Kevin Bolland made the Diehl Auto Group DIRTcar Northeast Big Block Modified feature into a high speed chess match Friday Night, as he pursued Dave Murdick who led the first 23 laps of the 25-lapper. Murdick launched to a quick start and took the lead just past the flagstand after completing the first lap and built a comfortable lead over Jim Weller Jr. and Defending Track Champion Jeremiah Shingledecker.
A myriad of cautions midrace made the Big Blocks look more like the Enduro. The final caution waved on lap 18 and by that time Bolland had made his way to second from 11th on the starting grid. He took a brief lead around the top of turns one & two, only to see Murdick thunder past him from the bottom of turn two and down the back straightaway. This scenario repeated itself repeatedly until lap 23 when Bolland dropped down off the top of turn two and took Murdick’s preferred line away to hold the lead down the back stretch and into turn three. Once at the point, Bolland’s 54th career win was academic.
Shingledecker also got past Murdick in the final two laps to finish second. Behind Murdick in third, veterans Rex King Sr. and Jim Weller Jr. rounded out the Diehl Top Five. Brian Swartzlander struggled all night in both the Detman #111 Late Model and his on #83 Big Block, but salvaged a sixth place finish. Mark Frankhouser finished seventh ahead of Steve Feder, Carl Murdick and Phil Evans Jr. Kevin Bolland also took the checkers in his heat race, as did Small Block ace Frank Guidace.
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04.07.2012 Filed in: Sharon Speedway | Press
Media Contact: Mike Leone
(Hartford, OH)…Sharon Speedway officially began the 83rd anniversary season of auto racing at the famed facility on a sunny and cool Saturday evening. A great crowd watched 117 cars battle it out for the opening night accolades with the following drivers in the Hovis Auto & Truck Supply victory lane: Kevin Bolland-Governor Insurance Agency DIRTcar Big-Block Modifieds, George Kowatic-Barris Supply FASTRAK Late Models, Brent Rhebergen-Summit Racing Equipment E-Mods, Paul Davis-Gibson Insurance Agency Stock Cars, Brad Blackshear-HTMA/Precise Racing Equipment Econo Mods, and Jim Haefke, Jr.-Deforest Used Parts Mini Stocks.
Kevin Bolland led all 20 laps of the Governor Insurance Agency DIRTcar Big-Block Modified feature, but had to withstand a late charge by 10th starting Jeremiah Shingledecker for his 19th career win.
“The track was great,” stated the 52-year-old New Brighton, Pa. veteran. “I looked at it earlier and thought it was going to chunk out. Whatever was in it was binding and it worked out. Last night we were just bolting the heads on this thing. You’d think we would have had all winter, but winter never came! We thought we’d get snow and we never did so we figured we better get this back together. The car worked great. This one goes out to everyone that’s with us and helped us get here.”
Bolland started on the pole as Dave Murdick moved into second on the opening lap past Rex King, Jr. Murdick and the youngest King battled hard for second as King pulled even on lap seven, but Murdick maintained the position. Shingledecker became a factor when he cracked the top five taking the spot from Chris Haines just before halfway. King once again pulled alongside of Murdick on lap 10, but to no avail. The first and only caution of the event slowed competition with 13 laps scored when Dean Pearson broke while running fourth.
Shingledecker lined up fourth on the restart and made a great move to get by King for third and nearly took second from Murdick on lap 14. Shingledecker and Murdick put on a great side-by-side battle between laps 16-18. Finally on lap 18, Shingledecker made the bottom work in turns one and two for runner-up.
Shingledecker went after Bolland and was right there at the finish, but just couldn’t make the move as Bolland held on by 0.665 seconds for the $1,100 victory in the Bol-Tech Motorsports-owned, Boundary Systems|CREO/Bolland Machine/Cintas/Budisak Boys/Cranberry Coin & Currency-sponsored #777. Bolland now moves into sole possession of sixth place on the all-time win list just three wins behind the retired John Braymer.
Murdick held off King, Jr. for third. Haines was fifth. Completing the top 10 were Jim Weller, Jr., 13th starting Rex King, Mark Frankhouser, Carl Murdick, and Steve Feder. Pearson and Murdick captured the heat race wins.
Governor Insurance Agency DIRTcar Big-Block Modifieds (20 laps): 1. KEVIN BOLLAND (777) 2. Jeremiah Shingledecker (37MD) 3. Dave Murdick (61) 4. Rex King, Jr. (165) 5. Chris Haines (35H) 6. Jim Weller, Jr. (31) 7. Rex King (65) 8. Mark Frankhouser (03) 9. Carl Murdick (6) 10. Steve Feder (45) 11. Bob Warren (96B) 12. Rob Kristyak (00) 13. Dean Pearson (8J) 14. Justin Rasey (21).