2012-08-02 / Sports

Path Valley Speedway Results

By Rob Keller

Chase Shaw, 4-Cylinder Thunder Car winner. Chase Shaw, 4-Cylinder Thunder Car winner. A makeup feature for the Mini Stock division plus the six scheduled classes gave the Path Valley fans seven features to enjoy on Friday evening. Mother Nature also helped, providing some much-needed rain the past few days, allowing for a very tacky and fast track.

The Mini Stock makeup feature started the night’s racing. Barry Welch started first and appeared to be the car to beat while leading the first 13 laps. Under caution on Lap 14 Welch’s car stalled and needed a push to restart, dropping him to the rear. Ronnie Garlock inherited the lead and held off Matt Williamson the last seven laps for the win. Nathan Shaw finished third, just ahead of Gary Dehart and Ryan Laye.

The 4-Cylinder Thunder Car division was controlled all night by Chase Shaw. Shaw beat Shaun Linn on the final lap of the heat race and then led all 20 laps of the feature, leading by more than half a lap at the finish. Tony Hampton finished second. Third went to Jason Stoner in his first race in the Toyota Celica previously driven by Rodney Walls. Robert Mc- Quade was fourth and Shaun Linn fifth.

The field was thinned out before the green flag ever waved for the Mini Stock feature when six of the 22 drivers signed in could not make it out. Dave Friedrich led the way early, losing the lead to Ryan Laye on Lap 4. Laye controlled the event the rest of the way, only being challenged by Ronnie Garlock on a restart with a few laps to go. Garlock finished second, ahead of Gary Dehart, Chris Anderson, and Shaun Patterson with his strongest showing of the year, in fifth. Heat wins went to Travis Semple, Friedrich and Laye.

Randy Fetterolf led the first lap of the Legend Car feature, only to lose the lead on Lap 2 to Lucas Montgomery. Montgomery led the remaining laps, fending off a challenge by Bill Diehl over the last three laps. Third through fifth went to Scott Gobrecht, Chris Spidle, and Rick Miller. Spidle and Diehl claimed heat race wins.

Josh Gustaf was poised to break through for his first win in the Street Stock feature. Gustaf won the heat race, started first in the feature, and led the first six laps. But Gustaf made one mistake, losing control and spinning to the infield in Turn 4 on Lap 7. Rich Swope took over the lead on the restart and led the rest of the way for his first feature win ever. Ken Singer finished second after a hardfought battle with Ronnie Garlock. Gustaf returned to finish fourth and Steve Harlan was fifth.

The Late Model feature was an action-packed 25-lap affair. The high groove was the fastest line, but a six-inch high lip on the edge of the cushion made it difficult to consistently run fast. While Danny Snyder led the way running the low groove, several other drivers tried running against the cushion, most would make a few passes and then make a mistake and lose ground or have mechanical failure. Over the final 10 laps Randy Burkholder, running second, moved up and closed the gap on Snyder. Several times Burkholder caught Snyder and would look to the inside, only to have Snyder pull away. Snyder also moved to the high groove the final three laps and kept Burkholder two car lengths behind to claim his second win at Path Valley. Wes Bonebrake rebounded from an early penalty to finish third, ahead of Bob Dunn and David Yoder. Snyder and Burkholder also won the heat races.

Seven classes of race cars took to the high banks of Path Valley Speedway Saturday night, including a special preliminary event for the Speedsters.

Mike Boyer started on the pole of the 270cc Micro Sprint feature and led every lap to claim his second win in 2012 at Path Valley. Colby Dice came from starting eighth to finish second, ahead of Adam Warner, Dave Hawkins, and Levi Peck. Dice and Peck won the heat races.

Chris Anderson started first in the Mini Stock feature and led the way for nine laps. Devin Whitsel worked his was from fifth to second on Lap 7 and drove by Anderson to take the lead on Lap 10. Meanwhile, Ronnie Garlock was coming back to the front after almost spinning out and dropping near the back of the eight- car field. Garlock caught the leaders with two laps to go, but no one could make any more passes and Whitsel won his first of the year. Matt Williamson finished fourth and Josh Walstrum fifth. Leroy Long won the heat race.

After Bill Brown Sr. took the lead on Lap 2 of the Classic Racing Series feature he had the worst view for some of the closest racing of the night. The battle for second place had Steve Cantwell trying to hold off Pete Neal, Brandon Little and Matt Wallace. The action was bumper- to-bumper and side-by-side nearly every lap. Wallace finally worked his was past Cantwell and into second on Lap 17, but Brown was long gone by then. At the checkers it was Brown leading Wallace, Cantwell, Little and Neal. Heat race wins went to Cantwell and Wallace.

A light sprinkle started when the 4-Cylinder Thunder Car feature took to the track. Raymond Middaugh took the lead on the first lap and led all 20 laps for the win. Kyle Martin held off Tony Hampton for second, with Jeremy Moore finishing fourth. Hampton won the heat race.

One week ago Timmie Barrick was chasing Chandler Leiby in the 600cc Micro Sprint feature. This week the roles were reversed. Barrick led from the drop of the green and was never challenged, leading all 20 laps for his third win this year. Leiby finished second, ahead of Devin Beidel, Bret Conrath and Mike Rynard. Heat race checkers went to Beidel.

Steven Jacobs put Chris Anderson behind the wheel of his 4- Cylinder Strictly Stock and the move paid immediate dividends. Anderson led every lap of the heat race and then again in the feature. His brother, Justin William-son, chased him all night long, finishing second in both events. Ellis Whitsel finished third. The closest race during the feature was for fourth, where Nathan Woolley held off Gary Guise.

