Gracious Hearts Support St Jude Children's Hospital Firecracker 100 At Hamlin Speedway As Ben Whitaker Grabs Gold

Date: 7/8/2012 8:17:06 PM


Hamlin, PA - Gracious Hearts Support St Jude Children's Hospital Firecracker 100 At Hamlin Speedway As Ben Whitaker Grabs Gold
By: Steve Pados, GA Motorsports Media
Blistering hot weather, passing rain showers and threatening clouds did nothing to deter another another great evening in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania as the Hamlin Speedway provided the backdrop for a spectacular evening of tremendous racing excitement as the most talked Slingshot event in the country unfolded on Saturday night with the successful running of the St Jude Children's Research Hospital Firecracker 100. Race car trailers and teams were still arriving at the speedway at 5 PM as 146 entries filled the pit area and included 48 of the top Slingshot drivers in the United States today. Speedway Promoters Denise and Randy Smith greeted a standing room only crowd with a dynamic racing card that will be talked about for some time to come. When the racing action was completed, the final box scores had some happy racers standing in the victory circle but the star attraction of the evening, "The Eynon Aggressor" Ben Whitaker found the gates of gold at the speedway much to his liking as he captured the $2,000.00 plus contingencies prize for the grueling 100-lap spectacular. Additional racers scoring wins included "Double M" Mark Manieri as he steered his MMF Chassis to a convincing win in the Wingless 600 Sprint headliner and 2010 speedway champion "The Machine" Gene Burd found the hot spot early to cruise to victory in the 270 Sprint main. "The 38 Special" Jared Labagh added another win to his total for the season as he captured the Junior Slingshot main event and the Rookie 270 Sprint main saw John Dvorscak add another notch in his gun belt during the evening. "The Electric Man" Colin White scored his first win in the Rookie 600 Sprint headliner and Tommy Vroom Jr finally had all of the systems covered as he drove to victory in the Super Slinger feature event. Joel Smith got off to a great start in the Stage One Modified headliner and captured the win with Collin DuBois grabbing up another win in the SB One main. With a fresh base of clay planted during the off-week at the speedway, the track was racy all evening long and the nine racing divisions took to the revamped and racy 1/5 mile speed bowl with precision skills throughout the evening and left the crowd wanting much, much more.
After a series of time trials, dash for cash, and two B Mains, the 30-car starting field for Slingshots was established for the run at the gold. The "Revenge Draw" between the top twelve qualifiers was done near the grandstand area with Megan Ammirato and announcer Steve Pados presiding over the racers. Fast timer "The Rockaway Rocket" Danny Buccafusca took it on the chin as he was "revenged" into a twelfth place start for the century grind. Former 270 Sprint Champion Nunzi Allegrucci borrowed one of the Henneforth Trucking hot rods and led the talented starting field into turn one. Don Schmidt settled in behind Allegrucci but before he could settle in he was attacked on the flanks from "Chargin" Charlie Lawrence and Ben Whitaker. Allegrucci remained in command of the event as the halfway sign appeared and that became the time to go as one by one the racers began their assaults on those in front of them. Each turn and straightaway had many pockets of exciting racing activity happening and the great crowd on hand knew they were witnessing the very best Slingshot racing had to offer as Whitaker was on the move and raced into the runner-up slot. Schmidt remained in the hunt along with Lawrence, Charlie Bodine, Eddie Strada, Danny Buccafusca, Billy Clark, Cody Kline and Simon Egan.
Buccafusca was methodical on his way to the front and Whitaker was relentless as he kept sticking the nose of his race car under Allegrucci to let him know he needed that spot. A restart on lap-71 gave Whitaker his chance as he got a great restart and chased Allegrucci into turn one. Allegrucci may have left the bottom door open a tad too much as Whitaker pulled even along with some heavy contact as he muscled his way into the lead. Before Allegrucci could recover he found Schmidt and Buccafusca racing by him for position. Buccafusca made every Move he could think of to slip by Whitaker and just about pulled even on occasion but each time would run out of real estate to make it work. Whitaker was not to be denied as he raced under starter Russ Furry's checkered flag to secure the win and the pot of gold that awaited him at the payoff window. Buccafusca scored the runner-up role this time after winning one year ago and Don Schmidt, Nunzi Allegrucci and Charlie Lawrence completed the top five. The second five were all close at the finish line with Billy Clark, Simon Egan, Cody Kline, Wes Hearn and Eddie Strada next in line. Robbie Hocker, Mack Brink, Paul Ennes, Shannon Smith and Jeff Cosgrove covered the top fifteen. The drive fro the "Dirt Diva" Shannon Smith was spectacular as she nursed an ill-handling racer to 14th place from her 29th starting position start and earning $50.00 as the "Hard Charger in the process. An amazing 24 out of the 30 cars finished all 100 laps of the fabulous event and all drivers should be saluted for their efforts during the run.
