The UARA-STARS delivered an action packed night at Newport Speedway Saturday October 22nd with Alex Yontz declared as the race winner.
“Hopefully this is a little motivation for me and everyone on the team,” says the Newport Winner. “We finished second last weekend at Caraway and have had some good runs here lately. It’ll be good to keep that going through the last two races now that we’ve got us a win.”
With Newport being a double points race, series regulars were hungry for top positions that could have changed their entire outcome of the 2011 points season. Current Point’s leader, Brennan Poole had a good start to the night as he claimed his second Sunoco Pole of the season. Local driver Roger Powell was on the outside of the pole, with Steve Wallace in third. Newcomer Ben Rhodes and Kaleb Pressley rounded out the top five positions.
Once the green flag dropped, Roger Powell jumped out in front. Powell and Poole raced side by side down the backstretch. Through the last two turns of the first lap, Powell was stronger and staged the lead early in the race.
The first caution occurred during the third lap, Greg Bohanon,Jr. got loose and smacked the high side wall of turn three. His first UARA start was cut short and he parked his car for the rest of the night. On the restart, Garrett Campbell looked like he was the car to beat. As he began charging through the field, it was only a few laps later that Campbell brought out the second caution. Luckily there was no major physical damage from his spin.
Wallace had a strong car and grabbed the lead from Powell on lap 52. Once Wallace got in front, he began walking away from the field. Darrick Coomer spun on the backstretch on lap 57, causing many drivers to check up and run into one another. Two drivers that had the most noticeable damage were Ronnie Bassett Jr. and David Roberts. Despite the damage, both cars persevered and finished impressively.
During the second half of the race, Pressley worked his way up to second. Pressley, looking forward to a good points night for his team, got slammed to the outside wall on the backstretch. Pressley never let up and fell back into a top five position. Hard work paid off when he came home with a fifth place finish, making it his third consecutive top-five finish.
With only twenty laps to go, Wallace continued to pull away. Meanwhile, Alex Yontz was charging Poole for the second place position. The two drove hard into the corner, Yontz with the stronger car. The two made contact and Poole got spun around, ripping off the nose to his car. Poole, knowing what was at stake with a double points race, whipped his car around and continued racing without ever stopping.
Wallace crossed the finish line first, but due to an intake issue he was disqualified. Alex Yontz was declared the official race winner Saturday night after post race inspection. Other awards for the night were George Miedecke with the Rookie of the Race and Holley Performer.
“This one goes to my guys. Lee McCall, Jay, Seth, Zach, everyone in the shop. We wrecked so hard at Greenville and for those guys to get this car turned around the way they did for this weekend, including our other two cars, I can’t say enough for them and the amount of work they put in. I have to dedicate this Holley Performer of the race Award to them and I’m extremely grateful” Miedecke said.
Not only was the race exciting for the regulars, but there were many new faces to the UARA-STARS Saturday night. Drivers like Lance Gatlin, Taylor Coffman, and Dillon Bassett. Bassett, who is younger brother of UARA-STARS regular Ronnie Bassett Jr., came home with a top-20 finish for his first UARA start. Young Ben Rhodes and Aussie Marcus Zukanovic both drove for Jamie Yelton and got experience behind the wheel of a late model. Tyler Worley had a good first time run, thanks to Steve Grissom who loaned him a MSD box after his car lost power during practice. This is just another aspect of the UARA teams that shows just how good they are. When a fellow competitor faces problems they step up to bat to lend a helping hand if possible. Hats off to the Grissom team for their show of good sportsmanship.
The next stop for these STARS will be next weekend, October 29th at Concord Motor Speedway. This “Spooktacular” event will be sponsored by the Celebrity’s Hot Dogs of Concord along with Marcaroni Kid and B.R.A.K.E.S. All fans are encouraged to come out and be a part of the Kid’s Halloween Costume Contest and Trick or Treat portion of the night during the traditional autograph session at 6 p.m. Along with the UARA-STARS will be the Mod 4’s and Carolina Vintage racers.
For more information on the UARA-STARS, visit them online at uara-stars.com
Newport UARA-STARS 150 Results:
1. 77 Alex Yontz
2.19 Chad Finchum
3. 7 Brennan Poole
4. 9 George Miedecke
5. 54 Kaleb Pressley
6. 21 Roger Powell
7. 31 Kyle Grissom
8. 18 David Roberts
9. 97 Lance Gatlin
10. 48 Scott Turlington
11.26 Joey Herques
12. 04 Ronnie Bassett Jr.
13. 2 Marcus Zukanovic
14. 09 Darrick Coomer
15. 59 Tyler Worley
16. 30 Taylor Coffman
17. 8 Ed Surrett
18. 72 Garrett Campbell
19. 44 Dillon Bassett
20. 4R Ben Rhodes
21. 4W Wayne Webb
22. 17 Greg Bohanon
23. 66 Steve Wallace (DQ)