So near the end of the season, it should really be no surprise that rookie drivers and first time winners still earn victory lane at local tracks. One reason is obvious. The rookies like Darin Hoover at Hesston last weekend have had most of ...
So near the end of the season, it should really be no surprise that rookie drivers and first time winners still earn victory lane at local tracks.
One reason is obvious.
The rookies like Darin Hoover at Hesston last weekend have had most of the season to learn and grow stronger and faster. Hoover is not an unknown factor to race watchers in the Shellbrook Stables Street Stocks because he's been running strong week after week and is currently fifth or sixth in points in that tough Hesston division.
Those thrilling final four street stock laps with veteran Jim Bookwalter and Hoover way out in the lead were enough to bring everyone back for more. To Jimmer Bookwalter's credit, he tried everything but an earnhardt to get alongside Hoover, and a couple times he got close enough to bang a left rear bumper to spin Hoover but didn't. That's the kind of great clean racing we hope for every week in every class.
Another less obvious reason is that some of the very top drivers at other tracks have locked up their positions and are traveling around to test other competition. That and the weather are the reason's Ed Krupa was at Path Valley last Saturday night to get his first win along with the two regular drivers who won their first features, Dave Emory and Fred Brown, who drives five hours each way to race at Path Valley.
Ed Krupa is from Nazareth and races a Hyper chassis with a Maverick engine at other tracks Friday and Wednesday and he is third in points at both. His crew chief is Scott Werkheiser and his crew are his dad "Doc" Krupa and Steve Newman. His sponsors are NDA, J & D Auto Body, Hyper Racing, American Racer, List Designs and Bell Helmets.
He writes, "We donate the money from our wins this year to Kyle Petty's Victory Junction Gang in memory of his son Adam. This is a camp for terminally ill children." Krupa last raced at Path Valley in 1998 and says he is tremendously impressed with the new Path Valley management team and the quality of the clay oval.
Three faces familiar to Huntingdon fans were in the Path Valley winner's circle last Friday night. Steve Bailor in his #25s is now a regular in the Path Valley V-8 street stocks and he got his second win of the season in a hard battle with a twist when the points leader took him out and got disqualified. Steve got his spot back.
Also in the winner's circle was Brian Lessley of Orbisonia who many should remember still from the old four-cylinder late model class. Brian in his #5 is now a strong four-cylinder driver at Path. The third familiar winner of the night was Scott Ellerman in the #115 305 Sprint. Scott is third in points at Hesston in the Grubb Lumber sprints behind Vince Snyder and Todd Lynn, but at Path Valley Scott is the points leader after his latest win with ten to spare ahead of past national champion Jason Shultz.
Emphasizing a first win by a rookie by no means takes anything away from drivers like Bob Briggs in the Stultz & Brown Late Models or Dave Staley in the Metzler Transport Pure Stocks, both of whom also won at Hesston Saturday night. Those two are far from rookies and I've expected them each to win several times already this season. Just a touch of bad luck for both of them has been enough to cancel out their great driving skill and top-notch mechanical ability.
This Saturday night at Hesston the 305 PA Sprints return for their bi-weekly visit and Rodland's Crank Grinding Service & Automotive Machine Shop of Tyrone will sponsor trophies for all five divisions.
The following Saturday, August 25, is Pepsi night with trophies sponsored by Garlock's Used Cars and Storage Units of Orbisonia and an autograph session scheduled.
The final points race of the season currently scheduled at Hesston is Humane Society Night on Sept. 1 and that night includes a 30 lap special for the Grubb Lumber Sprints. I keep hearing that the August 4 makeup feature for the Hesston street stocks will be this Saturday and all I can say for certain is that if it isn't this Saturday, then it will be August 25 when the Grubb Lumber Sprints are off and the autograph session is the night's only special event.
Needy families were the big winners last Friday at Path Valley when representatives of local Franklin County food banks were on hand to thank race teams and fans for a pickup load of non-perishable items from the local food drive that was to continue Saturday. Saturday afternoon's kart teams and fans and Saturday night's sprint and Legends teams brought enough more non-perishables to fill Promoter Ken Geesey's full-size van.
This Friday night is the Pepsi Race Night challenge with a $500 to win special feature for the four-cylinder thunder cars and the Dwarf Cars as the special guest division. While some of the Path thunder cars have raced at Hesston, that doesn't mean that all of the Hesston four-cylinder pure stocks can race with the thunder cars just by putting street tires on. Those interested would probably go into the modified mini-stock class that Dave Staley races with when he comes to Path Valley. Check the rules at www.pathvalley.com.
Saturday, August 17, features karts and four-wheelers in the afternoon and the season's second evening race for the AMA Motorcycle Short Track series. Grandstand admission is free for both of those races, and any local bike riders who want to learn about big-time national points racing can get all the details there.
Sunday, August 18, Path Valley hosts the Pennsylvania Dirt Karters Association (PDKA) for a series points race toward the state karting championships. Special shows include a 200-lap Enduro race Sunday, August 26 and the season's third Junk Car Race Sunday, Sept. 2.
What's Your Favorite?
Finally, a current Internet poll shows the Chet Grove's Cars Unlimited Hobby Stocks are the favorite division (at least this week) at Hesston. More than 50 cars have raced in that class so far this season.
The hobby stocks include some skillful and experienced drivers, although the two don't necessarily go together. There are enough rookie drivers with learner's permits to keep every race more than interesting, and sometimes the rookies have a chance to win as Bill DeArmitt showed two weeks ago.
<pre> Here are the top ten in points.
Cars Unlimited Hobby Stocks Car # Driver Points
69 Robert Goss 353.0 151 Gary Morder 337.0 21HS Joseph DeArmitt 336.0 8 HS Junior Guyer 316.0 69R Rick Potter 254.0 08 Mike Barto 251.0 44HS Brian Ayers 250.0 99TS Timothy Snare 248.0 D16 Daren Desch 241.0 65K Keith Russell 240.0
The other class that constantly, and sometimes justly, complains that they don't get enough publicity or attention is the Metzler Bros. Transport Four-Cylinder Pure Stocks. If there were eight or ten more of them to make a full field every week, they would get more attention. All season Ron Beam Jr. and his dad have battled hard for the points lead. While the boy is ahead right now, don't count the old man out.
Here are the top ten in points.
Metzler Bros. Transport Pure Stocks Car # Driver Points
516 Ronald Beam Jr. 415.0 41 Ronald Beam 379.0 48PS Raymond Moore 332.0 111 Larry Duvall 321.0 6JH Julie Hampton 289.0 26 Kirk Knable 271.0 36 John Kuhns 265.0 37BM Brian Miller 255.0 94 David Staley 232.0 69PS Melvin McCartney 218.0