"Damn, it feels good to be here." Were the first words out of Mertztowns Josh Weller mouth when he landed on the front stretch of the Williams Grove Speedway for his first victory since Big Diamond in 2019 with the United Racing Club. "We've been struggling for a couple of years here and I knew we would be good if we kept hitting our marks and keep rolling."
Derek Hauck and Tyler Brehm led the field of 24 qualifiers out of 32 entries to the green flag for the Club's first race at Williams Grove since 2020 with Brehm leading lap number one. But the lead wouldn't last long.
Contact between Brehm and Hauck would send both Brehm spinning in to turn number 1 leaving Doug Hammaker and 410 feature winner Devon Borden no place to go on the high side. Hauck would spin and continue on to be scored the leader. Borden would continue on but Hammaker and Brehm would be DNFs.
Racing would resume on lap two with Steve Buckwalter on the outside row for the restart and would take the lead from Hauck on lap 3. Buckwalter would go on to lead a good portion of the race by using the highside of the Grove on what was a fantasticly prepared surface.
Weller, who started 9th, would restart in the 5th spot would start his charge to the front by catfishing the bottom and would start the battle for the lead on lap 10. Buckwalter and Weller would battle side by side with Weller on the inside and would take the lead from Buckwalter on lap 12 coming off of turn number 2.
Buckwalter was not done tho as he would continue to rip the fence and drive down Weller inside 10 laps to go. Meanwhile Weller was stuck to the bottom and behind the lap car of Hayden Miller. The topside at this time was getting too wide around and Buckwalter could not make up any time on Weller. But just as Buckwalter had a run going in to turn 3 and Weller was held up by the lap car of Miller.
"At the end there it started taking a little bit of rubber around the bottom. We had the car set up the bottom" Weller said, " With the 410 guys here they'll always go to the top and we got to go where they're not if we want to beat them. We just needed to run our race and not make any mistakes."
The 2nd and final caution of the feature would come out with 8 laps to go as Brandon McGough, who was 18th at the time, spun in turn 4, facing the wrong direction and of course could not park there.
While all that was happening between Weller and Buckwalter. Devon Borden would come from the back of the field to the 5th position at the time of the yellow.
The double file restart would come with 7 laps remaining and Josh Weller would pull away from Steve Buckwalter to collect his first win of the season and with URC since 2019. Derek Locke, who had a 11 race limited sprint car ( 358/360) win streak snapped with a thrid place finish. Devon Borden and Derek Hauck rounded out the top 5.
The United Racing Club is back in action tonight for the 2nd night of the Battle of the Groves at The Selinsgrove Speedway. Gates open at 4pm Racing beings at 6pm
URC Sprints, 25 laps: 1. Josh Weller, 2. Steve Buckwalter, 3. Derek Locke, 4. Devon Borden, 5. Derek Hauck, 6. Lucas Wolfe, 7. Nash Ely, 8. Jason Shultz, 9. Jake Karklin, 10. Cody Fletcher, 11. Adam Carberry, 12. Mike Thompson, 13. Dallas Schott, 14. Andy Best, 15. Frankie Herr, 16. Devin Adams, 17. Jayden Wolfe, 18. Hayden Miller, 19. Brandon McGough, 20. Craig Pellegrini, 21. Jesse Pruchnik, 22. Ken Meisner, 23. Troy Betts, 24. Tyler Brehm, 25. Doug Hammaker
DNQ: Ryan Stillwaggon, Tyler Templin, Alyson Dietz, Denny Gross, Tim Stallings, Cameron Merriman, Brett Rose
Robert Wojcik on Apr 30, 2022
Article Date: 4/30/2022 by Bert Wojcik