WANNER TOPS ARDC FIELD ON BRIDGEPORT QUARTER MILE
Wanner Becomes Fourth Different Winner in ARDC Action
Brett Wanner of Shoemakersville, PA picked up the win in the twenty lap American Racing Drivers Club (ARDC) feature on the Bridgeport Speedway quarter mile on Friday night. Wanner became the fourth different driver in four races to capture a win in 2015 ARDC competition.
Wanner is in his fourth season of ARDC competition, having been named ARDC Rookie of the Year in 2012. Wanner picked up his first wingless midget win during his Rookie season. After dealing with mechanical issues during the three previous events, everything went Wanner's way as he drove to the win.
It was a different sort of Victory Lane for Bridgeport announcer, Jeff Ahlum since Wanner is hearing impaired but there was no denying his enthusiasm and celebration!
Brenden Bright and Wanner made up the front row for the start of the feature event. Bright jumped out to the early lead but action quickly came to a halt when several cars tangled in turn two and Ryan Greth rolled off the backstretch. As the field began to form for the restart, Bright's Presidential HVAC #92 was leaking fluid. When it was determined that Bright was losing fuel, he was sent to the pits for safety reasons.
Wanner took the lead on the restart as PJ Gargiulo zipped between several cars to take over second at the end of the first lap. A move in turn four one lap later, had Gargiulo facing the wrong way as the caution came out for the Morton, PA driver who restarted at the rear of the field. Wanner led the way over Jimmy Radney, Bruce Buckwalter Jr., Tim Buckwalter and Nick Wean.
Wanner began to put some distance on the field as Tim Buckwalter moved up to third and Trevor Kobylarz moved into the top five. Kobylarz was on the move as he moved up to challenge Tim Buckwalter as the Wanner led Radney to the crossed flags to complete lap ten.
Mechanical issues found Tim Buckwalter stopped in turn three on lap twelve, setting up a single file restart. Wanner led Radney, Kobylarz, Bruce Buckwalter, Jr. and Steven Drevicki with nine laps remaining.
Kobylarz tried to make a move to the inside of Radney on the backstretch but Radney held his position. Kobylarz slid by Radney on lap thirteen to take over second and set his sights on Wanner who had begun to pull away from the field.
With five laps to go, Kobylarz was closing on Wanner as Radney ran third followed by Bruce Buckwalter, Jr. and Nick Wean. Kobylarz tried to slide Wanner for the lead in turn four but was unable to clear the leader. After contact was made, Wanner stretched as lead as Kobylarz continued in second. Bruce Buckwalter Jr. raced Radney for the third spot as Wean moved in to challenge.
With two laps remaining, Kobylarz had a rear axle break in turn two, setting up a two lap shootout to the finish. Wanner his lead as Wean began to advance through the top five. Radney pulled off the track with mechanical woes just a lap short of the finish as Wanner led Wean, Bruce Buckwalter, Jr., Steven Drevicki and Gargiulo to the checkered flag.
Bright and Gargiulo won the two qualifying heats.
ARDC action moves to the Grandview Speedway and the Thunder on the Hill opener on Sunday, May 24th.
FEATURE FINISH (20 LAPS) 1. Brett Wanner 2. Nick Wean 3. Bruce Buckwalter, Jr. 4. Steven Drevicki 5. PJ Gargiulo 6. Tony DiMattia 7. Carey Becker 8. Jim Radney 9. Trevor Kobylarz 10. Tim Buckwalter 11. Shawn Jackson 12. Brett Arndt 13. Tommy Kunsman, Jr. 14. Brenden Bright 15. Ryan Greth
Tim Buckwalter is Third Different Winner in ARDC Action
Buckwalter Leads the Way in Big Diamond Action
2012 ARDC Champion, Tim Buckwalter, made his first start of the 2015 season when the American Racing Drivers Club (ARDC) visited the Big Diamond Speedway on Friday night and came away with the win. Buckwalter becomes the third different driver to capture an ARDC Midget victory so far this season as he picked up the second win for Mike Heffner's #27.
Tommy Kunsman Jr. and Brett Wanner paced the field to the start of the twenty lap feature event. Kunsman grabbed the lead on the start as Ryan Greth quickly moved up to second. Bruce Buckwalter, Jr. threaded his way through several cars to take third off of turn two.
The one and only caution of the event came with one lap complete when Eric Heydenreich got out of shape in turn four.
It was Kunsman out in front on the restart, holding off the challenge of Greth for the lead. 2014 ARDC Champion, Steven Drevicki moved up to third but Tim Buckwalter raced his way by to secure third on lap two. Buckwalter quickly closed on the tail tank of Greth and took over second on lap four. With a move to the inside, Buckwalter raced side by side with Kunsman down the backstretch to take the lead on lap five as Billy Pauch Jr. moved up to second in Greg Fitzpatrick's #28.
As the race approached the half way mark, Drevicki moved in to challenge Pauch for second. Nick Wean took over the fourth spot on lap thirteen with a pass by Kunsman.
Buckwalter sailed ahead of the field as the battles for position waged in the pack. With five to go, Trevor Kobylarz challenged Kunsman for a spot in the top five.
As Tim Buckwalter led the way to the checkered, Pauch put a move on Drevicki for second but when a lapped car chose the outside line, Drevicki was able to take advantage of the situation and grab the spot.
Trailing Buckwalter across the line were Drevicki, Pauch Jr., Wean and Kobylarz in Carey Becker's #20.
ARDC action moves to the Bridgeport quarter mile this Friday night.
ARDC Feature (20 laps) 1. Tim Buckwalter 2. Steve Drevicki 3. Billy Pauch Jr. 4. Nick Wean 5. Trevor Kobylarz 6. Bruce Buckwalter, Jr. 7. Tommy Kunsman 8. Ryan Watt 9. Brett Arndt 10. Austin Burke 11. Tony DiMattia 12. PJ Gargiulo 13. Brett Wanner 14. Eric Heydenreich 15. Ryan Greth DNS - Jim Radney
ARDC MAKES FIRST BIG DIAMOND APPEARANCE OF 2015
The American Racing Drivers Club (ARDC) heads to the Big Diamond Speedway this Friday night for its third event of the 2015 season.