In 270 Sprint action, Gene Burd grabbed the lead at the opening bell and raced uncontested to the checkered flag twenty laps later. Defending track champion CJ Heinig was solid in a runner-up role with "The Big L" Larry Hoagland racing to third, "The Cadillac Man" Kurt Bettler in fourth and the returning Darin Bartholomew completing the top five. Grady Johnston, Tommy Kunsman, Rick Casario, Zach Weidner and the returning Trevor Dunn completed the top ten finishers.
Chad Sandt powered away from the field at the start of the Wingless 600 Sprint main. "The Conductor" Bobby Butler and "Double M" Mark Manieri and Eddie Strada took up the early chase. Sandt hit his marks all around the raceway and busted out to an advantage when Butler and Manieri locked into a battle for second place. Manieri slipped by Butler for second but on the move came Kyle "The Hot" Lick from his seventh starting spot and he became part of the mix as he put Butler a notch back. Manieri tried top and bottom and each time Sandt was able to bar the door closed but Manieri came out of turn four on lap-17 from the top of the race way and was able to pull even with Sandt down the front stretch. Manieri stayed into the pedal and gained the advantage with a daring top side out of turn two maneuver that had him gaining the lead down the backstretch. Manieri went on to win the event as he continues to show the masses the capabilities of his MMF Chassis. Sandt was second in a great run with Lick in third, Booby Butler in fourth and Brett Michalski completing the top five. Eddie Strada, Brandon Azzalina, Jordan Tittle, Mick D'Agostino and Kyle Rohner completed the top ten.
"The Flash" Bobby Flood grabbed the lead at the start of the Junior Slingshot finale and appeared to be on his way to victory until an eleventh lap restart pulled Flood and the remainder of the field close together for the restart. As the race restarted it was Flood fending off the challenges of hard riding Jared Labagh as Labagh utilized a burst of power down the backstretch to seize command of the event. Labagh went on to win the event with "The Bullville Bandit" Tommy Zwart in the runner-up slot. Thomas "Sonny" Strupp was third, Taylor Eccles fourth and Flood completing the top five. Ryan Quackenbush, Collin DuBois, Joe Malson, Tyler Peet and Amber Britto completed the top ten.
The Super Slingers racing action saw the return of Mark Henneforth and Henneforth led the first three laps before coming to a stop and ending his night. Tommy Vroom Jr inherited the lead and led the remaining laps to score the win but the battle Vroom and Wes Hearn had for the win was classic Hamlin racing action. Wes Hearn settled for second with John Rooks Sr doing a great job with a third place finish and Paul Ennes and Jerry Hughes completing the top five.
The rookie 270 Sprint main encounter saw Northampton's John Dvorscak lead all laps to claim the win but the race was far from easy for Dvorscak as he had Glenn Macomber breathing down his tailpipe throughout the race. Macomber settled for second place with Tyler Galatro getting in a great run for third, Mike Kalman in fourth and Mallory Prince completing the top five.
Colin White led all laps in securing his first 600 win but again it was far from easy as New Egypt Speedway hot shoe Danny Bouc paid another visit to the speedway. Bouc applied the pressure to White early on with Robbie Hocker but spun out early in the running and then raced through the field to once again challenge White as the laps wound down. White held his ground to go and capture the win with Bouc close behind in second. "Ri-Mac" Riley Moczulski was another who encountered an early spin and then rallied back with a vengeance to finish third with rim riding TJ Lilly in fourth and Robbie Hocker encountering problems at the end to complete the top five. Aaron Henneforth, Shelby Ogozaly, Amber Oraschin, Steve Van Valkenburg and Heidi Hedin completed the top ten.
Joel Smith had the A-Game going as he drove his Smith Fabrications Stage One Modified to victory at the speedway. Brett Smith kept it close and exciting as he matched moves with each passing lap to finish second. Bobby Smith Jr got off to a slower than normal start and rallied back for third with Brody Adamsky in fourth in the borrowed ride and Dylan Martin finishing fifth. Collin DuBois raced to another SB One Main event win.
