We enter the first duel point-race events since the 1960's at the Pocono Speedway. Ryan Heuser comes in atop the standings, looking to better his effort last season where he failed to take the green flag.
Zach Michael won the pole and led lap 1. He would get passed by Johnny Reed Foley on the second circuit, with JB taking over 5 laps in. Bill Werkheiser led the event from lap 7 until green flag pit stops.
Bill and Tim McDonnell swapped the lead several times between laps 35 and 45. Dave Miller, Rick Jackson and Johnny Reed Foley would catch up to the lead two during the battle.
During the earlier round of green flag stops, Dale Rosendaul and Matt Raboin tagged in turn 3 without bringing out a yellow flag. On lap 50, Craig Lee and William Perry would do the same, making light contact with the outside wall to bring out the first caution of the day.
Rick Jackson took the lead one lap before the yellow. After the green flag, Dave Miller worked his way around the #44 machine and stayed up front for the next 7 circuits.
Between lap 62 and 82, Dave, Tim and Foley swapped the lead 9 different times. Foley came out in front by the end, leading the field to their second round of green flag stops.
Tim McDonnell and Matthew Dominique had their usual lightning-fast pit stops and came out in front. Foley and Tony Pizzaro wound up catching the pair within 10 laps, each taking their turn up front through lap 116 of 130.
To everyone's astonishment, points leader Ryan Heuser blew up on lap 113 and limped to the pits. After six straight top-6 finishes and four victories in and eight-race span, a 32nd at Chicagoland after a crash and an eventual 41st place finish today dropped him out of his safe 131-point lead. He would finish the event 35 points behind Tony Pizzaro coming into Duel #2.
The field came in one final time with 14 laps to go. Johnny Reed Foley had as good of a pit stop as Tony Pizzaro's was bad, exiting the pits in front with the McDonnell-Dominique train behind.
Dominique overtook the lead coming to 8 laps-to-go. McDonnell wore out the #25's rear bumper, taking his final lead of the day on lap 126 of 130. He would not look back.
It turned out to be anyones final lead of the day. as Tim was able to hold off the hard-charging Dominique in the final four laps for his Pocono Duel #1 victory. Congrats to Tim, crew chief Yogi Arnoux, and the entire Top Geer Motorsports team for an excellent victory!
Extravamania spread througout the skies of Chicagoland Speedway, ready for an event proportionate to the likes of a Babe Ruth grand slam at the local ball game. Enjoy your hot dog, as it is time to see if anyone can dethrone King Heuser as Emperor of Extravaganza after 16 hard-knuckle weeks.
Despite several attempts from Tim McDonnell to take the lead on the first green flag run, pole-sitter Tony Pizzaro was able to lead the first 45 laps of the event. With a massive run on the high-side of lap 46, Ken Pettit flew by on the backstraightaway and took position #1.
Ken remained in first place until the first caution flag on lap 88. Rick Jackson had the better pit stop, coming out first and leading all but one lap through lap 119. He followed the draft of Tim McDonnell ahead, who had lost four laps after his engine stalled several laps earlier. Rick would hand his lead to teammate Dave Butterworth who stayed out on old tires.
The lap-87 caution was violent. Johnny Reed Foley and John Battista made contact entering turn 1. Battista slammed head-first into the wall, drifting down into traffic and shunting into Scott Deutsch head-on in a massive collision. Braindon Raines then hit the Deutsch machine, ending the day of the #39 and #16, while Raines limped to 30th. The second caution was about to be a Zach Michael lead change before making contact with Ken Pettit in the same corner. Zach went from second to last after a deja-vu collision in the same corner and angle destroyed the front end of his automobile. The #20 team would work on the car all day long to get it up to speed, pulling off a miracle 8th place finish. Ken would limp to 21st after a dominating start.
Michael Henson and Alex Crapser rubbed fenders entering turn 3 on lap 155. The ensuing chaos saw the chicken machine slammed the outside wall and flip four times before coming to a halt in the racing groove. Craig Lee and Aaron Cummings suffered minor damage as well, with the #04 finishing 25th and the #144 in 31st position after the incident.
