Story By: MIKE FELTENBERGER / SHELLHAMMER DIRT TRACK – LEESPORT, PA – If you missed the racing action at Shellhammer’s ,you missed out on another action packed,well run racing program with Dave Cordier Jr’s. final checkered waved at 9:42 PM.
The 12 qualifying events were completed at 7:55 with the Stage 1 Modifieds hitting the speedway at 8:15 promptly to start the 6 main events.
The Stage 1 main was interesting right from the start as Chad Riddle and CJ Fritz went at it hard and heavy with Fritz getting the advantage heading into turn 3 on lap 3 never to be headed for his $500 victory.Behind CJ ,it was non-stop action as position swapping was the norm.A string of 14 straight green flag laps would find the leaders coming up on slower traffic,of which,the scenery quickly changed as 2nd running Chad Riddle and 3rd running Anthony Chrobak got locked up looking to get past the slower traffic and brought out a lap 18 yellow.The final 2 laps would surely make part of a highlight reel as nobody could lock themselves into a midpack finishing spot until the checkered.Fritz took the win with some luck finally staying on Lawson Szerencits side for him to get a much deserved 2nd.”Smooth” Mike Glass continues to find late race speed which propelled him in for 3rd.Matt Mertz shook off some late race challenges for 4th,but the next 4 positions were up for grabs as Bryce Dodig had his #4 under the checker ahead of a quick closing Stephen Smith III,who is becoming one to watch in the 88.Riddle mashed the gas to advance back to 7th at races end.Alexis Spatz would be consistent as the 12X started and finished 8th.
The excitement continued on as the 270 micros left nothing on the table to get their 20 lap main in the record books in 10 minutes.Current 270 point leader, the “Mullet Man” Dakota Barlet had no plans of losing his point lead and promptly went out to lead the field after some side by side racing with Chase Zeigenfuss,who had his # 52Z on rails challenging the Barlet 54 for the 1st 4 laps.The show was beginning to attract attention around the halfway point as both Matt McAnally and Richie Hartman created a crowd pleasing 3 wide to nose past Zeigenfuss for 2nd and 3rd.With laps quickly passing the 10 of Adam Buchel found the mid-track groove to his liking with a 5 lap to go charge on the 52Z for 4th only to be denied coming off of turn 4,with Buchel having another solid run for 5th.Dan Lane,Jr. would have a steady run to get 6th in his 29j as Jarrett Imler and Brandon Kressler took the 7th and 8th payout envelopes with some smart,steady racing.
It was time for the Junior Slingshots to shine and between the battle for the top spot and the midpack runs,it was quite an eventful main event.Polesitter Chase Gular found the lowside to his liking in the early going as the 53 was warding off some early race advances until lap 3 when Ryder Miller,Chase Schott and Ryan Rochelle joined the fray.Schott and Rochelle literally were side by side for 5 laps before a lap 12 pass heading into turn 3 would give Rochelle the space needed get to the checkered 1st.A midrace incident took Ryder Miller out of the top 5,as a fast closing Miles Zehner was not going to be denied 3rd with Abi Hendricks having some late race speed to pass 3 cars in the last 5 laps to get a well earned 4th place run.Gular held tough for 5th as Daniel Betz and Jocelyn Darinsig’s private battle had Betz at the line for 6th with Darinsig 7th and Kaiden Klotz getting the Hillside Concrete and General Contracting Hard Charger bonus of $50.00 for advancing 4 spots to get 8th.The 20 lap Junior main was completed in 13 minutes.
The 125’s continued the excitement with Jesse Smith grabbing an early race lead with Sam Borger’s 04 being piloted by Cliff Brian,Jr. and always exciting Chase Layser vying for that top spot.These 3 were setting a pace all their own as the next 3 drivers had their own battles as the laps passed by.The next 3 in line were A J Gerhart,Easton Miller and John Maurer.The 5 to go signal was not going to slow down the torrid pace set by the top runners as Layser and Brian,Jr. were going to take this race right down to the checkered as Layser scored his 3rd win of the season and Brian,Jr. getting the runner up as with Smith holding on for 3rd just ahead of Gerhart.Maurer overtook Miller on lap 19 to claim 5th with Miller 6th.Point leader Chris Dolan was as high as 4th at the halfway point ,but slipped back to 7th at race’s end.Chase Wehr continues to find an Elite 8 finish as the 22cw placed 8th.
For the All Star Slingshots,it was great to see some new faces in front running spots as Lindsey Garl checked out of this race early for her $500 pay envelope,leaving the rest of the field to battle for their payouts and these drivers did just that,with Alex Lagun and current point leader Jax Yohn squaring off for the 2nd place finish.Yohn would try working his magic on the high side in turns 1 and 2 and the low side in turns 3 and 4 and Lagun was up to the task at each end as the 86 took his best Wingless Weds. All Star finish in his young career with Yohn getting the final podium tally.Yohn’s run would give him the Unlimited Ground Works $25.00 Hard Charger bonus.Less than a second separated the next 3 drivers with Tess Horvath edging out a strong effort by Jason Dunkleberger for 4th with Jason getting 5th place money.Again 1 second separated the next 3 with Jeff Haduck getting 6th over the 42P of Mason Pittenger who got to the line .6 seconds ahead of the 3L of Nolen Layser.All Stars completed their 20 laps in 10 minutes.
For someone that has experienced the bad luck as this driver did so far in 2022,heading into victory lane in the 600 micro feature is hopefully the start of good things to come and that is exactly what transpired for the pilot of the # 10, Adam Buchel.This feature event was curtailed by just 1 caution and Buchel had all he could handle in the early stages of the 20 lap feature as Matthew Warner actually overtook Buchel heading into turn 1 after the restart green,but Adam held tough regaining the top spot coming out of turn 2.The nice crowd on hand was left in awe watching the 3 car battle between Marty Brian,Richie Hartman and Trevor Kobylarz as Kobylarz found racing room between Brain and Hartman coming out of turn 4 with the 3 wide continuing into turn 2 with Trevor finding some added grip to go from 5 to 3rd with this all out move.Buchel got the $500 win over Warner with Kobylarz getting 3rd with Hartman squeaking out 4th from Brian. Only a 1/2 second separated the 6th,7th and 8th place runners with 2 time feature winner Dan Lane,Jr. besting a hard charging Dakota Barlet who was piloting something other than his normal ride for 6th with Aiden Donaldson wheeling his way through the pack after being involved in a opening lap skirmish for an 8th place pay envelope.The 20 lap distance was completed in just 6:45.
After the event came to a close some 1st timers to Shellhammer’s ,both fans and race teams,were impressed with the action on the speedway,the fantastic track surface and the efficiency in how the show was run and vowed a return in the near future.
Again,Shellhammer Dirt Track beat Mother Nature as the drops started to fall after all the racing had ended and the payouts were picked up at 10 PM.