Brett Sontag was more than happy to have fellow competitor John Nutley roll the dice to decide the invert for the third and final segment of Friday’s Frank Welch Memorial at Grundy County Speedway.
“He’s a big gambler, isn’t he?” Sontag said with a smile. “I don’t do good on the boats, so I don’t go.”
Nutley rolled a seven, which happened to be where Sontag finished in the second segment. Sontag took the pole position and ran with it, leading all 34 laps of the final segment to claim the overall title.
The third feature wasn’t much of a battle, although Sontag did have Larry Schuler lurking relatively close behind during the final half.
“Honestly, I didn’t think we had that good of a car for the third feature,” Sontag said. “In the second one it was tight. My crew made some adjustments, and it was fast.”
Schuler held on for second, while Ricky Baker, Eddie Hoffman, Chris Cooling and Dave Gentile Jr. completed the top six.
The first feature, lined up with the fastest qualifier on the pole, saw Baker lead all 30 laps. There was a brief battle for second between Paul Shafer Jr. and Anthony Danta, but Shafer eventually settled in to claim the spot. Third went to Sontag, ahead of Hoffman, Danta and Gentile.
In the second feature, lined up with the Baker starting in the 19th position, Nutley erased a season full of feature frustration by taking the lead from James Gregait on lap 7 and beating Gregait by 0.710 seconds.
“It feels good,” Nutley said. “We’ve been fighting it for what, five or six weeks now. It feels good to finally win one and not have a yellow flag come out.”
There actually was a yellow flag with nine laps remaining, but Gregait was unable to use it to make a passing attempt on Nutley. Third went to Schuler, followed by Hoffman, Brandon Clubb, Cooling and Sontag.
Johnny Senerchia ruled in the street stocks feature, holding off continual taps from behind by Jake Bradley. John Ventrello, Bob Davis, Logan Love and Timmy Stewart followed.
Cirk Lindemuth won the pure stocks feature over Robert Johler, Dan Schmeissing, Ryan Lagestee and Austin Blackwell.
Fast Time: Ricky Baker
Overall Finish: Brett Sontag, Larry Schuler, Eddie Hoffman, Chris Cooling, Ricky Baker, Dave Gentile Jr., Anthony Danta, Brandon Clubb, John Nutley, James Gregait, Andy Jones, Tony Scapelli Jr., Jeremy Spoonmore, Ron Vandermeir Jr., David Einhaus, Paul Shafer Jr., Scott Koerner, Danny Darnell, DJ Weltmeyer, Ray Brackett, Hank Tews, Stevie Campbell, Dan Odell, Chuck Sottosanti
Race 1: Baker, Shafer, Sontag, Hoffman, Danta
Race 2: Nutley, Gregait, Schuler, Hoffman, Clubb
Race 3: Sontag, Schuler, Baker, Hoffman, Cooling
Fast Time: Jake Bradley
Heat Race 1: Eddie Ligue, John Senerchia
Heat Race 2: Cheryl Hryn, Rob Scamen
Feature: Senerchia, Bradley, John Ventrello, Bob Davis, Logan Love, Tim Stewart, Ligue, Rita Fields, Christy Penrod, Hryn
Fast Time: Ryan Lagestee
Heat Race 1: Ricky Wilson, Robert Johler
Heat Race 2: Mikey Slabenak, Mike Yuris
Heat Race 3: Alex Gay, Will Shephard
Feature: Cirk Lindemuth, Joler, Dan Schmeissing, Lagestee, Austin Blackwell, Wilson, James Gross, Spencer Leake, Slabenak, Shephard
– Grundy County Speedway Release
Photo Credit: Fourth Turn Photo