A hearty, good-sized crowd braved the cold and several rain delays at Toledo Speedway Saturday night for the 21st running of the Glass City 200 Late Model invitational presented by AP Motorsports. Veteran Dave Kuhlman claimed the huge victory after years of frustration in this race, which featured outstanding racing action and a pair of sensational long green flag runs.
Scott Hantz started things off by running an amazing lap of 14:846 to take the $500 LV Alliance Fast Time Bonus. A total of 4 cars broke into the 14 second bracket (Brent Jack, Harold Fair Jr. and Steve Sauve) during the ultra-fast time trials. Scott rolled a 12 for the inversion, putting Paul Pelletier and 2006 winner Jack Landis on the front row. Landis steamed into the lead and an incredible 65 lap green flag run ensued. With action around the entire ½ mile, the long run produced some outstanding racing at an incredible pace.
Landis and Pelletier moved away from the rest of the lead lap cars as the laps went on, but Landis had the rear end in his car give way on lap 46, handing the point to Pelletier. Dakota Carlson pitted on lap 29 and did not return, while Hantz motored up to 6th by lap 40 and 3rd by lap 52. On lap 65, the yellow and eventually the red came out when Brent Jack spun in turn 2, stacking up a pack of lead lap cars, including leader Pelletier. Paul was able to restart despite right side sheet metal damage. Front runners Steve Sauve and Harold Fair Jr. were victims of the incident, ending their bids for another Glass City 200 win. On the restart, Jerry Cook did not come up to speed, bringing out the yellow again. When the race did go back to green, Hantz shadowed Pelletier and took the lead on lap 72 and quickly built up a good lead. But misfortune struck Scott on lap 89 as he battled with a pack of cars, getting tangled with Jake Francis.
Hantz spun down pit road and clipped the inside wall, turned around and came back on the track as the yellow was displayed. Pelletier was back in the lead but Dave Kuhlman, moving from 15th spot to second, zoomed by Pelletier on lap 90 and took the lead at the lap 101 break. As the cars moved down pit road, the rains came again, increasing the 20 minute break. The top 10 at the break were Kuhlman, Pelletier, Johnny Belott, John Doering Jr., Ron Allen, Dennis Strickland, Jack, Jack Varney Jr., Hantz and Steve Cronenwett Jr.
The second portion of the event began after a 50 minute break due to the rain, which was only slated to be 20 minutes. Again, a yeoman effort by the track staff, safety crew and wreckers got the track back into racing shape and the race resumed. This time it was a 75 lap green flag run before a yellow flag appeared, giving the front runners the chance to race for position lap after lap.
Kuhlman set the pace on the restart with Pelletier staying within striking distance. Hantz, meanwhile, was on the march and had moved to 3rd by lap 126 and to 2nd spot by lap 141. Ron Allen, too, was on the move and got to 4th by lap 145. At lap 157, Hantz got under Kuhlman to grab the lead again. Pelletier, after a great run, dropped down pit road on lap 162, ending his evening. Kevin Butzin's car stalled on the track on lap 175, bringing out the 1st yellow of the second half of the 200. Hantz, whose car started trailing smoke, was sent down pit road by officials. Scott's crew tightened an oil line and sent him back out, 2 laps down.
Hantz's great Toledo season ended several laps later as the Indiana hot shoe parked his car for the night. Kuhlman took control on the restart, yet Allen appeared to be the fastest car on the track as the laps wound down, but Dave was up to the task as the determined track champ took the checkered flag for the victory. Allen took second, John Doering Jr. made a great late charge to grab third and then announced in his post-race interview that he was retiring from racing. Johnny Belott was fourth and ran in the top 5 the entire night. Dennis Strickland, also in the top 5 for the duration, came home fifth. Brent Jack, Jack Varney Jr., Steve Cronenwett Jr., Justin Schroeder and Claude Plante Jr. completed the top 10 cars. The top 6 finished in the lead lap.
"We didn't have the best car tonight, that was obviously Scott," noted Kuhlman in his jubilant post-race interview. "We did not qualify well, but that was my fault. But in the race, I had a great, great car. I want to thank my family and my crew and my sponsors. This has been a long time coming, thank you to everyone." Kuhlman pocketed $6410 in cash, plus 2 round-trip tickets to Florida, courtesy of Allegiant Air. The Howell, MI driver also took home the $500 Port City Racecars certificate and a $250 Penske Shocks certificate.
