By Brian Liskai
ATTICA, Ohio – Caleb Helms has overcome a lot of adversity and bad luck in his young sprint car driving career. On Friday, March 24, everything fell into place for the 25-year-old third generation driver as he passed veteran Tim Shaffer with just eight laps remaining to score his first career 410 sprint car feature win in front of a capacity crowd at the season opener for Attica Raceway Park.
Helms, from Findlay, Ohio, seemed content to cruise in second the first 21 laps of the 30-lap feature before executing a perfect slider on Shaffer entering turn three to take the lead. He worked his way around traffic to score his first career Hammer Pallets 410 Sprint Division win on Construction Equipment and Supply Night.
“This has been like 10 years coming. My dad always said it would be like real easy when it did come…it wasn’t that easy. My guys…Andy Potter, my dad and my grandpa…they just gave me the best car. I couldn’t do nothing but drive it up front. It was pretty awesome. It’s great to start the season out with a win. Attica has some of the best local competition there is. To see a four heat show tonight was pretty awesome. Thank you fans for coming out. I have to thank Gressman Power Sports and Ferguson Water Works and Big Jerk and Tommy Tire and Helms and Sons Excavating. I have to thank my wife and son for being here to night,” Helms said.
Ashland, Ohio’s Ryan Markham would grab the lead from Eric Spangler on lap 10 of the 25-lap Summit Racing Equipment UMP Late Model feature and survived several brushes with lapped cars to score his 11th career win at Attica. It wasn’t easy for Markham as Spangler applied pressure the entire last half of the race.
“The track was pretty fast and had to get up on the wheel the whole time. If you let up a little bit you would get caught…you had to be on the gas and go. When you’re leading you don’t want to over do it and when you’re running second you can give it everything you got. What a race. I want to thank Paul Harriger, John Lewis…they are my main pit crew. I want to thank H&T Demolition, Harriger Towing, Hoosier Tire, Innovative Graphics, Accu-force shock dyno,” Markham said.
“My wife Laura isn’t here tonight. We’re big Ashland University basketball followers…that’s what we do all winter. We have a girl we mentor. She’s down at the national championship game and they won the national championship a little bit ago. So I wore my AU beads and my elite eight shirt and took pictures and sent them down to the girls. It’s a good night…a national championship and a first night out win,” added Markham.
Defending Fremont Fence 305 Sprints track champion Paul Weaver drove through the field from his 10th place starting position and grabbed the lead from John Ivy with nine laps remaining and then survived a restart with three laps to go to score his 36th career Attica win. Weaver, from Fremont, Ohio, is the track’s all-time feature win leader for the division.
“This is the motor from last year…our other one isn’t done. It was like 250 degrees under the red flag and no oil pressure. When you’re leading and you can smell smoke…a whole lot of stuff goes through your mind. I was just waiting for it to blow up so I could get my new motor this week. It was a good run. Lapped traffic helped me where I could run it in there hard and it would hook up. I have to thank Bob Hampshire and Dave Rice and Daniel Hoffman for helping me again this summer,” said Weaver beside his Weaver Performance, Hampshire Racing Engines, M&L Excavating, Schiets Motorsports backed machine.
Shaffer and Chris Andrews brought the field to green for the 30-lap 410 sprint feature with Shaffer grabbing the point over third starting Helms, Andrews, Travis Philo and Stuart Brubaker. Brubaker would spin after two laps were scored. When the green flew so did Shaffer with Helms content to keep the leader in his sights. The battle for third was intense between Philo, Andrews and Byron Reed.
Shaffer raced into lapped traffic by the 11th circuit with Helms staying within striking distance with Andrews, Philo and Reed continually swapping the third spot. Just past the half-way point, Helms was reeling Shaffer in with Andrews and Reed battling for third while Philo and Max Stambaugh gave chase. With nine laps to go the top four of Shaffer, Helms, Andrews and Reed ran nose-to-tail. Helms blasted to Shaffer’s inside entering turn three the next circuit and slid up in front.
Helms would pick his way through traffic and drove to the win with Shaffer edging Reed for second while Andrews and Stambaugh rounding out the top five.
In the 25-lap late model feature Spangler and Nate Potts brought the field to green but just as the field was set to complete a lap a multi-car incident sent Ken Hahn tumbling. He was unhurt. On the ensuing restart Spangler grabbed the lead over Devin Shiels, while Markham battled with Hillard Miller and Mike Bores for third. Markham grabbed second on the third lap and closed on Spangler as they raced into lapped traffic by the eighth circuit.
