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Cole Duncan opens I-79 Summer Shootout with victory at Eriez Speedway
ERIE, PA (July 21, 2017) - Utilizing patience and a late race restart, Lockbourne, Ohio’s Cole Duncan parked himself back in Arctic Cat All Star Circuit of Champions victory lane, this time earning $5,000 at Eriez (PA) Speedway to officially open the 2017 edition of I-79 Summer Shootout weekend in Western Pennsylvania.
Duncan, who now owns two Arctic Cat All Star victories on the season, in turn elevating his career win total to three with “America’s Series,” took command officially on lap 20 of 30 and never looked back, the result of a strong move under race leader, Hunter Schuerenberg, between turns three and four just after a lap 20 restart. Aliquippa, Pennsylvania’s Tim Shaffer chased Duncan to the final checkers, followed by Schuerenberg, the “Kunkletown Kid” Ryan Smith and Spencer Bayston.
“I honestly cannot thank all of these guys enough,” Cole Duncan said in victory lane, pilot of the Helms Construction/Motorcity Auto Transport/No. 22. “This has been really cool. We are definitely having one helluva year, especially during this second part of the season. We were on the podium what seemed like 10 or 12 times this year, but just couldn’t get the job done. We’ve been doing so much better at placing ourselves in better positions. I’m just - man, I’m excited.”
Pole sitter Hunter Schuerenberg led the field to green on Friday night and kept command for the first 19 circuits, soon flanked by Cole Duncan, who started alongside Schuerenberg on the front row, just after the initial green. The duo survived one caution and two periods of heavy traffic during the first 19 circuits, neither creating much distraction as the pair navigated through lapped cars methodically.
After a failed attempt to get by Schuerenberg on a lap eight restart, Duncan tucked back in line and proceeded to follow Schuerenberg through traffic until the main event’s second and final caution appeared on lap 20, setting up another single-file restart. When green flag conditions returned, Duncan accelerated right to the tail tank of Schuerenberg and chased the Missouri native through turns one and two, ultimately setting up a slingshot move through corners three and four. Duncan was able to wedge himself between the bottom of the race track and Schuerenberg by the exit of turn four; this proved to be the winning move.
“I knew I was better in turns three and four,” Cole Duncan explained. “I screwed up on that first restart; I just didn’t get close enough to [Schuerenberg] to get a good run. I tried to time the second restart the best that I could. I put myself in perfect position off of turn two and when we entered turn three, he left just about a car length off of the bottom of the speedway. That is where our car seemed to shine all night. We jammed it right in there. I don’t think I used him up at all; I thought it was pretty clean. Hopefully we can make this happen again tomorrow and keep our success going.”
I-79 Summer Shootout weekend will continue on Saturday evening, July 22, at Pittsburgh’s Pennsylvania Motor Speedway near Imperial, Pennsylvania. “Dirt’s Monster Half-Mile” will welcome the Arctic Cat All Star Circuit of Champions for the first and only time in 2017; the first official visit since August 2, 2015, when the “Low Rider” Dale Blaney scored his second ever Pittsburgh victory. The 2016 I-79 Summer Shootout visit to Pittsburgh’s Pennsylvania Motor Speedway was cut short due to Mother Nature.
Pittsburgh’s Pennsylvania Motor Speedway’s main gates are scheduled to open at 5:00pm with hot laps to follow at 6:00pm, sharp. The Arctic Cat All Star Circuit of Champions will hit center stage at 7:00pm. For more information, such as camping availability and ticket prices, please visit Pittsburgh’s Pennsylvania Motor Speedway live on the Web at www.ppms.com.
Contingency Awards/Results: Eriez Speedway - Friday, July 21, 2017:
Group ( C )
Heat #1 - Group (A) (8 Laps) - Top 5 Transfer
Heat #2 - Group (B) (8 Laps) - Top 5 Transfer
Heat #3 - Group ( C ) (8 Laps) - Top 5 Transfer
Heat #4 - Group (D) (8 Laps) - Top 5 Transfer
Dash #1 (4 Laps)
Dash #2 (4 Laps)
B-Main (12 Laps) - Top 4 Transfer
A-Main (30 Laps)
Current Arctic Cat All Star Circuit of Champions Standings (July 21, 2017):