It was a wonderful day in paradise for the six drivers who entered the race via the consolation duels. For the rest, it was business as usual, as the 15 who clinched prepared their racecars for this race only.
It was evident from the start that pole-sitter Tony Pizzaro had a fast car, leading the first 15 laps and pulling ahead by 1.4 seconds as the rest of the field raced for their lives.
A series of accidents made it difficult to progress any headway for the front-runners, but for Ken Pettit, Dan Johnston, Bill Werkheiser, Jimmie Stevens, Craig Lee, Johnny Reed Foley and Alex Crapser, it would be an even worse night.
Ryan Heuser took the lead on lap-22, and led for 14 laps until getting jammed behind Pizzaro's pit crew during a pit stop, handing the lead to Rick Jackson.
Two four-wide attempts both turned into wrecks, killing the races of most involved. Cristian Torres and Scott Jackson would get the immediate worst of it, getting clipped by the cars on the inside and sent into a tailspin.
On lap 47, Rick Jackson lost the lead to teammate Pizzaro, who regained his earlier speed. He would pull to 1.3 seconds ahead and looked to be unbeatable.
Alan Nesfeder proved everybody wrong, getting by all of the earlier incidents to catch and fly by Pizzaro with 25 laps to go. Matthew Dominique would follow, as the #12's tires could not handle the strain of leading.
Alan and Matthew were side-by-side for the final three laps. Matthew tried to get the run off of corner 2 that he needed to clear, but Nesfeder used the outside lane like a champ every time and stayed along-side the #25 coming to the final lap.
The last lap saw a slide-job attempt off of turn 2 for Dominique, but to no avail as Alan was able to hold his intimidation and fly along the outside wall once more to clear the points leader and take the checkered flag in excellent style. He would become the first driver to win the All-Star race from one of the consolation spots. Congrats to Alan, crew chief Barney Griswald, and the entire Nesfeder Racing crew for an excellent victory!
On lap 7 of Duel #1, Dale Rosendaul and Zakk Miller crashed in turn-2 racing for the sixth position. Both cars were okay, but there was too much track position to overcome.
Both drivers ended up in the second crash on lap 24. Steven Davis squeezed Dalton Lucas into the wall, cutting down on Zakk as Dale got spun trying to avoid the incident.
Dan Johnston and Alan Nesfeder raced side-by-side for the final 12 laps, with Alan pulling a miracle move in turn 3 to take the lead with 7 more circuits to run.
The rest of the field was in a frenzy for the last transfer spot. Philip Parker's team put all of their funding into this one race, and nearly squeezed by Cristian Torres on the inside. Like a madman, Torres executed the high line perfectly and kept the spot until the waning laps.
In the end, it would be Alan Nesfeder, Dan Johnston and Cristian Torres advancing to the All-Star Race. Congrats to Alan!
Fans would enjoy a hearty hot dog break at the local RV grill while they await the second duel of the night.
Pole-sitter Jimmie Stevens and Bill Werkheiser battled hard during the first two laps. It was evident that their qualifying times held true, but the fastest of all was coming from behind.
On lap 3, Stephen Lowe and Rob Scarberry made contact off of turn 2, causing a spin in front of the field. Nate Moorehead obliterated his racecar on the inside wall after trying to avoid the accident.
Zach Michael would go from 7th to 1st in only 11 laps, several of them under caution. There would not be another one, as Zach, Jimmie and Bill easily pulled their way ahead of a tight Ben Geer racecar in 4th.
Zach would never relinquish the lead and sailed to a victory clinch. Speedy and Bill and a fun battle for second, with Bill coming out on top and all three advancing to the show!
Top-3 of each race will earn their spot into the All-Star Race.
Open Race 1:Alan Nesfeder, Zakk Miller, Dan Johnston, Russ Charneski, Donald Stewart, Cristian Torres, Michael Henson, Philip Parker, Steven Davis, Kevin Corbat, Steven Spears, Adam Crapser, Dale Rosendaul, Walt Flowers, Ben White, Jonathan Skrabacz, David Courtney, Dalton Lucas, Jim Fitzmaurice
Open Race 2: Ben Geer, Bill Werkheiser, David Butterworth, Scott Deutsch, Aaron Cummings, Zach Michael, Mark Guthrie, Rob Scarberry, Tony Long, Jimmie Stevens, Jaxon Vaccher, Brodrick WIttmann, Jacob Stumpf, Stephen Lowe, William Perry, Glenn Kaufmann, Brandon Raines, Nate Moorehead, Brian Lowe, Scott Drake
The 2019 All-Star Race will consist of the 15 winners since the last all-star race, and the top-3 of each 20-car All-Star Open. Here are the drivers currently in the show, and their last victory.
