Jonestown, PA - Step aside, Reggie Jackson...there is a new "Mr. October", and his name is Jacob Hendershot.
The young charger from Newton, NJ picked up his second huge win of the month on Saturday night when he registered a $3,000 triumph in the 270cc portion of the 28th Annual Linda's Speedway National Open. Hendershot's victory occurred just 13 days after he scored a $4,000 payday in the Skyscraper event at Bridgeport's Spirit Auto Center Speedway, padding his bank account by a hefty $7,000 after wins in the two richest 270cc Micro Sprint races in the northeast.
"They are the only two races we've won all year," claimed an ecstatic Hendershot in Linda's victory lane, "but I guess they were the best two races to win..."
The National Open victory on the quarter-mile oval in Jonestown, Pa. came in his own No. 27H, while the Skyscraper triumph was scored in the Widdoss Racing No. 28.
A fantastic field of 74 entered the 270cc portion of the National Open, which began with time trials and qualifier races on Friday night. The field was pared down to 30 starters for the 40 lap A-Main, with Nunzi Allegrucci grabbing the early lead over Tommy Kunsman and Alex Swift slicing his way into third. Swift scooted past Kunsman for the runner-up spot on the seventh trip around the oval, then set his sights on Allegrucci.
The duo went side by side for the lead on lap nine, with Allegrucci barely maintaining the point. Swift would not go away, challenging the leader lap after lap as Hendershot made his presence known, taking third from Kunsman on lap 17. One circuit later, Swift wrestled the top spot from Allegrucci, but Nunzi wasn't about to back down as he tried to slide Swift in turns one and two. Swift was ready for it and crossed over to retake the lead as Hendershot closed in on the leaders.
The yellow flag appeared at the halfway point to allow the teams to refuel their mounts and make adjustments. The intensity increased immediately on the restart as Allegrucci ducked under Swift and Hendershot went to the top, making it three-wide for the lead as they accelerated off turn two and onto the backchute. Hendershot had to back out as he nearly got pinched into the wall.
The next three tours provided a terrific three-car battle royale for the lead, as Swift, Allegrucci, and Hendershot weaved in and out of one another, trading the top spot on numerous occasions. Hendershot finally prevailed, securing the lead on lap 25. Three revolutions later, multi-time National Open champion Ross Perchak motored into third behind Hendershot and Swift.
With Hendershot pulling away, all eyes were on 25th starter Jason Swavely. The Fleetwood, Pa. throttle-jockey was flying, driving into the top five, then taking the fourth position as the race entered its final laps.
Hendershot won by a comfortable margin, giving him a whopping $7,000 total after his two big wins in the month of October. Swift, Perchak, Swavely (the Hard Charger of the 270cc race), and Allegrucci completed the top five.
"My car was really fast, and they always say these things run fastest right before they blow up, so I was worried about it lasting for the full 40 laps. But it did, and I ran the middle because that was the fastest way around so that's where I ran after I got the lead," said Hendershot.