The first two races have produced two first time winners in ARDC competition. Will there be a third on Friday or will another driver add a win to his total?
Danny Stratton was the winner of the season opener at Linda's Speedway with Ryan Greth earning his first win the next night at Path Valley. Trevor Kobylarz chased both drivers to the checkered flag and will be looking for his first win on the Big Diamond track. 2014 ARDC Champion, Steven Drevicki started out the season with two top five finishes and has to be considered a threat wherever the wingless midgets travel. Bruce Buckwalter Jr. had an outstanding season opener until mechanical failure took him out of the running while leading the main event. He will look to return to that form in Big Diamond midget action.
Several drivers will be making their first starts of the 2015 season.
Billy Pauch Jr. and Ryan Watt are expected to do double duty on Friday night, racing in both the Modified and Midget portions of the show. Pauch will wheel the DeGre Engineering #28 as a team car to Drevicki. Pauch has two ARDC Midget victories to his credit in past seasons. Watt is expected to be in the cockpit of the RT Racing #20 as a team mate to 2013 ARDC Champion, Trevor Kobylarz. Watt is still looking for his first ARDC victory but has several podium finishes to his credit. Watt was a recent winner at Big Diamond with his Modified, winning the Money in the Mountains event just two weeks ago.
2012 ARDC Champion, Tim Buckwalter spends most of his time wheeling a Small Block Modified these days but Buckwalter will take over the cockpit of the Mike Heffner owned, Leland.com #27 midget on Friday night at Big Diamond as he makes his first ARDC start of the season.
Mark and Brian Gilmore, the racing brothers from Hackettstown, NJ will be prepared to make their first start of the season. Mark picked up his best ever ARDC finish in the season opener at Big Diamond several years ago.
There will be plenty of side by side and three wide racing when the ARDC Midgets take to the Big Diamond Speedway on Friday night!
GRETH IS FIRST TIME WINNER IN ARDC ACTION AT PATH VALLEY
When Saturday morning came, Ryan Greth thought he would be watching the second night of the 2015 American Racing Drivers Club (ARDC) schedule from the sidelines. During Friday night's competition, Greth broke a throttle shaft, sidelining him from the season opener.
After hours of work, the repair made, there were subsequent problems and nothing seemed to be working. Greth loaded the car and headed to Path Valley, uncertain what the night would hold or if he would even be able to race.
But race he did.
First, Greth drove his Hyper Midget to a heat win in the first qualifier and then his team mate, Jim Radney repeated this feat in the second heat race.
Greth and Radney lined up side by side to lead the starting field to the green flag.
Greth quickly took command at the wave of the green as Radney got high and several cars got by. Tony DiMattia raced in second with Shawn Jackson taking over third. Trevor Kobylarz and Danny Stratton raced three wide with Eric Heydenreich for the fourth spot as the field raced down the backstretch .
Greth pulled away from the field. DiMattia put some distance on third as Kobylarz and Stratton battled side by side for third. Stratton raced the outside and took over the spot on the backstretch but Kobylarz came right back with a cross over move to regain the position. Greth led DiMattia, Kobylarz, Straaton and Jackson with five laps on the books.
While Greth continued to pull away, Kobylarz and Stratton raced for position and began to close the gap on DiMattia. Jackson drew a caution on lap nine when he slowed on the track and the field realigned single file for the restart.
It was all Greth out in front as Stratton took the outside and Kobylarz the inside as they challenged DiMattia for second. With ten laps scored, Greth led Kobylarz, Stratton, DiMattia and 2014 ARDC Champion, Steven Drevicki.
The leaders were evenly spaced as they took the crossed flag.
Stratton jumped the cushion between turns one and two, allowing Drevicki to move up to third before Stratton was able to recover. Meanwhile, Kobylarz was giving it his all as he chased after Greth - even tagging the backstretch wall as he tried to close the gap.
The race to the checkered had Greth out in front with Kobylarz in second. Stratton chased Drevicki and used a crossover moved to regain third with just two laps to go.
At the end of twenty-five laps, it was Greth out in front for the win followed by Kobylarz, Stratton, Drevicki and DiMattia.
After many wins in micro sprint competition, it was Greth's first ARDC Midget win and the first midget win for Mike Dicely's Hyper chassis. It was also the first ARDC midget win for car owner and current ARDC president, Wayne Lesher. The win made all of the hard work very worthwhile!
"It's been a long time coming," Greth said of his first win. "We really needed it." "ARDC here at Path Valley is going to be awesome," Greth added as the wingless midgets return to Path Valley for two more events, including a co-sanctioned race with USAC in mid-August.
FEATURE FINISH (25 LAPS) 1. Ryan Greth 2. Trevor Kobylarz 3. Danny Stratton 4. Steven Drevicki 5. Tony DiMattia 6. Austin Burke 7. Brett Arndt 8. Eric Heydenreich 9. Jim Radney 10. Shawn Jackson 11. PJ Gargiulo
STRATTON PICKS WIN IN ARDC OPENER AT LINDA'S
Linda's Host First Race in Short Track Series
Danny Stratton achieved a lot of "firsts' with his win on Friday night in the season opener for the American Racing Drivers Club (ARDC) at Linda's Speedway. The Batz family hosted what was the ARDC season opener as well as the inaugural event of ARDC's short track series and Stratton made sure that his name would be part of those milestones when he captured the win in the twenty-five lap main event.
While Stratton captured the glory it was Bruce Buckwalter Jr. who captivated the attention up until lap twelve of the feature event.
Buckwalter set fast time during opening night time trials. After starting fourth in the second qualifying heat, Buckwalter took the lead at the half way mark and posted the win in heat race. His qualifying efforts coupled with his fast time put him on the pole for the feature event.
Buckwalter looked like the man to beat as he powered his BDB Construction/Fastener Specialties #83 out in front at the start. Stratton raced Tony DiMattia for second as PJ Gargiulo moved up to third with 2013 ARDC Champion, Trevor Kobylarz in hot pursuit.