Ryan Heuser: North Wikesboro, 2019 Matt Raboin: New Hampshire, 2018 Tony Pizzaro: Rockingham, 2019 John Tharp: Phoenix, 2019 Tim McDonnell: Dover, 2019 John Battista: Watkins Glen, 2018 Alex Crapser: Texas, 2019 Matthew Dominique: North Carolina, 2018 Johnny Reed Foley: Talladega, 2019 Rick Jackson: Charlotte, 2018 Scott Jackson: Indianapolis, 2018 Craig Lee: Bristol, 2019 Ken Pettit: Atlanta, 2019 Dave Miller: California, 2019 Randy Dobbins: Martinsville, 2019
It wasn't the most exciting race at North Wilkesboro, but it was a blast for the three drivers who dominated the show. There was only five cautions, four occurring in the first half of the event, propelling the drivers who had the right setup underneath to lap the rest.
On lap 3, Ryan Heuser took the lead from pole-sitter John Battista. Matthew Dominique would steal the spot by staying out after a Scott Drake spin, but it was deemed early that Ryan had a chassis to win.
Tyler Scott received a bump from John Tharp on lap 47. That bump turned into a serious accident, causing Tyler's #17 to smash the turn-1 entry-wall to the outside of the track. He came out okay, but the Action-Ice team nearly lost their second driver to a serious injury.
Ryan would pass Matthew on lap 96 after getting trapped behind lapped traffic. It would be short lived for now, as the attention turned to the next couple of accidents.
After getting clipped by his brother Alex earlier, Adam Crapser and Tony Long made contact out of turn 4. Adam spun into Philip Parker, who spun rear-first into the pit wall, ending his day. The #4 was smashed by Donald Stewart on the right side, causing him to flip into the path of John Battista. All three cars were destroyed, with Adam joining Phillip in the garage.
The excitement wasn't over for John Battista. He and Donald Stewart made contact out of turn 2, drifting up into Scott Deutsch and getting slammed in the rear by Jimmie Stevens. Sitting in the middle of the track, Cristian Torres had nowhere to move and flipped the #39 over. With the roof caved in, JB could only limp to 34th.
Ryan Heuser avoided the Battista crash by diving onto pit road, handing the lead to Tony Pizzaro. He was mired in heavy lapped-traffic, but once he got free he stole the show. During the next 160-lap fuel run, he led all the laps with Scott Jackson mired in second.
By lap 260, Ryan was able to pass all of the lead-lap cars except one. With a sensational pit stop, he was able to come out in front of Pizzaro, only for lapped traffic to bog him down. He lost the lead on lap 279, but grabbed it back on lap 330 after racing Scott Jackson for several laps.
Dalton Lucas blew up in front of the field, causing Philip Parker and Zach Michael to crash in front of Rick Jackson, who lost a lap slowing down for the incident. The yellow flag came out with only Ryan, Tony, Scott, and Alex Crapser in line for a 28-lap shootout for the win. Pizzaro was able to pass Scott, while Crapser flew by both of them ready to make a charge at the QSM powerhouse.
Crapser's run would come to a halt as Pizzaro's tires came in, losing the second spot with 19 laps to go. The distance grew a half-second by the white flag, and Ryan was able to coast to a well-fought victory and tie Wimpy Brown for 9th on the all-time N.O.R.L. Extravaganza wins list. Congrats to Ryan, crew chief Mustard Mahoney, and the entire Quicksilver Motorsports team for an excellent victory!
Ryan Heuser was expected to possibly tie N.O.R.L. pioneer Wimpy Brown for 9th on the all-time wins list. It hasn't happened yet, but Brown, who won the third and fifth ever race at North Wilkesboro, could lose out on a track that Heuser has mastered over the years. This week could possibly be it. With 6 poles so far, a win-streak could be in the works for #138.
Wimpy, ready to roll in his Kaufmann Brothers '56 chevrolet in 1957.
Harrison James: 129 Buddy Rakestraw: 88 Roscoe Riker: 82 Scott Jackson: 74 Buddy Griswald: 70 Mert Socks 65 Rick Jackson: 61 Brandon Beyke: 58 Wimpy Brown: 54 Ryan Heuser: 53
It was arguably the best N.O.R.L. Dover race since 1989, when Harrison James finally lost after his 6-race win-streak at the track. That year, he blew up coming to the checkered flag, giving way to Rusty Arrington for his last of 2 career victories. It was almost the same this time, only with a fuel mileage run to the checkered.
It the last 8 Dover races, there have been 8 different winners. Brandon Beyke, Bill Werkheiser, Dave Miller, Tony Pizzaro, Craig Lee, Matthew Dominique, Ken Pettit and Ryan Heuser have all taken the flag. The trucks line up to unload the cars for the weekend, with too many winning names not among the streak.
