|Date: 9/19/2010 4:38:07 PM|
BETHEL, NY - As the racing season at Bethel Motor Speedway headed into the homestretch this past Saturday, fans and drivers alike crowded into the speedway’s grandstands and pit area, with nine feature events and nine different winners making their way to Victory Lane in an exciting night of action. While an area power outage caused a delay during the second regular feature of the night, it did not stop the speedway from getting the entire night’s scheduled racing events completed.
Drivers in the Alcaro & Alcaro Plating Sportsman division kept busy, starting the night off with a holdover race resulting from a July rainout, and then taking to the track again later in the evening for their regular scheduled event. By the end of the night, Jerry Curry had made his fourth visit to Victory Lane at Bethel this season, while teenage competitor Bryanna Hurban made her third appearance of the season in the winners’ circle.
Curry had the advantage of starting on the pole for the holdover feature, and he did not take it lightly, leading every lap of the caution-free event on his way to the win. Greg Morgan, who headed into the night second in the season point standings in spite of a season full of extreme ups and downs, started on the outside pole, and he chased Curry over the entire distance of the race. Morgan had Rich Coons in tow, with defending division champion and current point leader Dan Conklin also in pursuit. While the racing was tight at times, Curry was able to keep the competition behind him as he drove on to the win. Morgan had to be content with second, and Coons was third. Conklin and Mike Houghtaling rounded out the top five.
Fifteen Sportsman cars packed the track for the night’s regular feature, but they were all left chasing Hurban as she showed the way from the second lap of the event on. Hurban, who was the division’s 2009 “Rookie of the Year”, started the event third but took the lead from Houghtaling early and never looked back. The fight for the lead became heated at times as the race progressed, with Roy Crespo and Houghtaling among those mounting challenges. Hurban had built up a comfortable lead that was virtually eliminated late in the race as she worked her way around lapped traffic, but even that was not enough to stop her from powering her way to the win. Houghtaling was second, followed by Crespo. Conklin and Coons completed the top five.
Current Sam’s Towing Pro Stock division point leader Bobby Policastro dominated the division’s feature event, taking off from the outside pole to grab the lead on the initial lap. The win did not come easily, though, as the fight for the lead was, at times, a four-way battle for position. Jim Helt, who went into the race second in points and was riding the momentum of a win the previous week, applied plenty of pressure over much of the race, even getting alongside of Policastro on occasion. While Helt was trying to find a way past Policastro, he had to contend with Norm Barnes and later Mark Sylvester. With just four laps remaining, Sylvester took over the runner-up spot and set his sights on Policastro, but time ran out as Policastro was the first across the line and he collected his fourth feature win of the year. Sylvester was second, and Helt held on for third.
With 33 Legends cars on hand, fans were treated to a B-main in addition to the feature event. The B-main provided those who had not qualified for the feature through their heat races a last chance to make the feature, with two cars transferring to the A-main. Joseph Scibelli led every lap of the B-main event, but the second spot changed hands several times. When the checkered flag flew, Scibelli and Stephen Hershey made their way into the feature.
The feature event was a showcase of teenage talent in the early laps, but in the end, it was a battle between three Pro division drivers that resulted in defending division champion Mike Alcaro taking home his seventh win of the season and his first win at Bethel since July. Kenny VanWickle started on the pole and led the early laps as Justin Petcosky and Chris Young wrestled for second. On lap five, Young was able to pass VanWickle for the lead, bringing veteran Petcosky with him to second. Just two laps later, however, Alcaro came to third with former Young Lions national champion Thomas Hartensveld Jr. in tow. Alcaro, who started tenth, worked his way past Petcosky with three laps remaining in the event. Hartensveld Jr. followed and Petcosky held on to third as Young was shuffled back to the fourth spot. At the finish line, Alcaro grabbed the win, followed by Hartensveld Jr. and Petcosky.