Positions 11th through 20th will receive a $50 certificate from DTS Drive Train Specialists. DTS also provided certificates to 5 drivers in a random draw and to the last place finisher in the 200. Rookie Tom O'Leary IV pocketed the $250 Burge Wrecking Most Improved bonus, moving from 29th to 11th spot. The $100 All Star Performance certificates went to Brent Jack and Hantz, while Dennis Strickland and Plante Jr. will receive $100 certificates from Lane Automotive.
The DTS Last Chance race winner was Claude Plante Jr. A frightening crash in the event saw newcomer Justin May and Terry Jones get together, sending May into the end of the inside wall entering turn 1, ripping the right side off his car. Justin was ok but his car suffered major damage. In addition to Plante, Donald Burkhart, Brian Norton, Jones, Scott Pemberton and Jason Burkhart moved to the 200.
Chance Rice slid under leader Brandon Mahoney on the final lap in turn 1 to take the lead and the win in the 30 lap Michigan Legends feature. Rice gradually picked his way to the front and made his winning move on the white flag to grab the win over Mahoney, Matt Todd, Ben Rouster, Tyler Rycenga, Gary Joppich, Rick Kassube, Adam VanCleve, Guy Fire and Sean McPherson. Heat race winners were Rycenga and Levi Rouster.
15 cars took the green flag for the 20 lap ARCA Speedway Tire and Auto Factory Stock main event, The race was filled with yellow flags as Mike Hammer took his first-ever win in the event. Josh Bunting, Don Cox, Amanda Bland, Brian Ringger, Alan Bland Jr., Dusty Brunt, Matt Bunting, Kevin Little and Tony Carrillo completed the top ten finishers. Cory McCaughey set fast time at 11:900, driving track champ Eric Huston's #26.
A full field of 28 Sportsman cars was on hand for the Glass City event. The R & M Recycling 35 lap contest was the final race of the evening. Jim Froling set quick time at 17:322, then rolled a 5 for the inversion. Donny Atwell jumped into the lead on the green and had several challengers. Terry Jones went to the high side to get by Atwell and ended up backwards into the turn 3 wall, bringing out the yellow flag. Ron Allen, fresh from his 2nd place 200 run, tried the high lane and got by Froling and eventually Atwell to take the lead, then set sail from the rest of the field. With 2 laps to go, Froling jumped to the high groove and got tangled up with Atwell, sending both cars into the turn 3 wall. Allen took off again on the restart to claim the win over Howard Kelley Jr., Dave Arnold Jr., Gary Denis, Tom O'Leary IV, Kenny McKay Jr., Chad Guinn, Jim Scarvarda, Jeff King and Lou Hill.
Sponsors for the 21st running of the Glass City 200 presented by AP Motorsports included Allegiant Air, Burge Wrecking, Penske Shocks, All Star Performance, Lane Automotive, DTS Drive Train Specialists, LV Alliance, Kish Ambulance, Bazell Race Fuels, R & M Recycling, Port City Racecars, Celebrations and Sylvania-Jackman Auto Credit Center of Franklin Park.
Lap money sponsors were Performance Images Photography, Jeff's Collision of Toledo, iHealth Products-Shuzi, Giles Auto Body, Realcanadianbacon.com, Port City Racecars, Ziebart of Holland-Sylvania Road, Ray's Door, Naughton Insurance, Comfort Inn North, Monroe Asphalt, Jim's Butcher Shop, Battery Exchange, Abe's Auto Parts, Northwood Villa, Jack's Garage, Gregg's Specialty Services, Teamsters Local 20, Colin and Cailey Cooper, McKay's Lawn Service, CMP Race Shop and Dyno Service, Sterling Printing and Graphics, Speedway Fab Shop and Hammer's Towing.
The track has the Public Flea Market and a Racer's Flea Market set for Saturday, October 17 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Setup begins at 7 a.m. The event will be held in the track parking lot. 20' x 20' spots are $25 each on a first-come, first-serve basis. The event runs rain or shine.
A 100 lap Enduro race at Toledo Speedway is also scheduled to take place on October 17. A decision on the event will be made by Tuesday, October 13 based on the number of pre-entries that are received. The track phone number is 419-727-1100, and the track's website is www.toledospeedway.com.