Saturday, August 25, 2012
Justin Barger Blasts to Patriot Sprint Tour Win at Brockville
by Rich Vleck
Rich Vleck, BROCKVILLE, Ont. -- Over the years, starting 10th in a Patriot Sprint Tour event typically does not translate in to a trip to Victory Lane. Over the years, sprint car events at Brockville Ontario Speedway can often find passing at a premium; while in general that still remains the case, Justin Barger defied that logic on Saturday Night.
Barger, of Montrose, NY, figured out the top of the Brockville Ontario Speedway and took the lead from Dain Naida by lap 12 and never looked back as he scored his third win of the year, his second in the PST Canada Series to all but lock up the tour’s inaugural championship.
After starting and finishing third in his heat race, Barger found himself in the Original Pizza Logs Four Laps of Fame, where he started and finished second. Despite not passing a car, those four laps gave Barger the data he needed to make a charge in the feature.
“I had a tough start in our heat race which put us in the dash but that actually helped us because we got the car rolling pretty good,” noted Barger in Victory Lane after his third win at the ¼-mile oval. “We got it really working well on the top. I changed so much stuff but I didn’t change any torsion bars around because I knew we were pretty close there. We just changed switched the shocks around.”
When the first caution of the event flew two laps in, Barger had already driven from 10th to sixth place. Three laps later when the yellow flag reappeared, he was fifth and was stuck in that position until the race’s third restart on lap 10 when he got to work.
Up until lap 10, all of the lead competitors struggled to find any bite off the top of turns one and two, but on that restart, Barger bolted around Scott Kreutter and then Lee Ladouceur as they battled for real estate on the inside of the track; carrying a full-head of steam into turns three and four, where the top lane had been effective, Barger made an impressive power maneuver to drive around Jamie Collard. Two laps later he made the same pass on Collard’s teammate Dain Naida for the lead.
“I was just rolling around (the top) so straight it worked for me,” noted Barger. “I tried the middle to the bottom early on but that’s where everyone was and I wasn’t making any time so I had to go to the top and it worked out for us.”
As Barger’s No. 5 pulled away from the rest of the field, his nearest competitors attempted to use a similar line, but found themselves having to fend off the drivers behind them. Collard, the winner of the July Brockville event, was able to move around his teammate Naida to reclaim second on lap 17 but two laps later slipped over the banking in turn three to draw the caution. Two laps after that, he had a similar incident and was done for the night. His misfortune would allow his teammate a pair of opportunities to reclaim the lead however.
Naida put in worthy bids to take the lead back, as he would get a solid run on the bottom through turns one and two on the restart, but did not have the momentum using the low line in three and four to make his claim stick. He was able to hold on for second though in his second appearance at the track 11 hours from home.
Alain Bergeron used a harder tire compound on his No. 8B and in the late stages when he drove from sixth up to finish a season-best third. Jared Zimbardi, who won the Original Pizza Logs Dash, also came on strong at the end to finish fourth. Lee Ladouceur was able to round out the top five for the second time at “The BOS”.
Scott Kreutter won his heat and finished in sixth, with youngster Devin Caron in seventh. Rick Wilson also won his heat and placed eighth, with Keith Dempster and Kyle Fraser completing the top 10.
The A-Main did feature one bizarre moment under lap nine caution period when Keith Dempster and April Wilson making contact and Wilson flipping over her No.15aw. After a lengthy period upside-down, she was finally able to emerge on her own from the awkward position.
The final PST America Races will take place this upcoming weekend with a pair of stops in Pennsylvania at Mercer and Eriez on Saturday and Sunday, respectively, as part of the Labor Day Weekend Tradition. The PST Canada Series will conclude back at Brockville on October 14th. For more information, visit www.PatriotSprintTour.com.
Patriot Sprint Tour Results: 8/25/12, Brockville Ontario Speedway, Brocvkille, ONTARIO.
A-Main (25 Laps)- 1. Justin Barger (5), 2. Dain Naida (07x), 3. Alain Bergeron (8B), 4. Jared Zimbardi (35), 5. Lee Ladouceur (51), 6. Scott Kreutter (52), 7. Devin Caron (24k), 8. Rick Wilson (42w), 9. Keith Dempster (5k), 10. Kyle Fraser (01), 11. Tyler Rand (84), 12. Dave Wickham (80), 13. Jamie Collard (7x), 14. Steve Hutchinson Jr. (2), 15. Chris Durand (67), 16. April Wilson (15aw), 17. Paul Pekkonen (98), DNS: Chris Jones (11).
Lap Leaders- Naida 1-11, Barger 12-25.
Original Pizza Logs Four Laps of Fame Dash (4 Laps)- 1. Jared Zimbardi (35), 2. Justin Barger (5), 3. Paul Pekkonen (98), 4. Tyler Rand (84), 5. Keith Dempster (5k), 6. April Wilson (15aw).
National Parts Peddler Heats (8 Laps Each)-
Race 1: 1. Scott Kreutter (52), 2. Alain Bergeron (8B), 3. Justin Barger (5), 4. Jared Zimbardi (35), 5. April Wilson (15aw), 6. Chris Jones (11J).
Race 2: 1. Rick Wilson (42w), 2. Dain Naida (07x), 3. Lee Ladouceur (51), 4. Tyler Rand (84), 5. Dave Wickham (80), 6. Kyle Fraser (01).
Race 3: 1. Jamie Collard (7x), 2. Steve Hutchinson Jr. (2), 3. Devin Caron (24k), 4. Paul Pekkonen (98), 5. Keith Dempster (5k), 6. Chris Durand (67).
Patriot Sprint Tour Canada Series (Top 10)- Justin Barger 1003, Dain Naida 913, Jamie Collard 870, Scott Kreutter 834, Jared Zimbardi 817, Alain Bergeron 800, Mitch Brown 746, Lee Ladouceur 714, Keith Dempster 686, Bryan Howland 646.