Thomas And Rasp Unbeaten At Path Valley
With only three weeks in the books at Path Valley Speedway, it is still very early in the season. But so far Kevin Thomas and John Rasp have shown they are the ones to beat in the Mini Stock and 4- Cylinder Thunder Car divisions.
In the Mini Stock feature, Gary Newell started on the pole and was able to keep the field behind him till halfway. Meanwhile Kevin Thomas was working his was to the front and on lap 12 he went from third to first, passing both Newell and Jeremy Ott in a three-wide pass.
Thomas led the remaining laps to take his third win in as many races this year. Newell held on for second, while Dave Edwards made a late surge to finish third. Mark Grove and Leroy Long completed the top five. Thomas also won the heat race.
Kevin Ward Jr. and his dad live in Port Leyden, N.Y., which is almost seven hours away from Path Valley Speedway. Since there is still two feet of snow on the ground where they live, they decided to head south to get some racing in. The trip paid off with a wireto wire victory in the 270cc Micro Sprint feature. Finishing behind Ward was Dave Falini, Brian Marriott, Ryan McAndrew and Sean McAndrew. Heat race wins went to Ryan and Sean McAndrew along with Matt Mountz.
Matt Sowers took the lead in the 4-Cylinder Thunder Car feature on lap three and was doing well at keeping the field behind him. Bill Kennedy was starting to pressure Sowers for the top spot, but he spun on lap 15, and he finished deep in the pack. John Rasp found a fast groove on the high side of the dry, hard racing surface, and he made a charge to the front over the final 10 laps. Just as they took the white flag Rasp went around Sowers and on to the win. Sowers spun out coming off the final turn costing him two positions on the track.
But that didn't really matter, as Sowers failed post-race inspection and was disqualified. Sam Rock finished second, just ahead of Josh Walstrum. Gerald Varner finished fourth and Justin Rasp recovered from an early spin to finish fifth. John and Justin Rasp won their respective heat races.
Tim Mertz started on the pole and was never seriously threatened as he won the Sidewinder feature event. The race only had one stoppage for an incident between three drivers on the first lap. After the restart the race went nonstop to the end. Alex Schanz appeared to have his second second-place finish of the year, but he failed post-race inspection and was disqualified. That made the remainder of the top five Chad Myers, Chad Hough, Jesse Snyder and Rohan Beasley. Mertz and Schanz were the heat winners.
In the Legend Car feature, Randy Kissinger started third and had a great start to take the lead on lap one. Lucas Montgomery took second on lap seven with a three-wide pass of Greg Burd and Brian Weitzel.
In the closing laps, Kissinger's engine started to go sour, but it held on just long enough to beat Montgomery for the win. Behind Kissinger the top five were Montgomery, Burd, Weitzel and Scott Houdeshell.
Montgomery, Kissinger, and Weitzel were the heat winners.
Tim Buckwalter started on the pole and lead every lap of the 600cc Micro Sprint feature. The race had a strange portion toward the end when several restarts were aborted due to a racer hitting the cone that they must pass before they can pass someone else. The penalty for hitting the cone is you are put to the rear for the restart. One driver was disqualified for hitting it several times. Jim Brookens finished second, Mike Rutherford third, and Shane Lewis fourth. Tyler Walton made a mid-race pit stop but was able to come back and finish fifth. Brookens and Gary Funck were the heat winners.
On Friday, April 10, Path Valley returns to action with its regular show of 270cc and 600cc Micro Sprints, Mini Stocks, and 4-Cylinder Thunder Cars along with 305 Sprints and two features for Late Models.
It will also be one of several Fan Appreciation nights, with adult general admission lowered to only $5.