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Justin Barger Bags ASCS Patriots Black Rock Fall Sprint Nationals

Rich Vleck, DUNDEE, NY (September 11, 2010) – Justin Barger had not made up his mind until earlier in the morning that he was coming to Black Rock, but he is sure glad afterwards that he did.

Barger, of Montrose, NY, captured the $5,000 top prize in Black Rock’s Fall Sprint Nationals. The Rider Racing Engines/ JE Pistons No. 32 starting on the pole and leading all 30 laps would make it seem as if was a boring and easy win for Barger, but it was anything but that.

“It was real tough out here tonight,” noted Barger in his third career trip to BRS Victory Lane. “The lapped traffic was tricky but it seemed like I got a number of cautions at the right time tonight.”

The track was superb for a second-straight night, but this time it gave up in the feature, allowing for different grooves to be explored. It also allowed Justin Barger to be challenged, but each time he would be up to the task.

The polesitter had to hold off Alain Bergeron for the first half of the race and then had serious challenges from Bryan Howland in the late stages before he could run free to the win.

After winning the Dan DeMaree Fruit Farms Pole Dash for the Inside Row, Barger pulled in front of Alain Bergeron on the start. Bergeron stalked him all the way up to a lap seven caution period that came out when fourth place Bobby Breen spun in front of Bubba Broderick. Another stoppage would not occur until lap 19, and Bergeron was pressuring most of the way.

The No. 8B would stay in the tire tracks of the leader most of the way around the track, attempting a myriad of maneuvers around the 4/10-mile oval. With a dozen laps complete, Bergeron’s front wing support brace broke and affected the handling of his car. This allowed Bryan Howland to grab second on lap 19.

Just after Howland took second, the red flag was shown when Jared Zimbardi, who was running fifth at the time, had a major issue and went straight off turn four and down the embankment near the parking lot. The car was sitting upside-down and required a lengthy extraction process for both Zimbardi and the car. He would have to be taken to the local hospital for evaluation but was alert on the scene.

During that red flag, two crew members were allowed to service each car for five minutes. Bergeron attempted to change the support arm while Barger and Howland made sure their tire pressures were correct.

After one more lap was completed, the caution reappeared when two-time Fall Nationals Champion Trevor Lewis spun in turn two. On the ensuing restart, Howland got after Barger and the two youngsters duked it out for the lead.

Lap after lap, Howland tried to set up the No. 32, but each time Barger had the rebuttal to stay in front. On lap 23, Howland crossed over coming out of turn four and nearly lead at the line, but Barger would drive around. It appeared that it would just be a matter of time until Howland inherited the lead, especially with lapped traffic imminent, but that is when Barger was at his best.

“I saw (Howland) on the scoreboard and knew he was coming up through pretty good,” said Barger afterwards. “We had a good battle here before and I knew he runs pretty well here.”

On lap 27, the leaders hit the lapped cars and Barger not only stayed in front, he made moves that allowed him to get a buffer over Howland. He was set to come to the white flag with a healthy advantage when one final caution waved.

“I liked seeing the cautions tonight, but not that last one,” admitted Barger.

Rick Wilson, who was in sixth, along with Robbie Stillwaggon and Lance Yonge got collected together in turn four, setting up a two-lap dash to the finish. With no lapped cars between the top-three Howland had new life, but he gave the chance away on the restart.

When the leaders hit the second turn, Howland jumped over the cushion, allowing Bergeron to scoot back in to third and allowed Barger to pick up the win.

Barger’s night started off modestly, as he was fourth best among his heat race in time trials. He would move up to finish second in his heat, allowing him to run the dash, where he drew the outside pole. The 2008 April and August winner drove to the win in that race and then just had to hold off the stacked field in the 30-lap feature.

It was Barger’s fourth feature win of the season, with this being the largest payday. After sweeping the sprint shows in 2008, Barger had struggled somewhat at Black Rock, where he has 24 career starts, but that changed after tonight.

Bergeron’s second-place effort completed a quality weekend for the veteran sprint car shoe who has announced 2010 will be his final season as a sprint car owner. Despite being able to attempt to replace his front wing support, it was not securely fastened and the clamp allowed the wing to shift back once again in the closing laps. Had he not had this issue that has nagged him for years reoccur, he might have had something for the win.

