2010-06-03 / Sports

Repeat Winners Rule Path Valley

By Rob Keller

On a night when most of the race tracks in the area cancelled due to rain, or the forecast for rain, Path Valley Speedway kept the show on as scheduled and never got a drop of rain until well after the program was over.

John Rasp started on the pole and led all 20 laps of the 4-Cylinder Thunder Car feature for his second win this year. Tom Crum inherited second place on lap six when Gary Dehart got a flat right rear tire while running second. After the restart Crum stayed right with Rasp and made repeated attempts to pass on the inside, but he could not find a way to make a clean pass and settled for second. Justin Rasp finished third ahead of D.J. Keefer and Bill Kennedy. John Rasp also won the heat race.

The 600cc Micro Sprint feature was won by polesitter Jim Brookens, as he led every lap for his third win of the year. Tim Dietz was running a strong second until he pitted on lap 10. Tyler Walton took over second when Dietz retired and closed the gap on Brookens in the closing laps, but was still a car length behind when the checkered flag fell. Timmie Barrick, Jim Young and Jesse Fitz rounded out the top five. The heat race was won by Young.

Mark Watkins was scheduled to start second in the PA Sprint Series 305 Sprint feature, but when second place starter Matt Mountz rolled onto his side in turn one of the initial start that moved Watkins into the front row. On the restart Watkins drove around polesitter Rodney Westhafer and into the lead. Watkins never looked back after that, and with no cautions to slow the action, Watkins was leading by half a lap at the finish. It was Watkins’ second win in three races at Path Valley this season. Westhafer posted his best finish at Path Valley by holding on to second, while Mountz rebounded from his lap one incident to finish third. “Cowboy” Jim Kennedy finished fourth, just ahead of Ben Naugle. Watkins also claimed the heat win.

Dave Friedrich has found a successful recipe for winning in the Mini Stock class at Path Valley: start on the pole, let Bryan Neff lead a few laps, and then drive away from the field for the win. That is what Friedrich did two weeks ago for his first win, and he did exactly the same thing Friday night. The best action of the night was for second place when Neff and Gary Newell raced sideby side for nearly five laps. Newell finally got the runnerup spot on lap 19. Neff held on to third, just ahead of Leroy Long, and Gary Dehart finished fifth. Heat race wins went to Friedrich and Neff.

The McAndrew brothers, Sean and Ryan, have been a strong team in the 270cc Micro Sprint ranks at Path Valley for several years. Friday night they were able to pull of the rare one-two finish. Sean McAndrew started second and drove around polesitter Jay Horvath in turn three on lap one. He led the remaining 20 laps for his third win of the year. The race was caution free, and Ryan McAndrew started 12th. He was running third, several car lengths behind Brian Marriott late in the race. But Marriott’s car slowed as they took the white flag and Ryan sped past to take second. Marriott limped around the final lap and finished third ahead of Horvath and Steve Whary. Ryan McAndrew and Horvath were the heat winners.

Path Valley Speedway returns to action next Friday night, June 4, with its weekly four classes joined by the Legend Cars and Sidewinders. And on Saturday, June 5, the Super Stocks and Strictly Stocks will be joined by the 270cc and 600cc Micro Sprints along with the Mini Stocks and 4-Cylinder Thunder Cars.

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