Passes Steve Callahan with Less Than 10 Laps Left
Sandusky, OH – January 15, 2013…Leading a lap in the Terry Gibson Memorial 100 is an accomplishment in itself. Leading the final lap and doing it for the third year in a row with a late race pass like Ray Sand, Jr. has now done, could be called amazing.
The Rochester, NY native brought home the win over fellow podium finishers Steve Callahan and Rob Warren.
“There all good man, but this one, what a race, this one is pretty awesome,” Sand, Jr. said of his three Terry Gibson Memorial wins. “This is a good one right here, this one is for Terry and his family.”
Sand’s win was anything but easy as he had a bad start, then had to fight through lapped traffic at the end of the race setting up an exciting finish to a race that never saw the top three more than a second apart or out of contention for the win.
“I got a bad start and he beat me to the line and got the lead so I was just trying to hold Rob off in the beginning,” said Sand, Jr.
Not allowing the bad start to slow him down, “The Sandman” stayed within two tenths of a second of Callahan’s rear nerf bar until, with just nine laps to go, the lead trio had reeled in Michigan Hill Gang teammates, Gary Waldron and Carl Becker, who were racing for fourth and fifth positions at the time.
As the lap counter clicked over to 92, the lapped cars of Waldron and Becker would play right into Sand’s hands. Sand explained how he was able to steal the lead and the win away from Callahan, “You know, with 10 to go I saw the two lapped cars battling and I just thought here’s one last shot. Steve got in there and tried to get by them and he pushed up a lane and it was just enough to allow me to get by him.”
Maybe even more incredible than Sand, Jr.’s third win, is the hard luck of second place finisher Steve Callahan. For the second year in a row the Cayuhoga Falls, OH racer had a great start, led the most laps of the race and looked to be on his way to victory only to have the win snatched from his grasp with just eight laps left in the show.
Second place finisher Callahan half-halfheartedly joked, “Two years in a row and I let another one get away. Maybe next year if we can make this the Terry Gibson Memorial 90, I might be able to win one of these”
As disappoint as he may have been over his loss, Callahan was quick to give credit to the winner saying, “First of all congratulations to Ray. He was there the whole time and took advantage of my mistake, but for 100 laps as close as he was to me the whole time, he only bumped me twice the entire race.”
Rob Warren was happy with his third place run and was an integral part of the action throughout the 100 lap race. “It was an exciting race, hats off to Ray and Steve, I had a good time watching them and trying to figure out how to get by both of them. It’s time for a cold beer,” said the driver of the First to Finish Docks & Hoists Service number 35.
Chaos and Class at the Start-
After setting fast time Sand, Jr. drew the pole position out of the top four qualifiers. When he did a collective sigh of discouragement went out among his fellow SUPRS racers as most figured the race was all but won.
“Steady” Steve Callahan had other ideas though. Callahan took off from outside of the first row pulling Sand, Jr. past the start finish line and down into turn one. “I got a good start,” began Callahan. “We had a little contact at the start and Ray and Rob both gave me the spot back and that was a true ‘champion’ move on their part right there.”
With the contact between Sand, Jr. and Callahan, Rob Warren had every opportunity to take advantage of the situation but thought better of it as the trio entered turn three. Warren picks up the story; “I’m not really sure what happened. I think Ray barely got under Steve but he wasn’t under far enough and pushed him up a little bit in one and two. In turn three I saw Ray way up thetrack and I thought ‘he’s pulling over to let Steve back by,’ so I went down and woad it right up on the front stretch to let the two of them back to where they should be.”
Ganging Up on the Michigan Hill Gang-
Carl Becker had started the Terry Gibson Memorial 100 from outside of the second row and held his own some distance back from the top three. His Michigan Hill Gang teammate Gary Waldron wasn’t as fortunate and found himself clawing his way through the pack after being relegated to last at the start.
By lap 44 Waldron had moved to fifth, then 40 laps later had sliced far enough into the 4 second pad of Becker to now challenge for fourth. Waldron made a low pass on Becker by lap 89 but couldn’t shake the Dowker Titanium Roadster of his friend. As the two battled each other, they would soon find themselves key factors in the finish of the race.
Callahan could what was coming from a mile away. He said, “I was trying to set the pace and go as fast as I could go, I saw the lapped cars coming but I had to go. I couldn’t wait because Ray was only a tenth behind me.”