As Stratton closed the gap on Buckwalter, Gargiulo and Kobylarz waged a heated battle for third. Kobylarz slid by Gargiulo to take the spot on lap six but Gargiulo came right back to regain the position. Kobylarz would make his pass stick on lap nine as Buckwalter led Stratton, Kobylarz, Gargiulo and Shawn Jackson with ten complete.
It was a perfect night for Buckwalter until the field came down the homestretch to complete lap eleven. Buckwalter slowed with a puff of smoke. As Stratton took the lead, Buckwalter exited through the turn two gate.
Stratton set the pace as Kobylarz set his sights on the leader. A three way battle was being waged for third with Gargiulo, 2014 ARDC Champion, Steven Drevicki and Shawn Jackson all racing for the same real estate.
After twenty laps of non-stop racing, Jackson clipped the wall on the homestretch and got upside down going into turn one. The driver was uninjured and was pushed back to the pits while the field realigned for a five lap shootout.
Kobylarz threw everything he had at Stratton in the final laps, sliding under the leader several times but Stratton was always able to drive off the top to maintain his advantage.
tratton took the win over Kobylarz, Gargiulo, Drevicki and Brett Arndt at the checkered.
Heat races were won by Kobylarz and Buckwalter.
FEATURE FINISH (25 LAPS) 1. Danny Stratton 2. Trevor Kobylarz 3. PJ Gargiulo 4. Steven Drevikci 5. Brett Arndt 6. Eric Heydenreich 7. Tyler Brehm 8. Shawn Jackson 9. Tony DiMattia 10. Bruce Buckwalter, Jr. 11. Brett Wanner 12. Jared Esh 13. Jim Radney DNS - Ryan Greth, Brenden Bright and Tommy Kunsman
DREVICKI PREPARES TO DEFEND TITLE
2014 American Racing Drivers Club Champion (ARDC), Steven Drevicki expected to begin the defense of his title at the beginning of April. But Mother Nature had other ideas.
A heavy shower over Jonestown, PA late on Friday afternoon April 3rd, forced the cancellation of the night's scheduled events at Linda's Speedway and that included the 2015 season opener for ARDC. The season opener for ARDC has now been postponed until Friday night, April 17th when the wingless midgets will give it another go at Linda's and then move on to Path Valley the next day for race number two on the 2015 schedule.
On his way to the 2014 Championship, Drevicki picked up three wins and an unbelievable twelve top five finishes in twelve races. Drevicki finished in the top ten in every event. His record was the direct result of a lot of hard work and dedication by Drevicki and his team, led by his dad, Dave Drevicki. After a very disappointing 2012 season - plagued with engine problems and electrical issues - an Esslinger power plant was purchased for the 2013 season. With a dependable power plant under the hood of the #19, attention could now be devoted to set-ups. The 2013 season laid the groundwork for Drevicki's championship season.
But after his performance last season, how does a champion prepare for the next season? "By doing the same thing we did last winter," Drevicki responded. "By spending the time to go over everything and check everything again - just like we did last year. You're always going to have those things that you can't prevent but the idea is to keep those things to a minimum." Drevicki hopes to become ARDC's first repeat champion since Andy Martin in 2006-07.
Drevicki headed to Tulsa, OK for the 2015 Chili Bowl but the trip was a disappointment for the championship team. A poor run in his qualifying heat found Drevicki deep in the alphabet soup of Saturday's competition. "The Chili Bowl is the Chili Bowl," Drevicki said at the time. "It's eight laps against about eight or ten other cars." There isn't anything like it. And while the DeGre Engineering team returned home disappointed, "it's just made us that much more determined for this season," Drevicki added. And anxious to get started!
So when the rain forced the postponement of the season opener, Drevicki was more than happy to travel to Lanco the next day to participate in a practice session. With a special ARDC show scheduled at Lanco on July 4th, the track's practice session was opened to the ARDC competitors. Several of the current ARDC drivers are "graduates" of Lanco's Micro Sprint ranks - including Drevicki. "I was really looking forward to going there," Drevicki explained. "After racing there all those years, I know a lot of people there and I was just looking forward to going back." And the practice session would serve as somewhat of a test.
Any question about Lanco and the feasibility of the wingless midgets racing there were quickly answered with positive results during the Saturday evening practice session. Seven ARDC drivers - Drevicki, Ryan Greth, Trevor Kobylarz, Jim Radney, Danny Stratton, Brett Wanner and rookie, Jared Esh - put on quite a show! Not only were doubts erased but a lot of enthusiasm was created for the July 4th event.
"The track will only be better when we go there to race," Drevicki explained. With snow still on the ground a little more that a week earlier, track prep had to be kept to a minimum in order for the track to open for practice this weekend. The midgets found the high line around the top of the track to their liking. "And you get a run on the inside," Drevicki explained, "but it the inside was there coming off. If we can run the inside, we will really be able to put on a good show."
LINDA'S SPEEDWAY HOSTS ARDC 2015 SEASON OPENER
Jerry Coons to Compete in Season Opener
The American Racing Drivers Club (ARDC) is set to wave the green flag on the 2015 season this Friday evening at Linda's Speedway in Jonestown, PA. with the running of the ARDC Groundbreaker 25, the inaugural event in the Short Track Series.
It has been several seasons since the midgets last raced at Linda's where three events are scheduled for the 2015 season.
Time trials will be held for the midgets on opening night. Since handicapping is not used for the first race of the season, Linda's Michael Batz requested that ARDC use time trials on opening night. "Time trials will offer several advantages," Batz explained. "Since it will be ARDC's first appearance in several years, we will take advantage of time trials to introduce the drivers of ARDC to our fans during the running of time trials." Batz also plans to honor the "Hard Charger" at the conclusion of the twenty-five lap midget feature event.
After starting their season at Linda's, ARDC will return on Friday night, July 3rd for the running of the "No Bull 25", honoring six time ARDC Champion Ray Bull. ARDC will return to Linda's for a third appearance on Friday night, October 2nd.
