MINERSVILLE, PA – After fighting off an evening thunderstorm, a stellar field of 31 Rapid Tire USAC East Coast 360 Sprint Cars jammed the pit area at the Big Diamond Speedway for a fantastic night of open wheel racing.
Following the top eight redraw, Timmy Buckwalter in his new Gallagher 5g ride, and sprint car rookie Tyler Brehm would share the front row of the talented 20 car feature field and lead them to green.
Buckwalter would quickly jump out to the race lead and try and establish the pace early on. The first caution would fly on lap one for duel spins of Ryan Quackenbush and Chris Allen, Jr. A caution would then fly on lap two of the feature event for a slowing Mark Bitner who had suffered a flat left front tire.
When the field went back green it was again Timmy Buckwalter jumping back out front to lead the field with Brehm in second, and Chandler Leiby moving into third. A red flag would then fly again on the fourth circuit for a flat by Joe Biasi that would then collect drivers: Carmen Perigo, Bill Unglert, and JR Berry who took a light tumble into the infield.
While under the red flag period, it was discovered that Timmy Buckwalter suffered a flat tire and was pushed pit side allowing the team to make the change and return to the field. Unglert, Biasi, and Perigo also rejoined the field leaving some talented drivers and cars in the back of the field.
On the ensuing restart Brehm would get out front and lead the field with Chandler Leiby, and Steven Drevicki in third and closing quickly on the top two drivers. Heading into turn one on lap eight, Drevicki would make the move to the inside of Brehm after passing Leiby to grab the lead of the feature event and look to take off.
A caution on lap 19 for a slowing Eric Jennings with a right rear flat tire, would set up a six-lap dash for the checkered for the field.
When the field went back green, Drevicki would be challenged by Leiby but unable to make the pass for the win. Behind Drevicki and Leiby the action was fierce with seventh starting Eddie Strada in competition with the hard charging cars of Chris Allen, Jr. and Timmy Buckwalter recovering from his flat tire.
When the checkers flew Steven Drevicki collected his second win of the 2019 Rapid Tire USAC East Coast Sprint Car Series over: Chandler Leiby, Eddie Strada, Chris Allen, Jr. and Timmy Buckwalter.
A tough night at the fell upon driver Craig Pellegrini Jr., Trey Hivner and Trevor Kobylarz. Pellegrini went for a wild flip in the B Main, with Hivner and Kobylarz suffering mechanical issues during the B Main.
The next event for the Rapid Tire USAC East Coast Sprint Car Series is Saturday May 18th at the Grandview Speedway.
USAC RAPID TIRE EAST COAST SPRINT CAR RACE RESULTS: May 17, 2019 – Big Diamond Speedway – Pottsville, Pennsylvania
FIRST HEAT: (8 laps, top-4 transfer, top-2 to redraw) 1. Eddie Strada (#42E Strada), 2. Joey Biasi (#B1 Biasi), 3. Steve Surniak (#1ST Surniak), 4. Johnny Petrozelle (#59 Petrozelle), 5. Trevor Kobylarz (#14 Kobylarz), 6. Jason Cherry (#67 Cherry), 7. Larry Drake (#8 Drake), 8. Jake Winters (#1J Winters). NT
SECOND HEAT: (8 laps, top-4 transfer, top-2 to redraw) 1. Steven Drevicki (#19 Drevicki), 2. Carmen Perigo (#21 Perigo), 3. J.R. Berry (#74 Berry), 4. Ryan Quackenbush (#5Q TQT), 5. Trey Hivner (#7 Hivner), 6. Heidi Hedin (#3H Hedin), 7. Craig Pellegrini, Jr. (#11A Pellegrini), 8. David Swanson (#117 Swanson). NT
THIRD HEAT: (8 laps, top-4 transfer, top-2 to redraw) 1. Chandler Leiby (#119 Leiby), 2. Tyler Brehm (#21R Brehm), 3. Eric Jennings (#32 Neiger/Hamilton), 4. Zack Burd (#5z Burd), 5. Connor Leoffler (#22 Leoffler), 6. Jonathan Swanson (#17J Swanson), 7. John Anderika (#96 Anderika). NT
FOURTH HEAT: (8 laps, top-4 transfer, top-2 to redraw) 1. Timmy Buckwalter (#5G Gallagher), 2. Mark Bitner (#15 Bitner), 3. Kyle Lick (#8 Lick), 4. Chris Allen, Jr. (#71 Allen), 5. Bill Unglert (#33B Unglert), 6. John Stehman (#8L Stehman), 7. Mike Thompson (#39 Hogue). NT
SEMI: (12 laps, top-4 transfer) 1. Unglert, 2. Connor, 3. Stehman, 4. Thompson, 5. Hedin, 6. J. Swanson, 7. Cherry, 8. Drake, 9. D. Swanson, 10. Winters, 11. John Anderika, 12. Hivner, 13. Pellegrini, 14. Kobylarz. NT
FEATURE: (25 laps) 1. Steven Drevicki, 2. Chandler Leiby, 3. Eddie Strada, 4. Chris Allen, Jr., 5. Timmy Buckwalter, 6. Connor Leoffler, 7. Ryan Quackenbush, 8. Carmen Perigo, 9. Bill Unglert, 10. Joey Biasi, 11. Tyler Brehm, 12. Mike Thompson, 13. John Stehman, 14. Zack Burd, 15. Steve Surniak, 16. Kyle Lick, 17. Johnny Petrozelle, 18. J.R. Berry, 19. Eric Jennings, 20. Mark Bitner. NT
**Pellegrini flipped during the semi.
FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-4 Buckwalter, Laps 5-8 Brehm, Laps 9-25 Drevicki.
SCOTTY SIGNS HARD CHARGER: Chris Allen, Jr.
NEXT USAC RAPID TIRE EAST COAST SPRINT CAR RACE: May 18, 2019 – Grandview Speedway – Bechtelsville, Pennsylvania