By ERIKA PALMAI WAGNER
Scott Lutz, of Jonestown, PA earned his trip to victory lane on Saturday at Grandview Speedway after being pressured by second place running Tommy Carberry for majority of the twenty-five lap feature event. Carberry, the point leader heading into the night’s event, who was rim-riding his way around the famed 1/3 mile high banked speedway took over the lead as the field was crossing the start-finish line for the white flag, but it was short lived after he came into contact with the outside guard rail going down the back stretch, which handed over the top spot back to Lutz who would take home the victory.
“I really just drove as hard as I could,” Lutz said. “When the top started to go away for me, I thought to myself that my only shot was getting around the lap cars and getting them in between us, but that actually almost cost me the race in the final laps there. I know he had gotten by me but when we got to the back stretch on that final lap, I dove in front of the lap car and that’s how I got back passed him before he had made some contact with the outside wall”.
The field was inverted by nine, putting Eddie Wagner and Scott Lutz on the front row. As the field came around to take the green flag, it was Lutz who shot to the lead heading into turn one. Rick Stief, who started in fourth challenged Wagner for second almost immediately, but Wagner would overcome and continued in the runner up spot, while trying to regain his lead from Lutz.
The leaders caught up to heavy lapped traffic by lap four, with Tommy Carberry, driving his Integrity Auto Body number 28 aggressively on the high side, quickly taking second from Wagner on lap nine.
“I was able to go anywhere on the race track, my car was really good,” said Carberry. “I felt really confident in lapped traffic because of how well my car was handling and I was able to pass cars very quickly which helped me get to second as soon as I did”.
With the first caution on lap twelve displayed for Tyler Reinhardt who spun in turn four, and a red flag coming out for Rick Stief who made contact with the backstretch wall causing him to flip on his side after the restart, it would be the birth of a showdown between Lutz and Carberry, who eventually led the field to the green in double file restart formation.
Lutz would come out on top once again on that restart, with Carberry putting heavy pressure on him as he drove “high wide and handsomely” around the speedway in an attempt to take the lead from Lutz who showed that patience and a calm demeanor would keep him out front.
“I think we both felt really confident running through lapped traffic, and it showed because either of us missed a beat when we were driving through it, that’s for sure,” Carberry commented on the lead cars racing with the slower traffic in tow.
With a final red flag pausing the event on the fourteenth circuit, due to a flipping Stefanie Carberry after making contact with the outside guardrail in turns one and two as she was also advancing positions while “rim riding” around the high groove of the speedway in sixth place, the field was subjected to a single file restart with Lutz taking off with Carberry not far behind.
From that point on, the last ten laps of the feature would be a crowd pleaser, with Lutz and Carberry slicing and dicing through the field, utilizing all parts of the track, making it three wide at times between lapped traffic, with similar racing going on with third and fourth placed Mark Bitner and Tim Tanner Jr., as well as fifth and sixth place running Austin Bishop and Dave Brown.
“You never know with these guys, and I’ve never had to the chance to run with MASS this year, so I’m not really familiar with how their driver run and where they run, so It was quiet an adventure trying to maneuver lapped traffic throughout the race,” mentioned Lutz.
With two laps remaining, with the end in near sight, Carberry made his move heading into turns three and four around Lutz who ran up on a lapped car, allowing Carberry to cruise pass them around the high side.
“I got by Lutz on the top going in between a lapped car, coming to one to go, and the top started going away with six or seven laps to go, and I was really close up on the fence and coming out of two he got back underneath the lapped car,” Carberry explained. “I think my right rear grabbed a hold of the wall, and it must have slapped the front end, and I went to turn it into three on the top and I drove it in there hard, and It just went straight and stuffed it in the fence.”
Crossing the checkered flag to capture his first Mid-Atlantic Sprint Series win in his first attempt would be Scott Lutz, followed by Mark Bitner, Tim Tanner Jr., Austin Bishop and Dave Brown Jr. Carberry would officially finish in fifteenth.
“We usually run with the Laurel Highlands Sprint Series, and we actually won last week up at Hesston Speedway,” said Lutz. “We really enjoyed running with MASS tonight, I’m looking forward to coming back out to Grandview in September, now especially after this win tonight.”
There were twenty-five MASS 305 Sprint Cars in attendance for the Thayer Performance Parts and Engines sponsored night, with three heat race triumphs going to rookie Austin Bishop, Tim Tanner Jr., and Stefanie Carberry and the “last chance” B-Main qualifying race going to Keith Andersen. Thayer Performance gave two Racesaver Spec Hoosier Right Rear tires to the top two hard chargers which were Tom Carberry and Bobby Butler who both advanced six positions in the feature. The Bitner Automotive “Lightning Fast Time of the Night” award went to Austin Bishop who ran a fast time of 13.505 during his heat race.
On Saturday, July 8th, the Engler Machine and Tool Mid-Atlantic Sprint Series will be making their way back into the Garden State, as they race at Bridgeport Speedway. Stay tuned for more information on this event. For more info on what’s going on with the Mid-Atlantic Sprint Series, please visit our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/midatlanticsprintseries/ or visit our website at www.masprintseries.com.
MASS FEATURE (25 LAPS):
SCOTT LUTZ, Mark Bitner, Tim Tanner, Austin Bishop, Dave Brown, Jon Haegele, Scott Frack, Eddie Wagner, Brendon Poff, Joe Kay, Jeff Geiges, Bobby Butler, Rick Stief, Keith Andersen, Tommy Carberry (DNF), Sam Lieberman, David Bonner, Tom Carberry, Craig Pellegrini, DNF: Stefanie Carberry, Zack Burd, Tyler Reinhardt, Tim Smolenyak, Bobby Scherff
DNQ: Terry Schaffer
CSI Shocks B-Main: $50 Keith Andersen
Heat 1, CSI: Austin Bishop $50
Heat 2, Freiberger Excavating: Tim Tanner Jr. $50
Heat 3, Professional Design Services: Stefanie Carberry $50
Todd's Performance: Terry Schaffer $25
DMI Hard Luck Award: Tommy Carberry $25
Bruce's Auto Body Hard Charger: Bobby Butler $25
Kelly Fuels: Scott Lutz, Tim Tanner, Austin Bishop - 5 Gallons of Fuel
Thayer Performance Burning Rubber Bonus: Bobby Butler & Tom Carberry
Freiberger Excavating “Fan Favorite” Bonus: Sam Lieberman $25