Path Valley race report 2002-04-12

Three first-timers win at Path Valley Friday night. Spring Run, PA_ Three young racers outran the veterans for their first wins ever Friday night at the Path Valley Speedway Park. Jeff Johnson of Hancock MD in the V-8 Street Stocks, John Rasp...

Three first-timers win at Path Valley Friday night.

Spring Run, PA_ Three young racers outran the veterans for their first wins ever Friday night at the Path Valley Speedway Park.

Jeff Johnson of Hancock MD in the V-8 Street Stocks, John Rasp III of McConnellsburg in the four-cylinder thunder cars and Doug Dodson of Lewisberry in the 270 Sprints each won their first features on the exceptionally smooth and fast Path Valley clay.

Todd Lynn of Canoe Creek in the PA 305 Sprints and Gary Dehart of Ft. Loudon in the modified mini stocks each won for the first time this season.

The lone repeat winner was Jimmy Brookens of Fayetteville, a 2001 champion, who has now won three of four features in the 600 Sprints. Brookens started tenth. After five starts Jim Young who started sixth took the lead on lap two and ran away from the field until lap 15 when, passing on the outside, Lyle Stroman pushed up into Young's #8 in the middle of turns three and four.

Young went into the wall, putting Terry Peters in the lead. As Brookens said, "I didn't think I could catch Peters, but when Young wrecked to put me in second I decided to give it everything."

At the start of lap 17 Young edged inside Peters by inches going into turn one and then held the faster high groove to the finish.

"The field of 600 micros gets bigger and better every week," Brookens said in his winners circle interview, "and every week the track gets faster. We're done with six features at 11:30 and the track is still smooth and soft with a lot of bite to it after a whole lot of racing."

"Bob Walker got a whole lot of water into the track and it barely needs smoothed for tomorrow's kart and quad race and tomorrow night's junk car opener," said John Winsett of Two Wheel Promotions, one of the track's owners. "Each week the quality of the racing, the car count and the grandstand attendance grows, but it's hard to believe the racing could get any better than this."

The bi-weekly PA 305 Sprints are off next Friday night, April 19, as the Central PA Legends Cars return, and the Dwarf Cars take the place of the V-8 Street Stocks which have their regular one night in five off.

Next Saturday afternoon the karts and quads are scheduled for the Karts Spring National with special feature events for the adult kart classes of mediums, lites and heavies. The Saturday night the quads take to the track again with the season's second AMA sanctioned motorcycle race. Gates open for the kart and quad races at 10 a.m. and again for the AMA motorcycle event at 5 p.m. The bikes and four-wheelers have a Sunday rain date.

In the PA 305 Sprint feature, Lynn started fourth and pulled alongside pole sitter Tim Bilger on lap 11 to gain a full turn lead at the end. In sharp contrast young Dodson started on the pole in the 270 Sprints and finished two lengths ahead of 2001 champion Rodney Glass after hold off Tony Jackson on the only two restarts after cautions.

In the four-cylinder classes Kyle Wiser of Mt. Union led the first 18 laps in the mini stocks and then went too high out of turn two to let Dehart and defending champion Arlin Brougher past. Rasp started second and took three laps to find a line past Derrick Casner in the thunder cars and then Casner dogged him to finish through lapped traffic in a feature that finished without a caution after two starts on the first lap.

The V-8 Street Stocks opened with defending champ Doug Hoffman taking the lead from Randy Patterson on the high line through turns three and four on lap two and then Johnson went to the outside of Hoffman to catch him twice in laps 13 and 14 and finally take the lead on lap 15. It was Johnson's first ever win at Path Valley and he said he had to learn to drive the car the way it was set up.

No red flag wrecks and few cautions delayed the racing, but blown engines and broken cooling systems nearly exhausted the track's supply of play sand.

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 twp@pathvalley.com. The new phone number at the track for promoter Ken Geesey is 717-349-7111. 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.

-pvsp-

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Series Sprint , Stock car