SCHOENFELD DOMINATES BIG 10 OPENER AT CONCORD by Jayson Kaplan
Caution-Filled Race Sees A Surprising Winner
It was a caution-filled race at the Big 10 Series season-opener Saturday night at Concord Motorsports Park, but that didn’t stop Arkansas-native Dennis Schoenfeld from collecting his first Big 10 victory.
made the long trip from Kentucky to North Carolina and ducked and dodged his way to an impressive second-place finish. Barnes patience paid off as he ran in the top-five for most of the race.
Barnes was in the third with just 10 laps-to-go when second-place driver Brain Finney’s rearend broke, putting him out of the race and giving Barnes the second spot.
Dennis Schoenfeld won the season-opener for the Big 10 Super Late Model Series at Concord Motorsports Park.
“It was a good finish tonight,” said Barnes. “Everyone wrecked in front of us so that made a big difference. I didn’t like all these cautions. My car ran well the first five laps and slowly tightened up after that. It made for a boring race with all the cautions.”
Series veteran Eddie Massengill took home third place despite overcoming an early incident when he hit some oil and spun and hit the wall in turn three.
“We survived the race and had a good finish for what we had,” said Messengill. “I think we had a third-place car and we finished third. I brought the car home in one piece and that was an accomplishment tonight. The car had very little damage compared to some of
Chuck Barnes Jr. (#55) grabbed second-place when Brian Finney (#80) broke a rearend late in the race.
the other cars out there. I think we would have been in better shape if I didn’t have to use the car so much. That just the way things go some nights and I happened to have been a victim of circumstance. We didn’t tear anything up came home with a good finish I am pleased with tonight.
It turned out to be a tough night for Big 10 veterans Query and Ted Musgrave Jr. Query’s woes started on lap five when he spun in turn two. At first it looked like the No. 25 of Jimmy Simpson spun Query out, but Query would confirm that Simpson didn’t spin him. His crew thrashed and got him back out on lap 61. Despite all of the problems Query still finished 17th.
“Jimmy said he didn’t hit me and looking at the front of his car I didn’t see any evidence that he did hit me,” said Query. “I put on a new set of tires this afternoon. Maybe something was wrong with the car; I don’t know it just got out from under me.
“The axle just broke when I took off. It is a shame because me and Shoenfeld were the class of the field by half a straightaway. I mean, there was no one that could keep up with us. We have been helping each other out a little bit. It was just too bad that the left rear axle busted because we had an easy seconded place if not a victory. We will go back to shop fix it and come right back for the next Big 10 race”.
Fourth-place finisher Chris Dunn also fell victim to some oil on the track. He was running in third when he spun in some oil on lap 51. Dunn than had to restart in midpack, but he made his way back to the top-five by lap 79.
“We had a good finish despite spinning out on some oil on lap-51 while the caution was out putting us back in mid field. I worked my way back to fourth so it wasn’t too bad. All-in-all, the car was ok; it didn’t do well on restarts and on the straightaway but it was getting better on long runs. It didn’t help me much that there where cautions every 10 laps.”
Seventeen-year-old Alabama-native A.J. Ganino had a very impressive run as he took home a fifth-place finish. Ganino ran a Dave Mader car and is mentoring with the short track legend. The young man from Ohio looked more like veterans than a rookie as he brought his car home in one piece and had a top-five finish.
BIG 10 SERIES RESULTS
Concord Motorsports Park - Concord, NC
1. Dennis Schoenfeld, Concord
2. Chuck Barnes Jr. Louisville, Ky.
3. Eddie Massengill, Goldsboro
4. Chris Dunn, Raleigh
5. A.J. Ganino, Birmingham, Ala.
6. Preston Peltier, Concord
7. Duane Linvelle, Kernersville
8. Kayne Hickman, Charlotte
9. Tab Boyd, Kannapolis
10. Mark Reedy, Kannapolis
11. Brian Finney, Merritt Island, Fla.
12. Ted Musgrave Jr., Mooresville
13. Kenny Sigmon, Charlotte
14. Terry Brooks, Concord
15. Clete Caywood, Easley, S.C.
16. Brandon Johnson, Kannapolis
17. Freddie Query, Mooresville
18. Keith Rankin, Charlotte
19. Jimmy Simpson, Concord
20. Clay Jones, Goldsboro
21. Tim Nooner, Charlotte
22. Wade Day, South Boston, Va
No one had anything for Schoenfeld.
Schoenfeld dominated the race leading every lap. In fact, he started the day by winning the pole, but had to start the race second after a mandatory redraw. Defending series champion Freddie Query stayed in his wake for the first five laps, but spun out in turn two, hitting the inside wall and breaking his right front hub, putting him behind the pit wall for most of the race.
Shoenfeld then took the lead from that point on and never looked back.
“This car was totally awesome,” said Schoenfeld. “It was like driving a damn Cadillac. The motor ran well. I got some new Shoenfeld headers over the winter which where built during Christmas. I told my wife this year is not going to be like last year. We had a transmission break at I-70, a motor go bad at Concord and crashed at Nashville. I said to her we are going to get over the hump this year and we did just that tonight.”
Last year’s Sunoco Super Series Champion Chuck Barnes Jr.
“A couple of years a go this happened and I didn’t go back out and I finished 28th. My guys did a great job to get me back out and I think we finished tonight in 17th and that’s what you got to do to win championships. When I spun I hit the wall so hard that it broke the right front hub so bad I didn’t have any breaks so I finished the race with pretty much no breaks at all.”
Musgrave Jr. looked like he was going to be on his way to a possible victory or at least a second-place finish, but his rear axle broke on lap 76 ending his night.