FLAT ROCK - A tremendous effort by the race teams and track officials at Flat Rock Speedway allowed the Season Championship Night to be completed Saturday evening, despite 2 heavy downpours.The first drenching occurred just as the first feature was to start, while the second one hit the track at the completion of the Late Model feature.Even with losing just short of 2 hours of track time, the entire show, including a great fireworks display, was competed by 11:15 p.m.
Paul Pelletier, Jeremy Miller, Frank Jiovani and Don Roberts are the 2012 track champions. Each driver thanked the crowd for attending the races despite the rainy night in post-race interviews with track Assistant General Manager Casey Wagner.
With the 9 heat races being completed in just 45 minutes, the ARCA Moran Chevrolet Late Model feature rolled onto the track at 7:55 p.m. Just as the 21 car field was gridded, the rain began, sending the cars back to the pits. At 9:06, the green flag flew and Eric Lee jumped into the lead, looking for his 1st win of the season. Only 1 yellow flag slowed the event, which gave Paul Pelletier a shot at the lead. On the double-file restart, Paul jumped outside and motored by Eric on lap 24 and sailed to the big win, icing his track championship in grand style. Lee grabbed second, third was Derek Wiley, fourth went to Dennis Strickland and Dan Ford Jr. was fifth, moving up from his 11th place start position. Stan Yee Jr., Steve Cronenwett Jr., Terry Bogusz, Chris Benson and George Rangel completed the top ten finishers. Wiley set fast time at 11:692, with heat wins to Yee Jr., Ford Jr. and Jimmy Thiel.
The ARCA Parts Galore Figure 8 drivers stepped to the front and agreed to run their 25 lap Season Championship on a slick track. The Street Stock A Main was on the track and ready to go after the Late Model event, but the rains once again saturated the speedway, causing yet another delay. With more rain looming around the area, the Figure 8 drivers were called together and agreed to run their race in the wet, with many drivers taking out their windshields to avoid fogging. The race began 45 minutes later as Jeremy Miller grabbed the lead at the start as the field maneuvered through the intersection and turns, not far off their usual pace. Miller got tagged from behind and spun, allowing Gary Cronenwett to pick up the lead. Several laps later, that pair crashed at the intersection, giving Jeremy Vanderhoof the top spot. With 2 laps to go, Danny Gaddis was right with Vanderhoof and was able to slide by at the white flag, taking over the top spot and the win to score his 2nd win of 2012. Vanderhoof held second spot, Robbie Loving was third, Dennis Whisman fourth and Greg Studt fifth, followed by Jerry Lee, Danny Apperson, Cronenwett, Scott Apperson and Steve Chartrand. Miller came home 11th, giving Jeremy his first Flat Rock title. Jeremy set fast time at 20:807, with heat race wins going to Whisman and Scott Apperson.
The best race of the night came in the 30 lap ARCA DTS Drive Train Specialists Street Stock A Main Season finale'. Point leader Frank Jiovani started on the pole after an 8 was pulled for the inversion. Looking for his 1st championship, Frank motored into the lead at the green, but he had plenty of company throughout the event. Clyde McKee got by as the laps wound down, with Jiovani tucked on his bumper and Tadek Stadnizuk running the high line, along with Rob and Tim Moore in the hunt as well as Rich Frantz. The group battled hard and provided great racing as Clyde stayed in front to win his 4th race of the season. Stadniczuk, going up to the third groove, claimed second and Jiovani was third, giving the youngster his 1st-ever championship. Rob Moore, Tim Moore, Frantz, Kyle Worley, Landon Schuster, Grant Hedges and Steve Chartrand rounded out the top 10.
While Don Roberts had already clinched his Street Stock B Main crown, the 15 lap B race win was on the horizon for Don. He stayed out front for 14 laps, only to spin with just 1 lap to go. Chris Fitzpatrick had charged up from his 6th starting spot and was challenging for the lead when the yellow appeared. On the restart, Chris zipped away to claim the win, giving him a clean sweep by setting fast time, winning his heat and the main event. Jeff Luttermoser, Aaron Greathouse, Anthony Camilli, Roberts, Steve Theobald, Mark Lavoie and Rick Bennett trailed Chris at the stripe.
Stadniczuk set the Fastime Racing Engines and Parts fast time for the 32 car field at 13:560, while Fitzpatrick led the B field at 14:378. Jiovani, Terry Lilley, Rich Abel and Fitzpatrick took the heat race wins.
Saturday night, September 8 is a first at Flat Rock Speedway as the stock-bodied Late Models of the ARCA/CRA Super Series pay a visit for the running of the 7-Up 125. A strong field of drivers are already entered, including Kenzie Ruston, one of the top female Stock Car drivers in America. The 300 lap Enduro championship is also on tap, giving race fans 425 laps of racing! Big Wheel races for kids 10 and under will take place prior to the start of the show!
The pit area will open at 1 p.m. for the ARCA/CRA teams and 4:30 for the Enduro teams. ARCA/CRA practice runs from 3:30 to 4:30, with time trials at 5:30 and the Big Wheel races at 6 p.m.
An on-track autograph session with the ARCA/CRA drivers is set for 6:30 and racing begins at 7 p.m. Tickets will go on sale at 4:30 p.m. race day at the track. Fans may purchase their tickets online at www.flatrockspeedway.com. Like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/toledoflatrock or follow us on Twitter @flatrockspeed.