Veteran Northeast racer Ed Doebler mourned following death in car accident

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Veteran Northeast racer Edward Doebler, father of Richard Petty Motorsports fabricator and body hanger Kevin Doebler, is being mourned by those in both the New York and North Carolina racing communities.

Nicknamed “The Leadfoot” for his driving prowess, Doebler, 62, was killed last Tuesday in a car accident near his home in Troutman, N.C.

Doebler, who was retired from IBM, was a well-known driver in upstate New York, particularly at Shangri-La Speedway in Owego, N.Y., where he won a number of feature races.

But Doebler also worked with several NASCAR drivers, particularly when they came to the Empire State for races at Watkins Glen and other tracks.

Among the NASCAR drivers his obituary said Doebler worked for included Alan Kulwicki Racing, Jimmy Means Racing and Brett Bodine Racing. He performed a various amount of duties including tire changer and tire specialist, jackman, and even fill-in crew chief at times.

Doebler is survived by Patricia, his wife of 39 years; his mother, Dorothy Doebler of Binghamton, NY; two sons, Joseph Doebler and Kevin Doebler both of Mooresville, NC, and his daughter, Kristi Doebler of Wilmington, NC. He was preceded in death by his father, Richard Doebler.

Celebrations of Ed’s life will be held Monday at the Wingate Hotel in Mooresville, N.C., from 6:30-8:30 pm ET, and on Thursday, January 22 in Binghamton, NY at American Legion Post 1194 from 6:00-8:00 pm ET.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks for donations to your local Humane Society or favorite children’s charity.

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Starting lineup grid for IMSA Petit Le Mans: Tom Blomqvist puts MSR on pole position

Petit Le Mans lineup
IMSA
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IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar championship contender Tom Blomqvist put the Meyer Shank Racing Acura at the front of the starting lineup for the Motul Petit Le Mans at Michelin Road Atlanta.

Blomqvist turned a 1-minute, 8.55-second lap on the 2.54-mile circuit Friday to capture his third pole position for MSR this season. Earl Bamber qualified second in the No. 02 Cadillac for Chip Ganassi Racing.

Ricky Taylor was third in the No. 10 Acura of Wayne Taylor Racing, which enters Saturday’s season finale with a 19-point lead over the No. 60 of Blomqvist and Oliver Jarvis (who will be joined by Helio Castroneves) for the 10-hour race.

PETIT LE MANS STARTING GRID: Click here for the starting lineup l Lineup by car number

PETIT LE MANS: Info on how to watch

With the pole, MSR sliced the deficit to 14 points behind WTR, which will field the trio of Taylor, Filipe Albuquerque and Brendon Hartley in Saturday’s race.

“We really needed to put the car in this kind of position,” Blomqvist said. “It makes our life a little less stressful tomorrow. It would have given the No. 10 a bit more breathing space. It’s going to be a proper dogfight tomorrow. The guys gave me such a great car. It’s been fantastic this week so far, and it really came alive. I’m hugely thankful to the boys and girls at MSR for giving me the wagon today to execute my job.

“That was a big effort from me. I knew how important it was. It’s just awesome for the guys to give them some sort of reward as well. It’s always nice to be quick. If you do the pole, you know you’ve got a quick car.”

Though WTR has a series-leading four victories with the No. 10, MSR won the Rolex 24 at Daytona and has five runner-up finishes along with its three poles.

The strong performances of the ARX-05s ensure that an Acura will win the final championship in IMSA’s premier Daytona Prototype international (DPi) division, which is being rebranded as Grand Touring Prototype in the move to LMDh cars next season.

Taylor qualified third despite sliding into the Turn 5 gravel during the closing minutes of qualifying while pushing to gain points.

“Qualifying was important for points,” Taylor said. “Going into it, if we outqualified the No. 60 Meyer Shank Acura, they had a lot to lose in terms of championship points. So, we were trying to increase the gap over 20 points which would’ve made a big difference for tomorrow. We would have loved to get the pole and qualify ahead of the No. 60, but in the scheme of the points, it didn’t change a whole lot. I’m feeling good since it’s such a long race, and the No. 10 Konica Minolta Acura team does such a good job strategizing and putting us in a good position.

“I’m very confident in our lineup and our team compared to them over the course of 10 hours. I’d put my two teammates up against those guys any day. I think we are all feeling optimistic and strong for tomorrow.”

In other divisions, PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports (LMP2), Riley Motorsports (LMP3), VasserSullivan (GTD Pro) and Paul Miller Racing (GTD) captured pole positions.

The broadcast of the 10-hour race will begin Saturday at 12:10-3 p.m. ET on NBC, moving at 7 p.m. to USA Network. Peacock will have flag-to-flag coverage.


QUALIFYING

Results

Results by class

Fastest lap by driver

Fastest lap by driver after qualifying

Fastest lap by driver and class after qualifying

Fastest lap sequence in qualifying

Best sector times in qualifying

Time cards in qualifying

PRACTICE RESULTS: Session I l Session II l Session III