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March 3, 2022

C2CRL Hometown Heroes W12 Recap

by Ryan Senneker

02 Mar 2022
Coast 2 Coast Racing League | Week 12
Hometown Heroes Series | Volusia Speedway Park

Blake Chapman started the evening off jumping to the top of the boards in the first moments of qualifying in the 305 sprints tonight with a 14.914 and had a strong performance in the first heat, presented by the Super DIRTCAR Series. Nathan Aldrich started on the pole with the inverted grid with Chapman in 4th. After the first lap, Chapman was up to 2nd following Dan McLaren closely. Chapman lined up his pass over the next few laps going for the overtake on the high side using the momentum of those light weight 305 sprints to complete the pass on the final lap and took the checkered by 0.067. The second heat of the evening, presented by Pet Partners, started off with Greg Boydell leading the field to the green with Bob Degood to his outside. Degood had the better jump off the start and took an early lead with Boydell fighting back from 2nd. Degood was trying different lines trying to find the speed as he took the win with Boydell unable to challenge for the lead.

The third heat of the night, presented by World of Sports Podcast, went green with Jeffrey Kemper in the lead, but Jeremy Paulson to his outside was able to use the cushion to get ahead of him on the 3rd lap. Kemper was able to hold off John Heyn in 3rd who tried to follow Paulson around. Paulson crossed the line with almost a one second gap ahead of the rest of the pack as Kemper and Heyn continued to battle with Heyn getting into 2nd in the end. The fourth and final heat of the series, presented by Maurer Farm Management, began with Gary Taylor and Nick Schell on the front row taking the green. For the first time tonight, the outside line didn’t take the lead away off the start with Taylor getting a strong launch and pulling away. Andy Patton tried for a slider on the first lap to take away the lead, but the aggressive move failed leading to contact between himself and Taylor taking both drivers out of contention and giving the lead over to Schell with Chris Schaffer and Nick Vickrey tightly stacked together. Vickrey and Schaffer came together on lap 5 taking those drivers out of lead contention as well and Schell led the rest of the 8-lap race with almost a 2 second lead as he crossed the line.

Moving to the 10-lap consolation race, presented by Chip Bangers Racing, Donovan Ross and Steven Bixler took the front row. Bixler was able to take the lead with the outside line as other drivers had done in early races and began to pull away with Nick Vickrey in tow close behind him as Ross fought back from the inside. 5 laps in, Ross was able to utilize the inside to regain the lead as Bixler struggled falling back to 4th behind Chris Schaffer. Vickrey was able to get the lead as the white flag came out and held off Ross to the checkered flag. The drivers then settled in for the 20-lap feature event, presented by A&J Custom Creations, as the current points leader, Blake Chapman, took the pole with Bob Degood to his outside on the front row. Degood had a much strong launch than Chapman who held onto 2nd.

Chapman was able to take the lead back on lap 3 as Paulsen and Degood battled on the high side. Paulsen then ran a very high run to get around Degood and the drivers made contact sending Paulsen to the rear of the 24-car field and bringing out our first caution. Degood was able to continue behind Chapman who had a much stronger launch on the restart quickly pulling away when Dan McLaren made contact with the outside wall and collecting several drivers behind him bringing out the second caution of the night on lap 5. The restart was again in favor of Chapman who quickly pulled away again. Brennon Lacy, Randy Shreves, and Nick Schell all battled for 3rd while also keeping pressure on Degood in 2nd. The three drivers were all trying different lines looking for the speed, but Degood was able to stay ahead taking 2nd place behind Chapman who pulled away by 1.2 seconds as the drivers battled behind him.

Blake Chapman took the win tonight in the A&J Custom Creations 305 Sprints Series ahead of Bob Degood and Brennon Lacy. The win tonight also made Chapman the season points champion beating Randy Shreves who finished in 4th tonight. Chapman has been known for running the bottom line better than most, but tonight he chose to change it up and shared with us why he made that decision, “The bottom wasn’t as dominate as it usually was, at least in these past weeks, so, you know, it made it a little bit more difficult for me to not just run that bottom and run away and hide. So, I had to find some lines there in the middle. I ran a line just above the bottom where I could give it more throttle. That seemed to work and then I changed my line in [turns] three and four about halfway through the race, but overall, I think guys did a really good job, the full field keeping it clean and putting on a good show for the broadcast.”

As the night progressed to the next series, the drivers took to the track in 360 sprints with almost 300 HP more than the previous field and Stevin Goldner took the pole in qualifying with a fast lap at 13.854 beating Kyle Moonen’s time by 0.001. Steven Bixler led the first heat, presented by Super DIRTCAR Series, to the green with Zach Neubauer to his outside. Goldner forced the front row 3 wide immediately off the start with Bixler backing out and dropping back to 4th behind Jamie McCarron. Goldner found the front and pulled away from the field taking the checkered flag. The second heat, presented by Pet Partners, started with Patrick Spangler and Mike Cranmer on the front row. Spangler had a strong launch holding the lead and pulling away while Cranmer and Blake Chapman made contact sending Cranmer to the back. Chapman got the inside line below Spangler and tried a slider on the final lap with Spangler able to pull a crossover on him and crossing the line 0.006 ahead of Chapman.