Warren knew this would be his only chance at stealing the lead from the two in front of him. “I saw the lapped cars coming up with just a handful of laps left and I just kept hoping Steve and Ray would get into it with them and open up a door for me to get by,” said Warren.
The leader started to set up the lapped cars with nine to go and Warren watched it all unfold. “Steve comes out of turn two on the bottom, you see Gary moving down so Steve does a zig zag back to the top. I don’t know if Gary thought it was Carl or what, so he, (Waldron), went up a little higher into turn three and there was Ray right beside him(Callahan),” explained Warren of the lap 91 action.
Callahan was able to gather it up and hold onto the lead but would ultimately lose it for good in turn two after crossing the stripe for lap 92. “I threw it in there under Carl and right when I got under Carl, Gary cut down, it was nothing, they were racing, but I had to check up a little bit and Ray went by,” stated the hard luck racer.
Now Callahan not only had to worry about Sand, Jr. going by, but in a scenario that was strikingly similar to the year before when he lost first and second place within lap, Warren moved to the inside and attempted to follow Sand, Jr. through. Said Warren, “I had gotten next to Steve for about a half a lap through one and two but coming off turn two, if i didn’t want to push him through the outside fence, I had to lose a little whisker bit of momentum and he got perfectly clear of me going into three. After that it was just watching the last eight laps.”
When it was all said and done, Sand, Jr. held on for the win by .428 seconds over Callahan with Warren in for third just another tenth of a second back.
Waldron, for all of his efforts came home fourth and received the SUPRSCharger for advancing the most positions from his starting spot and for the second year in a row garnered a top five finish at the Terry Gibson Memorial 100. Even so, Waldron felt like he had more and was apologetic in victory lane saying, “First of all I want to apologize to the leaders I didn’t mean to get in the way. Without mirrors I have no clue where you’re at. It kinda really wasn’t what I was hoping for. I was really hoping to run with the top three there, but just wasn’t meant to be. We had a good car tonight I think we had better than what it showed but it is what it is.”
The long-time SUPRS veteran did have a good time racing the event and had plenty of nerf bar to nerf bar action to keep the 100 lap grind exciting. “It was a fun race. I had a good time racing with Kevin Timmins, Bobby G. and Carl so a fourth place is great,” he exclaimed.
The Supermodified Ultimate Pavement Racing Series is now at the mid point of the 10th Anniversary Gold Crest Winged Supermodified Season and moves to Oswego Speedway to crown a Mid-Season Champion with the running of the Mid-Season Twin 35s. The action takes place Tuesday, January 21 with practice starting at 8pm.
Fans of supermodified racing and online sim racers alike are encouraged to learn more about the Supermodified Ultimate Pavement Racing Series by visiting www.SUPRS.net, Liking SUPRS on Facebook, Circling SUPRS on Google+ and viewing SUPRS videos on YouTube.
6th Annual Terry Gibson Memorial 100
Winged Supermodified Time Trials (showing best lap-top 4 locked in)
- 18 Ray Sand, Jr.; Rochester, NY: 14.324
- 35 Rob Warren; Pulaski, NY: 14.391
- 55 Steve Callahan; Cayuhoga Falls, OH: 14.464
- 42 Carl Becker; Lansing, MI: 14.473
- 25 Bob Gangwer; Goshen, IN: 14.498
- 77 Kevin Timmins; Baldwinsville, NY: 14.502
- 10 Gary Waldron; Wyoming, MI: 14.571
- 52 Dave Brigandi; Syracuse, NY: 14.758
- 83 Frank Keene; Scranton, PA: 15.003
Heat Race 10- Laps
- 25 Bob Gangwer
- 10 Gary Waldron
- 77 Kevin Timmins
- 83 Frank Keene
- 52 Dave Brigandi
- 18 Ray Sand, Jr.* !
- 55-Steve Callahan* **
- 35-Rob Warren*
- 10-Gary Waldron ^ -1
- 42-Carl Becker -1
- 25-Bob Gangwer -1
- 77-Kevin Timmins -1
- 52-Dave Brigandi -2
- 83 Frank Keene DNF
Time of Race: 23:44.013
- * Denotes Lap Led
- ** Denotes Most Laps Led
- ! Denotes Fastest Lap of Race
- ^ Denotes SUPRSCharger
Steve Callahan Guaranteed Starter 10th Annual SUPRS Season Summit 125