Craig Cole Wins the Pumpkin Smasher, Brekelmans the Champion
Delaware Speedway’s points battles officially came to an end on September 30th with the annual running of the Pumpkin Smasher, the finale for the Fire & Iron Custom Metalwork Bone Stocks and a demolition derby. A full day of racing for the lone racing series on the card featured a Consolation Showdown, Quick Qualifier Dash, and Twin 50 lap features.
Group qualifying for the Fire & Iron Custom Metalwork Bone Stocks kicked off the afternoon as drivers we’re let loose for five minutes to register their fastest time. These times would seed the Consolation Showdown and Quick Qualifier Dash and help lineup the first feature. Greg Francis (#11) got off to a tough start as he slowed and the caution came out early in the qualifying session. A caution flag ended the session which saw Derek Moesker (#51) on top of the charts. Mike Ebert (#87), Bill Brekelmans (#007), Ben Davey (#07), and Jordan Morris (#73) rounded out the top five spots.
The first racing competition was the Consolation Showdown, a 10 lap heat race for those that qualified in the second half of the field. Kris Lawrence (#78) led the field to the green flag and the drivers filed into turn one. Lawrence paced the field early as Stan Cook (#74) trailed behind. Lawrence would win the race over Cook and Justin Tibideau (#14). The Quick Qualifier Dash started with Derek Moesker on the pole beside Mike Ebert. Right away there was disaster as Matthew Miller (#99) got up on the wall and began violently rolling several times before coming to a rest on all four wheels. The driver walked away from the crash, however his vehicle had seen better days. Mike Ebert took over the top position on the restart as Moesker began to fall back in the field. Ebert would win the race as Brekelmans and Ben Davey rounded out the top three spots.
The first 50 lap feature race started with Mike Ebert on the pole, alongside Kris Lawrence, both winners of the earlier heat races. The inside line was determined by the finishing order of the Quick Qualifier Dash and the outside by the Consolation Showdown. Ebert led the race early as Kris Lawrence trailed behind. The caution flag came out on lap 11 when Jim Ireland (#31p) went around on the back straightaway. After the restart, Craig Cole (#5c) moved into second and began to close the gap on the race leader. Ben Davey and Jordan Morris stayed close with the front two and it soon became a four car battle by lap 20. The fight up front was wild and on lap 30 Craig Cole took over the top spot as Jordan Morris moved into third. Lap 38 saw Don Tomlinson (#2) go up in smoke in turn one and leave a trail of fluid, resulting in the caution flag coming out. The caution would come out once again on lap 41 when several cars tangled on the front straightaway including Kris Lawrence and David Rockwood (#90). After a brief two lap run, the yellow was displayed once again as Bob Stratford (#82) came to a stop in turn four. After a fantastic battle for the win, Craig Cole would hold off Jordan Morris for the victory as Ben Davey, Mike Ebert, and Derek Moesker rounded out the top five.
After over 300 pumpkins were smashed on the front straightaway, the second 50 lap feature race began. Some treaded through the pumpkin guts with caution, while others held it high wide and handsome and just sent it. The caution came out right away for a stopped car, but the race quickly resumed. Don Yorke (#31p) assumed the early lead as drivers slipped in every which way in turn one. Bill Brekelmans began challenging for the race lead on lap 12 and then took over the spot a lap later. The caution flag came out on lap 21, resetting the field for a wild restart with the front cars all close together. Jordan Morris quickly jumped to the second spot right away after the restart and then began battling for the lead. Contact between Brekelmans and Morris on lap 24 sent Morris around, forcing him to run through the field once again. Don Yorke brought the field back to green with Bob Stratford and Bill Brekelmans behind. Yorke continued to lead the race while the drivers in the top five raced very hard. On lap 28, several cars tangled in turn one and the caution was displayed once again. After the restart, the top five drivers raced nose to tail as they slid around the track with a handful of race car. On lap 39, Bill Brekelmans took over the race lead after adjusting his line to the high side in turn one. Morris rejoined the top three on lap 45 as Brekelmans continued to pace the field. Brekelmans would score the victory and capture the 2017 Fire & Iron Custom Metalwork Bone Stock championship as Craig Cole was crowned the overall Pumpkin Smasher winner.
Craig Cole would backup his Pumpkin Smasher win in the Fire & Iron Custom Metalwork Bone Stocks with a victory in the demolition derby after being the last car standing.
The season concludes for Delaware Speedway on October 14th for the first running of the iceMaker 150, which will see one of the wildest formats in recent memory at the half mile. For each registration into the event the purse rises by $100, meaning 50 entries would result in a $5000 purse to be awarded. The event begins at 3:00pm and advance tickets are available on www.DelawareSpeedway.com
By Ryan Dyson – Delaware Speedway PR – www.DelawareSpeedway.com