Despite engine woes, Briggs hangs on at K-C
By Scott WolfeK-C Raceway
ALMA, Ohio (April 18) — So far, the new O'Reilly All Star Late Model Series is all Boom Briggs. The Bear Lake, Pa., driver survived late engine problems to complete a clean sweep of the first series weekend, edging Steve Casebolt by less than two lengths to win the Rubbin' Repair Spring 50 at K-C Raceway. | Briggs takes opener at Lernerville
Briggs led most the way at the 3/8-mile oval in southcentral Ohio, but things got a little anxious at the end for the 38-year-old driver who dedicated the victory to a good friend who died earlier in the week.
"I'm pretty sure he was with me the last two nights," said the outside front-row starter, who splited $10,000 in weekend earnings between K-C and Lernerville Speedway in Sarver, Pa. "With about few laps to go I felt the car sputter. I think I lost a couple valve springs so I moved up a groove and just kept up my momentum.
"It seemed to work. Steve showed me his nose a couple times, but moving up really helped me keep up my speed. Then when I let off going into turn three the engine blew on the last lap. That's why I had to coast this thing down to victory lane. But it's been a great weekend and a great way to kick off this 2009 O'Reilly All-Star campaign."
Casebolt, the Richmond, Ind., driver who roared into contention after a lap-seven restart and traded the lead with Briggs before the halfway point of the race, settled for second with Bart Hartman of Zanesville, Ohio, in third. Delmas Conley of Wheelersburg, Ohio, picked up two spots in the final five laps to finish fourth and fast qualifier Steve Shaver of Vienna, W.Va., rounded out the top five after running second in the race's early stages. Polesitter and reigning track champion Ben Adkins of West Portsmouth, Ohio, fell out of contention early and dropped out with eight laps remaining.
The race was slowed by five cautions, none for serious incidents. Wayne Chinn of Bradford, Ohio, spun in turn one on the seventh lap; Rod Conley slowed for a lap-11 yellow; Dave Hess Jr. of Waterford, Pa., brought out a lap-19 yellow; the two final cautions appeared for the departure of Jared Miley (lap 36) and Chinn (lap 42).
Notes: Briggs drives a Custom-powered Rocket Chassis sponsored by Horton Equipment and Meridien Hardwoods. ... Eddie Carrier Jr. of Salt Rock, W.Va., was the race's hard charger with his 15th-to-sixth run. ... The event was the first at K-C under the promotership of new track owner Jeff Schrader, who completed a purchase of the track from Jim Nier on April 13. The crowd was light early but filled out later in the evening. “I admit I was a little worried,” Schrader said, "but the night couldn’t have turned out any better. ... This will give us something solid to build on." ... Ben Adkins earned $600 for winning the fast dash that set the starting lineup for the feature. ... The feature's honorary starter was veteran and former school teacher Danny Schrader, Jeff Schrader's uncle. ... The event drew Late Model teams from seven states. ... Among drivers failing to make the feature lineup: Mike Knight, Jason Montgomery, Barry Doss and Jason Riggs. ... Next up for O'Reilly All Star competitors is a May 9 event at Winchester (Va.) Speedway paying $5,000 to the winner (an originally scheduled May event at Potomac Speedway in Budds Creek, Md., was removed from the schedule). ... K-C hosts three more series events, the next on May 23.
Rubbin' Repair Spring 50: (1) Boom Briggs, (2) Steve Casebolt, (3) Bart Hartman, (4) Delmas Conley, (5) Steve Shaver, (6) Eddie Carrier Jr., (7) Jared Hawkins, (8) Davey Johnson, (9) Duane Chamberlain, (10) Robbie Blair, (11) Coleby Frye, (12) Josh McGuire, (13) Devin Friese, (14) R.J. Conley, (15) Donnie Moran, (16) Audie Swartz, (17) Wayne Chinn, (18) Dave Hess Jr., (19) John Mason, (20) Ben Adkins, (21) Jared Miley, (22) Steve Bigley, (23) Rod Conley. Fast qualifier (among 35 cars): Shaver, 14.798 seconds. Dash winner: Adkins. Heat race winners: Shaver, Adkins, Hartman, Briggs. Consolation winners: Frye, Swartz.