On Friday night May 16th, the Pro4’s made the trek to Lee USA Speedway for the Bot-L Gas/RF Logic Triple Crown, Part 1 race. I packed up the van and headed up north as well to watch them from the infield. As soon as I arrived and signed in, I was met by Red MacDonald and several of the staff. They were very pleasant and showed me the way to get down on the track and made sure that I had every I needed for the night. Warm ups went as planned and most of the drivers were able to get the set ups they wanted. Cory Cleary’s car had some extra help. Rick, his dad, who is the regular wrench on the 4 was there to make sure that things were working the way that they should be. Shortly afterward’s however, Leo “the Lion” Cleary, Cory’s granddad and well known driver and modified champion, had a few suggestions on how to make the car handle even better. With this past champion, when he says to try something, somehow it usually works so you do it During the final warm up, D. Richardi spun in turn four because his grease plug fell out but it was a quick fix and he was back on the track. After the clean up, testing resumed. A few laps later, Frank Perry and Julian Gorman made contact, spun and Gorman’s car needed to be brought in on the hook, ending his night early.
About 30 minutes before racing was to start, a decision was made to run features only. The rains were coming and the track was hoping to get as much of the race in before mother nature through the red flag for the night. As the feature lined up,Tyler Anderson and David Richardi took the front row with Phil Lausier and Stan Mertz making up the second. As the green flag waved, Tyler Anderson took the lead but before everyone staked out their own real estate, Kevin Iannarelli spun in turn 1bringing out the first caution of the night. All drivers were told to go back to their original starting spots and the green quickly came out again. Anderson repeated the first start and jumped out in front with D Richardi and Lausier going nose to tail behind him. On lap 3, Lausier attempted to make a pass under Richardi but David closed the door and the two continued to fight for second until the 00 spun on the front stretch allowing Lausier to catch up and pass Anderson. On lap 6, Perry and Rob Richardi tangled, ending with Perry’s 83 driving over the front end of Rob’s 12, retiring both of them for the night. The restart pitted Lausier and Cleary together, Wrenn and Tyler following for third and fourth. Cleary grabbed the top spot but very shortly afterwards Norm Wrenn took over, leaving Cleary and Phil to battle it out for second. A lap 9 caution came out for Robin Bergman as she spun in turn four. Before the cars could line up for the next go around, the rains started however, all drivers felt as if the tracks surface was still ok to race on so the call to restart was shown. Wrenn again lay claim to the lead with Kevin Iannarelli, having worked his way back up front, on his tail. Norm stayed up on the wheel thwarting off all advances made by Kevin. As the laps counted down and Wrenn continued to lead the pack. As the checkers came down, the rains did as well but nothing could dampen the spirits of the 1M team. Running two through five were Iannarelli, Cleary, Bergman and Lausier.