There are twenty-five events on the 2015 ARDC schedule including a three races co-sanctioned with USAC. In addition to three shows at Linda's, the wingless midgets will make four appearances at Path Valley including the second race of the 2015 season on April 18th. The first of two shows at the Big Diamond Speedway takes place on May 1st. On May 8th, ARDC will run the first of four shows on the Bridgeport Speedway quarter mile. On Sunday, May 24th, it's the first of three Thunder on the Hill events for ARDC, followed on June 2nd with the wingless sprint cars of USAC for the first of the Eastern Storm events. ARDC will join the Eastern Storm for their final event at Port Royal on Saturday, June 6th.
The midgets head west on June 19th and 20th for two nights of racing at the Bedford Fairgrounds and then Pittsburgh's Pennsylvania Motor Speedway. A busy month of June concludes with a Friday night show at Williams Grove - the first of two ARDC events this season.
And that's just the beginning! ARDC will make a return to the Mercer Speedway in July. ARDC will join the midgets of USAC for three co-sanctioned events at Path Valley, Lincoln and Susquehanna on August 18th, 19th and 20th. There are twenty-five scheduled events on the 2015 schedule.
Leading the field of ARDC competitors will be 2014 ARDC Champion, Steven Drevicki of Reading, PA. Drevicki hopes to be ARDC's first repeat champion since Andy Martin accomplished that feat in 2006-07. "Last season will be a hard act to follow," Drevicki stated, "but we are looking to do even better!" A full order for sure since Drevicki captured three wins last season and twelve top fives in fifteen ARDC events.
Finishing second to Drevicki last season was Collegeville, PA driver, Brenden Bright who has his own ideas for the coming season. Bright got a lot of TV time during the 2015 Chili Bowl where he led the first C Main going away until mechanical woes ended his challenge. Bright returns to ARDC competition with a car of his own design that proved to be very successful for the young driver in 2014.
Also in the field for the opener will be USAC Silver Crown winner, Jerry Coons who will travel from his Plainfield, IN home to compete in Mike Heffner's Leland.com #27. It will be Coons first appearance in his new ride before the team heads out on the USAC midget trail. Coons and his Heffner team, led by crew chief, Sean Michael, anticipate making most of the ARDC events this season.
Alex Bright will also be competing in the ARDC opener, driving his grandfather's Lightcap Electric #77 - the car that Bright drove to five wins during the 2014 season. It will be Bright's last race in the East before he heads west to take over the cockpit of the Shane Hmiel owned, Super Cuts ride on the Poweri and USAC circuit.
Also in the starting line-up in the season opener will be 2013 ARDC Champion, Trevor Kobylarz, Brett Arndt who will be fielding a new Eagle chassis with Fontana power under the hood, as well as drivers Bruce Buckwalter, Jr., Nick Wean, PJ Gargiulo, Austin Burke and Ryan Greth who finished in the top ten in season points in 2014.
A raindate of April 17th has been set aside should it become necessary.
ARDC IS REPRESENTED WELL AT 29TH CHILI BOWL
The 29th Lucas Oil Chili Bowl is history.
The American Racing Drivers Club (ARDC), the oldest race sanctioning organization in the country, was well represented at the Chili Bowl competition held in Tulsa, OK.
Four drivers with strong ties to ARDC raced in the A Mains on their qualifying nights. Six drivers won qualifying events throughout the week. With a record number of entries reaching well over the three hundred mark this year, qualifying spots were at a premium on every day of the competition.
Both Milford, NJ driver, Nick Wean and Collegeville, PA driver, Alex Bright won their heat races during Tuesday night's qualifying. Both drivers advanced to the Tuesday night A Main on their passing points, starting 9th and 14th respectively. Wean got caught up in an on track incident and tried to return to the rear of the field after some hasty repairs but his re-entry was blocked by another competitor. Wean finished 21st. Bright rebounded from restarting at the rear of the field to finish twelfth at the checkered flag.
Tyler Brehm, in his second Chili Bowl competition, reached the B Main on Tuesday night. 2014 ARDC Champion, Steven Drevicki raced to a third place finish in the D Main, missing a start in the C Main by just one spot. Ryan Greth was unable to complete the C Main after being involved in a multi-car incident.
Brenden Bright and Shawn Jackson saw competition on Wednesday night. Bright starts out the night with a win in his heat race. Jackson has a rough night, getting caught up in an incident just before the checkered flag in his heat race and then flipping during the running of his qualifier. He will come back and try again on Saturday.
Bright makes the A Main on passing points, starting 16th on the grid. He races home in 11th at the checkered flag after restarting in the rear after the first caution.
Thursday action had PJ Garigulo, Steve Buckwalter, Danny Stratton and Chili Bowl rookie, Tommy Kunsman see qualifying action. Gargiulo and Kunsman both race in the C Mains but neither one is able to advance. Buckwalter and Stratton pick up win in their qualifying heats. Stratton completes qualifying with the most passing points of the night and starts on the pole of the A Main. Buckwalter runs into trouble during his A Main qualifier and is unable to advance.
Stratton leads the first four laps the A Main and finishes sixth at the wave of the checkered.
On the final night of qualifying, Jim Radney and John Heydenreich compete as Curt Michael and Jamie Spears make their first Chili Bowl appearances.
John Heydenreich, the winner of the 1990 Chili Bowl, competed in the Race of Champions event on Tuesday night but was an early retiree after drawing the pole for the start of the twenty lap race.
Curt Michael picks up a win in a C Main and Jamie Spears runs second in his C Main to advance to the B Mains. All four drivers race the B Mains on Friday night but no one is able to move on to the main event of the night.
Saturday is know as Alphabet Soup as the qualifiers run through the alphabet.
Shawn Jackson advances from the M Main to run the L Main. Steven Drevicki races in the L and completes his Chili Bowl competition. Tommy Kunsman's Chili Bowl experience ends with a run in a K Main. Ryan Greth starts in the K Main and then advances to the J and then the I before his day is complete. PJ Gargiulo races in the J Main with Jim Radney in the H Main. Jamie Spears and Steve Buckwalter race in the I Mains but both are involved in on track incidents and do not advance.
