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2017-18 OCC Race #6 results - Feb 16, Canton OH

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#1 Justin A. Porter

Justin A. Porter

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Posted 16 February 2018 - 11:08 AM

With high speeds, huge fields, and high stakes in the points chase, the Ohio Challenge Cup descended upon the Gerding King at Mark's Model World for what would be a record-breaking day of racing.

GT1B started off the day in fine form with fifteen entries. It would be a day for invaders as Fantasy Raceway's Bud Denning, Chuck Kron, and Jim Harter ran off into the distance, giving a one-two-three finish for New York at 230, 228, and 226 laps respectively. It was up to Tim Burton to lead the MMW locals as he came away with fourth at 221 laps. Jeff Middaugh had a strong day in GT1B scoring fifth place by panels over Scott Lemon who was making his first OCC start in several years. Fred Oles came home seventh over Greg Miller in eighth, rounding out the block of Canton locals before we came to first among the OCC travelers, Danny Shirey in ninth. MMW local Joel Dine finished out the top ten, while Joe Gerencser squeaked by Dan Halfhill for eleventh, a close finish for the two points leaders. It was a rough day in general for OCC regulars, as TR Rowell, Haley Halfhill, and Alan Gallacher closed out the field in thirteenth through fifteenth, all with mechanical issues on this punishing King.

GT1-B Results

Bud Denning – 230
Chuck Kron – 228

Jim Harter – 226

Tim Burton – 221

Jeff Middaugh – 217.05

Scott Lemon – 217.02

Fred Oles – 215

Greg Miller – 212

Danny Shirey – 210

Joel Dine – 209

Joe Gerencser – 208.16

Dan Halfhill – 208.05

TR Rowell – 198

Haley Halfhill – 197

Alan Gallacher – 192


Twelve racers took to the King for GT1-A and it became clear that the fight was between retro ace Willy Custer and ISRA's Greg Mayer. After twelve heats of round-robin racing, Willy pipped the high-speed Pennsylvanian by three laps. Points leader and Challenge Cup all-time win leader Eric Shirey hung on for third over MMW regular Ralph Middaugh. Race O' Rama's Jim Pace Jr. continued his solid first season as an A driver with a valuable fifth place over Michigan's Dave Decoster. Ron Vincek claimed seventh over Bob Kurkowski, who in turn beat out Brandon Barricello who borrowed a motor out of the Shirey stable to get a leg up on the demanding Gerding King while mechanical maladies claimed the days of Jeff Henes, Justin Porter, and Ben Naelitz.

GT1-A Results

Willy Custer – 236

Greg Mayer – 233

Eric Shirey – 227

Ralph Middaugh – 219

Jim Pace Jr. - 216

Dave Decoster – 213

Ron Vincek – 210

Bob Kurkowski – 208

Brandon Barricello – 206

Jeff Henes – 204

Justin Porter – 203

Ben Naelitz – 200


Group 10 had an incredibly deep field in play as Greg Mayer set the early pace as Top Qualifier at a scorching 3.664 second lap! The finish would be an absolute nail-biter as Willy Custer hung on for a one lap win over Eric Shirey, who in turn beat out Mayer by only six panels! Jim Harter would come home fourth to wave the flag for the Empire State crowd, beating out Dave Decoster. Dave Gardiner would prove the best of the MMW locals who run unsealed ProSlot 16D's in their weekly LMP category. Joel Dine would follow Gardiner in seventh over Ralph Middaugh and Tom Espinosa, forming a block for the Chinese arm $17 motors. Group 10 points contender Elmo Vallance would make it to the Top Ten after a last minute thrash to get to the tech table. Jim Pace Jr continued his solid season with eleventh over Dan Halfhill who's found his stride with the big 16D machines. Scott Lemon brought home another MMW local machine in thirteenth by panels over TR Rowell, while Justin Porter had to perform an emergency tire change one heat in to pull up to fifteenth. Chuck Kron brought home a sixteenth over Greg Miller, while Bob Kurkowski made a rare Group 10 start to score eighteenth. Bud Denning was an early favorite with the #2 qualifying spot, but mechanical issues kept him to nineteenth. Hollywood Gerencser fought for speed but still came away with twentieth over local Alex Curlutu who was the last finisher with full heats as Danny Shirey, Haley Halfhill, Mark Gardiner, Alan Gallacher, and Jeff Middaugh all ran into significant issues. Scoring DNS points with withdrawals were Jeff Henes and Ron Vincek.

