SEVEN WINNERS IN EIGHT FEATURES AT BETHEL MOTOR SPEEDWAY

Date: 8/29/2010 4:30:56 PM

BETHEL, NY - As the 2010 season begins to wind down at Bethel Motor Speedway, the racing action has continued to heat up, and this past Saturday was no exception, as eight feature events were run with seven different drivers finding their way to Victory Lane.

In the Alcaro & Alcaro Plating Sportsman division, second-place point sitter Greg Morgan set out to make up for a less-than-ideal finish the previous week, and he did just that by taking down the feature event win. It was Morgan’s fourth win of 2010, and ended a win drought that has lasted since June. Morgan took off from the outside pole to take the lead on the initial lap. Rich Coons made his way from fourth to second quickly, and spent the entire length of the event chasing Morgan in pursuit of his first Bethel win. Just behind the duo, Bryanna Hurban and defending division champion Dan Conklin put on a heated battle for third, with Hurban taking the position. When the checkered flag waved, Morgan was in Victory Lane. Coons had to settle for second, with Hurban third. Conklin and Jeff Hager rounded out the top five.

The action was fast-paced in the Sam’s Towing Pro Stock feature, as four different drivers took turns holding the lead. Bobby Policastro led the final four laps of the race and became only the second driver in the division to collect more than two wins this season. It was Policastro’s third victory of the year. Jim Helt started on the outside pole and took a commanding lead at the drop of the green. A caution just prior to the halfway point of the event erased the lead Helt had built up. Mark Sylvester took advantage of his front row restart position to take over the top spot, but he was passed by Ed Butler four laps later. Butler also spent four laps in the lead and then he was overtaken by Policastro, who had started the event fifth. Policastro stayed out front for the remainder of the event and took down the win. Sylvester was second, with Butler third.

When the checkered flag flew on the Legends feature, the division saw the eighth different driver of the season visit Victory Lane as Richie Coy notched his first win of the year. Coy, a rookie in Legends who brings with him experience in other forms of racing, led the every lap of the event on his way to the win. Coy started on the outside pole and quickly passed polesitter Matt Price for the top spot. On several early-race restarts, Coy had to contend with fellow Legends rookie Matt Evans, but Coy was able to hold Evans at bay. Evans, meanwhile, held off the challenges of Maine native Evan Beaulieu for several laps before Long Islander Chris Young took over third and began to work on Evans for second. When the race ended, Coy went home with the trophy and winner’s payday. Young was second, and Evans finished third.

The Bandolero race saw 12 talented young drivers take to the track, and for the second week in a row, Max Evans – the youngest known competitor in the track’s 50-year history – sat in the winner’s circle. Evans came from the eighth starting spot, and he boldly charged through the field to take over the lead before a single lap was recorded. He had a mirror full of Mikey Policastro until lapped traffic came into play and Policastro’s night ended early. Over the closing laps of the feature event, Evans was tested by defending division champion Joseph Graf Jr., but Evans would not surrender the spot and he was awarded the win. Graf Jr. was second, with Alex McCollum third.

While patience may be a virtue, Charlie Houghtaling proved in the Shakelton Auto & Truck Centers Street Stock race that sometimes biding one’s time can be detrimental. Over the last several weeks, the division’s features have come down to late-race shootouts between Houghtaling and Kevin Skelly, and this past weekend was no exception. Rookie Jonathan McGibbon shot out front from his pole starting spot to lead the first five laps of the race. Houghtaling and Skelly started the event ninth and tenth, respectively. Houghtaling wasted little time getting through the field, and he had come to second by the third lap. By lap six, he had put his car out front while Skelly was still working his way to the front. Skelly made his way to second with five laps to go and immediately went to work on closing up the lead Houghtaling had already built up. The last lap boiled down to a drag race between the pair, and Skelly came up just short as Houghtaling grabbed his sixth checkered flag of the season. Skelly and Gary VanOrden Jr. followed him across the line.

The drivers in the Jeff Bank 4 Cylinder Senior division were busy, as they competed in both a holdover race resulting from a July rainout, as well as the night’s regular scheduled event. Tim Curry, however, monopolized Victory Lane, taking down wins in both of the feature events.

Curry started the holdover feature from fifth, but by the second lap of the race he had wrestled the lead from polesitter Patty Falkena. Russell Sniffen, who was on the outside pole for the start, continued to hold second as division point leader Eddie Lindstadt put forth his best effort to take the spot away. The battle between the two lasted for numerous laps, with Lindstadt grabbing the spot on the final lap of the race. Curry was the first to cross the line, followed by Lindstadt and Sniffen.

In the night’s regular race, it was a battle of the Currys, as Tim Curry and Paul Curry spent nearly the entire length of the race running side by side for the top spot, with neither gaining a solid advantage. Tim Curry came from the outside of the front row to the lead on the initial lap and he held the spot for the first three laps. Over the next seven circuits, however, Paul Curry was scored as the leader before the position reverted back to Tim Curry. The duo would swap the position two more times over the closing laps, but when the checkered flag waved, Tim Curry made his second trip to the winner’s circle for the night, and for the fourth time this year.

