Welch wins wild one at Path Valley
Sometimes when you watch a race nothing out of the ordinary happens and the race plays out pretty much how you expect it to. Then there are the races like the Mini Stock feature on Friday night. Those races have more changes than you ever expect and the winner only leads the final lap.
Eight Mini Stock drivers took the green flag for the feature event with Mark Grove leading the way. Grove set the early pace with Jeremy Ott close behind. Just as they came to the halfway point Ott took the lead as Grove slowed and pulled to the pit area. Ott's lead only lasted three laps, and when the caution came out on lap thirteen Ott had to pit for a flat tire and three other racers also went to the pits. Ott was the only racer to return to the track. Bill Kennedy took over the top spot and was still leading on lap eighteen when he slowed with engine trouble. Ott had made it back to second by this time and charged past Kennedy to regain the lead. Just as Ott was about to take the white flag, his car let out three loud bangs and then his engine stopped running. As Ott rolled slowly down the backstretch Barry Welch went past to lead the final lap. Kennedy finished second, followed by Korey Washinger. Ott was credited for fourth and Chris Anderson fifth. Grove won the heat race.
Bill Powell put on a dominating performance in the Super Stocks, winning the heat race and then leading all twenty-laps to win the feature. Powell did not just lead all twenty laps, but he was leading by three quarters of a lap when the non-stop feature came to an end, and was trying to put a lap on the fourth place car. Shawn Shoemaker finished second, just ahead of Troy Eckenrode and Brad McGinnis. Curt Dunn completed the top five..
The Late Models were next and Andy Fries continued his great run in 2014. Fries won the heat race and then led all twenty-five laps to win the feature. Brad Kling finished second, but could never contend for the lead. Third, fourth, and fifth went to Wes Bonebrake, Steve Lowery, and Josh Berrier.
Charlie Stallman led the first two laps of the 4-Cylinder Thunder Car feature until a flat tire forced him to the pit area. D.J. Keefer took over from there and led the last eighteen laps to claim victory. Stallman had made his way back to third and was trying to pass John Rasp for second on the final lap. Stallman got into the back bumper of Rasp and both drivers went up towards the outside wall. Tony Hampton took advantage and went from fourth to second in the final turn. Stallman crossed the line third, but was docked one position for the contact, giving third to Rasp. Kyle Martin finished fifth. The heat race was won by Rasp.
The night started with a crazy feature and also ended with one. Garrett Watkins was leading on lap two when Terry O'Donnell hit the outside wall hard exiting turn four and was hit in the side by Rayshawna Hardy. Hardy was able to continue with only minor damage, but O'Donnell's was badly damaged. While they were cleaning up that incident, three other drivers went to the pit area with mechanical problems, leaving only Watkins and Hardy. On lap five Watkins lost the right rear wheel, leaving only Hardy on the track. Just as they were about to end the race, Robert Gutshall returned, four laps down. They continued the race and Hardy led the last fifteen laps to score her first ever feature win. Gutshall was scored second, followed by Watkins, Bronson Krause, and Sam Barge. Gutshall won the heat race.
Path Valley results 8/1
Mini Stock: 1.Barry Welch (Three Springs, PA), 2.Bill Kennedy, 3.Korey Washinger, 4.Jeremy Ott, 5.Chris Anderson, 6.Rusty Garlock, 7.Justin Bucher, 8.Mark Grove
Lap Leaders: Mark Grove (1-9), Jeremy Ott (10-12, 19), Bill Kennedy (13-18), Barry Welch (20)
Heat: Mark Grove
Super Stock: 1.Bill Powell (Millerstown, PA), 2.Shawn Shoemaker, 3.Troy Eckenrode, 4.Brad McGinnis, 5.Curt Dunn, 6.Joey Burdge, 7.Shyann Bard, 8.Alex Boozel
Lap Leaders: Bill Powell (1-20)
Heat: Bill Powell
Late Model: 1.Andy Fries (Mercersburg, PA), 2.Brad Kling, 3.Wes Bonebrake, 4.Steve Lowery, 5.Josh Berrier, 6.Tim Snare, 7.Dave Leidy DNS: Ralph Morgan
Lap Leaders: Andy Fries (1-25)
Heat: Andy Fries
4-Cyl. Thunder Car: 1.D.J. Keefer (McConnellsburg, PA), 2.Tony Hampton, 3.John Rasp, 4.Charlie Stallman, 5.Kyle Martin, 6.Austin Gelwick, 7.Barry Snyder
Lap Leaders: Charlie Stallman (1-2), D.J. Keefer (3-20)
Heat: Charlie Stallman
Strictly Stock: 1.Rayshawna Hardy (Mt. Union, PA), 2.Robert Gutshall, 3.Garrett Watkins, 4.Bronson Krause, 5.Sam Barge, 6.Terry O'Donnell
Lap Leaders: Garrett Watkins (1-5), Rayshawna Hardy (6-20)