Friday the 13th is Perfect Night for Urlin at Delaware Speedway
John Urlin (#4) of London, couldn’t have scripted a better night for the Urlin Motorsports Team, and his primary sponsor Siskinds – The Law Firm, Friday at Delaware Speedway in the FT Garage NASCAR Late Model event. The night started on a high note, as Urlin, and his teammate Matt Pritiko (#21) of London both picked up heat race victories, before Urlin closed the night with a dominating feature win on the ½-mile oval.
Urlin started at the back in his heat race and picked his way through traffic on the way to the victory, giving him pole position for the 35-lap main event. Urlin said, “In the heat race, we passed every car on the outside, and being on the pole in the feature – well, the advantage was priceless!”
When the green flew, the black machine bolted away from the pack, only to have the race slowed by a pair of early yellow flags before lap three, including the first one that knocked out championship contender Jesse Kennedy (#10) of Southwold, with a broken spindle.
Matt Robblee (#28) of Dorchester, started third, and quickly moved to Urlin’s rear bumper, but that was as close as the rising star could manage to get to the leader. Robblee was able to apply some pressure, but in the end, wasn’t strong enough to put a move on John. Urlin spoke about the battle for the win, “Matt was giving me everything I could handle, and I didn’t leave anything on the table. It was just a great night for us overall with our sponsor at the track.. This is the second year in a row that we’ve been able to win on their night, which was a change, because three years ago the event was rained out, and four years ago we finished dead last.”
Urlin’s father Russ is legend at the track from the late 70’s and early 80’s, and the second generation driver spoke about what Delaware means to him. “There were a lot of Siskinds people here, with their families, and that’s what this sport is all about. Arlen Scherba has done so much to the track. He put in new ladies washrooms, and that makes mom’s want to bring their kids out. Everything they have done is for families, and I think that’s so awesome.”
With the win was fresh in his mind, Urlin was also thinking about next weekend and the Great Canadian 200 saying, “We have to pick up 2/10ths of a second for next week, and I think we know where we can find it. With the crate motors, you have to be able to roll the centre of the corner, and with some changes to the car I think we’ll find that time.”
For Robblee, who chased Urlin to the line by a single car length, it was his career best weekly finish at Delaware Speedway as he wound up second, and spoke about racing with Urlin for the win, “I did everything I could, but he just didn’t make a mistake. I was close enough to give him a tap, but I don’t race that way. It was still a strong showing for our team, and will give us some momentum for next weekend.”
Robblee will be doing double duty in both the Friday night Lucas Oil Sportsman Cup season opening Tirecraft 100, as well as during Saturday’s Late Model classic.
Last week’s feature winter Andrew Gresel (#81) of Hepworth, was able to rally from deep in the field, without the help of yellows. ‘The Sauble Beach Road Warriors’ gave the 26-year old another tremendous car, as he started 10th on the grid, and was able to move into the top-five shortly after a lap three restart.
It was on that drop of the green silk that saw Shawn Thompson (#72) of Ailsa Craig, and Matt Box (#27) of Mississauga, stage the best battle of the night, racing for fourth-position. The pair diced side by side for four laps before Box took the advantage, grabbing fourth.
Veteran racer Doug Stewart (#2) of London was stout early, but once Box cleared traffic he was able to pass Stewart on the high side as well, moving to third.
That’s when Gresel started to charge, picking off Stewart to crack the top-five, and then working Thompson into submission next. He caught and passed Box as well in the closing laps, but by then, Urlin and Robblee were long gone, and Gresel settled for a bronze medal, while retaining the championship lead by an 18-point lead over Robblee.
The fireworks started behind those three late in the race when Pritiko was trying to pass Thompson for fourth going into turn three on the final lap. The pair wrecked, while Gord Sheppherd (10X) of Hawkestone, Scott Lindsay (#20) of St. Mary’s, and Stewart became collateral damage in the dustup.
Box finished fourth, climbing to a career high third in the championship standings, while Sheppherd, who was still mobile after taking his licks, rounded out the top-five to move to third in the championship standings.
