As Forrest Gump’s Momma told him, “Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you are gonna get.” The same can be said for Saturday’s SuperPro Series 100-lap main event at the Angola Motor Speedway (IN).
“Hollywood” Tommy Cook won the race, but the number-7 Late Model of Jason Dietsch was the car everyone was talking about when they left the packed AMS grandstands.
Dietsch, who set fast-time in qualifying, started tenth due to the invert. By lap 11, the 7-car was fifth. But the fireworks began at the halfway mark. A three-wide battle in turns three and four between Dietsch, second-place runner David Bice and Claude Plante didn’t turn out that well. Plante spun and in turn rejoined the field at the rear during the caution period. After much deliberation, SuperPro officials put Dietsch to the rear of the field as well.
“We were riding around during that caution and they (SuperPro officials) told me to keep my spot and then they changed their mind,” explained Dietsch, who had won the last two SuperPro races. “I guess they were afraid I was going to put a real ass-whoopin’ on them again. I guess they want entertainment cause this is like the WWF.”
While point leader Dietsch sat with his hands on his head on the frontstretch after a nice rebound to a fourth place finish, he was reluctant to watch his championship rival Cook celebrate his second win this year.
“This means a lot,” said two-time SuperPro champ Cook near the tech shed in the Angola pit area. “Jason had a rough night tonight, so that closes us up in the points. I feel for him because I’ve been there before, but we’ll take it; we battled hard for this one.”
Cook & Rick Everidge Had the Fans on Their Feet
Cook was sitting on the ground catching his breath when we approached him after the race and there was one man to blame for that, second-place finisher Rick Everidge.
Everidge, the leader at the drop of the green, and Cook put on a great race for the lead for at least a dozen laps before Cook nabbed the top spot for good on lap 80.
“Me and Ricky put on one heck of show for the fans, running side-by-side, lap after lap,” said Cook. “I didn’t think I was going to get him, but he slipped up a little bit coming off of four and I was able to get a run on him. Man, after all that, I’m just exhausted.”
“We were just so tight and I just slipped up a little bit and he got a run under me,” said Everidge, who drives the immaculate red number-63. “Once I got on the outside there was nothing I could do. I battled as hard as I could. We just came up a couple laps short. The cautions definitely hurt us. I think if we could have made out a little better when we went back green (after the restart) I think I might have been able to hold him off.”
Second-Place Still Sucks for Everidge
It’s been a long road to recovery for Rick Everidge. After the self-proclaimed worst year of his career in ’09, Everidge now has two back to back podium finishes; a third at Baer Field a few weeks ago and a second at Angola. Next up, a win at Winchester? Everidge says anything is better than a year ago.
“Last year was horrible; last year was the worst year we ever had. We didn’t even finish a race. We broke motors; we had flat tires. We were leading three times and either had a flat or broke a motor. We’re happy with the finish (tonight), but second is the first loser. Sometimes second makes you feel worse than fifth, you know,” Everidge said with a chuckle.
Plante… the “Other Guy” in the Dietsch Incident
While Dietsch stole a lot of the spotlight for his on-track prowess and his off-track savvy comments, the other person involved in that mishap on lap 57 was Claude Plante.
“Everybody was running hard and everybody was on the brakes. Yeah he hit me hard, but what are you going to do? It was just a racing deal,” said Plante of the three-wide battle.
Plante did rebound for a fifth place finish, but at one point in the race, he had passed Everidge for the lead, until…
“The caution come out,” Plante continued. “I just don’t know if they would have caught us tonight cause they were really holding me up, so we were just trying to get through there. That was bad luck and then coming from the back of the pack is just a hard thing to do, especially when you have that many cautions; it’s hard to keep a rhythm.”
Black Flag and a Wild Ride Enough for Kugler
Mike Kugler is always tough to beat at Angola Motor Speedway. Saturday night he set second fastest time in qualifying and started ninth due to the invert. He climbed up to the top-five, doing it the hard way, on the outside. But he was sent to the rear for contract with the 18 of David Bice.
But that’s where it got interesting. Kugler didn’t complain about the penalty, but he wasn’t happy when Royce Mason ran him off the track just after the race went green again. AMS only has a wall on the frontstretch, so Kugler went off the track completely and down the big hill in turn three.
When he came back on the track, Kugler proceeded to spin Mason’s number-5 car under caution in turn-2. 100-feet later, Kugler made the right turn and parked his car in the pits. And while his daughter, Mikayla, did tell us there was damage to the front of the car, Kugler also just had enough for the night.
- The SuperPro Series is a crate Late Model tour in the Michigan/Indiana/Ohio region. It is similar to the Pro Late Models of the Southeast.
- 16 cars were on hand for the show at Angola.
- “Hollywood” Cook’s brother, “Smooth” Al Cook finished third.
- Tommy Cook drove a RanderCar to the victory.
- Plante’s car is the former ASA Late Model machine that Bob Varney formerly piloted.
- Top Rookie in the series thus far this year is 16-year-old Reagan May. May has run dirt and asphalt around the Wisconsin scene. In fact, she’s won some Sport Truck races at Wisconsin Int’l Speedway (Kaukauna) this year and in ’09 she competed in the Super Late Model division at Golden Sands Speedway (WI). The personable female finished ninth with a tight racecar at Angola.
- Steve Minich Jr. won the Modified race over Bud Adams in the 17-car field.
- CRA SS and Outlaw Late Model competitor Tyler Roahrig was on hand Saturday at AMS. Roahrig was helping a buddy of his, Jason Timmerman, in the Modifieds. Timmerman. Timmerman set fast-time and finished fifth.
- Jack Landis has been without a ride in the Midwest for most of the season. We found him Saturday helping out Jason Dietsch. In fact, Landis has been with the 7-team for its latest two victories.
- The most entertaining event of the evening was hands-down the Figure-8 trailer race that concluded the evening. Let’s just say the AMS staff has quite the clean-up ahead of them at the 3/8’s of a mile oval in Northeast Indiana.
- The next SuperPro Series is this Sunday, August 22nd at Winchester Speedway (IN).
SHIVELY HIGH PERFORMANCE 100 PRESENTED BY TEAM TECH MOTORSPORTS
1. TOMMY COOK
2. RICK EVERIDGE
3. AL COOK JR.
4. JASON DIETSCH
5. CLAUDE PLANTE
6. MATT HALL
7. KEVIN TODD
8. DAVE BICE
9. REAGAN MAY
10. PAUL FREELAND
11. JEREMY CURNS
12. ROYCE MASON
13. COLIN TOLAND
14. ERIC BARCUS
15. JUSTIN MATTSON
16. MIKE KUGLER