The last 19 laps of Friday's Sunoco American Late Model Series feature at Attica Raceway Park had the fans on the edge of their seats as a tremendous seven car battle played out before Pinconning, Michigan's Jeep VanWormer took the victory on True Value of Woodville Night.
VanWormer took the lead on lap 20 after a tremendous side-by-side battle with Rocky Owens for three laps, and then had to hold off Matt Miller and finally a closing Wayne Maffett Jr., who had started last in the 22-car field.
"I screwed up there a couple of times and ran it off the track, but this thing was so good around the top. We came here to shake down this Rocket Chassis for Eldora and it ran great. This place is a racy track with close-quarter racing every lap," said VanWormer who scored his third career Attica victory.
Paul Weaver took the lead from Nate Dussel with just seven laps remaining in the Fremont Fence 305 Sprints' feature, and had to hold off Dussel the last couple of laps to score his second straight feature win. The victory puts Weaver into a tie for second with Bryan Scott on the all-time 305 sprint win list with 21 checkereds, just four away from Mike Linder.
"The yellows saved me at the end. I was good on the restarts for a lap or two and then...I don't know if the tire sealed up or what," said Weaver beside his Ludwig Propane, M&L Excavating, Genzman Racing backed sprint car. "My wife put the set-up on this car and it worked great on the top of the track. Early on I thought I only had about a fourth place car, but it just kept rolling around the top."
Art Ball looked like he was on a Sunday drive in the 15-lap dirt truck feature. The 70-year-old former two-time truck track champion took the lead from defending Attica champion Cory Ward on the seventh lap and went on to score his 9th career truck feature win at "Ohio's Finest" speed plant.
"Once I got back into the groove it drove great. I have to thank Keith Pierce and all the guys who work on this thing and my family and all the fans," said Ball beside his Mager's Lumber, Kear's Speedshop, Chaney Roofing and Maintenance backed truck.
Fifty-four late models signed into the pits Friday to compete in the only appearance of the ALMS at Attica. At the start of the feature, Jon Henry bolted into the lead with Brian Ruhlman, defending ALMS champion Rusty Schlenk, Tyler Bogs and Matt Miller in tow. Schlenk would drive into second on lap six while eighth place starter VanWormer had moved into fourth. Schlenk now began to pressure Henry as they raced side-by-side until Schlenk took the lead on lap 13 with VanWormer up to third and Miller, Rocky Owens and Ruhlman staging a tremendous battle right behind the top three. Schlenk's lead was short-lived, as a lap later VanWormer drove around his outside to the lead, bringing Owens into second. Owens used the low groove to take the lead on lap 16, bringing Miller into second as VanWormer slid off the top side of turn two to fall back to fourth. He would fight his way back to second just a lap later.
Following two quick cautions on laps 17 and 18, the running order was Owens, VanWormer, Miller, Schlenk and a closing Casey Noonan. VanWormer would drive around Owens into the lead on lap 20, while Miller pressured Owens for second, grabbing the position on lap 23. When the final caution flew on lap 26, all eyes were on Wayne Maffett Jr. who had quietly drove from 22nd starting spot to fifth. When the green flew again, VanWormer had his hands full with Miller and Schlenk. Maffett moved around Owens into fourth on lap 28 and drove under Schlenk and Miller on the last lap to secure second as he was right on VanWormer's bumper. Schlenk, Miller and Noonan would round out the top five.
At the start of the 305 sprint feature, Nate Dussel and Matt Ferrell waged a great battle for the lead with Ferrell using the high line and Dussel the bottom of the track. Dussel would assume the point on lap five with Ferrell in second, Stuart Brubaker third, while Zack Kramer, Paul Weaver and Dustin Dinan staged a great battle for fourth. Brubaker would move into second on lap 7, but Ferrell would fight back to regain the position on lap 12. However, Ferrel's great run would end on lap 16 as he spun in turn four. The running order was now Dussel, Brubaker, Weaver, Bobby Clark and Dinan.
Weaver would move into second on a lap 17 restart and would grave the lead a circuit later. When the final yellow flew on lap 20, Weaver led Dussel, Clark, Brubaker and Dinan. With three laps remaining, Dussel had caught Weaver and was driving to his inside. The two raced side-by-side with Weaver edging Dussel for the win with Clark, Brubaker and Dinan rounding out the top five.
Cory Ward grabbed the early lead of the dirt truck feature with Bob Dible right on his bumper. Dible would spin on lap two, but the truck on the move was Dwight Waltermeier, who grabbed second on lap three from his sixth starting position. Ball would drive into the runner-up position on lap five and raced under Ward to battle for the lead while Waltermeier, Paul Brown Jr., Alex Weichman and Brian Arnold putting on a driving clinic in the battle for third. Waltermier would spin on lap 7 just as Ball had taken the lead. Ball would cruise to the victory with Ward, Arnold, Dible and Weichman rounding out the top five.