|Date: 8/11/2009 12:38:32 AM|
Glass,Bieber,Johnson Share Slingshot Wins
As the season quickly progresses,there are 3 things that no one can predict in the Slingshot series,who will win,who the point champions will be and how many yellows will be needed for the racing events.
To answer question 1,it was pretty evident at Selinsgrove on Friday night that the Nicholas Powder Coating # 3 with Mike Glass at the helm ,was the odds-on favorite to claim the victory.
The Charlie Paige prepared Raceway Park located inside the Selinsgrove Speedway gave the drivers a surface that saw some mid-pack 3 wide passing and a finish that almost needed a photo finish as lapped traffic on the last lap got Glass out of shape and the #59 of Cody Kline a last chance run for the win.
Answering the same question at Greenwood Valley was a lot easier as the newly sponsored 32 of Brett Bieber took the green and never had to look back in his Tailgaters sponsored race car.
The Juniors also had some spirited racing with the small fields still providing some wheel to wheel passing as Kenney Johnson of Bethany,CT had a JR.National double and had to pass his Junior National point contending counterpart Matt Reiley with 5 to go at Greenwood Valley to seal the deal.
Question # 2 might not be answered until the final lap of the season as Matt Mertz,Brett Bieber,Cody Kline,Mike Glass and Kim Dornblaser all have an idea what it will take to stay atop the points ladder.Kline's 2 second place runs,coupled with Matt Mertz' steady finishes and Brett Bieber's recent hotstreak all have scrambled the points situation.Chuck Whary and Kyle Lick have all made some waves in recent events and could be counted on to be a part of the Awards Banquet attendees claiming some point fund money.The Juniors have an even tougher task as the top 2 in the chase have been nothing short of phenomenal with Kenney Johnson and Matt Reiley taking top 3 finishes wherever they go.
The followup on question 3 was very easy this weekend.1 caution waved for 9 qualifying events and 4 features with the only snag being a heat yellow at GVAT after a solid night of action at Selinsgrove the night before.
Mike Glass brought the field to the green and to the checkered after his stellar performance in the 35 lapper Friday night."The Captian" Cody Kline got his only break with 2 turns to go and almost stole the show form Glass.Oley,PA's Brett Bieber had to defend his 3rd place finish as Matt Mertz dropped back from his 2nd place starting position and then reworked the field to come back for a strong 4th.Billy Clark used a lowline into turn 3 that no one had tried that saw the 00 pass Alex Schoffstall on the final corner to eke out the 5th place money.
Alex Schoffstall has taken a liking to the 1/5 mile oval and could be a solid contender in future races.Making the haul from Goshen,NY was 2008 Junior National Champion Joseph Kata III and he responded with a nice 7th place effort.Reading polesitter Kayla Smykla had to battle Kim Dornblaser for the 8th position and Kim had Chuck Whary on her rear bumper when the A Main was completed.Whary who experienced mechanical problems in his heat rounded out the top 10.
The Junior National saw Kenney Johnson tackle the tricky oval in his quest for the Junior National title.Johnson had a few close moments as Hamlin regular Colin White was on his back bumper a few times but didn't have enough to make a serious challenge.AJ Gerhart could not recover from a green flag bobble and took the 3rd spot as Junior National point leader Matt Reiley finished 4th.
With raindrops falling at Greenwood Valley the rush to complete the show made the Slingshot teams very happy as both classes saw non-stop A Mains have them heading home by 7:15.THAT'S RIGHT....7:15 !!!!!Dual heats were run for both classes and the action during the features gave the GVAT fans something to talk about.Breet Bieber's command at the green left little doubt who be victorious ,but it was the rest of the field that had to jockey for positions.Kayla Smykla tried her best on the start to outrun Beiber to turn 1,but in doing so she had Chuck Whary slotting in right behind Bieber and the 21W proceeded to drag race Smykla to turn 3 where he took over the runner-up spot.A few 3 wides now set the stage for the next 8 laps as Cody Kline,Smykla and a 7th starting Matt Mertz all swapped positions twice in a 3 lap span near the 1/2 way point.The 59 of Kline now ready to move to the front, passed Smykla with an inside move in turn 2 and an outside pass on Whary in turn 3 to go from 4th to 2nd in 2 turns.
The remaining laps now had everyone watching the back of the field as Mertz had to ward off the # 8 Green Machine of Kyle Lick,who in turn was watching Joseph Kata III try the high side countless times in the Kata 10 Motorsports racer.RJ Smykla who was running as high as 4th at one point in the feature,had one costly bobble in turn 1 that forced him to correct and lose 5 spots,but he regained his composure and ended up passing Eddie Reiley on the white flag lap for 8th.Reiley a Junior legal racer at Oakland Valley got considerable seat time and made the most of his experiences during the Speedweek campaign.
Kenney Johnson was content with running second until the 5 to go was displayed.He stalked the 17 of Matt Reiley and finally made a move to get the lead coming off of turn 4 enroute to his Junior National double.
1.3N Mike Glass 2. 59 Cody Kline 3. 32 Brett Bieber 4. 97 Matt Mertz 5. 00 Billy Clark 6. 77 Alex Schoffstall 7. 10 Joseph Kata III 8. 29 Kayla Smykla 9. 2 Kim Dornblaser 10. 95 Chuck Whary 11. 30 Travis Gruber 12. 3 RJ Smykla 13. 5 Paul Ennes 14. 10JR Eddie Reiley
1. 46 Kenney Johnson 2. 6 Colin White 3. 1J AJ Gerhart 4. 17 Matt Reiley
1.32 Brett Bieber 2. 59 Cody Kline 3. 21W Chuck Whary 4. 29 Kayla Smykla 5. 97 Matt Mertz 6. 8 Kyle Lick 7. 10 Joseph Kata III 8. 3 RJ Smykla 9. 10JR Eddie Reiley
JRS 1. 46 Kenney Johnson 2. 17 Matt Reiley 3. 1J AJ Gerhart 4. 17L TJ Lilly
Photos: All Photos by Mike Feltenberger
sgrovestart: Mike Glass (3N) and Matt Mertz lead the field to the green at Selinsgrove
glasscrew: Mike Glass with family,crew and team mates after Selinsgrove win
kenneywin: Kenney Johnson is all smiles after his Selinsgrove JR.NAT. win
bieberfamily: Marlin and Wendy Bieber join Greenwood Valley winner and son Brett Bieber after his non-stop tour win.
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