Path Valley Speedway summary 2002-06-28

Klose and Berkholder win first Path Valley features. Spring Run, PA_ Pat Klose of Harrisburg raced to his first win in six years in the 600 Sprints class Friday night at the Path Valley Speedway Park, and rookie Tim Berkholder of Shippensburg...

Klose and Berkholder win first Path Valley features.

Spring Run, PA_ Pat Klose of Harrisburg raced to his first win in six years in the 600 Sprints class Friday night at the Path Valley Speedway Park, and rookie Tim Berkholder of Shippensburg beat a full field of veterans for his first win in the modified mini stocks.

Tony Jackson of Newville weaved among lapped car traffic to beat Jeff Furlong to the pole in the 270 Sprints and Kip Erb of McClure beat newcomer Tim Henry in the Legends Cars. John Rasp of McConnellsburg won his fourth feature and Mike Beidel of Fayetteville won his fifth in the night's two four-cylinder thunder car features.

In the night's foot races for the kids the ladies dominated as Lauren Herbert of Mechanicsburg won in 9-12, Sophia Bohan of Atlanta GA won in 6-8 and Ryan Ingram of Chambersburg won in 3-5.

On a more sober note veteran announcer Bob Johnson reported that he will return to Presbyterian Hospital Monday, July 1, for removal of his transplanted kidney which no longer fails. Wife Sharon says that prayers for his recovery will be appreciated and that he will survive on dialysis until a new donor kidney is found.

The fireworks will be on the track next Friday night, July 5, as the full-size V-8 PA 305 Sprints return for their bi-weekly visit with the 600 Sprints and 270 Sprints as support classes.

The Vintage Car Club makes a rare Friday night visit to Path Valley along with the Legends, four-cylinder thunder cars and V-8 street stocks for a seven-feature holiday weekend. The regular karts and quads races run Saturday with gates open at 10 a.m. and racing by noon, and the 100-lap Enduro originally scheduled that evening has been cancelled due to the reported high risk of terrorist attack and problems with scoring.

The following weekend, July 12 and 13, features visits both nights for the Dwarf Cars and the season's fourth Junk Car Race Saturday night with the Vintage Cars also on the Saturday bill of fare.

Kip Erb had his hands full in the Legends Cars with newcomers Tim Henry in #769 and Ricky Haring in #799 beside him or on his bumper all the way to the checkers. Henry finished second and Harring third with Legends rookie Austin Kirby fourth and Lawrence Garrison fifth. The Advance Auto Parts division has yet to schedule a makeup of their rained-out May 31 feature.

The night's two features in four-cylinder thunder cars resulted from the May 31 partial rainout and Promoter Ken Geesey praised the entry level teams for their fast, exciting runs with few cautions and lots of passing. "These guys and gals just get better and better every week and we're seeing more and more of them all the time," Geesey said.

Mike Beidel, last year's Rookie of the Year, led by as much as a turn as the first make-up feature went green for the last 16 of 20 laps. Brenda McCartney got past Ray Middaugh on lap nine but by then Beidel had found the fastest groove and McCartney had her hands full staying ahead of Melvin Bigler who settled for third.

McCartney then provided the night's top wreck and flipped on her roof in the regular heat race as the #110 car spun sideways into her path and said that her #2B "just didn't handle right" when she returned in the night's regular feature. John Rasp, joined in the winners circle by father Pete and son Justin, told on-track announcer Walt Cox that after he took the lead in the two-early-caution feature on lap nine, "I had a ball passing lapped cars and had no idea where anyone behind me was."

Pat Klose had a rocky racing road to his first win as he got spun on lap 16 overtaking a lagging car and got put back to the lead as officials ruled the mishap the lapped car's fault. In the final five laps past champion Jimmy Callahan pulled alongside Klose but couldn't complete a pass in the high groove or the inside as Klose took his first checkered flag in six seasons of Path Valley micro sprint racing. "This is the toughest racing anywhere because the drivers are the best, and a win here is a personal best," he said.

Tony Jackson barely held off Jeff Furlong in the 270 Sprints feature until in lap 17 he started putting lapped cars between himself and the upstate challenger. The front five, who have all won many features, were Jackson, Furlong, Dave Socks, Rodney Glass, and Dusty Shatzer.

For his first mini stock win Tim Berkholder got past Chuck Ingram on a lap three restart and then survived three more restarts in the first nine laps. As the second half of the race went non-stop the front nine cars ran bumper to bumper like a freight train around the steep Path Valley banks and Berkholder used all of it going to the outside out of turns two and four and tight inside going into turns one and three to hold off Ingram, defending champ Arlin Brougher and Dave Staley who wormed through into second with one lap to go.

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 2002 schedule and track, race teams and fans can consult the website at www.pathvalley.com.

-pvs-

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Series Sprint , Stock car