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   The Chrome Horn - News



Rocco Caps off Dream Season with SK Victory
James, Nester, Sutton & Buxton Also Winners

Matt Hirschman of Northampton, PA, turned a rollercoaster ride into his third victory in the Modified portion of the 109 U-Pull It eighth annual John Blewett III Memorial North-South ShootoutTM on Saturday, November 6, 2010. Keith Rocco of Wallingford, CT, used late race strategy to score the victory in the SK-Type Modified portion of the main event. Colt James of Newton, NC, the 2010 Concord Speedway Late Model champion, used the home turf advantage to score the victory in a slugfest in the CRA Super Series Late Models. Brian Nester of Edon, OH, scored the victory in the USA Modified Series debut at the North-South Shootout. Johnny Sutton of Harrisburg, NC, and Tommy Buxton of Raleigh, NC, shared the spotlight in Vintage action.

Matt Hirschman of Northampton, PA, became the first driver to win three North South Shootout victories during the event’s eight year history. Hirschman looked strong throughout the race taking the lead for the first time on lap 46. After heading down pit road on lap 62 for the mandatory pit stop, Hirschman charged back through the field to vie for the lead once again. An incident on lap 89 looked as if it may end Hirschman’s bid for victory. Quick work by his pit crew allowed Hirschman to regain the field. The repairs proved to be near perfection as Hirschman sailed through the field to regain the lead and the eventual win.

After setting fast time in qualifying on Friday, Chuck Hossfeld led the field to green for the start of the 125-lap main event for the Modifieds. The caution flew immediately for a spin by Corey Lajoie in turn one. On the complete restart it was once again Hossfeld in command. Second-running Bonsignore immediately had company in Matt Hirschman. Just outside of the top five things were heating up between Burt Myers, Eric Beers, James Civali, Ronnie Silk and Erick Rudolph.

Civali began to work over Beers taking the fifth spot on lap four. Hossfeld continued to lead Bonsignore, Hirschman, Preece, and Civali before a spin by TJ Zacharias off turn three brought out the second caution on lap six. Bonsignore got a great run on the lap six restart getting up alongside Hossfeld before settling back in line in second. Earl Paules and Burt Myers were involved in an incident in turn four to bring out the third caution. Myers rolled on while Paules was forced to retire from the event.

On the ensuing restart, Bonsignore was able to get the advantage over Hossfeld. Preece got the jump on Hirschman and then used the outside groove to get around Hossfeld. Preece immediately went to work on Bonsignore for the lead. Hossfeld fell to third and into the clutches of Hirschman. Beers and Rudolph had each gotten by Civali. The fourth caution flew on lap 10 for pile-up exiting turn four that included Junior Miller, Josh Nichols and Gene Pack. All cars were able to continue.

On the lap 10 restart, Bonsignore had his hands full with Preece. The young drivers went wheel-to-wheel for the better part of a lap. Not able to make the outside move work, Preece did the crossover move to the bottom. The two continued to run side-by-side. Bonsignore was able to take sole possession of the lead once again on lap 13. Erick Rudolph, who had been strong on the restart, was now running in the fourth position. Meanwhile, Hirschman had caution the leaders to make a three car battle for the lead.

George Brunnhoelzl started to make some noise moving into the seventh position by lap 15. He went to work on Silk for sixth taking the spot away on lap 19.

Preece got a great run coming out of the fourth turn to the take the lead away from Bonsignore on lap 21. Brunnhoelzl began to run down Hossfeld in fifth. Once out front, Preece was able to run out to a ten car-length advantage over a brewing battle between Bonsignore and Hirschman.

The leader Preece began to enter lapped traffic on lap 29. As the rest of the pack entered lapped traffic the positions second through fifth began to tighten up. Ted Christopher had moved up into the seventh position by lap 35.

