Greenfield, Pennsylvania, June 11th, 2016- For the third race in a row, Dave Wollaber took the checkered flag at Lake Erie Speedway in an eventful 20 lap feature, battling his way to the lead from his 9th place starting position. The event provided attendees with plenty of action as some drivers struggled to get a handle on the ⅜ mile speedway’s unique progressive banking, resulting in early cautions keeping the field bunched together with each re-start.
This was the NYPA Midget Association’s first outing at this track since 2014, and many drivers found difficulty in practice and the heats with car handling as a result of the progressive banking in the turns. Oversteer seemed to be a common theme throughout the early part of the day. Most teams found with a few simple adjustments they were able to correct their handling issues and figure out a good setup for the feature.
Charlie DiRosa lead the field to the green before an incident on lap 2 with Chuck Kowalske and Scott Gleed. This incident brought out the yellow, and set the tone for the rest of the race. On the next restart, Erik Musto had the advantage, and surged ahead of DiRosa as they entered turn 1. Meanwhile, towards the middle of the pack, it looked as if Kyle Hutchinson was eager to get to the front. This, however, led to contact on the backstretch on lap 3, sending him airborne, and flattening his right front tire. The field remained composed, and avoided another caution..
At the front of the field, Erik Musto continued to lead with Andy Nye catching him steadily. In spite of the fact that Nye managed a pass for the lead, the rapidly advancing Dave Wollaber becoming a serious threat when he took 2nd place around the halfway point of the race. Leaving the field in their dust, Nye and Wollaber continued to battle for the lead. During the final laps, despite lap traffic, Wollaber was able to take the lead from Nye on lap 14.
The final caution of the evening occurred when the 3 car of Vincent Christiano III spun in turn 3, bringing out the yellow for a 3 lap shootout. Wollaber would not be denied, as he held onto the lead and scored his third feature win in a row.
After the race, Wollaber commented on his handling issues earlier in the day. “We made a good adjustment after the heat” Wollaber says of the air pressure adjustment following the heats, “the thing was right on!”
Following the race a few individuals from various teams expressed frustration over the incident involving Kyle Hutchinson’s move early on in the feature. The angry debate even spread to social media, with drivers expressing displeasure towards Hutchinson’s move on a Facebook post. For now, the extent to which the animosity will carry on is still to be seen.
The conversations in the pits were not all about bad news, as Charlie DiRosa managed to score a season best finish of 5th place. The car, aside from repairs, went unchanged setup-wise from last week, and while Charlie feels he could have pulled off a stronger finish at Holland, a top 5 finish this week is a major step forward for him.
The next race on the calendar is on June 18th at Lancaster National Speedway for the Joe Reilly Summer Slam presented by A-Verdi Storage Containers. Headlining the racing action is the 75 lap Sunoco Sportsman Modified feature, with the Advanced Auto Parts Street Stocks, the NYPA Midget Association, and the Roaming Buffalo 4-Cylinders supporting the main event. Adults get in for $12; Students for $8; <12 FREE. Racing starts at 6:30 PM.
Vinney Christiano III
Photo credit: Denny DeLaura
NYPA Midget Association
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