The action was exciting in the JTR Enterprises Bandolero feature, as a pair of rookies waged a hard-fought battle at the front of the field for virtually the entire length of the event. Rudy Roth took off from the fifth spot to take the lead on the initial lap. Under the first caution, however, Roth was set back by the officials, and eight-year-old Max Evans inherited the lead. Two laps later, Roth had made his way back up to the second spot, and then he tested Evans for the remainder of the event. Evans ran the high groove around the track, holding off Roth, who was looking to duck underneath. At the stripe, Evans was awarded his fourth win in the last five events. Roth was second, with current point leader Mikey Policastro third.
For the 12th time this season, Kevin Skelly found himself in Victory Lane at the conclusion of the Shakelton Auto & Truck Centers Street Stock race. Skelly started the race seventh, and was working his way through the field as rookies Larry O’Donnell and Gary VanOrden Jr. took turns leading the race in the early laps. By lap five, Skelly assumed the lead and immediately began to pull away from the field. VanOrden Jr. held second until contact with three laps to go sent him into the infield. Glenn Pallom crossed the line second but was penalized in the final rundown, resulting in Jason Chevalier taking home the runner-up finish while Larry O’Donnell was awarded third.
When the BMS Modifieds took to the track, the veterans wasted no time before dicing it out for the lead. Steve Conklin started on the outside pole, and jumped to the early lead. John Cote had started directly behind Conklin, and followed him to take second. Cote began to pressure Conklin for the lead, which he was able to grab on lap four, leaving Conklin to fight with Charlie Howe Sr. and Skip LaPolt for positions two through four. Howe Sr. was forced to retire from the event early with mechanical problems, but LaPolt and Conklin continued to fight for position after the caution. In the end, Cote collected his seventh feature win of the year and further padded his point lead. Conklin held off LaPolt to get the second spot.
Gary O’Donnell made a rare appearance in the Jeff Bank 4 Cylinder Senior feature event, and he made it worthwhile by coming from the fifth starting spot to notch his first 2010 win in the class. Pole sitter Patty Falkena got out to the early lead, but the position was swapped between her and Eddie Lindstadt as the two ran side-by-side during the opening laps. O’Donnell made it three-wide, however, and he emerged with the lead on lap seven. Behind him it became a three-wide battle for second, from which Russell Sniffen grabbed the spot. Once the top two had assumed those positions, the three-wide battle shifted to the third spot, and Rich Winters came out with the position. At the checkered flag, Gary O’Donnell got the win, followed by Sniffen and Winters.
As has become typical for the Jeff Bank 4 Cylinder Junior class, the “young guns” put on an exciting feature, with several lead changes that kept the fans on the edges of their seats. Amber VanOrden started on the pole and got out front at the drop of the green, but Shawn Maloney took over the spot on lap two, and Kyle Welsch came to second on the next lap. Steven Schmitz, who started the event 12th, diced his way through the field quickly and came to second at the halfway point of the race. Schmitz grabbed the lead briefly, but was penalized one spot during a caution, with the lead reverting back to Maloney. A late-race caution set the stage for a green-white-checker finish that saw Maloney grab his first career feature win. Schmitz was second, with Welsch third.
Next Saturday, September 25th, Bethel Motor Speedway will once again play host to short track racing excitement on the ¼-mile asphalt track, and point battles may very well be decided when the checkered flags fall. On the schedule are the Alcaro & Alcaro Plating Sportsman, Sam’s Towing Pro Stock, Legends, JTR Enterprises Bandolero, Shakelton Auto & Truck Centers Street Stock, and Jeff Bank 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 following weekend, October 2 and 3, Bethel Motor Speedway is scheduled to bring the curtain down on the 2010 season with the two-day “Bethel Motor Madness” weekend event, which will include all divisions. For a full schedule, visit www.bethelmotorspeedway.com, or call (845) 319-7908 for more information.
HOLDOVER SPORTSMAN FEATURE (20 laps): 1. Jerry Curry, Greg Morgan, 3. Rich Coons, 4. Dan Conklin, 5. Mike Houghtaling, 6. Don Smith III, 7. Mike McKerrell.
