05.28.2011 Filed in: PPMS | BRP Tour | Press
FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT LOU LONG PRES. AND PR DIRECTOR
Kevin Bolland likes racing in his back yard. Pittsburgh’s Pennsylvania Motor Speedway is the closest stop on the BRP/Hoosier Tire Modified Tour to his home in New Brighton. His victory was the second since the mighty Big Blocks returned to the track after a long absence.
Bolland turned a potential strategic error into an advantage. He set the car up to run on a slick track, but the track prep crew applied some water before the features got started. He was able to get a decent start and he ran with the lead group in the early going. As the race progressed, the track came to him and he was able to build a sizable lead.
Lapped cars were almost his undoing. "The lapped traffic played a role tonight," Bolland said. "Some of the lapped traffic slid up on the track and we really had to wait it out to get around them," he explained. Bolland countered by coming down off the cushion and using a low line to pick off the lapped cars. While this maneuver proved to be effective, it enabled Jeremiah Shingledecker to close in on him over the final ten laps. Shingledecker may have been more of a factor in the final outcome were it not for his own run-in with a lapped car with about five laps to go. Bolland was confident that he could have held off the challenge. "They might have caught us, but I don't think they would have gotten around us."
Lady luck put Brian Weaver and Jeremiah Shingledecker on the front row for the start of the 30 lapper. Weaver fired first and led the field into turn one. However, he was unable to hold the low line and that left the door open for Kevin Hoffman. His potent Big Block Ford powered off turn two with the lead. Shingledecker swooped by Weaver on the outside and it was soon apparent that Weaver was in trouble. He fell back due to a fuel feed problem that corrected itself somewhat as the race went on.
While Hoffman lead Shingledecker in the early going, the man on the move was Chad Homan. The New York invader was using the low line to great advantage. He worked into third by lap five and slipped under Shingledecker on the next circuit. He even challenged Hoffman, but Hoffman used a lapped car as a pick to maintain his lead. Hoffman was not as lucky the next time around. With the bottom lane open, Homan charged off turn two to grab the lead running down the long back chute.
Homan started to stretch his lead as the laps clicked off. However, the race took a dramatic turn on lap 11. Brad Rapp struck the wall in turn two to bring out the only caution in the race. Rapp was battling Brian Swartzlander for position at the time. Swartzlander slid up and Rapp had nowhere to go. "I didn't even know he was there," Swartzlander said apologetically. "I felt bad for him to get caught up in something like that."
While the field was circulating under the yellow, some cars kicked mud up from the apron into Homan's groove. He did not realize what happened and used his usual line entering turn one on the restart. He got into a four-wheel skid and surrendered the lead to Shingledecker. While Homan was scrambling to regain control, Hoffman slowed and soon retired from the race with a broken rocker arm.
Bolland went to the whip and raced past Shingledecker to lead lap 13. At the halfway mark, he led Homan, Shingledecker, Murdick, King and Swartzlander.
Shingledecker swapped places with Homan by lap 20 and he set out after the leader.
Bolland continued to lead, but Shingledecker was reeling him in. Shingledecker’s charge was slowed briefly by a shunt with a lapped car, and that may have preserved the win for Bolland.
While the fans were ready for a two-car battle to the checkers, the race ended in a most unusual fashion. On the final lap, one of the flagmen inadvertently hit the red light switch. He immediately put the green light on again. But, in that fleeting moment, some of the racers slowed their pace. None came to a complete stop, however.
Bolland was one of the racers who slowed and he passed under the checkers for the apparent win. Fortunately for him, Shingledecker also reacted to the flash of red and he crossed the line in second. Homan was a close third.
Behind the leaders, some positions did change. Dave Murdick, who took the white flag in fourth, was shuffled back to sixth. Brian Swartzlander advanced two spots. Murdick and company quickly lodged a protest.
After learning what happened, track and series officials agreed to hold the finish pending a review of transponder scoring records. A comparison between laps 29 and 30 showed, surprisingly, that Murdick and Swartzlander were the only affected racers.
The speedway stepped up to make up the difference in pay between fourth and sixth position. That left series officials to decide what to do about the points to be awarded.
After getting input from the speedway and from the involved drivers, series officials decided to revert to lap 29 scoring for the purposes of points.
Murdick was restored to fourth and Rex King Sr. held his fifth place finish. Swartzlander was scored in sixth, but paid for fourth as well.
Rounding out the top ten were Mark Flick, Rex King, Jr., Brian Weaver and Chris Haines.
Heat race wins went to Bolland, Swartzlander and Murdick. Bolland broke the track record four times during his heat, but Swartzlander lowered the mark even further in his heat. The record now stands at 19.377. .
There was no B Main.
No provisionals were needed to complete the field.
The Landrum Racer of the Race award was presented to Mark Flick for his smooth and steady run from fourteenth to seventh.
As the feature winner, Bolland also took home a prize from new series sponsor, R2C Performance Products.
