Path Valley Speedway
It is always nice to see a driver get his first win, or first win in a different class of cars. Path Valley Speedway got a double dose of that on Friday night.
The Street Stocks were the first feature, and possibly the most exciting of the night. Four drivers battled for the top spot early on. Ronnie Garlock led Lap 1, lost it on Lap 2 to Devin Whitsel, only to regain it again on Lap 3. Whitsel, Joe Gustaf and Ken Singer had a three-way duel for second while Garlock was setting the pace. Gustaf took over second on Lap 10, only to give it back to Whitsel on Lap 16. Singer spun out on Lap 17 and went to the pits, leaving a three-way battle for the lead. Whitsel tried several attempts to pass Garlock on the outside, only to find the opening he needed on the inside, making the winning pass on Lap 18. This was the first win for Whitsel in the Street Stock ranks. Garlock finished second and Gustaf third.
Jason Stoner started his racing career in Strictly Stocks, then spent a short time in 4-Cylinder Thunder Cars, and is now running a Mini Stock. Stoner got his first win in a Mini Stock, and he did it in convincing fashion. Troy Cramer led the first three laps until Stoner worked by on the inside to gain the lead on Lap 4. Stoner then pulled out to a large advantage while Mark Grove and Gary Dehart worked their way forward after starting near the rear of the nine-car field. Grove led Dehart up through the pack and they both passed Cramer to move into second and third on Lap 9. By then Stoner’s lead was a full straightaway. Stoner’s lead diminished slightly over the last 10 laps, but his lead was still over five car lengths when the checkered flag waved.
Fifteen drivers were on hand for the Super Stock division. Bill Powell returned to action and the same story played out as it has several times before. Powell parlayed a heat race win into the pole position for the feature. Powell then led all 20 laps to score his seventh win of the year. Devin Hart may have been the fastest car on the track, coming from starting 13th to second on Lap 11. But just two laps later Hart’s car slowed to a stop and he was done.
Tony Hampton started second and grabbed the early lead in the 4- Cylinder Thunder Car feature. Hampton was using the high groove, but relinquished the lead when Justin Rasp worked by in the low groove on Lap 6. Dalton McQuade was also able to pass Hampton on Lap 10 and when the caution came out on Lap 13 Rasp’s lead was gone. Mc- Quade moved by on the inside on the ensuing restart and then was able to keep Rasp a few car lengths behind the rest of the way to score the win. The win gave McQuade a bit of breathing room in the championship battle with only one race remaining. Rasp settled for second, Hampton third, with Terry Smith fourth and Robert McQuade fifth.
Natasha Moore won the Powder Puff race, and Junior Guyer won in the Mechanics race.
The 270cc and 600cc Micro Sprints along with the PA Sprint Series 305 Sprints were all running for large paydays in the 13th annual Sprint Nationals at Path Valley Speedway.
The 600cc Micro Sprints were racing for $1000 to win. This year’s point champion, Steve Whary, started second and took the lead on the drop of the green. Jim Young, who finished second to Whary in the points chase, moved from starting fourth to running second on the first lap. On Lap 10 Young passed Whary, only to have the caution wave and negate the pass. Just after that happened, Mike Dicely and Tyler Walton got into a spirited battle for third, with Walton finally seizing control on Lap 13. Walton then used two more restarts to his advantage. First he took second from Young on a restart on lap 22. Then the final restart came on Lap 24 and one lap later Walton made the winning pass.
Alex Schanz picked a great time to score his first win in the PASS 305 Sprint feature. The box score will show that Schanz started first and led every lap for the $750 win. Logan Wagner found the high groove to his liking and came from starting second to fifth on Lap 11. Schanz was leading running the bottom and Wagner trying to reel him in running the top. A restart on Lap 20 closed the gap and gave Wagner a chance at the lead. For three consecutive laps Wagner tried diving to the inside of Schanz as they entered turn three. Each time Wagner would slide up just high enough to allow Schanz to make the “cross over” move, going back by Wagner on the inside exiting turn four. After the last attempt Schanz was able to pull away far enough to keep Wagner from trying again and they came across the finish line first and second.
Forty-eight drivers signed in to take their shot at the $750 check to win the 270cc Micro Sprint feature. Mike Rutherford started second and out-powered pole-sitter Tyler Snook for the lead on lap one. Colby Dice started fourth and was also able to get by Snook and into second. While Rutherford and Dice ran up front, Brian Marriott was coming forward after starting seventh, taking third from Snook on Lap 12. It appeared Rutherford had them covered, that is until lap 26, when Rutherford’s racer lost power exiting turn two and he pulled to the infield. Dice rocketed past and into the lead. Dice was leading Marriott by a few car lengths when the caution waved on the final lap. Another caution on that restart gave Marriott two chances at the lead, but Dice had all the speed he needed to keep the lead and the win.
The Sidewinder Sprints also run twin 15 lap features. In the first event Josh Chess led all fifteen laps for the win. Mike Dicely and Tim Towns-end came from the back of the 12-car field to finish second and third. Unfortunately, both were disqualified after the event. The disqualifications made the official order of finish Jerry Strausbaugh, Mike Zielonis, Rohan Beasley, and Brandon Yarlett second thru fifth.
Dicely made up for it in the second feature, leading flag-to-flag with a margin of victory by over half of a lap. Townsend finished second, ahead of Zielonis, Ben Houtz, and Beasley.
Coming up next weekend: Friday, October 4: Late Model, Street Stock, Super Stock, Mini Stock, 4- Cyl. Thunder Car, Strictly Stock.
Saturday, October 5: 13th annual 4-Cylinder & V8 Shoot-Out and 12th annual Strictly Stock Showdown.