CITGO ASA LEFTOVERS: LANIER... PART TWO by J. Troiano, B. Dillner & M. Dillner
Scites Sixth.. Stilverthorne Wrecks... Stewart Smokin'
"I feel the momentum," said an elated Scites after the race. "We had to have been the hard charger again after starting 27th. We race really well; we just need to learn to qualify better. That is probably mostly me there though. I see another win in our future. We are just really coming together."
Scites' night wasn't without troubles though.
"I got into Hemphill and got down onto the apron and
CONCORD WINNER CONTINUES TO TURN SEASON AROUND
You can't do much worse than starting your season out by missing the first race. And you can't do much more to turn the season around than win the third race of the year. That is exactly what Davin Scites did and his successful turn around continued in Georgia with a sixth-place finish.
squeezed up into him and we both went around. It was nothing intentional just racing. Then I got into Stewart there at the end and I was very apologetic to him about that. He just got off the gas quicker than I did and there was nothing could do. I jumped on the brakes quick, but I couldn't' get stopped; he knows that. Then we got spun once and just had to work our way back up."
"ROOKIE REED" DOES WELL IN FRONT OF HOME STATE CROWD
Reed Sorenson got back on track with a fourth-place finish in front of his home-state fans at Lanier.
Davin Scites' remarkable turnaround continued in Georgia.
"The craziness happened when we decided that we needed to get tires; I made the call to come in and get right side tires. Then we were making our way back up through the field and it seemed like there was a wreck every 10 laps or so. When you have a wreck, you just decide on your hole and go for it and know that that is your only choice. There is a lot of work involved in missing wrecks. There were probably four wrecks I should have been in, but I missed them.
"Then we got up to fourth and had a good chance for third, but someone laid oil out on the track and it got really slick and we just had to hold on to fourth. I got under (Casey) Smith and I just backed out of it. It was a good points night for us.
"In ASA racing, you get on these little race tracks, everyone is not giving an inch. There are a few people out there that give and take a little bit more, but you come to short tracks you are gong to get a lot of rubbing and a lot of wrecks; that is just going to happen."
ROOKIE SEASON NOT GOING HOW HEMPHILL WOULD LIKE IT TO BE
Ryan Hemphill took over one of the most coveted rides in the off season, the #11 Meijer ride formerly wheeled by current Busch Series competitor Davin Stremme. But the results haven't been up to Hemphill's standards early in the season and that trend continued in Georgia.
"The end result was that we blew up an engine that I thought was bullet proof," said a dejected Hemphill, who finished 31st. "The first time we came (to the pits) in I had no oil pressure. They did some work on the damper and we went back out, but it must have been too late, because it shot right out the side of the block.
"We got to jump over this bad luck thing. We are going to do some testing during the off weeks to turn this team around. We are right there; we just need to do something different. It is still early in the year and we think we will be ok."
LEICHT ALSO CAN'T SHAKE BAD LUCK BUG
Stephen Leicht was an innocent victim again. He was a byproduct of the Kevin Cywinski / Casey Smith tangle on the front stretch late in the race. Cywinski got into Leicht while he was trying to save the car.
"We made our two stops really early," said Leicht, who finished 30th. "We didn't have a car to win, but we had a car to finish in the top 10. Someone got spun on the front stretch and I ran out of track and they got into me coming back up the track. Then going down into one something snapped and it went right up to the wall. It is one of those nights.
"It looked like Cywinski was going to go down so I went to the high side and he just got into me enough to break something in the front end. Right now, we can't get this monkey off our back.
STEWART'S EVENTFUL NIGHT ENDS WITH A BANG
Greg Stewart started Saturday night's race a season-high third and jumped into second-place behind Butch Miller only laps into the event. After riding around behind Miller for a while, things went downhill for Stewart in the middle of the race before it all ended with a bang.
"We had the fastest car out there in my mind," said Stewart. "When I was up there following Butch in second, (crew chief) Gene (Roberts)
just kept saying, 'follow Butch and he will make the hole. I told Gene I wanted to make the holes. Then a caution came out and the 23 car just came flying around me all the way to the front stretch. So I was up beside him disputing the position on the outside and Butch and everyone pitted and I couldn't get in there because I was trapped on the outside so we missed our pit sequence. We pitted on our own and had to work for it to get back up there, but the race was fun. I had to have passed more cars than anyone."
Stewart also commented heavily on some of the lapped traffic.
"The 32 car (Troy Wangerin, who Stewart got together with in Concord early in the race) runs like junk until someone gets around him and then he tried to run the wheels off of it. It is frustrating because you need to be racing that hard racing against people on the lead lap, not guys a lap down. I'm having to use the car up getting around guys that are a lap down or more.
"Then my motor blew on the last restart. I heard something fluttering and then it just went."
Stewart's engine problems laid down all the oil that plagued many of the competitors on the last lap. He finished 24th.
Hemphill's night ended with a blown engine.
Reed Sorenson's (#29) fourth-place finish was exactly what the Port City team needed.
SIEG STILL WAITING FOR STEWART?
Shane Sieg wasn't too happy with Greg Stewart after a late race accident that put the Georgia driver out of the event after a top-10 run for most of the evening.
"We were just racing, trying to get to the end," said Sieg, who finished 26th. "The 33 car got into me and I saved it and then he was under me so far that I just got into the wall. We were running good too, which is what we needed. I can understand pushing and shoving but he was awful far under me. Oh well, we can get them back later.
"It has been a frustrating time. It is just more work and we will be back. We are going to run all the all pro races after this and run up to eight of these and run for rookie next year."
Stewart had a different version of the incident.
"I got into the back of the 39 for about seventh," commented Stewart. "I was faster than him, but I was giving way just waiting for him to make a mistake. I was right on his bumper and something happened where he checked up. Since I was on his bumper I got into him and whoever was behind me got into me and we all just got spun around. He is mad at me out there wanting to fight me. That is just short track racing when you are bumper to bumper with someone."
SILVERTHORNE OK AFTER PRACTICE ACCIDENT
John Silverthorne destroyed his car in practice on Saturday when his throttle hung wide open and his #8 slammed into the turn three wall. Silverthorne climbed out under his own power, but his car was destroyed. He did not make the show.
KLUG BLAMES GORDON FOR ACCIDENT THAT TOOK OUT KITTLESON
"The 16-car (Tracy Gordon) was getting a little over anxious and we were just sitting there sideways waiting to get going and Kittleson came along with no where to go and locked his breaks up and got us big time. I feel bad for him because I know he is the rookie point leader but there wasn't much I could do," said Klug. "People are getting really over anxious in the beginning of these races now."
Klug ended up last... 34th.
Shane Sieg's car came home on a rollback for the second straight race.
SONTAG BACK WHEELING IT IN THE ASA
Rookie Brett Sontag wasn't at the season's last race in Concord (NC), but why?
"We took a little break. My owner (Terry Kunes) was opening his new race track in Madison (Madison International Speedway, WI) and with the holiday, we just took a little break to regroup. It was nice to have a little vacation. I watched the race, but I was itching to be back there."