Third Witkum Memorial Win Leads to Keystone Nationals Championship for Rob Warren
Jennerstown, PA – March 10, 2016… In a thrilling finish, Rob Warren narrowly held off Bob Gangwer to become the first three-time Supermodified Ultimate Pavement Racing Series, (SUPRS), Randy Witkum Memorial winner Thursday night at Jennerstown Speedway. The 125 lap race was the last stop of SUPRS 11th Annual Keystone Nationals and Warren’s win propelled him to his second Keystone Nationals Championship.
Fellow two-time Randy Witkum Memorial winner Bob Gangwer reeled Warren in from a 6 1/2 second deficit to finish second while the 2014 winner, Steve Callahan claimed third.
“This is an important race to me personally and having won it back to back and now being a three-time winner is awesome,” Warren said.
Warren moved into second place from his starting spot of fourth by turn two on the opening lap, then got past Domenic Gioia in turn one on lap two. From there he had his strategy all laid out. “I just started pacing myself working to gain a tenth of a second a lap on the pack for the laps that were left,” he explained.
He may have had the plan, but once Bob Gangwer got into second place on lap 66, Warren started to worry. “It worked. I had like six and a half seconds on the pack, but I probably pushed too hard and used the car up. At half-way I saw Bobby G. was into second and I knew he had a stupid fast car. I don’t how that old Graves, (chassis), goes around this track this good. Well that old Graves just started gobbling up my lead.
“Before I knew it, that 25 was on my back bumper with about 15 to go so when he got to two tenths with fiveto go I changed my line dramatically and started driving defensively. I gave him all the room he wanted,but without taking both of us out, I wasn’t going to let him have the bottom,” described Warren.
For Gangwer, the race was nothing short of surprising, having spent the first half of the race in a fierce nose to tail and sometimes three-wide battle with Dave Brigandi, Steve Callahan, Ray Sand, Jr. and Domenic Gioia.
“What a wild, exciting, nerve-wracking race,” he declared. “Congratulations to Rob on his third Witkum win and the Keystone Nationals championship. After the race that I had tonight, you coulda paid me for last and I would have been tickled pink because we do this to remember Randy and that was just a blast racing with everyone out there.”
“Don’t ask me how I caught Rob because I guarantee my car was just as used up as he’s saying his is. That was a battle royal before half-way, a mental battle for 40 laps catching him and then an out-and-out gloves off boxing match for the last 20,” concluded Gangwer
Third place finisher Steve Callahan had a front row seat, not only to watch Warren pull away in the beginning, but also for all the action that surrounded his number fifty-five racer.
“First off congrats to Rob, that was an awesome job and I know what it means to win this race once let alone three times,” said Callahan. “It was frustrating to watch Rob walk away at the beginning but Dave, (Brigandi who was in second place), was running a good line and he was fast enough that I couldn’t get around him until late.”
Callahan’s close proximity to four cars didn’t come without a little nerf bar paint being traded and he offered up his apologies to one of the racers saying, “I want to give a huge apology to Ray, (Sand, Jr.). He was headed to the inside of Dave and I was just going to follow him through, then all the sudden they just stopped in front of me and at the same time I had a good run so I blasted him. Other than that it was a good show and I had a great time racing, but man am I wore out after that one.”
Bob Gangwer received the SUPRSCharger award for advancing the most positions from his starting place and earlier in the evening Steve Callahan set fast time. Domenic Gioia and Callahan won the heat races.
Rob Warren, Carl Becker, Steve Callahan, Ray Sand, Jr., Carl Becker, and Bob Gangwer had perfect attendance for all three of the Keystone Nationals races and Steve Callahan, by virtue of his third place finish behind Warren and Gangwer who are already qualified, is now a guaranteed starter for the 12th Annual SUPRS Summit Classic 125.
The SUPRS racers move on to the St. Patrick’s Day Grab O’ the Green and will be looking to get lucky in a rFactor race. This long-standing SUPRS event will be held for the first time at Mosport Speedway in Canada on March 15 and for the first time without wings. Practice beginning at 8pm.
Fans of supermodified racing and online sim racers alike can learn more about the original supermodified sim racing sanction by visiting www.SUPRS.net, “Liking” SUPRS on Facebook, Circling SUPRS on Google+, Following @SUPRSOnline on Twitter, and Viewing SUPRS videos on YouTube.
SUPRS RACE RESULTS:
- 11th Annual Keystone Nationals
- Race 3
- 12th Annual Randy Witkum Memorial
- March 10, 2016
Time Trials (showing car number, driver name, hometown, sponsors, lap 1, lap 2-best lap underlined)
- 18-Ray Sand, Jr.; Rochester, NY; SandmanRacing.com, Tint Shop: 15.624, 15.602
- 25-Bob Gangwer; Goshen, IN; Wing Side Up Enterprises, RW Woodworking: 15.651, 15.608
- 35-Rob Warren; Pulaski, NY; 1st to Finish Docks & Hoists, Designs of Elegance: 15.631, 13.766
- 55-Steve Callahan; Cuyahoga Falls, OH; Ice Oil, CPR Motorsports: 15.642, 15.682
- 9-Domenic Gioia; Oswego, NY; Lizard Lick Towing, Genesee Beer: 15.804, 15.888
- 52-Dave Brigandi; Syracuse, NY; Buffalo Bio-Diesel, Terry: 15.896, 15.818
- 42-Carl Becker; Lansing, MI; Wholesale Diamond Exchange, Michigan Hill Gang: 16.054, 16.038
Heat Race 1-13 Laps (Top two get time back)
- 9-Domenic Gioia
- 35-Rob Warren
- 18-Ray Sand, Jr.
- 42-Carl Becker
- 25-Bob Gangwer
Heat Race 2-13 Laps (Top two get time back)
- 55-Steve Callahan
- 52-Dave Brigandi
- 25-Bob Gangwer
Feature – 125 Laps (showing car number, driver, name, bonus, fastest lap, distance behind winner)
- 35-Rob Warren; * ** | 15.713
- 25-Bob Gangwer; ^ | 15.623 | +0.285
- 55-Steve Callahan; ! | 15.589 | 1.758
- 52-Dave Brigandi; 15.651 | +13.963
- 9-Domenic Gioia; 15.690 | +1 Lap
- 42-Carl Becker; 15.685 | +1 Lap
- 18-Ray Sand, Jr.; 15.689 | DNF
Time of Race: 34:24.716
- * Denotes Lap Led
- ** Denotes Most Laps Led
- ! Denotes Fastest Lap of Race
- ^ Denotes SUPRSCharger
FINAL 2016 SUPRS Keystone Nationals Point Standings
|1||35||Rob Warren||Pulaski, NY||2||1||235|
|2||25||Bob Gangwer||Goshen, IN||1||1||215|
|3||55||Steve Callahan||Cayuhoga Falls||0||3||195|
|4||18||Ray Sand Jr||Rochester, NY||0||2||190|
|5||52||Dave Brigandi||Syracuse, NY||0||3||185|
|6||42||Carl Becker||Lansing, MI||0||4||115|
|7||9||Domenic Gioia||Oswego, NY||0||5||110|
|8||50||Brian Potvin||Hudson, FL||0||7||45|
SUPRS-Supermodified Sim Racing for the Right Reasons