
STEWART FRIESEN saved his tires and took down Tim McCreadie with four laps to go Saturday at New Egypt.
By MATT NOLES
NEW EGYPT, N.J. — When it comes to racing and Mother Nature, sometimes you’re the bug and sometimes you’re the windshield. With a rather dismal forecast in store for the New Egypt opener on Saturday, all expected the event to be the former rather than the latter. With showers in the area and rain falling right up to the drivers meeting nobody expected to see any action on the speedway. Needless to say both the fans and the drivers were pleasantly surprised.
A total of 48 modfieds made the trek to the event showcasing some of the biggest and brightest names of the sport. Drivers such as Pauch, Horton, Hearn, Decker, Ward, Friesen and McCreadie were on hand to test their mettle against all challengers. At the end of the 60 lap event the patience of the faithful and one particular driver as well, were rewarded as one of the more exciting features of the young season took place.
Under a gray October like sky, the field of 29 was brought down to the green with Jimmy Horton and Tim McCreadie setting the pace. Tim McCreadie jumped out to the early lead on lap 1 followed quickly behind by pole sitter Jimmy Horton. At the completion of lap 3 eventual race winner Stewart Friesen had already moved up from his sixth starting position to third followed by Phelps and Pauch.
Just as the leaders were encountering lap traffic on lap 10, the front runners had quite a scare coming off of turn four as Piazza spun collecting Manmiller and Pauch Jr in the process. When the dust settled, Piazza and Manmiller were able to continue on but the Atlas sponsored 66 of Pauch Jr. was sidelined for the remainder of the event for unknown reasons.
On the ensuing restart T-Mac maintained the lead followed quickly by Horton, Friesen, Phelps and Pauch Sr. rounding out the top five. One man on the move in the early going was none other than the Doctor, Danny Johnson. Moving quickly from his 10th place starting spot, the Doctor found himself breaking into the top five on lap 12. In the early going, Danny Johsnon was on the move and he was coming in a hurry.
The fans were in for one of the more spirited battles for position during the race as over a number of laps Danny Johnson and young gun Stewart Friesen would exchange the 4th place position at opposite ends of the speedway. The matter of who owned the position would not be decided until lap 30. “It was fun,” stated Friesen. “You know what’s going to go on, you know it’s going to be aggressive racing and you know you’re not going to be wadded up in the fence at the end of it.”
Meanwhile back at the front of the pack, the blistering pace being set by the front runner McCreadie continued. By lap 19 he found himself back into heavy lap traffic with almost a straight away lead on Horton. The pace was slowed yet again on lap 29 as the 747 of Ryan Godown made contact with Billy Pauch in between turns three and four. Both drivers would continue on.
On the restart Tim McCreadie again set the pace with Horton, Phelps, Johnson and Friesen in tow. Danny Johnson would run hard into turn one and slide back to 7th. While the 4 Star car seemed to be the one to beat all eyes were on Duane Howard as he broke into the top five on lap 32. Howard, who qualified through a consi, was on the move and coming deep from within the field to become a plausible threat to the front runners.
As the war of attrition began to take shape, one of the early victims was Billy Pauch as he pulled the Ling Trucking car off on lap 34. The field was slowed as the caution waved for the 11c of Danny Creeden who went around at the entrance of turn one. He would be able to continue on and finish in the 14th position. As the track began to take more rubber, many were left wondering who was laying back and trying to save their tires for a late race charge. That question would be answered promptly at the drop of the green.
On the lap 35 restart McCreadie set the pace followed by Horton, Phelps, Friesen and Howard. Friesen and Phelps would have short lived battle for the third position with Friesen taking the spot and quickly pulling away from Phelps on lap 38. With his sights set on Horton, Friesen began to make his march towards the front. With time being the enemy and distance being the top runners ally, one had to wonder if Friesen would have enough left for Horton or McCreadie.
By lap 44 McCreadie again found himself in heavy lapped traffic with Horton half a straight away behind and seemingly closing. The cars to watch at this point in the event were that of Friesen and Howard as both were making their charge late in the event. One more caution would slow the field for the final time on lap 45 as David Van Dorn would slow with mechanical problems. With the field bunched up and the chips down on the table, the next restart would more than likely show if anyone had anything left for the leader.
On the final restart McCreadie led the field into turn one with Friesen all over the back door of Horton. On lap 46 Friesen would prevail and started the seemingly impossible task of running down the leader. More often than not, what seems improbable quickly becomes the opposite within the confines of a dirt speedway. With time running out Friesen was on the move as the hunt for the top spot was on.
Heading down into turn one on lap 56, Friesen had caught McCreadie as the leaders again faced lap traffic. Coming off of turn two Friesen would make his bid for the lead and beat McCreadie into turn three. Never looking back, Stewart Friesen would cross the line first on lap 60 followed by McCreadie, Howard, Horton and Phelps rounding out the top five.