Group 10 Results

Willy Custer – 241

Eric Shirey – 240.10

Greg Mayer – 240.04

Jim Harter – 232

Dave Decoster – 227

Dave Gardiner – 226

Joel Dine – 224

Ralph Middaugh – 223

Tom Espinosa – 220

Elmo Vallance – 218

Jim Pace Jr. - 216.14

Dan Halfhill – 216.06

Scott Lemon – 214.14

TR Rowell – 214.01

Justin Porter – 213

Chuck Kron – 212

Greg Miller – 211

Bob Kurkowski – 208

Bud Denning – 203

Joe Gerencser – 201

Alex Curlutu – 190

Danny Shirey – 151

Haley Halfhill – 150

Mark Gardiner – 103

Alan Gallacher – 88

Jeff Middaugh – 14

Jeff Henes – DNS

Ron Vincek – DNS


29 GTP's on the table meant a huge race and first blood went to Greg Mayer as he let the air out of the room with a blistering 3.459 second qualifying run, but right behind him was Eric Shirey at 3.499 seconds. That closeness in speed played out through eight scorching A-main heats with Greg Mayer taking home the win by only three panels over Shirey! The close competition didn't stop there as Ralph Middaugh slipped onto the podium around Willy Custer by panels as well. Mark Gardiner nailed down fifth place over Jim Pace Jr who beat out Dave Gardiner for sixth not by panels, but by less than a foot of distance! Scott Lemon got past Jeff Middaugh by eight panels, and Jim Harter beat his fellow New Yorker Chuck Kron by three panels. Hugely tight racing all through the top eleven! Twelfth went to Justin Porter out of the C-main over Greg Miller who pipped Tim Burton on coasting. Tom Espinosa got fifteenth over Fred Oles in yet another position determined by panels. Dave Decoster made up for his D-main qualifying run by clawing his way up to seventeenth. Al Gallacher scored eighteenth after a long day of racing, coming home ahead of Joe Gerencser, Brandon Barricello, Dan Halfhill, and Elmo Vallance among the finishers. Haley Halfhill, Bud Denning, Al Rutti, and Danny Shirey all suffered major mechanical issues to blunt their charges, while TR Rowell, Jeff Henes, and Ron Vincek all withdrew to score DNS, DNS, and DNQ points respectively.

GTP Results

Greg Mayer – 258.05

Eric Shirey – 258.02

Ralph Middaugh – 255.15

Willy Custer – 255.01

Mark Gardiner – 249

Jim Pace Jr. - 247.08+

Dave Gardiner – 247.08-

Scott Lemon – 243.09

Jeff Middaugh – 243

Jim Harter – 237.14

Chuck Kron – 237.11

Justin Porter – 236

Greg Miller – 235.11+

Tim Burton – 235.11-

Tom Espinosa – 233.11

Fred Oles – 233.08

Dave Decoster – 231

Alan Gallacher – 227

Joe Gerencser – 222

Brandon Barricello – 221

Dan Halfhill – 217

Elmo Vallance – 215

Haley Halfhill – 162

Bud Denning – 135

Al Rutti – 55

Danny Shirey – 37

TR Rowell – DNS

Jeff Henes – DNS

Ron Vincek – DNQ



The Ohio Challenge Cup take a bit of a break with the next round not until March 24th as we head back to Pennsylvania to tackle the UK Black flat track at Washington Slot Car Club. With close points races in all four divisions and a fantastic host in Ron Culp it's sure to be a show not to be missed. Major thanks to Mark Kitto and the crowd at Mark's Model World who we are assured we'll be seeing next year!



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