Ryan Heuser pulled away from the field immediately, leaving a ton of action behind during the first 48 laps. Dave Miller, Craig Lee, John Tharp, Zakk Miller, Rick Jackson, Dave Butterworth, Ken Pettit, Alan Nesfeder and Scott Jackson would all lead during this period, making it as competitive as ever at Dover.
On lap 49 Tony Pizzaro went from dead-last to first with 2 broken ribs in a crash at Talladega, even after getting involved in a crash. The trend would continue, as he seemed to pass 500 cars all day only to get involved in something else.
The second incident for #12 was caused by a sandwich. Tony Long and Steven Spears came out of turn 4 and wedged Pizzaro into a bind, spinning each other out. Bill Werkheiser got hit by Pizzaro, while Spears flew up the track in turn 1, getting tatered in the drivers side by Jonathan Skrabacz, ending the #65's day.
The third incident Pizzaro was involved in happened while leading. Walt Flowers and Brodrick Wittmann spun on the backstretch in front of Mark Guthrie, who leaders Pizzaro and Matthew Dominique ran into while trying to dive under the crash. Zach Michael went high, going from 6th to 1st after avoiding the incident.
Mid-race, it was a fierce battle between Bill Wekhesier and Zach Michael. They would swap the lead several times between lap 237 and 265, making it an excellent race for the fans but spawning some fast racecars back into the fray.
Pizzaro's car could not die, taking the lead again on lap 275. Zach would steal it back 7 laps later, and battled again after making green flag pit stops.
After a lap 310 caution involving Brandon Raines and WIlliam Perry, the three main-dogs were Ryan Heuser, john Battista and Pizzaro. Battista and Pizzaro passed each other seven different times, each giving way to Ryan on lap 359.
Fuel mileage became the deciding factor late, with Pizzaro coming in with 29 laps to go. Battista came in with 11 more circuits to run, leaving Ryan to fend for his own mileage. With 5 laps to go, Battista and Matt Raboin made contact, spinning on the backstretch and bringing out the caution to end the race. Heuser had just pitted as it came out, leaving many to wonder what the running order would be.
Tim McDonnell, Michael Henson and David Butterworth were the only three cars to not pit under green, but none of them could run the caution laps. McDonnell's crew chief Yogi Arnoux noticed how far back Heuser was to the pace car, sending him in for a splash & go as the others followed suit. It was the perfect call, with all three coming out in front of Heuser as Tim captured his first victory of the season, and closing to 7 points from standings leader Matthew Dominique. Congrats to Tim, crew chief Yogi, and the entire Top Geer Racing crew for an excellent victory!
The entire N.O.R.L. garage and fan-base is trying to figure out what is wrong with Ben Geer in 2019. Conrad Hoover has been pulled as crew chief of the #29 after Talladega, leaving Top Geer Motorsports team manager G.G. Sphere to take over the operations. G.G won the N.O.R.L. Championship with Tim McDonnell in 2011 during their last year with MFI. He and G.G. started "Overspeed Rennsport" in 2012, changing to #22 and teaming up with a struggling Ben Geer, eventually evolving into Top Geer. The pair could prove useful, looking to relive more of the consistency Ben has had in the past couple of years. A loss of Winston as sponsor has fortunately left room for his former 2006-2012 sponsor Budweiser to take the reigns. It is a new start, coming to Dover with nothing more to lose.
It was an exciting endeavor for all who witnessed the spring Dega spectacle of 2019. There was 50 lead changes, and the three most dominating drivers fell into hard luck by the end, leaving it a competitive finish with drivers who you'd never expect to challenge for a victory.
Cars were here, there and everywhere early on. Pole-sitter Ryan Heuser and Tony Pizzaro dominated the opening laps, leading 31 of the first 32 as the rest of the field scrambles 3-wide behind them.
Race favorite Rick Jackson and Dave Miller blew up early, leaving some to speculate that the higher temperatures were to blame for the misfortunes despite having no tape on the cars. Dave would fall to 12th in the standings after the conclusion, with Rick falling to 9th after leading the points early on.
Alan Nesfeder and Bill Werkhesier were in the middle 3-wide near the front, causing a massive turn-3 pileup involving John Battista, Zach Michael, Michael Henson, William Perry and Craig Lee. All of them would continue on with moderate damage at worst, but it was an omen of things to come.
It became too much of a crowd at times, and the 4-wide madness became the norm even before the halfway point. Drivers Ben Geer and Tony Pizzaro desperately needed a good finish, but it would seem too impossible in a mess like this.
It proved to be true, as a lap 79 crash caused by Adam Crapser's blown engine sent Ken Pettit, Alex Crapser, Craig and Ryan into the wall. Tony Pizzaro would escape only to get creamed on the apron by William Perry, as Ryan and Ken finished him off in a horrifying incident. Tony would endure two broken ribs, leaving the team unsure about the already disturbed season.
