Banal, Mollick win F-2 Shockwave events at P.P.M.S. for UFO Race
By Rich Berry
PITTSBURGH, Pa. – May 16. Pittsburgh’s
Pennsylvania Motor Speedway hosted the UFo Race Championship on Saturday for
the running of the F2 Shockwave. Mark Banal from St. Clairsville, Ohio bounced back from earlier problems and took advantage of John Mollick’s misfortune in winning the first 22 lap
Mollick, from Toronto,Ohio,
recovered from mechanical problems while leading the first race to win the second 22 lap event. Both drivers
received tremendous support from their pit crews, as each driver overcame misfortune
to enjoy victory.
When Banal suffered a flat right front tire and smacked the outside
wall during hot laps, many thought that his evening was done. However, in the
limited amount of time between this incident and the start of the first heat race, Banal and his
crew made repairs to his car.
Lining up eighth on the grid, Banal watched Chad McClellan and John
Mollick lead the first $3,000-to-win event to the green flag. An early tangle
forced a complete restart, and Mollick grabbed the early lead before cautions
on laps three and four, both for tangles between Lynn Geisler and Keith Barbara.
When racing resumed, it was Mollick showing the way, with Banal
and Mike Johnson chasing. On lap seven, Brent Rhebergen gave up fourth to Brandon Burgoon,
who began to battle Johnson for third.
Mollick and Banal had their own
battle for the lead. Banal stuck a nose inside of Mollick on lap 14, but
Mollick was able to keep control until lap 19, when failed rear end gears struck down Mollick. His slowing car forced the final caution period, and Banal led the remaining
distance to win the event over seventh starting Johnson,
11th starting Burgoon, fifth starting Rhebergen, and Tony
Musolino, from 14th. Tommy Beck, Ben Miley, Garrett Krummert, Dave Wade,
and Jim Lepro completed the top ten.
In victory lane following the first
event, Banal drew a 13 for the invert for the second F2 Shockwave. Finishing lucky 13th in the first
event had been anything but lucky for John Mollick, but his crew worked successfully to make repairs to
his car, as he lined up on the pole and pulled ahead of Danny Mitchell at the
Jim Lepro spun in turn two on lap one, and the field behind did a great job of
avoiding contact with his spinning car on the first of three caution
periods. Mollick still led Dave Wade and Ben Miley to lap six, when Tony Musolino spun for the
second yellow. As Mollick continued to
show the way on the restart, Miley grabbed second from Wade, and Keith
Barbara followed into third on lap seven. Barbara, who had started last in the 16-car field, moved to second
on lap nine before a safety caution on lap 10 for a spinning
Mollick and Barbara raced hard
for the lead over the closing laps, but Mollick made all of the right moves
through race traffic to post the victory. Barbara’s run from
to second earned the Pass-Maximum
award. From 11th starting spot, Brandon Burgoon raced home third, giving him two third place
finishes for the night in the season for the defending PPMS track champion.
Miley was fourth, after starting seventh. Fifth went to eighth starting