Queen starts off 2016 with victory at Daytona!

QueenAgainLast season Brenden Queen pretty much made the Can-Am Racing Series his personal playground, winning 9 times in 26 starts. Only system issues the first 3 weeks of the Chase prevented him from claiming his first series title at the conclusion of 2015. But he made it clear in the off season that 2016 was going to be his show.

And he backed up his words with a wizard like performance at Daytona.

Pole sitter Josh Kotten would lead the first few stanzas, with fellow front row starter and defending race winner Greg Netherwood holding court on the outside lane. They were quickly under fire by Charlie Ryan, and Colton Harvey, who were rushing to the front just ahead of Queen and his teammate Nick Leitz. Between the 5 of them, 57 of the 65 laps would be led. For a race that saw 23 lead changes, it was a remarkable feat to have so few leaders.

The race was a tough affair, with 2 lanes ruling the day and a 3rd rarely to get started. Bruce Perry showed some muscle, though, in charging from 6th to 1st in a daring 3-wide effort on lap 40 to make sure he didnt go home without a bonus point. A crazy move we only wish we had video to share.

And its with 6 laps to go that Perry would again make waves, but not for the good reason like before. On a late race restart, Perry would hold court in the middle lane down the back stretch hoping to pull the high lane to the point. Almost clear of Queen, he attempted to move down the track to block and solidify his chances. A misplaced bumper ended up with Perry going sideways and crossing traffic, eliminating 12 of the top 16 cars from contention, including himself.

This set up a 1 lap dash, with Ronnie Potts up front from his 20th starting spot chasing down Queen. Down the back stretch it appeared Potts would clear Queen heading into turn 3, potentially getting his first series victory in a very VERY long time(January 19th, 2013, at Rockingham). Queen, though, fought back with side draft and would pull clear in turn 4 of Potts.

The drag race would end with Queen grabbing the victory, Potts coming home in 2nd. Gregg Richardson equaled his career best finish of 3rd, Josef Miele would take 4th, and David Bottone would win the hard charger award by finishing 5th despite starting deep in the 25th spot.

The series heads to Atlanta next week!

Queen Holds Off Breitzman at Texas

queentexx

The NEORacingNews.com Series went to Texas Tuesday, and with its season winding down, every point is becoming more and more important towards who is going to take home the hardware for the full season championship at Homestead in a few weeks. Derek Robinson would kick off the night by putting his 69 car on the pole with a blistering fast time in qualifying.  He and Brendan Queen would make up the front row when the green flag flew for 93 laps of intense racing.

The race would start with an impressive 23 lap green flag run before “Hot Rod” Rodney Haack would get lose, spin, and bring out the first yellow of the evening.  The field would take a hard left to head down pit lane for fuel and four fresh tires. As the race got back underway, Queen would show that he had the car to beat as he lead 76 total laps on the night. However, Shawn Breitzman, Gabriel Wood, Robinson, and Shane Ewing had other plans as they would run in the top five for most of the race.

On lap 69, the tire fall off, causing loose conditions, would prove to be too strong for the Robinson machine and send him spinning in the tri-oval.  This would set up one more round of pit stops for the lead lap cars and eventually make it a twenty lap shootout to the checkered flag.  When the green flew for the final time, Breitzman really began to put the pressure on the 08 car of Queen forcing him to really use his tires more than he wanted.  However, when the checkers flew in was Queen holding on for the victory and redeeming himself for his admitted mistakes at the Spring event at Texas earlier in the season.  Breitzman crossed the line on his tail in second, Wood was third, as Ewing and Greg Netherwood rounded out the top 5.

Next week its on to Phoenix for the second to last race of the season.  The points battle is as close as ever as Ewing closed up a bit on leader Mike King at Texas.  Netherwood is not far behind, and certainly not out of it in third.

DeBaro Wins at Charlotte

debarochar

Tire fall off was the name of the game when the Exclaim Graphics Cup series took to the famed Charlotte Motor Speedway oval on Sunday night. However, with only three cautions and a 100 laps filled with strategy, it made for an excellent race, overall.

Anthony DeBaro and Charlie Ryan set the pace in qualifying and would bring the field to green to start the race.  Debaro, Ryan, and Trevor Williams would jump out to a good sized lead over the rest of the field until the latter two learned that saving their right front tires would be the key to the race. As Ryan and Williams backed up, Shane Ewing and Sean Casto would suck up to their bumpers quick. They would get by Ryan smoothly, however, Williams slapped the turn four wall as Casto was making a move on Ewing and they touched, sending Ewing spinning for the first of three cautions on lap 23.

After pit stops, Debaro would maintain the lead, but a new challenger had surfaced.  Chris Cable brought the Air Force schemed 05 to second and was hot on Debaro’s heels throughout the middle of the race.  Another yellow would fly on lap 16 as Ryan spun on the front stretch, thus bringing the field for another round of pit stops and quite thankfully new tires.

As racing resumed, Debaro and Cable had switched positions and with Cable leading, DeBaro was closing in. When trying to make the pass for the lead, they touched, and sent Cable spinning in turns three and four. The caution would not fly this time though and Debaro would race on and widen the gap.