Tyler Brehm and Curt Michael pick up twelfth place finishes in the E Mains. Nick Wean finishes twelfth in his D Main.
After leading all the way to lap ten, Brenden Bright has his Chili Bowl hopes end in the C Main with engine problems. Alex Bright finishes twelfth in the same race after receiving damage in the early laps.
Danny Stratton races in the first B Main and is in a qualifying spot when contact is made and Stratton ends up against the wall and upside down.
Saturday was a rough day for the ARDC competitors but much was accomplished during the week of action. It's time to start preparing for next year!
ARDC COMPETITORS PREPARE FOR CHILI BOWL COMPETITON
As final preparations are completed and trailers are being loaded, all eyes turn to Tulsa, OK for what is frequently referred to as 'the Super Bowl' of midget racing as the 29th Annual Chili Bowl gets underway on Monday, January 12th in the
The American Racing Drivers Club will be well represented in the 2015 Chili Bowl competition as fifteen drivers with ties to the organization have registered to compete in this year's event - certainly the largest presence ARDC has ever had in Tulsa. The delegation of ARDC competitors represents a broad cross section of the organization - from rookies to seasoned veterans.
John Heydenreich who hails from Bloomsburg, PA was the winner of the 1990 Chili Bowl and is a former ARDC competitor, ranking ninth on the ARDC All Time Feature Winners List. Heydenreich last competed with ARDC during the 2013 season. While the entries have reached record levels for the 2015 event, Heydenreich maintains that the competition has always been tough in Tulsa. "It's all about preparation and opportunity," Heydenreich states. "You've got to get your elbows up and be ready to take advantage of whatever opportunities come your way."
Collegeville, PA driver, Alex Bright knows all about those opportunities. Bright qualified for last year's Chili Bowl by finishing 3rd in the A Main on his qualifying night while racing for his grandfather, Joe Hemler in his Lightcap Electric #77. Racing the same car that he used in ARDC competition, Bright battled with Christopher Bell and Kevin Swindell right down to the wire in last year's event to finish fourth. This year, Bright will have a Mike Heffner owned midget at the Chili Bowl, with Sean Michael turning the wrenches. A second Heffner entry will be piloted by 8 time URC Sprint Car Champion, Curt Michael who will make his first Chili Bowl appearance.
The "Royersford Rocket", Steve Buckwalter has raced in five Chili Bowl main events. Buckwalter's best finish to date has been a ninth in the Saturday night main event along with a third place finish on his qualifying night.
Now making his home in Berks County, Danny Stratton joined the ranks of ARDC competitors this season as the driver of the Jerry & Karen Steward owned #33. Stratton has raced midgets throughout the country and boasts a fourth place finish in the 2012 Chili Bowl as his best performance to date. Stratton will field a second Andy Bondio entry at this year's Chili Bowl, joining team mate, Tim McCreadie - the winner of the 2006 event.
2014 ARDC Champion, Reading, PA driver, Steven Drevicki leads a host of ARDC competitors who return to completion in Tulsa this year. Drevicki carries the momentum to Tulsa that took him to the top of the ARDC competitors this season. Drevicki and DeGre Engineering Race Team took everything they learned the season before and rolled it into a championship season. Brenden Bright chased Drevicki throughout the season and travels to Tulsa on the heels of one of his most successful seasons in midget competition after finishing second in points. Milford, NJ driver, Nick Wean returns to Chili Bowl competition this year and looks to improve upon his 11th place finish on his qualifying night. After finishing 8th in points on the ARDC schedule, PJ Gargiulo of Morton, PA heads west and hopes to make his first A Main on his qualifying night. Shawn Jackson of Bear, DE will debut his new Elite Chassis, Esslinger powered #7 in Tulsa this week. Jackson was the first driver from the First State of Delaware to compete at the Chili Bowl. Tyler Brehm returns to compete in a second Steve Buckwalter entry. Brehm raced in Tulsa last year after only taking a few practice laps in a midget before the Chili Bowl. In 2014, Brehm raced the Jim Jackson owned #97 in ARDC competition and his headed to Tulsa with a lot more seat time and experience under his belt.
Drivers, Ryan Greth and Jim Radney, are hoping that they can convert what knowledge they gained while competing in the Tulsa Shootout just ten days before the start of the Chili Bowl as they head to Tulsa with their Hyper Racing midgets for their second Chili Bowl experience.
In addition to Curt Michael who makes his first Chili Bowl appearance, 2014 ARDC rookie, Tommy Kunsman of Northampton, PA will be behind the wheel of a second Rick Wean owned entry. Kunsman has been a spectator in Tulsa for the last eight years and looks forward to seeing the event from the other side of the fence. Jamie Spears of New Holland, PA will also make his Chili Bowl debut. Both rides - Kunsman's ride in the Wean #78 Spike chassis and Spear's #74 Stealth - are up for sale and looking for new owners to take possession in Tulsa!
First things first as qualifying gets underway on Tuesday night. Everyone's goal is to make the A Main on qualifying night. Qualifying takes place Tuesday through Friday with final qualifying all day Saturday before the main event.
ARDC ANNOUNCES SCHEDULE FOR 2015 SEASON
Big Season Planned for American Racing Drivers Club
The American Racing Drivers Club (ARDC) has a full season of events planned for the 2015 season, featuring the return of the wingless midgets to both North Carolina and Western Pennsylvania speedways as well as an increased presence on the area quarter mile tracks.
The 2015 season kicks off with the Friday night opener at the Linda's Speedway on April 3rd. It has been several years since the wingless midgets competed at Linda's but 2015 will mark the return with three dates at the Jonestown, PA track. ARDC will return to Linda's for a Friday night show on July 3rd that will honor five time ARDC Champion, Ray Bull with the Living Legends Event, the No Bull 25. As the season winds down, ARDC will return to Linda's for a Friday night event on October 2nd.
After a successful return to the Path Valley Speedway in September of last year, ARDC will compete on the Spring Run, PA quarter mile on three separate occasions this year beginning on Saturday, April 18th. ARDC will return to Path Valley on July 25th and again on September 19th.
