Rookie Lay Wins at Owosso

By Mike Strevel

OVID, Mich. (May 10, 2003) –
The Auto Value/Bumper to Bumper Super Sprint Series made the first of two appearances at Owosso Speedway in Ovid MI Saturday night and taking the honors was Millbury OH driver Brian Lay. The 22-year-old racer in just his 12th AVSS start ever was able to capture the feature over 20 other AVSS stars at the fast 3/8-mile oval in front of a very enthusiastic Owosso Speedway crowd.

The afternoon started with 27 AVSS teams checking into the pits and quickly making their way through hot laps. There was a threat of rain all day and night and the Owosso Speedway staff is to be commended for hustling the show through and getting it completed.

The Hamilton Trucking fast time award went to Terre Haute IN driver Kevin Newton in the Wayne Stickney owned 99 car at a time of 13.165. It was feature winner Lay second quick at 13.191 and Jason Blonde was third at 13.212.

The United Trailers heat race victor was Newton, Gary Fedewa captured the Dowker Engines heat and Chris Hettinger picked up the Wolverine Steel heat race. The 12 lap B-main went to 18 year old Ben Hidy taking his first ever AVSS checkered flag. The other transfer cars were Jay Rohrback, Ryan Katz, Marv Carmen in his return to racing and Doug Stepke. Dennis Craft earned the Lane Automotive/Aeroquip provisional. This set the 21 car-starting field for the 30-lap feature.

The feature was ready to go after the three wide AVSS salute to the great Owosso fans that enjoyed a beautiful night to watch the show and had no weather problems to deal with all evening. The front row was pole sitter Lay and Hank Lower on the outside. The initial start was quickly slowed on lap two when Jay Rohrback’s car pulled off the track.

An AVSS official’s decision was made to penalize Lay two positions after he started accelerating for the feature before the cone. This placed Lay third and gave the lead to Tom Fedewa, with Lower second. The race quickly restarted and stayed green until lap ten when Ben Hidy spun in turn three bringing out the caution. There was some amazing action throughout the field and on two separate occasions Lay nearly slid off the back stretch, but was able to get his car back under control and actually save his current running position.

It was on lap 14 when Lay was able to take second as T.Fedewa was dominating the race and starting to lap cars. The caution appeared again on lap 15 when Doug Stepke looped the 66 car. There was one more late caution on lap 20 when dominant leader T.Fedewa had a suspension piece break on his car and he stopped on the track in turn four. This placed Lay in the lead and ninth starting Jeff Bloom was now second. The Bangor MI veteran was on the move as he had worked his way to the runner up position and was trying to close on the young Ohio driver Lay.

The young racer a national shifter cart champion was able to pull away from Bloom over the final few laps and take his first ever AVSS feature in just his 12th ever start! The young driver was obviously very excited in victory lane and was hugging and grabbing all the officials, his Father Kent Lay and all of his hard working crew. The young driver thanked Seagate Sandblasting, Jeff’s Bar and Grill, ABC seamless siding and great motor builder Autocraft.

The top ten finishers were Lay, Bloom, Dorman Snyder, Chris Hayes, Jason Blonde, Lower, Kevin Feeney, Curt Shumaker, Rick Baker and Troy Underwood.

The AVSS officials would like to thank the management of Owosso Speedway for getting in the great show and will return to the “BIG O” on August 2. The Suspension Spring Specialist driver of the race was Lay. The Hamilton Trucking $100.00 award went to Newton.

The Auto Value/Bumper to Bumper Super Sprint Series will next visit Kalamazoo Speedway on May 17. This fast 3/8-mile oval is always the scene of some of the most exciting AVSS action of the season. The gates open at 12 with hot laps starting at 1:30. The qualifying starts at 3:45 and racing begins at 6:45. The official website of the AVSS is for more information about the fastest cars in the Midwest.

Results 5-10-2003 Owosso Speedway

Hamilton Trucking Qualifying- 1. 99 Kevin newton 13.165 2. 45 Brian Lay 13.191 3. 55 Jason Blonde 13.212 4. 20 Tom Fedewa 13.238 5. 70 Dennis Craft 13.278 6. 37 Hank Lower 13.298 7. JB Johnboy Hotchkiss 13.314 8. 26 Jeff Bloom 13.480 9. 11 Chris Hayes 13.486 10. 44j Dorman Snyder 13.491 11. 98 Kevin Feeney 12. 69 Chris Hettinger 13.508 13. 33 Jay Rohrback 13.566 14. 4B Rick Baker 13.573 15. 11 Dennis Venia 13.586 16. 71 Curt Shumaker 13.634 17. 42 Gary Fedewa 13.692 18. 4 Troy Underwood 13.740 19. 97 Ben Hidy 13.881 20. 35 Ryan Katz 13.922 21. 8 Ryan Davis 13.954 22. 61 Marv Carmen 13.991 23. 66 Doug Stepke 14.002 24. 92 George Gustafson 14.081 25. 3A Mike Astrauskas 14.149 26. 2 Tim Angello 14.451 27. 82 Travis Miniea N.T.

Heat One- 1. Newton 2. T.Fedewa 3. Shumaker 4. Snyder 5. Hotchkiss 6. Carmen 7. Hidy 8. Rohrback 9. Astrauskas

Heat Two- 1. G.Fedewa 2. Lay 3. Bloom 4. Baker 5. Feeney 6. Stepke 7. Craft 8. Katz 9. Angello

Heat Three- 1. Hettinger 2. Lower 3. Underwood 4. Blonde 5. Hayes 6. Miniea 7. Davis 8. Gustafson

B-Main 5 transfer- 1. Hidy 2. Rohrback 3. Katz 4. Carmen 5. Stepke 6. Craft 7. Davis 8. Miniea 9. Angello 10. Astrauskas

30 lap feature- 1. Lay 2. Bloom 3. Snyder 4. Hayes 5. Blonde 6. Lower 7. Feeney 8. Shumaker 9. Baker 10. Underwood 11. Newton 12. Hotchkiss 13. G.Fedewa 14. Katz 15. Craft 16. Carmen 17. Hidy 18. T.Fedewa 19. Stepke 20. Hettinger 21. Rohrback