Spring Run, PA_ Travis Keeney of York outran a strong field of PA 305 Sprints almost a year to the day after his first win at the Path Valley Speedway Park. Young Keeney got into turn one of the first lap just ahead of Jeff Furlong of Selinsgrove...
Spring Run, PA_ Travis Keeney of York outran a strong field of PA 305 Sprints almost a year to the day after his first win at the Path Valley Speedway Park. Young Keeney got into turn one of the first lap just ahead of Jeff Furlong of Selinsgrove but Furlong powered out of turn two to lead the first 14 laps.
Then as they encountered slower cars and began lapping them Furlong picked an inside line that closed off in lap 15 and Keeney went to the outside cushion to take the lead on lap 16. "I knew it was risky passing on the outside that way, but I had a super car tonight," he said as he accepted the Service Tire Truck Center Race Night trophy.
Chris Meleason, another youngster who leaped straight from karts to full size sprints, also got past Furlong for second place and with Furlong third, the fourth and fifth spots went to Denny Mellott and Scott Ellerman. Nathan Gramley, Meleason and Furlong won the heat races.
The 305 Sprints return to Path Valley next on Friday Aug. 29 and then again that weekend for the All Sprint Labor Day Special Monday, Sept. 1. Next Friday, Aug. 8 Path Valley hosts a regular five-division race night with the Central PA Legends Cars as the special attraction. The next day, Aug. 9, following the weekly quad and kart racing, the Vintage Car Club joins the three classes of Strictly Stock cars and a Candy Scramble is on the line for the kids.
Among the first time winners also were Chad Criswell of Martinsburg WV in the 600 Sprints and Barry Welch of Three Springs in the mini stocks. Melvin Bigler of Shippensburg raced to his second season win in the four-cylinder thunder cars. Veterans in victory lane were Mike Hay of Somerset in the Dwarf Cars and Terry O'Donel of Doylesburg in the V-8 Street Stocks, and perpetual threat Sean Good of Middleburg won the 270 Sprints main event.
Criswell noted that he has tried for six years to get his first win at Path Valley, and gave full thanks to the Rodney Glass team for support in getting that win. Criswell passed defending Valvoline Cup champion Jim Young on lap eight when Young suffered a flat tire in a close encounter with the front stretch wall. Only two cautions slowed the 600 Sprints feature and the front five finishers were Criswell, Ben Murphy, Jim Callahan, Donnie Hendershot and Duane Harbaugh. Rod Schell and Harbaugh won the heats.
Barry Welch of Three Springs was the night's most pleased winner as he led every lap in the mini stocks. "I've been trying for eight years to win here, and the Hill Valley jinx is finally broken," he declared in accepting his STTC trophy. The front five in that feature were Welch, Gary Dehart, Steve McCartney, Kevin Thomas and Brenda McCartney. Ed Kirby and Steve McCartney won the heats and as Welch held off all challenges, right behind him husband and wife Steve and Brenda raced wheel to wheel until Steve forced Brenda to the outside in turn three on lap 16.
Sean Good from Middleburg took the lead from Craig Myers on lap two and ran away with the 270 Sprints feature with Myers right behind. The Middleburg past champion thanked Eddie Sanders Racing and his crew chief for "a great engine in a great ride," and said that on the smooth, soft Path Valley clay his Elite Chassis "ran like a dream." The front five were Good, Myers, Steve Buckwalter, Matt Miller and Rodney Glass. Zack Zook won the consi and Buckwalter, Greg Miller and Jim Young won the heats.
Somerset's Mike Hay passed Josh Sigman for second on a lap four Dwarf Cars restart and then ran down and passed Lynn Knepper on lap six. By lap nine he had lapped cars buffering him from the field and was only challenged in the last three laps as Frankie Dunkle of Everett caught up but couldn't pass. The front five finishers were Hay, Dunkle, Wes Zimmerman, Knepper and John Gerula and the heat winners were Dunkle and Hay.
Crowd please Melvin Bigler of Shippensburg opened the night with a duel he won just ahead of Derrick Casner as the two held the same line lap after lap. Third through fifth went to Terry Smith, John Rasp and Chris Casner. Only one mid-race caution slowed the action and Bigler didn't catch the last car to start lapping until lap 19.
The night's final feature, finished before 11 p.m., was the V-8 Street Stock, which Terry O'Donel won on a technical call after finishing second. The front five were O'Donel, Blaine Dockery, Wayne Hawbaker, Dave Fahnestock, and Matt Kauffman and O'Donel won the single heat race.
Service Tire Truck Center, with 16 locations in PA and adjoining states, sponsors individual racers as well as track events and offers 24-hour road service and full service, including retreading, to the trucking industry.
The Path Valley Speedway Park is located in Spring Run PA a mile north on PA Route 641 from the intersection with PA Route 75, halfway between Port Royal and Hagerstown. It is five miles east from the Willow Hill Exit 14 of the PA Turnpike. For information on the 2003 schedule and rules, race teams and fans can consult the website at www.pathvalley.com.
PA 305 Sprints - Travis Keeney, Chris Meleason, Jeff Furlong, Denny Mellott, Scott Ellerman, Nathan Gramley, Brett Comp, Todd Spangler, Von McGee, Dusty Shatzer, J.R. Fogelsonger, Larry Shoop, Joey Hershey, Mike Freet, Michael Alleman, Ryan Lynn, Jim Wentz, Frankie Reisinger, Randy Kaylor, DNS Tommy Beavers, Jim Roush.
600 Sprints - Chad Criswell, Ben Murphy, Jim Callahan, Donnie Hendershot, Duane Harbaugh, Todd Steffy, Jason Starr, Jake Murphy, J.C. Walling, Tim Barrick, Gary Suchy, Terry Peters, Jim Young, Rod Schell, DNS Mark Watkins, Jim Brookens.
270 Sprints - Sean Good, Craig Myers, Steve Buckwalter, Matt Miller, Rodney Glass, Jim Young, Brian Walker, Alex Cunningham, Tom Tice, Greg Miller, Todd Steffy, Bob Brubaker, Zack Zook, Rob Griffin, Matt Bower, Greg Kone, Ricky Stonebraker, Mike Boyer, Chad Myers, Aaron Lynch, Eric Walls, Randy Pitt, Jared Allen, Josh Dressler.
Mini Stock - Barry Welch, Gary Dehart, Steve McCartney, Kevin Thomas, Brenda McCartney, Kyle Wiser, Tim Burkholder, Korey Washinger, Jeff Mangle, Mike Harlow, Chris Casner, Ed Kirby, Arlin Brougher, Mike Beidel, Bryan Neff, DQ Jerry Bard.
Dwarf Cars - Mike Hay, Frankie Dunkle, Wes Zimmerman, Lynn Knepper, John Gerula, Wes Funck, Frank Dunkle, Eddie Benedict, Josh Sigman, Greg Johnson, Eric Hay, Randy Wenger, Gary Funck, Steve Shirk.
Four-Cylinder Thunder - Melvin Bigler, Derrick Casner, Terry Smith, John Rasp, Chris Casner, Raymond Middaugh, Josh Detra, Duane Ricker, Charles Stallman, Keith Armolt, Dave Ricker, Jeremy Truax, Lyle Barnes, Tim Varner, Rocky Payne, Wes Scofield.
V-9 Street Stock - Terry O'Donel, Blaine Dockery, Wayne Hawbaker, Dave Fahnestock, Matt Kauffman, DQ Randy Patterson, DNS Jerry Bookwalter.