The Bridgeport Speedway quarter mile will host ARDC on five separate occasions as the wingless midgets are featured in Bridgeport's Friday night program starting on May 8th. ARDC returns to Bridgeport on June 5th, July 24th, August 28th and again on September 25th.
The month of May starts out at the Big Diamond Speedway on May 1st where the midgets will return for a second show in 2015 on Friday, July 17th. In addition to the May 8th show at Bridgeport, ARDC will compete in a Sunday night Thunder on the Hill show at the Grandview Speedway on May 24th. The first travel weekend of the season follows one weekend later as the ARDC teams will head south for Dixieland and County Line Speedways in North Carolina on May 29th and 30th.
USAC comes to the East for the Eastern Storm tour in early June. ARDC will appear with the wingless USAC sprints at both Grandview on Tuesday, June 2nd and again at the Port Royal Speedway on Saturday June 6th.
Mid-June marks the return of ARDC to Western Pennsylvania as the midgets head to the Bedford Speedway on Friday, June 19th and then it's on to the Pittsburgh's Pennsylvania Motor Speedway on Saturday night, June 20th. The month of June concludes with ARDC's first of two appearances at the Williams Grove Speedway on Friday, June 26th.
After opening the July 4th weekend at Linda's on Friday the 3rd, ARDC is looking to spend the holiday with a race at Laneco on July 4th but this date has not yet been confirmed. It's back to Mercer Speedway on Saturday, July 11th and then Big Diamond on Friday the 17th. July concludes with a Friday night show at Bridgeport on the 24th and then Path Valley on Saturday the 25th.
After a hectic June and July, ARDC will race at return to the Lincoln Speedway on Saturday, August 15th and then at Bridgeport on Friday, August 28th.
September shapes up with a possible Labor Day race at Port Royal (to be announced). ARDC returns to Williams Grove on Friday, September 18th and then it's on to Path Valley the next day. September concludes with a Friday night show at Bridgeport's quarter mile on Friday, September 25th.
The 2015 season concludes with shows at Linda's on Friday, October 2nd and Thunder on the Hill at the Grandview Speedway on Saturday, October 17th when the 2015 ARDC Championship will be determined.
2015 promises to be an exciting season of racing for the American Racing Drivers Club as the wingless midgets are featured on a wide variety of speedways. Just the kind of versatility that has made midget racing so popular.
2015 ARDC SCHEDULE
3 - Linda's Speedway (ARDC Season Opener)
18 - Path Valley
1 - Big Diamond
8 - Bridgeport
24 - Thunder on the Hill at the Grandview
29 - Dixieland
30 - County Line
2 - Eastern Storm - Thunder on the Hill - Grandview
5 - Bridgeport
6 - Eastern Storm - Port Royal
19 - Bedford
20 - Pittsburgh
26 - Williams Grove
3 - Linda's
4 - Laneco (tentative)
11 - Mercer
17 - Big Diamond
24 - Bridgeport
25 - Path Valley
15 - Lincoln
28 - Bridgeport
7 - Port Royal (tentative)
18 - Williams Grove
19 - Path Valley
25 - Bridgeport
2 - Linda's
17 - Thunder on the Hill - Grandview
ARDC ANNOUNCES 2015 SEASON OPENER AT LINDA'S SPEEDWAY
Wingless Midget Return to Linda's in 2015
One of the goals of the American Racing Drivers Club (ARDC) for the 2015 season was for the wingless midgets to see more action on the quarter mile tracks and that goal is in sight as ARDC announces their opener at Linda's Speedway on Friday, April 3, 2015. The midgets will be part of a triple header as they join the wingless 600 Micros and 270 Micros in Friday night action.
ARDC's successful return to the Path Valley Speedway in 2014 sparked more interest in the quarter mile tracks. In addition to three dates each at Path Valley and Linda's in 2015, there will also be five dates on Bridgeport's quarter mile track for ARDC with other dates awaiting confirmation of the 2015 schedule.
Linda's Speedway's Michael Batz is looking forward to opening night when the midgets will run time trials to determine starting line-ups for their qualifying heats. "It will be the first race of the season and the first race for the midgets at Linda's. Time trials will give us an opportunity to introduce each of the drivers to our fans and I expect that there will be some surprises out there," Batz relates. The quarter mile track will make the competition more equal among the midgets that typically run on many different size tracks - up to and including large half miles. Batz expects that some new stars may emerge in the series of races on the quarter mile tracks.
Many of the ARDC competitors have come from quarter midgets and then micro sprints before making the move into the midgets. For many, it will be a return to their roots. It will also give the current micro sprint competitors a close up view of the midget competition.
Look for the complete 2015 ARDC schedule to be released in the near future.
Mark your calendars for the opener on Friday, April 3rd at the Linda's Speedway in Jonestown, PA.
DREVICKI IS CHAMPION IN 75TH ANNIVERSARY SEASON
ARDC Crowns New Champion and Announces Special Award Winners
The American Racing Drivers Club (ARDC) gathered at Lobitz Catering in Hazle Township, PA on Saturday to celebrate its 75th Anniversary Season with the crowning of its new champion.
Steven Drevicki of Reading, PA and car owner, Greg Fitzpatrick were honored as the 2014 ARDC Champions on Saturday night as their DeGre Engineering Race Team celebrated its first championship.
Drevicki's record during the 2014 season was nearly flawless as the young driver and his team completed every lap of every event on their way to three wins and twelve top five finishes in the fifteen race schedule. Drevicki won the season opener at the New Egypt Speedway and then went on to pick up his first ever wins at both the Port Royal Speedway and Grandview Speedway later in the season. Drevicki also grabbed eight qualifying race wins during the season.
Car owner, Fitzpatrick praised his driver for being "easy on equipment" and also had high praise for crew chief, Dave Drevicki who supervises the weekly maintenance and preparation on the DeGre Engineering cars driven by both the 2014 ARDC Champion and Fitzpatrick himself. Dave Drevicki was names as ARDC's 2014 Ken Hickey Mechanic of the Year recipient.
