Story By: MIKE FELTENBERGER / SHELLHAMMER’S SPEEDWAY – LEESPORT, PA – With warmer temperatures and sunny skies,the fans flocked to the high banked 1/8th mile in Shoemakersville,Pa to witness 276 laps of some downright awesome green flag racing from the record setting 136 entries.
It was a night of some hard 3 and 4 wide racing that had many of the top finishers coming from back in the pack on the perfectly prepared speedway by Dave Cordier, Jr.
The 1st A Main laps were presented by the Junior Slingshots and their 25 lap main got off to a rather slow start with a few cautions slowing down the action,but once they settled in the battle for quite a few spots were attention getters. 9 time feature winner in 2021 Ryan Rochelle did not have an easy time heading to victory lane.
Early race challenges by Dylan Hahn were replaced by a high flying Griffin Hendershot with these 2 battling wheel to wheel as they progressed through lapped traffic.Misfortune struck Hahn as he was involved in a mid race incident,but was a man on a mission to head under the checkers with a top 5 run.Rochelle took the win with Hendershot 2nd.
Ryder Miller fell back a few positions in the early going but found new life late in the race for 3rd.Hahn tallied a 4th place run with current point leader Chase Schott getting 5th.6th through 8th had their own private battle with Jocelyn Darinsig getting 6th from her 14th starting spot.Parker Hendricks slotted in for 7th with Karter Kunsman having a solid run for 8th.
The 125’s had an even closer battle for the top spot as AJ Gerhart had to ward off the challenges of Shane Davis early in the race then have the 82 of John Maurer trying everything in his racing arsenal to get by,just missing by .3 seconds.Davis stayed within challenging distance in case the leaders had some issues.
Chase Layser continues his strong run in 2022 having a 4th place payout after his victory in the last 125 main event.5th place runner Chris Dolan continues to impress as he puts another top 5 finish in his stat line for 2022.6th place went to Jesse Smith ,who is showing signs of improvement week after week with Jarrid Hellinger advancing 8 spots to 7th from his 15th place start.Another new face is attracting some attention as the 22cw of Chase Wehr notched a strong 8th place payout.
The heartbreak of the night occurred in the 270 main as race leader Adam Buchel who was quietly showing some power as he took on the likes of Dan Lane,Jr. and Richie Hartman had to be pushed to the infield on lap 11 and get a DNF for his efforts.Hartman took over the lead and would never relinquish the top spot for the next 14 laps to get his 1st 270 win of the season.
Making a late race bid to become a repeat winner this year, Dakota Barlet narrowed the gap in the last 3 laps trying a few different lines to fall just short by.175 seconds.Lane.Jr. hung tough for 3rd.
Jarrett Imler notches another top 5 finish just nosing out Matt McAnally for 4th.6th place went to Matt Hoffman who at one time was threatening Hartman for the win,but handling issues late in the race dropped the 21H back to 6th.Strong showing from Josh Patterson and Ben Layser found them 7th and 8th at the checkered.
If there ever was a mash the gas and hope for the best Ryan Raidline used that in the All Star Slingshot main as he simply outpowered polesitter Tyler Ulsh into turn 3 and would never be headed.The 00 was simply on rails as he put it at the payout window.
There is no denying that Jax Yohn has a rocket in the 24Y.
Yohn virtually ventures where no one else will go and last night was rewarded with a 2nd place payout after falling back earlier in the 20 lap main.With qualifying issues besetting the Hoch Brothers they rebounded from earlier setbacks to charge through the field for a 3rd place run for Dylan and Tyler getting 4th after starting 12th.
Lindsey Garl slotted in at 5th as the 17L developed a late race push dropping her back a few spots,but still having a good run.Nolen Layser and Brett Bieber had their duel right to the finish with Layser getting by in the final turn to get 6th as Bieber took the 7th place payout in his # 32.
Tyler Ulsh rounded out the top 8 as the polesitter just missed on the race set up.
It was 4 wide heaven as the 600 micros found that the wide track could produce some racing that at both ends of the speedway provided a multitude of wheeling and dealing.Timmy Buckwalter had challenge after challenge to ward off for the $500 top prize.First challenger was the talented young James Roselli,who did a back stretch wheelie which didn’t slow the 98R down.
Second challenger was 2021 point champion Richie Hartman who at one point was up to Buckwalter’s rear tire,but just could not make the pass.Once Hartman showed his front end Buckwalter adjusted his line to keep the high flying 39 behind him.Jacob Severn weaved his way through the field and was 1 of the 4 wide cars that just split the other 3 to get the 3rd place pay envelope just ahead of Aidan Donaldson who charged from his 12th starting position.
Roselli ended up 5th with Adam Buchel finally getting his quick # 10 micro to the finish after weeks of hard luck for 6th.Jarid Kunkle slotted in for a strong 7th in his 75K after jockeying with Buchel as Jarid had to ward off the advances of 8th place runner Jacob Homnick.Fred Heinly was in the top 5 after 3 laps from his 8th starting slot but took the 22H over on lap 4 putting an end to a promising night.
There wasn’t anything that was gonna deny AJ Gerhart top money in the Stage 1 Modified main.Some early race yellows narrowed the field but Gerhart just had to make sure he hit his marks and had no car failures to get his 2nd Stage 1 win in 2022.
A consistent Matt Mertz tallied a 2nd place finish with CJ Fritz putting the sharp # 2 in for 3rd.4th place went to an unchallenged Bryce Dodig who had to just focus on keeping things straight.
Larson Szerencits got to the checker slightly ahead of a fast closing JT Bierman with the pair getting 5th and 6th.Early race leader Chad Riddle soldiered on for a 7th spot after 20 laps and Mike Glass rebounded from being collected in some of the early race incidents to get 8th.
The 136 entries set a Wingless Weds track record.2 B Mains had to be run for the 600 Micros and after the final checkered the big crowd on hand stayed for all 276 laps of green flag racing.
The 6 division show will return for a May 18th event.