2014 Northeast Crate Nationals
TIM HARTMAN JR. IS NATIONALS CHAMPION
Biggest Win Of Career Doesn’t Come Easy For TH2
September 12, 2014 By Rob Hazer (Malta, NY) – Not mono, nor 1300 miles, or even power steering problems could keep ‘Big Time Little Tim’ aka Tim Hartman Jr. from accomplishing his biggest career victory at Albany Saratoga Speedway Friday night. The only thing he had to do was fend off challenges from the two-time track champion to earn the Dodson Construction Northeast Crate Nationals championship.
63 of the best 602 Crate Sportsman drivers made the trip to the Malta, NY facility for some high speed wheel-to-wheel racing at the great race place. Even modified drivers such as Ronnie Johnson and Brett Hearn were on hand to take in the action at ‘The Nationals,’ which got underway with timed heat groups. Ronnie Davis III (16.713), Tim Hartman Jr. (16.653), Robert Bublak Jr. (16.667), Hunter Bates (17.097), Derrick McGrew (16.947), and Dave Constantino (16.464) were fast timers in each respective group.
With ‘THE Nationals’ returning home where it began in 2008, there was a buzz unmatched in the capital region. Drivers far and wide enjoy the timed heat groups with a twist; an inversion of the top four. Heat race wins went to Ricky Quick, Jeremy Pitts, Connor Cleveland, Chris Johnson, Joe Orlando, and David Constantino. Constantino was the only fast timer to claim a Grennon Project Services heat race win.
With time constraints becoming an unpredicted issue things were adjusted in the format of the evening. The Ryder’s Lawn Care/H&R Motorsports B-Main was limited to the top 20 non-qualified drivers and 6 cars were taken to fill out the 30 car-starting field. Robert Bublak Jr. picked up the B-Main win and elected to start ‘THE Nationals’ forgoing the $250, which was broken into two $125 cash bonuses to be awarded in the A-Main.
Tim Hartman Jr. and Scott Duell would lead the 30 car-starting field to green for the highly anticipated return of the Dodson Construction Northeast Crate Nationals to Albany-Saratoga Speedway. Hartman quickly put the Lussier’s Auto Body/Bemiss Trucking Service 22 out front with Duell rolling along 2nd with the Lazzaro’s Auto Body 14x. The first yellow came on lap 1 in turn 1 for the 32 of Andy Durie who found himself facing the wrong direction after inadvertent contact from the Palmers Service Center 76 of Dave Constantino.
When the green flag flew again it was Hartman showing his strength by taking the lead from Duell, but once again caution slowed the field after a turn two jingle collected up Ricky Davis III, Ricky Quick, and Fulton Speedway track champion Ronnie Davis III.
Once the field settled in after a series of early race cautions some contenders out of the race early included Andy Durie, Cody Bleau, Brian Pessolano, Matt Pappa, Corey Barker, and Ricky Quick. It was Hartman out front however with Duell searching high and low for a way to keep pace with the 22. The Cleveland Brothers Landscaping 09 of Connor Cleveland battled early and often with the Constantino 76.
More battles inside the top ten included a side-by-side slobberknocker between 2014 Orange County Fair Speedway champion LJ Lombardo and the Big Mann Painting 1EJ of Chris Johnson. As they battled the Grennon Project Services 27 of 2014 Albany Saratoga track champion Jeremy Pitts made his presence felt slipping under both setting sights on the top 5. Pitts would close on Cleveland and Constantino passing both by lap 55.
Charging hard through the field is no easy task especially in a 100-lap affair. Four drivers were making noise heading to the front starting with the M&J Construction 27b of Robert Bublack Jr. who started 25th when the green flag dropped and worked his way up to the 8th position. Bear Ridge Speedway regular Kevin Chaffee in the Fornwalt Excavation 73 climbed from 22nd to 8th before mechanical problems ended his night.
Derrick McGrew set one of the fastest times of the night in time trials, but qualified out of the redraw. That didn’t slow the TD Towing & Repair 26, as McGrew drove from 17th to 6th during the Dodson Construction Northeast Crate Nationals. Fulton Speedway 2014 track champion Ronnie Davis III had his work cut out for him in the Bratt Farms 32R, as he recovered from an early race tangle on lap 4 to work his way back to the 11th position after restarting 27th on the speedway.
As the race neared its conclusion Pitts had closed the gap on leader Hartman Jr., while Constantino was now pressuring Duell for the 3rd position. A late race caution put the field on the back deck of Hartman Jr. one last time, as double file restarts all the way to the finish proved it can make a race that much more exciting for all.