Noted invaders for the event included teammates Dalton Maynard and Alex Shaffer from Dun Hill with neither making the transfer into the main event but Maynard scoring a second alternate spot. Jacob Hendershot borrowed the Tigue Family Slinger and gave the racer a good ride until he retired to the pit area. Cody Kline enjoyed a great eighth place run. Robbie Albreada made the trip in from the Nutmeg State but failed to make the starting grid. Joe Melius made a rare Hamlin appearance and also failed to make the transfer. Former Slingshot racers now doing battle in other divisions graced the pit area with Danielle Dickinson, Joe Kata, Robbie Hocker, Eddie Strada, Dylan Martin, Simon Egan and Shannon Smith all finding rides to go after the big prize. All non qualified cars earned money and passes for racing at S&S Speedways courtesy of GA Motorsports Media and S&S Speedways.
Austin Ely borrowed the White race car for regular 600 wingless sprint action and Bill Shire made his first appearance in the rookie 600's. The Hamlin Speedway thanks Tom Hendershot and Cintas Fire Equipment for donating fire extinguishers for the track. The Red Knights Motorcycle group was on hand for the event. Reed Miller was on hand for the event and has guaranteed Ben Whitaker a seventh place starting spot in his upcoming Summer Nationals event on July 15th. Danny Buccafusca captured the pole award prize courtesy of Double J Security and Mike Fogler was credited as the Hard Luck Driver with his early departure from the Firecracker 100 courtesy of Double J Security. Shannon Smith captured the Hard Charger award on the basis of advancing 15 positions during the race courtesy of Vogel Designs. The winner Ben Whitaker also received a photo package courtesy of Rick Schwindenhammer Racing Photos. Once again Kim Rutledge was on hand to belt out her rendition of the National Anthem and she received a standing ovation as some fireworks were added with her performance.
All of the heat racing action produced some great side by side battles as each resembled a mini feature event. Winners included Jacob Severn, Kyle Lick and Joe Kata in the 600's with Bobby Smith Jr victorious in the Stage One Modifieds. Gene Burd and CJ Heinig were winners in 270 Sprint action and Robbie Hocker and Amber Oraschin won the rookie 600 Sprint heats. Two B Mains were needed to establish the All Star Slingshot feature lineup and John Rooks Jr and Robbie Hocker captured the twelve lap last chance events. The Dash For Cash was captured by Danny Buccafusca.
Tom Rodes from Rode Racing won the 50/50 and donated the prize to St Jude Children's Hospital. Dylan Steele claimed the candy jar guess and he was close to the mark as his guess was 762 and the actual count was 765.
With all Hamlin events, the healthy and generous support from the racers and fans has created the wonderful family atmosphere that exists at the speedway and this event proved to be no equal as the loyal fan base and the racers extend their support to the St Jude Children's Research Hospital. More than $2,150 was collected thus far with additional dollars still coming in and a portion of the money earmarked to the Hospital to continue to "find cures to save children". S&S Speedways, Rode Racing and GA Motorsports Media have worked in unison to market this great event and the racers and fan support was overwhelming and the Hamlin Speedway thanks everyone for the gracious support. The support mechanism ranged from coast to coast as champion California open wheelers, "The Calculator" Kevin Kierce and his son Justin sent in donations for the event. Penn Can Speedway, Accord Speedway, Double J Security, Aaron Henneforth Trucking, Mike's Lawn Care, Bobby Armbruster Racing Photos, Tim and Celeste Krysiuk, Rick and AnneMarie Weise, North Jersey Customs, The Rutledge Family, The Horton Family, Whitaker Racing, Cosgrove Racing, Russ and Mary Furry, Ennes Racing, Brink Racing, Strupp Racing, Oraschin Racing, Classic Cycles, Fritz Racing, Cappy Wesp, Strada Racing,, Signs and Graphics by Lenny, Buccafusca Racing, Bittenbender Racing, RG Hoffman Electric, Moczulski Racing, Eric Palmer Racing Fabrications, Howell Racing, Hocker Racing, Diane Stuart, Sara Bodine, Scott Miller, DuBois Racing, Darkside Motorsports, Beverly Pickering, Rick Schwindenhammer Racing Photos, Mike Griffin's State Farm Insurance, Leo's Garage, Horn's Outdoor Power, Quackenbush Racing, Czekai Family, Joe Bodenschatz, Ziggy Thomashunis, Davis Racing, Dice Racing, 7H Racing, Kim LaBagh, Twin Creek Tree Farm, Billy Weaver, Speedway Entertainment, Samantha Pickering, Linda and Frank Smith, Flood Racing, Dickie Keiper Racing Supplies, Kurtz Family, Diane Stuart and Tabertshofer Racing have all lent their assistance to this event and show how deep the kinship in racing truly exists.
