Whary Almost Doubles Up, Thomas Continues To Roll
Beautiful sunshine greeted the racers as they entered the pits at Path Valley Speedway on Friday evening for the first time in several weeks. With only a few weeks left in the point season, many drivers are getting their cars dialed in for the big events coming at the end of the season.
Steve Whary started second in the 270cc Micro Sprint feature and out-powered pole-sitter Kenny Edkin for the lead on lap one. Colby Womer then worked past Edkin and into second. Ryan McAndrew took third on lap eight. And that is the way they finished, with Whary leading by a full straightaway at the checkers. The top five were Whary, Womer, McAndrew, Edkin, and Levi Peck. Colby Dice and Geoff Gill won the heat races.
In the 600cc Micro Sprint feature Dusty Foust inherited the pole after J.C. Walling spun on the start. Foust led the field for the first four laps, while Dwayne Gutshall was closing in. Just before the caution came out on lap five, Gutshall had slipped past Foust using the high groove, but the caution negated the pass. On the restart, Foust moved to the high line, and Gutshall crossed back underneath entering turn one. That turned out to be the winning move as the feature went nonstop the rest of the way, and Gutshall led by over a full straightaway at the finish. Foust finished second, continuing a streak of top five runs. Timmie Barrick ran a solid third, ahead of Jesse Fitz and Isaac Sneeringer. Sneeringer and Gutshall won the heat races.
The 8-Cylinder Strictly Stocks normally run on Saturday night's program but were given a rare opportunity to join the Friday night action. They did their very best to put on an exciting show as the first two rows stayed sideby side for four laps. Carl Miller and Joe Daywalt were battling for the lead when they slipped high going into turn one. Glenn Winnick seized the moment and passed them both in turn two to take the lead. Miller stayed on Winnick's back bumper, literally, for a few laps until falling back a few car lengths. The only caution came with three laps to go when Jason Ege had a radiator hose come loose. But Winnick was up to the challenge and pulled away to win by several car lengths. Miller held off Daywalt for second, with Derrick Casner in fourth and Joey Burdge finishing fifth. Daywalt was the heat race winner.
After winning the 270cc Micro Sprint feature, Steve Whary was poised to take two wins when he started on the pole of the PA Sprint Series 305 Sprint feature. Whary looked like he had the winning setup as he was leading by a straightaway over Ryan Lynn when the first caution fell on lap nine. After a restart on lap 10, Tyler Bear discovered he was faster running the high groove. While Whary ran the inside along with second-place Dave Wilson, Bear began to close in. Bear drove around Wilson on lap 17, and the fourth of six cautions put Bear on Whary's back bumper for the restart. Bear continued to use the cushion, driving around Whary and into the lead. Two more cautions on the final two laps were not enough to keep Bear from getting his second win this year. Wilson finished second, Todd Spangler third, Rodney Westhafer fourth, and Whary slipped to fifth on the final lap. Wilson and Spangler won the heat races.
Eric Seibert started second in the Mini Stock feature and drove around pole-sitter Gary Newell for the lead on lap one. Kevin Thomas passed Frank Gordon for third on lap four. As the leaders used the high groove, Thomas chipped away at their advantage running low. Thomas slipped past Newell for second on lap eight. It took three more laps before Thomas again used the inside to pass Seibert for the lead. One lap later the only caution fell for Dan Smith spinning. Thomas pulled away from the field the second half to capture win number 14 at Path Valley. Newell passed Seibert for second on lap 17. Seibert's car slowed on the final laps, giving up third to Frank Gordon and then fourth to Dave Friedrich. Gordon won the heat race.
Josh Walstrum started on the pole of the 4-Cylinder Thunder Car feature and lead the first nine laps with Justin Rasp and Tom Crum close behind. Rasp had to pit because of a flat tire on lap nine, giving second to Crum and third to his dad, John Rasp. As the leaders were taking the crossed flags, Crum moved inside Walstrum to take the lead. Crum led the remaining 10 laps for his third win this year. Walstrum continued to run second until suffering mechanical problems the final two laps. John Rasp rebounded from mechanical issues last week to finish second. Denny Scofield finished third with Bob Starr in fourth and Billy "The Kid" Kennedy finished fifth. Walstrum and Justin Rasp were the heat race winners.
Next Friday will be Juniata Beverage Night, with the regular four divisions joined by Late Models and Sidewinder Sprints.