JIM RASEY ENDS 5-YEAR WINLESS DROUGHT IN BIG-BLOCK MODS & BECOMES 1ST REPEAT "LOU BLANEY MEMORIAL" WINNER AFTER 8 YEARS
|Posted by A.Rapp on July 10, 2016 at 5:05 PM|
By Mike Leone July 9, 2016 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
One thousand eight hundred seventy-six days. That's how many days had passed since Jim Rasey's last victory. But on Saturday night with a new car and pieced together motor, Rasey looked like the Rasey of old driving past some of the region's best Big-Block Modified racers to capture an improbable $2,000 victory in the 30-lap Mod Tour feature for the big blocks. Rasey's last win was on May 21, 2011; however, became the first repeat winner of the "Lou Blaney Memorial" for the either the Sprints or Modifieds backing up his 2010 event win. "I'll tell you what- dad, myself, and the crew worked non-stop all night long for the last three or four nights to get this thing together at 4:30 today," revealed the 44-year-old Southington, Ohio driver. "We barely made it. I have to thank everyone that has been standing behind me in this. That was a race track tonight! That was the old school, Lou Blaney track. I love it- it was great! I call this a three in one- three motors in one. Then we call it C4 because we don't know when it's going to blow up. I have to thank Alcon Mechanical, JD Pit Stop and Hovis Tire, who came on board this week to get us a set of tires that we were desperately in need of. There's a lot of people over the last five years that really busted their butts thinking it was over, but I guess I proved them wrong." A side-by-side battle on the opening lap saw three-time time 2016 winner, Jimmy Weller III, lead the opening lap, but pole-sitter, Jeremiah Shingledecker, took charge of the race on lap two over Weller and Eric Gabany. It was four-wide for fourth on lap two with sixth starting Rex King, Jr. moving into the position over Erick Rudolph and Rasey. Shingledecker pulled away from the field by lap five, while the battle was on for second as Weller III tried to hold off Gabany and King, Jr. Shingledecker opened up his lead to a straightaway on lap nine and then caught lapped traffic on lap 11 as the laps ticked off caution-free. King, Jr. and Rudolph passed Gabany for third and fourth on laps 11 and 12 respectively. King, Jr. was all over Weller III on lap 12, 13, and 14 before nosing ahead for the runner-up spot on the 14th circuit. Shingledecker's straightaway lead was erased when Shayne Pierce slowed to bring out the caution with 16 laps scored. After quietly running outside the top five for the first 16 laps, the caution was just what Rasey needed. Back under green, he passed both Rudolph and Gabany for fourth then one lap later took third from Weller III. Rasey charged after King,
Jr. and drove under him for second on lap 22 before a caution for Jim Weller, Jr., who didn't make it off the track. When racing resumed on lap 23, Rasey took charge as King, Jr. followed past Shingledecker for second. The event was slowed for the final time with 25 laps completed when Rick Richner hit the frontstretch wall head on and Garrett Krummert clipped Richner's rear leaving a debris field all over the frontstretch. After the lengthy cleanup, the final 10 laps went green-to-checkered. Rasey increased his lead every lap and took the checkered flag first by a comfortable 2.594 second margin in his Alcon Mechanical/Hovis Tire/JD Pit Stop-sponsored #32. Rasey's 19th career Sharon win tied him for seventh on the all-time win list, ironically with King, Jr., the track's point leader who crossed the line in second. After leading 21 laps, Shingledecker dropped to third over Rudolph, who is The Mod Tour point leader and April 16 "Russ King Memorial" winner. Gabany had a solid fifth despite being underpowered with his "358" small-block. Michael Maresca, Weller III, Rex King, Dave Murdick, and Brad Rapp were sixth through 10th. Murdick, Rudolph, King, Jr., and Brian Swartzlander copped the heat races over the 33-car field. Tom Mattocks won the B main.
Mod Tour for the Hovis Auto & Truck Supply Big-Block Modifieds (35 laps, $2,000 to-win): 1. JIM RASEY (32) 2. Rex King, Jr. (165) 3. Jeremiah Shingledecker (37MD) 4. Erick Rudolph (25R) 5. Eric Gabany (3E) 6. Michael Maresca (7) 7. Jimmy Weller III (23) 8. Rex King (65) 9. Dave Murdick (61) 10. Brad Rapp (11R) 11. J.R. McGinley (66M) 12. Shannon Whaley (44) 13. Rob Kristyak (00) 14. Bob Warren (96B) 15. Mark Frankhouser (03) 16. Garrett Krummert (29) 17. Rick Richner (26) 18. Shawn Fleeger (88) 19. Jim Weller, Jr. (31) 20. Tom Mattocks (69) 21. Kevin Bolland (777) 22. Brian Swartzlander (83) 23. Shayne Pierce (88) 24. Mark Flick (Regalski 7z) 25. Skip Moore (17M) 26. Rick Regalski, Jr. (13). DNQ for the feature: Justin Rasey (21), Dave Reges (27R), Scott Kerwin (7), Rodney Beltz (64), Tom Glenn (83T), Chris Haines (35H), Dave Blaney (18B).