|Date: 9/26/2010 5:11:29 PM|
BETHEL, NY – In the final regular points night of the 2010 season at Bethel Motor Speedway this past Saturday, Alcaro & Alcaro Plating Sportsman division driver Greg Morgan rebounded from a less-than-ideal finish the previous week by taking down wins in both his heat race and the feature event. Adding to the sweetness of the win was the fact that it was accomplished in his back-up car, which has not seen Victory Lane in several years. To say that Morgan’s season has been one full of ups and downs would be an understatement. His season started off with mechanical woes on opening day that prevented him from competing in that night’s race. The Pennsylvania native persevered through the entire length of the season, however, even recording back-to-back wins in June. Morgan’s win on Saturday was his fifth of the season.
Morgan started the feature on the outside pole, and took advantage of it to take the lead on the initial lap. Pole sitter Don Smith III settled into second in the early laps, but four-time 2010 feature event winner Jerry Curry came to second on a lap five restart and tested Morgan for the top spot over much of the race. Defending division champion Dan Conklin took over second with just three laps to go, shuffling Curry back to third. Morgan collected the win, but Conklin’s runner-up finish was enough to secure his second consecutive championship in the division. Curry finished third, and Rich Coons and Bryanna Hurban rounded out the top five.
In the Sam’s Towing Pro Stock division, Bobby Policastro clinched the championship by taking home his fifth victory of 2010, and his second win in as many weeks. Policastro started the event third, but had worked his way past both Gene Morton and pole sitter Gene Palmer to take the lead four laps into the event. Jim Helt, who started eighth, came to second on Policastro’s bumper, and the two put on a hard-fought battle for the lead that lasted for numerous laps before Ed Butler was able to get underneath Helt and began his own charge on Policastro. It became apparent that the second spot would be hotly contested as Norman Barnes came to the position with five laps remaining in the event. No one was able to unseat Policastro, though, as he crossed the finish line ahead of Barnes and Butler.
In 2009, Bethel track veteran Johnny Demarmels proved his versatility behind the wheel by capturing a win in his first-ever competition in the Legends division. In spite of competing on only a limited schedule in 2010, Demarmels was determined to capture a win in the class, a feat he accomplished on Saturday. With 29 Legends cars signed into the pits, fans were also treated to a B-main for those who did not qualify out of their heat races. Raven Schrantz won the B-main, with Luke Marzano and Joe Mucciacciano also transferring to the A-main.
The Legends feature saw Joe Scibelli start on the pole and lead the early laps before getting sideways in front of the field, resulting in an incident that eliminated several cars from competition. This handed the lead to Johnny Demarmels, who had his hands full of Mark Tischler until Tischler was involved in an incident that ended his night early. Over the remaining laps, the second spot changed hands several times, as Todd McCollum, Nick Ladyga, and Richie Coy all took turns holding the position. When the checkered flag flew, Demarmels was chased across the line by Coy and Ladyga.
When the JTR Enterprises Bandolero division hit the track, Anthony Riforgiato showed that he had mastered the surface at Bethel as he collected his first win in only his fourth trip to the speedway. On the initial lap, Alex McCollum came from the fourth starting spot to take the lead. Riforgiato started deep in the field, but had made his way from the 12th starting spot to the lead by only the second lap, as he diced his way through the field. Behind Riforgiato, rookies McCollum and Troy Houghtaling wrestled for second before Jordan Churchill was able to take over the spot. Churchill was pressured by Houghtaling and Mikey Policastro. Churchill spun late in the race as Riforgiato beat Houghtaling and Policastro to the checkered flag.
The action in the Shakelton Auto & Truck Centers Street Stock race was fast-paced and caution-free, keeping fans on the edges of their seats and resulted in Charlie Houghtaling making his eighth visit to Victory Lane for the season. Rookie Jonathan McGibbon started on the pole and got out to the lead at the drop of the green. Glenn Pallom came from fourth to second by lap four. At the halfway point of the race, the cars went three- and four-wide for the first and second spots, and Houghtaling emerged with the lead. Pallom was able to hold on to second until Kevin Skelly worked his way past with just two laps remaining. While Skelly put everything he had into catching and trying to pass Houghtaling, time ran out and Skelly had to be content with a runner-up finish. Pallom held on for third.
Perhaps the most heated battle to take place on the track all night was the one for the win in the Jeff Bank 4 Cylinder Senior division. When the dust settled, Eddie Lindstadt walked away with his eighth win of the 2010 campaign. Pole sitter Patty Falkena led the first lap, but Lindstadt quickly made his way from fourth and had his car out front on the second lap of the event. Gary O’Donnell, who had won the previous week’s event, followed Lindstadt for second. Over the entire remainder of the event, the duo ran side by side, swapping the lead numerous times. Tim Curry sat behind them in third, patiently waiting for incidental contact or a mistake on the part of the one of the drivers, which never came. In fact, the side-by-side drag race between Lindstadt and O’Donnell that characterized the race continued right to the checkered flag, with Lindstadt edging out O’Donnell for the win. T. Curry was third.
The “young guns” of the Jeff Bank 4 Cylinder Junior class provided plenty of racing action, as both Steven Schmitz and Don Kuhn split the wins and Schmitz clinched the division championship.
