Path Valley openers to O'Donel, Glass, Dicely. Spring Run, PA_ Terry O'Donel of Doylesburg raced to a major upset at the Path Valley Speedway Park opener Friday night as he beat frequent winner Tim Fedder of Newport by half a car length in the...
Path Valley openers to O'Donel, Glass, Dicely.
Spring Run, PA_ Terry O'Donel of Doylesburg raced to a major upset at the Path Valley Speedway Park opener Friday night as he beat frequent winner Tim Fedder of Newport by half a car length in the V-8 Street Stock Pepsi Night replay. O'Donel started on the front row and Fedder had to get past Mark Whitsel who held second place for the first 14 laps. Then O'Donel closed off the high groove where Fedder prefers to pass, and as the race finished without any caution flags, claimed his first victory ever in the big street stock class.
Richard Stache of Shippensburg outran John Rasp for only the second win of his career in the four-cylinder thunder cars and Rodney Glass of Fort Loudon repeated his first race of the season win from last season in the 270 Sprints.
Current or past track champions won the other three features as Mike Dicely, owner of Hyper Chassis in Lewisberry took the 600 Sprints checkers and also won the consi from a tenth place start in the 270 Sprints, Arlin Brougher of Gettysburg won in the mini stocks, and Lynn Knepper of Somerset won the Dwarf Cars feature. Next Friday the Legends Cars replace the Dwarf Cars in the lineup and top division honors go to the PA 305 Sprints in their season opener.
Dicely, dean of micro sprint racing for nearly a decade, built up a full turn lead by lap two in the 600 Sprints main, but after the only caution on lap seven eliminated Terry Peters, Jim Young of Johnstown, the current Valvoline Cup National Champion, moved into second and hounded Dicely in a weaving hunt through lapped traffic. Two-time Path Valley champion Donnie Hendershot came up from ninth to finish third and Pat Klose and Butch Harrington filled the top five. Pat Klose and Dusty Heistand won the 600cc heats and Klose drew a number 8 inversion pill to put Dicely and Ryan Greth on the front row. Dicely praised the speedway for a smooth, soft track "where I can run up high," and said he will be back most Friday nights.
In the full field of 270 sprints, defending champion Sean Good won the first heat and drew a four for inversion, which put Rodney Glass, winner of the fourth heat, on the pole. Glass got into lapped sprint traffic by lap 7, outpaced Todd Steffy on the only restart, and won going away as Brian Walker edged out Steffy for second. Colby Womer was fourth and Mike Dicely up from twenty-first, filled out the front five. The second heat went to last year's rookie of the year, Josh Dressler, and Steffy won the third heat.
Arlin Brougher passed Kevin Thomas for the mini stock lead on lap five and then weaved ahead of Jerry Bard until a lap 19 caution set up a drag race to the checkered flag. The front five were Brougher, Bard, Steve McCartney, Gary Dehart and Randy Wible. Thomas and McCartney won the heats.
Frank Dunkle led the first few laps of the Dwarf Car feature, but past national champion Knepper took the lead on lap five and never looked back. A final lap caution provided one last chance but Michael Hay, who had run second most of the way, finished two lengths behind Knepper. Josh Sigman, Dunkle and Bryan Peach filled out the front five, and Mike Hay also won the single heat race. The Dwarf Cars race at Path Valley twice a month all season long.
Stache and Mike Rosenberry won the four-cylinder thunder car heat races and an inversion of two left Stache on the front row. On the third lap Rosenberry went wide out of turn two and Stache took the lead, never to be caught through the standard 20 laps. The final 15 laps were amid heavy lapped-car traffic and second place changed four times. At the finish the front five were Stache, John Rasp, Dave Ricker, Terry Smith and Duane Ricker.
"All six features raced hard but safe and we finished at 10:30," said promoter Ken Geesey. "We had lots of thrills and real close racing but remarkably few spills and cautions. The track crew did a great job preparing the clay and the damp night helped keep it soft."
Echoed Two Wheel Promotions partner John Winsett, "Everyone loved the track surface, and the racing was as tough as we've ever had." He reported no problems in tech and the only disqualifications were for cars that didn't make weight on the scales.
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 2003 schedule and rules, race teams and fans can consult the website at www.pathvalley.com or they can email Two Wheel Promotions at email@example.com.