Story By: MIKE FELTENBERGER / SHELLHAMMER DIRT TRACK – LEESPORT, PA – It was an evening of 3 and 4 wide racing along with some late race position passes for the front running spots.
If 4 wide racing to start an event was an attention getter than the 125 micros had all eyes on them for their 20 lap main event.
Polesitter Jase Smith and Chris Dolan went side by side into turns 1 and 2 but behind them it was Shane Davis,A J Gerhart,Chase Layser and John Maurer,4 wide with no yellow being needed as Chase Layser cleared the group to set sail on the leaders.Hard luck struck the 27 of Smith as a slight bobble got him around in turn 2 with Dolan inheriting the lead on the restart.Dolan and Layser were inseparable the last 9 laps with Dolan getting the win over Layser with Maurer a close 3rd.Gerhart held off the late race rally to just nose out Chase Wehr for 4th.Jesse Smith,Easton Miller and Shane Davis rounded out the top 8.
The top 3 winners in the Junior Slingshots had their own private late race battle for the podium positions.At the drop of the green it was Barry Seaman taking his 55 to the front with Ryan Rochelle patiently waiting for the right time to scoot by the Seaman hot rod.Behind this pair it was becoming clear that Chase Schott and Colton Williams were gonna be contending for the win as the race progressed.Rochelle found the line off of turn 4 to get by Seaman with Schott getting by 1 lap later.Williams regrouped from some early race handling issues to pass Seaman and Griffin Hendershot to reside in 3rd.The trio were just car lengths apart with Rochelle getting win # 6 on the season.Schott was .3 seconds behind for 2nd as Williams was just .4 seconds behind Schott.Hendershot did some nifty wheeling with 2 to go to nip Seaman at the line for 4th.Hailey Eroh charged from 11th to finish 6th as Ryder Miller and Daniel Betz rounded out the final 8.The dedicated racer of the night was Holly Delong who had her # 74 righted after a 2 rollover tumble only to continue on and finish on the lead lap.
It was the Warner Family battle to start the 600 micro main with Trent Warner holding off every challenge Matthew Warner could give him.At the 1/2 way sign all eyes were on the high flying Trevor Kobylarz as he had the 5 handling all over the speedway.For 3 laps he shadowed every move made by Trent until he used slower traffic to slide by exiting turn 2 on lap 16.Clean air gave Kobylarz added speed enroute to his 2nd win of the year.Trent just garnered 2nd by .11 seconds over Matthew with Dakota Barlet being part of the lead pack for 10 laps and taking 4th place money.Adam Buchel again found the lowside in the later stages of the race to slot in at 5th.Point leader Richie Hartman finished 6th with Matt McAnally and Damian Bower 7th and 8th.The race went nonstop in 3:15.
The Jimbo’s Gutters team cars were in fine form as a strong Jay Garris filling in for C J Fritz had the early race lead with Mark Mohr and Matthew Mertz batling right behind him.On lap 5 Mohr and Mertz got by Garris for the front 2 spots as Garris looped the 2 in turn 2 to bring out the yellow.Laps were passing by quickly as the 9 of Mertz got by Mohr and go on for the Stage 1 Modified win.Last week’s winner Bryce Dodig ran out of time to be a race contender and finished 3rd.Quietly passing cars was the S1 of AJ Gerhart who went from 7th to 4th in the final 5 laps just besting Mike Glass,who finished where he started in 5th .Rounding out the Elite 8 were Riley Wannamaker,Alexis Spatz and Jay Garris.
A pair of hotshoes were in charge of bringing the 270 micro field to Dave Cordier,Jr’s. green.Adam Buchel and point leader Richie Hartman had the field covered with the next real position battle happening back in 5th as both Matt McAnnally and Ben Layser had no one challenging them for the 3rd and 4th spots.Hartman just bested Buchel by .13 seconds after 20 laps were completed.The run to the finish for 5th was a photo finish with Zach Young getting the nod over Jarrett Imler.Brandon Confer was 7th and Sleeveless Mike Kalman rebounded from a disastrous early evening set back to get 8th.
All Star Slingshot driver Patrick O’Brien has had a season that might have had every thinkable mechanical issue thrown his way,but the M7 was gonna make every lap it’s best as he bested Nolen Layser in a classic last lap duel to notch his 1st win by just a 1/2 car length as the final checker was being waved.Layser got by Kaitlyn Swist on lap 9 to make his challenge for the win.Swist ran a solid race to get the final podium spot over a hard charging Tucker Cole. Jason Dunkleberger put his 6X in for the 5th place payout.Hard luck the 86 of Alex Lagun as he pulled off the speedway before a lap was completed.
Evening’s checker was thrown at 9:02.Big night for the winner’s as the “G” man Geezer Fanelli presented a dozen donuts to all of the class winners.The Race Chasing Awards went to the 5th place finishers.In attendance last night was former big car hotshoe Ronnie Dunstan.
Action returns to the Race Track by the River with their Summer Spectacular for the regular Saturday night classes also honoring talented and popular driver the late Zach Korch.Wingless Weds returns on the 7th of Sept.