FANS THROW NOTHING AS RIEVLEY BEATS LANDIS AT ANGOLA by Jeremy Troiano
Familiar Car Ends Up In CRA Super Series V-Lane With Different Driver
Brian Rievley (center) took out some of CRA's best, including Jack Landis (left) and Jeff Lane (right). (51 photos)
One of the best moments in sports is when someone beats someone else that has what is commonly known as “home field advantage.” In racing, this is something that goes back to the “old days,” when drivers used to come from all around to race and beat some of the best-of-the-best a track had to offer.
However, these days, with the number of touring series that run all across the country and the number of different rules different tracks have, beating local favorites and track regulars isn’t as likely as it used to be.
But that didn’t stop 1998 CRA Super Series Champion Brian Rievley on Saturday night at Angola Motor Speedway. Rievley, driving the familiar #23 that most people are accustomed to seeing Eddie Van Meter wheeling, passed Jack Landis with a dive-bombing, door-slamming pass on lap 118 of the 125-lap event to grab his first CRA Super Series win of the 2007 season. And in winning, Rievley beat fan-favorite and track regular Jack Landis, who dominated most of the event and activities all afternoon long.
In fact, when getting out of the car in Victory Lane, Rievley looked around to make sure nothing was being thrown over the fence at him for getting into and beating the local hero. As he stated to one of the track officials, “I hate to piss off the locals.”
But there were no hard feelings from the fans, nor from Landis, for Rievley’s aggressive pass to get the lead late in the event.
“With five laps to go, if you get into the local hero, people are going to start throwing things at you,” joked Rievley. “But the fans were alright. Nothing got thrown at me.
Everybody was alright about it. I think after Jack got out and we talked about it and he congratulated me and they saw there were no hard feelings there, they figured racing is racing.
“Jack has always been a good friend of ours. The guys that run up here all know me because I used to race Outlaw (Super Late Mode) cars with them. Jack understood. He knew that he slowed up and got something on his tires. That’s how it goes.”
Rievley followed Landis, as did everyone, for most of the race. Landis, who was fastest in qualifying and practice, got from his eighth-place starting spot (because of the inversion) to the lead in just 23 laps. After that, the familiar #10 checked out on the field, opening up a huge lead over second-place Rievley and third-place Jeff Lane several times. A couple of times, Rievley and Lane caught up to Landis in lapped traffic, only to lose ground quickly there after.
A lot of people were trying to catch Rievley (#23).
However, late in the race, Landis began to slide back, and Rievley continued to run him down. With less then 10-laps to go, Rievley caught Landis and the two battled hard. Then, a late-caution erased Landis’ lead and bunched the field up.
Finally, on lap 117, Rievley made a dive-bombing move and slide into the side of Landis, with both drivers banging doors. Rievley had the line and was able to make the pass and pull away, while Landis held off Lane and others for second.
And Rievley was right… Landis had no hard feelings.
“I think I slowed down and those guys just kept going the same pace,” said Landis, who is a regular and the point leader in the track’s Super Late Model Division, which resemble more of Outlaw Super Late Models than the ABC-bodied Super Late Models that run with the CRA Super Series. “I know I slowed down late in the run there. I was
getting a little tight off. I was just using what I had. If it had stayed green, maybe we would have had a chance, but I don’t mind getting beaten by Brian. He’s alright. He’s a good guy.
“The caution didn’t help me any, but I’m just glad I had (Brian) behind me. I kind of went down and did some blocking on Brian for the lead and then on Jeff (Lane). I got out of the car and had to give him a big fat hug and a kiss afterward to let both of them know there are no issues with us. That’s racing. It was my job to block him and his job to knock me out of the way, like Brian did.”
With the way Landis fell back and Rievley caught him, it looked like maybe Rievley was holding back, but that wasn’t the case.
“I ran as hard as I could from the get-go,” added Rievley. “Then I started working on Jack and I got loose behind a lap car and I thought, ‘I’m going to finish second.’ Then, after the caution, I was right there on him. I thought that maybe he picked something up in the tires or something. I figured I would get four laps to pass him and if I didn’t, I was just going to run second, but I got around him and that was that.”
Lane was able to hold onto third, with Jason Deitsch coming home fourth and John Van Doorn, who led until Landis grabbed the lead, came home fifth.
CRA Super Series Race Notes
Familiar Car… Unfamiliar Driver… Take One
There is a different driver in the #23.
The winning car in Saturday night’s race was a car most are familiar with… but not with a driver people are accustomed to seeing behind the wheel.
The #23 is normally piloted by Eddie Van Meter. But that wasn’t the case on Saturday. His race win was Rievley's first race in the #23 car for Muller Motorsports. Rievley, the 1998 CRA Super Series Champion, competed twice in CRA last year and at Winchester in April in a second Muller Motorsports entry. Rievley’s dad, Bill, is the team’s Crew Chief. Bill also owns a car that Brian competed in at our June 9 Anderson race.
