2009-04-30 / Sports

John Rasp Wins Again At Path Valley Speedway

By Rob Keller

John Rasp John Rasp Four divisions of sprint cars and two stock car classes were on the card Friday night along with a make-up feature from March 27 for the 4-Cylinder Thunder Cars. Two drivers made their first trip to victory lane in 2009 while another continued a perfect season.

The make-up feature for the 4-Cylinder Thunder Cars kicked off the program. Eric Seibert started on the pole and grabbed the lead at the drop of the green flag. John Rasp started ninth, but he quickly moved towards the front, taking fourth on lap 4 and third on lap eight. Three laps later he passed his son, Justin, for second. Rasp then took advantage of a lap fourteen restart and used the high groove to drive around Seibert for the winning pass. Seibert held off Justin Rasp for second with Bill Kennedy in fourth and Andy Stouffer in fifth. John Rasp was the heat winner on March 27.

In the 600cc Micro Sprint feature Eddie Rice started outside the front row and lead the first lap. Tyler Walton started sixth, but quickly showed he was the man to beat, jumping to second on the first lap and into the lead one lap later. From there he was never challenged the remainder of the distance as he took his second win at Path Valley in 2009. Timmie Barrick also put on a strong performance, starting eighth and finishing second.

Dave Friedrich started on the pole and he beat the rest of the Mini Stock drivers to turn one and the lead. Scott Gordon slipped by Terry Smith and into second. Frank Gordon was closing in on the leaders when his right front tire went flat. On the ensuing restart Friedrich bobbled in turn two, allowing Scott Gordon and Kevin Thomas to get by. Two laps later Thomas used an inside move to grab the lead. Thomas lead the remaining five laps to take his fifth win in as many races. Thomas has also won four out of five heat races. Scott Gordon held on for second ahead of Friedrich, Kenny Hill, and David Showalter. Heat wins went to Jodie Varner and Frank Gordon.

With a smooth groove and a strong cushion to lean on the PASS 305 Sprint cars were blistering the quarter mile oval. Mark Watkins dominated his heat race and looked like the car to beat when he started on the pole. Watkins' fast pace found him catching the tail end of the seventeen-car field by lap seven. On lap eight Watkins went to go around a slower car in turn three. But he got too high and into the marbles. Tyler Bear seized the opportunity and dove low to take the lead. With two laps to go Bear narrowly missed several cars spinning in front of him. Mike Freet was running fourth at the time, but he rolled over after contact with the stopped cars, bringing out the red flag. All the drivers were uninjured, but three were finished for the night. Bear brought the field quickly back to green and held off Watkins for his first win in 2009.

Mark Strickler started third for the Sidewinder main event and he powered by Rohan Beasley and Gary Funck right at the start to take the lead. On a lap three restart Strickler pulled two wheelies and while he was fighting to gain control Chad Hough drove underneath and into the lead. From there Hough easily drove away for his second win in 2009. Strickler held off an improving Joe Robertson for second while Tim Mertz finished fourth. Jim Young substituted for Sean McAndrew and he finished fifth. Alex Schanz and Mertz collected heat wins.

Lyle Barnes made his 2009 debut a success in the 4-Cylinder Thunder Cars as he wired the field to take the win. Mike Brindle started alongside Barnes on the front row and stayed within a car length of the lead the entire distance to finish second. Justin Rasp continues to show improvement with a third place finish. Denny Scofield and Matt Sowers battled side-byside for fourth for almost five laps with Scofield taking the position with two laps to go. Sowers held off John Rasp for fifth. Heat race wins went to Randy Stull and Justin Rasp.

If you want the definition of "heartbreak," just watch the replay of the 270cc Micro Sprint feature. Kameron Morral took the lead from his second place starting position on lap one. His dad, Randy, jumped into second and the idea of a father-son onetwo finish quickly came to mind. Tim Mertz squeezed by Randy Morral on lap three and into second. As those three sped away Kameron Morral maintained a small advantage over Mertz. With the checkered flag in sight, Kameron's car got loose in the final turn and as he fought for control Mertz drove to the inside and the win. Kameron Morral finished second, ahead of Steve Whary, Randy Morral and Colby Dice.

Path Valley Speedway returns to action May 1 with Late Models and Legends joining the regular show of 270cc and 600cc Micro Sprints, Mini Stocks, and 4-Cylinder Thunder Cars.

Quad racers added to Saturday night stock car action

The management at Path Valley Speedway is always looking for something different to excite the fans. In 2009 they have five dates when the Saturday night crowd not only gets the paintswapping action of the stock car racing, but also the high-flying action of the River Valley Quad TT Challenge Series. Saturday, April 25 was the first date in the series.

The Quad racers kicked off the night's activities. Kris Bures got the hole shot on the start and lead the entire 15 laps to take the win. Bures did make one slip when he spun entering the infield. But he quickly turned his quad around and retained the lead. Eric Jennings ran second early on, but a bobble in the infield let Matt Dice get by. Jennings recovered and was able to chase down Dice and reclaim second. Dice finished third and Robert Kline and Jeff Horseman completed the top five. Bures and Jennings won their respective heats.

Dale Martin outran Rodney Brown and Chuck Gipe to win the Strictly Stock Truck feature while Dan Gelwicks outlasted Joseph Daywalt to win the 6- Cylinder Strictly Stock main event. Martin and Gelwicks also won their heat races.

While most of the 8-Cylinder Strictly Stock field were running the high groove, Carl Miller stuck to the bottom. On lap five he drove underneath Joey Burdge and into the lead. After that he slowly pulled away and won by a full straightaway. Burdge held on to second, ahead of Steve Frazier, Jeremy Woodring, and Robby Eaton. Miller also won the heat race.

Steve Harlan started on the pole and when he beat Adam Imes to turn one it turned out to be the winning move. Imes ran a strong second until his string of bad luck continued when his right rear axle broke on lap 13, ending his night. Adam Yetter took over second at that point, but he could not advance any further. At the checkers it was Harlan, Yetter, Bobby Witters, Craig Imes, and Mike Saylor. Adam Imes took the heat race win.

Johnny Runk won for the second week in a row taking the checkers in the 4-Cylinder Strictly Stock feature. The action was wild and wooly early on. With Jesse Dehart leading, Robbie Imgrund, Dan Smith and Runk raced three-wide right behind him. Runk was able to drive underneath the whole pack and take the lead he wouldn't relinquish. Smith and Imgrund battled hard the entire twenty laps with Smith just edging out Imgrund by less than a foot to take second. Imgrund finished third and Dehart fourth. Runk also won the heat race.

Saturday night stock car action continues on May 2 with the Super Stocks and Strictly Stocks along with a demolition derby. Gates open at 3:00 p.m. and warm-ups begin at 5:00 p.m.

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