More than one hundred and twenty cars filled the pits of the Spirit Auto Center on Sunday for the first hand of the 2017 Poker Series as Tim Buckwalter, Brandon Edgar and Brett Bieber were the big winners. Brian Carber picked up the win in the Xcel 600 Modifieds to conclude the four division show on the quarter mile track.
Buckwalter and his Barry and Cheryl Greth owned No. 71 picked up the win and an Ace to open the 2017 Poker Series. Buckwalter used the last Friday night show as a tune up for the Poker Series race. “I didn’t look too good last week,” Buckwalter stated but he didn’t miss a beat as he led from the green to the checkered for the win. Matt Smith has been close to a Spirit Auto Center win on several occasions this season and was Buckwalter’s stiffest competition. ” You showed me!,” Buckwalter told Smith after the checkered. Smith ran the outside to get to the runner-up spot – a line that Buckwalter didn’t think was working. But when Smith showed his nose, Buckwalter changed his line and maintained the lead as the two drivers raced through some pretty heavy lapped traffic. Mike Rutherford made his first Spirit start with his Gary & Donna Spotts owned ride to finish third followed by Tommy Kunsman and Steven Bracall.
Buckwalter took sponsors LHS Engines and Hyper Fit Fuel Injection to Victory Lane with the Greth No. 71, after coming out on top of a field of forty-nine 600s.
Like Buckwalter, Brandon Edgar took advantage of a Friday night race to test the waters for the Poker Series event. Edgar finished second in that event but improved his performance by one position in the first Poker Series hand. Edgar took his No. 57 to the outside to take the lead from Jacob Hendershot with just five laps to go in the twenty-five lap feature event. After leading the first three circuits, Pat Bealer was forced to restart from the rear of the field after getting turned around in turn two. Bealer rebounded to a third place finish. Nick Skias finished fourth with Toby Blumenshine rounding out the top five.
Brett Bieber has teamed up with Donny Hockman for some special shows and so far this season, the team has been flawless as they earned their third win of the season and an Ace in the Jeffrey Hogue Realtor Action Track Poker Series for the Slingshots. Bieber played his cards right as he closed in on race leader, Dylan Hoch. “I wanted to be patient and wait until I got to him to show him the line I was running,” Bieber said and his plan worked as he took the lead off of turn two on lap eight. Bieber led Hoch to the finish line followed ahead of Jared Silfies, Nick Vinciguerra and Austin Silfies. It was Bieber’s first ever win on the quarter mile track at Spirit Auto Center.
Brian Carber picked up the win in the Xcel 600 Modifieds over Jonathan Josko, Aaron Bowes, Josh Pepe and Jason Dunkleberger.
600CC MICRO SPRINT FEATUE (25 laps): 1. Tim Buckwalter, 2. Matt Smith, 3. Mike Rutherford, 4. Tommy Kunsman, 5. Steve Bracall, 6. James Morris, 7. Brian Carber, 8. Joe Kay, 9. Bobby Butler, 10. Pat Bealer, 11. Jim Radney, 12. Kyle Spence, 13. Zach Bealer, 14. B.J. Antonio, 15. Josh Conover, 16. Tyler Ulrich, 17. Rob Pajauis, 18. Justin Murphy, 19. Brandon Pavel, 20. Dustin Stoltzfus, 21. Rich Mellor, 22. Doug Snyder, 23. Travis Hill, 24. Jermain Godshall, 25. Gary Bozowski, 26. Jon Keller, 27. Austin Quick, 28. Wayne Scott, 29. Alex Bright, 30. Jay Hartman, DNQ – Nick Havens, Dakota Bartlet, T.J. Greve, Jim Tippin, Bradley Brown, Jesse James Bartleson, Chris Fenimore, Rebecca LaMothe, Billy Calvert, Mike Fillbrunn, Kenny Miller, Nathan Smith, Joe Plunkett, Shane Linderman, Joe Bednarek, Dave Damaio, Geordon Marrero, Ed Wolf, Nick Walton.
270CC MICRO SPRINT FEATURE (25 laps): 1. Brandon Edgar, 2. Pat Bealer, 3. Jacob Hendershot, 4. Nick Skias, 5. Toby Blumenshine, 6. Tommy Kunsman, 7. Brandon Shipley, 8. John Wagner, Jr., 9. Ken Miller, 10. Glenn Macomber, 11. Colin Bustard, 12. Steve Coslop, 13. Matt Hoffman, 14. Alex Swift, 15. Decker Morrow, 16. Gary Waegel, 17. Ken Andreas, 18. Sean Huesser, 19. John Blanda, 20. Brittany Eriston, 21. Ryan Wozunk, 22. Billy Gray, 23. Devon Adams, 24. Tyler Reinhardt, 25. Morgan Rochelle, 26. Nick Walton, DNS – Tyler Ulrich, DNQ – Kyle Weiss, Ron Ford, Sami Schenik, Roland Saxton, Robbie Watson
JEFFREY HOGUE REALTOR/ACTION TRACK USA SLINGSHOT (20 laps): 1. Brett Bieber, 2. Dylan Hoch, 3. Jared Silfee, 4. Nick Vinciguerra, 5. Austin Silfee, 6. Sam Neary, 7. Travis Bieber, 8. Kurt Bettler, 9. Lou Partite, 10. Dakota Kohler, 11. Joe Toth, 12. David Bell, 13 Austin Stofflet, 14. Rich Partite, 15. Dave Morrell, 16. Steve Schenker, 17. Ashley Therien, DNS – Brianna James
XCEL 600 MODIFIEDS (20 laps): 1. Brian Carber, 2. Jonathan Josko, 3. Aaron Bowes, 4. Josh Pepe, 5. Jason Dunkleberger, 6. Louie Horvath, 7. Richie Hitzler, 8. Jon Keller, 9. Nate Brinker, 10. Kory Inglin, 11. Josh Pepe, 12. Travis Rigante, 13. Luke Harrar, 14. Tyler James, 15. Bryce Higgs, 16. Cody Manmiller, 17. Kevin VanValkenburg, 18. Grant Schibilia, 19. Shawna Schibilia, 20. Hunter Diehl, 21. Travis Fichter, 22. Brian Blankenbiller, 23. Kyle Inglin, 24. Bryce Higgs, 25. D.J. Hunt, 26. Gaby Meitzle
Photo by Rick Sweeten Images