ASA AC Delco Challenge Series Report and Results: Pennsylvania 400
1 October 1997Jennerstown. PA - Steve Carlson played a guessing game with Mother Nature and by guessing right he was able to claim the victory in the Pennsylvania 400 at Jennerstown Speedway. Carlson, in the Clean Burn/Phillips 66 Trop Artic/AFCO Pontiac, decided to stay on the track while others made pit stops and by doing so he was in the lead when rain came and caused the race to be called official after just 290 laps of the 400 scheduled. Ted Smokstad finished in second with Scott Hansen making another strong run into third. Kevin Cywinski and Joe Nott rounded out the top five.
"The first time it rained, I thought it would keep up," Carlson said afterwards as he collected $16,910. "Before the restart we made a pit stop. When there was that quick yellow and just about everyone pitted, we were thinking of stopping. Our spotter said it felt like rain and crew chief Howie (Lettow) made the call to stay out."
Scott Hansen in the Ken Schrader Racing Chevrolet took the point at the start of the race from the pole position and led for the first 31 laps until Mike Eddy was able to assume the point in the GM Goodwrench Service Plus/HRE Pontiac by passing Hansen in turn three. Eddy, who would lead 194 laps, kept the front spot until the first round of pit stops by the leaders on lap 130 when ASA officials threw a competition yellow following 100 laps of green flag racing.
Gary St Amant took advantage of some quick pit work by his crew to get the WYNN'S/Western Michigan Chevy Dealers Chevrolet out first and led Hansen, Eddy, Cywinski and Bob Senneker back to the restart. Eddy wasted no time reassuming the lead as he passed St Amant on the outside as the cars came off turn two on lap 142. Eddy would hold the lead until the first rain began to fall and the red flag came out on lap 236. Carlson, St Amant, Cywinski and Senneker were the cars behind Eddy when the race was stopped.
After a one hour rain delay, Eddy was forced to the pits to replace a right rear tire that was going flat. Others of the top runners also made routine pit stops and when the green flew again it was Hansen in the lead followed by Jack Landis in the Adirondak/Lyndaker/Maisto Ford. Third place was held by the Valvoline/Allan Nott Toyota/Raabe Ford of Joe Nott.
On the restart Yale Conley spun coming out of turn two and collected the cars of Tom Jones and Senneker. With this caution most of the leaders headed for the pits and left side tires.
Ted Smokstad in the Build-A-Mold/Trimplas/LA Electric Pontiac inherited the lead with Carlson, Hansen, Cywinski, and Nott trailing him to the restart.
On lap 242 Billy Turner spun and took the cars of Sean Dupuis and Steve Holzhausen out of the race. Also involved, but able to continue were Landis and Rick Beebe.
Smokstad continued to lead pursued by the lapped car of Brad Loney and Carlson and Hansen. Loney went to the high side and passed Smokstad on lap 284 and Carlson, realizing that there was still a groove there, also made the pass on the outside to take the lead.
On lap 286 St Amant spun and hit the wall in turn two and the light mist that had been falling for several laps turned into a steady rain and on lap 290 ASA officials threw the checkered flag and declared the race official.
Hansen moved to second in the ASA ACDelco Challenge Series points standing following his third place finish, 162 points behind the Tecumseh Motorsports Pontiac of Cywinski. St Amant was classified as finishing eighth after slapping the wall and is now in third, two points behind Hansen.
The only way Kevin (Cywinski) can lose the Championship is to break down," Hansen said. "They're point racing now and Kevin is too smart a driver to let the points lead get away from him."
Eddy, whose string of winless races has grown to 30, was awarded the WYNN'S WYNNING Move Award for his strong run early in the event.
The next race for the ASA ACDelco Challenge Series will be Sunday Oct 5th at Salem Speedway in southern Indiana.
John Kaiser -- The Autochannel
Jennerstown Speedway - Provisional results for the ASA ACDelco Challenge Series, Pennsylvania 400: Ps.Ql.No. Driver , Car Laps -- -- ---- ----------------------------------------------------- ----- 1 14 87 Steve Carlson(R)Baker Enterprises/Clean Burn PONT 290 2 7 32 Ted Smokstad Corp. Auto/SMS Parts PONT 290 3 1 52 Scott Hansen AFCO Racing Products PONT 290 4 13 1 Kevin Cywinski Tecumseh/LaFavre Racing PONT 290 5 10 48 Joe Nott Valvoline/Allan Nott Toyota/RaabeFORD 290 6 4 88 Mike Eddy GM Goodwrench Service/HRE PONT 290 7 9 84 Bob Senneker Lane Auto/JR Automation/Mr GasketFORD 290 8 8 7 Gary St Amant Wynn's/W Michigan Chevy Dealers CHEV 290 9 18 35 Buddy Schrock Big A Auto Parts/UniDial CHEV 289 10 16 51 Brandon Sperling Sperling Motorsports CHEV 289 11 17 23 Rick Beebe St Louis Gear/Royal Machine PONT 289 12 5 33 Brad Loney Bunsaver/Hunter's Spec/Flexsteel PONT 289 13 15 07 Jack Landis Adirondak/Lyndaker/Maisto/N.YoderFORD 288 14 6 72 Junior Hanley Skillman Motorsports PONT 288 15 3 8 Mike Garvey AFCO Racing Products PONT 288 16 26 3 Yale Conley West Virginia Motor Speedway CHEV 288 17 31 11 Doug Mayr(R) No Touch Car Care/Aqua Splash CHEV 288 18 28 98 Todd Forbes Axle Handler/Ridgeway FORD 287 19 25 31 Rick Miller Precision Chassis CHEV 287 20 30 93 Tim Sauter Build-A-Mold/Trimpals/Moldplas PONT 287 21 23 0 Tom Jones Jones Motorsports PONT 287 22 27 38 Gary Terry DeVrou/Crookston/Ringers ResourceCHEV 287 23 20 55 Bobby Gill Leo M/S/Wehr/Racing Adventures PONT 287 24 32 80 Harold Fair Jr MSM Power CHEV 285 25 24 58 Billy Turner Sanifill/Central Fiber PONT 285 26 22 79 Mike Cofer (R) Black & Decker Versa Pack PONT 280 27 12 5 Steve Holzhausen Structural Transport FORD 243 28 19 4 Jimmie Johnson West Michigan Chevy Dealers/Lane CHEV 237 29 29 67 Sean Dupuis Razor performance Products CHEV 236 30 11 6 Dave Sensiba Engineered Polymer/W MI Auto AuctPONT 146 31 2 18 Mike Miller South East Air Service PONT 131 32 21 81 Harold Fair Car Quest/ACDelco/Victor Reinz PONT 111 (R)= Pat Schauer Memorial Rookie Candidate Lap Leaders : Hansen, Eddy,St Amant, Smokstad, Carlson Cautions : 6 for 62 laps Track Length : 0.5000 Miles