Rookie Bealer Tops Bloomsburg On PASS Tour
Rookie Bealer Tops Bloomsburg
Rookie Zack Bealer from Lehighton found a way around Bloomsburg Fairgrounds Raceway that nobody else could match and scored his first win in a full-sized sprint car in Sunday’s IMCA/RaceSaver sprint feature co-sanctioned by the PA Sprint Series and the Mid-Atlantic Sprint Series.
The former micro-sprint driver, running regularly with MASS, already had amassed two top-five finishes and four top-tens in just six starts, including a seventh at Bridgeport Speedway in his first RaceSaver start, the season-opening co-sanctioned event for both groups. He announced early Sunday that he might be ready to do even better at Bloomsburg, coming from ninth starting position to finish fourth in his heat. That was the best charge by any driver in the preliminaries. Then he drew the pole for the 25-lap feature, the first ever for full-size, winged sprints on the Bloomsburg track, built earlier this year inside the horse track that was the site of many classic open-wheel races beginning nearly a century ago and ending in the 1980s.
In a race with only one caution flag, Bealer and his Horizon Landscaping/TSL Shocks/Newlin Bar Service/Project Believe in Goodness #44 handled both open track and heavy traffic nearly flawlessly, although Bloomingburg New Yorker Justin Mills gave it his all in the race’s only restart, with four laps to go.
Mills came home second, with rookie Tyler Snook of Beavertown third, Will Brunson of Middleburg fourth and North Carolinian George Loux fifth. Loux was racing “back home” in Pennsylvania while the NASCAR traveling circuits have two weeks off; he works in that racing world. Rounding out the top 10 were Eddie Wagner, Tim Iulg, Aiden Borden, Kenny Heffner and Jared Zionkowski.
On a night when passing was at a premium, Mike Melair of Warrington earned the Hartman Motor Company Hard Charger Award, advancing eight spots from the back row and his 23rd place starting position.
Heat race winners for the 29-car field were Wagner, Loux and Matthew Swift (a graduate of neighboring Bloomsburg University), with Larry McVay taking the B-Main. There were no serious incidents in any of the night’s races.
During the first heat race, a shower hit the track, but all the cars were able to maintain control. Racing was stopped, but the rain proved relatively brief, and the track was worked back into racing trim with commendable speed.
The RaceSaver sprints will return to Bloomsburg October 2 – during the fair – for a daytime show with the ARDC midgets. After that program, they will travel to Clinton County Speedway for that track’s biggest RaceSaver sprint program of the season that same night. Next weekend, PASS takes a rare weekend off. Racing will resume on Saturday, August 7, at Port Royal Speedway. For the latest news and schedule information, visit www.pasprintseries.com, the PA Sprint Series Facebook page, or @pasprintseries on Twitter.
Results from Bloomsburg Fairgrounds Raceway July 25
HEAT 1 – 1. 70-Eddie Wagner; 2. 41Z-Jared Zionkowski; 3. M1-Justin Mills; 4. 8-Will Brunson; 5. 67-Ken Duke Jr.; 6. 78-Dale Schweikert; 7. 10-Jake Waters; 8. 80-Dave Wickham; 9. 2-Erin Statler. DNS – 3J-Josh Fox.
HEAT 2 – 1. 48G-George Loux; 2. 39X-Scott Frack; 3. 7-Aiden Borden; 4. 44-Zack Bealer; 5. 83K-Kristina Pratt; 6. 25-Dustin Young; 7. 83-Larry McVay; 8. 1M-Paul Moyer; 9. 54-Mike Melair; 10. 11W-Donnie Wise.
HEAT 3 – 1. 03-Matthew Swift; 2. 97-Kenny Heffner; 3. 19A-Tim Iulg; 4. 56-Tyler Snook; 5. 19-Tyler Cochran; 6. 15T-Matt Tebbs; 7. 5-John Walp; 8. 85-Josh Beamer; 9. 43-J.R. Booth.
B-MAIN – 1. 83-Larry McVay; 2. 5-John Walp; 3. 85-Josh Beamer; 4. 1M-Paul Moyer; 5. 54-Mike Melair; 6. 10-Jake Waters; 7. 2-Erin Statler; 8. 80-Dave Wickham; 9. 11W-Donnie Wise; 10. 43-J.R. Booth. DNS – 3J-Josh Fox.M1
FEATURE – 1. 44-Zack Bealer; 2. M1-Justin Mills; 3. 56-Tyler Snook; 4. 8-Will Brunson; 5. 48G-George Loux; 6. 70-Eddie Wagner; 7. 19A-Tim Iulg; 8. 7-Aiden Borden; 9. 97-Kenny Heffner; 10. 41Z-Jared Zionkowski; 11. 67-Ken Duke Jr.; 12. 03-Matthew Swift; 13. 39X-Scott Frack; 14. 83-Larry McVay; 15. 54-Mike Melair; 16. 5-John Walp; 17. 15T-Matt Tebbs;18. 19-Tyler Cochran; 19. 25-Dustin Young; 20. 85-Josh Beamer; 21. 78-Dale Schweikert; 22. 1M-Paul Moyer; 23. 83K-Kristina Pratt (DNF); 24. 10-Jake Waters (DNF). DNQ – 2-Erin Statler; 80-Dave Wickham; 11W-Donnie Wise; 43-J.R. Booth; 3J-Josh Fox.
Photo credit: Frank Buhrman Article by:Frank Buhrman