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Attica Raceway Park

Red-hot Van Wormer repels Maffett at Attica

April 18, 2009, 12:47 am
By Dustin Jarrett
DirtonDirt.com correspondent
Jeep Van Wormer picks up $2,000 at Attica. (Dustin Jarrett)
Jeep Van Wormer picks up $2,000 at Attica. (Dustin Jarrett)

ATTICA, Ohio (April 17) – Jeep Van Wormer of Pinconning, Mich., continued his recent hot streak by besting a stellar 54-car field in Friday's Sunoco American Late Model Series event at Attica Raceway Park. Van Wormer, who started eighth, earned $2,000 for his efforts after taking the lead from Rocky Owens with 11 laps remaining in the 30-lap feature. | ALMS notebook

“This was a great win for us tonight,” Van Wormer said in victory lane. “My car was good anywhere, but it really took off on the high side. I have to thank my crew for all their help. We wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for them.”

Following Van Wormer across the finish line was 22nd-starting Wayne Maffett Jr. of Mansfield, Ohio and reigning series champion Rusty Schlenk of Jackson, Mich. Matt Miller of Waterville, Ohio, a regular-season winner at Attica earlier this season, was fourth with Casey Noonan of Sylvania, Ohio, rounding out the top five.

The field of 54 was trimmed to 22 for the feature with Miller and Jon Henry leading the group to the green. On the start, Miller won the drag race into turn one, but jumped the cushion and immediately fell back to fourth. Henry took command with Schlenk, Brian Ruhlman, Miller, and Van Wormer in tow. As Ruhlman faded, the battle for second intensified as Schlenk, Miller, Van Wormer, and others swapped positions seemingly every lap.

By lap 10, the four-way dance for second quickly turned into a five-car fight for the lead with Henry turning away the challenges of both Schlenk and Van Wormer. In a wild three-wide move, Schlenk momentarily grabbed the top spot on the 13th lap then relinquished it one circuit later to a high-flying Van Wormer. Van Wormer’s time at the front of the field was short-lived as the surprising Owens of Mansfield, hugging the low groove, pulled ahead at the halfway point.

Owens would lead the field through two cautions with Van Wormer, Miller, 11th-starting Casey Noonan, and Henry following. On a lap-18 restart, Van Wormer shot to the high side and roared back ahead of Owens to reassume command of the pack. By lap 20, the provisional starter Maffett had worked his way up to sixth.

A caution on lap 26 set up a four-lap dash to the finish with Van Wormer leading Miller, Schlenk, Owens, and Maffett. Miller looked low and Schlenk looked high, each driver seeking a potential winning pass, but neither could complete the task. Instead, Maffett continued his run to the front by squeaking past both competitors. At the stripe, he would come up two lengths short of Van Wormer.

Notes: Van Wormer’s Cornett-powered Rocket Chassis carries sponsorship from Bayline Fire Protection, Global Technologies, Port City Racing, and Integra Shocks. ... Van Wormer notched his 23rd career series victory, second on the all-time win list behind Kris Patterson. ... After losing an engine while leading his heat, Rusty Seaver climbed in Chuck Hummer’s car for a consolation race. Seaver started 18th and finished fifth in that consolation race, but was added to the feature as a series provisional. ... Among the drivers failing to make the feature lineup: George Lee, Rick Bond, Justin McNeil, Scott Baker, Dean Anderson and Larry Kingseed. ... Next up for ALMS competitors is Saturday, April 18, at Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio.

Sunoco ALMS at Attica: (1) Jeep Van Wormer, (2) Wayne Maffett Jr., (3) Rusty Schlenk, (4) Matt Miller, (5) Casey Noonan, (6) Rocky Owens, (7) Ryan Vanderveen, (8) Rusty Seaver, (9) Jon Henry, (10) Brian Ruhlman, (11) Dusty Moore, (12) Ryan Markham, (13) Shawn Negangard, (14) Michael Stiltner, (15) Chris Ross, (16) Ryan Missler, (17) Ky Harper, (18) Kerry Mathew, (19) Dale Glassford, (20) Tyler Boggs, (21) Curtis Roberts, (22) Tom Sprague. Heat race winners (among 54 cars): Ruhlman, Miller, Henry, Schlenk, Boggs. Consolation winners: Missler, Vanderveen. Provisional starters: Seaver, Sprague, Maffett.

Correction: Updates with official finish, swapping 21-22 finishers.

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