2016 marks the 20th running of the Linda’s Speedway 600 Micro Sprint National Open presented by GW Transport Systems. In what will be remembered as one of the best in history, Fredericksburg, PA’s Jesse Maurer claimed his first title. Maurer started from the pole of the 40 lap feature event and led the first 12 laps before Kyle Spence passed him in lap traffic. The caution on lap 14 gave Spence open race track to work with. 11th place starter, Garrett Bard, had climbed into contention as the halfway mark neared. Bard was able to pass 3rd place, Tim Buckwalter, and second place, Maurer, in a five lap span and began to reel in Spence. Bard made the pass of Spence on lap 29 to take control of the race lead. Bard pulled away on the green flag run and just as Spence began to close the gap, his engine let go. The yellow flag was the last thing Bard wanted to see with only seven laps to go. Maurer, now back in contention, took full advantage of the restart to go by Bard on the outside. Bard continued to pressure Maurer running the inside of the racetrack before a lap 38 caution flag. Bard made one final attempt to take the race lead back in turns one and two with two laps to go. Once Maurer cleared Bard, he was able to drive to his first National Open checkered flag. Maurer said in victory lane that the late race restart was exactly what he needed. His car was better on the short run while Bard had a car better on the long run. Bard finished second, just ahead of Tim Buckwalter. Steve Whary spent the whole race inside the top five and was able to finish in the fourth spot. Austin Bishop worked into the top five late into the race, and he would stay there for a fifth place finish. Alex Bright came home sixth ahead of former National winner, Luke Thomas. Travis Scott, Mike Rutherford, and Kameron Morral rounded out the top ten finishers. Morral recovered from an early race spin to finish in tenth.
600 Micro Sprint quick time was set by Jesse Maurer (12.034) and sponsored by TSL Shocks.
600 Micro Sprint heat race winners were Tommy Kunsman, Kyle Spence, Mike Rutherford, Tim Buckwalter, Steve Whary, and Alex Bright.
600 Micro Sprint Mains went to Jesse Bartleson (DMain), Shelby Harper (CMain), and Tyler Snook (BMain).
Pat Bealer set the quick time of the night for the 270 Micro Sprints with a 12.349 to grab the bonus from Perchak Trucking.
Josh Stoyer made some big moved early on to come from eighth to win the first qualifier of the night for the 270 Micro Sprints.
Stone Keller was able to pass race leader Tommy Kunsman on lap five of the second qualifier for the 270 Micro Sprints to take the win.
Brayden Winters lead until the late race stages of qualifier three for the 270 Micro Sprints when Devin Harron made the pass for the win.
After night one of the 270 Micro Sprint National Open Pat Bealer is the top point driver and will be on the pole for the feature event Saturday. Nunzi Allegrucci will share the front row with Bealer. The next highest point earners were Devin Harron, Ross Perchak, Josh Stoyer, Collin Ginther, Randy West, Andrew Dietrich, and Jesse Maurer. Stone Keller was 11th in the overall points but is guaranteed a spot because of his win in the qualifier race. The top ten drivers in points (awarded in time trials and qualifiers) locked into the A-main while the rest of the cars will go to heat races on Saturday.
270 Micro Sprint Last Chance Qualifier was won by Brandon Hawkins.
Multi-time race of Champions winner, Pat Bealer, started from the pole of the 2016 running of the race. Bealer jumped to the race lead ahead of fellow front row starter, Mike Rutherford. A caution on lap four closed the field back up to Bealer’s rear bumper, but on the restart, Bealer would again drive away. A good battle for second came to an end near the halfway mark when Mike Rutherford went to the pit area. Devin Harron moved into second spot with Tommy Kunsman in a close third. Kunsman would break on lap 12 to again bunch the field up. That would be the final time anyone would challenge Bealer as he drove to his second consecutive win in the ROC. Bealer was in the race, courtesy of his championship at the Spirit Auto Club in Bridgeport, NJ. Devin Harron finished in second after a late race battle with Ryan Fredericks. Todd Reusser was fourth just ahead of fourteenth place starter, Mike Boyer. Dan Lane came from last in a borrowed car to finish sixth, followed by Matt Jones, Bob Garvey, Zach Hollinger, and Colorado’s Scotty Soder.
The final event of the 2016 season at Linda’s Speedway will be held Saturday October 15th with the conclusion of the 270 Micro Sprint National Open and a full program for the Wingless 600 Micro Sprints. Gates open at 2 with 4:30 warm ups. 600 Micro Sprint time trials are scheduled to start at 5:30.
For full race results and more information on the weekend you can visit LindasSpeedway.com, Facebook, or Twitter or call the speedway hotline at (717) 865-5330.
By Mike Batz
Want to discuss this article on our forum? Visit – http://smallcarweeklyforum.com/thread/138/maurer-wins-national-open-bealer
Photo by Amy Williams