Nicole Podewils Picks Up Feature Win No. 1 of 2012 at Sunset Speedway
When Nicole Podewils announced that she’d be running a part-time schedule in 2012 after winning the championship, the field still knew that they would have to fight her off for feature wins on the nights she was there. The feat wasn’t accomplished on June 7th as she came home with the feature victory.
In the first heat, there’d be a caution when Eric Yorke would spin Wendy Adams. Then Kevin Pickford would make contact with Ken Townsend coming out of turn two, collecting Jordan Lovell and Lisa deLeeuw. Pickford would head to the pits after the heat with a flat tire. Warren Paxton would pick up the heat win, followed by Dan Britt, Eric Yorke, Tyler Dickson and Trevor Hemingway.
Rob Krystal would bounce back from his motor failure on June 23rd to win the second heat, followed by Mike Robinson Jr., James Low, Brian Love and Nicole Podewils.
In the third heat, Lisa deLeeuw would bring her car down pit road before it started while Brandon Chamberlain would spin on the first lap. Yorke would go on to claim the victory, ahead of Britt, Dickson, Paxton and Pickford.
In the fourth heat, James Low would score his first career heat win, followed by Krystal, Podewils, Robinson Jr. and Johnston.
In the feature, Nick Tooley would start on the pole, virtue of his points position and qualifying effort. Eric Rainey would start second, followed by Wendy Adams, Melinda Thomas and Trevor Hemingway. On the first lap, Rainey would get by Tooley for the lead while James Low (started eighth) would pass Hemingway for fifth. Low would continue to move up, passing both Adams and Thomas to move up to third.
The first caution would come out on lap four for Hemingway spinning while Brandon Chamberlain brought his car to the infield pits, done for the race. At this point, Rainey led over Tooley, Low, Mike Robinson Jr. (started 10th) and Dickson (started 11th).
The restart would be crazy as Robinson Jr. would take the lead from Rainey while, Nicole Podewils, who restarted sixth, would jump up to second. Rainey would now run third, followed by Low and Tooley. Though Rainey, Low and Tooley would each get kicked back a position as Rob Krystal would make his way up to third on lap six, after starting the race 14th. Low would then pass Rainey for fourth.
Meanwhile, Dickson would return to the top five on lap seven with a pass on Rainey for fifth. Podewils would take the lead from Robinson Jr. on lap eight with Krystal on her tail. This would kick Robinson Jr. back to third, ahead of Low and Dickson. The caution would then come out for Kevin Pickford spinning while Terry Clodd brought his Civic down pit road.
On the restart, Podewils and Krystal would battle side-by-side for the lead and continue to battle hard for four laps, before Podewils took sole advantage of the lead on lap 13. By then, Low was back up to third, followed now by Dan Britt (started 15th) and Robinson Jr. Low would get into the back of Krystal, though Krystal would make the big save and keep her straight in second place.
At the halfway mark at lap 15, Warren Paxton (started 18th) would crack the top five with a pass on Robinson Jr. The caution would come out on lap 17 as Lisa Wells would catch fire for the second time this season. She would get out of the car without any injuries. At this point, it was Podewils over Krystal, Low, Paxton, Robinson Jr., Dickson, Eric Yorke (started 17th), Brian Love (started ninth), Tyler Johnston (started 13th) and Rainey.
On the restart, Krystal would keep alongside Podewils for the lead and they would battle all the way till the final lap before Podewils would clear Krystal and go on to win her first feature of the season. Krystal would finish second after blowing the motor on the last night out in June. Paxton would finish third, followed by Low and Yorke. Love would finish sixth, followed by Dickson, Johnston, Robinson Jr. and Britt. Of note, Nick Tooley would come down pit road on the last lap with two flat tires.
Yorke now leads Britt by 66 points.