Patrick Hahe and Greg Netherwood showed throughout the night that they were besting the field when it came to saving tires. The long run after the second caution would prove so and the Can Am founding duo would become a bit of a threat to the race leader Debaro.

On lap 92, it would seem that all strategy would fly out of the window as the third and final caution would fly, setting up a 5 lap shootout on brand new tires. Unfortunately for Debaro, the strategy was not done, and Hahe and Williams would gamble and take two tires, setting themselves up on the front row to take the green. Track position was no match for the 46, as DeBaro would make quick work of the two tire guys and cruise to the victory.  Hahe would cross the line second with Ewing close behind in third.  Scott Walter had a quiet, but strong night landing a fourth place run and Greg Netherwood rounded out the top 5.

The Chase is heating up and winding down with just 6 races left.  Shane Ewing is leading but Mitch Rollo and Greg Netherwood are hot on his heels for the “full season” crown.  Gregg Richardson continues to prove that consistency pays off, as he leads the “third segment” points. He is being chased closely by Steve Bevacqua and Scott Walter.

Nick Leitz Bides His Time. Picks Up Victory #1.

leitzdover

The NEORacing.com Pro Cup series took to The Monster Mile in Dover. Delaware for chase race #4 of the season.  Nick Leitz set the fast pace in practice and looked like the man to beat early on in the evening.

Leitz and Charlie Ryan would bring the field to the green in hopes to stay up front and cross the line first on lap 100 as well. The race would start off with a solid fifteen lap green flag run. Tonight’s race was especially challenging because of a setup that would prove to be “snappy” loose off from turn four. On lap 16, the setup would claim its first victim as Gregg Richardson would spin coming off from the corner and slow the field and ready them for the first round of pit stops.

Ryan would lead the field out of the pits and back to the green flag for restart number one. Charlie in his #54 would stay ahead of the field for a major part of the next 50 laps as the tricky set up would claim a few more victims. Not many were complaining though, as every caution was a new opportunity to get a new set of tires as well as a chance for the drivers to catch their breath.

As the race wore on, Ryan would continue to lead. Brendan Queen would take a few shots at him and stay on his bumper before turn four would bite him too and send him spinning into the inside fence.

Other than Ryan, the one constant in the top five throughout the night was Leitz.  Nick would continue to be patient and pilot his #85 in a fast, yet conservative manner. This would pay off in a big way, as Ryan would slip up and have a spin of his own making way for Leitz to pull out of Dover with his first ever Can-Am Racing series victory. Shane Ewing bounced back from an early spin to grab the runner up spot.  Mike King came across the line in third, while Brian Green and Brendan Queen would also bounce back from early incidents to round out the top five.

Next week the NEORacing.com Pro Cup series will roar into Charlotte for race five of the chase. It shall be a very good night as CFI is set up to do a full race broadcast to help bring in the second half of the all important chase.

Patience Pays Off for Ewing at Kentucky

ewingkentucky

Tonight the NEORacingNews.com pro cup series took center stage for 94 laps at the Kentucky Speedway for the third race of their version of “The Chase”.  Charlie Ryan burst onto the scene right away as he would top everyone on the practice charts by a fairly comfortable margin. However, Charlie failed to run a qualifying lap that registered on iRacing’s stopwatch and would have to start in the back for tonight’s big race.

Capitalizing on Ryan’s qualifying misfortune, Colton Harvey grabbed the pole for tonight’s event. As a result, Harvey would earn the right to bring the field to green and kick off what would turn out to be an eventful, and exciting race.

With iRacing’s dynamic track surface still being fairly new to the drivers, it showed early on, as getting the handle on these high horse-powered machines seemed to be a struggle. As a matter of fact, the first four cautions on the night would be result to self spinning, one car incidents as the “snappy loose” conditions would grab a hold of Trevor Williams, Greg Netherwood, Brad Fulham, and Chris Cable, respectively.

All of the spins, incidents, and eventual cautions played directly in favor to Charlie Ryan, as it did not take him long to get to the front. With Cable, the last of the self-spinners, seemingly being one of Ryan’s biggest threats, it seemed as if the #54 would sail his way to an easy victory lane visit.

Just as Ryan began to get comfortable in his #54 Jack Daniels Mustang, the caution flag flew for a three car incident caused by Forest Schneiter on lap 77. Ten laps later, Harvey and Scott Walter would touch and bring out the seventh and final caution of the night setting up a green-white-checker finish, with the winner getting a one way ticket to victory lane.

Ryan would get a good jump on the field and he looked to have it in the bag, however, Shane Ewing had other plans. Although Ewing’s 32 was by no means even close to being the fastest car all night, he stayed patient, and found himself chasing the leader towards the checkered flag. With just a couple of laps to go, disaster struck the Ryan machine as he would find the outside wall in turn 4. This led to Ewing’s patience paying off and giving Shane his second win of the season. Nick Leitz also was patient and persevered through some issues to come home second, Patrick Hahe was third, with Mike King and Gregg Richardson rounding out the top five.

Next week the series rolls into Dover for the fourth race of the chase. It should be an exciting 100 laps as only eleven points separates the top five in points with Mike King showing the way followed by Scott Walter, Greg Netherwood, Patrick Hahe, and Steve Bevacqua.