Sandusky Season Opener Sees Shullick Win Third Consecutive Event of 2015
(SANDUSKY, OH, May 2nd, 2015)- Despite the rain postponements that plagued Midwestern motorsports last weekend, the Sandusky Speedway season opening event still managed to leave even the veteran viewers in awe after the tire smoke settled and the smell of burning high-octane fuel left the air. The events saw relative newcomers like Tyler Shullick and Mike White take feature wins as well as some veterans like LJ Stanley and Jerry Karl take top honors during the Dick Ensign Memorial Season Opener presented by Bartlome Electric.
During the Digital Yalo Ohio Stock twenty lap feature event, 2009 Sandusky Speedway Street Stock champion Clayton Karl would pace the field flanked by the #05 Autobody Products Inc. sponsored machine driven by heat race winner Julia Buckles. Buckles would take the lead after a short lived spirited battle. Clayton Karl would not be left alone however, as his brother and defending Ohio Stock champion Jerry Karl would take the runner up position in his #42 Tony K’s Bar and Grille machine.
Jerry Karl would eventually run down and pass Buckles for the lead at the ten lap mark of the event. Clayton Karl would compound Buckles’ compromised position and pass her slipping vehicle on lap sixteen, with Rich Clingan also taking advantage of Buckles’ sporadic loss of traction to capture a podium position on lap eighteen.
When the checkered flag fell on the event, it was Jerry Karl continuing his dominance over his brother Clayton, Rich Clingan, Julia Buckles, and Joe Borczuch. One cannot help but harken back to a preseason interview stating that this season was the test to see if the relative template body monopoly was the reason for Jerry Karl’s dominance. However, seeing the entire finishing order featured template cars exclusively, it looks as though one can cross that excuse off the list.
In the fifteen lap Melinda! Melinda! Hobby Stock feature, Chris “the Disaster” Nicastro would pit his #92 Ralston Auto Repair machine against the #7x of Richie Clem on the drop of the green flag. However, heat race winner LJ Stanley in the #24 would roll to the front of the pack on the first lap, with fast qualifier Kelly Lille in the #39 taking the runner up position on lap three. Lille would slowly reel in Stanley and be on his back bumper at the drop of the checkered flag. Unfortunately for Lille, it would be to no avail as Stanley would go on to take the win over Lille, Clem, and Nicastro.
The modified division twenty lap feature would start with former 305 sprint car standout Joey Wyckoff facing off against long time stock car ace Tom Joy. Wyckoff would take the lead on the start, bringing the inside line with him, including heat race #2 winner Chris Hamilton. Soon, however, the duo would be challenged by relative newcomer Tyler Shullick in the #61 Scott’s Sport Cards and Coins/Kendra Screen Printing car.
Shullick would overtake Chris Hamilton and begin hunting the leader Wyckoff. This action would be supplemented by Jason Drew spinning out on lap seven. The top five for the restart would be Wycokff, Shullick, Hamilton, Kenny Sharp, and Tom Joy.
Wyckoff’s problems were about to be even worse than facing off against a hot shoe such as Tyler Shullick. When he began to pick up the throttle for the restart in his #07 Dock Motorsports machine, he half-spun, bringing the inside line to a crawl as the outside line sailed away under the command of Shullick towards the green flag. The race would stay green until Justin Hamilton tapped Wyckoff seven laps later on lap fourteen, sending Wyckoff for a spin.
On the restart, Chris Hamilton would loop his #75 JL Reichert Paving car. This would set up a five lap shootout with Tyler Shullick, Kenny Sharp, Logan Hamilton, Jason Drew, and Tom Joy making up the top five. Unfortunately, the dramatic action expected within the modified division would once again explode into excess on lap seventeen as Jason Drew and Logan Hamilton made contact, resulting in Hamilton stuffing his car into the backstretch wall.
The final restart would see Tyler Shullick use his objectionable but effective restart mastery to sail to victory over Kenny Sharp, Tom Joy, Bailey Delfosse, and John Bartlome. Kegan Bartlome, Justin Hamilton, Jason Drew, Chris Hamilton, Joey Wyckoff, Tyler Noeske, Chad Atkinson and Logan Hamilton would finish out the running order.
For the final event of the evening, “Rowdy” Carl Smith would pit his #54 Kyle Busch Xfinity lookalike against the #24 of John Konzelman. The inside line would go on the start, although Carl Smith was not out of the woods yet as the #52 car of Collin Penn would bring the #51 JPI Collision machine of Mike White to resign Smith to third. On lap three, White would take the lead from Penn as Carl Smith slid to the tail end of the field.
Collin Penn would continue his own backslide, resigning to third as fast qualifier Logan Cooper surged past on lap six. The following lap, the outside polesitter, John Konzelman, would spin his TGE Pool Service machine in turn two. The restart would see Mike White fending off Logan Cooper, Collin Penn, Carl Smith, and John Konzelman.
White and Cooper would go on for a furious fifteen lap battle. The climax of this was when both drivers nearly wrecked coming to the two laps to go mark. However, White would go on to best Cooper, Penn, Konzelman, and Smith.
The non-wing Buckeye Super Sprint Series also put on a ten lap exhibition race between the #72 Kartington Raceway car of Joe Speakman and the #48 WLDC machine of Mike Burkin. In action next week at the speedway’s Super Nationals are the Midwest Supermodified Association’s winged roadsters and the Main Event Racing Series outlaw body super late models alongside the Milan Automotive Street Stocks and the Melinda! Melinda! Hobby Stock division. One of the attractions of this event is the possibility of a supermodified breaking into the unprecedented thirteen second bracket after DJ Shullick set the overall track record at the Main Event weekend last year with a lap of 14.045 seconds in his #95 Elios Financial Group Jim Bodnar built chassis nicknamed ‘Ice’.
Official Speedway Press Release by Jarrett Emmerich