Up front, Hirschman continued to take chase of Bonsignore in second. Rudolph and Hossfeld were able to gain some running room over Brunnhoelzl. Despite being in heavy lapped traffic, Preece was not losing any ground to the battle for the second spot. There was a scary moment for Hirschman and Bonsignore when Jimmy Zacharias spun in turn two directly in front of the duo to bring out the event’s fifth caution.

The caution period did result in disaster for Bonsignore who stalled in turn two a lap later. After receiving a push, his car stalled once again on it pit road. While Bonsignore was getting service to his car for a reported dead battery, a host of other teams headed for pit road on lap 41 including Civali, Silk, B. Myers, Beers, Franks Fleming, Jason Myers, Tommy Farrell and others.

For the lap 41 restart, the running order was Preece, Hirschman, Rudolph, Hossfeld, Brunnhoelzl, Christopher, Eric Goodale, Rowan Pennink, Zach Brewer, and Jamie Tomaino inside the top-ten. Preece handily retained his lead over Hirschman on the ensuing restart while Hossfeld rocketed into third taking Christopher along for the ride. Rudolph fell back to fifth followed by Brunnhoelzl.

While Preece was being pressured by Hirschman for the lead; B. Myers, the two-time and defending race champion, appeared to have problems as he slid back several positions.

Bonsignore was able to return to action on lap 46 just as the sixth caution flew for a spin by B. Myers. During the caution period, Bonsignore returned to pit road. Frank Fleming had encountered problems and also headed down pit road. Myers was pushed behind the wall on lap 46.

Hirschman was able to get the advantage on the lap 46 restart to take the lead from Preece. Christopher had gotten by Hossfeld to move into the third spot. Brunnhoelzl and Hossfeld went wheel-to-wheel for fourth. A bid by Brunnhoelzl on lap 48 gave him the fourth position. Erick Rudolph immediately began to apply pressure to Hossfeld for position.

Hirschman began to extend his lead over Preece, Christopher, Brunnhoelzl, and Hosffeld. James Civali was making tracks back to the front following his pit stop earlier in the event. The Meriden, CT, native had moved into the eleventh position on lap 52. Rowan Pennink and Jamie Tomaino were having good runs riding inside the top ten in ninth and tenth respectively.

Hirschman was enjoying a ten-car length advantage over Preece and Christopher when the seventh caution flew for a scaring looking incident involving J. Zacharias. It was a vicious hit for the young driver, who impacted the inside wall at the entrance of pit road. Also receiving damage were Pack and Fleming.

During the caution period, Hirschman, Preece, Christopher, Brunnhoelzl, Hossfeld, Goodale, Silk, Brewer and Miller all came down pit road for their mandatory pit stop. Goodale’s #58 stalled on pit road and failed to refire.

After the pit stops, Rudolph was the new leader followed by Civali, Jimmy Blewett, Shaun Carrig, Nichols, J. Myers, Farrell, and Pat Emerling. Hirschman and Preece lined up at the tail-end of the top ten followed by Christopher, Hossfeld, Silk, Tomaino, Brewer, Brunnhoelzl, Pennink, and others.

Rudolph easily motored into the lead on the restart at lap 62. Civali looked to the outside of Rudolph and was able to make the pass on lap 64. Civali was the new leader followed by Rudolph, Blewett, Carrig, Nichols, J. Myers, Preece, Hirschman, Hosffeld, and Christopher inside the top ten.

Nichols was looking racy in fifth; applying pressure to Carrig. Rudolph found himself in the middle of a three wide battle. Electing to lift, the youngster, began to drop back through the field.

Civali began to get away from the field as Beers worked his way into the second spot. Preece and Hirschman were both able to get by Carrig and Nichols. Preece had reeled in Blewett; making the pass on lap 75. Carrig lost several positions after making some contact with the outside wall in turn two.

Preece began to run down Civali while Hirschman continued to work on Blewett for second. The eighth caution of the event flew on lap 79 when the leader just laps before, Rudolph, lost the handle on his mount hitting the wall on the front stretch.