SPORTSMAN FEATURE FINISH (15 laps): 1. Bryanna Hurban, 2. Mike Houghtaling, 3. Roy Crespo, 4. Dan Conklin, 5. Rich Coons, 6. Jim Halpin, 7. Milton Mann, 8. Don Smith III, 9. Eddie Redner, 10. Phil Goetschius, 11. Don Smith Jr., 12. Mike McKerrell, 13. John Cook, 14. Greg Morgan, 15. Jerry Curry.
PRO STOCK FEATURE FINISH (15 laps): 1. Bobby Policastro, 2. Mark Sylvester, 3. Jim Helt, 4. Willie Nickerson, 5. Norm Barnes, 6. Ken Atkins, 7. Ed Butler, 8. John Hager, 9. Gene Palmer, 10. Matt Curry, 11. Jeff Hager.
LEGENDS FEATURE FINISH (15 laps): 1. Mike Alcaro, 2. Thomas Hartensveld Jr., 3. Justin Petcosky, 4. Johnny Demarmels, 5. Chris Young, 6. Todd McCollum, 7. Richie Coy, 8. Van Michael, 9. Brandon Michael, 10. Andrew Stotler, 11. Joe Graf, 12. Raven Schrantz, 13. Joe Mongeau, 14. Stephen Hershey, 15. Jim Byrne, 16. Bill Johnston, 17. Ron Poley, 18. Matt Evans, 19. Joe Fresco, 20. Kenny VanWickle, 21. Joseph Scibelli, 22. Joe DeGracia, 23. Mark Tischler.
LEGENDS B-MAIN FINISH (12 laps): 1. Joseph Scibelli, 2. Stephen Hershey, 3. Dennis Fountain, 4. Brad Lowmaster, 5. Joe Fresco, 6. John Bacon, 7. Kyle Soper, 8. Bobby Baltera, 9. Malcolm Campbell, 10. Anthony Battisti, 11. Barry Schrantz.
BANDOLERO FEATURE FINISH (12 laps): 1. Max Evans, 2. Rudy Roth, 3. Mikey Policastro, 4. Joseph Graf Jr., 5. Jared Palmer, 6. Alex McCollum, 7. Anthony Riforgiato, 8. Troy Houghtaling, 9. Matt Forsythe, 10. Christina Policastro, 11. Christian Eckes. DNS – Taylor Hurban.
STREET STOCK FEATURE FINISH (15 laps): 1. Kevin Skelly, 2. Jason Chevalier, 3. Larry O’Donnell, 4. Rich Wheeler, 5. Ed Galligan, 6. Randy Green, 7. Gary VanOrden Jr., 8. Glenn Pallom, 9. Charlie Houghtaling, 10. Jonathan McGibbon. DNS – Robert Halstead, John Brush.
BMS FEATURE FINISH (15 laps): 1. John Cote, 2. Steve Conklin, 3. Skip LaPolt, 4. Jim Fugel, 5. Elliott Wohl, 6. Gary VanOrden Jr., 7. Jim Hoffman, 8. Charlie Howe Sr., 9. Jeff Miller.
4 CYLINDER SENIOR FEATURE FINISH (15 laps): 1. Gary O’Donnell, 2. Russell Sniffen, 3. Rich Winters, 4. Tim Curry, 5. Eddie Lindstadt, 6. Patty Falkena, 7. Paul Curry, 8. Enio Lovric, 9. George VanAiken.
4 CYLINDER JUNIOR FEATURE FINISH (14 laps): 1. Shawn Maloney, 2. Steven Schmitz, 3. Kyle Welsch, 4. Don Kuhn, 5. Joe Smith, 6. Gary Magie, 7. Mike Travis, 8. Patrick Oefelein, 9. Amber VanOrden, 10. Robert Beach, 11. Josh Mendez, 12. Amber McGibbon, 13. Vinny Lovric, 14. Josh Wilbur, 15. Robert Beach.
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