Markham used traffic to his advantage to grab the lead on lap 10 just before the caution would fly for the lapped machine of Jeff Warnick who got caught up in the battle between Markham and Spangler for the lead. Now with a clear track, Markham was able to pull away slightly from Spangler with Shiels, Bores and a closing Rusty Schlenk in tow. With five laps to go Markham narrowly avoided a lapped car which allowed Spangler to take a look to his inside. Markham was able to slam the door but Spangler continued to apply pressure.
Markham held off Spangler’s advances the remaining five laps for the win with Schlenk taking third just ahead of Shiels with Bores rounding out the top five.
Ricky Peterson and Jordan Ryan battled for the lead at the drop of the green for the 25-lap 305 sprint feature with Peterson gaining the advantage as Ryan was forced off the track on the back stretch. He would cost to a stop after two laps were scored just after John Ivy had taken the lead. On the ensuing restart Ivy would lead Peterson, Jamie Miller, Cody Bova and Steve Rando. Ivy, Peterson and Miller pulled away slightly while the crowd was entertained by a great battle for fourth involving Bova, Rando and Weaver.
With 10 laps scored Ivy continued to lead with Peterson now being challenged by Miller and Weaver. Miller grabbed second on lap 13 but Weaver drove into the runner-up slot a lap later. Weaver quickly closed on Ivy and took the lead on lap 17 with an inside move in turn two. Miller would follow into second. The caution flew on lap 18 for a Seth Schneider spin with the running order Weaver, Miller, Ivy, Rando, Peterson and Bova.
Weaver got a tremendous restart and pulled away from Miller while Ivy and Peterson battled for third. Jeremy Duposki and Landon LaLonde tangled with three laps remaining to bring out the red. Neither driver was injured. Again Weaver got a fantastic restart and drove to the win over Miller, Ivy, Peterson and Bova.
Attica Raceway Park will be back in action Friday, March 31 on Merrill Lynch Night with the 410 and 305 sprints and the UMP late models. There is a rain date of Saturday, April 1. For more information go to www.atticaracewaypark.com or follow the track on Twitter @atticaracewyprk or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/atticaracewaypark and Instagram at attica_raceway_park.
Attica Raceway Park
Construction Equipment & Supply
Friday, March 24, 2017
Starting position [*]
410 Sprints – 36 cars
1.5T-Travis Philo, 12.320; 2.17-Caleb Helms, 12.458; 3.16-Chris Andrews, 12.462; 4.35-Stuart Brubaker, 12.508; 5.23-DJ Foos, 12.514; 6.7CX-Phil Gressman, 12.579; 7.4K-Lynton Jeffrey, 12.584; 8.7C-Caleb Armstrong, 12.587; 9.91-Cale Thomas, 12.592; 10.5R-Byron Reed, 12.603; 11.9Z-Duane Zablocki, 12.626; 12.49X-Tim Shaffer, 12.645; 13.8M-TJ Michael, 12.685; 14.33M-Max Stambaugh, 12.696; 15.81-Lee Jacobs, 12.698; 16.60-Jody Keegan, 12.796; 17.9-Jordan Ryan, 12.813; 18.49-Shawn Dancer, 12.814; 19.16X-Ryan Ruhl, 12.866; 20.15H-Mitch Harble, 12.894; 21.7-Shawn Valenti, 12.918; 22.4-Danny Smith, 12.927; 23.7J-Joe Swanson, 12.985; 24.13-Brandon Matus, 13.051; 25.11R-Chase Ridenour, 13.061; 26.5-Jordan Harble, 13.090; 27.8J-Jess Stiger, 13.091; 28.51-John Garvin, 13.111; 29.11N-Cole Duncan, 13.135; 30.22M-Dan McCarron, 13.256; 31.83-Adam Cruea, 13.378; 32.33-Brent Matus, 13.646; 33.40-Mark Imler, 13.709; 34.14-Daryl Daugherty, 15.174; 35.45L-Brian Lay, 99.110; 36.7X-Dylan Kingan, 99.180; 37.22-Brandon Spithaler, 99.350;
