Path Valley Speedway Results
A total of 103 cars filled the pits for the ninth annual Sprint Nationals at Path Valley Speedway. The four-division show included 270cc and 600cc Micro Sprints, Sidewinders, and the PA Sprint Series 305 Sprints.
A "heads up" pill pull put all the heat winners at the front of the starting lineup for the 600cc Micro Sprint feature. Mike Dicely started third and slipped past polesitter Timmie Barrick on lap one to take the point. It took awhile for the drivers to settle in, with five cautions in the first five laps. After two restarts on lap six, several drivers began to show their strength. Jimmy Brookens moved into second on lap seven, while Aaron Spahr, who started 17th, moved into the top five. While Dicely was making his way through lapped traffic using the low groove, Brookens found a quicker line around the top and was slowly reeling the leader in. That was until lap 20 when Brookens went into turn one just a hair too high and he lost several car lengths while regaining control of his racer in the loose dust. About the same time Spahr had worked his way into third and began to pressure Brookens for second. With Brookens and Spahr fighting hard for second, Dicely pulled away, leading every lap for the win. Brookens held off Spahr for second. Ryan Greth finished fourth and Dwayne Gutshall in fifth. Barrick, Jake Murphy and Dicely won the heats, and John Baker won the consolation.
Steve Whary grabbed the lead from starting third on the first lap of the 270cc Micro Sprint feature. Steve Dunmire drove around Whary on a restart on lap three to take the lead. But it was short-lived as two laps later Dunmire pulled to the pit area, giving the lead back to Whary. At that time Dave Schreiber was in second and Tom Shearer in third. On lap seven Ryan McAndrew passed Shearer for third. The top runners became spread out and stayed in their position until the fourth of five cautions fell on lap 20. McAndrew went back to work on the restart, passing Schreiber for second. The final restart on lap 28 gave McAndrew one last crack at the lead. But Whary had a strong restart and never gave McAndrew a chance to pass. After the restart Tim Mertz took third from Schreiber and the next lap Mike Dicely and Colby Womer passed Schreiber. The top-five finishers were Whary, McAndrew, Mertz, Dicely, and Womer. Heat race wins went to Dunmire, Whary, Schreiber and Shearer. Kevin Ward Jr. and Mike Derr won the consolation events.
The Sidewinder feature was a two-car battle for the lead for most of the event. Nathan Hauck started on the pole, but Ben Murphy used the high groove starting second to snatch the lead on the start. Henchcraft Racing owns both of these cars, and they raced within a car length of each other lap after lap with Murphy running high and Hauck in the middle. Ten cautions slowed the pace and Murphy bobbled on the restart on lap 13 allowing Hauck to get by and into the lead. The complexion of the race entirely changed when two of the top five drivers, Ben Murphy and Tim Mertz, ran out of fuel on a restart on lap 28. This put Stan Fleming into second, Aaron Spahr third, Chad Myers fourth and Craig Myers fifth. On the final restart, Chad Myers passed Spahr to take third. At the checkers, it was Nathan Hauck winning in the "Rent-a-ride" car, ahead of Fleming, Chad Myers, Spahr and Craig Myers. Hauck, Murphy and Craig Myers won the heat races.
The PA Sprint Series 305 Sprint feature culminated the activities. An invert of 10 was pulled for the feature, putting the heat winners in the middle of the 16- car field. "Cowboy" Jim Kennedy started on the pole, but Tyler Bear outgunned him from outside the front row to grab the lead on lap one. The top five quickly fell into line and began clicking off laps. Bear was leading by more than 10 car lengths until he caught the rear of the field. As Bear cautiously worked on lapping cars, Kennedy closed the gap. The only caution of the event fell on lap 21 when Alan Kumpf spun in turn four. After the restart, Bear quickly put a straightaway gap between himself and Kennedy. The final passes came on the final lap when Kennedy slowed on the backstretch, allowing Randy Kaylor to take second and Ryan Lynn to get third. Bear led every lap of the 30-lap feature to win his second consecutive Sprint Nationals event. Kaylor finished second, ahead of Lynn, Kennedy and Dave Wilson. Todd Spangler and Mark Watkins won the heat races.
