2009-07-30 / Sports

Justin Rasp Wins Again At Path Valley Speedway

By Rob Keller

With heavy rains hitting the area three straight days the racers arrived at Path Valley Speedway and found the track surface extremely muddy and under water in places. The track crew went to work and slowly the clay started to cooperate. Between the efforts of the grader, track vehicles, and a few race cars the show started with only a onehour delay.

Ricky Harper started on the pole of the mini-stock feature and led every lap for his second win this season. Harper was never seriously challenged for the top spot, as the battle for second was several car lengths back. Mark Grove moved into second on lap five and was under constant pressure from Jeremy Ott. On lap 17 Grove got caught behind a lapped car and lost three positions to Ott, Kyle Wiser, and Gary Dehart. At the finish the top five were Harper, Ott, Wiser, Dehart, and Grove. Heat wins went to Wiser and Jeremy Truax.

In the 600cc micro sprint feature Jim Brookens started first and led start to finish to claim his first win at Path Valley Speedway in 2009. Isaac Sneeringer passed Luke Greenwood for second on lap three. Greenwood held third until Alex Bright moved by on lap twelve. The top five finishers were Brookens, Sneer-inger, Bright, Greenwood, and Timmie Barrick. Barrick and Sneeringer were the heat race winners.

Justin Rasp started on the outside of row one and beat pole-sitter Andy Stouffer to turn one for the lead. That move proved to be the winning pass as Rasp led the rest of the way to earn his fourth win in his rookie season. With Rasp leading, there was a three-way battle for second between Stouffer, Josh Walstrum and Tom Crum. Although they were jockeying back and forth from lap seven to the finish, they finished in that order. Bob Starr closed in at the end to finish fifth. Stouffer and Rasp were the heat race winners.

Rich Kuiken does not normally drive in the Sidewinder division, but he was running Friday night in the Henchcraft house car. Kuiken started on the pole for the feature event and was leading until lap eight. Entering turn one Chad Hough tried an inside pass, but could not hold the low line and slid up into Kuiken. Kuiken's racer turned quickly to the right at he got it stopped just before hitting the outside wall. Hough did not spin and assumed the lead on the restart. Alex Schanz moved into second after the caution, but Hough held him off to the finish for his fourth win this year. Schanz finished second, Kuiken came back to finish third, and Mike Zielonis was the last car on the lead lap finishing fourth. Schanz won the heat race.

Tim Smith started on the pole and led every lap of the late model feature for his first win at Path Valley this year. Smith's only challenges came on three restarts when he would leave the bottom lane open and Scott Richwine would jump to the inside. The top five finishers were Smith, Richwine, Brad Kling, Dave Dunkle, and Kyle Wiser. Justin Kann and Smith were heat winners.

The string of winners from the pole-position continued in the 270cc Micro Sprint feature as Steve Whary led all 20 laps for his third win of 2009. Ryan McAndrew stayed right on Whary's back bumper, but just could not find the speed to make the pass and finished second. Meanwhile Sean McAndrew made his way from starting at the rear of the field to finish third. Kevin Garman and Adam Warner rounded out the top five. Heat race wins went to Ryan McAndrew and Levi Peck.

The Wee Bee Audio/Video 600-1000 Challenge capped off the racing for the night. This event was a $500 to win 40-lap race combining the 600cc Micro Sprints and the 1000cc Sidewinders, with all of the 600cc competitors starting ahead of the Sidewinders. Jake Murphy started second and took the lead on lap one with Isaac Sneeringer and Alex Bright right behind. The race was stopped for a red flag when Jim Young hit the outside wall almost head-on exiting turn two and flipped over. Young was uninjured and said that the throttle had stuck open causing him to lose control. Chad Hough restarted in third and took second from Sneeringer a lap later. For the next 25 laps Murphy led the way with Hough right behind. With five laps to go Hough jumped the cushion in turn one and Murphy pulled away by half a straightaway. Over the next three laps Murphy seemed to slow his pace just a bit and Hough was able to catch him again. Over the final two laps Hough looked to the inside of Murphy and Murphy was able to close the door every time. With the two leaders battling hard, Alex Schanz closed in almost 10 car lengths. On the final turn both Murphy and Hough went low and Schanz went high. Using the momentum of the high groove, Schanz drove around both Hough and Murphy, beating Murphy to the finish line by less than a foot. Hough finished third, ahead of Bright and Rich Kuiken.

The features were sponsored by Path Valley Family Restaurant and all the winners received a commemorative trophy.

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