Ken Pettit stayed out on old tires on lap 127, gaining back his track position after the accident and taking the lead once more. He would keep it for 17 more laps before the four-tire mania came trucking through. For 16 laps, Ryan Heuser was at the point. Matthew Dominique used the lapped car of Aaron Cummings as a pick to float by on the inside lane on lap 160 to take his first lead of the race. Bill Werkhesier would draft him for 18 laps before making a pass on the backstretch, putting the #6 up front while still drafting the lapped #22 car to pull away from the field.
A Tony Pizzaro and William Perry crash in turn-3 bunched the field back up for it's most miraculous crash of the day. Matthew Dominique took the lead back under green flag pit stops, and was lucky enough to be ahead of the madness that ensued. Alan Nesfeder made contact with points leader Ryan Heuser battling for the 5th position. Ryan hit head-on and tagged Rick Jackson along for a spin. Rob Scarberry and Brandon Raines made heavy contact with the stopped #78 machine. As Scarberry attempted to limp to the pits, Brodrick Wittmann devoured Heuser at full speed, ricocheting the #138 into the #42 at violent force, while Wittmann went for a series of 9 barrel-rolls. It would be a doomed 32nd place finish for King Heuser.
Matthew Dominique led the race through until 30 to go. His car lost a cylinder while leading and was forced to make a pit stop, handing the lead to Johnny Reed Foley. Dominique went on to finish 27th after leading the most laps. In better news, Steven Spears was challenging for the lead for the first time at a non-plate track, hoping to become the dark-horse of the decade with a victory today.
Battling the lapped car of Tim McDonnell, Foley lost grip on the bottom lane and handed the top to Matt Raboin. The two raced side-by-side for two straight laps before Randy Dobbins found a hole in the middle grove. He would take the top-spot coming out of turn-4 after saving his tires throughout the run.
After the speculation of an indefinite suspension from the head-dogs of Extravaganza, Twisted Metal Racing and Brodrick Wittmann have parted ways after yesterdays race at Chicagoland. An incident with Dan Johnston at Talladega, along with intentional head-on contact with his teammate Ryan Heuser yesterday, are the two primary reasons for the departure of the three-season veteran. Their performance on the track has not been too stellar, with a 34th-place average finish this season. The combo has not finished better than 2 laps down in any event, and have only qualified for 6 of the 14 races in 2020. With that said, head sponsor Subway and crew chief Rusty Aue are in limbo during the current aftermath.
Tim McDonnell, Tony Pizzaro and John Battista come in as the favorites to win at the acclaimed Sonoma Raceway in wine-country California. Track position will be key and can play spoiler to the road-ringers today. Whoever plays the pit-strategy correctly will be victorious.
John Tharp flew past pole-sitter Matt Raboin on the first lap and led the initial 26 circuits of the event. On lap 9, John Battista and Jimmie Stevens crashed battling for third entering the final corner, and both spun into the pit road without damage. Ryan Heuser, Craig Lee and Jonathan Skrabacz occupied the top-5 positions for the next couple of laps.
On lap 10, Mark Guthrie and Zach Michael flew into the frontstretch dogleg past the start-finish line. Guthrie's car devoured the wall head-on and destroyed the racecar, finishing last on the day. Michael went for a flip and lost his hood, but pulled off a miracle 16th by the end with his limited horsepower.
After lap 26 pit stops, Michael wound up the leader after staying out on the track. Tim McDonnell made quick work, first passing Tharp in turn-1 and taking over the top-spot on the next lap through the esses. He would lead the next 23 laps with Matt Raboin, Tony Pizzaro, Zakk Miller and Tharp inside the top-5 after 45 laps.
Some Dukes of Hazzard action off of turn 3-A gave some entertainment for the fans today. Scott Jackson, Dave Miller, Aaron Cummings and David Butterworth all took their turns hopping the infield access-road and flying into traffic. Cummings and Butterworth both finished 1-lap down, while Miller and Jackson were able to recover and finish inside the top-11.
