Blonde's Slide Job Nets Victory


By Mike Strevel

FLINT, Mich. (May 4, 2002) –
 The second event of the 2002 Auto Value/Bumper to Bumper Super Sprint Series was held Saturday night at Auto City Speedway in Flint MI and doing an incredible job in taking his first win of the season was Litchfield MI racer Jason Blonde. The feature was highlighted by nearly half the race having a side by side battle for the lead between Blonde and Kevin Feeney. The pass for the lead and eventual victory was a brilliant slide job to the high side of turn two on lap 22 of the 30 lap feature and recall that AVSS runs on asphalt tracks only.

The day started with 27 AVSS stars checking into the pits at the tricky 7/16-mile oval. There were 26 cars taking qualifications and Parma MI racer Bill Tyler was the fastest of the fast with a 13.20. The drivers following him were Tim Cox second quick at 13.36 and Jimmy McCune third at 13.40. A surprise entrant at Auto City was Brian Tyler making a rare winged appearance in one of Mike Katz’ cars.

Dennis Craft, Cox and Jeff Bloom took the three heat races. It was unfortunate as Bloom had some mechanical problems and was unable to show for the feature after his heat win. The last chance race was taken by McCune over Dorman Snyder, Ryan Katz, Mike Astrauskas and Blonde.

The 30 lap feature was started by first saluting the huge Auto City crowd with the AVSS three wide salute to the great fans. The feature was lined up with fast qualifier Tyler starting tenth. The field was lead to the green by Blonde and Kevin Feeney. The race started but a very scary incident happened on the backstretch as Mike Astrauskas got loose and his car slid up the track and off the track into the marbles and got side ways. This was not good as the Sand Lake racer tried to gather it up and unfortunately hit the end of the retaining wall at the start of turn three. It was a very scary accident and he had to be transferred to a local hospital. He was released Sunday afternoon with a severely broken arm and a deep leg laceration. The car was nearly totaled and Astrauskas’ year could be over.

The track was cleared and after one more caution for Gary Sherman and Ryan Katz the race really heated up between Blonde and Feeney. The Oxford MI driver was able to lead the first 21 laps but not without 8-10 laps of side by side racing with Blonde. The pass was made on the high side of turn two with a brilliant-sliding pass that the former dirt track champion was able to complete. The last seven laps had the eventual victor pulling away from runner up Feeney and taking his second ever AVSS feature win.

The remainder of the top ten was Mike Ling, Tom Fedewa, Gary Fedewa, McCune, Chris Hayes, Craft, Cox and Rick Baker. The winner of the $50.00 Grace award went to Doug Stepke and the Suspension Spring Specialist driver of the race was Dennis Craft. The Lane Automotive/AeroQuip/Hamilton Trucking provisional was awarded to Curt Shumaker.

The next event for the Auto Value/Bumper to Bumper Super Sprint Series is at the Owosso Speedway in Ovid MI. This will be Saturday May 11th at the fast 3/8-mile oval. The official website of AVSS is supersprints.com. May 4 Auto City Speedway Mt Morris MI Qualifying- 1. 24 Bill Tyler 13.20 2. 98c Tim Cox 13.36 3. 14 Jimmy McCune 13.40 4. 9 Dorman Snyder 13.44 5. 69 Gary Sherman 13.45 6. 42 Gary Fedewa 13.52 7. 20 Tom Fedewa 13.57 8. 61 Mike Ling 13.63 9. 98 Kevin Feeney 13.63 10. 61F Tom Fedorczyk 13.63 11. 10 Jason Blonde 13.64 12. 4B Rick Baker 13.66 13. 99 Chris Hayes 13.68 14. JB John Boy Hotchkiss 13.72 15. 26 Jeff Bloom 13.73 16. 70 Dennis Craft 13.74 17. 37 Hank Lower 13.74 18. 66 Doug Stepke 13.76 19. 35 Ryan Katz 13.83 20. 3A Mike Astrauskas 13.86 21. 4 Troy Underwood 13.89 22. 20t Brian Tyler 13.90 23. 33 Jay Rohrback 14.03 24. 71 Curt Shumaker 14.16 25. 8 Ryan Davis 14.18 26. 55 Sean Stafford 14.53 27. 1 Scott Seaton N.T.

HEAT # 1

1. Craft 2. Hayes 3. T. Fedewa 4. Bill Tyler 5. Brian Tyler 6.Katz 7. Snyder 8. Fedorczyk 9. Davis

HEAT # 2

1. Cox 2. Lower 3. Ling 4. Hotchkiss 5. Sherman 6. Rorhback 7. Blonde 8. Stafford 9. Astrauskas

HEAT # 3

1. Bloom 2. Feeney 3. Stepke 4. Baker 5. G. Fedewa 6. McCune 7. Underwood 8. Shumaker

B-MAIN 5 Transfer 1. McCune 2. Snyder 3. Katz 4. Astrauskas 5. Blonde 6. Rohrback 7. Fedorczyk 8. Underwood 9. Shumaker 10. Davis 11. Stafford

A-MAIN 1. Blonde 2. Feeney 3. Ling 4. T.Fedewa 5. G.Fedewa 6. McCune 7. Hayes 8. Craft 9. Cox 10. Baker 11. Hotchkiss 12. Lower 13. Bill Tyler 14. Brian Tyler 15. Stepke 16. Shumaker 17. Snyder 18. Sherman 19. Katz 20. Astrauskas 21. Rohrback