Gabehart and Fair Take Toledo Twin 100s By Charles Krall
Two Races, Two Perfect Races For CRA And Outlaw SLM Racers
On a perfect Memorial Day weekend night for racing, Chris Gabehart and Harold Fair, Jr. each drove a perfect race to win their portion of Toledo Speedway’s Marco’s Pizza/Atomic Powersports Twin 100s on Sunday night. Gabehart sped to victory in the A.P. Racing Engines 100 for the CRA Super Series template-bodied late models, while Fair dominated the Marco’s Pizza 100 for the Royal Truck and Trailer/Allegiant Air Gold Cup Series outlaw-bodied late models.
Chris Gabehart took the win in the CRA portion of Sunday's Toledo Speedway doubleheader. (Toledo Speedway photos)
Gabehart debuted a new car for the weekend’s CRA Super Series action. His crew finished the No. 17 Circle Track Nationals at ORP Ford at 5:30 A.M. on Friday, just in time to load for the scheduled race at Berlin Raceway. However, rain pushed back the car’s debut until Sunday at Toledo.
The car was fast right off the trailer, and he set the fastest lap in qualifying. He started fifth and quickly made his was towards the front. After pressuring J.R. Roahrig for a handful of laps, Gabehart made the move to the inside and into the lead on lap 21.
Once in the lead, Gabehart stretched it to a straightaway advantage before a series of late-race cautions allowed the field to close in. Even with the restarts, Gabehart was comfortably in control and the race was on for second. Scott Hantz spent nearly 60 laps in fourth position behind rookie Jack Van Doorn, but was finally able to work to the inside within the final 15 laps to take third and close in on second place Roahrig. Hantz had the quicker car, and one last restart put him on Roahrig’s tail, but laps ran out before he could steal the runner-up spot away.
“My guys finished this car and we rolled it onto the trailer to leave for Berlin at 5:30 on Friday morning,” Gabehart said in victory lane. “The car was perfect all night long. The guys at Port City built a great car for us, and my guys did a great job getting it done. I’d like to thank all of them for getting us here. The car was good right from the start. I am extremely happy with how well this car ran.”
Roahrig finished second, with Hantz third, Brian Campbell fourth, and Van Doorn fifth.
Another caution put Jack on Fair’s rear deck with five laps to go, but Jack’s chances to win were spoiled when Fair nailed the gas on the backstretch on the final restart. Fair opened a ten length lead by the time the field reached the start-finish line to take the green and was able to maintain that lead to the checkered flag.
Gabehart debuted a new car in Toledo. (51 photo)
Just five cautions slowed the all-green 100 lapper, while Van Doorn, Roahrig, and Gabehart were the three drivers to lead laps
In the ARCA Royal Truck and Trailer/Allegiant Air Gold Cup 100 lapper, Fair took over the top spot in the early stages from Lee Anderson and led the rest of the way in a dominant performance to take his second win at Toledo in 2007.
Fair’s No. 71, also sponsored by Royal Truck and Trailer, was clearly the class of the field. Even with some of the best outlaw late models in the region in the field, Fair easily pulled away and opened up nearly a half-lap lead over the battle for second.
Anderson developed engine problems and dropped out before the one-quarter mark, leaving the race for second wide open. Brent Jack weaved his way through the field to take over the runner-up position and appeared to have a chance to catch Fair in traffic after a late restart. With lapped cars racing for position directly in front of the leader, Fair’s advantage shrunk from a full straightaway to just a few car lengths.
Harold Fair Jr. won the Outlaw SLM race.
“We played a little poker with them tonight,” Fair said in the winner’s circle. “You never show them your hand early, and we didn’t. We showed what we had late. Brent (Jack) has come a long way since he first started coming here a few years ago, but I don’t think he was going to be able to get us tonight.”
Behind Fair and Jack at the finish was fast qualifier Johnny Belott, with perennial contender Dave Kuhlman in fourth, and Fred Campbell in fifth.
The Buckeye Bash Sizzle Marine 125 at Columbus Motor Speedway is up next for the CRA Super Series, while the Royal Truck and Trailer/Allegiant Air 100 is up next for the ARCA late models at Toledo Speedway on June 22.