Spring Run, PA_ With all the thrills of the season opener, sprint and stock car drivers completed the Path Valley Speedway Park Friday night racing season in fierce and dashing style as rookie Brandon Keller of Hanover won his first feature ever...
Spring Run, PA_ With all the thrills of the season opener, sprint and stock car drivers completed the Path Valley Speedway Park Friday night racing season in fierce and dashing style as rookie Brandon Keller of Hanover won his first feature ever in the full-size PA 305 Sprints.
Veterans Mike Dicely of Hyper Chassis in Lewisberry in the 270 Sprints and defending champion Jim Brookens of Fayetteville in the 600 Sprints finished the season with close wins. In stock cars Kevin Thomas of St. Thomas won on the final lap of the mini stock feature and past champion Terry Smith of Willow Hill won with a daring two laps to go outside pass in the four-cylinder thunder cars. The V-8 Strictly Stock exhibition feature went to Robert Naugle of Chambersburg after his rookie win the week before.
No major changes are anticipated in any rules for 2004, senior race director John Winsett of Two Wheel Promotions told the pre-race drivers meeting. The 2003 season officially concludes with the annual awards banquet to honor the champions and top drivers and riders Nov. 15 at the Pleasant Hall Firehall. A limited number of tickets are still available from Two Wheel Promotions at 717-426-2910 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
All of the 2003 champions in attendance were recognized with intermission parade laps and after-feature interviews. The 2003 champions are Scott Ellerman of Landisburg, for the third time, in PA 305 Sprints; Jim Young of Johnstown in 600 Sprints; Brian Walker of Somerset in 270 Sprints; John Rasp of McConnellsburg in Thunder Cars and Jerry Bard of Shippensburg in Mini Stocks.
Randy Patterson of Shippensburg is the previously named V-8 Street Stock champion. Allen Felix of Shippensburg is the Legends champion and Mike Hay of Somerset won the Dwarf Cars points title. The season karts champions are to be honored prior to the feast catered by Dodies and following the after-dinner motorcycle, sprint and car awards Phantom Shadow will entertain. Ticket deadline is Oct. 31.
Among the highlights of the night of exciting finishes was the battle between Kevin Nouse and Mike Dicely for the 270 Sprints win. Dicely caught up to leader Nouse on a lap 18 restart and the two went wheel to wheel until turn two of the checkered flag lap when Dicely on the outside found a better bite and edged ahead of his teammate to win by a length. With the Hyper Chassis factory microsprints finishing one and two Nouse joined Dicely in victory lane to joke that he let the team owner past just to add to his win total.
Rookie Brandon Keller drove a classic sprint race with a pass on the first lap for the lead and then a tight and careful guard of the inside groove on each restart. The almost tearful youngster said this is his first season since moving up from karts and that he owes his racing success to his father.
Jimmy Brookens admitted to 17 wins this season after the promised close battle with Jimmy Young turned into a run-away for Brookens with young Ben Murphy right behind. Brookens said he has no regrets about giving up the championship to Young because he and his team enjoy most the fun of association with such fine individuals.
After a plentitude of mayhem the Saturday before in all classes, the chilled Friday night crashes mostly confined themselves to the mini-stock class where Frankie Gordon of Ft. Loudon led until the final lap. Past champion Ricky Harper had hounded him until a second last lap spinout took his #75 out of contention and seemed to assure Gordon a second win this month. On the second restart Gordon's #92 spun on the bumpers of Gary Dehart and Jerry Bard in turn two.
On the third restart as Bard and Gordon thumped into turn one Kevin Thomas seemed to come from nowhere and pass his #3C firmly to the outside to take the lead and a turn later the win. Thomas said, "It was my last chance and all I could do was go three wide on the outside and give it all it had against the wall."
After all that action, Naugle added more thrills as he seized the lead from Luther Daywalt Jr. on lap 7 and then slashed just ahead of past winners Dave Kitzmiller and Dustin Brown to the finish line.
The new phone number at the Path Valley Speedway Park is 717-349-7111. For information on the awards banquet and the 2004 season and rules, race teams and fans can consult our website at www.pathvalley.com or they can email Two Wheel Promotions at email@example.com.
8-Cyl. Strictly Stock -- Robert Naugle (started 6), David Kitzmiller, Dustin Brown, Tom Brady, Luther Daywalt Jr., Joe Daywalt, Joey Burdge, Curt Atherton, DNS Derrick Hinish, Jerry Fleming. Heat to Brady.
600 Sprints -- Jim Brookens (2), Ben Murphy, Tim Barrick, Jim Young, Jake Murphy, Mike Dicely, Dennis McKeon, Dusty Heistand, Andy Martin, Jason Starr, Jamie Umlauf, D. J. Holland, Will Gable, Stan Fleming, Jesse Snyder, Jim Fitz, Kevin Bastian, Dan Kanagy, Kyle Smith, Rod Schell, DNS Justin Frontz. Heats to Fitz, Snyder, Dicely.
Mini Stock -- Kevin Thomas (5), Jerry Bard, Gary Dehart, Frank Gordon, Tim Burkholder, Jeff Mangle, Ricky Harper, Barry Welch, Kyle Wiser, Ed Kirby, DG Mark Digges. Heats to Welch, Bard.
PA 305 Sprints -- Brandon Keller (2), Chris Meleason, Von McGee, Jason Shultz, Scott Ellerman, Ryan Lynn, Brent Comp, Todd Spangler, Mike Freet, Jim Kennedy, Jim Wentz, Wes Zimmerman, Don Slack. Heats to Meleason, McGee.
270 Sprints -- Mike Dicely (5), Kevin Nouse, Rodney Glass, Heath Hehnly, Brian Walker, Jim Young, Josh Dressler, Doug Dodson, Zack Zook, Craig Myers, Matt Horst, Bryan Buckwalter, Chad Myers, Tom Tice, Rob Griffin, Shane Penny, Greg Kone, Eric Spahr, Craig Shaw, Matt Miller, Steve Buckwalter, Amanda Schlegal, Mike Rutherford, Mike Boyer. Heats to Dodson, Dicely, Young, Boyer. Consi 1 Dressler, Consi 2 Hehnly.
4-Cyl. Thunder -- Terry Smith (4), Raymond Middaugh, Melvin Bigler, Dave Ricker, Duane Ricker, Lyle Barnes, John Rasp, Wes Scofield, Keith Armolt, Charles Stallman. Heat to Smith.