BRP/Hoosier Tire Modified Tour Round Two: Pittsburgh's Pennsylvania Motor Speedway, Imperial, PA: May 28, 2011: 1. Kevin Bolland ($1,500); 2. Jeremiah Shingledecker ($1,000); 3. Chad Homan ($800); 4. Dave Murdick ($600); 5. Rex King, Sr. ($550); 6. Brian Swartzlander ($600); 7. Mark Flick ($450); 8. Rex King, Jr. ($400); 9. Brian Weaver ($360); 10. Chris Haines ($330); 11. Mike Turner ($320); 12. Shannon Whaley ($310); 13. Mark Frankhouser ($300); 14. Steve Feder ($290); 15. Shawn Fleeger ($280); 16. Tommy Mattocks ($260); 17. Carl Murdick ($240); 18. Randy Chronister ($230); 19. Don Brown ($225); 20. John Bichanan ($220); 21. Skip Moore ($210); 22. Kevin Hoffman ($205); 23. Brad Rapp ($200).
The roster of 2011 sponsors for The Modified Tour, Inc. includes: Bicknell Racing Products; Hoosier Racing Tire Corp.; World Racing Group - DIRTcar; Sunoco Race Fuels - Bazell Oil Co.; Approved Toilet Rentals, Inc.; Bert Transmission; Big Daddy's Speed Center Inc.; Bulldog Rear Ends - Diversified Machine, Inc.; Engles Trucking Services, Inc.; Bilstein Shocks – Fastline Performance; ISC Racers Tape; Hall's Safety Equipment Corp.; King Brothers; Kirkey Racing Fabrication Inc.; Landrum Spring; McCool's Signs and Graphics; Motorsports World; Oyler Photos & More; Pietragallo Gordon Alfano Bosick & Raspanti, LLP; Preist Enterprises, Inc.; Pro Shocks; R2C Performance Products; RaceQuip; Ray's Racing Collectibles; Rock Concrete; Slippery Rock Sportswear; T & D Machine; Ultra-Shield Race Products; Valken Wheels; Winters Performance Products Inc.; and Wrisco Industries Inc. Watch for further additions to the list of 2011 sponsors.
Now entering its fourteeth year of success, The Modified Tour, Inc. racing series is a non-profit organization established to give the V-8 Modifieds in the Western Pennsylvania area the opportunity to compete for higher purses and for a seasonal point fund. It expands the profile for this exciting brand of motorsports throught the the tri-state area.
By Thomas Zuck, FOR THE TRIBUNE-REVIEW
With a little luck, the BRP Modified Tour for Big Blocks will open its 2011 season tonight at Lernerville Speedway. It might take more than luck because the weather has decimated the start of the local racing season.
"It would just be nice to get some laps on the new car," said Jeremiah Shingledecker, Lernerville's 2009 V-8 Modified champion. "That's really what we want to do. This car is a 2011 Bicknell and the old one was a 2010, so there is some stuff we have to work on. We can't really complain about the old car because it won a lot of races."
It did not win the 2010 BRP Modified Tour. That distinction belongs to Rex King Sr. Dave Murdick finished second and Shingledecker was third. Murdick won Lernerville's BRP race last May, and Chad Homan won the race during last year's season-ending Steel City Stampede.
"The motor in this thing is one we broke out about halfway through last season, and it's a great motor," Shingledecker said. "We are hoping to get a few wins under our belt and make a run at the BRP championship."
The BRP Tour began in 1998. Locally, there are a lot of special events for Sprint Cars and Late Models, as well as the national and regional touring events.
The BRP Tour will follow the Lernerville race with events at Pittsburgh's Pennsylvania Motor Speedway, Tri-City Speedway, Mercer Raceway Park. In Ohio: Expo and Sharon Speedways, and West Virginia Motor Speedway. There are 14 races scheduled in 2011.
"The BRP is definitely a good thing," Shingledecker said. "It's not a lot of extra money every night, but the point fund at the end of the year is nice. It's also nice to do a little traveling around."
Drivers are looking to collect from the point fund. For winning the 2010 championship, King's share of the point fund was worth $5,350 in cash and prizes. Since 2000, the point fund has been at least $20,000 each season.
Kevin Bolland is one of the region's most successful V-8 Modified drivers, and he is hoping to get his share of the point fund.
"I think the big thing is the end of the year with the point fund," said Bolland, a three-time Lernerville champion. "We have never won the BRP championship. But we had three (second-place finishes) in a row. For a while, we were not even chasing the tour because there were some things we did not agree with. Now, they have some new management, so we are going to give it a run." Bolland would like to do more traveling, but there are budget constraints that limit how effective a driver can be at different tracks. "In Western Pa., this is all we have as extra for Modifieds and these cars are expensive to run, so every little bit helps," Bolland said. "The travel really doesn't bother us. We love those bigger shows, but our budget really doesn't allow us to do as much as we'd like. We don't have two cars, so that makes it hard to go run a big show and then come back and run a point race."
The slow start to the season hasn't been fun, but Bolland is not allowing that to impact his preparation for the race.
"It's just racing to us," Bolland said. "You set up all winter long to get ready for that first night and if you get rained out, it doesn't matter because you are still ready. Then, you just try to get better prepared."
The delays have not bothered Bolland. But drivers such as Phil Evans is anxious to get started.
"It's difficult to go out there when you are just trying to learn the car, especially with a bunch of guys like in a BRP race," Evans said. "Once you get the car right, it should not be too hard each week. But until we get it to where I am comfortable, we have a lot of work to do.
"I am a little rusty from last year and this is a whole new car. Everything is different. It's a new Bicknell. I planned on running last year but things didn't work out. It's a 2010, so we are starting fresh. We've only had one night on it. I am just going to run Lernerville until I get it figured out and get comfortable in the car."