Holds off Sand, Jr., Gangwer at Hickory Hustle to Become SUPRS North Carolina Swing Champion
Jacksonville, NC – November 5, 2015…Rob Warren masterfully staved off repeated challenges by Ray Sand, Jr. and Bob Gangwer to win the Supermodified Ultimate Pavement Racing Series, (SUPRS), Hickory Hustle and add his name to the list of North Carolina Swing Champions Thursday night at Hickory Motor Speedway. Sand, Jr. and Gangwer finished close behind in second and third.
“That was an amazing race,” exclaimed the of breath winner from Pulaski, NY. “Great, great, great race!”
“Rocket” Rob has been close before, having swept the second night of racing at Concord Motorsports Park and Caraway Speedway in 2013 and 2014, but always came up short at Hickory for the overall championship. This year he was determined to get his NC Swing crown but he had to do it by holding off 2010-2011 North Carolina Swing Champion and six-time SUPRS Gold Crest Wing Champion, Ray Sand, Jr.
HEAR ROB WARREN TALK ABOUT HIS STRATEGY
Warren spoke of the race-long battle with Sand, Jr. “Thank goodness the champ, (Ray Sand, Jr.), was on my tail because he gave me my spot back about three different times most of the time where he shouldn’t have because I made a mistake and he was there to capitalize, but not deep enough in and I came down into him more than him hitting me.
“Man I’ll tell you what Rob, helluva job buddy,” replied Sand, Jr. to Warren’s comments. He went on to explain his predicament of attempting a pass on the leader and eventually winner. “I just couldn’t do anything under Rob and I worked him forever and Bobby, (Gangwer), was right on my tail too so i couldn’t do anything on the outside because I knew I’d be giving the bottom up to Bobby.”
LISTEN to RAY SAND, JR. DISCUSS HIS THOUGHTS on HICKORY
“I can’t tell you how much fun that was tonight,” stated third place finisher Bob Gangwer. “There was a lot of give and take and respect shown and at the end of the day, I’m pretty happy with my race and happy for Rob to win this thing finally.”
Warren took off from his pole position and led the entire race but had little if any time to relax as Sand, Jr. caught Warren by lap 16 after starting last. Gangwer followed suit from his third place starting spot and reeled the top two in by lap 20.
The lead trio then caught the lapped car of Domenic Gioia by lap 22. Gioia showed his sportsmanship and experience by pulling high on the speedway to allow the top three by, but hit the wall which caused a lot of damage to the Lizard Lick Towing machine.
Through the half-way point of the race a slight gap between Warren, Sand, Jr., and Gangwer had developed as the racers settled into their rhythm, slowing only slightly to go by Dave Brigandi who had a respectable race himself.
Then on lap 42, disaster was averted as true sportsmanship and respect prevailed in a breath-taking moment. Sand, Jr., after catching back up to Warren, made contact with the leader in turn three, sending him to the outside wall. Sand, Jr. backed off to allow Warren to gather the car back up, and as he did Gangwer shot to the outside of “The Sandman” to avoid hitting him and then nearly rear-ended Warren as he came back down the track to resume his lead. Gangwer then backed off to allow Sand, Jr. to move into second before all three continued racing.
“Let me tell you, there’s been many times in many other leagues that I’ve raced in where that would have been the end of the night for me,” said Warren of the incident. “Not here, Ray backed off and let me have my spot back and that’s the true sign of a champion.”
With 15 laps to go, the action was anything but over. As Warren continued to run a slower pace to conserve his car, Sand, Jr. and Gangwer waged all-out war on each other swapping positions as the laps ticked down while each looking for a way around the leader.
With worn out tires, Sand, Jr. and Gangwer could only watch as Warren ran a perfect last 10 laps to the finish.
Warren’s North Carolina Swing Championship was worth 20 SUPRS Gold Crest Wing Championship bonus points and he now sits just 34 markers behind Sand, Jr. as the league enters a four race swing of non-wing sim supermodified racing.
SUPRS honors the men and women of the United States Armed Services with the running of the Veterans Day Special next Tuesday. This race will be the first of the season to use the SUPRS NW V1 mod built for rFactor and the race will be run at Music City Speedway. There’s a lot of unknowns, since none of the drivers have ever raced their non-wing, sim supermodified at this track, but one thing is for sure, practice begins at 8:00pm with racing slated to go at 9:00.
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+, Following @SUPRSOnline on Twitter, and Viewing SUPRS videos on YouTube.
SUPRS RACE RESULTS:
12th Annual North Carolina Swing
Race 5 12th Annual Hickory Hustle
Hickory Motor Speedway
Feature-75 Laps (showing car number, driver, name, bonus, fastest lap, distance behind winner)
- 35-Rob Warren;* ** 12.206
- 18-Ray Sand, Jr;! 12.125 | +0.073
- 25-Bob Gangwer; 12.148 | +0.840
- 52-Dave Brigandi; 12.329 | +2 Laps
- 9-Domenic Gioia; 12.424 | DNF
Time of Race: 15:29.166
- * Denotes Lap Led
- ** Denotes Most Laps Led
- ! Denotes Fastest Lap of Race