WOODRING TOPS THE FIELD AT GASPORT
By Dave Cook
Grand Island residents in bold
Billy ‘Zoomer’ Krull of Wheatfield, N.Y.and Mike Woodring of Eden, N.Y. kicked off the final month of racing for the Southern Ontario Sprints (SOS) when Krull won at Ransomville, New York Friday and Woodring took the nod at Gasport International Speedway in Port Colborne, Ontario Sunday.
Interestingly, Woodring’s win at Gasport International Speedway capped a perfect weekend for the perennial ESS champion as he drove to a well earned win Saturday night at Black Rock Speedway when he won the prestigious Bully Hill Vineyards event.
Friday, Krull started fourth in a 20-car field behind series points leader Keith Dempster of Alton, Ontario, John Reigling of Chatham, Ontario and Ransomville’s Dave Wallaber.
At the end of the first tour Krull was challenging Dempster and by lap five the hard-charging rookie went into the lead, which he held for the remaining distance. The race went green-to-checker for the entire 20 laps. In fact, not one caution flew all evening.
Krull, who has raced at Ransomville in other divisions, used his previous track experience to his advantage.
“I knew the track was going to be dry. We were the last feature and after all the other divisions ran, I knew what to expect. We changed a couple of things after the heat. My only worry was Dempster.
“He ran the outside and I know he will sometimes bait you. I took an inside line and had a good run on him and caught him,” said Krull.
Dempster finished second while Warren Mahoney of Lefroy, Ontario, finished third, having past Reigling on the17th tour. Wallaber, who according to car owner Vinnie Christiano Jr.of Tonawanda, N.Y., adapts to race cars like a fish in water, finished fifth. Wallaber, a rookie, was driving Christiano’s back-up racer.
Rochester’s Mike Lauterborn drove to a sixth place finish from his ninth place starting slot while Curt Sherwood of Sanborn, N.Y. placed seventh. Sherwood began his charge from 14th position on the grid.
Rounding out the top 10 were Jim Porter of Grand Island, N.Y, Garry Evans of London, Ontario and Christiano Jr.
Glenn Styers of Ohsweken, Ontario finished 11th,Dick Mahoney of Newmarket, Ontario came home in 12th place.
Mahoney had a rear axle snap into two pieces in the warm-ups and damaged his mount enough that he missed the qualifying heats and had to start at the rear of the field.
Adam West of Ridgetown, Ontario was 13th with Tim Phillips of Grand Island, N.Y., and Carl Babcock of Lyndonville, N.Y., rounding out the top 15 positions.
On Sunday night Woodring treated the Port Colborne area fans to the style of racing that has elevated him to near legendary status in the north-east when he waged a battle with Burlington, Ontario’s Ryan Coniam for 14 of the 20 laps, passing the popular Burlington ace on lap 18 to go on for the win.
The race, which was the inaugural SOS event for Gasport International Speedway, had a total of four cautions, three of which came in the first four laps.
The race got off to an exciting start with Lauterborn moving from a fifth place starting position into the lead on the second tour of the 4-10ths mile clay oval. Woodring, who started seventh, carved a similar path and moved into fourth place by lap two.
Coniam, starting from third, was hard on Lauterborn’s heels by lap four after having a terrible start which saw him move as far back as fifth right off the bat. At this stage, the first caution came out when Garry Evans spun. It took two attempts to get the race restarted as the first time Curt Sherwood, Dave Wallaber and Dick Mahoney tangled in turn three. Then at the next restart, Krull spun bringing out the third yellow flag.
When the race restarted Coniam moved into the lead with Lauterborn and Woodring close behind. Styers and Dempster were running fourth and fifth respectively. Lap six saw Woodring move past Lauterborn and the race started to become a close two-car battle between Coniam and Woodring.
