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Stephens Gets 2014 MSA Championship, Nails Sandusky Win
Oct. 12, 2014
SANDUSKY (OH) – Trent Stephens sailed to his fourth Bio Based.US Midwest Supermodified Association (MSA) presented by Adkins Glass Championship in grand style last Sunday afternoon, with a victory to seal the deal. As the MSA came back to their home track of Sandusky (OH) Speedway for their final event ...of 2014 Stephens came up with the closest of close MSA finishes ever. Just by a nose wing did he beat another former MSA Champion, Charlie Schultz, back to the checkered flag in a last lap dog fight that saw a drag race to the checkers off turn four.
Part time driver Matt Marlowe would bring the field to the start with veteran Jon Henes alongside at the track by the lake for 40 green flag laps. Henes used his wealth of experience and blasted to the top spot from the outside as the winged warriors pounded the pavement into turn one. Just as the field was shuffling through for positions the first yellow would fly at lap two when Mike McVetta spun coming off turn four from a broken brake caliper. That yellow turned red when a pot hole was found in the track just across from the front stretch flag stand. A 30 minute delay and the track was fixed and back green they went. Henes wasted no time, back on point he went. Henes would remain the leader through three more yellow for minor spins. At the halfway mark Henes was wide open by several car lengths but in pursuit was both Schultz and fast qualifier Dave Shullick Jr. Both drivers had started deep in the field and Shullick Jr. lost his nose wing very early in the going and had his hands full. Shullick would muscle by Schultz for second and two laps later the yellow would fall. All that track position for Henes was no evaporated as the field tightened up for the restart. Just as the green dropped Schultz suddenly found himself the new leader when Henes and Shullick made contact and both spun under the flag stand. Shullick would be finished and go pit side, Henes to the tail and on they went, back racing on the restart. Schultz would blister the pavement with a very lose race car, sometimes broad side in the corners and now the No. 19 Stout car with Stephens piloting was baring down on the May Motorsports No. 7. A race for the ages, once Stephens got there, he had to figure out how to get by. Schultz made the May Motorsports mount really wide but Stephens got inside him on the last lap coming around turns one and two. Forced to drop back in line down the backstretch Stephens made a charge to the outside in turns three and four, and the car stuck like glue. Coming of corner number four the two drag raced to the finish with the crowd on their feet Stephens took the victory by a whisker. Kyle Edwards would follow in third, with Jim Paller fourth, as Davey Hamilton rounded out the top five.
“I could not do that again if I tried,” stated Stephens. “A crazy race, it worked out for me, obviously a little bad luck for DJ and Jon. I am still kind of surprised I pulled it off, the opportunity popped up and I was able to capitalize on it. I was fighting all kind of issues with a not so great car. The car was really lose, losing water out of the radiator, got hit in the rear and almost cut down a right rear tire. Every racer dreams of winning a race like that, and I was able to pull it off. Charlie gave me room to race when I got there, it’s nice to have drivers that respect each other enough to race like that for the win and not wreck each other. This Championship is awesome. Four in a row with this team, it’s amazing,” finished Stephens.
“Just quote me as saying, heartbroken,” said a dejected Schultz. “I did not have anything for Jon when I was running second the car just kept staying free. Then when DJ and Jon got together, taking each other out, and I got the lead I thought clean air would help. But, it didn’t last, the car just kept getting loser and loser. I just overworked the right rear tire. I saw Trent get under me in turn one after we took the white flag, I was able to try a little defensive move off turn two and got back to the bottom in turn three. Then he was able to stick it to the outside and we both got a little sideways, and he was able to get a little better run off turn four than me. Last night the car was really tight in the heat race, we just figured it would free up, we just didn’t go far enough. The biggest thing was the track second grove with oil downs and the abuse it took this weekend. I love to run out there but there just was not much to work with out there. Congratulations to Trent and Steve Stout and those guys on their fourth Championship,” finished Charlie.
