A stout field of outsiders descended on Bedford for the Billy Winn Classic Friday night but the big check stayed close to home as Chuck Clise scored the big win. The event, named for the first Bedford winner 80 years ago, paid Clise $8000 for the 50 laps. It was Clise’s first Bedford win in almost exactly two years. In Semi Late action, Greg Cornell survived a bit of late race controversy to take his second win of the season. In EMod action, Bill Pluta scored his first ever feature win after years of trying.
42 Late Models were on hand for the event. After setting fast time and winning his heat, Matt Cosner survived the redraw and started on the pole for the 50 lapper. But Clise got he jump at the start Colby Frye also got by Cosner on the first lap and the three got away as the field jostled for positions behind them.
The top three remained the same until the first caution flew on lap 10 when some debris flew off fifth place runner Bryan Bernheisel’s car and he retired. By that time Gregg Satterlee was up to fourth and was tracking down the three leaders. Everything seems to change on that restart. Satterlee lost fourth to Mason Zeigler and the field began to string out. Over the next 28 green flag laps, Frye alternately closed on Clise then fell back into the clutches of Cosner. Satterlee retook fourth from Zeigler on lap 31 and again began to close on the top three.
Cosner brought out the next caution with a flat on lap 38, the first of what became a late race epidemic. Over the last 12 laps, worn out right rear tires began popping as at least six drivers were afflicted. including Frye, Satterlee and Kenny Pettyjohn, all of whom suffered while running second.
But Clise nursed his tires and swept to the finish ahead of Dale Hollidge, who suffered a flat at the finish line after his run from 16th starting spot. Kenny Moreland was third ahead of 14th starter Keith Barbara and 24th starter DJ Myers, who got into the race with a dramatic last lap pass in the B feature.
Cosner set fast time. Cosner, Pettyjohn, Zeigler and Frye won the heats. DJ Troutman won the B. Bedford point leader Jeff Rine broke a motor after setting third fast time. He was awarded the high point man provisional and borrowed a car,for the event, starting 25th. He dropped out early in the Schultz #11
Bob Jay was the Semi Late pole sitter and early leader. Greg Hainsey was all over Jay and they could not shake a six car mob of pursuers. But Greg Cornell was on the move. He got by Dave Whetstone for third on lap 10 and Hainsey one lap later. He ran Jay down quickly and they ran almost a lap side by side, then collided slightly.
Since neither stopped, it was ruled a quick caution and neither was charged. On the restart, Cornell led Jay to the finish. Hainsey, Whetstone and Justin michael trailed. Jesse Snyder and Kyle Becket won the heats. Beckett crashed heavily after winning his heat.
The EMod event ended up being the feel good story of the year. Alyssa Rowe boomed in to the lead on the first lap, but was chased down by Jomathan Taylor. Taylor took over on lap five but Rowe slowed and went to the pits. That left Taylor up front with a surprisingly strong Bill Pluta chasing. Pluta gave Taylor a rousing battle, and then shot by as Taylor retired with a flat tire. After that Pluta raced to his first feature win after years of trying.
Ken Singer was second followed by Evan Taylor, Jim Saylor and Dion Lasalle. The Taylors won the heats.
LATE MODEL 50 LAPS 1 Chuck Clise, Dale Hollidge, Kenny Moreland, Keith Barbara, DJ Myers, Jason Covert, Colby Frye, Dan Angellichio, Kenny Pettyjohn, Kyle Hardy, Gregg Satterlee, Jared Miley, Jim Yoder, DJ Troutman, Rick Singleton, Mason Zeigler, Gene Knaub, Nick Dickson, Matt Cosner, Andy Fries, Brian Booze, Bryan Bernheisel, Jeff Rine, Jeremy Miller, Dylan Yoder, DNS Andy Haus, Quinten Weyant, Eric Zembower, Jason Schmidt, Mike Lupfer, Austin Berry, Cody Robbins, Travis Wilson, Tyler Horst, Troy Swindell, Matt Sponaugle, Jarrod Yontos, Larry Baer, Dave Troutman, Justin Kann, Jamie Lathroum, Matt Parks
SEMI LATE 15 LAPS 1 Greg Cornell, Bob Jay, Greg Hainsey, Dave Whetstone, Justin Michael, Donald Wyles, Jesse Snyder, Tom Warren, Travis Calhoun, Lou Wannyn, Chad Gambol, Joe Pluta, Kyle Beckett, Scott Sturtz, Willy Ling
EMOD 18 LAPS 1 Bill Pluta, Ken Singer, Evan Taylor, Jim Saylor, Dion Lasalle, Brandon Lasalle, John Whitfield, Justin Milburn, Mike Meck, Jonathan Taylor, Alyssa Rowe, Dan Lowery, Vigi Zuccolotto, Travis Vogel,