2009-04-23 / Sports

Fans Get Special Treat At Path Valley Speedway

By Rob Keller

Sometimes everything just seems to fall in place. Friday night happened to be just such a situation. Not only did Mother Nature break her streak of rainy Fridays and provided the nicest weather for racing so far this season, the fans were treated to two bonus make up features on top of the scheduled six division show. And all this on Fan Appreciation Night, which meant all adult general admission tickets were only $5.

The 270cc Micro Sprint makeup feature from March 22 kicked off the show. Ross Perchak wired the field from the pole position to take his first win at Path Valley since 2006. Tim Mertz ran in second the entire 20 laps, but he never was able to put any pressure on Perchak. Sean McAndrew finished third with his brother, Ryan, right behind. Steve Whary completed the top five. Heat race wins went to Brian Marriott, Whary and Ryan McAndrew.

In the makeup Late Model feature, Jerry Bard started outside the front row and powered into the lead on lap one. From there he never looked back, outdistancing the field by more than a straightaway. Scott Richwine came from eighth to second by lap four, but he could not close the gap Bard had already established. Tim Fedder finished third, Ralph Morgan fourth and Elwood Sord fifth. Richwine was the heat winner on March 22.

Brad Cox and Dwayne Gutshall started on the front row of the 600cc Micro Sprint feature. Cox jumped out front at the drop of the green, but his lead only held up for three laps. On lap four Gutshall drove by in what turned out to be the winning pass. Jim Brookens worked his way from 10th to second by lap 11 and that is where he finished. Cox held off Travis Saner for third and John Baker finished fifth. Keith Woodson and Saner collected heat wins.

Ryan McAndrew was running second to Steve Whary in the scheduled 270cc Micro Sprint feature. But when Whary bobbled on a lap-seven restart, McAndrew shot through the opening and into the lead. From that point on McAndrew was never challenged as the three cars behind him waged for second place. Whary, Brian Marriott and Tim Mertz battled hard for second, with Whary emerging from the pack at the end ahead of Marriott. Mertz slipped a bit at the end, and Ross Perchak made a late race charge to beat Mertz for fourth. Heat race checkers went to Adam Warner and Perchak.

The Sidewinder feature got off to a rough start with two yellows and a red flag before a lap was completed. The red flag was for a rollover by Gary Funck. Funck was not injured, but his car and several others caught up in the incident were done for the night. Once they got under way, it was a Myers family reunion at the front, with Craig leading Chad wire-to-wire as the brothers took first and second. Dwayne Gutshall passed Joe Robertson for third and Jesse Snyder came home fifth. Snyder and Gutshall were the heat race winners.

The Late Model feature started out with a rare occurrence, Tim Fedder spinning out. But that just added to the drama as Fedder restarted at the tail of the seven-car field. Kyle Wiser started on the pole and beat Scott Richwine to turn one and the lead. Fedder began to charge through the field, taking third from Jerry Bard on lap five and second from Richwine a lap later. It took Fedder seven more laps to catch Wiser as he made the winning pass on lap 13. Wiser finished second, his best showing since moving up from Mini Stocks to Late Models. Richwine finished third, Bard fourth, and Elwood Sord got his second fifth-place finish of the night. Fedder also won the heat race.

At the start it looked like Kevin Thomas would have a hard time making it four wins in a row to start the 2009 season, as he was starting 12th with many quality cars and drivers ahead of him. But he made it look almost easy as he primarily used the low line and quickly made his way to the front. On lap eight he drove under Mark Grove exiting turn two and drove off for the win. Jodie Varner ran stronger as the race went on, passing Grove on lap 15 and finishing second. Grove battled with Kenny Hill and Leroy Long over the last half of the race. At the end it was Grove, Hill and Long in that order rounding out the top five.

Defending point champion Denny Scofield made the most of his 2009 debut starting on the pole and leading all 20 laps of the 4-Cylinder Thunder Car feature. Andy Stouffer, Justin Rasp and Eric Seibert raced hard for second place, often side-by-side and on the back bumper of Scofield. As the field took the white flag, Scofield and Stouffer tangled through turns one and two. Rasp took advantage and drove by both. But, the pass was negated by a yellow flag caused by two other racers at the other end of the track. At the finish, it was Scofield winning ahead of Stouffer, Justin Rasp, John Rasp, and Seibert. Heat race winners were Scofield and John Rasp.

Racing next Friday night, April 24, will feature the regular show of Mini Stocks, Thunder Cars, 270cc and 600cc Micro Sprints along with Sidewinders and PASS 305 Sprint cars. For schedule and other information go to www.pathvalley.com.

Frazier, Imes, Runk score stock car wins

Three divisions of stock cars took to the high-banked clay oval of Path Valley Speedway Saturday evening. Low car counts have shortened the Saturday night programs so far in the 2009 season.

In the 8-Cylinder Strictly Stock feature, Jeremy Woodring out-dueled Jason Ege for the lead on lap one. Woodring held the lead for the first eight laps, while Ege, Carl Miller, Steve Frazier, and Joey Burdge jostled for position right behind him. On lap nine Woodring, Ege and Miller tangled on the low side and when they were trying to get back up to speed, Frazier drove around the outside, going from fourth to first in half a lap. He continued to pull away after that and claimed his second win in 2009. Miller came home second with Ege, Burdge, and Woodring completing the top five. Burdge was the heat race winner.

Craig Imes started on the outside of the front row, took the lead right at the start and wired the field for his first win this season. Bobby Witters stayed within a few car lengths of Imes until he had trouble passing a lapped car, and he fell back a full straightaway. Witters crossed the line in second, followed by Buddy Smith, Jan Powell and Steve Harlan. Witters car failed post-race inspection and he was disqualified. That moved everyone up one position and put Adam Yetter into fifth. Heat race wins went to Harlan and Adam Imes.

The 4-Cylinder Strictly Stock main event capped off the night's program. Jackie Gordon made her first appearance in 2009 driving the car normally run by her brother Frankie. She started on the pole and was able to lead the first two laps. On lap three John- ny Runk drove to her inside and into the lead. Runk slowly pulled away in the remaining laps to take his first win this season. Gordon held on to second and was followed to the finish by Rob Imgrund, Dan Smith and Jesse Dehart. Smith was the heat race winner.

Dan Gelwicks was the only 6- Cylinder Strictly Stock competitor to sign in, and Chuck Gipe the only racer in Strictly Stock Trucks. They raced with the 4- Cylinder racers and were credited with the win in their respective classes.

In an effort to attract more racers the track management announced a rule change before the racing began. Full roll cages will now be allowed in the Strictly Stock classes. For more information on this change please see the track Web site at www.pathvalley.com.

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