2010-04-15 / Sports

Long, Dehart Split Mini Stock Wins

By Rob Keller

The rained-out Mini Stock feature from March 28 started off the night’s activities. Dan Smith led the first two laps and then Jody Varner took over the front spot on a restart on lap three. While Varner stretched out his lead Leroy Long of Womelsdorf and Gary Dehart moved into second and third. Unfortunately Varner had to pit while leading on lap 15, apparently overheating. Long and Dehart swapped the lead three times in the final two laps, with Long leading by only half a car length at the finish line. Kyle Wiser and Kenny Hill started deep in the field and finished third and fourth respectively. Mark Grove rounded out the top five. Bryan Neff and Kevin Thomas won the heats on March 28.

Eddie Rice started on the pole of the 600cc Micro Sprint feature and led the first four laps. On lap five Jim Young of Johnstown, Pa., made what proved to be the winning pass as he slipped past Rice. The only restart came on lap six and Tyler Walton and Jim Brookens both passed Rice to take second and third. From there the field began to spread out, and the only other pass was Jesse Fitz taking over fourth on lap eight. Kameron Morral was credited for fifth after Rice was disqualified. Young also won the heat race.

If you just look at the starting positions and finishing order of the Sidewinder Sprint main event, you would think it was a boring race. After all, the top five finished in the same order they started, and there was not a single official pass in the top five. But when leader Tim Mertz of Lancaster came up on lapped traffic Tyler Walton was ready to strike. Walton pulled to the outside of Mertz twice, including on the final lap. But Mertz had just enough to hold on to win the nonstop 20 lap race. Mertz was followed by Walton, Alex Schanz, Rohan Beasley and Mike Pychinka. Heat race wins went to Mertz and Walton.

Frank Gordon and Gary Dehart of McConnellsburg put on a classic battle for the lead in the Mini Stock feature from lap four to the finish. Gordon led from the start, but Dehart slipped past on lap four. Gordon stayed within a car length and when Dehart bobbled on lap eight, he retook the lead. The two leaders stayed bumper-to-bumper until Gordon made slight contact with a car he was trying to lap on lap 14. That slowed Gordon just enough and Dehart pulled around on the outside. That was the winning pass as Dehart kept Gordon one car length behind the rest of the way. Scott Gordon finished third, ahead of Eric Seibert and Kenny Hill. Frank Gordon and Kevin Thomas won the heats.

Colby Dice started first in the 270cc Micro Sprint feature and held the lead for the first six laps. Sean McAndrew of Apollo, Pa., passed his brother, Ryan, on lap two for second and then took the lead on lap seven. After that Sean McAndrew slowly pulled away for his first victory at Path Valley Speedway in 2010. Ryan McAndrew and Tim Mertz were battling for third, and when Mertz slowed on lap 14, Colby Womer passed both of them to take third. Sean Good rounded out the top five. Heat race wins went to Mertz and Ryan McAndrew.

The move of the night went to Jeremy Ott of Shippensburg. As Denny Scofield slipped underneath Bob Starr for the lead in turn two, Ott went underneath Scofield, making it three wide down the backstretch. By the time they got to turn three, Ott pulled ahead and into the lead. Ott pulled away the remaining 15 laps to win the 4-Cylinder Thunder Car feature. Tom Crum continued his strong start to the season, finishing second. Third through fifth went to Chip Lawrence, John Rasp and Danny McAllen. Crum and Rasp won the heat races.

Next Friday, April 16, is a six-division program, including the PASS 305 Sprints and Late Models. Also on that night there will be a walk-a-thon to raise funds to help fight childhood cancer held in honor of 5-year-old Carly Mitchell. Anyone who makes a donation will be allowed to walk a lap around the track during intermission. For more information you can check the track Web site at www.pathvalley.com.

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