Path Valley beats rain good with Brookens, Bigler and Bard Spring Run, PA_ Threatened by storms on all sides and lightning overhead, the Path Valley Speedway Park completed seven Pepsi Night features by 10 p.m. and then celebrated the winners...
Path Valley beats rain good with Brookens, Bigler and Bard
Spring Run, PA_ Threatened by storms on all sides and lightning overhead, the Path Valley Speedway Park completed seven Pepsi Night features by 10 p.m. and then celebrated the winners with Melvin's Auto Repair and Midnight Graphics prizes.
Fittingly, Melvin Bigler of Shippensburg in the four-cylinder thunder cars and Jerry Bard of Shippensburg in the mini stocks won the night's regular features while Joe Hawbaker of Mercersburg won the night's makeup thunder car feature from August 8.
The night's winged sprint thrillers went to defending champion Jimmy Brookens of Fayetteville in the 600 Sprints and to Sean Good of Middleburg in the 270 Sprints. Shippensburg ace Randy Patterson won half a length ahead of Tim Fedder in the V-8 Street Stocks and Greg Burd of Boiling Springs won his first feature in the Legends Cars.
The race proved a preview for next weekend when the PA 305 Sprints return to Path Valley for the regular Friday night feature and again on Labor Day for the annual All Sprint Monday $500 to win races for the 305, 600, 270 and 125 sprints. The Friday Coors Night features Aug. 29 include the regular divisions and both the 305 Sprints and the Legends Cars and in addition the regular karts and four wheelers will race Saturday while the Monday All Sprint National races may draw the biggest field of sprints seen anywhere in the region this season.
After leading every lap in the 270 Sprints feature, Sean Good revealed that the #17 he wheeled to the win amid lapped sprints was only completed at 5 p.m. that afternoon and the night before it was a bare Elite chassis. "All of our testing was right here tonight in the warm-ups and heats. We made some adjustments for the smooth, hard track surface and I could put it wherever I needed to to stay out front." Brian Marriott passed Rodney Glass for second on lap 17 and Matt Miller, Glass and Brian Walker filled out the front five. Chad Myers, Marriott and Glass won the heats, and the inversion pill draw put Good on the pole.
Defending champion Jim Brookens started third and took the 600 Sprints lead at the end of the first lap. After a lap three red flag for four sprints that bent their wings in turn one, the race went non-stop to the checkers with Brookens weaving ahead of a hard field of past winners. Second through fifth went to Aaron Eichelberger, Jim Fitz, Jim Young, and Jim Callahan and Young and Ryan Greth won the heat races.
First time Legends winner Greg Burd passed Josh Morrow on the outside coming out of turn two on lap seven and led the field, even after a lap 17 restart. He said his father and family are his primary support and winning on the Path Valley clay ahead of past national champions was the thrill of a lifetime. The front five were Burd, Allen Felix, Ray Swank, Josh Morrow and Kip Erb Jr. and the heat winners were Swank, Butch Brough and Erb.
The thriller of the night was the V-8 Street Stock feature as Randy Patterson from third took the lead on the second lap and Tim Fedder came from last to catch up on lap five. With no cautions, the two veterans turned the event into a match race running at times side-by-side for the final 14 laps. Fedder tried both the outside groove and then the inside but Patterson pulled away in both the turns and the straights to win by just more than half the length of his #03. Patterson said it is always a personal best to beat Fedder. The front five also included Wayne Hawbaker, Aaron Neuder and Blaine Dockery and Neuder won the heat race.
In the night's first, makeup, four-cylinder thunder car feature Joe Hawbaker started fourth and took his third win of the season after taking the lead from a broken Derrick Casner on lap 17. The front five in the first feature were Hawbaker, Lyle Barnes, Raymond Middaugh, Chris Casner and John Rasp.
Melvin Bigler beat pole starter Terry Smith into turn one on the first lap of the second thunder car feature and then raced ahead of him to the win with only two cautions to regroup the field. The front five in the second feature were Bigler, Smith, John Rasp, Jeremy Truax and Vance Kennedy. Richard Stache and Rasp won the 10-car heats.
