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Brauer, Carr and Ketch end Victory Lane Droughts at Liberty Valley

On Sunday, Race 8 of the 2006 WDRA Super Dirt Series brought racers to Liberty Valley Speedway in Danville, PA, just south east of Williamsport. Cool, but comfortable temperatures and overcast skies were the order of the day. The invading New York racers were pleasantly surprised to find a beautiful track with a lightning-fast, and smooth as glass racing surface.

Jim Carr jumped out to the lead of the Modified A-Main from his outside-pole starting position. Jeff Hotaling would dart to second on the first lap, with top-qualifier, Paul Brauer falling to third. Brauer would move second, with Matt Olmsted in tow, while Jim Carr was stretching his advantage over the field.

Just a few laps later, Brauer would bobble allowing Olmsted to move to second. With Carr’s CDK house car on cruise control, Brauer would look for a way around Olmsted, until finally taking the position on lap 25. From there Brauer, with his Putnam Pro-Car, would begin to slowly reel in the high-flying Carr. Around lap 45, Carr’s machine would wiggle on the exit of turn 2, allowing Brauer to slip by on the outside groove. From there, Carr would keep Brauer in sight for the remainder of the distance, but would have to settle for second, as Brauer picked up his first series win since 2004. Olmsted would hold on for third, winning the race within the race, and breaking the tie for the point lead with Hotaling who would finish the race in 4th. Wayne Groover would finish out the top 5 in his first WDRA appearance.

In the Big Block division, Jim Carr would not be denied his first win since February at Radio Hill. Just as he did in Modified, Carr would take the lead at the start, with Dylan Watier in second and Jeff Hotaling moving from dead last to third in the opening laps. Carr was pulling away from the field as the battle between for second was starting to heat up between Watier and Hotaling. Hotaling would take over second on lap 14, but Watier would regain the spot 10 laps later.

While all of this was going on, many eyes were turned to Canadian invader Steve Salvas, who after winning the B-Main was on a charge. Salvas was swept up into a crash involving Jeff Winzens and Brian Strausser on the first lap, and actually went a lap down to Carr briefly. After fighting his way back to the lead lap, Salvas pulled away, and started picking his way through the pack. On lap 25 Salvas would move to 4th, after slipping past series point leader Dan Gill, and on lap 34 he would take third from Hotaling.

It would only take a few laps for Salvas to begin to challenge Watier for second. While Carr had a comfortable lead, Watier was feeling major heat from Salvas in the closing laps. Watier was up to the challenge until the 2 drivers touched wheels with just a few seconds to go, sending both cars spinning. This would allow Hotaling and Gill to steal second and third at the finish behind Carr. Salvas would recover to bring his Custom Works car home for 4th, with Watier settling for 5th.

In the Small Block division, Henry Ketch, Jr. would nail down his first WDRA win since June of 2003. Top qualifier Dave Harris moved out to the lead at the sound of the horn, with Ketch moving to second. With Ketch challenging for the lead on lap 7, the two would make contact. Harris was able to hold on to the lead, and Ketch retained second, just ahead of high point man, Sean “Meatball” Leonard. Ketch’s car was on a rail however, as he sped away from Leonard and set sail after Harris once again.

By lap 18 Ketch had erased Harris’ advantage, and on lap 20 he assumed the lead. From there it was all Ketch as he masterfully navigated slower traffic, lapping the field before the end of the main. Harris held on for a distant second, with Leonard in third. EJ French and “Captian Cupcake” Bob Egan would round out the top 5.

In non-WDRA sanctioned action, Dylan Watier and Steve Tyson put in dominating performances to win the Nitro EDM and Nitro Sprintcar mains.

On October 22nd, the WDRA series will make its next stop at Redneck R/C Raceway in Fulton, NY. As of now it appears that Redneck will head back to “The Dungeon” for the fall and winter season. Stay tuned right here for updates on this event.

Wally’s notes:
· All I can say about Liberty Valley Speedway is WOW! This is without a doubt the nicest track I’ve ever been to…indoor included.
· John Snyder, the owner of LVS was more than accommodating for the WDRA and did a great job as race director. The races ran smoothly, and were finished up before 5pm. I owe him a big thanks for a great track and a great job!
· Once again Bob Egan provided delicious treats for the heat winners.
· Door prize sponsors included Whiplash Batteries, VooDoo Cells, Vinyltrix.com and Brian Clark Racing. Thanks guys for your continued support.
· Speaking of VooDoo Cells, I got to meet the man behind the packs, Dave Wirt. I also got to meet Steve Salvas of TQ Cells for the 1st time, as he made his first WDRA event, and definitely earned the “long haul” award. Both really nice guys.
· A huge disappointment for Salvas in the Nitro Sprintcar A-Main, as his left rear tire departed from his sprinter on the pace lap.
· A big thanks to all who made the long haul to LVS.
· The total for the day was 44 entries. While a bit disappointing, I’m sure that after word gets out about Liberty Valley, next year will be much bigger.
· The “no grease” rule never developed into a problem. There was plenty of traction available on this surface.
· For once, Dale Hartzell got home before the New Yorkers!
· Speaking of Dale Hartzell, he suffered his second frustrating series race in a row, this time battling handling problems in the B-Main…..he will now need bad luck to strike Dan Gill if he wants a shot of repeating as Big Block Champion.
· Steve Tyson had a great day with the Nitro Sprinter, but had a horrible day with his Modified EDM….he was not able to start any of his races.
· Matt Olmsted now holds a slim 1-point lead over Jeff Hotaling in the Modified division.
· Leonard now holds a 29-point lead in Small Block.
· I believe that several track records fell on Sunday, as the Liberty Valley surface gets better and better.

That’s all for now. Hope to see everyone at Redneck.

2,685 Posts
Had a great time guys you guys are all what this hobby is abought having fun with toy cars i am amazed at how the guys can get thease cars to run like they do. Any of my pan car guys that think dirt is not fun need to race with the wdra guys you guys have what it takes thats for sure!
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