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VanInwegen Collects First Career USAC EC Win at Orange County

VanInwegen Collects First Career USAC EC Win at Orange County
VanInwegen Collects First Career USAC EC Win at Orange County
VanInwegen Collects First Career USAC EC Win at Orange County

Middletown, NY. October 23, 2020, Nick Fillman, USAC ECSC.

Local modified regular, and former USAC East Coast Sprint Car Series regular, Billy VanInwegen collected his first career victory with the Rapid Tire Services, USAC East Coast Sprint Car Series on Saturday night at the conclusion of fourteen laps due to rain after half way. 

Kenny Miller lll and winged 360 veteran Matt Tanner lead the field to green for the USAC East Coast portion of Eastern States Weekend 2021. Immediately the non-wing veteran Kenny Miller took the race lead, and would try to put some distance between himself and the rest of the field, by being glued to the bottom lane of the speedway. Matt Tanner was in second and found himself quickly under-fire from another modified regular at the speedway in the form of Brian Krummel. Alex Bright had worked right behind the battle for the top three on the bottom lane of the speedway at the completion of lap one. As the field worked their way into turn three and four, Brian Krummel would loose the handle on the second Hamilton Racing entry and spin to the high side of the speedway. As Krummel was slowing to a stop, Briggs Danner made right rear, to right rear contact with Krummel, with Danner being able to pull away. 

Danner did suffer some right side damage on the Heffner Racing 5G entry, as the right side nerf bar would be caved in onto the rear tire with a slight tire rub, along with suffering right side header damage. 

When the field returned to green Miller again bolted out to the race lead, with Bright sneaking under Matt Tanner for second, with Billy VanInwegen being the first driver to explore the fresh moisture that was laid down on the high side of the speedway. Danner would follow along in the tire tracks of Billy V on the high side of the speedway as well. 

As the field worked to the completion of lap three, Billy V motored to the high side of turn three and four around the outside of both Bright and Miller to take the race lead on lap three. Bright tried to follow VanInwegen to the high side, but then opted for the middle, using a diamond line off of the corner to try and keep pace with the leader. 

In the laps after the pass for the lead, Miller began to struggle on the bottom side of the speedway losing spots to Tanner, and eventually Briggs Danner who had worked his way into the top five by lap seven despite the tire rub and damage to the 5G entry. Danner would continue to work the high side of the speedway just as the race leader VanInwegen would, and worked by Matt Tanner for third on lap eleven. 

Tanner stuck to his line and would not quit on the bottom side of the speedway and worked back by Danner for the third place position on only two laps later on lap thirteen while both were trying their best to catch the leaders VanInwegen and Bright. 

VanInwegen had a solid four car length lead over Bright as they began to encounter lapped traffic on the bottom side of the speedway. VanInwegen was strong up top and would allow Bright to draw closer on corner entry, and through the middle of the corner, but the momentum for VanInwegen off of the high side of the speedway allowed him to rocket off the corners and re-establish the distance between he and Bright. 

Ultimately the caution flag would fly on lap fourteen for rains that had persistently picked up over the course of the last two to three laps under green flag conditions. The field would be sent to the pit are of the Orange County Speedway as the track was lost due to increasing rain. The field would remain idle in the pit area as rains continued to fall on the speedway, lightening up at times, but not going away. A decision was reached with USAC East Coast Official in the interest of time, for our traveling teams, many of them being at the speedway since eight A.M. or earlier, to make the results official being that the race was passed the halfway point, and was legally completed per USAC East Coast Rules. 

Billy VanInwegen grabbed his first career Rapid Tire, USAC East Coast Sprint Car Series, presented by Capitol Renegade victory over: Alex Bright, Matt Tanner, Briggs Danner, and Damon Paul. 

VanInwegen backed up his run from last season at Orange County where he finished in the top three in his wingless sprint car series debut. The run last season lead to the opportunity for Billy V to be tabbed as the driver of the Bill Gallagher 5G entry for the bulk of the 2020 series tour after Tim Buckwalter was injured in a modified incident. Billy V had many strong runs last season with the team, nearly picking up wins at Delaware International and at the famed Williams Grove Speedway. The win on Saturday night was the first for Billy and the VanDusen team, and they have intended their plans on making a few more shows with the series in 2022. 

