2009-06-04 / Sports

Jennings Wins Race And Series At Path Valley

By Rob Keller

The River Valley Quad TT Challenge series was a threerace event at Path Valley Speedway. Eric Jennings finished second in the first two races. Kris Bures had won the first two events, but he was not able to make the last race due to a national event also racing this weekend. With Bures not in attendance Jennings was the man to beat for the race and the championship. On the start Jennings got the hole-shot he was hoping for and led the field into the first turn. From there he continually pulled away from the field, winning by nearly half a lap at the finish. That gave Jennings not only the race win, but the series championship and the $500 check to go with it. Bob Kline, one of the series sponsors, finished second. Matt Dice had a bad start but was able to race his way back to third. Jeff Horseman finished fourth, and Jeff Nishanian came home fifth. Jennings also won the heat race.

In the Super Stock feature, Jan Powell started on the pole and led every lap to claim his third win this year. Adam Imes ran second the entire race, posting his best finish of the year. Adam Yetter came from the back and was pressuring Imes the final few laps, but he settled for third. Richie Adair finished fourth just ahead of Mike Saylor. Steve Harlan won the heat race.

Johnny Runk returned to victory lane for the third time this year in the 4-Cylinder Strictly Stock class. Although Runk led from start to finish, it was no easy win. Dan Smith and Frankie Gordon were on his back bumper, and sometimes beside him, almost every lap. As Smith and Gordon were fighting for second, Gordon got just a bit too far sideways and spun out. Smith went on to finish second with Jesse Dehart third, Tim Greene fourth, and Ron Daihl in fifth. Gordon was the heat winner.

The same scenario played out in the Strictly Stock Truck division. Rodney Brown started on the pole and led every lap for his second win of the year. Dale Martin stayed within a few truck lengths the entire 20 laps, but was never able to close the gap on Brown, and he finished second. Chuck Gipe finished third. Martin won the heat race.

Jason Ege started second and grabbed the early lead of the 8-Cylinder Strictly Stock feature. Ege held the lead until lap five when he got held up trying to put Rich Earhart a lap down. As Ege got to the inside of Earhart, Joe Daywalt got underneath Ege and they raced three-wide down the backstretch. Daywalt finished the pass through turns three and four to take the lead. Ege's day only got worse when he spun trying to hold off Carl Miller for second with four laps to go. Daywalt eased away from Miller after the restart to get his first win this season. Miller finished second, Adam Ridenour third, Ege fourth and Doug Weller in fifth. Daywalt also won the heat race.

Dan Gelwicks outran Joseph Daywalt in the 6-Cylinder makeup feature and the scheduled feature, giving him six wins in 2009. Daywalt won the heat race.

Friday night Path Valley Speedway had just about something for everyone. The night's events included two divisions of stock cars, late models, two divisions of winged micro sprints, one wingless micro sprint class, and a wingless challenge between two separate micro sprint divisions.

Watching the 4-Cylinder Thunder Car feature may have made you think you were seeing double. Father and son team John and Justin Rasp drive almost identically painted racecars, only Justin's car has an "X" behind the number "11." From lap two until the finish they ran first and second with John leading the way. That is until the final half lap when Justin ducked to the inside of his dad and won the race back to the line by mere inches. In victory lane neither drive was sure which one had won, but they had a blast racing each other for the win.

The Sidewinders raced wingless for the first time in 2009. Chad Hough already had two feature wins with the top wings on, and he smoothly made the transition to wingless leading the field by nearly half a lap at times to take the win. Tim Mertz had some trouble while running second on a restart with three laps remaining. That allowed Alex Schanz and Joe Robertson to get by. While Schanz pulled away to finish second Mertz was able to re-pass Robertson and finish third. Robertson finished fourth and pole-sitter Mike Zielonis finished fifth. In victory lane Hough said he was glad the race wasn't any longer as he started to have engine problems over the final few laps and could tell he was slowing down.

When the Late Models come to race at Path Valley Speedway the fans are usually in for an exciting show, and this week was one of their most exciting. Dave Dunkle started on the pole and led the fourteen-car field for the first ten laps. Andy Fries started fifth and was up to second on lap three. On lap eleven Fries moved past Dunkle on the backstretch and when they entered turn three Dunkle drove in just a bit too fast losing control and spinning sideways. Tim Fedder passed both Ryan Walls and Rance Garlock the same lap putting his second in the restart lineup. With Fries running the high groove Fedder looked for room to pass underneath. With just three laps to go Fedder got to the inside of Fries down the backstretch. Fries held off Garlock over the remaining laps to get his first win at Path Valley this year. With Garlock in second the remaining top five were Walls, Scott Richwine, and Brad Kling. Jerry Bard and King won the heat races.

Sean McAndrew has been one of the dominant drivers in the 270cc Micro Sprint ranks over the past few years at Path Valley Speedway. Friday night he got to start on the pole and he did not let the opportunity slip away, leading all 20 laps for his third win in 2009. Kameron Morral ran second the entire distance, but about three to five car lengths behind the leader. Ryan McAndrew started eighth and was running some of the fastest laps of the event. Unfortunately for Ryan, the race had no cautions and he could only close in to within a few car lengths of Morral before the laps ran out. Jason Houtz finished fourth and Steve Whary came from starting 12th to finish fifth. Whary and Sean McAndrew claimed heat race wins.

Wee Bee Audio/Video is sponsoring several "challenge" races between Sidewinders and 600cc Micro Sprints. During these races all the competitors run wingless. Tim Mertz claimed the win and the first-place check for $500. Chad Hough put on a late race charge, but ran out of laps before he could catch Mertz. Alex Schanz finished third, making the top three finishers Sidewinders. Brandon Bright was the first of the competitors running 600cc Micro Sprints, and he was fourth overall, just ahead of Jake Murphy, also in a 600cc racer.

Friday, June 5, Path Valley Speedway is back in action with the weekly four classes of Mini Stocks, 4-Cylinder Thunder Cars, 270cc, and 600cc Micro Sprints. Also on the card will be the PASS 305 Sprint cars and the Glick Fire Equipment/ Central PA Legend Cars. Gates open at 5:00 p.m. and warm-ups start at 7:00 p.m.

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