Date: 11/11/2012 10:30:40 PM




by Barry Angstadt


  An Outlaw, a Sheriff, and a hired gun led a parade of winners on the first day of Speedway Entertainment's Fall Jamboree at Path Valley Speedway Park.

  Saturday's main event for the SpeedSTRs fell to an Outlaw, as in 2011 WoO Late Model Champion Rick Eckert. The victory was Eckert's first in a SpeedSTR National Tour race.

  The Sheriff, Simon Egan, drove to an impressive win in the All Star Slingshot feature, which was a Pit Stop Challenge event.

  And hired gun Tyler Walton, now driving for car owner Rich Glosser, captured his second triumph for his new boss by winning the 600cc Micro-Sprint main.

  Joining those three wheel-twisters in the winner's circle on Saturday were Ryan Quackenbush (Junior Slingshots); Robbie Watson (270cc Micro-Sprints); Frank Gordon (Four-Cylinder Stocks); and Mark Naftzinger (Enduro).

  "Man, these cars are a blast to drive," grinned Eckert, the York, Pa. driver who had run a Late Model twice in his career at Path Valley, winning one of those races. "But they'll wear you out in a hurry since they don't have power steering. I'm old, and I was getting tired. But I knew these young guys were chasing me, and they don't get tired, so I had to stay with it all the way."

  Eckert started on the pole of the 25-lap Speed STR main, and he led every trip around the banked quarter-mile at Path Valley.

  Canada's Maxime Plante zipped into the runner-up spot on the opening lap, then battled with Freddy Rahmer to maintain that position. Plante, the current leader in National SpeedSTR points, held on to finish second and place himself in good position to clinch the title on Sunday when Brandon Rahmer (second in points) fell out of the race with mechanical problems. B. Rahmer finished 16th.

   The first 16 circuits went non-stop before a yellow flag slowed the pace. That caution and ensuing restart, plus another one just two laps later, enabled Paul Lotier to challenge the front runners. Lotier charged into fourth, then raced hard with Freddy Rahmer in a duel for third. F. Rahmer eventually won that battle, and Lotier had to fight off late race assaults from Brittany Wixon in order to secure his fourth-place finish.

  Eckert took the checkered with Plante and Freddy Rahmer in hot pursuit. Lotier and Wixon completed the top five.

  F. Rahmer and Plante won the two heat races for the SpeedSTRs. Eckert set quick time for the 19-car field in the Timed Dashes.

  Egan made a big move at the start of the 25-lapper for the All Star Slingshots, darting from third to first by the time the lead cars rumbled down the backstretch for the first time.

  "No, it was not a premeditated move," noted the driver from Stroudsburg, Pa. "I saw the opening down low, went for it, and it stuck."

  With ten laps complete, the red flag was thrown to halt the action and set up the Pit Stop Challenge portion of the event. Egan came in as the race leader, and he was the first to leave the impromptu "pit road" set up on the front stretch. 

  The top ten in the running order were required to change a right-rear tire during the mandatory pit stop. Egan had Ryan Smith as his tire changer, and Smith made sure that Egan would hold on to the top spot. 

  "We talked about it all week," explained the victor afterward. "Ryan always gains me lots of positions when we do these pit stop races, so I knew he'd keep me out front today."

  John Bockhorn pulled into the runner-up spot soon after the race went back to green. While Bockhorn kept Egan in sight, he could not get quite close enough to muster a serious challenge.

  Egan motored to the victory, with Bockhorn, Justin Thompson, Shannon Smith, and Kyle Gruber rounding out the top five at the finish.

  The National Slingshot point title took a swing in favor of Cody Kline. Kline began the day staring at a nine-point deficit, as last year's National Champ, Brett Bieber, sat atop the point parade. But Bieber suffered mechanical ills while running third and dueling with Thompson for second. Bieber was forced to drop out of the race with ten to go, finishing 16th. Kline persevered to record a seventh place finish.

  Travis Bieber and Egan captured the heat races for the All Star Slingers. Bockhorn set fast time in the group's Timed Dashes.

  The Junior Slingshots wrapped up their National Touring season on Saturday, with Ryan Quackenbush winning the battle and Brandon McGill taking the war.