Heat 1, Group A – (8 Laps, top 4 to A)
1. 5R-Byron Reed ; 2. 49X-Tim Shaffer ; 3. 17-Caleb Helms ; 4. 11N-Cole Duncan ; 5. 49-Shawn Dancer ; 6. 81-Lee Jacobs ; 7. 91-Cale Thomas ; 8. 7-Shawn Valenti ; 9. 15H-Mitch Harble
Heat 2, Group B – (8 Laps, top 4 to A)
1. 16-Chris Andrews ; 2. 13-Brandon Matus ; 3. 35-Stuart Brubaker ; 4. 51-John Garvin ; 5. 83-Adam Cruea ; 6. 40-Mark Imler ; 7. 5-Jordan Harble ; 8. 9-Jordan Ryan
Heat 3, Group C – (8 Laps, top 4 to A)
1. 33M-Max Stambaugh ; 2. 5T-Travis Philo ; 3. 4K-Lynton Jeffrey ; 4. 23-DJ Foos ; 5. 16X-Ryan Ruhl ; 6. 4-Danny Smith ; 7. 22M-Dan McCarron ; 8. 33-Brent Matus
Heat 4, Group D – (8 Laps, top 4 to A)
1. 8M-TJ Michael ; 2. 9Z-Duane Zablocki ; 3. 7CX-Phil Gressman ; 4. 7C-Caleb Armstrong ; 5. 60-Jody Keegan ; 6. 7J-Joe Swanson ; 7. 8J-Jess Stiger ; 8. 11R-Chase Ridenour ; 9. 14-Daryl Daugherty
B-Main 1 – (10 Laps, top 2 to A)
1. 81-Lee Jacobs ; 2. 16X-Ryan Ruhl ; 3. 4-Danny Smith ; 4. 7-Shawn Valenti ; 5. 22M-Dan McCarron ; 6. 15H-Mitch Harble ; 7. 7X-Dylan Kingan ; 8. 49-Shawn Dancer ; 9. 91-Cale Thomas ; 10. 33-Brent Matus
B-Main 2 – (10 Laps, top 2 to A)
1. 83-Adam Cruea ; 2. 7J-Joe Swanson ; 3. 9-Jordan Ryan ; 4. 11R-Chase Ridenour ; 5. 5-Jordan Harble ; 6. 14-Daryl Daugherty ; 7. 60-Jody Keegan ; 8. 40-Mark Imler ; 9. 8J-Jess Stiger
A-Main 1 – (30 Laps)
1. 17-Caleb Helms ; 2. 49X-Tim Shaffer ; 3. 5R-Byron Reed ; 4. 16-Chris Andrews ; 5. 33M-Max Stambaugh ; 6. 5T-Travis Philo ; 7. 7CX-Phil Gressman ; 8. 4K-Lynton Jeffrey ; 9. 8M-TJ Michael ; 10. 11N-Cole Duncan ; 11. 9Z-Duane Zablocki ; 12. 7C-Caleb Armstrong ; 13. 23-DJ Foos ; 14. 81-Lee Jacobs ; 15. 16X-Ryan Ruhl ; 16. 7J-Joe Swanson ; 17. 13-Brandon Matus ; 18. 51-John Garvin ; 19. 35-Stuart Brubaker ; 20. 83-Adam Cruea
Hard Charger: 7CX-Phil Gressman +5
305 Sprints – 23 cars
Heat 1 – (8 Laps, top 5 to A)
1. 66-Jamie Miller ; 2. 41-Thomas Schinderle ; 3. 66D-Chase Dunham ; 4. 97-Kyle Peters ; 5. 25-Jason Keckler ; 6. 3X-Brad Keckler ; 7. 49H-Jerry Hill ; 8. 27K-Jeremy Kornbau
Heat 2 – (8 Laps, top 5 to A)
1. 11X-Jordan Ryan ; 2. 2-Ricky Peterson ; 3. 1W-Paul Weaver ; 4. 94K-Kevin Mingus ; 5. 36-Seth Schneider ; 6. 13-Jeremy Duposki ; 7. 1X-Tyler Street ; 8. 09-Justin Adams
Heat 3 – (8 Laps, top 5 to A)
1. 12-Kyle Capodice ; 2. 77I-John Ivy ; 3. 20B-Cody Bova ; 4. 19R-Steve Rando ; 5. 8-Bobby Clark ; 6. 47-Matt Lucius ; 7. 2L-Landon LaLonde
B-Main 1 – (10 Laps, top 5 to A)
1. 13-Jeremy Duposki ; 2. 2L-Landon LaLonde ; 3. 1X-Tyler Street ; 4. 47-Matt Lucius ; 5. 27K-Jeremy Kornbau ; 6. 09-Justin Adams ; 7. 49H-Jerry Hill ; 8. 3X-Brad Keckler
A-Main 1 – (25 Laps)
1. 1W-Paul Weaver ; 2. 66-Jamie Miller ; 3. 77I-John Ivy ; 4. 2-Ricky Peterson ; 5. 20B-Cody Bova ; 6. 19R-Steve Rando ; 7. 25-Jason Keckler ; 8. 97-Kyle Peters ; 9. 12-Kyle Capodice ; 10. 66D-Chase Dunham ; 11. 94K-Kevin Mingus ; 12. 47-Matt Lucius ; 13. 1X-Tyler Street ; 14. 2L-Landon LaLonde ; 15. 13-Jeremy Duposki ; 16. 41-Thomas Schinderle ; 17. 36-Seth Schneider ; 18. 8-Bobby Clark ; 19. 27K-Jeremy Kornbau ; 20. 11X-Jordan Ryan
