Path Valley Speedway
Carl Miller has been one of the quickest drivers all most every week in the Super Stock division at Path Valley Speedway in 2012. He appeared capable of winning several races this year, only to have circumstances keep him from victory. Friday night his luck turned.
In the 4-Cylinder Thunder Car feature the two point leaders, which were tied before the night started, made up two of the four-car field. Tony Hampton won the heat race and started first in the feature. Hampton pulled out to an early six-car length lead until D.J. Keefer moved past Corey Wagner and into second. Keefer slowly closed the gap each lap until he was right behind Hampton with two laps to go. As Keefer caught Hampton they caught Shaun Linn trying to pass Wagner. Going into Turn 3 on the final lap, Hampton made contact with Linn, taking them both out of the race. Keefer led Wagner on the final lap for the win. Linn and Hampton remain tied for the point championship with three races left on the schedule.
Carl Miller’s 2012 season has been one that can give race car drivers nightmares. Week after week he has been one of the quickest on the track, only to have something crop up to keep him winless. Friday Miller put all of that behind him, starting second and leading all 20 laps for his first win this year. Adam Imes finished a close second, slightly extending his small lead in the point chase. Ray Duffy had one of his strongest runs this year, finishing third. Curtis Guyer kept the point battle close by coming back from the rear of the field to finish fourth. Derek Grabill put the only Dodge in the field in fifth.
The front row was not the place to start for the Late Model feature. Tim Smith started first and led the first lap, but slowed coming out of Turn 4 on Lap 2 and stopping on the front stretch. Second-place starting Danny Snyder led Lap 2, but pulled to the pits right after the restart. Steve Bailor took over on Lap 3 and proceeded to “stink up the show.” It was Bailor’s kind of track, smooth and tacky, and he used his favorite high groove to blast around the track, eventually lapping all but second place. It was Bailor’s second win this year. Ralph “Captain” Morgan stalked Wes Bonebrake for the runner up spot and finally made the pass with just fewer than five laps remaining. Bonebrake finished third, ahead of Kyle Wiser and James O’Hara.
Ken Singer produced his ninth feature win of the year, leading all 20 laps of the Street Stock feature. Dave Brown was the only other driver to keep pace with Singer, finishing a close second. Third through fifth went to Joe Gustaf, Andy Swope and Tom Wakefield.
Chris Anderson followed up his win in the Mini Stock feature last Saturday with another one Friday. Anderson started first and led all 20 laps for the win. Devin Whitsel held off Bill Kennedy for second, with Matt Williamson fourth and Eric Seibert coming from the rear of the 14-car field to finish fifth.
As we approach October many of the local tracks and racing series are winding down and season-long point championships are being decided. The All-American Outlaws and the Central PA Legends are touring series and both held their final point race of the year at Path Valley Speedway.
The Mini Stocks got the night’s features under way. Gary Dehart started second and took the lead from teammate and polesitter Shane Sixeas on the first lap. The race was slowed for caution only once when Devin Whitsel made hard contact with Jodie Varner in Turn 1 and both cars came to a stop. The race was red-flagged when track officials found Varner to be unconscious when they checked on him. Varner came to shortly after and was able to get out under his own power. Dave Friedrich moved past Sixeas on the restart, but could only stay close to Dehart, following Dehart by two car lengths across the finish line. Sixeas held off Frank Gordon for third, with Rusty Garlock finishing fifth.
Justin Cullum led the 11- car field of All-American Outlaws to the green flag and took the early lead. Randy Doty started sixth, but was up to second by Lap 5. As Doty closed in on Cullum the leaders were pulling away from Scott Jorda in third and catching the back of the field. Doty continued in close pursuit as Cullum led the way, dicing back and forth while putting other drivers a lap down. On Lap 16 Doty finally found the opening he needed, making the pass for the lead, and he kept Cullum behind him the final five laps to claim his first win at Path Valley. Jorda finished third, ahead of Al Daniels and Hunter Nester. It was the final race of the year for the All-American Outlaws, and Fred Cullum won the championship, with son Justin in second.
The Central PA Legends came to Path Valley for their final point race of 2012 and the champion still to be determined. Scott Gobrecht entered the night leading the points, with Rick Miller second. The feature got off to a good start for Gobrecht. He started second and led the first two laps, with Miller starting ninth. Scott Houd-eshell then took the top spot from Gobrecht on Lap 3 and then he would surrender the lead to Bob Stough on Lap 6. The championship still looked to be Gobrecht’s as he continued in third and Miller was only up to sixth. But on Lap 15 it all went up in flames, literally. An oil line started to leak, creating a huge fire under the hood of Gobrecht’s race car. He came to a stop and the track crew quickly doused the flames. Gobrecht was unhurt, but he was done for the night and finished 18th in the 21-car field. The remaining laps were fairly uneventful, with little passing. The points for the Central PA Legends have been recalculated and Scott Gobrecht is the 2012 point champion Gobrecht won the title by a scant six points over Miller. Stough claimed the win, his fourth at Path Valley and sixth in the series this year. Second through fifth went to Houdeshell, Bill Diehl, Miller and Chris Spidle. Miller’s fourth-place finish gave him enough points to leapfrog over Gobrecht and win the 2012 Central PA Legends point championship.
Jeremy Ott returned to victory lane in the 4-Cylinder Thunder Cars, leading all 20 laps with a half-lap lead at the end. D.J. Keefer finished second, with Raymond Middaugh on his back bumper in third.
The All-American Outlaws then had a special race for drivers who had never won before. Justin Cullum, who had come so close to winning earlier in the night, came from fifth on Lap 1 to the lead on Lap 7, winning the 15-lap event. Cullum was followed by Todd Paul and Brittany Coleman. Phil Benedict won the 4-Cylinder Mechanics race over Cory Smith and Dave Swanger.
The Legend Mechanics race was won by Rob Keller, followed across the line by Jeff Diehl and Brian Earnst.
Coming up next weekend: Friday, September 28: Mini Stock, 4-Cyl. Thunder Car, Super Stock, Street Stock.
Saturday, September 29: 12th Annual Sprint Nationals (270cc and 600cc Micro Sprint, Sidewinder, 305 Sprint).