Path Valley race summary 2002-08-30

Travis Keeney sets Path Valley sprint history. Spring Run, PA_ Dallastown Area High School sophomore Travis Keeney set Path Valley Speedway Park history Friday night as the youngest driver ever to win a full-size sprint car feature. The York ...

Travis Keeney sets Path Valley sprint history.

Spring Run, PA_ Dallastown Area High School sophomore Travis Keeney set Path Valley Speedway Park history Friday night as the youngest driver ever to win a full-size sprint car feature. The York County youngster was 15 years old in July, and this was the ninth race for the former kart rider in his #88 PA 305 Sprint.

On an exceptionally smooth and fast track for Coors Race Night past champions Jimmy Brookens of Fayetteville in the 600 Sprints and Arlin Brougher of Gettysburg in the modified mini stocks each won their feature events by handy margins. Mike Boyer in the King factory sprint won the 270 Sprints feature for the second time this season and Jeff Johnson of Hancock MD won in the V-8 street stocks, also for the second time.

For the winged sprints, the race was a preview and practice for the all-sprint Labor Day Monday Fall Nationals Sept. 2 that would feature $500 to win 30-lap features and electronic timing and scoring.

The Central PA Legends Cars return Sept. 7 along with the 600 Sprints, 4-cylinder thunder cars and 270 Sprints, and the mini stocks race two features including a rain=makeup from August 23 for those cars already qualified. Path Valley's Kart Fall National is scheduled Sept. 8, along with regular points features for the karts and quads.

In the absence of Promoter Ken Geesey who is recuperating from by-pass heart surgery, Vicki Flowers of Two Wheel Promotions announced that Sept. 13 has been scheduled as RPM Racing Night with trophies, door prizes and lots of prizes for the kids courtesy of the Randy Patterson and the #03 Street Stock team. RPM Racing is Randy and Paula Motorsports and the special night supported by Patterson's racing sponsors.

The Friday night 305 sprint feature opened with Todd Lynn of Hollidaysburg joyful about winning the first heat race and then drawing a "zero" inversion pill for a heads-up start. "I've been so luck at Path Valley because when I get to draw the inversion pill I've always got a zero or a two to start the feature on the front row," he said before the feature.

Keeney started on the outside front and beat Lynn out of turn four on the start. With Lynn at his rear wheels, Keeney put first time racer Danny Dietrich a lap down on lap five and continued to hold a tight inside line passing Rory Janney who had started third on lap 17. The only caution was on lap 18 when Todd Spangler and Jim Wentz skid around together in turn four. With the distance extended to 25 laps, Keeney pulled the restart through turns three and four and built a slight lead over Lynn to take the checkers by more than two car lengths.

"Wow, this is fun," the tall teen told the crowd from Victory Lane. "I've only raced a real sprint nine times, and I thought finishing second to Ellerman in the last race was just great, but this is better!" Keeney said he hopes to some day move up to the faster 410 sprints, but for now he's happy in the 305 class and hoping to attract some serious sponsors for his black #88. In the top five behind Keeney were Lynn, Chris Meleason, Scott Ellerman and Nathan Gramley.

In the 600 Sprints Jim Brookens came from seventh in the first four laps to pass pole-sitter Justin Frontz on the starting line and then lead all the way non-stop. The only caution was in lap two when the #8 of Jim Young tumbled end over end out of turn four. Brookens said that without the support of his mom and dad, he would never have been able to race. The front five were Brookens, Pat Klose, Terry Peters, Dave Shirk and Duane Harbaugh. Donnie Hendershot and Jim Young won the heats.

Rodney Glass took command of the 270 Sprint feature from the start but stopped on the front stretch on lap three. Only one other restart provided a chance to catch up, and winner Mike Boyer said from the Coors photo setup on victory lane that Glass had his sympathy. "Rod Glass had me beat, I'd have never caught him, but it looked like his motor blew up," Boyer said after his second Path Valley win in the King Chassis team car. Jeff Furlong, Dave Socks, Todd Steffy, and Sean Good completed the front five. Tony Jackson won the consi, and Alex Cunningham, Rick Brehm, Boyer and Glass won the heats.

The V-8 Street Stock feature was a wheel rubbing wheel battle between Mark Whitsel and Jeff Johnson through the first 16 laps and the two dogged the rear end of the field from lap 12 on. In lap 17 the two rearmost cars got loose in turn three and Johnson skid through them while also aiming Whitsel into the outside wall. That left Johnson in solid command until Weston Alleman caught up on lap 19 only to finish half a length behind. In victory lane Johnson told Coors representative Heidi Effinger of D&M Distributors, "Those lapped cars should have laid over, and when they got loose all I could do was bore right through them." Whitsel and Doug Hoffman won the heats and the front five were Johnson, Weston Alleman, James Andrews, Doug Hoffman, and Wayne Hawbaker.

Defending champion Arlin Brougher claimed his tenth overall win of the season in the mini stocks as he took the lead from pole sitter Steve McCartney on a restart of the first lap. McCartney ran second right behind Brougher all the way, weaving among lapped cars from lap 16 on, but no more cautions slowed the race and Brougher posed for the Coors Night photos. The front five were Brougher, Steve McCartney, Joe Jakubic, Gary Dehart, and Jerry Bard, and Brougher and McCartney won the heats.

The full field of 24 four-cylinder thunder cars spun and crashed through seven cautions and restarts, but each time Mike Beidel held his lead and from the half way mark Mike Rosenberry held onto second, mostly amid lapped car traffic. Beidel, Rosenberry, Zeb Page, Keith Armolt, and Ashley Kirby were the front five finishers and Beidel, Page and John Rasp won the heats.

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 twp@pathvalley.com.

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About this article
Series Sprint , Stock car
Drivers Chris Meleason