Donovan Ross and Chris Schaffer sat on the front row of the third heat of the night, presented by World of Sports Podcast, as they took the green. Ross, Schaffer and Jeff Flaro were having a 3 wide battle over the lead when Flaro made contact with Schaffer spinning himself out. Schaffer continued to fight with Ross over the lead but wasn’t able to get out front before Ross took the checkered flag. The fourth heat, presented by Maurer Farm Management, started with Barry Goldner and Nick Vickrey on the front row. Vickrey had a strong start from the outside line pulling away with Bob Evertson in tow behind him as Goldner dropped back to 3rd. Evertson kept Vickrey under pressure while taking the lead away on the last lap with a slider beating Vickrey to the line. The fifth and final heat of the night, presented by P.A. Posse, took the green with Bob Degood and Preston Cranmer in the front. Cranmer was able to make the high side work as he took the lead away from Degood who found himself under pressure from Berger in 3rd. Cranmer took the win with Berger close behind after taking 2nd away from Degood.

The consolation event, presented by Chip Bangers Racing, had Steven Bixler and Mike Cranmer on the front row as the green flag came out. Only the top four drivers from the 14-car field would be able to advance to the feature event putting pressure on all of the drivers to move up through the field as quickly as possible. John Rayner was the first driver to get knocked out with contact sending him to the back along with Jeff Flaro. Lacy took the lead early and tried to build a gap ahead of Cranmer while Joe Canellas, Randy Shreves, and Steven Bixler fought hard over 3rd and the final transfer position. As the checkered flag came out, the transferring drivers were Brennon Lacy, Mike Cranmer, Randy Shreves, and Joe Canellas.

Leading the field in the 25-lap feature event, presented by ABR Setup Shop, was Stevin Goldner with Patrick Spangler to the outside. Randy Shreves, the current points leader started in the back of the field in 23rd. Goldner struggled off the start as Spangler took the lead away with Donovan Ross on his heels. The first caution of the night came out right off the launch as Kyle Moonen caught the outside wall sending his car tumbling across the track. Since it was on the first lap, Goldner was given his leading position back and had a much stronger launch on the restart holding the lead around several laps ahead of Spangler. The second caution came out as Spangler was trying to take the lead away from Goldner on lap 5 when John Heyn and Gary Taylor came together coming out of turn two sending both drivers to the rear of the field.

As Goldner had another strong launch off the restart, the caution again came out on the 8th lap when Kyle Moonen slid up going into turn three making contact with Mike Cranmer to his outside and sending Cranmer hard into the outside wall. Another strong restart for Goldner, but another caution as well when Zach Neubauer, Brennon Lacy, and Chris Berger came together going into turn one reacting to a sudden checkup and collected several other drivers. Spangler was able to stay on Goldner’s heels off the restart and the two drivers were swapping sliders for the lead as another caution came out with 14 laps remaining when Jamie McCarron made contact that sent him tumbling down the track. Goldner again started in the lead when the green came out.

The caution came out immediately off the restart again as Nick Vickrey clipped the inside causing another checkup and several cars came together with Chris Schaffer taking the worst of it being knocked onto his side and hit by several cars from behind. While that incident was playing out, Brennon Lacy and Chris Berger also made contact taking Lacy out of contention for the night. With 13 laps to go, Goldner got another strong start ahead of Spangler, but again were halted by the caution flag as Kyle Moonen went wide and made contact with the outside wall. Goldner and Spangler started battling over the lead again off the restart as Blake Chapman moved up to 3rd with 10 laps to go. Spangler dove deep for the lead and ended up running side by side with Golder as the leaders brought out the next caution. Goldner and Spangler came together while trading sliders back and forth sending both drivers around and collecting Chapman in the process. Preston Cranmer, who was in 4th, moved up to second and Chapman took the lead as the caution flag came out before the field actually passed him in the incident.

With heavy front-end damage, Chapman got a good launch off the restart but wasn’t able to hold off the field as he struggled to control the car with a missing front wing. Mike Cranmer and Gary Taylor made contact sending Cranmer around in a slow spin that brought out the caution with 5 laps to go. Chapman was starting to fall back, but the timing of the caution went in his favor giving him the lead again for the restart. Again, struggling with the damage, the leaders went 3 wide and came together bringing out another caution and collecting much of the field with only 3 laps to go. Chapman again took the lead on the restart now ahead of Nick Vickrey and Roger Craig. Chapman ran a defensive line holding Vickrey off and taking his second feature win of the night. Randy Shreves finished in 9th tonight and took the season points championship in the 360 sprints.

