Story By: MIKE FELTENBERGER / SHELLHAMMER DIRT TRACK – LEESPORT, PA – With the PA Micro Midgets in town along with 5 of our regular classes,we got to see some new faces on the speedway in all classes making their presence felt.
The 125 micros were the 1st attention getters as right from the outset,John Maurer motored his 82 in turn 1 with Chris Dolan staying within a few car lengths for the 1st 11 laps.Behind the pair,Corey Harting,Easton Miller and last week’s winner AJ Gerhart had their own private battles.Gerhart slipped by Harting and Miller on lap 8 and quickly got to Dolan by lap 13.A new face entered the scene on lap 10 as Dave Schroeder was hoping his recent bad luck streak would find a new home.Only 1 caution on lap 14 slowed these hot rods down and on lap 15 Gerhart got by Dolan with Miller and Schroeder completing the top 5.The final lap bid by Schroeder to overtake Miller for fourth came up a 1/2 car short.Maurer gets win # 6 for the season.
The Pa Micro Midget 300’s were next on the high banks and there was no stopping Shannon Slaughter who went wire to wire in 2:54 capturing the checkered over Timothy Colliflower,Jr. and Chris Keshiskian.
The Junior Slingshots are getting more green flag stretches making for better racing and last night’s A Main was no different with Barry Seaman getting an early jump to the front with Hailey Eroh on the move after 2 laps completed.The pair raced clean into turn 1 with Eroh coming on top as Seaman now had to ward off the advances of 8 time winner Chase Schott,coming from his 6th starting slot.Staying within reach were Carter Mullins and Gavin Wolfe.Mullins night would soon end as the #2 was a DNF on lap 7.On lap 8 it was now Schott on Eroh’s back bumper, Seaman and Wolfe battling and Lily Barrett putting her 4L into the top 5.The top 3 remained that way to the checkered as Barrett,made a nice lowside pass on Wolfe in turn 3 at the 5 to go mark to slot in for 4th.Eroh got the win by .3 seconds over Schott,Seaman to the line just ahead of Barrett for 3rd and Wolfe looking quite impressive at 5th. Strapped In Driver of the Week Free Pit pass went to 9th place finisher Aubrey Romig.
The 600 micro lap 3 stoppage set the scene for the early laps as 9 cars were part of the accident scene.Many regrouped and continued on,but the top 3 runners Wayne Scott,Dan Lane,Jr. and Trevor Kobylarz were not giving their spots to anyone during the entire 25 laps. Lane,Jr. used a couple of restarts to get to Scott’s right rear tire but not enough to get by.Prestyn Brown looked quite at home in his 570 running 4th and had the makings of getting by Kobylarz for 3rd a few times,but found the 570 watching from the infield on lap 15. With Brown out,the Gray Racing Team pilots Chris Kurtz and Richie Hartman had to battle it out amongst themselves for the 4th place prize.The last 3 laps Kurtz tried a move on Kobylarz that just fell short.Wayne Scott would not falter getting the win over Dan Lane,Jr. Kobylarz bested Kurtz by just .12 seconds .who in turn just nosed out Hartman by .18 seconds. Brenden Hires advanced 10 spots for 7th behind Dakota Barlet and Aidan Svanda moved up 8 spots to finish 8th.
The Pa Micro Midget 500 main kept cautions to a minimum and had some fantastic head of the pack racing with Kensley Shearer showing the way from the green to lap 18 when Ryan Rost used lapped traffic to his advantage to nab the lead and the eventual win.Jakob Stitzel who was running 3rd got shuffled back to 7th on lap 13 with Todd Walls,Nicholas Decker and Dawson Walls playing top 5 tag for 6 laps.Once Rost got clean air there was no stopping him for the win.Shearer finished 2nd with Todd Walls getting 3rd.Stitzel rebounded in the later stages to get 4th place money over Decker.
With some of Shellhammer’s best 270 drivers starting behind Ryan Heckman,any over driving or slip up could’ve put him out of the top 5 quickly. Lap 5 found Matt McAnally getting by Reimert for 2nd only to have Reimert reclaim the spot 3 laps later.Reimert tried a low side pass off of turn 4 on lap 14 that found the 88E facing traffic in front of the starter’s stand.Heckman now again had pressure from McAnally for the remaining 7 laps,but did not bend under the stress getting the win with McAnally 2nd.The last 7 laps had Matt Hoffman,Dustin Roberts and Rob Swavely literally just feet apart as the trio were joined by Jarrett Imler with 2 to go.Roberts nosed out Hoffman for 3rd ,who warded off last turn advances by Swavely.Imler got 6th with vastly improved Matt Bangs getting 7th.
Closing out the night were the All Star Slingshots and again just 2 cautions slowed down the 16 drivers. Colton Williams had the advantage at the start but Brett Bieber in the 42H was the leader heading into turn 1,never to be challenged enroute to win Wingless Weds. # 1 for Bieber in 2023.Williams had early race pressure from a high flying Mason Pittenger and Collin Carpenter,who moved up from the Junior ranks.By halfway Carpenter got by Pittenger and putting her talents in to the top 5 was 4 time winner Lindsey Garl.The top 4 finish was Bieber,Williams,Carpenter and Garl.Narrowly getting to the line in 5th was Pittenger ahead of James Benz.Advancing 7 spots with limited yellows was David Galloway getting 7th from his 14th starting slot.
Final checkered in front of a well attended racing program was thrown at 10:22.
Next week the Stage 1 Mods will return to the Race Track by the River and both Slingshot classes will partake in the annual Slingshot Speedweek mini-tour.