AUDIO/RECAP: Saturday Special; Peck Storms to Second Career Rumble Triumph

Jacob Seelman Audio, Featured, Indoor Racing, Midwest, Other Midgets, Sprints & Midgets 0 Comments

FORT WAYNE, Ind. — Audio and story by Managing Editor Jacob Seelman for Speed77 Radio and Race Chaser Online — Chris Seelman photo —

For the second year in a row, the “Saturday Special” at the Rumble in Fort Wayne was exactly to Justin Peck’s liking.

Peck, who a year ago became the youngest winner in Rumble history at the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum, used patience and a brilliantly-executed move to the inside of outside-polesitter Jim Anderson on lap 32 of the 50-lap National Midget feature and drove away from the field, weathering a late-race red flag with three laps to go to claim a convincing win on the concrete.

The victory (from the pole) was Peck’s second career Rumble in Fort Wayne triumph and his second win in the last three Rumble features.

“I knew we had to be patient, because there was a lot of racing to go when (Anderson) started slipping early,” Peck said in Victory Lane. “It was crazy, he finally slipped up once down in turn one and I was able to stick the nose down under him and get the lead. From there, the car was golden; I mean, it just kept getting better and better there towards the end and it was a dream to drive.”

Just because it was easy to drive, didn’t mean the 16-year-old wasn’t nervous when the final caution and subsequent red flag came out.

“It was all about hitting our marks there after that last wreck. You just try not to think about it, and we were able to pull away for the checkers. It’s an awesome feeling, this was the best the car’s been all weekend here tonight.”

Four-time Rumble feature winner Billy Wease snatched second away from Anderson on the final lap of Saturday’s feature, but said he did not have enough to make a run at the win.

“We were having some motor problems there during the second half of the race, but it’s still a great run for our Burrow team,” Wease said following the race. “Justin drove a heck of a race, congrats to him — but I’m feeling pretty confident after this second place run tonight. I know we can come back tomorrow and have a car capable of winning the feature and hopefully we’ll be able to make it happen.”

Anderson crossed the line third, with Friday winner Anthony Nocella and David Gough completing the top five at the finish.

Cooper Clouse came home sixth in the only Munchkin to make the feature, with Bryan Nuckles seventh and Nick Hamilton eighth — the last car running of the 16 starters at the checkered flag.

The caution-riddled event saw ten caution flags in all, including the final wreck involving Brian Gerster, Geoff Kaiser and Nocella which drew the red flag and set up the dash to the finish.

Derek Bischak, Joe Ligouri and Jimmy McCune won consolation features to transfer to the A-main.

Knupp, Gough, Wease, Kyle Hamilton and Anderson all won heat races. Major controversy arose during heat three however – when a botched restart with a push truck flashing yellow lights in turn one caused Russ Gamester to instinctively slow – costing Gamester a transfer spot to the A-main.

The scariest moment of the night came when Jack Mangeot caught some air coming off of turn four in heat number one and went flying into the frontstretch catch fencing. Mangeot walked out of his No. 92 Burrow car unhurt but half of the frontstretch fencing was torn down, requiring a 15-minute red flag for repairs.

In the winged 600cc midget class, the Rumble saw a first-time winner as Ben Quinones surged past Chase Ridenour at the halfway point of the 30 lap A-main, just before a caution came out with 13 laps to go for a spinning Mark Zumbrun. Quinones then powered away on the final green flag run to score a long-awaited victory for he and his entire family.

“It was a big relief to finally get the first win here,” the Mooresville, North Carolina resident said after receiving his trophy. “I knew I had to run a smart, patient race and I timed my moves just right and we had the best car at the end — there was nobody that was getting us.”

Pre-race favorite Erick Rudolph was involved in a skirmish with Cap Henry in turn three on lap two that sent him to the tail, and worked his way back to fourth before the lap 17 caution. Rudolph was making a pass on Jonathon Lesiecki at the time and disputed where race officials were scoring him under the yellow — those same officials then put him to the rear for disobeying race control and he wound up finishing tenth.

Rudolph would rebound in the non-winged 600cc midget feature however, starting on the front row and leading all 25 laps en route to his third Rumble victory in the last three years (after winning the opening night winged feature in 2012 and 2013).

Rudolph also becomes the first driver to ever win in both the winged and non-winged 600cc midget classes.

“Finally, we got this car running well and I think we had a track that worked for us there in the feature,” Rudolph said. “We’ve struggled the last two days with the car bicycling and we’ve been chasing it, but we’ve been getting closer and closer and that’s as stout as we’ve been so far in that feature there.”

“Tomorrow’s a new day though; we’ll come back then and see what we can do then.”

Veteran John Ivy, a past competitor in the midget, winged outlaw midget and kart classes at the Rumble, was the inaugural David Lesiecki Award winner. The award is presented in memory of the Lesiecki, a longtime quarter midget race coordinator at the Rumble who died unexpectedly last March at age 47.

The award, voted on by series officials, will be presented annually to the “driver who best exemplifies the spirit and dedication to racing that was (Lesiecki’s) trademark.”

“John is our all-time feature winner,” said Rumble Series president Tony Barhorst said, “but this award is for his sportsmanship and willingness to help others. He very much deserves it.”

Dustin Heath (Sr. Heavy), Shawn Kluck (Sr. Medium), Brandon Dunn (Sr. Caged), Korbyn Hayslett (Jr. Heavy, Jr. Caged), Zach Axlen (Heavy Clone), Phillip Schneider (Light Clone) and Patrick Clark (Kid) all won go-kart features on the night.