The lap 79 restart pitted Civali against Preece at the head of the field. Civali used the outside groove to his advantage to retain his lead. Hirschman was also able to get by Preece while Christopher moved into the fourth position over Blewett on the restart.

An aggressive move by Pennink opened the door for both he and Brunnhoelzl to move past Blewett. Up front the top four were locked together in a heated battle. Hirschman was glued to the back bumper of Civali. Preece, likewise, was right on the bumper of Hirschman. Christopher made it a four-car battle for the top spot.

On lap 89, contact between the leaders sent the field scattering and the caution flying for the ninth time. There was initial contact between Hirschman and Civali exiting turn four. The top-three of Civali, Hirschman and Preece all sustained damage. Christopher drove away with the lead. Civali and Hirschman both had front end damage but were able to rejoin the event after repairs on pit road. Preece was forced to retire from the event.

On the restart it was Christopher, Pennink, Brunnhoelzl, Silk, and Goodale, who had problems earlier but was the benefactor of well placed caution periods and remained on the lead lap, inside the top five. Pennink got the jump on the restart to take the lead from Christopher. The pass was for naught as the event’s tenth caution flew before the completion of the lap when Civali made hard contact with the outside wall in turn two. Pennink had his second shot at the top spot with another attempt at the restart.

Exiting turn two on the restart, Pennink and Christopher made contact sending Christopher into the outside wall. A host of cars were collected in the incident including Hossfeld, Goodale, Nichols, Brewer, Tomaino, and Miller. Pennink was placed at the tail of the field for his involved in the incident. All but Christopher and Miller were able to rejoin the field.

Brunnhoelzl was pitted against Ronnie Silk for the third attempt at the restart on lap 89. On the single file restart, Brunnhoelzl handily took the top spot over Silk. Carrig and Farrell duked it out for third while Hirschman had already worked his way back into the top five. Blewett and Beers were also gaining momentum.

Silk was glued to the back bumper of Brunnhoelzl for the top spot while Hirschman, who had already passed Carrig, dogged Farrell for third. Pennink was locked in a battle for the eighth position with Blewett and Hossfeld. Hossfeld got by both and continued his march back into contention. Pennink moved into seventh leaving Blewett in eighth followed by Carrig. On lap 100, Hirschman moved passed Farrell and immediately hunted down Silk in second.

Brunnhoelzl entered having lapped traffic with 20 laps to go. Hirschman dove low on Silk exiting turn four on lap 105 to take over second. He went to work in an effort to cut into Brunnhoelzl’s lead. Silk fell into the clutches of Beers. Beers took the spot away exiting turn two on lap 107.

Hirschman had caught Brunnhoelzl with 15 laps remaining. Beers ran a half straightaway behind in third. Hirschman got alongside the leader in turn two on lap 111. He was able to make the pass weaving through lapped traffic in the dogleg on lap 112. Hossfeld had worked his way back into the fourth spot with eight laps remaining. He caught Beers in a battle for third.

Hirschman was able to stretch his advantage while Hossfeld was able to take the third position from Beers on lap 120. Hossfeld had a distance to run down Brunnhoelzl. A spin by Carrig brought out the twelfth caution of the event with only four laps remaining erasing the margin at the head of the pack. Blewett gave up a top finish to head behind the wall under the caution period.

On the restart on lap 121, it was Hirschman, Brunnhoelzl, Hossfeld, Beers, Silk, Farrell, Pennink, Hinckley, and Myers on the lead lap. Hirschman was flawless on the restart gaining several car lengths on Brunnhoelzl. Hossfeld and Brunnhoelzl were locked in a battle for the second position over the final laps. Hirschman cruised to his record-setting third victory in the John Blewett III Memorial North-South Shootout. Hossfeld edged ahead at the stripe to grab the second spot. Brunnhoelzl settled for third. Beers and Silk rounded out the top five.