In addition to T-shirts and Midnight Graphics decals for the other winners, Bigler and Jerry Bard provided bags of candy for all the children and Frisbees autographed by the four-cylinder drivers for the grandstands. Those in the grandstands who got the Frisbees signed by the night's winners won also a free auto inspection and a gift certificate from Melvin's Auto Repairs on Route 11 in Shippensburg.
Opening the night, in a wheel to wheel duel coming out of turn four on the final lap Jerry Bard got past Rickey Harper to win the mini stock feature by about a length. The front five after 20 laps were Bard, Harper, Eric Mellott, Gary Dehart and Barry Welch. Bard and Randy Wible won the heat races and then Bard, as winner of the first heat, drew a ten pill for inversion, which put him in ninth to start.
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.
270 Sprints -- Sean Good, Brian Marriott, Matt Miller, Rodney Glass, Brian Walker, Chad Myers, Alex Cunningham, Zack Zook, Josh Dressler, Doug Dodson, Craig Myers, Randy Pit, Earl Hoon Jr., Todd Steffy, Mike Midkiff, Greg Kone, Jared Allen, Jason Pisani, Ryan Preece, Brad Zook, Guy Hardesty, Rob Griffin, Ray Myers, Aaron Lynch, Greg Folmar. Heats to Chad Myers, Marriott, Glass.
600 Sprints -- Jim Brookens, Aaron Eichelberger, Jim Fitz, Jim Young, Jim Callahan, Mark Watkins, Donnie Hendershot, Chad Criswell, Justin Frontz, Jake Murphy, Ben Murphy, Tim Barrick, Gary Suchy, J.C. Walling, Duane Harbaugh, Butch Harrington, Ryan Greth, Rod Schell, Chris Smith, DQ Terry Peters. Heats to Young, Greth.
Mini Stocks -- Jerry Bard, Rickey Harper, Eric Mellott, Gary Dehart, Barry Welch, Mike Beidel, Brenda McCartney, Kyle Wiser, Steve McCartney, Tim Burkholder, Ed Kirby, Calvin Fredrick, Korey Washinger, Randy Wible, Kevin Thomas, Bryan Neff. Heats to Bard and Wible.
Legends -- Greg Burd, Allen Felix, Ray Swank, Josh Morrow, Kip Erb Jr., Butch Brough, Lawrence Garrison, Randy Fetterolf, Denny Rothermel, Paul Fisher, Darryl Bloom, Rob Murray, James Black, Jason Ewing, Edward Wentz, Bryan Swartz, Zach Deiter, George Rutherford, Bill Harris, Laura McGonnell, Nathan Fisher, Andy Lupfer. Heats to Swank, Brough, Erb.
V-8 Street Stock -- Randy Patterson, Tim Fedder, Wayne Hawbaker, Aaron Neuder, Blaine Dockery, Matt Kauffman, Allen Shives. Heat to Neuder.
4-Cyl. Thunder (from Aug. 8) -- Joe Hawbaker, Lyle Barnes, Raymond Middaugh, Chris Casner, John Rasp, Melvin Bigler, Charles Stallman, Vance Kennedy, Derrick Casner, Wes Scofield, Keith Armolt, Jeremy Truax, Derrick Varner, Dave Ricker, Josh Detra, Duane Ricker, DNS Jason Erwin.
4-Cyl. Thunder (Aug. 22) -- Melvin Bigler, Terry Smith, John Rasp, Jeremy Truax, Vance Kennedy, Dave Ricker, Keith Armolt, Raymond Middaugh, Duane Ricker, Lyle Barnes, Jeremy Ott, Richard Stache, Tim Varner, Derrick Casner, Chris Casner, Joe Hawbaker, Josh Detra, Wes Scofield, DQ Charles Stallman. Heats to Stache, Rasp.