Matt Raboin took the lead on lap 53 after a Tim McDonnell pit stop. He clocked in some of the fastest times in the race, pulling a second on the field each lap for 10 straight laps. After taking his turn in the pits, Ryan Heuser, Craig Lee and Scott Jackson all took turns in front of the field.
A horrifying incident on the lap 93 restart saw a head-on collision into the tire barriers for Alan Nesfeder and William Perry. They were three-wide preparing for the entry to turn one when the two made contact. Alan was crunched into the barriers, passenger-side first at 105 MPH. Tex was jolted forward in the impact, losing his 6th place effort and nearly his exoskeleton in the process. Both drivers were shaken but unhurt.
Once pit stops were said and done, Mark Murphy became the leader. For four laps Adam Crapser had used every trick in the book to pass by the #47 for the lead. He was finally able to clear him crossing the start-finish line and into the lead for the first time all day. One corner later, he blew up. A sad fate to a near first-victory for the #4 crew.
Mark, Alex Crapser and Tim McDonnell placed 1-2-3 during the waning laps. Neither car was quick enough to catch the other, and rode around contently awaiting the final 10-lap dash to the finish. Out of nowhere, Matthew Dominique flew from 33rd to 4th on only 20 laps, spoiling the party up front. He passed McDonnell with 20 to go. He flew by Crapser with 18 to go. He was on the #47's tail.
After a couple of quick cautions, Dominique was on Mark's bumper with 13 laps to go. Several attempts to make a pass for the lead went silent. They were side-by-side through the backstretch esses on many occasions, and would eventually be the passing-point for the #25 with seven laps to go. Dominique would pull away, while Mark ran out of gas with 2 laps to go, pitting and limping to 25th place after an extraordinary run.
Before Jeremy Pringle, there were other vice chairman who ran the show in the build-up years of the N.O.R.L. Extravaganza Series. The vice chairman position was initially temporal, removed after 1952 when series founder "Big" Butch Forester unanimously took complete charge of all operations. When the Series grew in the late 50's, the position came back as the official "right-hand man" of Extravaganza.
"Happy" Hobe Forester (1952) Father Mitchell (1962-1977) Franz McFerrend (1978) Rounder Renfroe (1979-1998)
The most renowned of all was "Big" Butch Forester, founder, chairman and CEO of the Extravaganza Series from 1952 to to 1975. Harrison James Jr. currently holds the position.
Ryan Heuser comes into Michigan looking to win three-straight events. He has to endure the entire Race-2-Win Motorsports team to do so, as they occupy three of the top-4 positions to start the event. If anything goes wrong for the #138, only Tony Pizzaro can realistically come out ahead of him as the points leader. They are both the odds-on favorites to win today.
Lap 1 already saw catastrophe on the backstretch. Bill Werkhesier and Tony Pizzaro made contact off of turn-2, sending Pizzaro for a tailspin across the racetrack. Adam Crapser nailed him, flying into traffic and starting a double-digit car incident as the entire track filled with smoke. Pizzaro, Crapser, Randy Dobbins and Zakk Miller recieved the most damage and remained un-competitive all day.
Bill was involved in another heavy accident on lap 19. This time, he was the doing the heavy-hitting, flipping over after immaculate contact with the outside wall and sliding to a stop on the turn-2 apron. He would end up okay, finishing 35th in the event. Lap 28 saw Glenn Kaufmann, Adam Crapser and Mark Guthrie all go for spins in the same corner, all hitting the wall but continuing on.
Alan Nesfeder led a good portion of the first 20 laps. After pit stops, Scott Deutsch took the lead by staying out, as Scott Jackson and the freight-train flew by with ease. Matt Raboin, Johnny Reed Foley, Ken Pettit, and Scott all swapped the lead for the next 10 laps. Craig Lee would dominate the event from lap 40 to lap 50.
Ben Geer and Ken Pettit tandemed from lap 54 to lap 60, tying to pull away from the field. It did not work, as Alan was able to run them down with the help of Alex Crapser and fly by both of them in turn-2. He would lead the next 15 laps before Tim McDonnell took charge.
