|Date: 8/10/2007 11:48:46 AM|
SMITH, SENG, ROHNER, & FREED SNARE TOP HONORS AT KUTZTOWN
Kutztown, PA - The Kid from Kunkletown, Ryan Smith, raced to his first victory of the season at the Kutztown Fairgrounds on Wednesday night, August 8. Smith, who took the green from the outside pole, jumped ahead of Jay Horvath and proceeded to lead every lap of the 270cc Micro-Sprint feature.
Jarrett Seng, a former 600cc champion at Kutztown, tossed the gorilla off his back and notched his first triumph of 2007 in that division's 20-lap main event. Kyle Rohner registered the victory in the Strapped In Slingshot Speedweek feature, and Mike Freed captured the special 270cc VS. 600cc Wingless Challenge Race.
While Smith set the pace in the 270cc headliner, four cars engaged in a torrid battle for the runner-up spot. Terry Schaeffer finally got the better of Jay Horvath and the Hartman brothers, Jeff and Jay. Schaeffer closed in on Smith as the leader negotiated heavy lapped traffic, managing to stick a wheel under Smith's Tresch Motorsports/ JHM Tree Service No. 2 as they raced through turns one and two with just five laps remaining.
Smith slammed the door on Schaeffer's attempt, but a yellow flag with one to go gave the veteran wheel-twister one last shot at the leader. Smith, coming off a Saturday night victory at Hamlin Speedway, motored away on the restart as Schaeffer fell back into the clutches of point leader Jeff Hartman. Hartman wrestled the second position away from Schaeffer as the high flying duo crossed the finish line a few car-lengths behind Smith. Jay Hartman and cousin Jesse Hartman completed the top five.
Schaeffer, Mike Esposito, and Ross Perchak won heat races for the 270's. Pat Bealer won the consolation.
Seng, from Orefield, charged from his pole position starting spot to lead the entire 600cc feature. His front row starting mate, Kenny Miller, chased Seng over the 20-lap distance, but could not stay with Jarrett's No. 49.
Brian Carber finished third, with Sammy Hemhauser and Brett Smith zipping under the checkered in fourth and fifth, respectively. Point leader Jason VanDoren ended up sixth, right behind Smith, who is currently second in the standings with one race remaining.
Gary Berkenstock and Brett Smith were victorious in the 600cc heats.
Fifteen drivers elected to compete in the 270cc VS. 600cc Wingless Challenge Race. This 15-lapper was run after the regular features, and the drivers were given a short practice session to get their mounts dialed in without the wings bolted to the top of their cars' roll cages.
Mike Freed, in a 600, started on the pole and stayed there for the duration of the event. A great battle ensued for the runner-up position between Eddie Wagner and Ryan Smith, both of whom were steering 270's. Smith tried repeatedly to stick his nose under Wagner's No. 70, but Eddie was able to get the better run off the corner to maintain second place.
Late in the race, Brent Marks, in his 600, weaved his way into fourth. He ducked under Smith in one and two, soaring into third as they hit the backstretch.
Freed won handily, with Wagner holding on to second place. Marks and Smith trailed in third and fourth.
Young Damon Bower paced the early stages of the Slingshot Speedweek 20-lapper. It wasn't long before Bower was under intense pressure from Bill "The Dream" Weaver and Rohner. One lap before the halfway mark of the race, they went three-wide for the lead into turn one. Rohner, the Bushkill Bullet, rolled the top as he and Weaver sandwiched Bower through the corner. Rohner blasted off of two as the new leader, with Weaver securing the runner-up position.
Rohner maintained command during the second half of the race, as Weaver held off Shannon Smith for second. That's the way they finished, with Tuesday's Reading Fair winner, Marc Daniels, grabbing the fourth spot over New York's Billy VanInwegen, Jr.
T.J. Mayberry, VanInwegen, and Weaver scored heat race victories for the Slingshots. Jordan Henn recorded the consolation win.
Mark Sokol, a 600cc feature winner on July 17, tested the fairgrounds catch-fence during his heat race on Wednesday. Sokol hopped another car's right-rear tire, launching into a scary series of rolls down the front stretch. The wing and tail tank on his No. 21a hammered the fence and the safety-light at the end of the straightaway before his Micro came to rest at the entrance to turn one. Sokol was okay, and no repairs were needed for the fence, allowing the race to continue after Sokol's battered mount was towed off the track. Mark was able to piece the car back together and started the feature, where he finished 19th in the 22-car field.
