Cooper Wins Race; Jesse Van Roekel is Hobby Stock Champadmin
Brian Cooper Wins Night One of Nationals; Van Roekel is Champ of Hobby Stocks
(September 13, 2019) …Night one of the Northern IMCA Sport Mod Pepsi Peach Tree Nationals hosted 22 IMCA Sport Mods and 20 Hobby Stocks.
Scott Savell led all eight laps to win the first heat race of the night. Craig Neiman led all eight laps to capture heat two win. Todd Cooper struggled a bit and finished sixth. Brian Cooper dominated heat three to get the win.
The first Hobby Stock heat race was loaded with talent. Point leader Jesse Van Roekel won the race. Devin Ryan came from dead last to finish second. After the event, Van Roekel would have a two-point edge over Ryan going into the 20-lap finale. Zach Lindgren won the second heat race. Chris Van Roekel led all eight laps to win the final heat.
Jason Ferguson led the large, 21 cars, IMCA Sport Mod feature into turn one. Ferguson led the first three laps. A yellow was needed on lap three when rookie Theo Van de Sande spun in turn three. Exiting on lap two was championship point leader Todd Cooper. On the restart Jimmy Ford moved into second. Jeff Tuttle ran in the third spot.
Lap five saw Scott Savell spin in turn three. The No. 112 was also involved. Awesome green flag racing continued until lap 12 when Alan Furuta stopped. Brian Cooper moved around Ford for second. Andrew Peckham charged from 19th to sixth. On the restart, Ford came to a stop in turn four with a flat tire. The next restart saw Kevin Johnson go from third to the lead; however, a yellow came out. It neglected the lap, and Johnson was placed back in third.
The next restart saw Ferguson and Cooper battle side-by-side for the lead. Cooper took the lead on lap 14. Phillip Shelby went into second on lap 15. Eighteenth starting Andrew Peckham charged to fourth on lap 17. Just as Cooper received the white flag, Teo Van de Sande slowed in turn four. This set up a two-lap dash to the finish.
Unfortunately, early leader Jason Ferguson went for a wild ride in turn two on restart. Ferguson flipped violently. Numerous drivers and safety crew were quickly on the scene. Ferguson walked away uninjured, but his car was wrecked.
Cooper led the field back to the restart. The final two laps went flawless. Cooper won the event and was followed by Shelby and then Johnson. Peckham finished fourth and Jeff Tuttle was fifth. An overall outstanding race with numerous drivers coming from the rear of the field and finishing near the front. Can not wait to do it again tomorrow night.
David Allen led the Hobby Stocks to the green flag for the start of the 20-lap main event. Allen led the first two opening laps until a yellow was needed when Toby Merrifield spun in turn three. Kyle Cheney stopped on lap five to bring out a caution. Allen still led but now Devin Ryan and Jesse Van Roekel were directly behind him on the upcoming restart.
Van Roekel goes from third to the lead on lap six. What a power move by the driver in search of the track championship. A few cautions continued to slow the event. On lap 14, Zack Thornton spun in turn one. Just a few laps before that, Van Roekel’s car started to smoke out of the rear end.
With laps winding down, Van Roekel drove into turn one and spun. While he was spinning, second place Ryan spun to avoid him. If Ryan didn’t spin and continued, he could of won the championship. Both drivers did continue but fell back deep into the field. This gave the lead to Chris Van Roekel. He went on to lead the final few laps. Zach Lindgren finished second. Jesse Van Roekel came back to finish in third and win the track title. Mike Stoeckle finished fourth. David Caluya did a nice job to finish in fifth.
Jesse Van Roekel was awarded the track championship as he beat Ryan by five points.
For the second consecutive time, Chris Van Roekel won the race but failed post-race tech. This gave the win to second place finishing Zach Lindgren.