When the green flag dropped Pitts entered turn one side-by-side with Hartman Jr., while Duell attempted to pass on the top using the cushion he loves so much. Constantino took the opportunity to slip under Duell and the pair engaged in a tussle for the 3rd position.
Back up front Hartman Jr. found himself in a bit of traffic with 7 laps to go with Pitts right on his back bumper. One last ditch effort off turn four for Pitts, but he came up just two car lengths short, as Tim Hartman Jr. took the win in the Dodson Construction Northeast Crate Nationals Presented By Duell-Mayhem Promotions. Pitts followed in the runner up spot, Constantino 3rd, Duell a solid 4th, and Connor Cleveland a very hard earned 5th. Derrick McGrew, Chris Johnson, Robert Bublak Jr., Mike Tholin, and LJ Lombardo rounded out a very impressive top 10.
“I can’t believe I won this race, this is the one I wanted,” said Hartman Jr. about his Nationals win. “This is by far the biggest win of my life and I can’t thank everyone who supports me enough, this is awesome,” Hartman concluded.
“We thought we could get him, but Timmy was just a tick faster. 2nd is good though, we’ll take it,” said Jeremy Pitts after scoring a runner up finish in the Nationals.
“I’m surprised we were able to go so well after knocking the front shock towers off it early on. I miss racing here, we used to race her a lot,” said Dave Constantino after placing third in the Nationals.
- Out of 30 cars to start the A-Main at the Nationals, 16 of them were NON Malta Regulars.
- 63 cars on hand marked the largest car count EVER in the history of the Nationals. Albany-Saratoga, Bear Ridge, Fonda, Fulton, Glen Ridge, Lebanon Valley, and Orange County Fair Speedways were represented in the 2014 Nationals.
- Tim Hartman Jr. joined Jack Swinton as the two Albany-Saratoga regulars that have claimed a Nationals championship.
- Drivers with about 30 track championships and over 200 career wins combined entered the Northeast Crate Nationals at Albany-Saratoga Speedway.
- Despite having a tough night falling out with mechanical issues finishing 22nd, the Dodson Construction 24x of Chad Edwards has taken over the all-time Nationals point lead.
9/12/14 DODSON CONSTRUCTION NORTHEAST CRATE NATIONALS FEATURE FINISH (100 Laps) – 1) TIM HARTMAN JR, 2) Jeremy Pitts, 3) Dave Constantino, 4) Scott Duell, 5) Connor Cleveland, 6) Derek McGrew, 7) Chris Johnson, 8) Robert Bublak, 9) Mike Tholin, 10) LJ Lombardo, 11) Ronnie Davis, 12) Jack Speshock, 13) Adam McAuliffe, 14) Dan Santabarbara, 15) John Virgillio, 16) Ron Dwyer, 17) Ken Conroy, 18) Jason Gray, 19) Kevin Chaffee, 20) Colin Bokus, 21) Matt Pappa, 22) Chad Edwards, 23) Brian Pessolano, 24) Ricky Davis, 25) Ricky Quick, 26) Don Scarborough, 27) Cody Bleau, 28) Corey Barker, 29) Andy Durie, 30) Joe Orlando.
BURT’S TREE SERVICE SUPER SIX
- Dave Constantino (16.474)
- Tim Hartman Jr. (16.653)
- Robert Bublak Jr. (16.667)
- Matt Pappa (16.671)
- Ronnie Davis III (16.713)
- Cody Bleau (16.748)
Grennon Project Services Heat Race #1 Finish – RICKY QUICK, Scott Duell, Ronnie Davis III, Cody Bleau, Kenny Conroy, Kevin Chaffee, Chad Edwards, John Proctor, Pete Jeske, Carmen Carnibucci, Jim Morgan.
Grennon Project Services Heat Race #2 Finish – JEREMY PITTS, Tim Hartman Jr., Brian Pessolano, Don Scarborough, Matt Pappa, Adam McAuliffe, Bob Schmidt Jr., Diana Huyck, Rob Maxon, Greg Kimball, Brian Krummel.
Grennon Project Services Heat Race #3 Finish – CONNOR CLEVELAND, Corey Barker, Dan Santabarbara, John Virgilio, Jack Gentile, Robert Bublak Jr., Dave Baranowski Jr., Adam Gage, Zach Daurio, Alissa Cody, Ben Brownell.
Grennon Project Services Heat Race #4 Finish – CHRIS JOHNSON, Andy Durie, LJ Lombardo, Hunter Bates, Mike Burdo, Cody Hunt, Nick Lussier, Jordan Fornwalk, Elliot Lussier, Andrew Buff.
Grennon Project Services Heat Race #5 Finish – JOE ORLANDO, Mike Tholin, Derrick McGrew, Jon Miller, Jason Gray, Tim Hodge, Mike Ostrander, Ed Patterson, Jack Speshock, David Emigh.