Alex Crapser and Mark Murphy made contact in turn-3 on lap 78. The result was pure chaos, as Jack Paynter, Jimmie Stevens, Jonathan Skrabacz and Brandon Raines all slammed into the two near-stopped cars as they slid back onto the racetrack. Crapser, Paynter and Raines were all out, while Skrabacz would struggle to continue before blowing up 54 laps later.
Tim dominated the show towards the halfway point, leading 21 total laps before handing the lead to Ken Pettit on lap 96. 15 laps later, Ben Geer made a bold three-wide move to pass both Ken and Tim for the lead entering turn-1, completing the pass successfully. He would lead for 2 laps before Scott Jackson took the top-spot.
Scott and Ryan Heuser would battle for the lead tooth and nail during the next green flag run. They swapped the lead 8 times in 48 laps, battling lapped-traffic while staying in each other's draft line. They came in to pit with just 39 laps to go.
David Butterworth went for a turn-3 spin near the end of green flag pit stops. Only four cars didn't pit, with John Tharp at the helm and Scott Jackson barely staying ahead of him to take the caution flag. Ryan Heuser barely got trapped a lap down, along with the rest of the field. Scott, John, Ken Pettit, Rick Jackson and Craig Lee would battle it out for the win.
With the entire field ahead of the leaders, Scott got mired in heavy traffic, handing the lead to Ken. He flew by on the inside with Craig Lee behind, but endured the same issue. John Tharp and Rick Jackson were able to pass Craig and make a charge, with Rick flying b the #14 with 20 laps to go. He was three second behind, but would work it to 7/10th's of a second by the 10-to-go mark. After passing the lapped cars of Brain Lowe and Dave Miller, he was right on his tail.
Three of the four championship favorites: Ryan Heuser, Tony Pizzaro and Tim McDonnell, are currently 1-2-3 in the standings heading into Kansas. The other, Rick Jackson, comes in 17th with only 2 top-10's in 13 races. All of them will start in the top-10 today, with Pizzaro on the pole.
With plenty of side-by-side racing towards the middle of the field, It was Tony Pizzaro, Ryan Heuser, Rick Jackson and Dave Miller in a four-car get-away. Pizzaro lead every lap until his green flag pit stop on lap 61. From there, Dave Miller took the lead by coming in two laps earlier.
Lap 65 saw Dalton Lucas and Alex Crapser make contact entering turn 1. Dalton's car was sent for a slide into the outside wall, spinning across the track while getting passed by the leaders. He would go on to finish 35th.
Tony Pizzaro re-took the lead after a splash-n'-go stop under yellow. He stayed up front through lap 112, when Rick Jackson dove underneath to take his first lead of the night entering turn 1. Dave Miller, who took four tires on the last stop, eased through traffic and passed Rick for the top-spot 13 laps later.
Dalton Lucas's crash would be the only caution of the night, as the pit crews of the top-5 showed their muscle by not making any big mistakes all evening. Pizzaro, Jackson, Heuser, Miller and Lee were the kings of the long run and all had an equal shot at the victory.
The next round of pit stops saw Dave Miller stay out for three more laps than the rest of the field. He would drop back to fourth, with Randy Dobbins leading the way after an unscheduled pit stop during the earlier run. Rick, Craig Lee, and Dave all flew by the #96 machine with relative ease. On lap 143, Dave and Craig raced side-by-side for almost 2 full laps before the #90 pulled back out front.
Alan Nesfeder was the first and only casualty of the race. On lap 162, the engine let go, finishing last and dropping to 21st in the standings by the races end. Up front, Dave was a complete rocket-ship. His dominance and high-horsepower engine helped him lead 100-straight green flag laps, totaling 107 by the nights end. Before the final -round of green flag pit stops, he and Pizzaro were side-by-side for the top-spot before the #12 darted in.
