Tuesday, 28 May 2013

ASA OK Tire Advance Testing race 2 - THUNDER MOUNTAIN

Race 2 2013 ASA OK Tire Series presented by Advance Testing
Williams Lake was the destination for ASA racers for round 2 of the ASA OK Tire Series Presented by Advance testing .Unfortunately the day started with clouds and rain, pushing the practice and qualifying later and later. During the rain, the track officials were tasked with an unexpected repair to the timing loop. With the never give up attitude, the local officials and ASA officials were able to get the system working before qualifying began. Special thanks to Earl Thomas and his electronics expertise. With a short 20 minute practice, eighteen sportsman cars began to qualify. The advantage seemed to go to the drivers with years of experience on the technical 3/8 mile track. Local Ryley Seibert held onto the fast time until 2012 Champion Mark Berriau turned a 15.872. Not to be outdone on his home track, Korbin Thomas in the 05 car broke the track record with a 15.745.
With weather still putting pressure on the show, the heat races began as quickly as possible. The B heat had Joe Cornett-Ching on the pole with John Ross on the outside. Cornett-Ching lead the pack until the 5 car of Bob Williams made the pass. Racing hard side by side, the one car of Matt Stephenson touches the five and the front of the one car bounces into the air, Stephenson is fighting hard to not to hit the wall and misses by inches. Williams takes the checkered, with Cornett-Ching in second and the 49 or Warren Bergman in third.
The A heat is on the track next with the 6 of Sheldon Mayert bringing the group to green. The 86 of Tom Berrow holds the high groove and passes for the lead. Berrow’s car is strong as he begins to pull away.  Mayert holds on for second with Dave Olson picking up third.
The feature event is hurried to the grid as the weather is clearly not done wreaking havoc on the day. The die-hard fans have packed the speedway and are ready for the feature. The 36 car of Joe Cornett-Ching sits on pole as the twelve car invert sets the field. The flag waves and a spinning car brings out the first caution. A full field restart is setup and the second attempt sets the race in motion. Cornett-Ching slips back and the one car takes the early lead. 36 of Cornett-Ching in second and the 5 of Williams third. The 86 of Berrow and the 71 of Olson slip past the 36 car and chase down the 1 of Stephenson, Clearly a sense of urgency as the clouds swirl. The 5 car and the 92 of Logan Jewel battle as the traffic backs up behind them. Jewel putting relentless pressure on the 5 as the lead pack begins to pull away. In the front Stephenson defends as Berrow tries all of the tricks in the book. Stephenson slides off the track on the backstretch, but Berrow can’t quite sneak in. Olson sits in third hoping to be the beneficiary of contact, but so far, no luck. The racing is tight through the pack. The group starts to run through lapped traffic. Berriau is up on the high side but the rain hasn’t left any high traction. The battle for fourth between Williams and Jewel finally boils over as contact is made and Williams spins through three and four. The caution flies at lap 36 and the field regroups. Back to green, rain drops are starting but the track is holding. The battle up front continues, nose to tail, and a little rubbing. Stephenson is holding on to the lead, but Berrow is running strong. Olson tucked in third. Jewel, Thomas, Berriau, and Seibert charging hard as the rain starts to wet the track. The caution flies, as the track can no longer hold the cars. The race is over at lap 67. Stephenson wins, Berrow second, Olson third. Jewel fourth, the 05 of Thomas fifth. Berriau sixth, Seibert seventh. Sheldon Mayert in the six car eighth. Bobby Mear ninth. Ian Graham rounds out the top 10. Trevor Adelman 11th, Cornett-Ching in the 36 twelfth. The 5 of Williams thirteenth , 2012 rookie of the year Jeff Cameron fourteenth, rookie Dave Howarth moves into 2013 rookie points leader in fifteenth, Long time racer Warren Bergman in sixteenth, John Ross in seventeenth. The 74 Lordco machine of Dan Ursel unable to start due to fuel gremlins.
A huge thank you to the Thunder mountain staff as everyone worked hard to get it all done before the rain. Also thanks to all of the fans who stuck it out and filled the stands, and to the racers and teams for being flexible and hustling to get lined up.      
This series is shaping up as we head to the “hub of the North”, Prince George. Be sure to come out and see who will be leading the points at the half way point. Can Matt Stephenson do the near impossible and win three in a row? See you at the track.