Grennon Project Services Heat Race #6 Finish – DAVE CONSTANTINO, Ricky Davis III, Ron Dwyer, Colin Bokus, Chris Ronca, Chris Stevens, Jack Swinton, Jake Scarborough, Mike Gramolini, Josh Morgan.
Dean’s Electrical Services Consi #1 Finish – CODY BLEAU, Kevin Chaffee, Kenny Conroy, Cody Hunt, Nick Lussier, Chad Edwards, Pete Jeske, Jordan Fornwalk, Andrew Buff, John Proctor, Jim Morgan, Hunter Bates, Carmen Carnibucci, Elliot Lussier, Mike Burdo.
Dean’s Electrical Services Consi #2 Finish – MATT PAPPA, Don Scarborough, Adam McAuliffe, Jason Gray, Jack Speshock, Mike Ostrander, Greg Kimball, David Emigh, Bob Schmidt Jr., Mike Burdo, Diana Huyck, Jon Miller, Tim Hodge, Ed Patterson, Rob Maxon, Brian Krummel.
Dean’s Electrical Services Consi #3 Finish – COLIN BOKUS, John Virgilio, Robert Bublak Jr., Jack Gentile, Dave Baranowski Jr., Jake Scarborough, Chris Stevens, Adam Gage, Jack Swinton, Chris Ronca, Zach Daurio, Alissa Cody, Mike Gramolini, Ben Brownell, Josh Morgan.
Ryder’s Lawn Care/H&R Motorsports B-Main Finish – ROBERT BUBLAK JR., Adam McAuliffe, Kenny Conroy, Jason Gray, Jack Speshock, Chad Edwards, Nick Lussier, Jake Scarborough, Cody Hunt, Jack Gentile, Jordan Fornwalk, Pete Jeske, Mike Ostrander, Andrew Buff, Greg Kimball, Adam Gage, David Emigh, Bob Schmidt Jr., Dave Baranowski Jr., Chris Stevens.
Sign Action Productions Hard Charger ($100 Cash & $100 Certificate Towards Premium Lettering Job) – Robert Bublak Jr. (25th to 8th)
Wiz Fabrication Hard Charger Bonus (Complete Set Of Radius Rods) – Robert Bublak Jr.
Wiz Fabrication B-Main Winner Award (New Aluminum Nose) – Robert Bublak Jr.
DKM Fabrication Awards (Certificates Worth $100 Each) – Brian Pessolano, Ben Brownell, Jeremy Pitts, Colin Bokus, Kevin Chaffe.
Elmo’s Speed & Supply Award ($50 Off New Real Aluminum Racing Wheel) – Nick Lussier
Double-D Creations Award (Helmet Wrap Worth $350) – Cody Hunt
Fox Racing Shocks Award ($250 Off Set Of Fox Shocks From Fastline Performance) – Mike Ostrander
Hico Fabrication Award (Full Set of Bumpers & Nurf Bars $300 Value) – Alissa Cody
Wiz Fabricaiton A-Main Award (Aluminum Nose) – Brian Pessolano
DMC Racing Products Award ($50 Off $200 Purchase) – Jack Swinton
MKH23 Memorial Award Presented By Team 856 (Lap 23 Leader $100 & Plaque) – Tim Hartman Jr.
Gene Peckham Memorial Award (Lap 77 Leader $100 & Plaque) – Tim Hartman Jr.
Nationals Cash Bonus Award Winners ($125 Each For 8th & 23rd) – Robert Bublak Jr. & Brian Pessolano
DNQ) Dave Baranowski Jr, DNQ) Hunter Bates, DNQ) Ben Brownell, DNQ) Andrew Buff, DNQ) Mike Burdo, DNQ) Carmon Carnibucci, DNQ) Alissa Cody, DNQ) Zach Daurio, DNQ) David Emigh, DNQ) Jordan Fornwalk, DNQ) Adam Gage, DNQ) Jack Gentile, DNQ) Mike Gramolini, DNQ) Tim Hodge, DNQ) Cody Hunt, DNQ) Diana Huyck, DNQ) Pete Jeske, DNQ) Gregg Kimball, DNQ) Brian Krummel, DNQ) Elliott Lussier, DNQ) Nick Lussier, DNQ) Rob Maxon, DNQ) Jon Miller, DNQ) Jim Morgan, DNQ) Josh Morgan, DNQ) Mike Ostrander, DNQ) Ed Patterson, DNQ) John Proctor, DNQ) Christopher Ronca, DNQ) Jake Scarborough, DNQ) Bob Schmidt, DNQ) Chris Stevens, DNQ) Jack Swinton.