It has been a very difficult year for Steve Buckwalter and the team of Claire and Ian Ritter.
Royersford’s Buckwalter changed things up a bit Friday night when he captured the Billy Kimmel Memorial to win the $6,000 25-lap sprint race. It was his 12th career win at Williams Grove.
“It’s been a long time coming,” Buckwalter said. “We really struggled with the car.”
Shane Clanton won $10,000 in the 40-lap World of Outlaws Late Model Series main event.
Buckwalter started second and was ahead of Alan Crimes and Devon Borden.
“I knew Borden was going to be fast and so was Crims. I thought if he gets ahead of me to go first, it’s going to be really hard to get past him.”
A crash at turn four stopped the race with two laps to go. Brent Shearer, Robbie Kendall and Gordon Senft were involved. Everyone was fine and only Kendall didn’t reboot.
Buckwalter controlled the restart as Borden took second from Crimes.
Ninth starter Chase Dietz rounded out the top four, while 17th starter Freddie Ramer finished seventh with six laps.
Meanwhile, on the front panel, Borden was beating Buckwalter as they rumbled around the pillow.
Buckwalter made it to the back of the field and the slower car of Austin Burke. This brought Borden to his bumper as they raced down the front. Borden dived under Buckwalter entering the first turn while Buckwalter also tried to pass Burke on the inside. It was very difficult in the second turn as Buckwalter held on.
“I was catching that car and I didn’t know Borden was that close,” Buckwalter said. “I knew I wasn’t close enough to slide the lapped car, but I wanted to see how well my car stuck. I got in there and slid up to him like I was going to, but then I saw Borden and had to hit the gas. I picked up the pace and ran a bit harder and the car handled it.”
Tyler Reeser stopped in turn three, receiving a yellow after 11 laps.
Buckwalter’s restart was good enough to keep Borden from tying up a turn one slider. Ramer finished fifth.
Buckwalter pulled away from Borden slightly on the restart and was in control as Dietz took third from Crimes.
Dylan Norris slowed on the backstretch, bringing out another caution with 10 laps to go.
Borden was closest on that restart but couldn’t clear the pass as Buckwalter raced out of the second corner in the lead.
The yellow flew again with eight laps to go to Rick Lafferty. That gave Borden another chance, but Buckwalter stayed strong on the cushion in turns one and two.
Ramer ducked under Dietz to take third.
Lance Davies, who started 18th after crashing in the heat race, finished fifth. He took fourth from Dietz as Buckwalter re-established a comfortable lead.
Dewease followed Ramer to third. He would take the seat at the first turn.
It was Buckwalter’s victory by 2.7 seconds over Borden and a tough Davies. Ramer and Dietz closed the top five. Kyle Moody, Crimes, TJ Stotts, Jordan Giveler and Shearer round out the top 10.
Crimes won the first heat after a side-by-side battle with Reeser. Buckwalter won the second heat from Givler. A total of 20 sprint cars were in service.
The World of Outlaw Late Model Series visited Williams Grove every year. Ryan Gustin and Shane Clanton shared the front row for the $10,000 40-lap race.
Clanton grabbed the lead and controlled the race early, but Max Blair passed him with 15 laps to go. Gustin is also back in the picture.
As they began to close due to slower traffic from 10 to the end, the yellow flag flew. Clanton got a good restart, keeping Blair and Gustin at bay.
Clanton followed that up with his second win of the season and series win No. 48. Blair, Gustin, Tanner English and Rick Eckert rounded out the top five. Eddie Carrier Jr., series leader Dennis Erb Jr., Josh Richards, Dale Holling and Jason Covert round out the top 10.
Erb set the fast time in the late model 3R0 car with a lap of 19.636. Erb, Clanton and Gustin won heats. Kyle Hardy won the Last Chance Showdown.
Feature (25 laps): 1. Steve Buckwalter. 2. Devon Borden. 3. Lance Devise. 4. Freddy Ramer. 5. Chase Dietz. 6. Kyle Moody. 7. Alan Crimes. 8. TJ Stuts. 9. Jordan Giveler. 10. Brent Shearer. 11. Dylan Norris. 12. Tyler Reeser. 13. Chad Trout. 14. Bryn Ghon. 15. Austin Burke. 16. Rick Lafferty. 17. Jason Schultz. 18. Gordon Senft III. 19. Robbie Kendall. 20. Tyler Bear.
Latest World of Outlaws models
Feature (40 laps): 1. Shane Clanton. 2. Max Blair. 3. Ryan Gustin. 4. Tanner English. 5. Rick Eckert. 6. Eddie Carrier Jr. 7. Dennis Erb Jr. 8. Josh Richards. 9. Dale Hollidge. 10. Jason Covert. 11. Kyle Hardy. 12. Matt Kosner. 13. Steve Casebolt. 14. Brent Larson. 15. Gene Knaub. 16. Gordie Gundaker. 17. Tyler Horst. 18. Coleby Frye. 19. Mason Zeigler. 20. Sean Jones. 21. Boom Briggs. 22. Justin Weaver. 23. Chad Julius. 24. Dan Stone.
ALL STAR CHAMPIONS
Utica-Rome Speedway, Vernon, New York
Feature (30 laps): 1. 13-Justin Peck, 2. 7BC-Tyler Courtney, 3. 19M-Brent Marks, 4. 19-Chris Windom, 5. 11-Corey Eliasson, 6. 48-Danny Dietrich, 7. 26-Zeb Wise, 8 55-Hunter Shurenberg, 9. 91-Kyle Reinhardt, 10. 4-Cap Henry, 11. 17B-Bill Balog, 12. 42-Cy Lynch, 13. 10-Dave Blaney, 14. 6-Ryan Smith, 15. 98 -Joe Trenko, 16. 5W-Lucas Wolfe, 17. 17-Jordan Thomas, 18. 28F-Davy Franek, 19. 7NY-Matt Farnham, 20. 29-Logan McCandless, 21. 3-Danny Peebles, 22. 01 – Danny Varin (DNF), 23. 10C-Polly Calagiovanni (DNF), 24. 99L-Larry Wright (DNF)
Race winners: Eliasson, Lynch, Wyndham
B Main Winner: Kolyazhovani
Qualification: 1. Peck 14.711, 2. Courtney 14.826, 3. Marks 14.947