Grove, Rasp Win 4-Cylinder Shootout At Path Valley
Each year Path Valley Speedway hosts the 4-Cylinder Shootout for Mini Stocks and 4- Cylinder Thunder Cars. This year the speedway combined that race with the traditional season closer, the Strictly Stock Showdown. Also on the card were Street Stocks and Super Stocks.
Greg Moore returned with his controversial racer and dominated the Street Stock division. Moore won the heat race, started fourth in the feature, and took the lead from Ken Singer on Lap 2. Moore was never challenged after that, leading the final 29 laps for the win. Singer recovered from a spin on Lap 2, regaining second place from Dave Brown on Lap 24. Emory Covert finished fourth and Ronnie Garlock fifth.
By virtue of a four-car invert to start the feature, Mark Grove started first in the Mini Stock main event. Grove did not let the opportunity slip away, leading all 30 laps to take the checkered flag. Only one caution slowed the pace, and Grove pulled away from Barry Welch by six car lengths. Gary Dehart started sixth and slowly moved forward, taking third on Lap 9 from Dan Smith and second from Welch on Lap 18. Dehart pulled to within two car lengths when Grove was slowed by cars he was trying to put a lap down. But once Grove cleared traffic he was able to pull away once again. Dehart finished second and Welch third. Dave Friedrich made a late charge to finish fourth and Dan Smith rounded-out the top five.
Justin Williamson capped off his championship season in the 4-Cylinder Strictly Stocks by starting first and leading all 30 laps. It looked like a possible family onetwo when the feature started with Williamson’s brother, Chris Anderson, starting and running second. But Anderson’s steering broke on Lap 6, forcing him to retire from the race. Eric Boozel took over from there, but could not match the pace of Williamson and settled for second. Steve Hollingsworth recorded a third-place finish in his first start at Path Valley. Meanwhile Jackie Gordon returned after several years and finished fourth in a brand new race car. Garrett Watkins came home fifth.
The 4-Cylinder Thunder Car feature was led to the green by rookie driver Tony Hampton. Hampton beat Kyle Martin to Turn 1 to show the way. Justin Rasp started second and was also able to get by Martin at the start. Hampton stayed in the preferred high groove with Rasp right behind looking to the inside on every turn. Rasp’s persistence finally paid off when he found enough traction down low to make the winning pass exiting Turn 4 on Lap 27. Martin held off Ray Middaugh for third, with Josh Walstrum finishing fifth.
One night after claiming the Super Stock championship by one point by winning the heat and feature, Curtis Guyer made it a perfect weekend by repeating the feat again Saturday night. Guyer started second in the feature and led all 30 laps, cruising to the finish line five car lengths ahead of Craig Imes. Mike Duck finished third, ahead of Andy Hackenberry and Keith Walls.
Corey Wagner won the 6- Cylinder Strictly Stock race when Doug Guise suffered a mechanical breakdown.
The Mini Stocks were the first feature of the night. Ronnie Garlock had already locked down the point championship and was starting first in the car normally driven by Chris Anderson. Garlock led the way until giving up the top spot to Gary Dehart on Lap 6. Jeremy Ott took over second on Lap 8 and was able to close in on the leader. As the race progressed, Dehart’s car started to push and Ott went for the opening down low. Dehart used the momentum of the high groove to hold off Ott and take the win. Eric Seibert finished third and Bill Kennedy fourth, giving Kennedy second in the point chase over Seibert. Mike Hawbaker had his best finish in his limited starts, coming home fifth.
Ken Singer closed out a very successful 2012 campaign with three consecutive wins, giving him 11 for the year and the Street Stock point championship. Singer led all 20 laps Friday night, with Chris Edwards Jr. in second. Emory Covert finished third and Andy Swope fourth.
Wes Bonebrake led the Late Model championship by 27 points over Danny Snyder, so he really only needed to be on track to win. When Snyder didn’t come to race, the championship was sealed. Brad Kling was not in the point hunt and came with only one thing in mind, to win. And win he did. Kling won his heat race, started second in the feature, and led all 25 laps for his second Path Valley checkered flag this year. Bonebrake rallied late to finish second, and just a few car lengths behind was Tim Burkholder, who also came on strong the last half of the race to post his best finish this year. Steve Bailor was fourth and Kyle Wiser fifth.
Tony Hampton led Shaun Linn by one point in the 4-Cylinder Thunder Car championship standings before Friday’s racing action. When Linn had a mechanical failure and could not start the heat race, Hampton’s third-place finish gave him just enough points to clinch the title. In the feature Jason Stoner started first and led all 20 laps for his first win this year. Linn rebounded from the disappointment of the heat race to finish second, just holding off Justin Rasp at the finish line. Hampton finished fourth and Robert McQuade fifth.
The Super Stock point championship was separated by only four points to start the night, with Adam Imes leading Curtis Guyer. When Guyer won his heat race and Imes finished fourth the difference was down to one point, meaning whichever driver was ahead of the other at the end of the feature would be the champion. Guyer started first, but lost the lead at the drop of the green to Deron Henry. Henry could only keep the lead for two laps before having problems and eventually dropped out. Guyer took over the lead with Devin Hart and Terry Norris right behind him. Imes had started eighth in the 15-car field and worked his way to second just before the sixth of eight cautions on Lap 11. On each restart Imes would be able to pressure Guyer for a lap or two, only to see Guyer pull away. Guyer took the win, his sixth of the year, and won the championship by one single point. Carl Miller recovered from being bumped onto a tractor tire on Lap 2 and literally drove around the field to come back and finish third. Rich Earhart posted a solid fourth- place finish just ahead of Devin Hart.
Next event: Saturday, October 27: Swap meet at the track from noon – 4 p.m. followed by pig roast and awards presentation starting at 5 p.m.