Keith Rocco of Wallingford, CT, has what can only be considered as a dream season. His accolades include the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series 2010 National championship along with the SK Modified championships at both the Stafford Motor Speedway and the Waterford Speedbowl in Connecticut. And now he is the SK-Type Modified champion of the prestigious North-South Shootout.

Rocco and his team made what has turned out to be a controversial call to change two tires with only a handful of laps remaining. The move turned out to be the winning one as Rocco rocketed through the field in the late stages of the event to score the victory.

Ronnie Silk, by virtue of his pole earning qualifying run, led the field to the green in the 50-lapper for the SK –Type Modifieds. His time at the head of the pack would be short-lived as Ryan Preece dove to the bottom groove to take over the point before the completion of the first lap. Ted Christopher moved up from his fifth place starting position passing Rocco and Ron Yuhas, Jr. to run in third. The first caution of the event flew on lap two for an incident involving Tommy Farrell and Patrick Emerling.

Preece jumped out to the lead on the restart while the battle for the second position brewed between Silk and Christopher. The leader was able to pull away from the battle for second that now also included Rocco. On lap 13, Christopher was able to grab the second spot away from Silk. Preece continued to lead with the running order now Christopher, Silk, Rocco, and Matt Hirschman inside the top five.

The second caution of the event flew for a spin by Tommy Barrett. During the caution, Silk gave up the third position to head to pit road. He was joined by Woody Pitkat, Tommy Farrell, Doug Coby, Adam LeCicero and Barrett.

Christopher was able to gain the advantage and the lead over Preece. Hirschman, Rocco, and Yuhas ran nose-to-tail. With an aggressive move, Silk was able to get underneath Yuhas taking Earl Paules along for the ride. Yuhas fought back looking low on Paules lap-after-lap. Christopher continued to lead Preece, Hirschman, Rocco, Silk, Paules, and Yuhas.

On lap 33, Woody Pitkat lost control of his mount; backing it into the turn four wall to bring out the third caution. Pit road was a busy place under the caution as Silk, Yuhas, Steven Reed, Barrett, Coby, and Pitkat looked for service from the crews.

Christopher once again gained the advantage on the restart; however, green flag racing was stalled for the fourth time when Pitkat spun on the backstretch. Christopher was successful in holding onto the lead on the ensuing restart. Paules began to work over Preece for second. A bit deeper in the back, things were heating up between Barrett, Coby and Yuhas. Barrett advanced his position on Farrell while Yuhas was able to grab seventh from Coby. Barrett passed Coby on lap 37.

Preece had reeled in Christopher at the head of the pack. Hirschman and Paules were getting racy for third. All battles ceased when the red flag was immediately displayed following a horrific accident involving Steven Reed. Reed had a tire go down as he exited turn two. The car climbed the wall in the dogleg and was launched into the catch fence. The car appeared to hit a pole and was twisted back onto the speedway; tearing down several yards of fence. Reed walked away from the carnage uninjured. When the caution was displayed Coby, Pitkat, and Rocco pitted.

Back under racing conditions, Christopher continued to show the way with Preece in second. Hirschman lost several spots after contact with Paules. The caution flew once again when contact between Yuhas and Barrett sent Yuhas spinning. Barrett was penalized to the rear of the field for over aggressive driving.

On the single-file restart, contact between Preece and Christopher sent both cars spinning. Preece’s teammate Pitkat was also collected. All three were able to continue. Another attempt at the restart saw Paules lead Hirschman, Silk, Farrell and Coby inside the top five.

The rash of yellow fever continued on lap 43 with an incident involving Farrell, Christopher, and Pitkat. Christopher’s ride was the most heavily damaged and would not continue. With only seven laps remaining, things began to get dicey at the head of the pack.