Van Meter is only competing in selected CRA Super Series races this season and competing full time in the Late Model division for Billy Skiles, Ken's partner in Muller Motorsports, at the Speedrome in Indy, were they have to race both the Figure-8 and oval each Saturday night in order to compete for the points championship. Van Meter won a 150-lap Figure-8 event on June 23 and is tied for fourth in points.
Muller Motorsports plans on having both drivers at “The 100” at Indianapolis Raceway Park in September.
Track Official OK
During one of the night’s early cautions, there was a scary incident that took place on the backstretch. While cleaning up debris from an accident, the track safety truck took off with two officials holding onto the back and standing on the rear of the car.
Then, Rick Turner’s car came out of the pits at the same time, causing the driver of the safety truck to take evasive action. The sudden move caused one of the safety workers on the back of the track to lose grip and tumble off the truck and onto the pavement.
Thankfully, the official got up and walked to the ambulance and was back at work later.
Great Deals? Not On Saturday Night
Rick Turner is always one of the favorites in the CRA Super Series. And things looked to be about the same on Saturday night at Angola, when Turner qualified second and started seventh.
From the start of the race, the Turner team had a lot of problems.
However, not too long after the race started, Turner’s night went south. With “Great Deals Magazine” as a sponsor, the night was anything but a great deal for Turner.
On lap eight, he spun. He made several pit stops after that during other cautions. Then, on lap 27, a car spun in front of him and he slowed to avoid, only to get hit from behind by teammate Bret Miles Jr. Turner had to pit once again to get Miles’ front nose unlodged from the back of his car.
Then, everything finally came to an end on lap 33, when something broke on Turner’s car and he spun once again, effectively ending his night.
“All of the sudden, the car got loose,” said Turner. “I hadn’t been loose all day and then it was loose right off the bat. I don’t know if it was tire pressures or whatever. It didn’t get any better from then.
“Then, it looks like we broke a rear end bracket. The frame and shock are dragging; the
necessities that you need up off of the ground. We’ll get it loaded up and put it back together.”
Turner finished 24th.
Berlin Gets Big
It was announced in the driver’s meeting that the rescheduled Berlin Raceway event, originally supposed to run on May 26 at the legendary Michigan oval, has been rescheduled for September 14-15.
The event will be much bigger now as well, as the 125-lap race will pay $7,500 to the winner. Also on the same night, the Outlaw Super Late Models will race 150-laps for $7,500 to the winner as well. There is also talks of an additional $3,000 bonus if one driver could win both races, making a possible $18,000 payday for one lucky driver.
Billy Hutson was "happy" to be at Angola.
Moving On Up
With several other divisions in house other than just the Super Late Models, CRA hopes that some of its drivers will move up the ranks from the lower divisions to the Super Late Models.
This weekend, that happened for driver Billy Hutson. Hutson, who is the current leader in the CRA Sportsman Series, made his first Super Late Model start on Saturday night.
Hutson qualified 18th and finished 20th.
From CRA To ARCA
Ray Mooi, a regular with CRA in 2007, will be making his ARCA debut Saturday at Berlin in the #4 Cunningham Scherer Dodge. The family is friends with Bob Strait.
Circle Track Nationals Entries Still Rising
It was also announced in the driver’s meeting that the entries for the inaugural Circle Track Nationals at Indianapolis Raceway Park continue to rise.
Glenn Luckett, series promoter and co-owner, said nearly 42 entries have been received and many more are expected. “The 100” will be a 100-lap, four-tire Super Late Model event at the historic Indianapolis track that will pay $10,000 to the winner.
The event, scheduled for September 22, had already attracted the entries of most of the regulars in CRA, and several outsiders, including Justin Drawdy, Josh Vadnais, Stanley Smith, Dennis Schoenfeld, Chuck Barnes, Johnny Brazier, Eddie Mercer, Grant Enfinger and Casey Smith.
Familiar Car… Unfamiliar Driver… Take Two
No... not Tim Steele. Its Johnny Van Doorm.
Fans in attendance at Angola saw a familiar car in the world of short track racing, but new to the CRA Super Series.
The #16 HS Die is a look that Tim Steele drover forever in the ARCA Re/Max Series. Now, the same look adorns the car of youngster John Van Doorn’s ride, who recently joined Steele’s Late Model operation.
“Tim decided to retire racing,” said Van Doorn after his fifth-place finish on Saturday night. “He wants to continue with the racing, just not as a driver. We’re from the same area and I’m younger and want to go make racing a living. He contacted me, we had lunch, and I started running a couple races for him. The second race I won for him at Dixie (Motor Speedway) and I got a top five here. I didn’t win, but it’s not bad.”
Will driving such a familiar car with such a rich history behind it be any added pressure
“Everybody knowing this car doesn’t give me any pressure, it just gives me confidence. You got to have the best every week. I’m working with Tim and he’s a very smart guy and I appreciate everything he does for me. Makes it all the better going to the race track and knowing you’ve got a good hotrod.”