Like Bergeron, Blake Breen was able to drive underneath Bryan Howland on the final restart to finish in third. Breen started in eighth but was solid all feature long, particularly on restarts. The night before his car was way off in his Sweet 16 and nearly was lapped by his brother Bobby; on the night when it counted though, he was nearly perfect.

Howland would cross in fourth but made everyone realize his presence as it appeared with about eight laps remaining that eventually he would get the win.

Josh Weller crossed in fifth after battling brake issues in the A-Main in the No. 63. He ran either third, fourth or fifth place the entire event.

Trevor Lewis would rebound from a poor heat race and a spin on lap 20 to come back up to finish sixth. Fellow two-time Fall Nationals Champion George Suprick also charged forward, finishing seventh. Local Tim Kelly, New Jersey’s Robbie Stillwaggon and Penn Yan’s Lance Yonge completed the strong top-10.

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Black Rock Speedway Results: 9/11/2010-
Fall Sprint Nationals Night

Sprint A-Main (25 Laps)- 1. Justin Barger (32), 2. Alain Bergeron (8B), 3. Blake Breen (8), 4. Bryan Howland (51), 5. Josh Weller (63), 6. Trevor Lewis (21L), 7. George Suprick (87), 8. Tim Kelly (12), 9. Robbie Stillwaggon (89), 10. Lance Yonge (17J), 11. Doug Emery (33), 12. Shayne Ely (90e), 13. Vern Wasson (5v), 14. Bruce DeWick (22D), 15. Mike Stelter (36), 16. Devin Caron (24k), 17. Rick Wilson (42w), 18. Don Adamczyk (21), 19. Jared Zimbardi (35), 20. Bobby Podolak (90x), 21. Bobby Breen (9), 22. Bubba Broderick (5), 23. Joey Biasi (B1), 24. Dylan Swiernik (7c).

Lap Leaders- Barger 1-25.

B-Mains (Top 6 Transfer to A-Main)- 1. Don Adamczyk (21), 2. Shayne Ely (90e), 3. Bobby Podolak (90x), 4. Doug Emery (33), 5. Bruce DeWick (22D), 6. Mike Stelter (36), 7. Ross Vleck (2), 8. April Wilson (15AW), 9. Tim Hogue (39).

Dan DeMaree Fruit Farms Pole Dash For Inside Row (6 Laps)- 1. Justin Barger (32), 2. Bobby Breen (9), 3. Lance Yonge (17J), 4. Jared Zimbardi (35), 5. Rick Wilson (42w), 6. Robbie Stillwaggon (89).

New York State Apple Sales Pole Dash For Outide Row (6 Laps)- 1. Alain Bergeron (8B), 2. Josh Weller (63), 3. Bryan Howland (51), 4. Blake Breen (8), 5. Dylan Swiernik (7c), 6. Bubba Broderick (5).

Vi-Kell Enterprises Four Laps of Fame Dash (4 Laps)- 1. Joey Biasi (B1), 2. George Suprick (87), 3. Trevor Lewis (21L), 4. Tim Kelly (12), 5. Devin Caron (24k), 6. Vern Wasson (5v).

Heats (8 Laps Each)-

Race 1: 1. Bobby Breen (9), 2. Blake Breen (8), 3. Joey Biasi (B1), 4. Dylan Swiernik (7c), 5. Jared Zimbardi (35), 6. Tim Kelly (12), 7. Bobby Podolak (90x), 8. Doug Emery (33), 9. Bruce DeWick (22D).

Race 2: 1. Rick Wilson (42w), 2. Bryan Howland (51), 3. Devin Caron (24k), 4. Robbie Stillwaggon (89), 5. George Suprick (87), 6. Trevor Lewis (21L), 7. Don Adamczyk (21), 8. Mike Stelter (36), 9. April Wilson (15AW).

Race 3: 1. Lance Yonge (17J), 2. Justin Barger (32), 3. Alain Bergeron (8B), 4. Josh Weller (63), 5. Bubba Broderick (5), 6. Vern Wasson (5v), 7. Ross Vleck (2), 8. Shayne Ely (90e).

ASCS Patriot Points (Top Ten): 1. Bryan Howland 2,593, 2. Jared Zimbardi 2,477, 3. Tim Kelly 2,461, 4. Bubba Broderick 2,412, 5. Don Adamczyk 2,112, 6. Vern Wasson 1,697, 7. Bobby Breen 1,473, 8. Kyle Moffit 1,398, 9. Blake Breen 1,353, 10. Dylan Swiernik 1,297.