Silk dove low on Paules to take over the lead while Rocco rolled under Hirschman for third. Rocco quickly grabbed the second position from Paules. Preece also got by Hirschman; taking the fourth spot. He moved by Paules to take over third. Rocco immediately reeled in the leader Silk. On lap 47, Rocco was the new leader. A brush with the wall opened the door for Preece to move into second. Rocco streaked to the checkers to claim the victory. Preece, Silk, Paules and Hirschman rounded out the top five.

For the second straight year, the Champion Racing Association (CRA) joined the open-wheelers at the annual North-South Shootout. Colt James of Newton, NC, the 2010 Late Model titlist at Concord Speedway, capped off his championship season with a victory in the Super Late Model portion of the NSS at his home track. The Concord Speedway regular stayed out of trouble during a rough and tumble main event to be in contention for the victor.

Following a caution on lap 111, then leader Ross Kenseth ran out of fuel causing the caution to be extended and giving the lead to Michael Pilla. Kenseth fueled up; returning to the now-dissemated field. On what proved to be the final restart, Pilla spun his tires giving James the edge he needed to take the lead. James held the lead over the final five laps, keeping a hard-charging Kenseth at bay to score the victory. Kenseth had to settle for second. Pilla, Dennis Schoenfeld, and Grant Davidson rounded out the top five.

In USA Modified action, Brian Nester of Edon, OH, bested a 24-car field in the series debut at the North-South Shootout. Nester took the lead from 2010 USA Modified Series Champion, Brad Springer on lap 21 and never looked back. Nester fended off a hard-charging Mike Stacy in the late stages to get the victory. Springer, Ross Klingelhofer and Chad Poole completed the top-five.

In the Vintage ranks, it was Johnny Sutton scoring a dominating performance in his Vintage Modified. The car is as beautiful as it is quick. In the Vintage Sportsman, Johnny Gregory had worked his way to the front of the pack and looked to be well on his way to victory when Tim Buxton began to pour it on. After a brief battle Buxton passed Sutton and went on to claim the victory.

109 U-Pull It John Blewett III Memorial North-South Shootout Modified 125 Feature Finish: 1. Matt Hirschman, Northampton, PA; 2. Chuck Hossfeld, Ransomville, NY; 3. George Brunnhoelzl III, Mooresville, NC; 4. Eric Beers, Northampton, PA; 5. Ronnie Silk, Norwalk, CT; 6. Tommy Farrell, Neptune, NJ; 7. Rowan Pennink, Huntingdon Valley, PA; 8. Les Hinckley, Windsor Locks, CT; 9. Jason Myers, Walnut Cove, NC; 10. Eric Goodale, Wading River, NY; 11. Patrick Emerling, Orchard Park, NY; 12. Shawn Carrig, Little Falls, NJ; 13. Zach Brewer, Lexington, NC; 14. Justin Bonsignore, Holtsville, NY; 15. Jimmy Blewett, Howell, NJ; 16. Josh Nichols, Mooresville, NC; 17. Daren Scherer, Binghampton, NY; 18. John Sarppraicone, St. Petersburg, FL; 19. Burt Myers, Kernersville, NC; 20. James Civali, Meriden, CT; 21. Ryan Preece, Berlin, CT; 22. Ted Christopher, Plainville, CT; 23. Jamie Tomaino, Howell, NJ; 24. Junior Miller, Sandy Ridge, NC; 25. Erick Rudolph, Ransomville, NY; 26. Frank Fleming, Mt. Airy, NC; 27. Jimmy Zacharias, Candor, NY; 28. Gene Pack, Myrtle Beach SC; 29. Earl Paules, Palmerton, PA; 30. TJ Zacharias, Candor, NY; 31. Corey Lajoie, Concord, NC.

