The WBC 250 ...
Danny Lewis, Steve Caler, Francis
Matt Deuber and Luke Kolezar
Mark Mitchell, Fabio Pellegrino,
and Kevin Hacker await the start.
GM Mark McLaughlin oversees
Kelly Krieble and Garry Rice in a Preliminary heat.
James Bell, Carol Caler and
have prime seats in the far curve for the 250 Final.
Drivers vied for a spot in the WBC 250 Final by finishing
in the top three of one of the three heat races held earlier
in the week. The WBC Final race usually has 16 to 18 players
due to no shows, but this year, 21 were present when the green
flag dropped for the largest Final in WBC Stock Car Racing history.
Matt Deuber (#8) and Stuart Tucker (#30) started in the pole
The race started slow, with only three laps of green flag
racing on the first turn. Not much went on other than a few Two
Wide actions being played to hold position. The second turn brought
out a yellow flag and Brian Mongold (#29) was the first driver
to retire with an Overheating problem. The 'Green Shirt Racing
Team (GSRT)' of Eric Ritter (#10) and Kelly Krieble (#35) decided
to pit and went to the back of the pack. The next turn saw 24
laps speed by as Tucker (#30) maintained the lead. He led from
the start for a total of 30 laps but was never able to contend
after that. On Turn 4, Carol Caler (#99) started to experience
Engine Trouble, but continued - waiting for the first round of
pit stops. Joshua Garton (#37) cruised into the lead while GSRT-Krieble
(#35) struggled to make a 12-lap count using three cards even
after pitting to cycle through the deck. Luke Koleszar (#36)
running in the back of the pack bump drafted a couple of positions
to close gaps on the inside lane while GSRT-Ritter (#10) passed
on the outside to fill a gap leaving Jim Bell (#2) dead last
and a gap behind the lead draft. Turn 5, another 24-lap turn,
had a few cars sling passing in the middle of the pack, but the
leaders were pretty much unchanged with Garton (#37) still in
the lead. On Turn 6 the yellow flag flew again, but this time
for a crash that claimed 2009 Champion, Phil White (#33). The
timing however was fortuitous for everyone else as scheduled
pit stops were required by all. Chris Youre (#24), Steve Caler
(#9), GSRT-Ritter (#10), and Bell (#2) all played Fast Pits helping
move them up a few positions. Carol (#99) breathed a sigh of
relief as her pit crew took care of her engine troubles. Steve
Cameron (#25) took a whopping 18.1 seconds to pit and fell back
to the middle of the pack.
The green flag dropped and 12 laps went by on Turn 7. Garry
Rice (#19) used his Block .990 car to go first, played a Two
Wide to hold position and set off a total play of six Two Wide
actions. This allowed Garton (#37) to easily hold on the lead
as drivers were too busy trying to hold position to try to pass
each other. On Turn 8, Garton experienced transmission problems
and had to retire. This turned the lead over to Mark Mitchell
(#20) and he led from lap 83 to 230 for a total of 147 laps.
On Turn 10, Carol (#99) became the first car to have all car
modifiers (the trinity) in play. On Turn 11, Tucker (#30) who
had been slowly losing position the entire race showed his luck
still hadn't turned around. He challenged a passing car and still
lost the challenge even when playing the highest speed rating
(xxx.990) in the deck. Turn 12 brought the last round of pits
while green flag racing. This spread the field out creating numerous
gaps, but also put the first four leaders on the inside lane
and created a wide open outside lane. Ten of 18 cars fast pitted.
On Turn 13, Mitchell (#20) and Cameron (#25) put on a show pulling
a few spaces away from the rest of the pack, but Cameron blew
his whole hand to keep up. On Turn 15, the pack again caught
the leaders, while 2008 champion Caler (#9) rubbed the wall to
ruin his paint job but kept racing. Turn 16 saw Kevin Hacker
(#26) who started fifth, move to second and then fade steadily
back. He declared, "there is a god, and his name is 'Two
Wide'" when he finally went a turn without losing any positions.
On Turn 18, one of the most impressive moves of the race occurred
when John Weber (#3) running dead last made up a gap and passed
eight cars in a single turn to improve to tenth. Otherwise, little
action occurred as players were holding cards since the next
turn was most likely going to be the last, and it was.
Curt Collins (#23), who struggled in the middle of the pack
up to now, made the move of the day on Turn 19. From sixth place,
he made a sling pass to the outside lane behind Koleszar (#36).
With no cars in front of Koleszar, Collins bump drafted Koleszar
to be tied with the inside lane leader and himself in position
for a shoot out at the finish line for third. None of the leaders
on the inside lane expected a move to the outside to challenge
their dominance of the whole race. Cameron (#25) was running
first and played a Two Wide to try to protect his tenuous lead.
Fabio Pellegrino (#93) immediately attempted to pass Cameron
(#25) for the inside lead, but was challenged and his pass failed.
His outside attempt opened up the inside for a try and Pellegrino
(#93) followed up the outside attempt with an Inside Advantage
passing Cameron (#25) for the inside lead and a chance at the
The photo finish had Koleszar (#36) beating Pellegrino (#93)
to the line for the win, but Fabio who traveled from Italy to
attend was deservedly proud of his second place finish. Collins
(#23) beat Mitchell (#20) for third with Cameron (#25) finishing
fifth and Weber (#3) making a good run to sixth. Rounding out
the top ten were Stuart Tucker, Matt Deuber, Carol Caler and
For two years in a row the Bump Draft has propelled the winner
to the checkered flag, showing a little teamwork goes a long
way in racing.
Luke Koleszar, Garry Rice and Stuart
Welcome to the WBC cyclotron - circular
seating for the big race.