HUTCHINSON WINS ANOTHER BATTLE, HOWEVER THE WAR IS ALL BUT WON FOR WOLLABER AND TEAM BLACK
Lancaster, New York, August 25th, 2018– Kyle Hutchinson once again proved himself to be one of the fastest drivers in the Jerry Gradl Motors NYPA Midget Association, taking the win #7 of the 2018 season. With Hutchinson sitting 135 points outside of 1st one can only surmise the championship would of shaped up differently if not for the DNF’s that have plagued his team this season. The only driver to outperform Hutchinson on the track this season was his team mate, and Roc Modified regular Andy Jankowiak as he earned a win on July 21st Hutchinson and Wollaber in tow, coming home 2nd and 3rd respectively. Wollaber would either win or finish 2nd in every other race thus far dashing Hutchinson’s hope to defend his 2017 title.
During the first heat, Vinnie Christiano III nearly took home the win, initially putting some distance on his competitors after making a pass for the lead early in the race. However, a caution eliminated Christiano’s lead, and Hutchinson moved into first on the restart, winning the heat. During the second heat, Chad Haywood and Ted Jones, Jr. put distance on their competitors almost immediately, with Haywood earning the victory in dominant fashion.
Jones took the lead as soon as the green flag dropped on the feature, with AJ Hessler giving chase after fighting a three-wide battle for second. Meanwhile, Hutchinson pressed the attack, moving up to third by lap 6, and eventually to the lead by lap 8. The next lap the caution came out for an incident involving Andy Jankowiak, giving Wollaber an opportunity to try to work on Hutchinson on the restart.
Hutchinson managed to hang onto the lead over Wollaber, who managed to keep even pace with the leader. However, an accident involving Kevin Wilson, Cameron Ruggiero and Patrick Smith brought out the final caution on lap 14, meaning the winner would be determined by a six lap dash to the checkers. With a strong restart, Hutchinson kept his lead over a still evenly-matched Wollaber, taking the win after negotiating through lap traffic on the last lap.
Rainfall during the 4-Cylinder feature, which preceded the TQ race resulted in a delay as track staff dried the racing surface. Considering this, grip, especially on the outside line was a concern as the Jerry Gradl Motors NYPA Midgets took to the track. The drivers ran warm-up laps before the green flag to check the surface, and Hutchinson realized the track had more grip than he thought throughout the feature. Hutchinson was one of few drivers who made the outside line work, despite cautions keeping the field tight.
“It had a lot more grip than I thought it would have,” Hutchinson recounted in Victory Lane, “Sometimes making the outside work here is tough… A fast guy like [Dave] Wollaber, I don’t think I would have been able to get by him on the outside. I was able to get through traffic before he was, and kept it up front.”
As the season comes to a close it’s hard to ignore the fact that Hutchinson and his 88 Casey’s Truck Salvage machine were the dominant car this season, as they either won or finished 2nd in every race they actually finished. With the addition of Andy Jankowiak, and Tommy Catalano each scoring one win a piece, this season was a slug fest between Hutchinson and Wollaber, with Hutchinson claiming 7 and Wollaber accounting for 3. Hutchinsons speed has been neutralized by Wollabers consistency. We have seen this from Wollaber in years past an almost machine like consistency. Great teams always find a way to win, and I think it’s important to illustrate both Wollabers Team Black & Hutchinson’s Casey’s Truck Salvage team have great wins to be proud of this season. Hutchinson and his team have gone from being one of the cars to beat, to being the car to beat, a distinction Wollaber and Team Black held. Wollaber and Team Black have responded to Hutchinson’s dominance by making no mistakes, which is one of the things they do best!
Looking back through the finishing orders of the last few years we can see a solid group of drivers who continue to improve and become a factor in how these races are finishing.These drivers who have dedicated themselves to TQ Midget Racing are creating one of the most competitive divisions in local short track racing. While its speculation only, this writer believes we will see a few more drivers make it even more difficult than it already is to win one of these races. Making it even more challenging for anyone to duplicate the dominance that Wollaber and Hutchinson have enjoyed, and even more so challenging for Wollaber and Hutchinson to continue dominating.
Join us at the Track at Hillside this Saturday, September 1st for Whelen Engineering Autograph night and take a look for yourself at the level of talent that currently make up the NYPA Midget Series field.These cars have always been exciting to watch, put them in the hands of skilled drivers and you have a recipe for some of the greatest racing you will ever see. Tickets at the gate are $20 for general admission, $10 for seniors 65 and older, and $5 for members of the military. Gates open at 3 PM, heats begin at 4, and features will follow after the heat races.
About NYPA Midgets: The Jerry Gradl Motors NYPA Midget, series sanctions three-quarter midget racing in western New York and Pennsylvania. TQ midgets are known for high stakes, wheel to wheel, short track racing action and have thrilled crowds across the country for over fifty years. The NYPA Midget Association carries on that tradition of excitement at tracks like The Track at Hillside (formerly Holland Speedway), Lake Erie Speedway and Lancaster National Speedway. Check the NYPA Midget Association website www.NYPAMidgets.com for the schedule, points, and news. Find us on Facebook for up to date event information, photos, and more. Be sure to like and share with your friends.
About Jerry Gradl Motors: Since 1958 Jerry Gradl Motors has provided exceptional sales and professional service to western New York motorists. Half of their customers are referrals or repeats, which means they provide outstanding customer service. The Gradl name is a staple in WNY motorsports and will be for years to come. Jerry Gradl Motors has two locations to choose from, one at 711 Niagara Falls Blvd, North Tonawanda NY and the other located at 6704 Transit Rd. Williamsville.
8/25/2018 Final Results:
#1 –88 Kyle Hutchinson Alden, NY
#2 – 1 Dave Wollaber North Tonawanda, NY
#3 – 90 A.J. Hessler Tonawanda, NY
#4 – 5 Ted Jones Jr West Valley, NY
#5 – 42 Chad Haywood West Valley, NY
#6 – 2 Vinnie Christiano Tonawanda, NY
#7 – 94 Ryan Fraser
#8 – 6 Erik Musto Lockport,NY
#9 – 32m Mark Schulz Akron, NY
#10 – 3 Vinnie Christiano III Tonawanda, NY
#11 – 71 Tony Petrea Tonawanda, NY
#12 – 05 Jamie Pew Lancaster, NY
#13 – 21 Arik McGruder Amherst, NY
#14 – 02 Patrick Smith Kenmore, NY
#15 – 11 Chester Haywood Orchard Park, NY
#16 – 66 Andy Nye Lancaster, NY
#17 – 29 Cameron Ruggiero Lancaster, NY
#18 – 14 Kevin Wilson Alden, NY
#19 – 01 Andy Jankowiak Tonawanda, NY
#20 – 39x Jeremy Haudricourt Bliss, NY