With 33 laps left, Ryan was the first to make his final stop. His teammate Craig came in one lap later, with a flawless stop by the #101 crew. Leader Dave went in 6 laps after Craig, coming out in the 3rd position while the former two exited the pits 1-2 with 25 laps to go. It was a Quick-Silver Motorsports 1-2-3 effort.
Disaster struck in the late-going for Craig Lee. Only a half-second behind leader Ryan, he made contact with Philip Parker and got forced into the outside wall, losing positions to Tony and Dave. He would never recover, maintaining 4th place while the #138, #12 and #90 battle it out for the win in the waning laps.
Dave and Tony swapped second place with less than 6 laps to go. Pizzaro grabbed the position back exiting turn-2 but could not pass the lapped car of Johnny Reed Foley to help catch Ryan. Unfortunately, Ryan got caught in heavy traffic with 2 laps to go, as the #12 reeled himself in and battled for the victory. A bottom lane move on the frontstetch of the final lap seemed like an imminent win for the Fenway Park machine, but Ryan was able to hold his ground on the outside and use the draft of Adam Crapser ahead to stay side-by-side entering the final corners.
Tony Pizzaro pulled off an extravagant performance last season after his Coca-Cola 600 victory. Ryan Heuser blew up very late in the going, a factor that would have him fall 10th place in the championship after his season crown the year before. Endurance may play a factor again tonight.
The early laps saw Tim McDonnell and Ryan Heuser battle hard for the top-spot, with pole sitter Ryan eventually taking the spot. Unfortunately, fear fell into the laps of the QSM motor-squad, as teammate Craig Lee blew up just 33 laps into the extravaganza.
Pit stops from lap 61-64 gave John Battista the lead. He, Tim McDonnell and Donald Stewart would battle up front for the next 60 laps, with the #22 machine leading the bulk.
Brandon Raines went for a turn-2 spin after contact with David Butterworth. This brought out the first caution of the night, with leader Tim McDonnell making contact with Alan Nesfeder during yellow flag pit stops. An un-diagnosed tire rub sent him from the lead to one lap down after an unscheduled stop.
An enormous crash on lap 130 saw Kevin Corbat fly over racecars. Tony Pizzaro went for a half-flip, but maintained competitive pace throughout the event. Contact between Kavin Corbat and Cristian Torres started the melee. Rick Jackson, Alan Nesfeder, Ben Geer, Jonathan Skrabacz, Ken Pettit, Steven Spears, Matt Raboin, Rob Scarberry and Scott Jackson were also involved in the incident.
Donald Stewart and Ryan Heuser battled for the lead between lap 135 and 138. John Tharp took over on lap 143, and led 41 laps before relinquishing the spot to teammate William "Tex" Perry. He would lead 11 laps before pit stops. Tharp would steal the top-spot back past the half-way point.
Heuser and Tharp were the mid-show dominators. On lap 252, Tharp scraped the wall, causing Heuser to get loose and fly into the infield road course section. After another round of pit stops, the opposite happened. Tharp played superman through the access road and locked the brakes to avoid devouring the wall. Somehow, he would maintain enough pace to take the lead back on lap 280.
The caution bug started to hit on lap 269. Dalton Lucas went for a spin. Then Rick Jackson tangled with Tex Perry battling for fourth, sending them into the outside wall. Adam Crapser and Walt made heavy contact on the frontstretch. Leader Ryan would make an unscheduled pit stop, sending him a lap down and into a crash with Matthew Dominique and Jonathan Skrabacz. Tony Pizzaro and Steven Spears would headline the next to cautions, before another spin by Adam Crapser and Scott Deutsch would round it all up. Randy Dobbins cycled out as the leader without being involved in the mass-melee's. In total, there were 8 caution flags in only 63 laps.
A horrifying ordeal on lap 369 saw Donald Stewart crossing the start-finish line in prayer. Zach Michael and Dave Butterworth tangled off of turn-4, ricocheting into the #55 and sending him for a spin. Matt Raboin collided with him with pure dynamite force. Donald went head-over and back on his wheels, while Matt barrel-rolled several times before making a violent impact with the inside wall floor first. Both drivers would finish terribly, but came out unscathed.
