Story By: SMALL BLOCK SUPER CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES – EVANS MILLS, NY – Jesse Bearup, a native of the north country, took advantage of a late race tangle to steal the lead and cruise to the win at Evans Mills Raceway Park on Saturday night, in the Jake’s Automotive Small Block Super Championship Series season opener presented by UltimateQM.
Bearup, who started eighth in the field, found himself in the third spot in the late going, which was the place to be as the race wound down. Following a tangle between race leaders Dan Kapuscinski and Mike Bruce on lap 28, Bearup inherited the lead and held on for the win, worth $1,000.
The victory was Bearup’s first in a Small Block Super since July of 2017 at Oswego Speedway.
Greg O’Connor and defending race winner, Mike Bruce, led the 13-car field to the green flag on Saturday night, with Bruce taking the initial lead in the Robbie Wirth Racing No. 4 machine.
O’Connor would settle into second at the drop of the green with DIRTcar Sportsman veteran, Mike Fowler, sliding into third on the race’s first lap. Meanwhile, sixth place starting Dan Kapuscinski drove from sixth to fourth in the race’s first corner, tucking into line behind Fowler.
Shortly thereafter, Kapuscinski was able to make quick work of both Fowler and O’Connor to move into second by lap 4, before a caution would fly for a slowing Cameron Rowe in turn four.
The caution would result in the first choose double file restart of the night, with Bruce electing the inside of the front row and Kapuscinski taking the outside. As the duo reached turn four, Kapuscinski accelerated to the lead of the race from the outside with Bruce, Fowler and O’Connor following behind.
With Kapuscinski and Bruce leading the field out front, Bearup managed to move his way from the eighth starting position to the third position with his No. 37. As it turned out, third position was the place to be as with two laps remaining the leaders would tangle.
As Kapuscinski led in the No. 23 coming to the white flag, Bruce caused enough contact to the back bumper of the leader to cause Kapuscinski to spin to the infield and back across the track. Bruce and Bearup were able to avoid contact, but Bruce was sent to the tail of the field as a result of the tag.
With only a green-white-checkered finish remaining, Bearup blasted away from the top spot and was able to edge Noah Ratcliff at the finish by .238-seconds. Fowler would come home third ahead of 2022 Rookie of the Year, Drew Pascuzzi, and O’Connor.
Tony DeStevens finished in sixth with Kapuscinski and Bruce rebounding for seventh and eighth ahead of DJ Shuman and AJ Larkin.
Sponsored by James Rusaw, the ‘Hollywood Heats’ were won by Bruce and Rowe, each collecting $100.
The Ultimate QM Fastest Lap of the Feature also went to Bruce, worth another $100.
The Bill Moyer Memorial 9th Place Bonus of $100 was claimed by Shuman with Fowler earning the DKMP Rookie of the race, worth $50.
Small Block Super Championship Series ‘Spring Fling’ Season Opener
Saturday, May 13, 2023
Evans Mills Raceway Park
Evans Mills, NY
Feature (30-laps, $1,000 to win): 1. 37 JESSE BEARUP, 2. 73 Noah Ratcliff, 3. 10 ® Mike Fowler, 4. 72 Drew Pascuzzi, 5. 90 Greg O’Connor, 6. 24 Tony DeStevens, 7. 23 Dan Kapuscinski, 8. 4 Mike Bruce, 9. 62 DJ Shuman, 10. 35 AJ Larkin, 11. 01 Greg Richardson, 12. 77 Cameron Rowe, 13. 2 Jordan Sullivan
‘Hollywood Heat’ 1 (10-laps, $100 to win): 1. 4 Mike Bruce, 2. 73 Noah Ratcliff, 3. 23 Dan Kapuscinski, 4. 10 ® Mike Fowler, 5. 2 Jordan Sullivan, DNS 72 Drew Pascuzzi, DNS 01 Greg Richardson
‘Hollywood Heat’ 2 (10-laps, $100 to win): 1. 77 Cameron Rowe, 2. 90 Greg O’Connor, 3. 37 Jesse Bearup, 4. 24 Tony DeStevens, 5. 62 DJ Shuman, 6. 35 AJ Larkin
Bill Moyer Memorial Bonus 9th Place ($100): #62 DJ Shuman
Dan Kapuscinski Motorsports Promotions Rookie of the Race ($50): #10 Mike Fowler
UltimateQM Fastest Feature Lap ($100): #4 Mike Bruce