Peck, Brookens, Naugle win Nationals tuneup
With the annual Sprint Nationals a day away, many teams came in to use Friday night's races to tune their setup for the high banks of Path Valley Speedway. While many of the "invaders" showed their strength, the "weekly regulars" used their home track advantage to claim the wins on Juniata Beverage Night.
In the Mini Stock feature, Jodie Varner started on the pole and held off Scott Gordon and the rest of the field, leading all 20 laps for his first win ever in a Mini Stock at Path Valley. Gordon made several attempts to get inside Varner but could not quite find the speed to complete the pass. Frankie Gordon finished third, Mark Grove fourth and Dan Smith fifth. Grove won the heat race.
John Rasp started on the pole of the 4-Cylinder Thunder Car feature and led every lap to score his division-leading fifth win of the year. His son, Justin, moved into second on lap one and pressured John almost every lap, pulling almost even on lap 19. The father-son team is also first and second in the point championship race. Chip Law-rence made his 2009 debut and stayed just ahead of Josh Walstrum the final 15 laps to finish third. Jeremy Ott started 13th and was on Walstrum's back bumper when they crossed the line, rounding out the top five. John Rasp and Ott were the heat winners.
Ben Naugle kept the streak going for the polesitters as he led every lap of the PA Sprint Series 305 Sprint feature. That gives Naugle three wins this year which is tops at Path Valley. Randy Kaylor passed Stephanie Stevens on a restart on lap five and took a look to the inside of Naugle on a lap-19 restart, but could not make the pass. While Kaylor finished second, Stevens gave her strongest performance of the year finishing third. Matt Mountz finished fourth and Dave Wilson in fifth. Mountz and Wilson won the heat races.
With only one caution to slow the pace the 270cc Micro Sprint feature provided exciting racing from start-to-finish. The only restart came on lap 13 and on that restart Steve Dunmire made a three-wide pass to go from third to first. Levi Peck was in second on the restart and also went past early leader Blain Schlosser to get back into second. Sean McAndrew was charging, hard using the high groove, taking over second on lap six. Dunmire and McAndrew were using the high lane and Peck stayed to the bottom. On lap eight McAndrew started to fall off the pace and Peck regained second. Peck then began to reel in Dunmire, making the winning pass on lap 12. Ryan McAndrew made a second half charge, taking second with five laps to go. As the leaders worked with lapped traffic Peck kept a few car lengths advantage to claim his second win this year. Ryan McAndrew finished second, ahead of Dunmire, Matt Mountz and Sam Lamothe. Heat race wins went to Mark Ewer, Sean McAndrew and Ryan McAndrew.
Adam Imes started second in the Super Stock feature and used the high lane to grab the lead from polesitter Mike Saylor. Adam Yetter was making a bid for the lead on lap 10 when he got loose exiting turn four, dropping him two spots. Steve Harlan took over the runner-up spot and began to chase down the leader. Three laps later Harlan passed Imes exiting turn two. That proved to be the winning pass as Harlan kept Imes at bay the last seven laps to win his division leading fifth feature this year. Adam Imes held on to second, ahead of Craig Imes, Yetter and Saylor. Harlan also won the heat race.
Jesse Fitz took control of the 600cc Micro Sprint feature from the pole with Jake Murphy and Jim Brookens in close pursuit. The top three ran in that order until Brookens made his way past Murphy on lap 14. Two laps later, Murphy spun to the infield after tangling with a lapped car. The final restart came on lap 17 and a lap later Brookens drove in high and deep into turn one, sailing around Fitz and into the lead. Brookens held off Fitz the final two laps for his third win this year. Timmie Barrick came on strong the second half of the race, passing Brock Bilger for third with a lap to go. Bilger settled for fourth and Shane Lewis finished fifth. Kevin Steele, Murphy and Lewis were the heat race winners.
Next Friday night Path Valley returns to action with the regular four divisions along with Late Models and the Central PA Legend Cars.