RANSOMVILLE, NY — official release — At no point during the racing action Friday Night did it appear that Jason Barney was poised to claim the win, but after all the dust had settled on a wild night, he would be the one walking away with the top prize.
Barney, of Brewerton, NY, was declared the winner of the A-Verdi Patriot Sprint Tour event at Ransomville after post-race technical inspection revealed initial winner Jared Zimbardi’s No. 35 had used an unapproved tire, relegating the PST point leader to a last-place finish.
“I feel like this is just a higher-paying second-place,” stated Barney after the race. “I know Jared’s deal was a mistake, they had a better car than us and drove the better race.”
Zimbardi took the penalty graciously considering the circumstances, noting afterwards, “We were in scramble mode a little bit before the feature and never realized it until tech. The funny thing is it was a 410 tire made to unhook the car but obviously it still wasn’t right.”
The penalty would cap off a feature that saw nearly a half-dozen drivers appear poised to claim the win. Steve Collins won his heat and started on the pole, but on the second lap his car dipped in to the frontstretch moat, came back across the track and through the infield, which put mud on his tires and spun around the No. 67. Chuck Hebing would make contact with Collins and behind them Kyle Drum would flip and Derek Jonathan would slam the wall hard.
On lap six, leader Kevin Ward Jr. was run down by local favorite Stewart Friesen and as Ward slipped up behind a lapped car, Friesen attempted to go three-wide, but ran over the right rear of the lapped car resulting in his No. 33 slamming the outside wall in turn three and breaking the steering, knocking him out of competition.
On lap 15, Chuck Hebing had come from the back to drive up to fourth, but began to spin entering turn one. Despite saving his No. 45, a chain reaction would result in Ransomville’s Dave Just spinning his No. 54J like a top and nearly flipping over.
As the finish closed in, Kevin Ward Jr. continued to dominate the feature, backing up his potentially track-record lap of 14.434 seconds he ran in hot laps. Jared Zimbardi had started to reel in Ward but with two laps remaining was running out of time, that is until the duo entered turn one, where a lapped car tagged the wall in front of the leader; with Ward already committed to the high line, he did what he could to avoid but still made contact with the flipping car. During the red flag, officials saw a bent frame and broken W-link, forcing the No. 13 pitside.
Zimbardi would inherit the lead, even with a bowling ball-sized hole punched in the right side panel of his wing from the crash, but by staying on the top, no one was going to pass the “Juice”.
Barney was going to be pleased with second and was happy enough to be on the front stretch at the end of the night. “Honestly, I felt like I was in a matrix the first five laps, just dodging bullets. I put ourselves in some bad spots a few times, so we were just lucky to get through it. I guess it was just our night.”
Earlier in the night, Barney finished third in his heat race, sending him to the Evingham Site Excavation Four Laps of Fame, which he won for the first time in his career. With the A-Main win, “Racin Jason” becomes the third driver in series history to win the Four Laps of Fame Dash and the Feature on the same night. Incidentally, Barney did win a feature back in 2008 from the dash, but finished second in the Four Laps of Fame event.
Chuck Hebing would end up with a second place finish. It is the first time in 2014 that “Cobra” did not win a PST event he competed in and is also the first time since 2007 he did not win a Ransomville Patriot race he ran. It is also worth noting that the last time a driver had a PST win taken away for an unapproved tire, it was in 2008 when Hebing inherited the victory from Scott Bonnell.
Glenn Styres would end up third in his first trip to Ransomville since 2007, while local driver Don Adamczyk would finish fourth in his fourth start of the year. Despite break issues keeping Scott Kreutter from running his heat race, along with a detached hood and MSD cover in the feature, the 2012 Champion drove from dead-last to round out the top five.
Paul Habeck won heat race two, the first of his PST career and backed it up with a PST-best sixth place run. Mitch Brown was seventh while Steve Glover drove up 12 spots to finish eighth. Parker Evans was forced to run the feature without a nose wing after the bracket was broken off in the heats, but he was still able to finish ninth, just ahead of fellow rookie Dane Lorenc, who drove up 11 spots to round out the top 10.
This was the first time since 2007 that the Patriot Sprint Tour made multiple appearances at Ransomville in a single season. Along with Habeck and Collins winning their respectives heats, Dave Just claimed his first career heat race win. A strong crowd was on hand to take in the 23 sprint cars flying around the tactical track, with pleasant skies around Niagara County despite stronger storms in the region.
For more information, visit www.PatriotSprintTour.com.
Patriot Sprint Tour America Series Results: 8/1/14, Ransomville Speedway, Ransomville, NY.
A-Verdi A-Main (25 Laps)- 1. Jason Barney (87), 2. Chuck Hebing (45), 3. Glenn Styres (0), 4. Don Adamczyk (21), 5. Scott Kreutter (10B), 6. Paul Habeck (25H), 7. Mitch Brown (10), 8. Steve Glover (121), 9. Parker Evans (61), 10. Dane Lorenc (00), 11. Brad Knab (38), 12. Kevin Ward Jr. (13), 13. Dan Bennett (99), 14. Tyler Graves (25G), 15. Jeremy Barnard (86), 16. Dave Just (54J), 17. Steve Collins (67), 18. Stewart Friesen (33), 19. Scott Just (54JR), 20. Derek Jonathan (81), 21. Kyle Drum (47), 22. Jared Zimbardi (35), DNS. Stan Zanchin (94)
Lap Leaders- Ward 1-23, Zimbardi 24-25.
Evingham Site Excavation Four Laps of Fame (4 Laps)- 1. Jason Barney (87), 2. Mitch Brown (10), 3. Glenn Styres (0), 4. Jared Zimbardi (35), 5. Brad Knab (38), 6. Derek Jonathan (81).
Heats (8 Laps Each)-
Race 1: D. Just, Frisen, Brown, Ward, Zimbardi, Graves, Bennett, Kreutter (DNS).
Race 2: Habeck, S. Just, Adamczyk, Knab, Jonathan, Evans, Lorenc, Zanchin (DNS).
Race 3: Collins, Hebing, Barney, Styres, Drum, Barnard, Glover.
Patriot Sprint Tour America Series Point Standings (Top 10)- Zimbardi 1542, Collins 1368, Knab 1344, D. Just 1324, S. Just 1257, Jonathan 1252, Lorenc 1238, Kreutter 1231, Graves 1170, Evans 1116.
Four Laps of Fame Dash for Cash Series Point Standings (Top Five)- Polyak and D. Just 17, Knab 16, Evans 14, Collins 12.
Hard Charger of the Season Point Standings (Top Five)– Polyak and Lorenc 31, Kreutter 23, S.Glover 18, Adamczyk and Evans 17.