Quarter midgets also ran on the Saturday card, however those results were not available at publication.


RESULTS: Rumble in Fort Wayne; Allen County War Memorial Coliseum; Dec. 27, 2014

National Midget Feature (50 laps) – 1. Justin Peck, 2. Billy Wease, 3. Jim Anderson, 4. Anthony Nocella, 5. David Gough, 6. Cooper Clouse, 7. Bryan Nuckles, 8. Nick Hamilton, 9. Geoff Kaiser, 10. Brian Gerster, 11. Brandon Knupp, 12. Jimmy McCune, 13. Bobby Santos III, 14. Derek Bischak, 15. Joe Liguori, 16. Kyle Hamilton.

Lap leaders: Anderson 1-31, Peck 32-50.

Audio with race winner Justin Peck:

Audio with runner-up Billy Wease:

Audio with 3rd-place Jim Anderson:

Consolation feature winners: Derek Bischak, Joe Ligouri, Jimmy McCune

Audio with Consi 3 transfer Brian Gerster:

Audio with Consi 3 non-transfer Austin Nemire:

Audio with Consi 3 non-transfer Ross Rankine:

Heat Race Winners: Brandon Knupp, David Gough, Billy Wease, Kyle Hamilton, Jim Anderson

Audio with Heat 4 winner Kyle Hamilton:

Audio with Jack Mangeot following his crash into the catchfence in Heat 1:

Winged 600cc Modified Midget Feature (25 laps) – 1. Ben Quinones, 2. Brad Lamberson, 3. Chase Ridenour, 4. A.J. Lesiecki, 5. Drew Dorsett, 6. Rusty Strausbaugh, 7. Howard McCormick, 8. Bill Dunham, 9. Tyler Fitzpatrick, 10. Erick Rudolph, 11. Matt Farnham, 12. Ginny Quinones, 13. Mark Zumbrun, 14. Cap Henry.

Lap leaders: Zumbrun 1-5, Ridenour 6-15, B. Quinones 16-30.

Audio with race winner Ben Quinones:

Non-Winged 600cc Dirt Outlaw Modified Midget Feature (25 laps) – 1. Erick Rudolph, 2. Mike Fedorcak, 3. Russ Gamester, 4. Blane Culp, 5. Clay Sanders, 6. Braiden Black, 7. Jaden Rogers, 8. Daniel Robinson, 9. Phil Bozell, 10. Richard Smith, 11. Shawn Grace, 12. Kim Hughes, 13. Larry Joe Sroufe, 14. Jonathon Lesiecki, 15. Matt Janisch, 16. Jason Ormsby.

Lap leaders: Rudolph 1-25.

Audio with race winner Erick Rudolph:

Senior Heavy Kart Feature (15 laps) – Dustin Heath, Shawn Kluck, Travis Fisher, Matt Randall, Josh McKnight, Jake Shelley, Cody Gallogly, Cole Ternet Sr., Nick Grommes, Kyle Kalweit, Andrew Johnson, Cole Ternet Sr., Kyle Burns, Teddy Alberts.

Senior Medium Kart Feature (15 laps) – Shawn Kluck, Dustin Heath, John Ivy, Travis Fisher, Derek Hammond, Zach Wolff, Ronnie Niehaus, Nate Randall, A.J. Robinson, Levi Wilbur, Sierra Lantz, Wayne Parkhurst, Steven Webb, Andrew Johnson.

Senior Caged Kart Feature (15 laps) – Brandon Dunn, Dan Bouc, Philip Schneider, Branson Dils, Cole Rhoton, Brad Schieber, Joe Warner, Max Stambaugh, Dylan Woodling, John Ventrello, Brandon Schnittke, Anthony Colandro, Steven Berlin, Ron Vandermeir Jr.

Junior Heavy Kart Feature (15 laps) – Korbyn Hayslett, Sam Weaver, Tayte Williamson, Gene Gregoric III, Dylan Anderson, Kaitlin Randall, Connor Truman, Andrew Scheid, Michael Paterno, Amanda Bohn, Hannah Galitz.

Junior Caged Kart Feature (15 laps) – Korbyn Hayslett, Tayte Williamson, Kasey Ziebold, Breiden Mooney, Aiden Williamson, Owen Houpt, Madison Bland, Ian Creager, Jakeb Boxell, Gene Gregoric III, Griffin Hisle, Jaden Cretacci, Paige Rogers.

Heavy Clone Kart Feature (15 laps) – Zach Axlen, Dustin Heath, Jake Shelley, Brandon Dunn, Joey Pendergrass, Ryan Moran, Philip Schneider, Tyler Kramer, Josh McKnight, Joe Barker, Matt Browning, Kyle Pervis, Derek Lilly, Kobe Allison.

Light Clone Kart Feature (15 laps) – Philip Schneider, Dustin Heath, Brandon Dunn, Zach Axlen, Jake Shelley, Joey Pendergrass, Ryan Moran, Max Stambaugh, Kobe Allison, Charlie Schultz, Zack Wolff, Joe Barker, Jake Wachtman, Tyler Kramer.

Kid Kart Feature (10 laps) – Patrick Clark, Cameron Vandermeir, Brodie Wendel, Parker Lindemann, Hunter Weaver, Garrett Andexler, Drew Phillips, David Bretz, Jackson Orth.

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