Lawrence Holds Off Black Knights Charge
Defending Dynamic Fluid Super Stock champion ‘Cowboy’ Kris Lawrence (#28) of London, started fourth in the feature, and by lap five had dispatched all of those in front of him, as he blitzed into the lead. He pulled away from the field in the early going of the 25-lap main event, but Steve ‘Pee Wee’ Smith (#84) of Arkona, would become the first to reel him in. Smith wasn’t able to mount a strong enough run.
After staring ninth, Paul Fothergill (#33) of London, moved to third by lap seven, but he trailed the leading duo by about 20 car lengths. He would catch the pair and find himself in the thick of the battle just after the halfway flags.
On lap 19, Fothergill made a move on Smith, and then caught Lawrence, but ran out of time searching for a way past. Lawrence shared the credit for the win, “We struggled with the car last week, and the guys worked so hard to get ready for tonight. We didn’t have the best car, but we were fast enough. I saw Paul coming, and was doing everything I could to keep Paul behind me. I’m glad we didn’t get a caution.”
Smith held on to finish third, and Darrell Lake (#77) of London, raced his way through the pack from eighth to a fourth-place result. 2009 division champ Jason Lidster (#11) of St. Thomas, gets the ‘moving up’ award, as he started outside the top-12, and brought his car home with a solid fifth-place finish.
The results put Lawrence and Fothergill in a dead heat for the points lead, with Lawrence holding the tie-breaker, while Smith sits six points back, and Lidster and Lake trail by seven markers.
Lawrence and D.J. Dejesus (#9) of London, were victorious in heat race action.
Zagorodny Breaks Drought with Dominating Performance
The last time Tom Zagorodny (#77) of London, won a Demar Aggregates Truck feature, ‘George W’ was in charge down south, ‘The Junior Nation’ was still sporting red and white, Kris Lawrence was still racing in the Krown Junior Racing League, and Ron Sheridan was still winning Delaware features. It was the summer of 2008, and Zagorodny shoed his way into two victories that year, but it’s been 35 races since that last win, and ‘The Lawnman’ was due.
Second generation driver Tyler Finley (#25) of London was on the pole, and took the lead out of the box, while Zagorodny fell into line in second. Tom measured Finley, and took the lead on lap three, leaving Finley and Gary ‘Blue Thunder’ Triska to battle for second. Mickey Brydges (#17) of London, moved to the inside of Triska on lap eight, but it was Chad Rijnen (#16) of Thamesford, that was on the hunt. After starting ninth, Rijnen jumped into the top-five by the halfway point, and moved to third on lap 17.
Zagorodny watched in his rear view mirror during the closing laps of the race, as Finley and Rijnen battled for second, allowing him to pull out to a comfortable win in the 25-lap feature. Zagorodny spoke about the win, “Wow, this says a lot for the crate motors, because this one is six years old, and it’s still a killer! The key was the start. I was able to get into line, and our truck was so good on the bottom that I knew I could get Finley. After that I watched those guys fight behind me, and try to make good restarts.”
Zagorodny, one of the elder statesmen of the class continued, “We had some changes to the trucks this year with heights, and our truck seems to work well compared to some other ones with those changes. Randy ‘Gump’ Thompson and Jim Wiersma helped us out a lot and I think we have a good truck.”
The win puts Zagorodny in a tie with Rijnen on the top of the standings. Chad was unable to get by Finley, who finished a career-best second, and wound up third.
Brydges and Matt Koricina (#93) of Ailsa Craig, rounded out the top-five.
Finlay and Jeff Showler (#56) of Mt. Elgin won the qualifying heats.
As a result of the post race inspection held Friday May 13th the Super stock 33 was found to in violation of the following:
1. Unapproved modifications to the cylinder heads.
As a result of this infraction the team has been assessed the following:
1. Both the Driver and owner of the 33 super stock team have been awarded last place points for the event held on Friday May 13, 2011.
2. Loss of all monies received on Friday May 13, 2011
3. The team has been placed on probation.