Other special awards were presented to KaseyJo Burnish who received the President's Award for her service to the club throughout the 2014 season. Scott and Brett Arndt received the Best Appearing Car Award for their #46 in what was this father and son's 25th season of racing together. Austin Burke overcame injury and disappointment in 2013 to receive the 2014 ARDC Rookie of the Year honors. Stan Lobitz presented the Lobitz Sportsmanship Award to Bruce Buckwalter, Jr. for his unwavering support and promotion of ARDC as well as his sense of fair play and camaraderie among his fellow competitors.
Dino Oberto was the Master of Ceremonies for this year's event while Ms. Motorsports, Cassi Pinder did the honors of presenting the various awards to the recipients. The top fifteen in driver and owner points were recognized along with the recipients of all of the special awards.
ARDC SETS THE STAGE FOR 2015 SEASON
The members of the American Racing Drivers Club (ARDC) held their annual Fall General Membership meeting on Sunday, November 2nd at the American Legion in Topton, PA.
One of the first items on the agenda was the election of Board of Governor members. Wayne Lesher was elected as the President of the organization for the 2015-2016 term. Dave Drevicki was elected to the position of Vice President, Jerry Steward - Treasurer, Deb Smith - Secretary, Tom Grumbine - Owners' Representative and Ted Bright as Member at Large. PJ Gargiulo, Driver's Representative and Keith Mory, Trustee, will continue in their positions through 2015.
As the newly elected president, Wayne Lesher is looking forward leading ARDC into the future. "2014 has been a year of celebration and change within the ARDC," Lesher explained. "I'm excited about what we have in store for 2015. Meetings with car owners and track representatives have been very positive and in few weeks we will have very exciting announcements about the upcoming season." Lesher added, "2015 will mark year 76th for this historic organization and it will
be flat out and on the cushion!!!!"
ARDC will celebrate their 75th Anniversary Season by crowning their 2014 ARDC Champion, Steven Drevicki on Saturday, November 29th at Lobitz Catering in Hazle Township. The banquet is open to the public. Tickets must be purchased in advance. For non-members, tickets are $35 while ARDC members can purchase tickets for $10 by contacting Deb Smith at 610-972-6176 or at email@example.com.
DREVICKI WINS IT ALL IN ARDC ACTION
NEW ARDC CHAMPION CLOSES SEASON WITH A WIN
It was the final race of the season for the American Racing Drivers Club (ARDC) as the wingless midgets competed as just one of the five divisions in the final Thunder on the Hill event of 2014 at the Grandview Speedway.
Steven Drevicki had already clinched the 2014 ARDC Championship prior to the final event. With the title in hand, Drevicki was now free to race on the final night and not be concerned about points. Drevicki took full advantage of the opportunity and it paid dividends for the first time champion.
"I'm really looking forward to racing at Grandview this weekend," Drevicki related in the days prior to the final race. "By clinching the title after Path Valley, I can go into Grandview to race for the win and not have to worry about the points." With the Grandview Speedway just a short distance from his Reading, PA home, Drevicki was anxious to pick up his first win at his home track.
Timed warm-ups determined the top twelve fastest for the final race with those twelve drivers then drawing for their starting positions. Brenden Bright has the fastest time. Drevicki timed fifth quick and then drew the pole for the start of the twenty-five lap main event.
In spite of his pole position start, Drevicki still had his work cut out for him. Alex Bright, with five ARDC feature wins to his credit, started outside pole in the Mike Heffner owned #27.
Drevicki took the lead at the wave of the green with Alex Bright right on his tail. Billy Pauch Jr., driving a team car to Drevicki, powered past PJ Gargiulo to take over third following a lap four restart. Pauch Jr. made a three car race for the lead as Gargiulo, Ryan Watt, 2013 ARDC Champion, Trevor Kobylarz and Brenden Bright followed.
Brett Arndt lost power as the field headed down the homestretch to complete lap eleven and then needed a caution when he and Ryan Greth tangled between turns one and two.
Following the single file restart, Drevicki held a car length or two lead over Alex Bright who was now fending off the challenges of Pauch Jr. for second. Gargiulo and Kobylarz rounded out the top five with plenty of action to follow among the likes of Brenden Bright, Danny Stratton, Watt, Tim Buckwalter and Jim Radney.
Stratton had just broken into the top five when driveline issues sent him pit side. Brenden Bright was also sidelined with a flat tire with just nine laps remaining.
With plenty of pressure coming from Pauch for second, Drevicki was able to pull away from his rivals in the final laps. Pauch used a slide job to pass Alex Bright for second as they raced in turn three but Bright returned the favor in the next corner and regained the position.
Drevicki led the way to the checkered, adding a third win to his championship season and his first ever at the Grandview Speedway. Alex Bright finished second with Pauch, Jr. taking third. Kobylarz finished fourth with Gargiulo rounding out the top five.
The win also gave Drevicki the win in the Hilbert on the Hill Challenge sponsored by Bob Hilbert Sportswear. Drevicki will be awarded 100 Express White shirts for his team at the upcoming ARDC banquet in November.
FEATURE (25 LAPS) 1. Steven Drevicki, 2. Alex Bright, 3. Billy Pauch, 4. Trevor Kobylarz, 5. P.J. Gargiulo, 6. Tim Buckwalter, 7. Jim Radney, 8. Ryan Watt, 9. Bruce Buckwalter Jr., 10. Kyle Lick, 11. Austin Burke, 12. Tyler Brehm, 13. Nick Wean, 14. Danny Straton, 15. Brenden Bright, 16. Brett Arndt, 17. Ryan Greth, 18. Brett Wanner, 19. Shawn Jackson, 20. Thomas Kunsman, 21. Billy Courtwight.
ARDC 75TH ANNIVERSARY SEASON COMES TO A CLOSE
Final 2014 ARDC Event in Saturday's Thunder on the Hill
The 75th Anniversary Season of the American Racing Drivers Club (ARDC) will come to a close at the Thunder on the Hill Halloween Party at the Grandview Speedway this Saturday night when ARDC is just one of the divisions to be featured in this fun filled annual event.
