360 Wingless Shootout at Weedsport Speedway (6/25/17)
Despite a small passing rain shower early in the evening, Weedsport Speedway finally put together its first event of the season with Mark Smith beating Larry Wight for the $5,000 top prize in the ESS/URC Ultimate Wingless Shootout presented by Big Dog Country 103.5 FM.
Smith snagged the lead from Wight on lap 5 of the 25-lap affair, after Wight hopped the cushion in the first turn.
From there, Smith would not be stopped as he charged away to the victory aboard his No. 55 sprinter.
Wight would battle back however to take the runner-up position away from Coleman Gulick in the late stages, but fell short of Smith in the final order.
Gulick held on for third ahead of Lucas Wolfe and Chuck Hebing in the front five positions. Dave Axton, Darryl Ruggles, Johnathan Preston, Thomas Radivoy, and Jimmy Stitzel finished the top ten.
A total of 24 wingless 360 Sprint Cars were in the pit area Sunday from both the ESS and URC Sprint Car clubs, with 20 of the machines taking the green flag for the 25-lap main.
Robbie Shuttleworth and Tyler Cartier would not make it through hot laps as both cars received heavy damage following incidents.
Shuttleworth tagged the fourth turn wall early on in the No. 11 while Cartier cartwheeled his No. 23 305 sprint over the first turn fence and into a set of trees outlining the Speedway. Both drivers were ok, but done for the night.
There was action all night long, including just before the green flag of the A-Main as Axton and Gulick tangled taking their starting positions following the traditional 4-wide salute. Axton’s No. 2 would topple over on the back-stretch due to contact with the Gulick No. 14. Both drivers were ok, and each car continued on to the green flag.
Kelly Hebing and Smith would start the Ultimate Wingless Shootout main event from the front row, but it was “Lightning” Larry Wight from the fourth position storming to the lead by the end of lap 1 in the No. 99L.
Wight would lead Smith, Gulick, Hebing, and Carmen Perigo Jr. in the early stages before Perigo would bring out the second red flag of the feature go as he rolled over into the first corner on lap 4. Perigo was testing the high side in the No. 21, looking for the fourth position on Hebing when he backed into the fence and went over. Perigo was also ok, but done for the remainder of the feature event.
Back to green, Wight continued to lead the way in front of Smith, Gulick, Hebing, and now Axton, who was upside down earlier on. However, another red flag would fly on lap 4 for a multiple car accident at two separate points on the Speedway.
Scott Wagner’s No. 21W would flip in turn three just as Hebing and Bill Unglert would touch wheels on the front stretch, collecting Lee Ladouceur’s No. 51 in the process.
Despite a couple wild rides, all drivers would again escape injury free, but only Ladouceur was able to continue on in the No. 51.
With green lights on one more time Wight continued to lead the pack, but not for long, as the No. 99L jumped the cushion in turn one allowing both Smith and Gulick to find their way by into the top two positions.
With Wight now working to regain positions, Smith had a commanding lead by halfway over Gulick, Wight, Wolfe, Ladouceur, Axton, Ruggles, Chuck Hebing, Preston, and Stitzel.
As Smith continued to charge out front, the battle on the Speedway was for the runner-up position between Gulick and Wight, a battle that Wight would eventually win. As the laps wound down, Wight was now in the runner-up position trying to give chase to leader Smith in traffic, but it would prove too little too late, as Smith ran away to the $5,000 pay day.
Joey Biasi and TJ Karlsen joined Shuttleworth and Cartier as drivers that would fail to start the night’s main event.
Biasi tumbled in the third heat race of the evening while Karlsen was sidelined with motor issues.
Karlsen was looking to make his first main event start in some 23 years. His son Erik finished the main event in the 11th position.
Qualifying heat wins went to Smith, Wight, and Perigo Jr.
Produced by Weedsport Productions, LLC