WBC 250 ...
Brian Mongold starts his drive to
the title in a qualifying heat run by Joshua Garton.
John McLaughlin runs a qualifying
heat. Heats are offered three times during the week.
The Mafia led by Ralph Gleaton and
Bill Beckman are out to qualify in this heat and move on to the
big oval Final.
Michael Garton starts the WBC 250
Final. With so many finalists, multiple GMs are used to keep
the game moving quickly.
He Who Laughs Last ...
At each of the three heats, plenty of drivers appeared attempting
to qualify for the WBC 250 on Saturday. As usual, the top three
in each preliminary race were awarded spots in the 250. Usually
that qualifying field is thinned quite a but by no shows, but
this year only one qualifier forfeited his spot, resulting in
a record field of 27 drivers. The field included 17 veterans,
three former champs, and ten rookies.
As soon as the green flag dropped, rookie Anita Lollis played
two Pass Two cards attempting to drive towards the front. Josh
Githens bump drafted Robert Buccheri in an effort to get the
outside lane out in front of the inside lane. This maneuver propelled
Buccheri in to the lead for the turn. Turn 2 had plenty of action
on the track with Joshua Coyle throwing the first block on Carol
Caler and the lead changed with Githens out front. Plenty of
gaps started to appear throughout the field. On Turn 3, taking
advantage of the gaps, Jason Levine slingshot passed to an open
gap and then pulled away to keep the momentum going, gaining
a few positions in the middle of the pack. The lead changed with
2010 champ Bill Beckman taking over. Turn 4 amazingly resulted
in two 3-card trinities of Good Engine Setting, Good Car Setup,
and Learn the Track being put in play by Joshua Coyle and Scott
Nerney. Githens regained the lead. Turn 5 resulted in much shuffling
of positions throughout the pack with Beckman reclaiming the
lead. But a Turn 6 crash claimed Beckman, Jared McLaughlin, and
Wayne Mucklaw. Players took their pit stops under yellow with
Eric Ritter coming out of the pits with the lead. On the restart,
Ritter blocked two pass attempts to stay in front. Coyle shifted
to the outside lane and pulled away for the lead on Turn 8. The
next turn Mike Buccheri passed Coyle for the lead, but Coyle
passed him back to retain the top spot. Turn 10 saw 2009 champ
Phil White taking the lead position momentarily, but quickly
faded to second, letting Ritter hold the top spot for the turn.
continued to hold the lead when green flag pit stops were made.
Taking advantage of quick pit times, White moved out to a commanding
lead with Steve Cameron and Brian Mongold making up positions
to reach the front of the pack. With the cars spread out, teamwork
was required to catch the leader. Finally, on Turn 14, Mongold
caught and passed White for the lead at the 200 Lap mark. With
50 laps to go, the racing bogged down with low lap counts, resulting
in a grueling 4 12 hour race that normally should end in three
hours. On Turn 15, M. Buccheri and Cameron made up a huge amount
of ground with the help of Steve Caler. The lead group at this
point was Mongold, Githens, White, Cameron and M. Buccheri. Another
turn saw M. Buccheri realize the lead on the outside. Mongold
dropped to the inside, leaving Githens out to dry with no drafting
help. Turn 17 gave Steve Lollis the dubious honor of being the
first car ever lapped in a Final. In true racing form, Steve
played through the entire race even though he had no chance to
contend. Turn 18 saw little action at the front, but John Shaheen
made a nice move to pull the middle of the pack closer to the
leaders. On the last turn there were eight cars in the lead pack,
seven on the lead lap. M. Buccheri made his move first and took
the lead. Two-time champ Seth Gunar moved to the outside with
Cameron bump drafting Gunar into the lead, but then slingshot
passed to take the inside lead and used a Two Wide card to protect
his lead. Mongold, knowing his shot was on the outside, bump
drafted Gunar and slingshot passed to the lead on the inside
following the same strategy as Cameron. He who laughs last, laughs
There were a total of 12 lead changes among ten drivers. Coyle
led the most laps with 48. Rob Buccheri led the first six laps,
never to lead again. The winner, Mongold, started on the last
row along with Gunar who took second. Cooperative passing and
bump drafting again made the difference.
Dave Bohnenberger instructs his car