Path Valley Closes Season With Stock Car Showdown
Path Valley Speedway concluded the 2013 schedule with the annual Stock Car Showdown. The five divisions of stock cars that normally ran Friday nights competed in a non-points event.
The 4-Cylinder Thunder Car feature was the first to the track. Nick Ruhl and Justin Rasp started on the front row and Rasp gained the lead on the start. While Rasp and Ruhl pulled away, Jeremy Ott was charging to the front after starting eighth. Ott closed the gap on the leaders and made his way past Ruhl on Lap 16. On Lap 20 Ott pulled to the inside of Rasp as they went down the backstretch, but the only caution waved when Corey Wagner spun out in Turn 4. During the caution Ruhl pitted with a flat tire. On the restart Rasp stayed low in Turn 1, and Ott used the high groove to drive around Rasp and make the winning pass. At the finish it was Ott, Rasp, Barry Hawbaker, Tony Hampton and Chas Clouser.
Josh Gustaf set the pace from the start of the Street Stock feature. Greg Moore used an inside move exiting Turn 4 to take away the lead on Lap 7. Moore was never challenged after that, leading the last 14 laps to win the Showdown for the second straight year. Gustaf finished second, ahead of Ryan Sager, Brad Karns, and Calvin Redding.
Gage Whitsel started second in the Mini Stock feature and out-powered polesitter Korey Washinger for the early lead. Whitsel held off Leroy Long for the win, his second in just his first year racing Mini Stocks. Long’s second-place finish earned him the Hard Charger award. Third through fifth went to Washinger, Dan Smith and Bill Kennedy.
Bill Powell started first in the Super Stock feature and led all 20 laps to score the victory. Only one caution slowed the event on Lap 5. At the checkered flag Powell was leading by a full straightaway. Derek Grabill came home second, while Brad McGinnis earned the Hard Charger award with his third place finish. Dan Furman finished fourth and Curtis Guyer came from the back after spinning out earlier to finish fifth.
The Strictly Stock feature was again dominated by Justin Williamson. Williamson took the lead from Charles Stallman on Lap 6 and was leading the nonstop event by nearly half of a lap at the finish. The win gave Williamson 16 for the 2013 season at Path Valley. Gary Guise passed Robert Wellman on the final lap to finish second in his only race this year.
The old saying, “ the cream always rises to the top” seemed completely appropriate Friday night at Path Valley Speedway. It was the final point race for the stock car divisions. Three of the six championships were still undecided. After the dust settled, five of the six champions celebrated with a trip to victory lane.
Dalton McQuade entered Friday night with a seven-point lead over Shaun Linn and nine points over Kyle Martin. Linn took the lead at the start, but was involved in a wreck and was forced to retire on Lap 3. Mc- Quade took the lead on the restart and held off a late charge by Tony Hampton to score the win and clinch the championship. Robert Mc- Quade finished third, ahead of Kyle Martin and Corey Wagner.
The Super Stock championship was already inhand for Devin Hart. Hart inherited the lead when Steve Bard spun out on a restart on Lap 3. Hart was followed closely by Curtis Guyer for most of the event, including slight contact between the two on the final restart. Hart had enough speed running the high groove to hold Guyer back and take the win. Brad McGinnis made a last lap charge for second, but came up a few feet short at the line, finishing behind Guyer. Mike Goodwin made his first appearance at Path Valley this year and finished fourth. Alan Shives was the highest finishing driver not in a Chevy, bringing home his Ford Thunderbird in fifth.
The Late Model point championship was the tightest battle of them all. Wes Bonebrake led George Dixon by five points entering the final race. Both drivers won their respective heat races, keeping the spread at five points. When Dave Dunkle, who won the first heat race, pulled a number eight pill for the inversion, that meant Bonebrake and Dixon would start sixth and seventh in the 17-car field. After a multi-car incident on the original start took out two cars and scrambled the starting order, Brad Kling took the lead and set the pace for 17 laps. Dixon’s hope for a championship took a hit when he made contact with Bob Dunn and Dunn spun out, sending Dixon to the rear of the field. On Lap 18 Kling got caught behind three cars battling at the back, and Todd Snook drove by on the inside to take the lead. Bonebrake moved past Kling a few laps later and set his sights on the leader. Bonebrake slowly closed the gap and then made the winning pass on Lap 23. The win was his first of the year and the championship his second in two years. Snook finished second while Dixon made a huge run to come from the rear to finish third. Kling fell to fourth and Travis Mease finished fifth in his first visit to Path Valley this year.
Ken Singer had wrapped up the Street Stock championship a longtime ago, coming into the last race with a lead of almost 400 points. Unfortunately for Singer, he was the only champion on this night not to win. But it wasn’t for lack of effort. Joe Gustaf led the first lap and Singer took over on Lap 2. Greg Moore was also mixing it up with the leaders and took the lead when Singer got too far sideways in Turn 2 and took a trip through the infield to keep from spinning out. When Singer pulled back up on the track he started losing fluid and came to a stop in Turn 3. While Moore held a comfortable lead, Emory Covert and Gustaf ran nearly sideby side for second the rest of the way, trading the position back and forth several times. At the finish it was Moore taking the win with Covert a car length ahead of Gustaf for second. Calvin Redding finished fourth and Singer fifth.
Gary Dehart had a 27 point cushion over Mark Grove for the Mini Stock championship. When Grove was unable to make the last race, Dehart was locked in. Dehart did not settle for that, taking the lead from Jason Stoner on Lap 7 and holding back Ronnie Garlock in the closing laps to score the win.
Justin Williamson completed one of the most dominant seasons at Path Valley Speedway. Williamson led from start-to-finish to claim his 15th win of the season, and he won the championship for the second straight year. Charlie Stallman finished second, followed by Eric Boozel, Robert Wellman, and Glenn Wilson.