Path Valley First Timers Win Sprints Openers Spring Run, PA_ Two first timers pulled off upset wins ahead of more experienced opponents in the first 270cc and 600cc Sprints races to open the Path Valley Speedway Park season. A.J. Bast of...
Path Valley First Timers Win Sprints Openers
Spring Run, PA_ Two first timers pulled off upset wins ahead of more experienced opponents in the first 270cc and 600cc Sprints races to open the Path Valley Speedway Park season.
A.J. Bast of Tower City blasted his East Coast Motorsports Elite Chassis 270 Sprint at the front of the pack with defending champion Brian Walker right behind him for his first ever Path Valley win, and in the top rated 600 Sprints Jim Fitz of Crystal Springs charged from fifth to the front to win his first ever with his BullRider Chassis micro built by his dad. Bast said it was only his second visit to Path Valley, and Fitz won in his first race at the Franklin County quarter-mile clay oval.
Veteran racers and past champions won in the four support divisions. In the Central PA Legends feature, defending champion and past national amateur champ Allen Felix of Shippensburg came from fourth to take the win. Jerry Bard of Shippensburg held off Ricky Harper for the mini stock win. John Rasp of McConnellsburg took the four-cylinder thunder win from a third place start and Tim Fedder of Newport beat Weston Alleman in the V-8 street stocks.
Next Friday night, April 2, the PA 305 Sprints and the Dwarf Cars replace the V-8 Street Stocks and Legends as those four classes race alternate weeks to allow eight divisions of cars time to finish at a reasonable time on Friday night. All six features at the opener were complete by 10:30.
"Based on the way we have started, it's going to be a great season," said race director John Winsett. "We had some tremendously good racing tonight and remarkably little damage. Only one sprint flipped over all night long."
The only red flag of the night came in the 270 Sprints feature on a lap 14 restart when the #45S checked up at the starting line and the #10 under Earl Hoon Jr. went up to avoid it, contacted the wall, and flipped clear over without any damage to its wing. Front end damage prevented young Hoon from continuing.
Rookie Chris Crull inadvertently helped Jim Fitz to his first win as Dusty Heistand and Jim Young dominated in the first 15 laps. As the leaders vied to get inside Crull and put him a lap down on lap 16, Fitz went to the outside and seized the lead. Then Fitz promptly put Aaron Eichelberger's #8s between himself and the frustrated Young and Heistand.
"The track was not as smooth as we hoped after two weeks of smooth daytime practice tracks for Bug Days," Winsett said, "and the turnout for the V-8 Street Stocks was not at all adequate. But the Legends, four-cylinders and micro sprints more than made up for that."
Street Stock winner Tim Fedder said, "It's too bad there were not more cars because I love the competition here and this might be the only chance I have to race here this season." Defending Legends champion Allen Felix said after his win that the competition in the Legends gets tougher every race.
Both Bast in the 270 Sprints and Bard in the mini stocks told announcer Rob Boyer that they had to race this week with their old engines from last year. John Rasp, who used a lapped car in lap 15 to get past leader Chuck Ingram, said the racing gets tougher every year.
600 Sprints -- Jim Fitz (started 5th), Jim Young, Dusty Heistand, Mark Hendershot, Gary Linderman, Richie Fitz, Duane Gutshall, Colby Womer, Jason Starr, Chris Crull, Jordon Frontz, Jim Brookens, Aaron Eichelberger, Greg Kone, Rod Schell, Donnie Hendershot, D.J. Holland, Tim Barrick, Dan Kanagy, Justin Frontz. Heats to Brookens, Fitz.
270 Sprints -- AJ Bast (started 1st), Brian Walker, Jim Callahan, Tony Jackson, Chad Myers, Tom Tice, Craig Myers, Danny Holtgraver, Jim Young, Rodney Glass, Aaron Lynch, Bill Hockenberry, Eric Spahr, Amanda Schlegal, Aaron Spahr, Michael Gerber, Lucas Hoover, Earl Hoon Jr., Matt Horst, Zack Zook, Dave Socks, Colby Womer. Consi to Zook, Heats to Bast, Walker, Jackson, Socks.
Legends -- Allen Felix (started 5th), Randy Kissinger, Greg Burd, Roger Austin Sr., Harry Garber, Darryl Bloom, Randy Fetterolf, Jason Ewing, Zach Deiter, Andy Lupfer, Marc Davis, Bill Harris, Laura McGonnell, Bill Weifel, Ronald Cooper, Ray Swank, Bob Murray, James Black, Denny Rothermel, Josh Morrow, Lawrence Garrison, Nathan Fisher, Butch Brough. Heats to Felix, Garber, Morrow.
Mini Stock -- Jerry Bard (started 1st), Ricky Harper, Gary Dehart, Kyle Wiser, Kevin Thomas, Eric Mellott, Tim Burkholder, Tim Mangle, Mike Beidel, Larry Stine, Jeff Mangle. Heats to Bard, Dehart.
4-Cyl Thunder -- John Rasp (started 3rd), Lyle Barnes, Melvin Bigler, Terry Smith, Tim Varner, Chuck Ingram, Tony Weller, Wes Scofield, Keith Armolt, David Edwards, Jeff Christy. Heats to Bigler, Smith.
V-8 Street Stock -- Tim Fedder (started 3rd), Weston Alleman, Jeff Johnson. Heat to Fedder.