Another driver who broke a long winless drought this past weekend was Steven Schmitz, who nabbed his third Jeff Bank 4 Cylinder Junior division feature win of the year. The last time Schmitz visited Victory Lane was in early July, though he has racked up enough consistent finishes to secure the division point lead as the weeks wind down in the season. Schmitz was working his way from the eight starting spot toward the front as polesitter Shawn Maloney led the opening laps before Joe Smith was able to wrestle it away. As the laps wound down, Smith and Schmitz dueled for the lead. With just two laps to go, Schmitz took the top spot, and he drove on to his third 2010 feature win. Smith followed him across the line. Amber McGibbon was third.

Next Saturday, September 4th, the gates will swing open for more racing action at Bethel Motor Speedway. On the schedule are the Sportsman, Pro Stock, Legends, Bandolero, Street Stock, BMS Modified, and 4 Cylinder divisions. Gates open at 3:30 pm, with hot laps at 5:30 pm and racing slated to begin at 7 pm. Grandstand admission is just $5. The “Feed the Food Bank” program will continue through the end of the season, so fans are encouraged to bring a nonperishable food item for donation to a local food pantry. For a full schedule, visit www.bethelmotorspeedway.com, or call (845) 319-7908 for more information.

SPORTSMAN FEATURE FINISH (20 laps): 1. Greg Morgan, 2. Rich Coons, 3. Bryanna Hurban, 4. Dan Conklin, 5. Jeff Hager, 6. Don Smith III, 7. Jerry Curry, 8. Roy Crespo, 9. Mike Houghtaling.

PRO STOCK FEATURE FINISH (20 laps): 1. Bobby Policastro, 2. Mark Sylvester, 3. Ed Butler, 4. Jim Helt, 5. Ken Hopkins Jr., 6. John Hager, 7. Gene Morton, 8. Bill VanAiken, 9. Gene Palmer, 10. Ken Atkins, 11. Willie Nickerson, 12. Ron Lane, 13. Norman Barnes.

LEGENDS FEATURE FINISH (20 laps): 1. Richie Coy, 2. Chris Young, 3. Matt Evans, 4. Todd McCollum, 5. Matt Price, 6. Andrew Stotler, 7. Evan Beaulieu, 8. JD Abrahams, 9. Stephen Hershey, 10. Joe Graf, 11. Raven Schrantz, 12. Johnny Demarmels, 13. Joe DeGracia, 14. Bob Weymouth, 15. Andrew Bickford, 16. Bill Johnston, 17. Barry Schrantz, 18. Robert Kelshaw, 19. Dave Dempsey, 20. Kevin Nowak. DNS – Jim Byrne.

BANDOLERO FEATURE FINISH (15 laps): 1. Max Evans, 2. Joseph Graf Jr., 3. Alex McCollum, 4. Taylor Hurban, 5. Rudy Roth IV, 6. Courtney Lefcourt, 7. Troy Houghtaling, 8. Jared Palmer, 9. Christina Policastro, 10. Matt Forsythe, 11. Christian Eckes, 12. Mikey Policastro.

STREET STOCK FEATURE FINISH (15 laps): 1. Charlie Houghtaling, 2. Kevin Skelly, 3. Gary VanOrden Jr., 4. Jonathan McGibbon, 5. Glenn Pallom, 6. Larry O’Donnell, 7. Vinny Stanton Sr., 8. Robert Halstead, 9. Brent Shaddock, 10. Rich Wheeler, 11. Edward Galligan.

HOLDOVER 4 CYLINDER SENIOR FEATURE FINISH (15 laps): 1. Tim Curry, 2. Eddie Lindstadt, 3. Russell Sniffen, 4. George VanAiken, 5. Paul Curry, 6. Patty Falkena.

4 CYLINDER SENIOR FEATURE FINISH (15 laps): 1. Tim Curry, 2. Paul Curry, 3. Russell Sniffen, 4. Eddie Lindstadt, 5. George Zeininger, 6. Enio Lovric, 7. Patty Falkena, 8. George VanAiken, 9. Brendan Pavese.

4 CYLINDER JUNIOR FEATURE FINISH (15 laps): 1. Steven Schmitz, 2. Joe Smith, 3. Amber McGibbon, 4. Don Kuhn, 5. Shawn Maloney, 6. Ivan Guerra, 7. Kyle Welsch, 8. Vinny Lovric, 9. Josh Mendez, 10. Robert Beach, 11. Gary Magie, 12. Justin Mapes, 13. Paige LaPolt, 14. Jamie Elliott, 15. Amber VanOrden, 16. Tasha Curry, 17. David Beach.



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