2010-07-15 / Sports

Wiser Wins First In A Late Model At Path Valley

By Rob Keller

A look at the radar Friday evening showed a large system of rain heading right toward Path Valley Speedway. The forecast gave the track about a two-hour window before the rain would hit. The decision was made to run the show in expedited fashion, going straight to the heat races, skipping warmups.

Mark Grove started third in the Mini Stock feature and followed pole-sitter Leroy Long for two laps before going low and taking the lead on Lap 3. Bryan Neff started fifth and stayed right behind Grove, taking second on Lap 3. Neff was hounding Grove for the lead from Lap 10 on. But on Lap 18 the two leaders made contact in Turn 4, resulting in Grove spinning around. Neff was deemed at fault for the spin, sending him to the rear and giving Grove his spot back. Grove held off Kevin Thomas the final three laps to win his second feature this year. Frank Gordon came from starting seventh to finish third. Long held on to fourth, with Ryan Laye rounding out the top five. Thomas won the heat race.

The 270cc Micro Sprint feature appeared it would be a dominant victory for Steve Whary. Whary started first and had steadily pulled away from all contenders. That was until Lap 17, when Whary suddenly stopped in Turn 2, bringing out the only caution of the race. Levi Peck led the field on the restart, with Tom Schearer in second. Coming out of the final turn, Schearer pulled inside Peck and was just inches ahead as they crossed the finish line. The win is Schearer’s first at Path Valley this year and he came all the way from starting 10th. Jason Houtz finished third, Colby Dice in fourth, and Ryan McAndrew fifth. The heat race win went to Jarid Kunkle.

There have been four Late Model races at Path Valley in 2010 with four different winners. Amazingly, for three of the four, it has been their first win in a Late Model after moving up from another class. This week it was Kyle Wiser’s turn. Roger Laughlin started on the pole, but he promptly spun in Turn 4 on the start. On the restart, Wiser started first, and he led the first lap. Brad Kling passed Wiser for the lead on Lap 1. Lap 8 was a difficult lap to complete as Laughlin and Tim Burkholder spunout on the backstretch. Then the caution waved two more times on the ensuing restarts. Around Lap 10 Wiser started closing in on the Kling using the high groove. Wiser pulled alongside Kling on the backstretch, but had to backoff when he grazed the outside wall. Kling then moved to the high groove, and it looked like the battle was over. But Wiser came back again and drove underneath Kling for the winning move on Lap 15. After that, Wiser pulled away to get his first ever win in a Late Model by several car lengths. Kling held on to second, ahead of Dave Dunkle, Laughlin and Burkholder. Kling won the heat race. Kling also came to the victory celebration to congratulate Wiser. When he unzipped his firesuit, Kling revealed that he was wearing a Kyle Wiser T-shirt.

The Late Models were pulling off the track when it started to rain. Only moments later, the rain turned into a downpour, giving no chance to finish the remaining features. There will be makeup features for the PA Sprint Series 305 Sprints, 600cc Micro Sprints and 4- Cylinder Thunder Cars. Please check the track Website at www.pathvalley.com to see when these features will be re-scheduled.

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