WOODHULL, NY — Story and Audio by Race Chaser Online New York Correspondent Steven Ovens — Rich Vleck/PST photo — A beautiful night in the Southern Tier shined down on 27 Patriot Sprint Tour cars and race fans as they filed into ‘New York’s Toughest Bullring’ at the Woodhull Raceway.
Also great to see was the contingent of Canandaigua Motorsports Park 305 Sprint competitors who made the tow to the Southern Tier to take on the best that PST has to offer.
The guys to watch early on in the night were the three drivers who had won the last 7 Sprint Car races at the bullring — Justin Barger, Chuck Hebing and Bryan Howland. Those three drivers qualified through their heat races while Barger flirted with the 360 sprint track record in his heat race.
Qualifying heat races were taken by Brad Knab, Barger and the Pole Position Raceway 10b of Scott Kreutter. Another driver who has been on fire this season in 360 sprint competition qualified 2nd in his heat in ‘The Juice’ Jared Zimbardi.
Zimbardi would battle hard with Knab but fall just short at the line. Zimbardi’s best finish at Woodhull, prior to this event, was 4th but the child picked to draw his starting position drew the pole in front of a packed house.
It would be an all-Jared front row as Zimbardi and Jared Fink would lead the field to Scott Lyons’ Green Flag. One Jared (Fink) would take off running, while the other Jared (Zimbardi) fell through the field fast. Chuck Hebing “The Cobra” struck the field early and often- moving from his 7th starting spot to 2nd within the first 3 circuits.
Hebing would run down Fink and begin to toy with the driver of the 21F as the two worked traffic trying to put cars at the tail end of the field a lap down. Hebing would use a Lap 7 restart to put on a high-low move down the backstretch, and pull off a Central Pennsylvania slidejob as they entered Turn 3.
Hebing would pull away in the lead but “The Flying Physician” Steve Collins began his march up to 2nd and worked to track down Hebing. The caution fly again on Lap 9 for a slowing Darryl Ruggles 48jr machine. Ruggles came to race in this event in his 305 ride that he runs weekly at Yates County Speedway and the Canandaigua Motorsports Park.
The race would go another 5 laps under green with Hebing leading the way again, but Collins not letting the Wilkins RV #45 get too far away. On Lap 14, Tyler Graves suffered a flat right rear sneaker and had to head to the work area to change that tire. He would get that tire changed successfully and rejoin the field.
The rest of the race was dominated by Chuck Hebing. Collins seemed to be able to keep the same pace but the #67 just didn’t maneuver the corners as well as the Hebing #45 did. It was also quite noticeable the difference in wing angle between Hebing and Collins’ cars. Hebing had a much lower wing angle in place than Collins did in the car touting his physician practice on the wing panel.
Chuck Hebing would take the win, Collins would have to settle for 2nd, Justin Barger fought his way through the back half of the Top 5 to come back to finish 3rd.
Chuck Hebing in Victory Lane speaking with PST Announcer Rich Vleck
Steve Collins and Justin Barger talk about their 2nd and 3rd place finishes
Jared Zimbardi spoke about pulling the pole for the A-Main
‘Bad Brad’ Knab- Winner of Heat #1
‘The Juice’ Jared Zimbardi- 2nd Place Finisher of Heat #1
Alysha Ruggles comments on finishing 5th and qualifying for the A-Main
Justin Barger- Winner of Heat #2
‘Flyin’ Bryan’ Howland- 3rd Place Finisher Heat #2
‘The Straight Shooter’ Scott Kreutter- Winner of Heat #3
George Suprick- 2nd Place Finisher Heat #3
‘The Flying Physician’ OR ‘The Racing Doctor’ Steve Collins- Heat 3 3rd place