The great evening of racing was brought to a bombastic conclusion with some added fireworks for the packed crowd on hand. The well-noted concession stand was kept busy throughout the evening as the many specials offered up were a hit among the fans and drivers at the speedway.
All Star Slingshots: (Firecracker 100) Ben Whitaker, Danny Buccafusca, Don Schmidt, Nunzi Allegrucci, Charlie Lawrence, Billy Clark, Simon Egan, Cody Kline, Wes Hearn, Eddie Strada, Robbie Hocker, Mack Brink, Paul Ennes, Shannon Smith, Jeff Cosgrove, Richie VanOrden, Tyler Pirone, Dale Kober, Hunter Smith, Trevor Labagh, Jacob Dunn, John Pantis, John Rooks Jr, Del Howell, Charlie Bodine, Tyler Johnston, Troy Langendoerfer, Jacob Hendershot, Mike Fogler, Kyle Rode.
270cc Sprints: Gene Burd, CJ Heinig, Larry Hoagland, Kurt Bettler, Darin Bartholomew, Grady Johnston, Tommy Kunsman, Rick Casario, Zach Weidner, Trevor Dunn, Hayden Miller, Makenzie Harper, Richie O'Neill, Robbie Watson, Scott Avery, Mike Casario, Kyle Rutledge, Nathan Hahn, Ron Pierson, Paul Richards
600cc Wingless Sprints: Mark Manieri, Chad Sandt, Kyle Lick, Bobby Butler, Brett Michalski, Eddie Strada, Brandon Azzalina, Jordan Tittle, Mick D'Agostino, Kyle Rohner, Shelby Harper, Rhett Long, Jay Hartman, Larry Mekic, Steve Yankowski, Chris Oraschin, Tony Scerbo, Billy Clark, Danielle Dickinson, Jacob Severn, Austin Ely, Don Colaluce, Tony Iudicello, Sheldon Iudicello, Kurt Bettler, Joe Kata (DQ)
Stage One Modifieds: Joel Smith, Brett Smith, Bobby Smith Jr, Brody Adamsky, Dylan Martin
SB One: Collin DuBois
Junior Slingshots: Jared Labagh, Tommy Zwart, Thomas Strupp, Taylor Eccles, Bobby Flood, Ryan Quackenbush, Collin DuBois, Joe Malson, Tyler Peet, Amber Britto, Leo McGurrin, Kyle Dice
Super Slingshots: Tommy Vroom Jr, Wes Hearn, John Rooks Sr, Paul Ennes, Jerry Hughes, Dale Kober, Jimmy Johnston, Tom Arntz, Mark Henneforth
Rookie 270cc Sprints: John Dvorscak, Glenn Macomber, Tyler Galatro, Mike Kalman, Jenna Weidner, Mallory Prince, Sydney Prince
Rookie 600cc Wingless Sprints: Colin White, Danny Bouc, Riley Moczulski, TJ Lilly, Robbie Hocker, Aaron Henneforth, Shelby Ogozaly, Amber Oraschin, Steve Van Valkenburg, Heidi Hedin, Zac Azzalina, Bill Shire, Nick Corazzi, Stephen Reynolds
Racing Saturday evenings from April through September. The next event of the 2012 racing season will unfold on July 14th with the Tilcon sponsored Wingless 600 Sprint Mid Summer Madness special with $1,000.000 waiting on the line for the first hot foot crossing under the checkered flag. The event will be 40 laps and based on a 24 car starting field. All eight divisions will be in action. Pit Gates open at the speedway at 1 PM; Drivers Meeting at 4:45; Hot Laps are at 5:00 and the racing begins at 6 PM sharp. Admission Prices for regular shows are: Adults $8.00; Senior Citizens $4.00 Children under 6 are Free; Pit Pass: $20.00 The "new" General Admission Bonus Pack is available for families: It consists of 4 General Admission Tickets + $20.00 in Food Vouchers for $40.00 (a savings of $12.00)
For further updates and information regarding all of the news and additions to the Hamlin Speedway, logon to their well documented website at: or call the speedway hotline at: 570 420 5500. For video work or questions regarding the purchase of videos from the exciting on-track action at the Hamlin Speedway, contact videographer Barry Boyd at: For photos of all of the great racing action contact Rick Schwindenhammer Racing Photos at:
Visit us often for a great night of racing action as............................................

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