Wiser, Womer, Swank and Crum win season firsts at Path Valley Spring Run, PA_ Four experienced racers beat tough fields for their first wins of the season at the Path Valley Speedway Park Friday night. The night's repeat winners were past...
Wiser, Womer, Swank and Crum win season firsts at Path Valley
Spring Run, PA_ Four experienced racers beat tough fields for their first wins of the season at the Path Valley Speedway Park Friday night.
The night's repeat winners were past champions Jimmy Brookens of Fayetteville in 600 Sprints and Melvin Bigler of Shippensburg in the four-cylinder thunder cars.
Alan Crum of Mercersburg returned from a 14-year break to wheel the #03 V-8 Street Stock (made familiar to the winners circle by Randy Patterson) into victory lane. Young Kyle Wiser of Mt. Union started on the front and stayed ahead of the crowd to win in the Steve Price Auctioneering #34. Hard charger Colby Womer of Mt. Pleasant Mills paid off previous hard season runs with his first win this year, and Ray Swank of Harrisburg bested a big field of Legends Cars.
Delayed by a personal emergency, the famed General Lee Mopar car will be rescheduled, but the Fan Appreciation Night saw plenty of enthusiasm for a group of drivers in an autograph session pre-race and at intermission. Led by Jimmy Brookens, racers at the grandstand session included John Rasp, Brian Walker, Harry Garber, and Mike Beidel. One young fan, with his autographed shirt, Gavin Earnest, 4, from Spring Run later joined Brookens in victory lane.
Next Friday night is Auto Locator Night, and the popular weekly auto advertiser will add major money to each winner's purse. On hand will be the four regular weekly divisions and the PA 305 Sprints and Dwarf Cars.
The 600 Sprints started with a crash as DJ Holland threw a wheel off the wall and collected Dan Kanagy, Jordon Frontz, and Jimmy Callahan in turn four. On the restart Brookens charged into second and the went to the inside of turn three on lap three to pass leaders Chad Criswell. As the race went non-stop, veteran Brookens used lapped cars after lap 16 to keep space ahead of Criswell. Jim Young, Mark Hendershot and Dusty Heistand filled out the front five finishers.
The big field of Legends Cars went down to the final laps without pause as Randy Fetterolf led the way. On lap 16 Ray Swank caught up as Fetterolf encountered the rear of the field and on lap 19 Fetterolf went to the inside to pass while Swank held the high outside line to gain a slight lead just before the only caution of the race. The one-lap shootout for the win went to Swank by less than a length, followed by Fetterolf, Bill Harris, Allen Felix and Josh Morrow.
Three weeks ago Melvin Bigler won the thunder car feature, and after the rainouts he still had to start in the handicap twelfth spot. As the lead banged and bumped, Bigler bided his time and finally moved into second place on lap 12 and then went side-by-side and wheel-to-wheel with Ken Lawrence through laps 13 and 14 before securing the lead for certain. As Bigler stopped in victory lane, his right rear tire went flat. The front five were Bigler, John Rasp, Lawrence, Wes Scofield and Lyle Barnes.
Back to victory lane after a 14-year break, Mercersburg's Alan Crum led every lap to the V-8 Street Stock victory lane as Randy Patterson and Wayne Hawbaker battled for second. Crum said it took a lot of effort to get the feel of the track and car, but it's coming back to him.
Colby Womer, rejected from Path Valley's victory lane more than once already this season, said the Path Valley 270 Sprints competition is the toughest anywhere, but his Demon Chassis #19 performed perfectly to help him get his first win this season on the quarter mile of clay.
A.J. Bast and Chad Myers put on a challenging show, each leading in the early laps but on lap six Womer pulled alongside Myers at the finish line and on the next lap went to the outside to pass coming out of turn two. At the finish Sean Good, up from the handicap twelfth spot, got past Myers for second with Brian Walker fourth and Tom Tice finishing fifth.
The mini-stock feature that closed the night proved a yell yourself hoarse thriller as Kyle Wiser scooted ahead of Steve McCartney on lap eight and then went lap after lap to gain a turn by the first and only caution on lap 19. Mike Beidel came from eighth to pass Gary Dehart and Jerry Bard on the final two laps, and the finish order was Wiser, McCartney, Beidel, Dehart and Bard.
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 email@example.com.
Mini Stock -- Kyle Wiser (started 1), Steve McCartney, Mike Beidel, Gary Dehart, Jerry Bard, Ricky Harper, Kevin Thomas, Tim Burkholder, Mike Kalinich, Dave Bivens, Frank Gordon. Heat to Bard.
270 Sprints -- Colby Womer (5), Sean Good, Chad Myers, Brian Walker, Tom Tice, Craig Myers, Amanda Schlegal, Aaron Lynch, Ryan Pitt, Jason Houtz, Norman Zook, A.J. Bast, Earl Hoon Jr., Rodney Glass, Steve Cooper, Henry Sparks, Matt Kiefert, Josh Dressler, DNS Ryan Wilson, Alex Cunningham, Ken Poff. Heats to Myers, Walker, Womer.
V-8 Street Stock -- Alan Crum (1), Randy Patterson, Wayne Hawbaker, Kevin Keefer. Heat to Patterson.
4-Cyl. Thunder -- Melvin Bigler (12), John Rasp, Ken Lawrence Jr., Wes Scofield, Lyle Barnes, Terry Smith, Tony Weller, Jeff Christy, Tim Varner, Rocky Payne, Chuck Ingram, Joe Walker, Keith Armolt, NP Bob Starr, DQ Tracy Linn, Joe Hawbaker. Heats to Barnes, Weller.
Legends -- Ray Swank (6), Randy Fetterolf, Bill Harris, Allen Felix, Josh Morrow, Jason Ewing, Greg Burd, Harry Garber, Randy Kissinger, Nathan Fisher, Darryl Bloom, Edward Wentz, Wayne Young, Denny Rothermel, Andy Lupfer, Bob Murray, Zach Deiter, Paul Fitzsimmons, Ronald Cooper, James Black, Laura McGonnell, Robert Sobleski, DNS Lawrence Garrison. Heats to Bloom, Kissinger, Felix.
600 Sprints -- Jim Brookens (5), Chad Criswell, Jim Young, Mark Hendershot, Dusty Heistand, Colby Womer, Tim Barrick, Jimmy Callahan, Aaron Eichelberger, Rich Latchaw, Greg Kone, Dusty Faust, Jordon Frontz, Chris Crull, Jim Fitz, Donnie Hendershot, Dan Kanagy, D.J. Holland, Justin Frontz, DNS Richie Fitz, Chris Smith, Randy Morral. Heats to Young, Frontz, Callahan.