Steven Drevicki of Reading, PA has already sealed the 2014 Championship for his DeGre Engineering team and car owner, Greg Fitzpatrick. In addition to his two feature wins, Drevicki has been able to complete every race on the 2014 ARDC schedule and has amassed a long string of top five finishes. In spite of his outstanding record, Drevicki would like nothing better than to add a Grandview Speedway win to his list of accomplishments for the 2014 season. Many of the ARDC teams consider Grandview to be their home track and of course, want to perform well in front of family, friends and sponsors!
Even thought Drevicki has clinched the title, there is still plenty of action left to determine who the top ten will be at season's end. Currently, Brenden Bright is second in the points chase - a position that he has held for most of the season. 2013 ARDC Champion, Trevor Kobylarz, sits in third, followed by Alex Bright and Brett Arndt. Alex Bright leads all competitors with five wins. Bright has one win at Grandview this season that still has many talking. Bright came from 21st to win the twenty-five lap feature during the first Thunder on the Hill program back in May.
Bruce Buckwalter, Jr. Nick Wean, Ryan Greth, rookie, Austin Burke and PJ Gargiulo round out the top ten in points going into the final event but Tony DiMattia, Kyle Lick and Brett Wanner are well within striking distance. This is a very important race for many ARDC teams.
With the 2014 winding down, plans are well underway for 2015. Many tracks do not begin to work on their new schedules until after their last race of the season however, ARDC has already scheduled several dates for 2015. The 2015 schedule will include a return of ARDC to the tracks of Dixieland and Countyline in North Carolina as well as Pittsburgh's Pennsylvania Motor Speedway and the Bedford Fairgrounds. Stay tuned for more upcoming news in the months to come!
BRETT ARNDT IS THE WINNER IN ARDC RETURN TO PATH VALLEY
Arndt Earns Second Career Win During Anniversary Season
The return of the American Racing Drivers Club (ARDC) and Brett Arndt's win on that historic night will be a red letter addition to ARDC's 75th Anniversary season!
In their first Path Valley appearance since 1993, ARDC elected to use a revenge draw for the main event. PJ Gargiulo drew the pole and gave that position to Arndt for the start of the twenty-five lap feature event. And that was all that Arndt needed to garner his second ARDC career win as he led from the green flag to the checkered to take the win.
The feature winner, as well as his competitors, had high praise for the Path Valley racing surface. Arndt related, "The track was ready when we got there. For the feature, it was a good slick track from the bottom to the cushion," Arndt added.
With six laps to go, 2011 ARDC Champion, Drew Heistand challenged Arndt for the lead. Unfortunately for Heistand, the slide job was not successful as Heistand drew the late race caution. Heistand's challenge also presented an opportunity for Tim Buckwalter who had moved up to second with about ten laps to go. Buckwalter trailed Arndt and thought that Heistand's challenge just might create a chance for him with the leader but that opportunity never presented itself. "I really liked racing at Path Valley," Buckwalter stated. "That's a great track for the midgets!"
Alex Bright was the hired gun in the Mike Heffner owned #27 midget for the Friday night show at Path Valley. After being involved in two altercations earlier in the feature, Bright rebounded to a third place finish at the checkered. "The axle was bent but I was still able to steer the car," the five time ARDC winner explained. And steer the car he did as he captured the final podium finish after twenty-five laps.
The top five was rounded out by two ARDC Champions as Trevor Kobylarz drove the R/T Racing #1 up to fourth after starting 10th on the grid. With his fifth place finish, Steven Drevicki secured the 2014 ARDC Championship title with one more point show remaining on the ARDC schedule.
It was a big night for the Arndts and their EF Schneider sponsored #46. Always in the hunt, Brett Arndt has had several strong runs since mid-season. Friday night's race at Path Valley put the exclamation point on what has been a strong season for Arndt who holds down fifth in points with just one race remaining.
PJ Gargiulo, Tommy Kunsman Jr., Nick Wean, Brett Wanner and Brenden Bright finished in sixth through tenth.
Heat wins went to Nick Wean, Drew Heistand and Tim Buckwalter.
Feature Finish (25 laps)
1. Brett Arndt, 2. Tim Buckwalter, 3. Alex Bright, 4. Trevor Kobylarz, 5. Steven Drevicki, 6. P.J. Gargiulo, 7. Tommy Kunsman Jr., 8. Nick Wean, 9. Brett Wanner, 10. Brenden Bright, 11. Greg Robinson, 12. Tony DiMattia, 13. Carey Becker, 14. Austin Burke, 15. Dusty Heistand, 16. Ryan Greth, 17. Drew Heistand, 18. Shawn Jackson, 19. Jim Radney, 20. Bruce Buckwalter Jr., 21. Greg Fitzpatrick, DNS - Danny Stratton.
ARDC RETURNS TO PATH VALLEY
The wingless midgets of the American Racing Drivers Club (ARDC) will return to the Path Valley Speedway for the first time in more than twenty years when ARDC heads to central Pennsylvania this Friday night racing with Path Valley Speedway Park on their schedule. The field of midgets will take the green flag for a twenty-five lap feature event.
Path Valley Speedway Park is a perfect venue for the wingless midgets - the 1/4 mile banked clay track is optimal for plenty of "side by side" and three wide racing that the ARDC midgets are known.
Jim Radney and his Hyper Midget will be among the entries in Friday night's events. Radney was the race leader just one week ago before being sidelined with electrical problems ten laps from the finish. He will be looking to redeem that performance when the midgets take to the track on Friday night. Radney will be joined by his team mate, Ryan Greth on Friday night. Both drivers are in search of their career first ARDC Midget wins.
Current point leader, Steven Drevicki of Reading will in the field, looking for his third win of the 2014 season. Collegeville, PA driver, Alex Bright leads the ARDC competitors with five wins and will be looking to add to his total. Brenden Bright earned his first win of the season just a week ago and would love to duplicate that effort at Path Valley. Tim Buckwalter and PJ Gargiulo have each picked up one win this season.
Lou Cicconi was the ARDC winner when the club last raced on the Franklin County surface in 1993. Johnny Heydenreich was the race winner in 1987.
Ten lap heat races will determine the starting field as well as a twelve lap B Main. Warm-ups get underway at 7pm.