The later stages of the event were dominated by Tim McDonnell. He would lead 64 laps, as former teammate Johnny Reed Foley lurked behind in a 1-2 punch. The rest of the field looked like they were running engines lubricated by mustard and ketchup.
The impossible happened with 14 laps to go. Tim McDonnell's crew did not put enough fuel in on the final pit stop, forcing them to come in and top-off. The most dominant car of the day would finish 20th and lose their points lead to Matthew Dominique, who had his worst race of the season until the end.
With less than 5 laps to go, David Courtney and Scott Deustch had a very realistic shot at a victory. Randy Dobbins and Dan Johnston led most of the waning laps, with David and Scott side-by-side coming to the white flag.
Johnny Reed Foley and Alex Crapser would attempt a miracle run after almost getting knocked out of the draft by Glenn Kaufmann's slow car. The two tangoed their way to the pack by the white flag, and made an enormous charge to steal the cinderella story away from the #13 and #16.
David Courtney and Scott Deutsch were managing the top-2 lanes in style, but the lack of horsepower prevented them from holding off Johnny Reed Foley. The #18 car drove to victory for the first time since last year's Dega race, becoming the first driver in N.O.R.L history to finish first after finishing last twice. Congrats to Johnny Reed Foley, crew chief Ronnie "Pure Love" Presley, and the entire Shake N' Bake Racing team for an excellent victory!
It was an amazing day for the masses! Many watched as the sun grew dim, awaiting the third short-track event of the season to commence. The first two were won by Randy Dobbins and Craig Lee, who are both in serious chase contention coming in. It will be a perfect opportunity for Johnny Reed Foley, Ben Geer, Tony Pizzaro, Alex Crapser and Zakk Miller to show off their talents and put themselves back into the hunt after a lackluster start.
Tony Pizzaro won the pole with an incredible 130.5 mph lap. He went on to lead the first 54 laps before lapped traffic took it's toll, forcing Craig Lee and teammate Ryan Heuser by. Alan Nesfeder also flew by the #12, having his best run of the season in third position.
Craig Lee held the lead through lap 109 when Jimmie Stevens and Adam Crapser made contact entering turn 3. Adam's car slid into the outside wall and softly tapped it on the drivers side, bringing out the first caution of the night. Craig was able to barely sneak by on the inside, as the incident occurred directly in front of him.
After a second caution that sent Brodrrick Whtmann upside-down, points leader Tim McDonnell and pole-sitter Tony Pizzaro decided to pit for tires. It was a terrible mistake, as both would be caught in heavy traffic trying to fly back to the front. Alan and Tim would made contact coming out of turn 2, sending Tim's car down into Tony's rear bumper. They would both smack the wall, with Tony recovering to a fourth place finish while Tim maintained his points lead.
After Ryan Heuser, Scott Jackson, John Tharp and Craig Lee all took turns leading, Alex Crapser took the position at the halfway point of the race. He would lead it throughout the rest of the fuel run, but relinquished it to Scott Jackson and Tony Pizzaro due to short-pitting. He would take it back on lap 328 as he and Craig began to pull away.
John Tharp and Matthew Dominique had stopped for gas on lap 170, meaning only they could make it the rest of the way on only one more pit stop. John came in successfully on lap 295, but Matthew scraped the pit entry wall coming in, narrowly avoiding complete disaster, but destroying his strategy in the process. For now, it was Tharp's time to shine under the perfect circumstances.
Disaster struck on lap 359, when Scott Jackson and David Courtney made contact in turn 3. David went spinning directly in front of Alex Crapser, who slammed head-on into the right side of the #13. He was hit again on the side by Zach Michael, deeming his car uncompetitive for the rest of the race. Alex would redeem to an 8th place finish by being one of the few cars still on the lead lap.
Pit strategy flew out the window due to Tharp losing immense time on old tires. Despite everybody else pitting, 8 cars managed to stay on the lead lap to see Tony Pizzaro pass Craig Lee for the lead on lap 173. Craig took it back on lap 379 after the two raced side-by-side for a couple of laps. With only 12 laps to go, Ryan was able to pass his teammate and brought along Matt Raboin to join the fight. It was #138 and #87 in first and second with 10 laps to go.
Coming on 9-to-go, Ken Pettit smacked the wall out of turn 2, causing Mark Guthrie and Adam Crapser to spin behind him. It created a 3-lap shootout, as Ryan was able to use the lapped car of Ben Geer to keep the others from getting close as he sailed on to victory. It was his long awaited triumph after being the consistent favorite to win every race other than Daytona, where Rick Jackson took the odds. Congrats to Ryan, crew chief Mustard Mahoney, and the entire Quicksilver Motorsports team for an excellent victory!