2010-05-27 / Entertainment

Rasp Wins At Path Valley

By Rob Keller

Pictured above are Justin Rasp, right, 4-Cylinder Thunder Car winner with his dad, John. Pictured above are Justin Rasp, right, 4-Cylinder Thunder Car winner with his dad, John. By Rob Keller

With the 2010 season reaching the last month of spring and the temperatures rising, the on-track excitement has also been on the rise.

Ryan McAndrew of Slickville, Pa., has been one of the fastest racers in the 270cc Micro Sprint division all year long but has been plagued by misfortune and kept out of victory lane. McAndrew started third and squeezed underneath polesitter Steve Whary on the start to take the lead. With only one caution to slow the field, McAndrew pulled away to win by nearly a full straightaway. Whary finished second ahead of Levi Peck, Sean McAndrew and Colby Dice. Jason Houtz and Ryan McAndrew won their heat races.

Tom Crum started on the pole of the 4-cylinder Thunder Car feature and led the first three laps. But when he bobbled in Turn 1 on Lap 4 Justin Rasp of McConnellsburg drove underneath and into the lead. Rasp was able to hold off the constant pressure by Crum the rest of the distance, making him the seventh different winner in eight races this year. John Rasp out-dueled D.J. Keefer for third, while Denny Scofield beat Chip Lawrence by a car length for fifth. The heat race win went to John Rasp.

Rohan Beasley started on the pole of the Sidewinder feature and led the first 16 laps. Mike Zielonis started second and stayed within a few car lengths of the race lead until he drove inside Beasley on Lap 17 to take the lead. One half lap later and Beasley suffered mechanical failure, causing him to spin out and retire from the race. On the final restart on Lap 17 Mark Strickler of York, Pa., timed the start perfectly and was able to slingshot past Zielonis and into the lead. Strickler was leading Zielonis by three car lengths at the finish, giving him back-to-back wins at Path Valley. Gary Funck held off Joe Robertson for third, and Jason Stahl finished fifth. Strickler and Beasley were the heat winners.

The Legend Car main event featured a 20-lap duel between the front row starters that was side-byside in the final turn and decided by a car length at the finish. Rick Miller started on the pole and led until Geremey Sheaffer of Ickesburg, Pa., drove by on Lap 3. Only one caution slowed the event when Mark Roberts hit the outside wall on Lap 5. As the two leaders pulled away from the rest of the field Miller stayed right behind Sheaffer. They caught lapped traffic entering the final two turns, and Sheaffer hesitated just a moment, allowing Miller to pull alongside. But Sheaffer used the momentum of the high groove to win the drag race to the checkered flag. Rounding out the top five were Blaine Leppo, Scott Houdeshell and Jason Ewing. Heat race victories went to Leppo and Bill Diehl.

Jim Young started second in the 600cc Micro Sprint feature and led the first 13 laps. On Lap 14 Young had to slow for some cars he was trying to lap, and Jesse Fitz and Jimmy Brookens drove by. Fitz, from Crystal Springs, made one mistake on Lap 19, and Brookens drove past. But the caution waved for Zach Overmiller stopping on the track before the lap was completed, nullifying the pass. After the restart, Fitz kept Brookens at bay for his first win this year. Young finished third ahead of Stan Fleming and Kameron Morral. Fitz also won the heat race.

Kevin Thomas of St. Thomas took the lead from pole-sitter Mark Grove on Lap 12 of the Mini Stock feature. Jeremy Ott moved past Grove two laps later. But Thomas kept Ott two car lengths back the final five laps to claim the win. Thomas becomes the first repeat winner in the Mini Stock class at Path Valley in eight races. Grove held on to third, ahead of Dave Friedrich and Ryan Laye. Laye and Thomas were the heat winners.

Bair’s Gulf sponsored the racing activities and provided trophies to all the feature winners.

Next week Path Valley kicks off the Memorial Day weekend with a five division program including the PA Sprint Series 305 Sprints on Friday night.

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