BY: BOBBY SWEENEY
MINERSVILLE, PA – Eddie Strada seemed to be well on his way to his first 358-Modified victory, running a masterful race in the 25-lap feature. However, Mike Gular had other plans, snatching the lead with three laps left to take the win.
Strada led Colt Harris through the opening laps of the 358-Modified event, with Strada flexing his muscle early and often. With every lap, Strada put more distance between himself and Harris, by about a second on lap five, and nearly three seconds by lap ten. Harris had a handful, with Doug Hendricks and Duane Howard breathing down his neck. Looking further back, Alex Yankowski was rolling strong and was up to fifth.
Strada was on cruise control out front, with a big lead over a hound of cars fighting for second at halfway. A lap 16 yellow changed the race dramatically, erasing Strada’s lead and bunching up the field. Harris got an awful restart, also hurting Howard, with Harris slipping to fourth and Howard fifth.
On lap 17, Hendricks and Yankowski got together, with Hendricks going around and collecting Howard. This called for another restart, with Strada now leading Yankowski and Billy Pauch Jr. After winning the Short Track Super Series event on Tuesday, Pauch looked poised for a second win of the week, but Gular blasted by and into third soon after the restart.
Strada didn’t have any more breathing room out front, with Yankowski all over his rear bumper. Yankowski took a swing at the lead with five to go, but missed the bottom while taking his shot. Gular took advantage and muscles under Yankowski, immediately applying pressure on Strada.
A lap 22 yellow ruined all of Strada’s fun post-race plans. Gular restarted up top, but got a massive launch and beat Strada to the bottom of turn one, taking the lead away. Strada missed his marks and Yankowski took second, but Gular was long gone out front. When the checkered fell, it was Gular winning over Yankowski, Strada, Pauch Jr., and Jeff Strunk.
“I just knew we had to get to the bottom on the restart,” Gular said. “These Spec-358s just don’t have enough motor to get around the top on a track like we had tonight, so I took a shot that would get me to the bottom. I got him, but Strada did really good, he’ll be a problem all year. We had a bunch of top fives coming into tonight at a bunch of other tracks, and I wasn’t going to settle for another fifth.”
Short Results 6/12/2020 – Presented by SA Communale
United Racing Club 360 Sprint Cars – The feature was won by Robbie Stillwagon and followed by Curt Michael, Josh Weller, Dallas Schott, Troy Betts, Tyler Ross, Chad Layton, Anthony Macri, Adam Carberry, Brian Carber, Joe Kata, Hayden Miller, Brandon McGough, Joey Amantea, Ryan Watt, Devin Gundrum, Jacob Balliet, Michael Thomas, Ryan Stillwagon, JR Berry, Ryan Kissinger and Keith Wetzel.
Did Not Start – Jake Hummel, Mike Schuckers, Kyle Smith and Austin Bishop.
Insinger Performance 358 Modifieds – The feature was won by Mike Gular and followed by Alex Yankowski, Eddie Strada, Billy Pauch Jr, Jeff Strunk, Matt Stangle, Nick Rochinski, Craig VonDohren, Colt Harris, Jared Umbenhauer, Rick Laubach, Louden Reimert, Doug Hendricks, Kevin Beach Jr, Frank Yankowski, Mike Lisowski, Brett Kressley, Shawn Fitzpatrick, Craig Whitmoyer, Duane Howard, Tim Apgar, Kris Graver, Cory Merkel and Timmy Buckwalter.
Did Not Qualify – Ray Swinehart and Ron Haring Jr.
Modified Heat Races were won by Craig Whitmoyer, Duane Howard and Eddie Strada.
Modified Consi Race was won by Brett Kressley.
Ultra Shield Hard Charger Award – Mike Gular
Rod End Supply Halfway Leader Award – Eddie Strada
Savage 61 602 Crate Sportsman – The feature was won by Cody Manmiller and followed by Danny Buccafusca, Ryan Graver, Jonathan Swift, Ryan Conrad, Howie Finch, Joe Toth, Pete Phillips, Eric Kocher, Daryl Dissinger, Shon Elk, Mark Clauss, Corey Edelman, Craig Cuneo, Joey Vaccaro, Dakota Kohler, Kevin Brady and Kris Ney.
602 Crate Sportsman Heat Races were won by Corey Edelman and Cody Manmiller.
Ultra Shield Hard Charger Award – Danny Buccafusca
Rod End Supply Halfway Leader Award – Cody Manmiller
Gene Latta Ford Central PA Legends – The feature was won by Austin Bellemare and followed by Bill Diehl, Aaron Updegraff, Cole Hahn, Shawn Groft, Tim Hahn, Quinn Trimmer, Cory Phillips, Eric Hurst, Logan Carbaugh, Scott Musselman, Zach Baxter, Robert Shaw, Troy Groft, Brent Marquis, John Snavely and Brandon Reiblich.
Did Not Start – Jonathan Robinson.
Central PA Legends Heat Races were won by Bill Diehl and Brent Marquis.
Red, White & Blue Auto’s Roadrunners – The feature was won by Chris Holland and followed by Jesse Krasnitsky, Mike Reichert, Jim Kost, Alex Schoffstall, Terry Kramer, Ronny Suhr Jr, Chris Reichert, Seth Reichert, Shawn Mulhall, Matt Ney, Ronny Suhr Sr, Tod Roth Jr, Tonya Lance, Jason Kintzer, Cory Lindenmuth, Kevin Holland, TJ Fitzpatrick and Alex Ditzler.
Roadrunner Heat Races were won by Mike Reichert and Chris Holland.
Ultra Shield Hard Charger Award – Alex Schoffstall