Robbie Stillwaggon of Burlington, NJ only led one lap of the feature event Saturday night at the Delaware International Speedway, but it was the lap that paid $2,000 and moved him back to the top of the Rislone URC point chase.
Stillwaggon entered the Rislone URC Sprint event trailing point leader Davie Franek by sixteen points and went on to win his heat race and the feature event. Franek’s night did not start off very good as his sprint car developed rear problems after strong contact with one of the push truck vehicles. Franek did not run a qualifying event and started twenty-third in the feature event. In a strong performance, Franek passed twenty cars, racing back to finish third, also earning the Fred’s Trailer Parts Hard Charger bonus and an extra five point. Stillwaggon, for leading one lap in the feature event, also earned five bonus points. Stillwaggon earned the win, his first of the season and now holds a scant thirty point advantage over Franek in the point chase with just two races remaining.
Stillwaggon and Franek were just part of the story on Saturday night. Joey Biasi and Steve Downs set the early pace in the feature, racing side-by-side for a good portion of the twenty-five lap feature event. On lap seventeen Stillwaggon caught Biasi and for eight laps, the two ran wheel-to-wheel with Biasi on the high lane, Finally, on the checker flag lap, Stillwaggon took the lead exiting turn two and went on to score the win, his third career victory with URC.
URC heat race winners were Steve Downs, Joey Biasi and Robbie Stillwaggon.
A strong crowd was on hand for URC’s final visit of the season to Delaware International Speedway but with bad weather quickly moving towards the track, the decision was made to pass intermission and go right into the feature events of the night. Before the start of the features, former champion and Delaware favorite (now retired) Greg Coverdale received his plaque for entering the URC Hall of Fame.
The start of the twenty-five lap Rislone URC sprint feature turned wild as the field exited turn two. JJ Grasso caught an infield tire that sent Eldreth Construction sprinter across the track gathering Randy West and Jonathan Swanson. All three cars flipped with Swanson leaving the speedway over the second turn wall. All drivers walked away uninjured but the cars were badly damaged. Josh Weller made contact and went to the pits, but did return to the track before the race restarted.
The green flag fell and rookie driver Steve Downs of Georgetown, DE set the pace with Joey Biasi in the chase. Before the second lap was completed, the red was displayed, this time for Josh Weller who violently flipped, exiting the speedway over the second turn wall in the exact same location of the previous accident. Weller was not injured and later explained that the accident was believed to be a result of damage sustained in the early accident.
Joey Biasi now had the lead followed by Steve Downs and Robbie Stillwaggon with Art Liedl and Chad Trout in the top five.
Biasi and Downs were a show all of their own as they battled for the lead. Downs in just his first full season with URC demonstrated his ability to be a URC star of the future. At the halfway point of the race Biasi, Downs and Stillwaggon were in a three car battle for the lead with Trout and Liedl making up the top five. Ed Aikin was racing sixth and in a battle with Davie “No Panic” Franek, who started twenty-third.
On lap fourteen, Dan Mazy blew a tire on the homestretch and the caution flag was displayed.
This yellow set-up for a double-file restart with Biasi on point and Downs on the outside. Biasi set the pace and on lap seventeen, Stillwaggon moved into second and immediately began to challenge Biasi for the lead. On lap eighteen, Stillwaggon took the low groove as Biasi ran up high, Lap after lap the two drivers swapped the lead and never touched. With the white flag waiving, Biasi was the leader but exiting turn two, Stillwaggon had the advantage and held the lead for the remainder of the final lap.
A thrilled and excited Stillwaggon thanked the fans for coming out and commented on the well prepared Delaware International Speedway. Biasi finished second in his most impressive run of the year as Davie Franek rallied home third with Steve Downs and Chad Trout making up the top five. In the top ten were Ed Aikin, Mark Bitner, Art Liedl, Kevin Darling and Eddie Wagner.
FEATURE FINISH: Robbie Stillwaggon, Joey Biasi, Davie Franek, Steve Downs, Chad Trout, Ed Aikin, Mark Bitner, Art Liedl, Kevin Darling, Eddie Wagner, Scott Lutz, Midge Miller, Tim Hogue, Jimmy Stitzel, Dan Mazy, Jeff Fithian, Troy Betts, Denny Garl, Josh Weller, Randy West, Jonathan Swanson, JJ Grasso, Cameron Darling.