  McGill clinched the Junior National crown with his third place effort. Fellow New Yorker Quackenbush ran side-by-side with polesitter Jared LaBagh before he squeezed in front to lead lap one. Quackenbush remained in front for the duration of the 20-lapper, claiming his first victory of the season over LaBagh, McGill, Dylan Hoch, Dakota Kohler, and Dakota Barlet.

  LaBagh won the lone heat race for the Junior Slingers. He was also quickest in the Timed Dash.  
 Tyler Walton, from Mifflintown, Pa., followed up his win in Susquehanna's Candy Bowl with another 600cc triumph in Glosser's new Hyper Chassis. 

  Walton made it a clean sweep on Saturday, as he set quick time in the Timed Dash, won the division's lone heat race, then led all the way in the 20-lap feature.

  Steve Kemery finished a distant second to Walton, with Timmie Barrick, the 2012 point champ at Path Valley, ending up third after a furious mid-race battle with Tim Iulg.

  Like Walton, New Jersey driver Robbie Watson swept the Timed Dash, heat race, and 20-lap main for the 270cc Micro-Sprints. Watson was steering the mount formerly driven to many victories by Ryan Smith.

  "We picked up the car about two weeks ago," revealed Watson in victory lane, "and my dad and I have been working on it and getting it ready ever since. It's a great car; it drives really good."

  Watson won handily over Adam Warner and Brock Lawrence.

  In the Four-Cylinder feature, Frank Gordon out-gunned front row starting mate Gary Newell as the green waved, and Gordon held on to narrowly defeat Newell in the 20-lap race.

  Leroy Long prevailed in a race long duel for third with Matt Williamson.

  Newell was victorious in the Four-Cylinder heat race.

  Rob Keller went up in smoke while leading the 100-lap Enduro, handing the top spot and the triumph to Mark Naftzinger. 


SpeedSTR Finish, 25 laps: 1.Rick Eckert, 2.Maxime Plante, 3.Freddy Rahmer, 4.Paul Lotier, 5.Brittany Wixon, 6.Mitch Lacombe, 7.Carl Labonte, 8.Pierre Hebert, 9.Scott Donaldson, 10.Sebastian Couture, 11.Josiannen Plante, 12.Al Arrisher, 13.Leroy Long, 14.Ben Naugle, 15.Gary Huber, 16.Brandon Rahmer, 17.Jean-Charles Casavant, 18.Mike Vermeullen, 19.Jean-Nicolas Gareau.

All Star Slingshot Finish, 25 laps: 1.Simon Egan, 2.John Bockhorn, 3.Justin Thompson, 4.Shannon Smith, 5.Kyle Gruber, 6.Henry Anderson, 7.Cody Kline, 8.Danny Buccafusca, 9.Kurt Bettler, 10.John Rooks Jr., 11.Louden Reimert, 12.Keven Hebert, 13. Carl Labonte, 14.Travis Bieber, 15.Ryan Raidline, 16.Brett Bieber.

Junior National Slingshot Finish, 20 laps: 1.Ryan Quackenbush, 2.Jared LaBagh, 3.Brandon McGill, 4.Dylan Hoch, 5.Dakota Kohler, 6.Dakota Barlet.

600cc Micro-Sprint Finish, 20 laps: 1.Tyler Walton, 2.Steve Kemery, 3.Timmie Barrick, 4.Tim Iulg, 5.Chandler Leiby, 6.Jim Young, 7.Tanner Hunsicker, 8.Dane Lorenc.

270cc Micro-Sprint Finish, 20 laps: 1.Robbie Watson, 2.Adam Warner, 3.Brock Lawrence, 4.Donald Werner, 5.Ken Duke.

Four-Cylinder Stock Car Finish, 20 laps: 1.Frank Gordon, 2.Gary Newell, 3.Leroy Long, 4.Matt Williamson, 5.Justin Good, 6.Devin Whistle. DNS: Ricky Harper.

Enduro Finish, 100 laps: 1.Mark Naftzinger, 2.Jamie Naftzinger, 3.Rob Keller.

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