Auto Racing: Senerchia takes home another title
BY TONY BARANEK firstname.lastname@example.org September 7, 2013 10:26PM
John Nutley (96) prepares to make a move on the outside and pass Bobby Gash (21) en route to victory in the fast-car heat Saturday at Illiana Speedway. D.J. Weltmeyer (16) finished fourth in the race behind Eddie Hoffman. | Goodaker Photography for Sun-Ti
Fast time: Jeff Cannon (19.248). 1st heat: 1. John Nutley, 2. Bobby Gash, 3. Eddie Hoffman. 2nd heat: 1. Dylan Harmon, 2. Shaun Wiltjer, 3. Michael Martin Jr. 3rd heat: 1. Kevin Offdencamp, 2. Bobby Gash III, 3. Tony Alexander. 30-lap feature: 1. Jeff Cannon, 2. Hoffman, 3. Jack Kalwasinski, 4. Paul Shafer Jr., 5. Ricky Baker, 6. D.J. Weltmeyer.
Fast time: Bobbie Jean Wall (17.851). 1st heat: 1. John Senerchia, 2. Jacob McKown, 3. Wall. 2nd heat: 1. Billy Jarrells, 2. Mark Ross Jr., 3. Matt Arvia. 25-lap feature: 1. Senerchia, 2. McKown, 3. Jarrells, 4. Wall, 5. Scott Gardner, 6. Ryan Moore.
Heat: 1. Paul Shafer Sr., 2. Chris King, 3. Jacob Melvin. 20-lap feature: 1. King, 2. Andy Jones, 3. Shafer, 4. Melvin, 5. Jaret James, 6. Stan Zolodz IV.
1st heat: 1. Tyler Wheaton, 2. William Panshyn, 3. Colin Robinson. 2nd heat: 1. Austin Blackwell, 2. Cyle Lindemuth, 3. Jim Gross. 3rd heat: 1. Mac Hastings, 2. Matt Baikie, 3. Ricky Wilson. Feature: 1. Panshyn, 2. Robinson, 3. Hastings, 4. Baikie, 5. Wilson, 6. Gross.
Heat: 1. Kenny Myer, 2. Cole Sutton, 3. Kaitlyn Coates. Feature: 1. Myer, 2. Sutton, 3. Coates.
Updated: September 8, 2013 12:35AM
SCHERERVILLE, Ind. — If John Senerchia was going to cling to a very thin division lead in the final turbo stox points feature of the season Saturday at Illiana Speedway, the first order of business had to be finishing the race.
But there he was on lap 1, in the middle of the back straightaway, on the bottom of a three-wide potential disaster.
Not that he knew it was three-wide.
“Not really,” Senerchia said later with a smile. “I just wanted to get to the front as fast as we could, trying to get those extra five points.”
Senerchia made it through, and then some. He took the lead from Billy Jarrells on lap six and kept the field at a distance the rest of the way. His closest competitor, Jacob McKown, battled from well back in the field to claim second, but the final tally showed Senerchia as the champion by 12 points behind the wheel of the Pat Ligue-owned 1986 Monte Carlo.
It was the second straight weekend that Senerchia claimed a track championship. Driving his own car, he was crowned the Grundy County Speedway street stock titlist on Sept 1.
“It’s been a great year, with the birth of my son and everything else,” Senerchia said. “I’m just happy we stayed together and stayed in one piece. And I’d like to thank the Ligue family for letting me drive it (at Illiana).
Senerchia caught one break before the flag even fell, starting inside third row alongside McKown. McKown was unable to get to the bottom before falling back a few positions.
“It would have been nice to start on the inside,” McKown said. “We had to sacrifice a couple of laps to get down. It’s tough. It would have been nice if we could have been a little closer at the end.”
Jarrells held on for a third-place finish, ahead of fast qualifier Bobbie Jean Wall, Scott Gardner and Ryan Moore.
In the late-model class, 16-year-old Paul Shafer Jr., wrapped up his first career crown by finishing fourth in the main event. The victory went to Jeff Cannon in one of the season’s most dominant efforts.
Cannon started the night by setting the late-model track record in qualifying with a time of 19.248. He took the lead in the main event from John Nutley on lap five, and was enjoying nearly a half-lap lead over Eddie Hoffman when a yellow flag with two laps set the stage for a last-lap duel.
It didn’t happen. Cannon simply pulled away from Hoffman on the restart and cruised to the win. A tight battle at the finish line for third went to Jack Kalwasinski over Shafer, while Ricky Baker was fifth ahead of D.J. Weltmeyer.
Chris King put a stamp on his third Legends championship by tracking down and passing Andy Jones with three laps remaining to claim the 20-lap feature. Jones held off Paul Shafer Sr. for second, while Jacob Melvin, Jaret James and Stan Zolodz IV completed the top six.
The pure stocks feature went to William Panshyn over Colin Robinson and Mac Hastings. Kenny Myer prevailed in the bandolero main.