Hard Charger: 1W-Paul Weaver +9
Late Models – 19 cars
Heat 1 – (8 Laps)
1. 15B-Mike Bores ; 2. 51-Devin Shiels ; 3. 1N-Casey Noonan ; 4. 30-Nate Potts ; 5. 72-Josh Robertson ; 6. 97-Brett Miller
Heat 2 – (8 Laps)
1. 19-Cody Scott ; 2. 27-Ken Hahn ; 3. 50-Scott Phillips ; 4. 4-Andrew Terrill ; 5. 69-Jeff Warnick ; 6. 69R-Doug Baird
Heat 3 – (8 Laps)
1. 27S-Eric Spangler ; 2. CJ1-Rusty Schlenk ; 3. 5M-Ryan Markham ; 4. 53M-Hillard Miller ; 5. 03-Jim Gingery ; 6. 34-Ky Harper
A-Main 1 – (25 Laps)
1. 5M-Ryan Markham ; 2. 27S-Eric Spangler ; 3. CJ1-Rusty Schlenk ; 4. 51-Devin Shiels ; 5. 15B-Mike Bores ; 6. 1N-Casey Noonan ; 7. 34-Ky Harper ; 8. 50-Scott Phillips ; 9. 03-Jim Gingery ; 10. 69R-Doug Baird ; 11. 53M-Hillard Miller ; 12. 69-Jeff Warnick ; 13. 4-Andrew Terrill ; 14. 72-Josh Robertson ; 15. 30-Nate Potts ; 16. 27-Ken Hahn ; 17. 92-Cody Scott
Hard Charger: 34-Ky Harper +11
The rule changes for the UMP Late Models for 2017 are cars must weigh a minimum of 2350 lbs with the driver in the car. Tire rule for 2017. Effective July 1 all LM 20’s on all 4 corners with the right rear option of LM 20, 30 or 40. No groove on right rear tire after May 30 and no groove of any tire after July 30.
ATTICA, Ohio – Attica Raceway Park will once again reward the loyal race teams that support “Ohio’s Finest Racing” speedplant with a great point fund and strong weekly payout.
The teams in the Hammer Pallets 410 Sprints will battle for a total point fund of $22,000 in 2017 with the champion taking home $8,000. The Summit Racing Equipment UMP Late Model champion will pocket $5,000 with a total of $15,000 going to the top 10 in points. The champion of the Fremont Fence 305 Sprints will once again collect $3,000 with a total of $10,000 being divided up among the top 10 in points.
“Our weekly purses and season point fund are some of the best in Ohio. We are able to reward our race teams because of the tremendous support we get from our area business partners and of course the fans,” said John Bores, Attica Raceway Park Promoter.
The weekly 410 sprints will pay $3,000 to win while the late models will pay $1,200 to win and the 305 sprints will pay $750 to win. Attica Raceway Park will hand out over $600,000 in A-main prize money in 2017.
The “mulligan” rule will once again be in affect in 2017. If a driver misses one night of competition he/she will receive 75 points one time only providing they did not compete at another race on that night.
“We understand the drivers who support Attica week in and week out also have things come up with their families, businesses and personal lives and we don’t want them to have to make a tough decision and lose out on a possible track championship,” said Rex LeJeune, Operations Director at ARP.
The complete purses and point funds can be found at www.atticaracewaypark.com under the purse tab at the top.
Attica Raceway Park kicks off the 2017 racing season on Friday, March 24 with a rain date if needed of Saturday, March 25. The 410 and 305 sprints and late models will be in action.
For a complete schedule of events and more information about Attica Raceway Park go to www.atticaracewaypark.com, follow the track on Twitter at twitter.com/atticaracewyprk and Facebook at www.facebook.com/atticaracewaypark.