Plessinger, Wagner Take Wins At Path Valley
It has been said many times that racing is a family sport. That thought was very evident Friday night at Path Valley Speedway when two different pairs of brothers finished first and second in two different sprint divisions. And a father and son also won both heat races in a stock division. The stock cars were highlighted for the evening as they ran the Annual Wes Scofield Memorial.
The Mini Stock feature started off with a threewide parade lap to salute the memory of Wes Scofield and the fans. Gary Newell started on the pole and led the first 10 laps. Kevin Thomas of St. Thomas started fifth and moved into second with a three-wide pass on lap 3. Thomas then drove underneath Newell exiting turn 2 for the winning pass on lap 11. Newell held on to second ahead of Gary Dehart, Frank Gordon and Ryan Laye. Frankie Gordon and Frank Gordon won their respective heat races.
Bryce Stevens started on the pole of the 270cc Micro Sprint feature and took the early lead. Sean McAndrew of Apollo, Pa., moved from fifth to second on the first lap. Stevens pulled away by several car lengths by halfway. Then McAndrew slowly closed the gap and was able to take the lead on lap 14. A red flag for Jason Houtz flipping on the front stretch bunched up the field on lap 16. Ryan McAndrew passed Stevens on the restart and followed Sean across the finish line for the one-two finish. Stevens finished third, Steve Whary fourth and Levi Peck fifth. Ryan and Sean McAndrew also won the heat races.
Frankie Plessinger of Big Cove Tannery started first and led the first lap of the Late Model feature. Plessinger got loose exiting turn 2 on lap 2 and Dave Leidy rocketed by on the inside. Leidy was doing his best to keep the lead, but Plessinger powered by on the inside to regain the lead on lap 9. Plessinger led the remaining laps and was ahead by several car lengths at the finish. In victory lane Plessinger said it had been nearly 20 years since he raced at Path Valley, but it was really fun to drive and you really had to work the whole time. Leidy held on to finish second. Kyle Wiser ran third the entire event until slowing with two laps to go. Tim Smith took third, Rance Garlock fourth and Dave Dunkle crossed the line fifth. Dunkle was then disqualified and Wiser credited for fifth. Heat wins went to Plessinger and Garlock.
In the 305 Sprint feature the polesitter was Steve Whary. Whary took the lead at the drop of the green and was pulling away from “Cowboy” Jim Kennedy, who was running second. Just after completing lap five Whary came to a stop in turn 2, the victim of a broken axle. Mike Wagner of Harrisonville passed Kennedy for second on lap 2 and inherited the lead when Whary broke. That was the final restart of the event, and Wagner continued to pull away every lap, leading by half of a lap at the finish. His brother, Logan Wagner, started last in the 10-car field and took 10 laps to make his way to second, where he finished. Rodney Westhafer crossed the finish line third, Kennedy fourth and Ryan Smith fifth. Kennedy’s car was too light when they crossed the scales, moving Smith to fourth and Marcus Defreitas to fifth. Kennedy and Logan Wagner won the heat races.
It seemed fitting when the lineup sheet for the Wes Scofield Memorial for the 4-Cylinder Thunder Cars showed his brother, Denny Scofield, starting on the pole. In tribute the field ran a three-wide parade lap. Greg Moore of Defiance was driving Eric Grubb’s car and started second. Moore took the lead on the first lap and led all 20 laps for the win. Josh Walstrum moved from starting sixth to second by lap 2. Walstrum pressured Moore the final laps. Around the halfway point Walstrum pulled to the outside of Moore on the frontstretch. They crossed the finish line with Moore just inches in front. It appeared Walstrum would make the pass exiting turn 2, but the caution flag waved and Moore kept the lead. Tom Crum nipped John Rasp on the final straight to get third by a few feet and Nick Ruhl finished fifth driving Harold Smith’s car. Heat race wins went to Justin Rasp and Lyle Barnes.
Timmie Barrick started first and took the lead on lap one of the 600cc Micro Sprint feature. The field began to spread out and the top five were all several car lengths apart at midway. Then a few laps later, Jesse Fitz of Crystal Springs, began to close in on Barrick. Fitz got underneath Barrick as they entered turn 3 on lap 15 for the winning pass. The win was Fitz’s third of the year. Barrick finished second ahead of Jim Brookens and Jim Young. Chad Hough finished fifth in the car normally driven by Jake Murphy. Geoff Gill was the heat race winner.
Wes Scofield’s widow, Rachael, and their two daughters were on hand to present trophies to the top three finishers in both the Mini Stock and 4- Cylinder Thunder Car divisions.