February 23rd marked Round #4 of the 2013 Carpet Oval Winter Series. Passing the halfway mark of the series, points battles in all three classes began to take shape.
The first race on the track was the Spec Slash MDM E-main. Scott Steiner led the field to the green flag. However, Gary Swaggerty worked his way up from the 5th starting position and managed to take the race lead from Steiner on lap 22. As Swaggerty began to gap the field, Steiner and Alec Evers battled back and forth for the final transfer position. Evers captured the spot on lap 26, but Steiner regained the position for good on lap 41, sending both he and Swaggerty up to the D-main.
Next up was the Sportsman A-main. A light turnout didn't take away from some good racing as James Smith started off from the pole position. Brendon Ferguson took over the 2nd spot from Jerry Howard on lap 3, and as the two fought for position, it was James Smith leading wire-to-wire to take his first career win here at Allen's. Ferguson took home 2nd while Howard finished 3rd.
The Spec Slash MDM D-main rolled out next. Wendell Zulauf Sr. brought the field to the green with Bryan Zulauf right behind. As the two pulled away from the field early on, Bryan looked for a way around, and on lap 14, made the pass into turn 1. Wendell put his car back up front on lap 32, but Bryan regained the top spot again the very next lap. ON lap 46, Wendell again regained the top spot. As Bryan looked for a way back around, on the white flag lap he employed the bump-and-run off turn 2 which sent Wendell upsidedown and allowed Bryan to go on and capture the win. Wendell held on for 2nd sending both drivers into the C-main while Gary Swaggerty rounded out the top 3.
Up next, the 21.5 Late Model C-main. Rick Putnam led the field to the line with Mike Finfrock right behind. Finfrock got his car wound up as he made the pass for the lead on Putnam on lap 10. The two managed to pull away from the field by the end of the race and take one-two sending both drivers into the B-main.
Rolling onto the track next was the Spec Slash C-main. Joe Taft and Jimmy Moughan led the field to the green flag. Taft held the top spot until lap 4 when Moughan took over the race lead. Lap 6, Wendell Zulauf Jr. grabbed the 2nd spot away from Taft and set his sights on the race leader of Moughan. While being held up in traffic, Moughan fell into the clutches of Zulauf and on lap 17, Zulauf managed to wrestle the lead away to become the third different leader of the race. Both drivers put a little separation on the rest of the field and grabbed the top two spots sending them both into the B-main. Joe Taft rounded out the top 3.
The 21.5 Late Model B-main hit the track next with Tom Appelt bringing the field to the green. Lap 4, Dan Mickle took over the race lead kicking Appelt back to 2nd. The rest of the race it was Allen Mendenhall and Sean Fredericks battling it out for 3rd and 4th, however, up front it was Dan Mickle taking the win with Tom Appelt 2nd transfering both drivers up to the A-main. Mendenhall managed to hold on to take 3rd.
Spec Slash MDM B-main rolled out onto the track next. Rick Putnam and Dan Mickle led the field to the green flag. On lap 2, Doug Canham grabbed the 2nd spot away from Mickle. A few laps later on lap 5, Canham once again moved up, this time taking the race lead away from Putnam. Wendell Zulauf Jr. worked his way up through the pack after bumping up from the C-main and took over the 2nd position from Putnam on lap 20. Late ron lap 42, Zulauf managed to get around Canham for the race lead as the two cruised to the checkers bumping up to the A-main. Dan Mickle fell just one spot short as he rounded out the top 3.
Next up, the 21.5 Late Model A-main. Bryan Zulauf led the field from the pole position with Wendell Zulauf Jr. right behind in 2nd. The field stayed in pretty tight formation until lap 17 when Wendell got collected in an incident off turn 4 dropping him down to 5th. This moved Dan Mickle up to the 2nd position right behind Bryan Zulauf to battle it out for the race lead. Mickle hounded B. Zulauf until lap 52 when he finally made the pass off turn 2 for the lead. On lap 58, Wendell Zulauf managed to make a late-race charge taking over the 2nd spot from Bryan. However, time ran out for Wendell giving Mickle his second win of the series. Wendell Zulauf Jr. took home 2nd while Bryan Zulauf rounded out the top 3.
The last race of the day hit the track next which was the Spec Slash MDM A-main. Tom Sagle and Sonny Brown brought the field down to the green flag. In the opening laps, Sagle kept leaving the door open, but Brown couldn't quite captialize. Lap 6, Doug Canham and Sonny Brown got together sending both drivers back down the field. Thi sgave Sagle a little breathing room over now 2nd place Wendell Zulauf Jr. Sagle looked to have things well in hand as he pulled out to a 2.8 second advantage. However, on lap 34, Sagle tangled with the lapped car of Brown which allowed Zulauf to take over the race lead dropping Sagle back to 2nd, almost 2 seconds behind. As the laps clicked off, Sagle managed to close the gap on the race leader of Zulauf, but would ultimately run out of time as Wendell Zulauf Jr. completed a remarkable run from the C-main to capture his 2nd win of the series. Sagle took 2nd while Sonny Brown rounded out the top 3.
Click HERE for the complete race results.
The final race of the series is this Saturday, March 9th.