Brian Colodny won his first-ever 100-lap race Saturday at Champion Speedway, the second annual Tribute to America, making it happen by being smooth, patient and in control.
"You had to have a lot of patience from the start," said Colodny after his win.
The race was prolonged by several cautions, but saw its fair share of excitement throughout.
The early battle began with Melissa Davis and Dave Sciarroni. Sciarroni took the lead from Davis on lap four and began to pull a lead on the field of cars immediately.
The first caution came for Dean Heller on lap 13 after spinning in turn two. As Craig Paulsen came out of turn four, he appeared to break loose, tagged the wall and collected Chet Danburg as he skidded to the infield. Paulsen was out for the night, Danburg continued. At the restart it was Sciarroni, Rich Lawlor and Davis in the top three.
Lawlor stayed tight with Sciarroni, looking for an opportunity to gain the lead as mayhem began to happen in the field behind them. On the restart of lap 20, Al Goss got into the rear of Jeremy Hopkins, pushing him into the infield, with Danburg getting collected once again.
A caution on lap 41 included six cars in turns 3-4, after C.J. Bawden's car slowed going into 3, causing Jim Bawden, Mike Lehman, Henry Hodges Jr., Goss and Heller to bunch up. Sciarroni, Lawlor and Davis were still the top three.
By lap 66 Colodny had made his way to third but Sciarroni had built a 1/4 lap lead on the field. It appeared Dodge was going to make its first-ever win.
With two more cautions, one on lap 90 for Danburg and Randy Hedrick as they got together in turn 2 and Goss with a solo spin in turn 4 that collected Davis, Sciarroni only had to stay calm and in control to get the win. On the next two caution restarts though, Sciarroni didn't seem to have the same power and was struggling to keep the lead.
"On one of the restarts, I dropped a cylinder," said Sciarroni. "And on the last restart, at lap 98, I think I dropped another one. Oh well, I almost had it (the win)."
Sciarroni's loss was Colodny's gain, who quietly took over the second position when Lawlor experienced troubles late in the game and had to pit. Colodny made a quick and clean pass on the inside of Sciarroni with less than two to go for the victory.
"I only had to stay out there and take advantage of (others) mistakes," said a happy Colodny, who was swamped with autograph requests in the pits.
"I've got to thank my crew chief, Paul Mclwee, Harold Long, Kurt Sanders and my sponsors; Rupert's Auto Body, Phil Leathers, ESP West, Majors Fuels and Vital Signs. They've all been loyal and patient."
No heat races were held for the late models; Jim Courage Jr. won the trophy dash over Jeff Tillman, Hedrick and Paulsen.
In the hobby stock division, Rocky Boice Jr. (once again) moved from the rear of the field to win the 25-lap main event. Rick Garmann finished in second place, who led the race early on, and Chris Betz got the third spot. Rounding out the field were: Matt Collier, Randy Reid, who was in an early battle for the lead with Garmann and Don Hill, Mike Fuller, Hill, Brett Clampitt, Kris Pfalmer and John Hornback. Rick Miller and Chris Anderson were scratches from the main event.
Top three in the hobby's first heat race were Garmann, Clampitt and Hill. Boice won the second heat with Fuller in second and Pfalmer in third. Boice also won the trophy dash over Pfalmer, Betz and Collier, giving him a "hat trick" on the night.
"It seemed like everyone moved to the right spots for me to pass," said Boice. "I just kept moving around them."
Boice credited his team, End of the Trail Racing, for the win.
The sportsman were equally fast and exciting in their races. Frank Sanfilippo took the early lead in the 25-lap main event, with Thom Eldridge in second and birthday boy John Hood in third.
Gary Nevers took over the lead on lap 14, and one lap later, Sanfilippo's car quit on the front stretch (rumor had it he ran out of gas). Nevers went on for the win with the No. 21 car of Virgil Miller and 21L of Hood rounding out the top-3. The remaining finishers were: Joel Worley, Keith Mikaelson, Sanfilippo, Eldridge and Greg Herbold.
"The car was good all night," said Nevers. "It took some time to get there. If the other drivers give me a line, I'll take it. I just bide my time."
Hood was the winner of the heat race with Nevers taking second and Sanfilippo third. Hood also won the trophy dash over Miller, Nevers and Worley.
For racing information, go to www.championspeedway.com or call 267-3723.