Blake Chapman, with Kreitz Sim Racing, commented after the race, “When I got my nose wing taken off there for the first time, I thought I was done, but then, you know, other crashes happened, and cautions came out and I was able to barely hold onto it at the end. I think this is my first time winning a race with no nose wing, so, I mean, I’ll take it that’s for sure.” Randy Shreves, with LGR Motorsports, took the season championship after what seemed like one problem after another through the night struggling from early on and getting caught up in several incidents in the feature. Still able to come out on top in the point standings, Shreves shared with us, “Overall I still pulled off the championship and I’m super happy about that. I’ve been trying for seasons to get this done and finally get one of those cool plaques.”

The drivers then rejoined the track in a preview to the fans of what’s coming next season in the 410 sprints which are a new addition to the schedule. Patrick Spangler took the pole in qualifying with his fast lap at 13.105. Andy Patton led the first heat to the green with Dan McLaren to his outside. Patton had a strong launch off the green and took the checkered while Donovan Ross and Patrick Spangler both had minor incidents that sent them to the rear. The second heat was led to the green by Terry Landis and Nick Vickrey. Landis made contact with the inside wall on the start giving the lead over to Vickrey as Landis dropped back to 4th behind Randy Shreves and Joe Canellas. The third heat for the night was led out by John Heyn with Kyle Moonen to his outside as the green flag came out. Heyn and Moonen were side by side off the start until Heyn made enough contact with the outside wall to lose his momentum dropping back to 3rd behind Blake Chapman. Chapman took the lead away from Moonen using the inside line and started to pull away taking the checkered flag with a 1.5 second lead.

The final heat of the night saw Jamie McCarron and Jeff Barker on the front row as the green flag came out. McCarron had a strong launch off the green, while Goldner and Evertson battled over 2nd place close behind. Goldner took 2nd with 4 laps to go and set his sights immediately on the lead clearing McCarron quickly and pulling away from the field to take the win. Roger Craig led the field in the 10-lap consolation event with Jeffrey Kemper to his outside. Craig cleared Kemper on the start and moved up to the outside line. Donovan Ross was able to take the lead away on the inside while Craig and Kemper battled each other on the high side. Then able to pull away, Ross took the checkered flag as Craig held off several other drivers pressuring for 2nd place.

Andy Patton started on the pole in the 30-lap feature event with Nick Vickrey to his outside and Blake Chapman to his rear. The middle of the field came together as the green flag came out taking Roger Craig, John Heyn, and Bob Evertson out of contention early and bringing out an immediate caution to start off the race. Patton got a good jump off the restart moving to the high side with Nick Vickrey following close behind. Another caution came out on the 3rd lap as Dan McLaren made contact with the outside wall and collected Randy Shreves behind him. Patton had another strong launch ahead of Vickrey and Chapman holding a very high line trying to take advantage of the momentum coming out of the corners.

Chapman tried to get the inside line to work but couldn’t manage to clear Patton until a chain reaction starting back with Stevin Goldner making contact with Vickrey that sent Vickrey into the rear of Patton and that contact sent Patton around in a slow spin into the inside wall. The third caution of the night happened at the same time further back in the field as Donovan Ross slid up the track going through turn four and made contact with Roger Craig. Chapman led the field to the restart and still tried to make the inside line work as Vickrey ran the high line keeping pace with Chapman coming out of the corners. The fourth caution of the evening came out with 23 laps remaining as John Heyn and Roger Craig came together.

Vickrey stayed closer to Chapman off the restart with Goldner following close behind along the top with Chapman dropping back to 3rd not being able to match the high line’s speed. The fifth caution of the night came out with 17 laps to go as Brian Dickens slid up into Brandon Templeton coming out of the corner making hard contact. On the restart, Chapman stayed up top behind Goldner very close behind. Another caution came out now with 14 laps remaining when Brandon Templeton ran himself into the inside wall and had to come to a stop in order to get his car straightened back out.

Going green on the 18th lap of the event Vickrey got another strong launch as Chapman went low again trying to get around Goldner but not able to find the speed. Our seventh caution of the race came out as Stevin Goldner, who was holding onto 2nd place, drove himself into the outside wall and came to a hard stop on the barriers. This sent Goldner back to 16th place as Chapman moved up to 2nd. Jack Clevenger was able to run the inside line to clear Chapman, which Chapman had been struggling to do over Goldner previously, with only 8 laps to go. Vickrey started to build up over a one second lead while Chapman tried to fight back against Clevenger side by side.

Nick Vickrey with Spartan Racing dominated tonight in the 410 sprints as he took the checkered flag 2.5 seconds ahead of Jack Clevenger and Blake Chapman. No points were awarded tonight with this being a preview race and more of a chance for the drivers to experiment with the 410 sprints and see what works and doesn’t work. “I think I found a line there at the end of the race. That slider line there in [turns] three and four was really, really fast.”, Vickrey told us after the event.

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