Buckwalter Drives Heffner To ARDC Checkers, Irvin Gets Econo Lates
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Port Royal The national stars of USAC blew through Port Royal Speedway on Saturday night for the Eastern Storm, with The Madman, Robert Ballou of Rocklin, Calif., taking the 30-lap, $6,000 victory in a cushion-pounding performance.
In the 20-lap ARDC Midget main it was Steve Buckwalter of Royersford driving Mike Heffners No. 27 midget taking the victory from deep in the field.
The victory was Buckwalters third at the track this season counting a pair of sprint car wins earlier. It was also car owner Heffners third midget win of the season with as many drivers.
Point leader Eric Irving of Petersburg overtook Andrew Yoder in the 20-lap championship for econo late models to close out the night.
Some 28 USAC National Sprint Cars entered competition for the Port Royal leg of the 2015 Eastern Storm Series with The Throttle, Shane Cottle of Kokomo, Ind., setting quick time in track record form for a wingless 410 sprint.
Cottle set the mark at 18.997 seconds however he failed to qualify through his heat race, instead driving into the feature through the B Main.
The 30-lap USAC feature began with Landon Simon of Tipp City, Oh., and Logan Jarrett of Kokomo, Ind., lined up on the front row with Tracy Hines and Ballou in row two.
Only one caution flag slowed the hectic non-wing pace, on the 14th tour.
Prior to that time, Simon took the lead at the start with Jarrett falling backwards while former USAC champion Hines raced into second.
Ballou slid backward at the beginning of the event, giving way to Chase Stockon of Elizabethtown, Ind., as Hines worked on the leader for control.
But Simon was up to the task, driving what by all accounts was the race of his career to date, using both sides of the speedway to maintain control.
Meanwhile, Ballou seemed stalled in fifth until just before the lone caution, when he motored into fourth.
And on the restart, the 26-year old went to work driving to the front, pounding the cushion into submission to ride by Stockon for third on the 15th tour before blasting past Hines with 12 laps to go.
Once Ballou got his pace going, his power on the cushion was clear and he used that speed and a run into the first turn to take the lead.
He dropped down from the second turn rough on the 19th tour to steer his No. 12 inside of Simon on the backchute to take the lead as the pair powered into the third corner.
With the lead, Ballou pulled away from any challenges during the final 10 laps although Stockon did have designs on the checkers.
He got by Simon for second with three laps to go and ran down Ballous advantage before the finish, still falling short of the top spot at the end by 1.072 seconds and closing.
Simon ended up with a podium in third followed by Hines, New Castle, Ind., and Jon Stanbrough, Avon, Ind.
Sixth through 10th went to Dave Darland, Lincoln, Ind.; defending Eastern Storm and National USAC champion Brady Bacon, Broken Arrow, Ok.; Justin Grant, Ione, Calif.; Logan Jarrett, Kokomo, Ind.; and Shane Cottle, Kokomo, Ind.
Heats went to Bacon, Ballou and Darland with Stanbrough taking the B Main.
Jim Radney led at the start of the ARDC Midget main with Ryan Greth racing in second.
Steve Buckwalter started 11th in the field and roared to the front, racing fourth on just the third lap.
He methodically drove by the cars of Brett Wanner, Greth and then leader Radney on the seventh tour to take command and check out on the field for the win.
Radney rode home second followed by Greth, Bruce Buckwalter Jr., and Steve Drevicki.
Heats for the 15-car field went to Trevor Kobylarz and Greth.
Kobylarz fell out of third in the feature event with five laps to go after spinning in the fourth turn while trying to race into second spot.
Point leader Eric Irvin started eighth in the econo late model feature while second starter Andrew Yoder took the lead.
Yoder set the pace through nearly the entire race until getting bottled up in traffic with two laps to go.
Upon running up on a backmarker on the frontchute, the pair made contact with both cars turning sideways while Irving motored by into the lead after taking second on the fifth tour.
Irvin went on to claim the win by a margin of 1.291seconds over Yoder, Tim Fedder, Harold Ranck and Shaun Miller.
Heats went to Shaun Miller and Jared Fulkroad.
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USAC 410 sprints, 30 laps: 1. Robert Ballou, 2. Chase Stockon, 3. Landon Simon, 4. Tracy Hines, 5. Jon Stanbrough, 6. Dave Darland, 7. Brady Bacon, 8. Justin Grant, 9. Logan Jarrett, 10. Shane Cottle, 11. C.J. Leary, 12. Chris Windom, 13. Aaron Farney, 14. Kevin Thomas Jr., 15. Kyle Cummins, 16. Trevor Kobylarz, 17. Chad Boespflug, 18. Jarett Andretti, 19. J.R. Berry, 20. Joey Biasi, 21. Casey Shuman, 22. Isaac Chapple.
DNQ: Brett Arndt, Michael Hamer, Dick Mahoney, Richard Vander Weerd, Rick Horn, Robert Bell
Econo late models, 20 laps: 1. Eric Irvin, 2. Andrew Yoder, 3. Tim Fedder, 4. Harold Ranck, 5. Shaun Miller, 6. Troy Miller, 7. Jared Fulkroad, 8. Bobby Ballentine, 9. Rod Stroup, 10. Garrett Gray, 11. Curt Dunn, 12. Jason Nace, 13. Chase Bowsman, 14. Dylan Stake, 15. Devin Hart
ARDC Midgets, 20 laps: 1. Steve Buckwalter, 2. Jim Radney, 3. Ryan Greth, 4. Bruce Buckwalter Jr., 5. Steve Drevicki, 6. Brett Arndt, 7. PJ Gargiulo, 8. Brett Wanner, 9. Trevor Kobylarz, 10. Nick Wean, 11. Shawn Jackson, 12. PJ Pavlich, 13. Jim Jackson, 14. Brian Gilmore, 15. Mark Gilmore
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