109 U-Pull It John Blewett III Memorial North-South Shootout SK-Type Modified 50 Feature Finish: 1. Keith Rocco, Wallingford, CT; 2. Ryan Preece, Berlin, CT; 3. Ronnie Silk, Norwalk, CT; 4. Earl Paules, Palmerton, PA; 5. Matt Hirschman, Northampton, PA; 6. Doug Coby, Milford, CT; 7. Ron Yuhas, Jr., Groton, CT; 8. Tommy Barrett, Millis, MA; 9. Tommy Farrell, Neptune, NJ; 10. Woody Pitkat, Stafford, CT; 11. Adam LiCicero, Lavallette, NJ; 12. Ted Christopher, Plainville, CT; 13. Steven Reed, Freehold, NJ; 14. Jerry Gradl, Buffalo, NY; 15. Burt Myers, Kernersville, NC; 16. Patrick Emerling, Orchard Park, NY; 17. Dan Kurzeyweski, Manfield, PA. DNS-Todd Baer, New Tripoli, PA.

CRA Super Late Model North-South Shootout 125-Lap Feature Finish: 1. Colt James, Newton, NC; 2. Ross Kenseth, Spring Valley, IL; 3. Michael Pilla, Midland, NC; 4. Dennis Schoenfeld, Van Buren, AR; 5. Grant Davidson, Asheboro, NC; 6. Daniel Johnson, Locust, NC; 7. Kevin Love, Midland, NC; 8. Mark Reedy, Kannapolis, NC; 9. Terry Horak, Pawleys Island, SC; 10. Preston Peltier, Concord, NC; 11. Cody Humphreys, Olathe, KS; 12. John Coffman, Live Oak, FL; 13. Jared Marks, Napoleon, OH; 14. Roger Lee Newton, Concord, NC; 15. Scott Hantz, Angola, IN; 16. Jimmy Weller, Hubbard, OH; 17. Ryan Blaney, High Point, NC; 18. Bobby Measmer Jr., Concord, NC; 19. Daniel Webster, Brookville, FL; 20. Jeff Fultz, Troutman, NC; 21. Jason Dietsch, Edgerton, OH; 22. Corey Williams, Boothbay Harbor, ME; 23. Randy Gentry, Easley, SC; 24. Tim Allensworth, Wilmington, NC; 25. Chris Lawson, Troutman, NC; 26. Joey Coulter, Union Grove, NC; 27. Maryeve Dufault, Sorel, Quebec; 28. Matt Brooks, Concord, NC.

USA Modified North-South Shootout 50-Lap Feature Finish: 1. Brian Nester; 2. Mike Stacy; 3. Brad Springer; 4. Ross Klingelhofer; 5. Chad Poole; 6. Scott Tomasik; 7. Nick Carr; 8. Kyle Jones; 9. Brandon Oakley; 10. Greg Fullerton; 11. Ali Kern; 12. Jim Blagg; 13. Chris Tomasik; 14. Rob Yelton; 15. Kenny Phillips; 16. Damon Breedlove; 17. John Karl; 18. Don Skaggs; 19. Brad Yelton; 20. Ryan Morgan; 21. Danny Partello; 22. Brian Brewer; 23. Mickey Wright; 24. Dave Christensen.

109 U-Pull It John Blewett III Memorial North-South Shootout Vintage Modified 25-Lap Feature Finish: 1. Johnny Sutton, 2. Daryl Gwynn, 3. Keith Mareday, 4. Jim Lambert, 5. Bill Moffett. DNS-Burt Myers.

109 U-Pull It John Blewett III Memorial North-South Shootout Vintage Sportsman 25-Lap Feature Finish: 1. Tommy Buxton, 2. Johnny Gregory, 3. Todd Bradbury, 4. Willie Wall, 5. James Turner, 6. Marty Spittle, 7. Steve Davis, 8. Steve Irvin, 9. Brian Thomas, 10. Don Burns, 11. Ben Helms, 12. Jeff Melton, 13. Brian Crump. DNS-Steve Helms.n

Source: Dale Wolbrink/North-South Shootout
Posted: November 7, 2010

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