The stars and cars of the Race of Champions Series made their annual visit to Penn Can Speedway Tuesday for the “Clash at the Can” and left the fans in the stands amazed at the conclusion of one of the best modified races ever run at the Susquehanna County speedway. The entire feature, sponsored by Don’s Automotive Mall and NEP Wireless, had fans on their feet not knowing which battle to watch all around the track. After sixty hard fought laps, with the last thirty two run without a caution, defending track champion Kevin Hartnett of Barto, Pennsylvania methodically chased down seasoned veteran Danny Johnson of Rochester, New York with the two talented drivers coming across the finish line it what official deemed a dead tie for the win. In the companion Race of Champions sportsman feature a great three and sometimes four car battle lap after lap was won by Brian White of Candor, New York winning out over track regular Ryan Olsommer of Canadensis, Pennsylvania.
By luck of the draw Dabny Johnson, driving the Brad Grammes owned modified, drew the pole position for the sixty lap series event. A lap one caution forced an initial restart with Johnson moving out to the lead followed by Anthony Perrego, Stewart Freisen, and Brian Malchm. There was action wherever you looked throughout the talented twenty eight car starting field. The second caution flew on lap fourteen for the slowed cars of Nick Rochinski and Vic Coffey. Both cars pitted and returned to the action.
When action resumed, Johnson held a three car lead over Perrego with the starting Hartnett making his way to the front. Another quick caution came on lap twenty five for the slowed cars of Mike Nagel and Chris Wood who both went pitside with mechanical issues. When the race restarted the top cars chasing Johnson were Perrego and Hartnett switching spots lap after lap. The car on the move was the twenty first starting and defending race winner Ryan Watt who now moved into the top five ahead of the fifth place battle between Freisen, Tyler Dipple, Daune Howard, and Matt Shepard.
With the racing running caution free over the last half of the event, Hartnett moved to second and Watt jumped to third chasing Johnson. As the cars came to lap traffic Hartnett pulled the rear bumper of Johnson. Lap after lap Hartnett worked the inside only to be held off. As the two cars took the white flag, Hartnett switch lanes and took to the outside of the track. Coming out of turn four coming to the checkered flag Hartnett pull door to door with Johnson coming under the flag side by side in what was one of the most thrilling races ever run at the Penn Can facility. After a long conference session with all officials involved, it was decided that the race was a dead even tie. Watt charged through the field to get third followed by Perrego, Dipple, Sheppard, Freisen, Nick Rochinski, Rick Laubach and Erick Rudolph.
Andrew Furgeson brought the field to the green flag in the companion RoC Sportsman feature event. Fergeson took the early lead over Clay Butler, Claude Hutchings, Kevin, Jordon, and Brian White. Two and three wide racing was again the norm during the running of the night’s second feature. The man on the move early was the Hunts Auto sponsored car of Brian White who took command on lap eight. White and Clay Butler had the fans standing racing side by side lap after lap. With the race at the half way mark White lead Butler, Jordon, Hutchings, and home track regular Ryan Olsommer. The final caution came on lap eighteen when the great battle between White and Butler ended when Butler came into turn two and spun.
When the race restarted, Jordon now was the man challenging White with Olsommer cranking his mount up on the high side try to get to the front. Olsommer got by Jordon and put a run on White only to come up a half a car short at the line. Brandon Waters made a late race charge for third followed by Jordon and Butch Green.
PENN NOTES: The track was in excellent condition with two and three wide racing all through both feature events. Andy Bachetti made the long haul to make his first ever Penn Can start qualifying through his heat only to drop from the feature early. American Racer Cup bonus money won by Danny Johnson ($400), Kevin Hartnett ($400) and Ryan Watt ($200). Brian White, Ryan Olsommer , and Brandon Waters won the sportsman bonus money. Nick Rochinsi, the current point leader at Penn Can, was forced to make front end repairs during a mid-race caution. Rochinski returned and was credited with an eighth place finish. Young Tyler Dippel made a bunch of late race passes to move into the top five at the finish. Mechanical issues prevented Alex Stanton from starting the feature as rear end gear problems forced him into the pits after driver introductions. Weather was a big factor with storms predicted all day. Rain never fell at the speedway and a good fan turnout was on hand for the nights racing program. The entire night of racing was over at 10:30. The annual Bicycle Give Away Night is scheduled for Friday June 21st.
ROC Modified Feature: (Dead Heat Tie) Danny Johnon and Kevin Hartnett, Ryan Watt, Anthony Perrego, Tyler Dippel, Matt Sheppard, Stewart Freisen, Nick Rochinski,Rick Laubach, Erick Rudolph, Brian Malcolm, Al Rudalavage, Duane Howard, Danny Creeden, Adam MacGeorge, Mike Colsten, Tyler Siri, Mike Clapperton,Ken Titus, Darrell Ford, Donny Lawson, Chris Wood, Mike Nagel Jr, Andy Bachetti, Vic Coffey, Kyle Merkel, Danny Tyler, DNS, Alex Stanton,DNQ Josh Nobriga, Kenny Peoples Jr, Ray Jashembowski, Sam Allen, Dave Welty
ROC Sportsman Feature: Brian White, Ryan Olsommer, Brandon Waters, Kevin Jordan, Butch Green, Jerry Tonti, Rusty Smith, Nick Nye, Brad Szulewski,Travis Smith, Alec Gennarelli, Mike Butler, Charlie Hendrickson Jr, Scott George, Todd Titus, Jerry Tonti, Clay Butler, Chris Jordan, Andrew Furgeson.Bobby Peoples, Dusty Barton, Paul Rooney
Source: dirt track digest