The incredible runs for Alex Bright and the Hummer Motorsports team continued on Saturday night at Orange County as the pair, who were not at the speedway last July, came home in a solid runner up finish. Bright had never race on the “Hard Clay” of the Orange County Speedway, but as he has all year, looked as strong as ever running at the front of the field. While Bright and team no doubt would have liked to see the rest of the feature event be run under green, they will have one more shot to crack victory lane at the Bridgeport Motorsports Park in two weeks. 

Stephentown, NY driver Matt Tanner made his series debut on Saturday night aboard the no.17 entry that last season was piloted by VanInwegen in select wing and non wing events. Tanner a veteran and multi time winner on the ESS and Patriot Sprint Series throughout New York aboard his family owned 90 car, made quick work on Saturday night figuring out how to pilot a wingless sprint car. Tanner had a great second place effort in his heat race locking him into the redraw, and ran an extremely impressive third in the feature event. Perhaps Tanner will venture out and try a few more wingless shows in the future with the series. Only time will tell. 

Coming home fourth despite some feature event difficulties was Allentown, PA drive Briggs Danner. While Danner has cooled off some in terms collecting feature event wins, the team has been fast in their last two events. The rain and completion of the feature event after fourteen laps was a bit of a blessing for Danner and the Heffner 5G team as their right rear tire would more than likely have not survived the remaining eleven laps of the feature event following a nerf-bar rub after contact with a spinning Brian Krummel. 

Rounding out the top five in Saturdays event was Stony Point, New York driver Damon Paul. If there was a driver who was more excited to be in the pit area and racing a sprint car during Eastern States Weekend than Damon Paul, we certainly did not encounter them! Paul who lives a short half hour drive away, has been to many ESW events in his lifetime, and was thrilled at the opportunity to run at his home track on the series trail. A one time winner on tour this season, Paul was able to collect another top five run after starting in the ninth place spot. 

All of us at the Rapid Tire, USAC East Coast Sprint Car Series would like to thank everyone involved at the Orange County Fair Speedway for their hospitality, along with Brett Hearn for not only bumping the winners purse to $2,000, but our start money to $400. We would also like to extend a huge thank you to all of the teams who supported us on Saturday night. Whether they were from New York or some of our series regulars who made the trip up, we appreciate your support on Saturday night and all season long. 

Up Next for the Rapid Tire, USAC East Coast Sprint Car Series, presented by Capitol Renegade is our series finale at the Bridgeport Motorsports Park on Friday, November 5th! The Friday night finale will pay a historic $2,500 to win, and $300 to start! 

As always, stay up to date with the latest news, results, points, and much more by following along on our social media pages! On Facebook at: USAC East Coast Sprint Cars, and on Twitter at: @USACecsc. 

USAC East Coast at Orange County Results:

Heat 1 (8 laps, 4 redraw): 1. 23m Kenny Miller lll, 2. 56 Billy VanInwegen, 3. 16cw Eric Jennings, 4. M1 Justin Mills, 5. 57 Damon Paul, 6. 1Q Thomas Radivoy, 7. 96 Lee Kauffman, 8. 6 Steve Kyzer, 9. 91 Mick D’Agostino.

Heat 2 (8 laps, 4 redraw): 1. 5G Briggs Danner, 2. 17 Matt Tanner, 3. 20 Alex Bright, 4. 32k Brian Krummel, 5. 17J Jonathan Swanson, 6. 32 Colin White, 7. 98 Dan Malley, 8. 67 Jason Cherry.

Feature Event Results: 1. 56 Billy VanInwegen, 2. 20 Alex Bright, 3. 17 Matt Tanner, 4. 5G Briggs Danner, 5. 57 Damon Paul, 6. 23m Kenny Miller lll, 7. M1 Justin Mills, 8. 16cw Eric Jennings, 9. 17J Jonathan Swanson, 10. 1Q Thomas Radivoy, 11. 32k Brian Krummel ($111 Bonus), 12. 32 Colin White, 13. 98 Dan Malley, 14. 67 Jason Cherry, 15. 96 Lee Kauffman, 16. 91D Mick D’Agostino, 17. 6 Steve Kyzer.

Lap Leaders: (Kenny Miller 1-2), Billy VanInwegen (2-14).

Penske Shocks $100: Billy VanInwegen
Penske Shocks $50: Alex Bright
Penske Shocks $25: Matt Tanner
Ultra Shield 3rd Place: Matt Tanner
Ultra Shield 6th Place: Kenny Miller lll
Vahlco Wheels $50 Hard Charger: Billy VanInwegen (5th to 1st)

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