Path Valley Features Six New Winners Spring Run, PA_ The six first time this season winners at the Path Valley Speedway Park Friday night featured a past champion and five promising youngsters. Chris Meleason of Carlisle won a close third of...
Path Valley Features Six New Winners
Spring Run, PA_ The six first time this season winners at the Path Valley Speedway Park Friday night featured a past champion and five promising youngsters.
Chris Meleason of Carlisle won a close third of his career in the PA 305 Sprints while the 270 Sprints win went to Matt Miller of Shamokin and the 600 Sprints winner was Chad Criswell of Martinsburg WV.
Factory driver Brian Woodhall of Apollo beat Mike Hay by a few lengths in the Dwarf Cars while Joe Hawbaker of Mercersburg won an exceptionally close chase in the four-cylinder thunder cars. The night's one veteran winner was Ricky Harper of Three Springs, a multiple past champion, who won his first of the year in the modified Mini Stocks.
The PA 305 Sprints and the Dwarf Cars are off next Friday night as the V-8 Street Stocks and the Legends Cars take their place in the rotation that allows eight classes to race at Path Valley with only six features and a finish about or before 11 p.m. each Friday night.
The excitement began in warm-ups when the #55 of Frankie Reisinger ripped its front wheels off against the front stretch wall. Then in heat races Michael Alleman made eight laps with his #46 before flipping it on lap three. To top off the early action, Josh Sigman rolled his #33 Dwarf on the start out of turn four. Sigman made it back to finish second in the feature.
Danny Holtgraver and Aaron Spahr opened the night with an early battle for the lead in the 270 Sprints, until Spahr bounced off a slider and hit the turn two wall hard enough to require temporary medical observation. Matt Miller and Holtgraver played tag until lap 17 when Holtgraver surrender the lead mechanically and Miller raced to the finish just ahead of Colby Womer. The first five across the line were Miller, Womer, Nick Schlauch, Sean Good and Jim Callahan. Miller said his Demon chassis made handling a breeze. Brian Walker, Good and Schlauch won the heats.
Harper took fourth by lap two in the Mini Stocks and by lap nine he led by more than a turn. Kevin Thomas and Tim Burkholder both made charges at the leader, but from victory lane Harper thanked all 15 of his sponsors for the first time this season. The front five were Harper, Thomas, Burkholder, Kyle Wiser and Gary Dehart. Kevin Thomas won the single heat race.
As a warm-up for the main event, Aaron Eichelberger and Colby Womer slugged out the first few laps of the 600 Sprints main. Womer took over on lap three and Criswell took second on lap six. On a lap 13 restart young Criswell pulled alongside Womer in the turns and on the next lap completed his pass as the race went free of cautions to the finish. Criswell, Womer, Jim Brookens, Jim Fitz and Duane Harbaugh were the front five finishers and Criswell, Eichelberger and Womer won the heats.
The pill draw for inversion put Chris Meleason on the front row to start the 305 Sprints feature and he beat the Flyin' Cowboy, Jim Kennedy, into turn one and never looked back. With a lead of up to a full turn in three laps, Meleason thanked his dad and crew for a great car and the Two Wheel Promotions management for a great track. The front five were Meleason, Mike Freet, Von McGee, Scott Ellerman and Jim Roush, and Roush and Freet won the heats.
Matt Jester, Mike Hay, Josh Sigman and Frank Dunkle led some of the early Dwarf Car laps but young Hay took over after two lap seven restarts and Woodhall didn't manage a pass until laps 12 and 13. The Apollo youngster, who campaigns his father's Eliminator Dwarf chassis all over the country, also won on his only visit last season and said in his victory lane interview that Path Valley is one of the very best tracks he has ever raced on.
"Each time I've been here, the track has been the very best, smooth, fast and easy. It feels like I'm going really slow but with these banks I'm actually running the fastest I ever have," Woodhall said. The front five were Woodhall, Sigman, Mike Hay, Eric Hay and Jester. Woodhall and Lynn Knepper won the heats.
"Chuck always races me clean, so I didn't worry about giving it all I had," Joe Hawbaker said in victory lane of competitor Chuck Ingram. Hawbaker took the lead on a lap 11 restart after Ken Lawrence Jr. spun at the starting line and got his twice by cars behind him. Hawbaker was trying to pass on a lower line at the time and missed the mayhem and then on the restart took off and held his low line non-stop for the final ten laps. Ingram caught up twice but even in lapped traffic Hawbaker held tight to the inside and at the finish the front five were Hawbaker, Ingram, Lyle Barnes, Melvin Bigler and Keith Armolt. John Rasp and Barnes 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 is 717-349-7111. For information on the 2004 schedule and rules, race teams and fans can consult our website at www.pathvalley.com or they can email Two Wheel Promotions at firstname.lastname@example.org.
PA 305 Sprints -- Chris Meleason (started 2), Mike Freet, Von McGee, Scott Ellerman, Jim Roush, Jim Wentz, Todd Spangler, Randy Kaylor, Joey Hershey, Kyle Ganoe, Mike Wagner II, Frankie Reisinger, Greg Hammaker, DNS Wes Zimmerman, Michael Alleman, DQ Jim Kennedy. Heats to Roush, Freet.
600 Sprints -- Chad Criswell (3), Colby Womer, Jim Brookens, Jim Fitz, Duane Harbaugh, Richie Fitz, Donnie Hendershot, Aaron Eichelberger, Jim Young, Jake Murphy, Ben Murphy, Dusty Heistand, Mark Strickler, Mark Hendershot, Justin Frontz, Adam Dimm, Dan Kanagy, Tim Barrick, Dusty Faust, Chris Crull, Jordon Frontz, Jason Starr, Doug Dodson, DNS Rod Schell. Heats to Criswell, Eichelberger, Womer.
270 Sprints -- Matt Miller (3), Colby Womer, Nick Schlauch, Sean Good, Jim Callahan, Craig Myers, Rodney Glass, Zack Zook, Jim Still, Bill Hockenberry, Amanda Schlegal, Chad Myers, Aaron Lynch, Roy States, Eric Spahr, Jason Houtz, Tony Jackson, Henry Sparks, Danny Holtgraver, Tom Tice, Aaron Spahr, Jim Young, Brian Walker, DQ A.J. Bast. Heats to Walker, Good, Schlauch. Consi to States.
Mini Stock -- Ricky Harper (5), Kevin Thomas, Tim Burkholder, Kyle Wiser, Gary Dehart, Jerry Bard, Mike Beidel, Stave McCartney, Jeff Mangle, DNS Tim Mangle. Heat to Thomas.
4-Cyl. Thunder -- Joe Hawbaker (3), Chick Ingram, Lyle Barnes, Melvin Bigler, Keith Armolt, Terry Smith, Wes Scofield, Tim Varner, Jeff Christy, Joe Walker, David Edwards, Charles Stallman, Ken Lawrence Jr., Rocky Payne, DNS Richard Cline, DQ John Rasp, Derrick Varner. Heats to Rasp, Barnes.
Dwarf Cars -- Brian Woodhall (9), Josh Sigman, Mike Hay, Eric Hay, Matt Jester, Gary Funck, Tom Showman, Lynn Knepper, Frank Dunkle, John Gerula, Greg Johnson, Eddie Benedict, Jeff Barclay, David Way, Frankie Dunkle, Bill Durstine. Heats to Woodhall, Knepper.