by Tana Robinson
Ransomville Speedway Marketing and PR Director
The 27th Alex Friesen Summer Nationals, Friday, Aug. 19, was a rousing success as some 2,500 fans packed the grandstands at Ransomville Speedway.
Ninety cars filled the pit area on a picture-perfect late summer evening, which was spent remembering the great Alex Friesen and his dedication to auto racing. In addition to some great racing action, fans were treated to a few special events, which included a memorable driver introduction ceremony and a gigantic fireworks display.
Todd Burley of Spencerport captured his biggest payday ever at the Big R when he won the Alex Friesen Summer Nationals 100-lap main. Picking up a cool $10,000, Burley and family were all smiles as they enjoyed their first-ever victory in the historical event. Burley piloted his Original Pizza Logs-sponsored No. 89B to the win.
Burley quickly established himself as the leader at the drop of the green followed by Bicknell and the brothers Johnson. Hearn rounded out the top five. On lap 42, the top three remained the same while Hearn took over the fourth position from Danny Johnson. Hearn was not done as he advanced to the third position and quickly pulled in on Bicknell for second.
You could have put a blanket over the top three as they battled for the top spot on lap 67. Hearn would win the battle for second and set his sights on Burley. Hearn looked to the inside of Burley on lap 92, pulling alongside just as the yellow flag flew. Burley was scored the leader by just inches over third. Burley led the field back to green and maintained it the final distance.
Greg Martin of Ransomville took top honors for the third time of the season aboard the Original Pizza Logs Sportsman division. Taking the lead just after the get go, Martin would build up a comfortable lead by half way of the 20-lap main. Martin collected the win aboard his Atwal Eye Care-sponsored No. 4. The event suffered two cautions in the first two circuits, but ran clean and green after that point.
Billy Coleman of Ransomville captured his second win of the season aboard the 20-lap Ki-Po Chevrolet Streetstock division. Coleman went from the outhouse to the penthouse after an early race incident found him in the pits and having to come from the back of the pack. Coming off turn four, Coleman ran side by side with Derrick Borkenhagen for what they thought was second place. At the line, Coleman was ahead by inches. A penalty of two positions on apparent winner Jake Stefanski for rough riding handed the win to Coleman - his second of the season.
Gary Watier took top honors aboard the 12-lap Bobcat of Buffalo Fireball main event. Taking the lead early on, Watier would build up a sizeable lead by the half way point. It was Watier's first win of the season.