Laurels for the Survivors
Three of the 58 male drivers
in the field contest a preliminary race. Where are all the Danica
Patricks? Only two young ladies braved the course.
Two-time defending champ Jason Levine
points to the burning mess that was his car as he exits the Final.
On the day before Nascar's Pocono 500, race fans came down
state to catch the real action at Lancaster's famous "10th
Anniversary" race course for the finale of the WBC Formula
De season. After 12 preliminary races in locations ranging from
Bahrain to France; from China and Japan to Watkins Glen 10 finalists
came to Lancaster to duke it out. At the pole was Bethlehem,
PA's favorite son Lance Fogel as the only multiple-heat winner.
A new "mulligan" rule was enacted, allowing each
racer one chance to reach back in time to save themselves from
fate (with a reroll). This proved critical to Patrick Maloney
as his safety was used to avoid turning his tires into shredded
rubber. In the early turns David Albin and Rich Shipley constantly
traded the lead in a see-saw battle for the lead of the pack.
However, aggressive, risk-taking by Josh Githens and former
champ Jason "Too Mean" Levine on the final turn and
the decision not to pit after lap 1 put these two garage gladiators
into the lead. On, the final turn, the oddly named Virage Droopy
had its revenge claiming its first casualty as Kevin Hacker became
a grease stain on the wall, the cost of trying to drive 100mph
in this dangerous curve.
Nick Henning earned race honors for two acts, one exceptional,
the other icky. The exceptional was rerolling a 23 which would
have left him five spaces shy of Rod Runner's Turn and achieving
a 28, the optimal roll for that situation, earning the "Best
use of a Mulligan" award. The icky involved leaving a chocolate
bar inside of his game badge and sitting on it while it melted
creating the most disgusting game badge in WBC history.
Putting the pedal to the metal, NYC's Jason Levine moved from
last in qualifying into first place on Mad Mac's Turn. Lap 2
otherwise continued rather uneventfully save for some bumping
and grinding of engines until, again at Droopy's turn, Chris
Palermo lost control and flipped after hitting some debris that
had been Kevin Hacker's transmission. Gonzo driving paid off
for Lance Fogel, who made his move at Vieage Guyness, pulling
a risky 6th gear, which allowed him to make the next two turns
on one stop each.
However, the constant high speeds started to take their toll.
Rich Shipley's engine became a molten ball of lava half way into
Turn 3 and Jason Levine's engine caught fire ending the two-time
defending champ's quest for a three-pete. Nick Henning was unable
to slow down enough to avoid becoming the final victim of the
track as he sped into Rod Runner Curve and went through the wall.
Thus, the last two turns saw the survivors assurred of laurels,
Lance Fogel, David Albin, Josh Githens, Patrick Maloney, and
Harrison Anderson, whose strategy of safe driving kept him around
when others became track debris. At the end, frequent laurelist
Lance Fogel finally ended his drought in Formula De finals,
winning the race and the glory that goes with it.