Capitol Renegade URC Sprint Cars highlight Georgetown Speedway’s ‘Wing Night’
A slate of 17 Capitol Renegade United Racing Club (URC) racers highlighted a full night of racing last Friday, Sept. 13, at Georgetown Speedway.
Series regulars and point leaders Chad Layton and Josh Weller won their respective heat races, putting the veterans next to each other on the feature’s front for what would be an exciting race before a packed house eager to see local URC standout Curt Michael of Ocean View. Michael has won many races on the URC road and locally, leading to a few URC national championship crownings.
This season, the URC is celebrating 70 years as America’s oldest traveling auto racing series. To celebrate they hosted a Kid’s Night Out, giving away everything from bicycles to goodie bags. Rita’s Italian Ice of Bethany Beach gave kids a special treat, and URC drivers signed autographs prior to the race.
Weller was on the pole and Layton outside when the initial green flag flew for the 25-lap feature race around the progressively high-banked half-mile clay oval. Behind them, Ryan Quackenbush and Austin Bishop were scrapping over third.
Motors were just warming up to temperature, tires were building heat, and cars were just starting to come in when caution waved on Lap 3 for Troy Betts, who had fire and smoke erupting from under his hood. The fire was quickly extinguished, Betts returned to the field, and racing resumed.
Halfway into it, the leaders reached lapped traffic. As they fought their way through the field, Layton got closer to Weller. Using slower traffic, Layton was able to offer several challenges to Weller’s lead, but Weller persisted and prevailed, leading the field with the same top five following as last year: Layton second, J.J. Grasso third, Bishop fourth and Michael fifth. Grasso, who started seventh, was awarded the KSE Hard Charger for climbing four positions.
“The track was really, really good,” Michael described. The car “hooked up. I was full-throttle around the top, and when it’s like that, it’s hard to pass. When Layton and Weller start on the front row and you’re fifth, there’s not much you can do on a track like that but hammer down. So we’re loading up, we’ll take what we can get and head to the next one. That’s all you can do.”
Weller, who is attempting to repeat his championship run of last season, pocketed $3,000 for the win.
“The track was real good. It was quick, a lot of traction,” described Weller, of Mertztown, Pa. “The Jerry Jack chassis handled real good. I could put the car anywhere I needed it. It didn’t matter top or bottom. I want to thank my sponsors, Schearer’s Sales & Service, M.C. Brothers Overhead Doors, Assured Automation, Bob Hilbert Sportswear and Victor Auto Glass.”
Two pursed classes and four non-pursed also competed. Dagsboro native Scott Hitchens dominated a field of 17 in the Chesapeake Paving/Brown Trucking Crate 602 Sportsman, for his third Georgetown win of the season — his ninth overall at Georgetown Speedway.
According to Hitchens, who pocketed $1,000 for the win, “We started on the outside pole on the bottom, but it’s kind of an outside track tonight. The guy who started second, Adam White, drove right around me like I was sitting still. So we played follow-the-leader with him. I chased him. I tried every way I could to get around him. I showed myself, and he cut that line off.
“Our tires finally came in, and I could ride the middle and zip around him. After that, it was just hammer down and hope the tires don’t blow. Hats off to Adam White. He drove a great race. He made it really fun. It was the most fun I’ve had racing in a little while. It was tit-for-tat there for a while. I didn’t know if we were going to make it.”
Trent Vanvorst was third across the stripe, 5.188 seconds late. Following in fourth and fifth were John Stevenson and Matt Peck.
Also competing for $1,000 were 19 L&J Sheet Metal Modified racers. After dicey door-to-door battles with racing veterans Jimmy Horton and Billy Pouch Jr., Rick Laubach narrowly escaped a late charge from Horton as they crossed the stripe separated by just 0.402 seconds.
Pauch was 0.840 seconds off the pace, followed in the top five by Matt Stangle, who was 1.706 seconds late, and Duane Howard, who rounded out the top five.
Piloting a1995 Olson chassis with a mud bus-style body on it and a small block Chevy, C.J. Schirmer of Milton led the way in the 12-lap Southern Delaware Vintage Stock Car race. Kelly Putz crossed second, and was followed by Jamie Elchotz, Andy Cassel and Charlie Moore for the top five.
“The car handled pretty good after so many cautions,” Schirmer said in Victory Lane. “It took a long while to get it done. The car handled good. The cautions didn’t help me on this one. I wish they didn’t happen.”
Delmar native David Smith dominated the 12-lap Delaware Super Truck race, with Billy Cropper, Jerry Hill, Robert Smooth and Dale Elliott rounding out the top five.
“The track was tacky, and we could put it anywhere we wanted,” Smith said. “We could do anything with it. She just come to the front — she always does. We just tried not to let her spin. Once you spin your wheels, you’re in trouble. I just kept it to the track, and kept my foot down. It works.”
A dozen Little Lincoln cars competed in the night’s first feature. Coming from dead last was Georgetown native Kirk Lawson, who took the high road to the checkers in one of the night’s most exciting mains. Lawson had to pass all 11 competitors in just 12 laps, and that’s just what he did.
“That was a very exciting race,” Lawson beamed. “When you start last, it can be very exciting. I was 12th, and coming from 12th is a lot of work. This is a great track, no pushing, a lot of traction, and a lot of bite. The top was fast, which is where I like to be. It’s easier to pass them then follow them. And that’s what we did tonight.”
Georgetown Speedway has one more date on its 2019 calendar, with the Mid-Atlantic Championship Weekend on Friday and Saturday, Nov. 1-2.
That Friday’s races will be highlighted with a Small Block Modified 30-lap feature, with someone taking home $3,000, and a RUSH Late Model feature with $1,000 waiting for the winner.
Saturday’s features will include a 40-lap STSS Modified Championship race whose winner will pocket $5,000, and the same purse goes to the Super Late Model winner. There will also be support classes competing both days.
By Bruce C. Walls
Special to the Coastal Point