Chris Meleason wins first in Sprints at Path Valley. Path Valley finishes five of seven features. Spring Run, PA_ Rookie Chris Meleason of Carlisle won his first-ever full size sprint car feature Friday night as the Path Valley Speedway Park...
Chris Meleason wins first in Sprints at Path Valley.
Path Valley finishes five of seven features.
Spring Run, PA_ Rookie Chris Meleason of Carlisle won his first-ever full size sprint car feature Friday night as the Path Valley Speedway Park raced to finish ahead of approaching rainstorms.
Meleason, 14 years old and a national karting champion last season, captured the lead in the PA 305 Sprint feature on lap eight from Justin Seigler as the two overtook the rearmost cars. Shortly after a lap nine caution brought on the only single file restart of the feature and Meleason led the field the final 11 laps to the checkers just ahead of fellow junior high school rookie Travis Keeney.
Another first time winner for this season was Richie Fitz of Crystal Springs who passed Dusty Heistand on lap two of the 600 Sprints feature and built up a lead of more than a turn. Colby Womer of Selinsgrove won his second 270 Sprints feature and Austin Kirby won his fourth in the Legends Cars, and then Tim Fedder took the lead from Steve Lowery on the last lap for his win in a rain-abbreviated V-8 Street Stock main event.
The occasional mist that started in lap three of the Legends feature became a definite rainstorm to end the street stock feature on lap 15 as the soft, smooth clay became too slippery for safe racing. One of the biggest thrills of the night came on the start of the 600 Sprints feature. As Scott Smith in #20 hit the gas at the starting line, his micro spun sideways to the left from his fourth place starting spot.
The resulting pileup collected and tumbled the winners of most of the season's features. Involved and for the most part disabled were Jim Young, Terry Peters, Jim Brookens, Jim Callahan, Duane Harbaugh and Lucas Wolfe. Only Harbaugh was able to briefly return to the feature.
The mini stock and four-cylinder thunder car features will be raced next Friday, Oct. 11, as part of the final Friday night at Path Valley. In addition, regular features are scheduled for the PA 305 Sprints, V-8 street stocks, mini stocks and thunder cars. Also on the race lineup next Friday is the Pepsi Night $500-to-win special for the V-8 Street Stocks that has been twice postponed for rain. Powder puff and mechanics' races next Friday will depend on time remaining and the number of amateur lady drivers and car mechanics interested.
With Friday night racing completed next weekend, only three Saturday races remain on the Path Valley 2002 schedule. Oct. 12 is the final Junk Car race of the season and Oct. 19 is the final date for AMA motorcycle and quads racing. Then Oct. 26 Path Valley closes the season with a Saturday Night Finale for the track's kart and quads riders. Tickets are available at the track for the annual awards banquet Nov. 23 at the Pleasant Hall Fire Company. Doors open at 3 p.m. for the kart and quad awards, followed by the dinner, with doors opening at 5 p.m. for sprint and stock car teams and the stock car and sprint awards following the catered feast by Dodies.
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. The new phone number at the track for promoter Ken Geesey is 717-349-7111. For information on the 2002 schedule and track, race teams and fans can call the owners at 717-426-4756 or 717-426-2910, consult the website at www.pathvalley.com, or they can email them at email@example.com.