King rubs past Kowatic for victory at Expo
CORTLAND, Ohio (June 29) — Russ King of Bristolville, Ohio, ran down George Kowatic on the 13th lap Wednesday at nearby Expo Speedway and made the winning pass amid traffic for a Fastrak Northeast victory worth $2,000.
King, stripped of a May 30 victory for using illegal tires at Lernerville Speedway, made contact with Kowatic, whose car had a flat thatï¿½ ended his night in the first event of the five-race Bully Dog Cross the Borders Speedweek for the Crate Late Model tour.
"I just had to get up on the wheel," the 22-year-old King said at the 5/8-mile oval. "It's tough to pass here so there was a little gouging going on.
"I just knew I was going to hold my ground on the bottom and the cars on the outside had the option to lift. This Fastrak racing can't get any more closer than it is. I'm really pumped for everyone to win this, and I have thank everyone for supporting the (165th annual Trumbull County) fair."
Series points leader Max Blair of Centerville, Pa., had a two-race win streak snapped in finish second while John Volpe finished third ahead of 14th-starting Dan Angelicchio and Wayne Robertson, who missed hot laps after getting stuck in traffic coming from Corning, N.Y.
Kowatic drew the pole and raced to the early lead followed by the third-starting King and Blair. By lap two, Kowatic and King began pulling away from the field. King closed on the leader on lap five, but Kowatic continued to set the pace. Kowatic opened up some breathing room as he had a clear track in front of him until lapped traffic came into play on lap nine, slowing the leader.
On lap 13, Kowatic came off turn two trying to get by a slower car. The slight hesitation allowed King a clear run to the inside of Kowatic. The two made contact with King coming out in the lead; however, Joe Martin slowed to bring out the event's first and only caution with 12 laps scored.
Kowatic regained the lead when racing restarted because the 13th lap wasn't counted, but the contact had cut Kowatic's tire down. Kowatic's disabled race car made a couple laps falling back through the pack before exiting the event. Back up front, King was in control with Blair now second, Volpe to third, and Angelicchio up to fourth ahead of Mike Pegher Jr.
As the laps ticked off, King pulled away, while the battle was on for second. Robertson, who started 17th, joined the mix making it a five-car race for second. With five laps remaining, King opened up a straightaway lead on Blair, who pulled away from Volpe, Angelicchio, Pegher, and Robertson.
Notes: King's Rocket Chassis is spionsored by Essroc Italcementi, Integra Shocks and Schaeffer's Oil. ... The midweek event started at 6 p.m. because the huge dirt oval doesn't have lights. ... Fifth-place finisher Wayne Robertson is getting married this weekend. ... Drivers failing to make the feature: Nick Miller, Chris Angelicchio, Justin Kreider, Brian Lessley and Tyler Barris. ... Next up for the series is a Thursday night arace at McKean County Raceway in East Smethport, Pa.
Fastrak Northeast @ Expo: (1) Russ King, (2) Max Blair, (3) John Volpe, (4) Dan Angelicchio, (5) Wayne Robertson, (6) Mike Pegher Jr., (7) Steve Dixon, (8) Chris Steele, (9) Josh Double, (10) Butch Lambert, (11) Josh Holtgraver, (12) Kyle Zimmerman, (13) Damian Bidwell, (14) Shane Weaver, (15) Chad Wright, (16) Bill Cunningham, (17) Lauren Longbrake, (18) Tom Copeland, (19) John Over, (20) Bobby Rohrer Jr., (21) George Kowatic, (22) Alan Dellinger, (23) Joe Martin, (24) Clay Ruffo. Heat race winners (among 29 cars): Lambert, Dellinger, Blair. Consolation winner: Steele