HUTCHINSON FINISHES AND FINISHES UP FRONT THE FINAL TIME AT THE TRACK AT HILLSIDE WINNING THE RACE AND THE TRACK SEASON CHAMPIONSHIP
Holland, New York, September 7th, 2018- A stellar performance by Kyle Hutchinson at the Track at Hillside allowed him to take the track championship, despite the Jerry Gradl Motors NYPA Midget Association points championship seeming all but won for Wollaber. Coming into this race the points were tied, which meant whoever finished ahead of the other driver would be crowned the king. Starting the feature 7th & 8th respectively, Hutchinson was arguably the slight favorite to win if he could get his Casey’s Truck Salvage #88 machine to go the distance. Wollaber would throw everything he had at his scrappy competitor but in the end, Hutchinson would cross the finish line first with Wollaber in tow.
In the first heat, Wollaber would benefit from a 2nd roll over in as many weeks by Chad Haywood to take the lead and the heat win. While a trio of jumped starts delayed the start of the second heat, the race was highlighted by a battle between father and son, Vinnie Christiano II and III. After Christiano III took the lead early in the race, Christiano II. challenged his son from second place. Christiano II would pressure and make his son work for it as a spirited battle ensued. The hopes of Christiano III winning his first heat race were dashed when Hutchinson made his way around the Christianos with two laps to go. Christiano III would lose the lead just as the white flag flew. Hutchinson would win the second heat and give himself the best possible starting position for the feature which would ultimately be one worse than Wollaber in 8th.
Wollaber would start the feature one better than Hutchinson in 7th positioning and both drivers would be lucky avoid any major damage in the Big One on lap 1 as the field entered turn three. Contact between Cameron Ruggiero and Christiano II sent the two cars up the track, with Hutchinson making minimal contact. Other cars were not so lucky, as the incident collected Tim Nies, Ronnie Flaim, Erik Musto, Kevin Wilson, Jamie Pew, and Wollaber. With cars pinned against the armco barrier, the safety crew worked feverishly to clear the track and prepare the surface for racing. Fortunately, no drivers were injured in the eight-car melee. Christiano II, Ruggiero, Wollaber, Flaim, and Musto were able to continue the feature, but Nies, Pew, and Wilson would end up retiring from the race.
With the racing surface cleared, Hutchinson, Hessler, Jones, Jr., and Wollaber briefly fought for the lead until another caution came out for a spin in turn two. This gave Wollaber an opportunity to challenge for the lead on the restart, passing Jones and Hutchinson on the inside almost immediately. As Wollaber went side by side with Hessler, Hutchinson responded in turn 3 with a three-wide pass for the lead. However, just as Hutchinson made his spectacular move to first place, another caution flew for a spin behind the leaders.
The caution prevented Hutchinson from killing two birds with one stone, passing Hessler on the restart, he and Wollaber would pull away from the rest of the pack. Wollaber stayed close to Hutchinson, and a caution for a spinning Tony Patrea would bunch the field back together. Wollaber would struggle to find a way around Hutchinson, with the occasional dip to the inside failing to materialize into anything. With five laps to go Wollaber made a charge to the inside, but the move nearly ended in contact when he moved up the track to avoid a lap car. In the end the night & the Hillside crown would belong to Hutchinson.
Hutchinson remained confident throughout the race, sometimes forgetting the cars behind him. “I thought I was by myself for a little while,” the Hillside track champion said, “Every once in a while [Wollaber] would stick his nose under me to let me know he was still there.” Donning a NASCAR Whelen All-American Series track championship hat, Hutchinson and his team posed for photos in victory lane. Hutchinson’s winning ways were enough to crown him king of the Track at Hillside over Wollaber despite a season plagued by mechanical issues. While the Jerry Gradl Motors NYPA Midget Association championship is realistically out of reach for Hutchinson, on this night they would briefly relish this championship as they will have to compete again tomorrow night at Lancaster National Speedway.
The Jerry Gradl Motors NYPA Midget Association will race its penultimate round at Lancaster National Speedway on Saturday, September 8th as part of the track’s championship night. Taking to the short infield oval, this will be the final time the Jerry Gradl Motors NYPA Midget Association will go wheel-to-wheel at Lancaster before the US Open later this month. Come out and witness white-knuckle open-wheel action in person! Admission is $13 for adults, $8 for students 12-17, and children 11 and under are FREE. Family passes for two adults and two students are also available for $37. Grandstands open at 5 PM and racing begins at 6:30.
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.