Amber VanOrden started on the pole for the holdover race and led the first lap before being passed by Schmitz. Amber McGibbon came to second, and she chased Schmitz around the track as Kyle Welsch and Don Kuhn swapped third behind her. As the laps wound down, Kuhn was able to work past McGibbon for second, but his progress through the field was halted when the checkered flag waved for Schmitz. It was Schmitz’s fifth win of 2010, and was enough to clinch the championship for the young driver.
Kuhn was determined to top his runner-up finish in the holdover race when the night’s regular feature hit the track, and he did just that as he collected his fifth win of the season. Once again, VanOrden took off from the pole and held the lead for the first lap. Kuhn took the lead on lap two, and Gary Magie was able to hold the second spot briefly before being overtaken by Ivan Guerra. Vinny Lovric came to third with five laps remaining, and the top three remained unchanged over the final laps as Kuhn crossed the line ahead of Guerra and Lovric.
Bethel Motor Speedway will close out its 2010 season with two days of racing excitement next Saturday and Sunday, October 2 and 3. The schedule for the weekend calls for double features for all divisions on Saturday, with another feature for each class on Sunday. On the schedule are the Alcaro & Alcaro Plating Sportsman, Sam’s Towing Pro Stock, Legends, JTR Enterprises Bandolero, Shakelton Auto & Truck Centers Street Stock, BMS Modified, and Jeff Bank 4 Cylinder divisions. Grandstand admission is just $5. Keep an eye on the web site at www.bethelmotorspeedway.com for the weekend schedule, or call (845) 319-7908 for more information!
SPORTSMAN FEATURE FINISH (15 laps): 1. Greg Morgan, 2. Dan Conklin, 3. Jerry Curry, 4. Rich Coons, 5. Bryanna Hurban, 6. Roy Crespo, 7. Philip Goetschius, 8. Mike Houghtaling, 9. Greg McCloskey, 10. Jim Halpin, 11. Larry Badaracco, 12. Mike McKerrell, 13. Don Smith III, 14. Milton Mann.
PRO STOCK FEATURE FINISH (20 laps): 1. Bobby Policastro, 2. Norman Barnes, 3. Ed Butler, 4. Jim Helt, 5. Willie Nickerson, 6. Bill VanAiken, 7. Jeff Hager, 8. Mark Sylvester, 9. Gene Palmer, 10. Gene Morton, 11. Ken Atkins. DNS – Ken Hopkins Jr.
LEGENDS FEATURE FINISH (15 laps): 1. Johnny Demarmels, 2. Richie Coy, 3. Nick Ladyga, 4. Kevin Nowak, 5. Andrew Stotler, 6. Raven Schrantz, 7. Todd McCollum, 8. Chris Young, 9. Joe Mucciacciano, 10. Justin Strumpf, 11. Stephen Hershey, 12. Luke Marzano, 13. Mark Tischler, 14. Matt Maring, 15. Vinny Delaney, 16. Joe DeGracia, 17. Brandon Michael, 18. Kyle Soper, 19. Van Michael, 20. Joe Scibelli, 21. Mike Alcaro, 22. Joe Graf, 23. Matt Evans.
LEGENDS B-MAIN (12 laps): 1. Raven Schrantz, 2. Luke Marzano, 3. Joe Mucciacciano, 4. Joe Fresco, 5. Bill Johnston, 6. Andrew Bickford, 7. Anthony Battisti, 8. Dave Dempsey, 9. Barry Schrantz.
BANDOLERO FEATURE FINISH (15 laps): 1. Anthony Riforgiato, 2. Troy Houghtaling, 3. Mikey Policastro, 4. Max Evans, 5. Alex McCollum, 6. Jared Palmer, 7. Courtney Lefcourt, 8. Taylor Hurban, 9. Jordan Churchill, 10. Matt Forsythe, 11. Christina Policastro, 12. Rudy Roth IV, 13. Joseph Graf Jr.
STREET STOCK FEATURE FINISH (15 laps): 1. Charlie Houghtaling, 2. Kevin Skelly, 3. Glenn Pallom, 4. Jonathan McGibbon, 5. Jason Chevalier, 6. Larry O’Donnell, 7. Gary VanOrden Jr., 8. Rich Wheeler, 9. Vinny Stanton Sr., 10. Ed Galligan.
4 CYLINDER SENIOR FEATURE FINISH (15 laps): 1. Eddie Lindstadt, 2. Gary O’Donnell, 3. Tim Curry, 4. Paul Curry, 5. Enio Lovric, 6. Patty Falkena, 7. Jeannie Houghtaling, 8. George Zeininger, 9. Chris Carroll, 10. Russell Sniffen.
HOLDOVER 4 CYLINDER JUNIOR FEATURE (15 laps): 1. Steven Schmitz, 2. Don Kuhn, 3. Amber McGibbon, 4. Kyle Welsch, 5. Joe Smith, 6. Ivan Guerra, 7. Vinny Lovric, 8. Gary Magie, 9. Amber VanOrden, 10. Tasha Curry, 11. Justin Mapes, 12. Shawn Maloney, 13. Robert Beach, 14. David Beach.
4 CYLINDER FEATURE FINISH (15 laps): 1. Don Kuhn, 2. Ivan Guerra, 3. Vinny Lovric, 4. Josh Mendez, 5. Kyle Welsch, 6. Joe Smith, 7. Steven Schmitz, 8. Gary Magie, 9. Robert Beach, 10. Mike Travis, 11. Amber VanOrden, 12. Justin Mapes, 13. Paige LaPolt, 14. Shawn Maloney, 15. Tasha Curry, 16. John Bankith, 17. Amber McGibbon.
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