2010-07-29 / Sports

Front Row Starters Dominate Path Valley

By Rob Keller

Record and near-record temperatures baked the clay racing surface of Path Valley Speedway all week long. What moisture was in the clay quickly went away and with it went the grip that all racers are seeking. That made passing difficult and put a premium on the starting position.

A makeup feature for the PA Sprint Series 305 Sprint Cars started off the show. Steve Whary and “Cowboy” Jim Kennedy started on the front row. But contact between the two on the start left both of them facing the wrong way.

Rodney “The Hoss” Westhafer inherited the pole position for the restart and he took full advantage. Westhafer led every lap to claim his first win at Path Valley in the 305 Sprints. Teammates Matt Mountz and Joe Smith finished second and third. Ben Naugle finished fourth and Ryan Lynn in fifth. Kennedy won the heat race on July 9.

D.J. Keefer claimed his fourth win this year in the 4- Cylinder Thunder Cars.

Keefer started first and led every lap. Tom Crum was working hard to pass Keefer from Lap 10, but when the leaders made contact on Lap 19 and Keefer spun out Crum was sent to the rear. John Rasp finished second, ahead of Tyler Adams, Justin Rasp, and Eric Grubb. Adams was the heat race winner.

Just one week ago, Jim Young was leading Tyler Walton and when he was slowed by cars he was trying to lap, Walton drove by for the win. The same two drivers were running first and second again this week. But this week, there was no lapped traffic to deal with, and Young won the 600cc Micro Sprint feature for the second time this year. Kameron Morral ran second the first half of the race and finished third. John Baker finished fourth while running with a damaged top wing for most of the race. Brian Sherrill finished fifth. A scary moment took place on Lap 10 when Mike Diffenderfer’s engine erupted into flames on the backstretch. Diffenderfer stopped in Turn 3, the flames were extinguished, and he climbed from the car unharmed. Baker passed Jim Brookens in the final turn to win the heat race.

Ryan Lynn now has a new personal best for wins in a season in the PA Sprint Series 305 Sprint Cars. Lynn started first and led every lap to capture his third win this year. Tyler Bear, Joe Smith and Matt Mountz started and finished second, third and fourth, respectively. Steve Whary completed the top five. Heat wins went to Whary and Marcus Defreitas.

Tim Fedder is the first repeat winner in the Late Model Division at Path Valley in 2010. Fedder started on the pole and led every lap for the win.

Jake Griffith kept constant pressure on Fedder after moving into second on Lap 4. Griffith peeked to the inside of Fedder lap after lap, but could not get further than Fedder’s door panel.

Dave Dunkle finished third, Steve Bailor fourth and Tim Burkholder in fifth.

Kyle Wiser won the heat race.

It was all Mark Grove in the Mini Stock racing action. Grove started second in the heat and led every lap for the win and then did the same thing in the feature, winning by nearly a full straightaway. The win is Grove’s third this year. Leroy Long came from 10thstarting position to finish second. Keith Walls finished third ahead of Ryan Laye and Phil Boden.

The brothers Sean and Ryan McAndrew started first and second in the 270cc Micro Sprint feature and 20 laps later they were still that way, with Sean earning his sixth win at Path Valley this year. Colby Dice was running third when he was stopped by mechanical failure on a restart on Lap 18. At the finish, third through fifth went to Levi Peck, Bryan Hart and Eric Forsythe. Heat wins went to Sean McAndrew and Peck.

Each of the race winners were presented a trophy sponsored by Juniata Beverage. Friday night, July 30, Path Valley returns to action with its weekly four divisions joined by the Super Stocks and the Central PA Legend Cars.

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