“I am glad we finished third, we just missed the set up,” stated Edwards. “We have made a lot of gains with this car, a great finish to the season. We are happy; we had good speed out of the trailer. Really we were lacking forward bit off the corners, but we are satisfied with third,” finished Edwards.
20 cars were on hand for the final race of the 2014 season with Shullick blistering the pavement in qualifying with a new track record time of 14.045. The three heat winners included Stephens, Edwards, and Henes.
'FAN' DRIVER OF THE YEAR AWARD!
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Shullick Jr. Rips MSA Field, Wins Sandusky
Sept. 7, 2014
MARION (OH) – They say Bad News travels fast, and last Saturday night at the Midwest Supermodified Association (MSA) Sandusky (OH) Speeedway event that news had a name, Dave Shullick Jr. Shullick Jr. would blister the BioBased.US MSA presented by Adkins Glass Field and pick up his second win in as many weeks, he claimed the Oswego (NY) winged ISMA victory the week before. A Saturday night journey that included setting fast time and a trip out of his heat race on the hook to the pit area that would result in front end geometry repairs, and a feature start from the tail. It was a win and it was fast, but far from easy.
Gene Lee Gibson and Michigander Kevin Feeney would bring the field of MSA ground pounders to the drop of the green, and Feeney would blister out on top. “Chargen” Charlie Schultz would hold up his name sake by sweeping out three wide going into turn two from his outside third row starting position and blister down the back stretch up to third in one big move. Less than one lap later he would dispose of Gibson and hustle after Feeney in a hurry. Once there he didn’t even bother to race Feeney, he just drove right on by like a red streak setting a blistering pace. That pace would come to a slow when the first yellow of the night dropped as three cars got crossed up in turn four. Included was Shullick Jr., after his team had already re-mastered the car after a heat race incident, MSA Champion and point’s leader Trent Stephens, and veteran racer Jim Paller. Shullick Jr. would rejoin the field back in his fourth spot, Paller went to the pits for repairs and rejoined at the tail, and the night finished on the hook for Stephens. Back to green and Schultz would rocket off into turn one in a cloud of dust as the field tried to stay pace. Just a handful of laps later the caution would drop for a broke racer in turn two, as Shullick Jr. had maneuvered his way into second, but well behind leader Schultz. But, now, Shullick Jr. would gain the track position and make up the much needed ground for the restart breathing down Schultz’s header pipes. Another cloud of dust and off Charlie went with Shullick Jr. in tow. Shullick Jr. would stay the pace hugging the bottom as Schultz would push up ever so slightly in the corners of turn one and two. That is where Shullick Jr. would make his move as he darted under Schultz to take command and then set a torrid pace of his own sailing to familiar place, the victory circle at Sandusky Speedway. Schultz handily sailed to second, Paller rebounded from the tail to third, and the future looks bright as youngsters A J Lesiecki and Danny Shirey rounded out the top five.
“The car was really good,” said Shullick Jr. “We kind of guessed at it stager wise, we kind of went off what we knew. We just figured what this car would want, it was excellent. It was a really good race car. It was rolling the ends and had great forward traction, that’s all you can ask for. When this car is right, it is darn near unbeatable. I think we had a perfect race car here tonight, which we do not get here very often. If we can just keep getting this race car we are going to get a lot of “W’s”, finished the happy race winner.
“I didn’t actually realize I was going three wide at the start,” said Schultz. “Jon (Henes) kind of moved up then I think he realized I was there and every one held their own and we all got through it alright. I cannot thank this crew enough. We have struggled here all year, this is the first time we have had a real good stable car underneath me. We tried some big things today that really worked, and I think we have something to work with when we come back here in October. From what we had last time until today it is a complete different set up. I cannot thank Dick Meyers and RAM Engineering enough. We really stumbled upon something here, it really paid off,” finished Schultz.
“At the beginning I thought I was going to get a really good start to get out front,” stated Paller. “But, me and the No. 19 got together coming through turns three and four; I spun out and had to start in the back. So, I just started coming back up through to get the best I could with what I had, and we ended up third. I cannot ask for better people than I got in the pit area helping me out,” finished Paller.