Rich Sachetta, the Slingshot winner on July 25, also rolled his racecar during that division's main event on Wednesday. Sachetta got caught up in a multi-car skirmish in turn four, barrel-rolling a couple of times and landing on his roof. Unbelievably, Rich was able to fire the car and restart after he was turned over, but dropped out a few laps later with mechanical issues.
Solid car count once again last week...29 of the 270's; the 600's had a 22-car field, and the Slingshots pulled in 26 cars for their Strapped In Speedweek event.
One of those Slingers traveled all the way from Rochester, Minnesota for the race. Lucas Schott, who is all of 11 years-old, qualified through the consolation and finished a very decent 14th in the main event. Schott's father, John, explained that he, Lucas, and three-year old Levi came east to run the Speedweek series so they could learn more about the Slingers. He reported that the class is really beginning to take off in Minnesota, and he wanted to gain some knowledge on car set-up from the eastern throttle-jockeys. Prior to the race at Kutztown, Lucas competed in the Junior Nationals at Reading on Monday night.
Next week, during the annual Kutztown Fair, race organizers Kerry Meitzler and Danny Sammons will present two big nights of high speed competition. On Wednesday, August 15, the winged warriors of the 270cc and 600cc classes will be joined by the 125cc Micros. Sammons also noted that 250cc Four-Strokes are welcome to run with the 125's. Double points will be awarded to the 270cc and 600cc Micros in their final event at Kutztown in 2007. Popular web site 600Scene.com is sponsoring the 600cc portion of the show, and the feature winner in that class will receive $500.
On Thursday, the 16th, the Slingshots will end their season at the Berks County oval. They will compete in a Briggs & Stratton Power Tour race that will award Mid-Atlantic Region points. Also on the card will be the Hoosier Tire 600 Modifieds and the Champ Karts. In the event of rain on Wednesday, the 270's and 600's will join the Slingshots, 600cc Modifieds, and Champ Karts on Thursday night. When the final checkered flag falls on Thursday, the curtain will drop on the 2007 season at the Fairgrounds.
270cc Micro-Sprint Feature (20 laps): 1.Ryan Smith 2.Jeff Hartman 3.Terry Schaeffer 4.Jay Hartman 5.Jesse Hartman 6.Jay Horvath 7.Ross Perchak 8.Pat Bealer 9.Jonathan Kumernitsky 10.Mike Esposito 11.Rob Pajavis 12.Darrin Bartholomew 13.Marty Gorr 14.Allen Davis 15.Trevor Kobylarz 16.Keith Wetzel 17.Tim Quinter 18.Keith Snyder 19.Eddie Wagner 20.Mark Janisch 21.Nick Skias 22.Jesse Maurer 23.Mike Skias 24.Tony Iudicello.
600cc Micro-Sprint Feature (20 laps): 1.Jarrett Seng 2.Kenny Miller 3.Brian Carber 4.Sammy Hemhauser 5.Brett Smith 6.Jason VanDoren 7.Shane Lewis 8.Gary Berkenstock 9.Ryan Frable 10.Chris Allen 11.Alex Bright 12.Ryan Shupp 13.Charles Cooley 14.Jim Reese 15.Brent Marks 16.Mike Freed 17.Tom Kohler 18.Craig Fox 19.Mark Sokol 20.Keith McIntyre 21.Jerry Schott 22.Dale Thomas.
270cc VS. 600cc Wingless Challenge Race (15 laps): 1.Mike Freed (600cc) 2.Eddie Wagner (270cc) 3.Brent Marks (600cc) 4.Ryan Smith (270cc).
Strapped In Slingshot Speedweek Feature (20 laps): 1.Kyle Rohner 2.Bill Weaver 3.Shannon Smith 4.Marc Daniels 5.Billy VanInwegen, Jr. 6.T.J. Mayberry 7.Kurt Bettler 8.Kevin Albert 9.Nick Pecko 10.Nate Christman 11.Ben Whittaker 12.Mike Sabo 13.Jordan Henn 14.Lucas Schott 15.Pete Knappenberger 16.Tiffany Wambold 17.Anthony Perrego 18.Steve Hicks 19.Austin Berk 20.Damon Bower 21.Billy Clark 22.Rob Marino 23.Rich Sachetta 24.Justin Hughes.
Submitted by Barry Angstadt, Interim P.R. and Announcer.
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