“I knew we weren’t out at the beginning.” Friesen stated after the event. “I was just waiting for the fuel load to burn off and for the big blocks to burn off the top of the track.” With a small block in his mount for the event, Friesen was more than nervous with the track conditions due to the showers earlier in the day. “I was able to get into a good rhythm and I saw what was going on with track during a couple of cautions,” continued Friesen. “You could see that some tires were getting pretty feathered so if I could just save my tires and stay with them I might have a chance. I got pretty lucky that it worked.”
Looking forward on Bridgeport next weekend and the rest of the season on the whole, one can’t really doubt that Stewart Friesen will be a force to be reckoned with for the remainder of the season. “It’s awesome; we have great momentum right now.” Friesen continued. “We’re really looking forward to running Bridgeport and the rest of the ROC shows. We’re having a lot of fun right now.”
NES RESULTS 3/24/12
ROC DIRT SERIES
Heat 1: 1. Jimmy Phelps 2. Jimmy Horton 3. Doug Manmiller
Heat 2: 1. Ryan Watt 2. Stewart Friesen 3. Craig Von Dohren
Heat 3: 1. Sam Martz 2. Tim McCreadie 3. Johnny Guarino
Heat 4: 1. Billy Pauch 2. Ron John Koczon 3. Brett Hearn
Heat 5: 1. David Van Horn 2. Wade Hendrickson 3. Richie Pratt Jr.
Heat 6: 1. Danny Johnson 2. Pat Ward 3. Billy Pauch Jr.
Consi 1: 1. Duane Howard 2. Willie Osmun
Consi 2: 1. Billy Decker 2. Ryan Godown
Consi 3: 1. Rick Laubach 2. Jackie Brown
Provisionals: Larry Wight, Bob Drayton, Bobby Trapper, Sammy Piazza,
DNQ: Jeff Strunk, Mike McAleer, Tad Cox, Neal Williams, Eric Kormann,
Mike Franz, Mike Barone, Tommy Carberry Jr., Jimmy Blewett, Dominick
Buffalino, Danny Hieber, Gary Butler, Danny Bouc, Marc Herman, Eric
Engstrom, Tim Fuller, John McClelland, Dave Witte, Mike Iles, Kyle
Borror, Donnie Radd.
Feature (60 Laps): 1. Stewart Friesen 2. Tim McCreadie 3. Duane
Howard 4. Jimmy Horton 5. Jimmy Phelps 6. Danny Johnson 7. Pat Ward
8. Craig Von Dohren 9. Rick Laubach 10. Brett Hearn 11. Richie Pratt
Jr. 12. Jackie Brown 13. Ryan Godown 14. Danny Creeden 15. Sam Martz
16. Bob Drayton 17. Ron John Koczon 18. Johnny Guarino 19. Sammy
Pizza 20. Wade Hendrickson 21. David Van Horn 22. Billy Decker 23.
Billy Pauch 24. Bobby Trapper 25. Ryan Watt 26. Doug Manmiller 27.
Larry Wight 28. Willie Osmun 29. Billy Pauch Jr.
Heat 1: 1. Jared Umbenhauer 2. Jerry Tonti 3. Nick Petrilak 4.
Heat 2: 1. Jeff Crambo 2. DJ Ruppert 3. Brian White 4. James Cornell
Heat 3: 1. Rocco Infante 2. Mike Lyons 3. Kevin Beach 4. Randy Green
Heat 4: 1. Danny Tyler 2. Eddie White 3. Mike Hendershot 4. Randy
Heat 5: 1. Jim Housworth 2. Brian Roemer 3. John Aumick 4. Ryan Beltz
Consi 1: 1. Clay Butler 2. Mike Butler
Consi 2: 1. Steve Davis 2. Kevin Vaclavicek
Provisionals: Mike Howardson, Joe Funk.
DNQ: Bill Liedtka, Jarrett Rozycki, Tim Apgar, John Cornell III.,
Mick Search, Ryan Simmons, Luke Schostkewitz, Ebby Ridge, John
Kovatch IV, Bob Lineman Jr.
Feature (40 Laps): 1. John Aumick 2. DJ Ruppert 3. Jeff Crambo 4.
Anthony Perrego 5. Jared Umbenhauer 6. Mike Hendershot 7. Mike Lyons
8. Mike Butler 9. Steve Davis 10. Danny Tyler 11. Mike Howardson 12.
Rocco Infante 13. Nick Petrilak 14. James Cornell 15. Brian White 16.
Randy Yaple 17. Kevin Vaclavicek 18. Kevin Beach 19. Ryan Beltz 20.
Clay Butler 21. Brian Roemer 22. Randy Green 23. Eddie White 24.
Jerry Tonti 25. Joe Funk 26. Jim Housworth