An excellent pit stop saw Tony Pizzaro in front, short-lived by the strong WASP machine of Randy Dobbins. He held off a hard-charging Tim McDonnell, who had re-gained his lap during the several cautions, up until 11 laps to go. Tim had finally gotten the lead back. Five laps later, another early dominator was on the charge as well. Ryan Heuser was coming.
From Willingham Stone to Alan Nesfeder, the Extravaganza Series All-Star Race has witnessed some spectacular moments. Who can forget Jeremy VanSplunder and King Joe Dawkins tangling in the 2001 event, landing Harrison James his final All-Star crown. We may witness another stunning moment tonight. Race Results
The race began with Tony Pizzaro at the helm. It wouldn't take long for Ryan Heuser to show his muscle, leading for 21 laps before teammate Dave Miller flew by on lap 26.
Dave and Zach Michael traded the lead on four different occasions between lap 36 and lap 41. The #90 would win the battle, and start mildly pulling away from the field before green flag pit stops.
Ryan Heuser lost the handling of his car and relinquished 4th position to be the first car on pit road on lap 60. The rest of the field followed suit, with the #20 coming in one lap later. Dave Miller waited two more circuits to take his set of tires. Miraculously, Tim McDonnell went from 3rd to 1st with a 12.7 second pit stop after all was said and done. It was an Extravaganza Series record four-tire stop, tieing his own pit crew's mark from three seasons ago. Meanwhile, Alan Nesfeder lost control of his car coming in, slamming the inside wall and flying back onto the racetrack. Suuprisingly the yellow flag did not wave.
Tim's 2.2-second advantage shrunk to nothing in 16 laps when Ryan Heuser re-took the lead with 21 laps to go. 9 laps later, the engine let go. It was another hard-luck story, following a similar experience during the Coca-Cola 600 last season. We would see a 7-lap shootout for the victory without the fastest car in the field.
Tim McDonnell flew off to a one car-length lead on the restart and maintained the advantage for a couple of laps. Coming to 4-to-go Rick Jackson dove underneath the #22 Catepillar machine aand cleared him off of turn-2 with relaitive ease. For now, it would seem to finally be Rick's day for a victory.
The table's finally turned. As Scott Jackson won an enormous battle for third place, his cousin Rick Jackson pulled a couple car-length's ahead of Tim to capture the 2020 All-Star Race crown. Congrats to Rick, crew chief Falco Lombardi, and the entire Race-2-Win Motorsports team for an excellent victory!
The second All-Star Open event saw Steven Spears at the pole. The Lowe's dedicated much of their practice time for the year to come and race this 40-lap shootout, and they would both start towards the front.
Spears led the first lap with ease before Stephen Lowe made the pass for the top-spot on lap 2. He was able to maintain pace for a couple of circuits before the Flex Seal machine re-took the spot. He would go on to lead the next 22 laps.
Lap 5 saw a horrendous crash on the frontstretch. Some four-wide action spun Aaron Cummings around, knocking Scott Deutsch head-on into the outside wall and sending the rest of the field into hysteria. Mark Guthrie, Ben Geer, Alec Stelloh, Dylan Luithly, Mark Heron, Scott Drake, Rob Scarberry and Mike Carroll were all involved in the incident. Afterwards, Lap 17 saw a spin through the grass by Guthrie.
Walt Flowers was able to meander through the field after his 7th place starting spot to take the lead with 16 laps to go. Him and Ben Geer would fight it out hard for the next several circuits. Ben would drift up into the wall fighting hard for the victory. Only 6 laps remained.
Coming to 3 laps to go, Stephen Lowe dove underneath Walt on the frontstretch. The two raced side-by-side for a lap-and-a-half, with the #24 nearly clearing himself off the corner on two occasions. Walt would win the battle on the top lane.
On the final lap, Walt was able to meander past the lapped car of Mike Carroll and eek out the victory to clinch his final All-Star Race appearance. Congrats to Walt, crew chief Ragnar Moon, and the entire Quick-Silver Motorsports team for an excellent victory!