Hershey And Brookens Lead Path Valley Sprints To Victory
As a preview of the Four-Cylinder Shootout Sunday, Friday night's features went to Ricky Harper in the Mini Stocks and Denny Scofield in the Thunder Cars at Path Valley Speedway Park. The Sunday race is the seventh annual for those two divisions paying $1000 to the winner with gates open at 10 a.m. and racing starting at noon.
The night's big show of sprint car racing went to Joey Hershey in the full-size 305 Sprints. Jimmy Brook-ens won in the 600 Sprints and Tim Mertz won in the Sidewinders, while the 270 Sprints feature went to Brian Marriott.
As the points racing season winds down, next Friday night's show features the Late Models and Legends along with all four regular weekly divisions.
The night opened with the 270 Sprints feature, and Tim Mertz led all the way to lap 15 when Brian Marriott, out of fourth place to start and second from lap two on, passed Mertz on the inside to take the lead and shortly after, the win. The race ran without a caution to regroup the cars, and the front-five finishers were Marriott, Sean McAndrew, Mertz, Steve Whary and Austin Treuchet. Tanner Hunsicker and Ryan McAndrew won the heat races.
Tim Burkholder took the lead on the first lap of the Mini Stock feature and held it while Ricky Harper worked his way forward from last place. Harper caught up to Burkholder on lap 15, and they ran side by side until Harper finally completed his pass on lap 18 in another feature that ran without restarts on the smooth Path Valley clay. Harper, Burkholder, Scott Gordon, Gary Dehart and Randy Wenger were the front-five finishers, and Harper and Gordon won the heat races.
Ryan Greth and Stanley Fleming won the heats in the Sidewinders and the pill drawn for feature start inversion put Tim Mertz on the pole. He stayed there to win by two full turns and more. The front five were Mertz, Greth, Jason Morrison, Jerry Strausbaugh and Art Stephan.
Joey Hershey passed Mike Freet to take second place in the 305 Sprints on the first lap and then followed Alan Kumpf until a lap-16 caution put Kumpf out of the running, and Hershey took the checkers shortly after. The front five were Hershey, Craig Laudermilch, Mike Freet, Logan Wagner, and Michael Heckman, and Heckman and Tyler Bear won the heats.
Jimmy Brookens won the pole starting spot in the 600 Sprints and stayed there. Amid lapped traffic from lap 13 on, Dwayne Gutshall took over second place on lap 17 but did not have enough laps left to catch Brookens and, at the wire, the front five were Brookens, Gutshall, Nick Saner, Timmie Barrick and Robert Kendall. Brookens, Saner and Gutshall won the heats.
Denny Scofield pulled alongside Charles Stallman on lap 16 in the Thunder Cars and completed his pass for the win on the next lap. The front five were Scofield, Stallman, Terry Smith, Danny McAllen and Josh Walstrum, and Kennedy and Scofield won the heat races.
As the season winds to a close, tickets are available at the track for the awards banquet on Nov. 15. The final points race is Oct. 10 featuring the Late Models and the 1000 cc Sidewinders. Two big shows remaining are the 8th Annual All Sprints Nationals on Saturday, Oct. 11 and the Strictly Stock Showdown on Sept. 27 that also features mechanics races and powder puffs for the ladies.