Buckley Takes His First Feature of The Season in the Randercar Racing Enterprises 75 at the Spartan Speedway
by Bill Lackey
MASON, Mich. -- The SUPERPRO Series made it's fourth stop of the season Friday night at the Spartan Seedway in Mason, MI.
The fast 1/4 mile semi-banked paved oval, located South of the Capital City of Lansing served as hosts for the Randercar Racing Enterprises 75. The fourth event of 11 on the 2006 calender.
After all was said and done, three stout pilots in the SUPERPRO Series put on a thrilling show for the great crowd on hand on a hot Friday night and when the checkered flag waved, it was defending SUPERPRO Series Champion, Rob Buckley standing in victory lane after winning the Randercar Racing Enterprises 75.
Steve Shlater Jr., and 2005 SUPERPRO Series Rookie of the Year, Justin Kazmar brought the field down to the green flag to begin the three quarter century event. After three laps of side by side racing between the two front row starters, it would be Kazmar taking the early lead.
Buckley, from his sixth starting spot followed the outside row starters around the inside row and quickly got up into third spot behind Shaun Whitney, who also got around Shlater Jr., and settled into second. The duo hooked up and began to run down Kazmar who had built up a sizable lead.
The first of only two cautions flew on lap 20 when Robbie Johnson, in his first Super Pro start of the season, looped his mount coming out of turn four. Prior to the caution, Buckley got by Whitney, setting up a clash between the defending series champion and the reigning Rookie of the Year, Kazmar, who continued to lead.
On the restart, Buckley positioned himself on Kazmar's back bumper and followed the sophomore pilot's tire tracks every step of the way. Finally on lap 28 Buckley moved to the inside of Kazmar and the two battled side by side for the top spot.
Buckley took the lead for himself on lap 30 and began pulling away from the pack. The final caution flew on lap 32 when John Lynch and Jim Davis collided in turn four resulting in Davis turned the wrong way.
On what would be the final restart, Five Start Stock Car Bodies Fast Qualifier, Mark Kortz, had been quietly working his way through the pack from his ninth starting spot and soon found himself in second spot but distantly behind Buckley who had pulled out to a hug advantage.
Kortz, the 2003 Champion in what is now the ASA Late Model Series Challenge Division, began reeling in the reigning SUPERPRO Series Champion and with 17 laps to go found himself on Buckley's back bumper cover. Soon Indiana veteran Mike Kugler caught up to the lead duo and the battle was on.
Kortz and Kugler both tried every trick in their arsenal to get by the determined Buckley. Kortz looked high and low on Buckley while Kugler was attempting the high side around both stout pilots.
Buckley was determined to score his first feature win of the season however as the Eaton Rapids, Michigan driver, would hold off the advances of both Kortz and Kugler and steer his Lipari Foods Chevrolet Monte Carlo into victory lane after winning his first feature of the season in the Randercar Racing Enterprises 75.
Kortz settled for second and also picked up the M.P.H. Promotions Hard-Charger Award for his ninth to second place run. Kugler finished a strong third and collected the Rookie of the Race Award for his efforts.
Kazmar held onto fourth over Whitney, Greg Nienhouse, Shalter Jr., Johnson, Rick Everidge, Lynch, and Davis, who would round out the Top 10.
Earlier in the evening, Kortz won the Five Star Stock Car Bodies Fast Qualifier Award with a lap around the 1/4 mile at a 13.444, which measures out to 66.944 MPH.
The next event for the SUPERPRO Series will be on Monday July 3rd as the 0.397 mile semi-banked paved oval of the Auto City (MI) Speedway, located north of Flint in Clio, Michigan will host the Super Pro Series for the second of three scheduled events, the Firecracker 75.
For more information about the SUPERPRO Series, please call: 1 (517) 474-7765 or log onto the series website at: www.superproseries.com.
Randercar Racing Enterprises 75 - UNOFFICIAL Results
Pos. Start Car# Driver Laps Status
1. 6 43 Rob Buckley 75 Running
2. 9 113 Mark Kortz 75 Running
3. 8 2 Mike Kugler 75 Running
4. 2 96 Justin Kazmar 75 Running
5. 4 72 Shaun Whitney 75 Running
6. 7 1 Greg Nienhouse 75 Running
7. 1 92 Steve Shlater Jr. 75 Running
8. 10 21 Robbie Johnson 75 Running
9. 5 63 Rick Everidge 75 Running
10. 12 7 John Lynch -R 74 Running
11. 3 6 Jim Davis 74 Running
12. 11 22 Michael Tutino 53 Brakes
13. 13 8 Tommy Cook 0 Engine
Lap Leaders: 96 Justin Kazmar Pole-29, 43 Rob Buckley 30-75.