DOUBLE TROUBLE AT MASGA OPENER
Walter Olt, from nearby Medford, NJ must have thought it was déjà-vu for him and his family as he left off where he ended the 2011 MASGA season – In the winner’s circle! Walter would be joined by his father Oscar later on in the day as it was a family affair at the first two races of the MASGA Season.
Twenty-Four Cars made the trek down the Turnpike to Atco Raceway under cloudy, variable skies on Saturday. After two qualifying rounds Derek Clark and his 1995 Chop-Top Cutlass laid down a 9.902 to claim the Number #1 Spot. Following Clark was Joe Eckel (9.913), Lance Kreiger (9.914), Ray Fordyce Sr. (9.915) & finally rounding out the Top Five was Jake Barbato (9.916).
As eliminations got underway everyone knew the weather was going to be a factor and rain was in the far-near distance but, for Olt who calls Atco his “Second Home” he knew what the correct set-up was for his 2002 Corvette in these conditions. Olt started out the day with victories over a red-lighting Foryce & Darlene Staub before Mother Nature opened up the skies and forced the finals to be run on Sunday. Mother Nature decided to play nice with the Super Gas guys on Sunday and Olt started out where he left off by taking down #1 Qualifier Clark in the 3rd round in which earned him a bye into the final round.
On the other side of the ladder was crafty veteran Barbato and his 2002 Barbato Racing Camaro. Jake along with the help from his daughter Kelli started out the day with a victory over Oscar Olt & Dave Burkett before the rain ended Saturday’s action. Barbato then opened up Sunday with a victory over 2011 Points Runner-Up Pete Luciano and booked his date with Olt into the final round with a victory over Bernie Staub.
As the two lined up for the finals Olt would use a very large starting line advantage (.017 to .059) and an almost perfect 9.903 to push Barbato under the 9.90 index with a 9.894 and stake claim of the 1st MASGA Victory of the season.
On Sunday Twenty-Five Cars made the call for 1st round and under sunny, breezy skies. After, 2 rounds of qualifying Super Street Regular Kelli Barbato took the #1 spot with a perfect 9.900. Following Kelli was Lance Kreiger (9.902), Larry Edwards (9.912), Tom Rakowski (9.913) & Joe Eckel (9.916).
Number six qualifier Oscar Olt would punch his ticket to the final round with a 1st round victory over Bob Keister, laid down a six thousandth package on Derek Clark in round 2, beat a red-lighting Kreiger in the 3rd round and unfortunately George Smith broke shortly after the 330 foot marker in the semi-final round to give Olt a trip to the final round.
Schwenksville, Pa resident Shawn Harp and his immaculate 1957 Chevy would be Olt’s final round opponent as Harp started off with a victory over Pete Luciano, a second round defeat of Edwards and a bye-run in the 3rd round to meet K. Barbato in the semi’s. Barbato was a little tardy at the start and that was all Harp would need as he won with a 9.891 to Kelli’s 9.870.
In the final round Olt, who had just seen his son Walter win Saturday’s race was gunning to “Double-Up”. Harp & Olt were practically dead-even at the start (.015 to .016) in favor of Olt. As they traveled down track it was a matter of who was going to be closest to the dial and Olt did the better of that taking the victory 9.894 to 9.889.
Next up for the MASGA Crew will be a visit to Maple Grove Raceway in Reading, Pa as part of the “Sportsman Circuit Shootout” on May 19th & 20th.
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