2010-03-25 / Sports

Rupert Gets First Career Win In Path Valley’s Season Opener

By Rob Keller

Seventy-five racers signed in for the 2010 season opener at Path Valley Speedway with unseasonably warm temperatures for the last weekend in winter.

The 270cc Micro Sprint division kicked off the feature events, and Phillip Rupert of Pottstown, Pa., started first in his first-ever trip to Path Valley. Rupert led Kameron Morral and Jevon Ahner until Morral spun out just past the halfway point. The second half of the race Rupert kept Ahner a few car lengths back to win his first feature ever in only his second year of racing. Sean McAndrew made the biggest move, starting 15th and finishing third ahead of Steve Whary. Pat Bealer spun on the initial start but came back from the rear to finish fifth. Heat race wins went to Morral, Colby Dice, Bealer, and Rupert, while Ryan McAndrew won the consolation.

Bryan Neff started second in the Mini Stock feature and led the first lap. Kyle Wiser took control after a restart on lap two and began to pull away. Neff continued to run second until Kevin Thomas of St. Thomas took over the runner-up spot on a lap-six restart. It took Thomas three more laps before he drove inside of Wiser and into the lead. Thomas then pulled away and was leading by 10 car lengths when the checkered flag fell. Wiser held on to second, ahead of Neff, Jeremy Truax, and Leroy Long. Long and Thomas won the heat races.

Jim Brookens of Shippensburg started his championship defense off with a wire-to-wire win in the 600cc Micro Sprint feature, starting on the pole and leading all 20 laps. Timmie Barrick kept Brookens honest, staying within a few car lengths to finish second. Tim Buckwalter finished third ahead of Jim Young and Ryan Greth. Brookens and Greth were the heat race winners.

Tom Crum of Carlisle started second and wrestled the lead away from polesitter Denny Scofield on lap three. Jeremy Ott slipped past Scofield one lap later. From there on, the two leaders were never more than one car length apart, with Crum running the low groove and Ott up top. With two laps to go, Crum bobbled slightly in turn one and Ott pulled along side in turn two. But Crum beat Ott down the backstretch to hold onto the lead and the win. Scofield finished third ahead of D.J. Keefer and Bill Kennedy. Heat race wins went to Keefer and Chip Lawrence.

Path Valley Speedway returns to action next Friday night, March 26, with the weekly four divisions along with the Central PA Legend Cars and the Super Stocks. For more track information check out the Web site, www.pathvalley.com.

March 19 results:

270cc Micro Sprint: Phillip Rupert, Jevon Ahner, Sean McAndrew, Steve Whary, Pat Bealer, Colby Dice, Jay Horvath, Ryan McAndrew, Ken Duke, Dave Falini, Levi Peck, Blaine Schlosser, Kameron Morral, Eric Falini, Bruce Leote, Dan Beshore, Jason Klinger, Kevin Garman, Matt McAnally, Justin Cunningham, Mike Derr, Robert Robertson, David Ahner, Nate Heindel. Consi: R. McAndrew DNQ: Eric Forsythe, Jerry Palm, Daryl Beakler, Kevin McCallin, Tyler Reich, Adam Warner, Matt Bower, Robert Robertson, Jr.

Mini Stock: Kevin Thomas, Kyle Wiser, Bryan Neff, Jeremy Truax, Leroy Long, Gary Hendershot, Gary Dehart, Gerald Varner, Eric Seibert, Dave Leidy, Todd Hornbaker, Gary Newell DNS: Mark Grove, Jody Varner, Kenny Hill.

600cc Micro Sprint: Jim Brookens, Timmie Barrick, Tim Buckwalter, Jim Young, Ryan Greth, Travis Saner, Jerry Shott, Eddie Rice, Dustin Baney, Zach Overmiller, Kameron Morral, Tyler Walton DNS: Ben Earnst, Jesse Fitz, Gary Funck.

4-Cylinder Thunder Car: Tom Crum, Jeremy Ott, Denny Scofield, D.J. Keefer, Bill Kennedy, John Rasp, Nick Ruhl, Chip Lawrence, Mike Brindle, Randy Stull, Justin Rasp, Mike Fuller, Tony Perrera, Sam Rock, Jr., Josh Walstrum.

The Saturday Stock Car program at Path Valley got the season opener in the books on March 20.

Justin Williamson dominated the 4-Cylinder Strictly Stock division, winning the heat race and then starting on the pole and leading all 20 laps for the win. Although there were no passes for the lead, there was still good racing action and one scary moment. With four laps to go Ricky Rosenberry was running second, with Ellis Whitsell right behind, and they caught the tail end of the field. As they exited turn two Rosenberry slipped cleanly to the outside of Bobbi Keller. Entering turn three, Whitsell dove to the inside of Keller, slamming her up into Rosenberry. As Rosenberry’s car turned toward the infield Whitsell and Keller headed for the wall. Whitsell got stopped just in time but Keller was not as fortunate and slammed the outside retaining wall. Keller was assisted from the car and checked out by the EMTs before releasing her. At the checkers it was Wil-liamson, Rosenberry, Whitsell, Andrew Benson, and Nathan Shaw.

In the Super Stock feature, Mike Saylor repeated his performance of 2009, winning the season opener. Saylor started third and used the low groove to take second from Adam Yetter on lap two and the lead from Craig Imes on lap five. Yetter passed Imes a lap later and stayed within a car length of the lead, until lap 19, when Yetter tried just a little too hard and spun around on the front stretch. Steve Harlan and Imes dueled for third the second half of the race. When Yetter spun, it then became the battle for second, and Harlan claimed the spot by mere inches at the finish line. Rich Adair finished fourth and Yetter dropped to fifth. Harlan was the heat race winner.

Chad Earnst started on the pole of the 6-Cylinder Strictly Stock feature, took the lead at the drop of the green, and quickly started to put some distance between himself and second place. Roy Denike won the heat race and drew a four pill, placing him fourth in the starting lineup. Denike grabbed second on lap two and slowly started reeling in Earnst. Earnst ran the high groove, and Denike stayed low where he made the winning pass on lap 10. Earnst held on for a strong second place, while Jason Stoner and Jonathan Middaugh scrapped the final ten laps for third, with Stoner getting the spot at the end. Eric McKee rounded out the top five.

Gary Guise was the only Strictly Stock truck to sign in. He raced at the tail end of the 6- Cylinder Strictly Stock events and was credited with a heat and feature win.

David Reagh led the first seven laps of the feature event after starting on the pole in his new 8-Cylinder Strictly Stock Camaro. Joe Daywalt started fourth but passed Glen Winnick and Joey Burdge by lap three. It took Daywalt five laps to run down Reaugh, making the winning pass on lap eight. Reaugh continued in second until he had to pit with mechanical issues. Burdge and Winnick raced hard for the runner-up spot, including some contact on the final straightaway. Burdge finished second, barely one car length ahead of Winnick. Reaugh was credited for fourth and Austin Johnston fifth.

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