Friday, June 22 – The weather was iffy and storms were going to happen. The question was where were they going to happen. At 4:15 I received a message from RainedOut.com that Bridgeport cancelled. As I left work at 4:30 in Pennington, New Jersey it was pouring yet 5 miles up the road the sun was shining. I spoke with Bruce and at home in Easton, PA it was also raining. After reviewing the radar on weather.com we decided Williams Grove had the best shot at getting in the races and at 5:30 we started the drive westward. The further west we drove the better the skies looked until we came within about 15 miles of the track. The black clouds returned and I was not feeling good about the prospects of the night of races.
We arrived at 7:25 and just made it inside by the time the first 358 sprint heat took the green. There were only 21 358 sprints and they ran three 8 lap heats of 7 cars each, not very exciting. There were 26 410 sprints and three qualifying heats were run. Just as I thought the storms had passed us by drops started to fall at the beginning of heat three. I was preparing to flee to the car as I was sure it was going to pour. But, the drops stopped and the storms passed us by. After a brief break the sprint consolation was run. Six cars came out and six cars qualified so the distance was cut from 10 laps to 5 laps with all qualifying complete by 9:00
Normally you do not get dirty at the Grove but the day was very dry with low humidity and the wind was blowing non-stop right in our face. Tonight we got dirty. There was a 20 minute intermission and at 9:20 the 410 feature was underway. The green was not out long as Chad Layton came to a halt in turn two on the first lap. When racing resumed one of the cars on the move was Danny Dietrich. He moved up to 6th when the #48 came to a halt on the backstretch on lap 10 ending his bid for the win. Three laps later the red came out as Gerald McIntyre hit the wall in turn three and four. This came on the same lap that Gerald lost the lead in turn two to Brian Montieth. Montieth lead the remainder of the 12 circuits but it was not easy. In the closing laps Ryan Smith in the Donnie Kreitz #69 was running the low side like only a Kreitz can, and several times stuck his front wing inside the high flying Montieth. A late lap caution caused the momentum to change and Montieth went on to pick up the win with Smith, Lance Dewease, Cory Haas and Fred Rahmer following him across the line.
The 358 sprints run a 20 lap feature and it produced a first time winner. Matt Mountz lead all 20 laps with the only caution coming out when Mountz got into the back of a lapped car will trying to pass him on the homestretch. With four laps to go Dale Hammaker would be right behind Mountz and I thought it would be the end of his bid for his first win. I was wrong. Mountz hung on for his first win followed by Hammaker and Kevin Nouse. Racing was complete by 10:15 and aside from the few drops that fell at the beginning of heat three it never rained.