The fourth caution came on lap 16 when Bob Mesmer of Grand Island, N.Y., spun. With four laps remaining after the restart, it was going to be a shoot-out between Coniam and Woodring. On lap 17 the cars crossed the finish line beside one another, on lap 18 Woodring moved to the top of the score sheets. On the final lap Coniam suddenly fell off the pace and Woodring flashed across the line about five car lengths ahead of the Burlington driver.
Dempster, whose outstanding effort was overshadowed by the action just ahead, earned a third place finish just ahead of Lauterborn. Finishing fifth was Phillips followed by Krull, Styers and Christiano Jr.
Ninth place went to Dick Mahoney with Porter, Armishaw, Wallaber, Ballantyne, Memser and Sherwood rounding out the top 15. Evans and McLeod were not running at the finish.
Friday results(September 6) Ransomville Speedway
SIGNET TOOLS HEAT ONE: 1. Warren Mahoney, Lefroy, Ontario, 2. Keith Dempster, Alton, Ontario, 3. John Reigling, Chatham, Ontario, 4.Glenn Styers, Ohsweken, Ontario, 5. Curt Sherwood, Sanborn, N.Y., 6. Dave Goetz, Tonawanda, N.Y.
SIGNET TOOLS HEAT TWO: 1. Mike Lauterborn, Rocherster, N.Y., 2. Billy Krull, Wheatfield, N.Y., 3. Vinnie Christiano Jr., Tonawanda, N.Y., 4. Garry Evans, London, Ontario, 5. Tim Phillips, Grand Island, N.Y., 6. Carl Babcock, Lyndonville, N.Y., 7. Phil Armishaw, Binbrook, Ontario.
SIGNET TOOLS HEAT THREE: 1. Jim Porter, Grand Island, N.Y., 2. Adam West, Ridgetown, Ontario, 3. Dave Wallaber, Ransomville, N.Y., 4. Dave McLeod, Tonawanda, N.Y., 5. Charles McCann, London, Ontario, 6. Paul Ballantyne, Brantford, Ontario
DASH FOR CASH: 1. Krull, 2. Lauterborn, 3. W.Mahoney, 4. Dempster, 5. West, 6. Porter.
FEATURE: 1. Krull, 2. Dempster, 3. W. Mahoney, 4. Reigling, 5. Wallaber, 6. Lauterborn, 7. Sherwood, 8. Porter, 9. Evans, 10. Christiano Jr., 11, Styers, 12. D.Mahoney, 13. West, 14. Phillips, 15. Babcock, 16. McCann, 17. Ballantyne, 18. McLeod, 19. Armishaw, 20. Goetz.
Sunday results(September 8)Gasport International Speedway
SIGNET TOOLS HEAT ONE: 1.Ryan Coniam, Burlington, Ontario; 2. Vinnie Christiano Jr.; 3. Wallaber; 4. Styers; 5.Porter; 6. Dempster; 7. Sherwood; 8.Armishaw; 9. McLeod.
SIGNET TOOLS HEAT TWO: 1.Mike Woodring, Eden. N.Y.; 2.Lauterborn; 3. Dick Mahoney; 4.Krull; 5. Evans; 6. Bob Mesmer, Grand Island, N.Y.; 7.Ballantyne; 8.Phillips.
DASH FOR CASH: 1. Coniam, 2. Lauterborn, 3. Woodring, 4. Christiano Jr.
FEATURE: 1. Woodring, 2. Coniam, 3. Dempster, 4. Lauterborn, 5.Phillips, 6. Krull, 7.Styers, 8. Christiano Jr., 9. D. Mahoney, 10. Porter, 11. Armishaw, 12. Wallaber, 13. Ballantyne, 14. Mesmer, 15. Sherwood, 16. Evans, 17. McLeod.
12. Charles McCann, London, Ontario, 1476; 13. Paul Ballantyne, Brantford, Ontario, 1268; 14. Bob Mesmer, Grand Island, N.Y.,1115; 15. Vinnie Christiano, Tonawanda, N.Y., 849.