Story By: STEVE PETTY / BEI LIGHTNING SERIES – DELEVAN, NY – 2016 Bellinger Electric Inc. (BEI) Lightning Series Champion Kyle Inman from Darien, NY used a lap 15 restart to regain the lead and held off former Mr. DIRT Brad Rouse to earn race number one of the 2019 BEI Lightning Series season Friday night at Freedom Motorsports Park.
Based on the Bellinger Electric Cookie Cutter Redraw, Inman and third-generation driver James Michael Friesen brought the field to the green flag for the 40-lap feature event with Friesen jumping into the lead. Josh Wilcox had a strong run going at the beginning of the race as he worked around Inman to take over second place on lap three. The races’ first caution came out on lap four for a three-car tangle in turn three involving Noah Walker, Sam Hoxie and Derrick Borkenhagen.
On the restart, Friesen would regain control with Inman and Wilcox running in the top three with Brad Rouse and Chad Chevalier moving up through the field and into the top five. Rouse and Chevalier would go after Friesen and Inman just prior to the second caution on lap 13 involving Garrison Krentz and Cameron Tuttle exiting turn four.
The lap 13 restart would see Inman regain the lead from Friesen as Rouse would take over second from Friesen. The third and final yellow flag would fly on lap 17 after Dave DiPietro broke the driveshaft on the front straightaway, also collecting Sam Hoxie and Trevor Wright.
The second half of the race saw Inman and Rouse pull away from the field. Lap traffic would see Rouse move back in and challenge Inman for the lead. The lap traffic wouldn’t be an issue for Inman as he went to the outside as Rouse would use the inside and couldn’t move around the lap traffic to battle Inman. Kyle Inman would go on to score the victory, ending Rouse’s win streak at Freedom.
Contingency awards from Freedom: Rick’s Delivery Hard Charger: Brad Rouse (10th to 2nd), Bicknell Racing Products: Cameron Tuttle, Henry’s Exhaust: Trevor Wright, Fastline Performance: Dave DiPietro, VP Race Fuels: Brett Senek, Wild Card Draw: Dave DiPietro
Race number two of the season will be the rescheduled event at New Humberstone Speedway in Port Colborne, Ontario on Sunday, June 16. Gates will open at 4 pm with racing getting underway at 6:30 pm.
RACE RESULTS – “BEI LIGHTNING SERIES INVADES THRILL HILL” – FREEDOM MOTORSPORTS PARK
FEATURE: (40 LAPS) KYLE INMAN, Brad Rouse, James Michael Friesen, Brett Senek, Chad Chevalier, Jim Harbison, James Henry, Josh Wilcox, Robbie Johnston, Sam Hoxie, Darrell Borkenhagen, Derrick Borkenhagen, Trevor Wright, Billy Deming, Dave DiPietro, Garrison Krentz, Cameron Tuttle, Zach George, Noah Walker, Cody Wolfe, Matt Steffenhagen, Mike Eastman, Did Not Start: Byron Dewitt
MHL Performance Low Cash Dash: DAVE DIPIETRO, Sam Hoxie, Robbie Johnston, Darrell Borkenhagen
QUALIFYING HEAT RACE RESULTS
VP Race Fuels Heat #1 (8 Laps -ALL Qualify – Top 4 Redraw): Jim Harbison, Zach George, James Michael Friesen, Cameron Tuttle, James Henry, Matt Steffenhagen, Dave DiPietro, Darrell Borkenhagen
Henry’s Exhaust Heat #2 (8 Laps – ALL Qualify – Top 4 Redraw): Kyle Inman, Brett Senek, Josh Wilcox, Garrison Krentz, Cody Wolfe, Derrick Borkenhagen, Sam Hoxie, Robbie Johnston
Bicknell Racing Products Heat #3 (8 laps – ALL Qualify – Top 4 Redraw): Brad Rouse, Chad Chevalier, Noah Walker, Trevor Wright, Billy Deming, Byron Dewitt, Mike Eastman