WOODHULL, NY – It is extremely rare when someone comes to the Woodhull Raceway for the first time, and does well due to the uniqueness of the track compared to every other track the Patriot Sprint Tour visits.
That was not the case for Wantage, New Jersey driver, Davie Franek as he was able to put his Franek Auto Sales No. 28f in victory lane over another first-time visitor in Gerard McIntyre with. Jonathan Preston rounding out the top three.
“This race track was amazing” an elated Franek stated in victory lane. “You could race bottom, middle, top, where ever you needed to be. The restarts were kind of messing me up because I was trying to get into a rhythm to size him, (McIntyre) up to pass but then the caution would come out.”
All Star Circuit of Champions regular, Gerard McIntyre made a very rare 360 start and was the last driver into the top 8 redraw. Luck was on his side as the first 7 re-draw drivers left him the pole. He would start alongside three-time Woodhull A-Main winner Justin Barger as they both would lead the 23-car field to the green.
After a lap one restart, McIntyre would start to build a lead from the rest of the field as Franek, who started third would have to get by Barger before tracking down the leader. He would do that on lap three.
On lap 10, a yellow flag would come out for Chuck Hebing and Steve Collins coming together at the top of turn four. This would restack the field with McIntyre leading Franek, Barger, Dalton Herrick, Jonathan Preston, and Shawn Donath.
On the ensuing restart, the red flag was displayed as Hebing would be put on his side after making contact with Scott Goodrich who was sitting in the entrance of turn 1 after contact with a slowing Dylan Westbrook. All three driver’s nights would come to an end early.
The battle for the race lead would continue between Franek and McIntyre as they were both the class of the field on a very cold night in Woodhull. Franek would try multiple lanes while racing down the straightaways in attempt to get by the McIntyre ride but just could not get it done.
One final restart would occur on lap 18 due to a Steve Collins spin at the top of turn four.
McIntyre would once again lead the field to green as Franek would try to get a lot of momentum going down the back stretch by taking the high lane. McIntyre would continue to protect anywhere Franek would go.
Then on lap 20, Franek would dive down deep heading into turn three for a big slider and hoping the car would stick coming out of four and it did scoring him as the leader on lap 21.
Franek would lead the next four laps to score his first win at Woodhull in his first start over McIntyre and Jonathan Preston. Joe Trenca was able to squeak by Jared Zimbardi on the final lap to take fourth relegating Zimbardi to a fifth-place finish.
Kyle Drum would win the Bonnell’s Rod Shop Four Laps of Fame Dash as Steve Collins, Dalton Herrick, and Jonathan Preston were the heat winners. Chuck Hebing would go on to win the B Main.
For Franek, he is always happy to pick up a win but to win at a track he has never seen before is always something special.
“This is why we come up here” the New Jersey native continued. “This is grass roots racing where you have to get up on the wheel and make it happen. Its fun racing down in PA with those half-mile tracks but when you come up here, you really gotta man handle these things in order to get a win.”
Making his first ever start with the Patriots, Gettysburg’s Gerard McIntyre was also pleased with his runner up showing at Woodhull.
“I think we gotta be happy with tonight” McIntyre said. “We just kind of came here on a whim and the race track was so racy with the top coming in at the end, I heard Davie up there where I thought I was good. But it was a lot of fun, I think we only touched one time, so it wasn’t too bad.”
For Jonathan Preston, it was also a career best night for the Romulus, New York driver taking a third-place run.
“The car was really good; I just didn’t have enough for Franek” Preston said. “I really needed to tighten it up a little bit more, but I am happy with a top three, anything top five, I am happy.”
Taking home, the Prestige Pool & Spa Final Finisher award was Ed Kelley in the 20k.
The tour will take a weekend off before heading east to the Fonda Speedway for the Earl Halaquist Memorial paying $3,000 to the winner and $300 to start on the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend. Lap bonuses and other contingencies will be awarded throughout the program.
For up to date Patriot Sprint Tour news, please visit patriotsprinttour.com and by connecting with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
The Patriot Sprint Tour recognizes the following marketing partners for the 2019 season: A-Verdi Storage Containers, Hoosier Racing Tires, Prestige Pool & Spa, Ground Control Landscaping, Bonnell’s Auto Group, Bonnell’s Rod Shop, Fine Touch Collision, Mike Emhof Motorsports Inc., Super Gen Products with Champion Power Equipment, Patriot Tank Lines, Danny Willmes Enterprises, Just Signs & Designs, Brodix Cylinder Heads, Sunoco Race Fuels, Insinger Performance, ASI Racewear, CBP Media.
A-Verdi Storage Containers Patriot Sprint Tour Quick Results
A-Main: 1) DAVIE FRANEK (1) 2) 55-Gerard McIntyre 3) 22-Jonathan Preston 4) 98-Joe Trenca 5) 35-Jared Zimbardi 6) 5-Justin Barger 7) 3A-Jeff Trombley 8) 79-Jordan Thomas 9) 47-Kyle Drum 10) 2-Dave Axton 11) 49-Scott Kreutter 12) 36-Steve Doell 13) 67-Steve Collins 14) 29-Dalton Herrick 15) 121-Steve Glover 16) 10P-Paulie Colagiovanni 17) 20K-Ed Kelley 18) 53-Shawn Donath (DNF) 19) 30-Scott Goodrich (DNF) 20) 47x-Dylan Westbrook (DNF) 21) 45-Chuck Hebing (DNF) 22) 87-Jason Barney (DNF) 23) 22r-Mike Koehler (DNF)
Bonnell’s Rod Shop Dash for Cash: 1) 47-Kyle Drum 2) 3A-Jeff Trombley 3) 10P-Paulie Colagiovanni 4) 98-Joe Trenca 5) 36-Steve Doell 6) 22r-Mike Koehler
Heat 1: 1) 67-Steve Collins 2) 35-Jared Zimbardi 3) 10P-Paulie Colagiovanni 4) 36-Steve Doell 5) 55-Gerard McIntyre 6) 87-Jason Barney 7) 2-Dave Axton 8) 9-Steve Lyons 9) 121-Steve Glover
Heat2: 1) 29- Dalton Herrick 2) 28F-Davie Franek 3) 22r-Mike Koehler 4) 98-Joe Trenca 5) 3A- Jeff Trombley 6) 79-Jordan Thomas 7) 20K-Ed Kelley 8) 16L-Roger Levesque
Heat 3: 1) 22-Jonathan Preston 2) 53-Shawn Donath 3) 5-Justin Barger 4) 47-Kyle Drum 5) 49-Scott Kreutter 6) 30-Scott Goodrich 7) 47x-Dylan Westbrook (DNF) 8) 45-Chuck Hebing (DNF)
B-Main: 1) 45-Chuck Hebing 2) 2-Dave Axton 3) 47x-Dylan Westbrook 4) 20K-Ed Kelley 5) 9-Steve Lyons 6) 121-Steve Glover 7) 16L-Roger Levesque