Waynesfield, OH – The threat of bad weather had passed and the evening was perfect for racing. However, with the weather radar showing clear, the Waynesfield Raceway Park fans witnessed a weather anomaly as Hurricane Hannagan hit the area Saturday night!
Drawing a 1 in the redraw, Randy “Hurricane” Hannagan would be sitting on the poll of the feature. Hannagan would have the honor to carry the American Flag out on the track and lead the missing man formation in honor of our fallen military in observance of Memorial Weekend.
As the 22 cars registered in the pits, a pill draw determined the order each driver would go out and group qualify. After the pill draw, the qualifying groups were set and qualifying began. Qualifying in the second group, Jeff Williams of Belle Center, OH, had his qualifying cut short when he was avoiding another car who spun out in front of him. He was given another lap of his qualifying, where he set fast time with 12.912. He was closely followed by Shawn Dancer, Phil Gressman, Max Stambaugh and Jeff Swindell of Bartlett, TN who rounded out the top 5.
Dustin Daggett and JR Stewart led the first Heat out on the track. With 2 time NRA champion Jared Horstman and 2016 GLSS Champion Chase Ridenour starting in the 3rd row, All Stars CoC Rookie of the year contender Max Stambaugh and fast qualifier Williams in the second row. GLSS Rookie of the year, Noah Dunlap and Kevin Roberts, Jr. roundied out the field. As the flag dropped, and the group charged into turns 1 &2, the caution quickly came out as Stewart spun out. With Stewart moved to the back, Daggett brought the field around for a complete restart. As the group rounded turn 3, it appears that Stambaugh clipped an infield tire and he spun out at the top of turns 3 & 4. The third time was the charm as Daggett once again brought the field around for another full restart. When the checked flag flew, it was Daggett, Horstman, Williams, Stambaiugh and Ridenour taking the top 5 spots.
Heat 2 rolled out with local favorite, Double D, Devon Dobie of Wapakoneta, OH on the pole and Hannagan next to him. Swindell, Dancer, Jarrod DeLong, Brandon Ferguson and Tim Allison completed the group. When the green flag dropped, Dobie was gone. The rest of the field had some in fighting for positions, but with Dobie out in clean air Hannagan and Dancer were battling just to real him in. Dobie set a quick time for the night of 12.37 during his heat, which would be nearly 99 mph. As the checkered flag dropped, Dobie would take home the win followed by Hannagan, Dancer, Swindell and Allison rounding out the top 5.
Ed Neumeister of Upper Sandusky, OH and Kyle Sauder of Archbold, OH led the 3rd Heat race around the track. Followed by Butch Schroeder, Gressman, Scott Hunter, Todd Heuerman and Nick Roberts. As the green flag dropped the battle was on. With Neumeister trying to keep pace with Sauder, Schroeder and Gressman, his drive shaft broke, bringing out the caution flag. After the restart, Sauder took the checkered flag, holding off Schroeder, Gressman, Hunter and Heuerman who rounded out the top 5.
The top two finishers from each race are part of the re-draw to determine their starting positions in the front 3 rows. The fastest qualifier of the group draws first and then in order of qualifying. Schroeder drew first with a 3, followed by Hannagan (1), Sauder (6), Daggett (4), Dobie (5) and Horstman was left with a front row spot with the 2. With the front 3 rows set, the remainder of the field was filled in based on their heat race finish.
With a clean side by side start, Hurricane Hannagan blew out in front of the field, leaving Schroeder, Horstman, Daggett, Dobie, Sauder, Williams, Dancer, Gressman, Stambaugh, Swindell, Hunter, Ridenour, Allison and Heuerman to fight over 2nd thru 15th Hannagan got into lap traffic in lap 7 and 16 and that was the only hope the remaining field would have on catching him.
Lap traffic was extra dicey and seemed like a picket fence with 5 cars grouped together that the leaders had to navigate. With the tough lap traffic, chances to pass and move up were getting rare. Dobie had a good run going into turn 3 and took that opportunity to charge around Sauder who went into 3 on the bottom. With a slick track and on the verge of taking rubber, Sauder and Dobie made contact with Sauders right rear tire leaving rubber on Dobie’s hood. It appears Dobie would spin out of the contact, staying on the throttle. Unfortunately Dobie’s car got traction during the spin and shot into the wall at the top of turn 3 & 4 breaking the front axle. This brought out the first caution in lap 10.
After the field was set, Hannagan brought the field around for a single file restart. With clean air in front of him, Hurricane Hannagan opened up a big lead again. The next 12 laps had some close calls with lap traffic and jockeying around for better positions. Neumeister came high out of turn 4 and slowed suddenly on the front stretch and came to a stop in the bottom of turn 2 bringing out the caution flag because he wasn’t clear of the track. 22 laps were complete.
As the cars were coming around for the green flag and the dash to the finish with only 3 laps remaining, Schroeder, who was running 2nd, exited the field with a flat tire. This did not stop the action and Horstman, Stambaugh and Daggett had 1 last chance to catch the Hurricane. With clean air in front of the leaders, Hannagan would not be denied his 44th feature win in the 22H car! With Horstman, Stambaugh, Daggett and Dancer rounding out the top 5 finishers.