Doug Guise won the 6- Cylinder Strictly Stock feature when Aaron Frehn was unable to start.

The Speedster feature concluded the night’s activities with a driver named Rahmer leading all the way. Actually, it looked like a Rahmer one-two finish was in the works as Fred Rahmer Jr. led the way with Brandon Rahmer Jr. right behind. On Lap 14 Fred lost control for just a moment, but in that moment three competitors got by, dropping him to fourth. Brandon took the lead and held on the rest of the way for the win. The top-five finishers were Brandon Rahmer Jr., Brittany Wixon, Paul Lotier, Fred Rahmer Jr. and Rich Tobias. Heat wins went to Fred Rahmer Jr. and Wixon.

Friday, August 3: Mini- Thunder-V8 Super-Legends- V8 Street-Late Model and LM makeup.

Saturday, August 4: 270- Mini-Thunder-600-Legends.

Ohio invader Cole Duncan was the surprise winner of the Posse at the Path on Sunday, the first 410 Sprint Car race held on the racy quarter mile oval since June of 1995.

Veteran Modified driver Jeff Strunk survived a rash of cautions and one red flag to capture the 20 lap race for the Speedsters.

In the 270/600 Micro Challenge, Chandler Leiby scored the win, taking advantage of a restart on lap 13 to take the lead away from A.J. Bast.

Brett Bieber tallied the win in the Sligshots when he, too, utilized a restart to take the lead from Kyle Gruber.

Duncan had no difficulty learning the fast way around Path Valley Speedway. “This is our Ohio type of track, we knew that coming in here.” Duncan explained that he was limitted in the engine department, “but we saw that you were paying $5,000 to win and we heard that it was a little bullring, so we were going to come and test these guys.”

Fred Rahmer, one of the winningest drivers in Central Pennsylvania Sprint Car history, was one of only two racers in the field with a 410 victory at Path Valley on his resume. He started on the pole by virtue of the revenge draw, courtesy of Daryn Pittman.

Rahmer claimed the early lead over Dan Shetler, Daryn Pittman and Cole Duncan. Rahmer maintained that lead despite several cautions that bunched up the field behind him. Meanwhile, Duncan methodically worked his way into second.

When Rahmer reached lapped traffic on lap 11, Duncan quickly closed on him. Duncan squeezed his machine between a lapped car and the high-flying Rahmer as they raced through turn three on Lap 16. Rahmer tried to rally using the high side, but Duncan had figured out a quicker way around the inside of the track.

On Lap 23, Danny Dietrich executed a slider on Rahmer in turn two to grab second. Dietrich then reeled in Duncan, who was starting to have trouble with lapped cars that were fighting for position. Duncan managed to pick his way through them without incident, and led Dietrich to the checkers by a couple of car lengths.

“ I knew that he was there,” Duncan said. “I kept trying to get around those lapped cars, and they were racing me awfully hard, but this is awesome!”

Dietrich, who started eighth on the grid, wished that it was a 35 lapper instead. He lost some ground on a restart and was closing on Duncan at the end of the race. “I kinda used some old school Trailways moves, getting up on the berm in three and four.” Dietrich then added, “it’s just a little bullring, and we like them, I hope they have us back next year.”

Rahmer held on for third. Taking fourth was Daryn Pittman. Rodney Westhafer rode home fifth, with the highest finishing 358 Sprint.

Dan Shetler turned in a creditable sixth, one notch ahead of the evening’s fastest qualifier, Logan Schuhart. Bill Stein, Brent Marks, and Greg Hodnett completed the top ten.

Schuhart’s quick time was 9.842 seconds. Cole Duncan was just .005 ticks behind. They were locked into the A Main based on their times. Neither broke the track record, held by Billy Pauch, at 9.62. Pauch’s time was set before the advent of weight limits in the Sprint Car class.

The revenge draw placed Jeff Strunk on the outside of row one for the start of the Speedster feature. Strunk jumped out to the early lead over pole sitter Maxime Plante. Strunk maintained his advantage despite numerous interruptions. Sixtyfour year-old Modified legend Kenny Brightbill worked his way up to second in the final standings. Brandon Rahmer finished third, ahead of Brittany Wixon and Josianne Plante.

Fastest qualifier was Freddie Rahmer. Jeff Strunk won the scramble after switching to the car qualified by Dane Tobias..

Kyle Gruber took the lead at the start of the 20-lap Slingshot A Main, with Alex Schoffstall and Justin Thompson fighting for second. A caution for debris with 11 laps down allowed Brett Bieber to come to life. He took second almost immediately. On the next restart, with 15 down, he passed Gruber. Gruber would give up second on Lap 19, but his misfortunes would become severe when he spun in turn four on the last lap, surrendering third. Bieber took the win, followed by Thomson and Schoffstall. Cody Cline recovered from two early miscues, taking fourth. Joseph Nemeth placed fifth.

The Micro Sprint Challenge started with a threecar 600 breakaway. A.J. Bast led Jerry Schott, Jr. and Chandler Leiby until Schott came up lame in turn three on Lap 5. That put Justin Harrington's 270 into the third position, which he would hold until the checkers fell. Leiby used the second restart, on Lap 13, to overtake Bast. Behind Leiby, Bast and Harrington came Wade Kemp and Dane Tobias.

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