Heist/Houst score first ever wins at Path Valley
It is always a special moment for a driver when they earn their first win. Two drivers got to experience those emotions on Saturday night at Path Valley Speedway.
Brian Heist found the opening he needed in turn three on the first lap, going from fourth to the lead in one turn of the 270cc Micro Sprint feature. Rookie Zach Glass was having his best run this year, running second, until mechanical issues forced him out on lap seven. Colby Dice took over the runner-up spot at that point, but Dice had nothing for Heist, losing by five car lengths at the end. The win for Heist was his first feature win in his eight year career. Cory Myers finished third, Brent Bull fourth, and Mark Mehalick fifth. Levi Peck won the heat race.
Garrett Bard used the same formula in the 600cc Micro Sprint feature as Heist had done. Bard also started fourth and used the momentum of the top groove on the start to take the lead on lap one. Four cautions slowed the pace, but on each restart Bard was able to pull away, leading by four car lengths when the checkered flag waved. Dwayne Gutshall ran a solid second. The battle for third was hotly contested until lap fifteen. Hannah Riser was in third and as she exited turn two she slowed for just a moment and P.J. Williams hit her in the back bumper. Both cars went high allowing Tanner Hunsicker, Timmie Barrick, and Ben Houtz to get by, and they ended up finishing third, fourth, and fifth. Heat race wins went to Barrick and Hunsicker.
Lance Yeager started second in the ACMS Stock 600cc Micro Sprint feature and set the early pace. Drew Ritchey chased down Yeager from his fourth place starting position and took the lead on lap six. Ritchey appeared to be in control until he got too high in turn three on lap seventeen, and before he could recover Yeager had regained the lead. A caution with one lap to go gave Ritchey one last shot, but Yeager held him off by just less than a car length to secure the win. Buddy Hines appeared to be one of the quickest the second half coming from his ninth starting position to finish third. Justin Whittall and Tom Whittall finished fourth and fifth. Tom Whittall and Hines split the heat race wins.
Rusty Garlock was driving his dad's Street Stock while his dad is recovering from surgery, so it was fitting that on the night before Father's Day he would take the car to victory lane. Garlock started second, beat pole-sitter Tom Wakefield to turn one, and then held off the pressure from Boyd Brode to lead all twenty laps. Tom Wakefield finished third followed closely by Randy Wible and Brad Karns. Wible was disqualified for a post-race incident, moving Karns up to fourth and Rob Harling fifth. Wible and Ridge Bookwalter were the heat race winners.
The Sidewinder Sprints run twin fifteen lap features instead of heats and one feature. In the first feature Steve Whary started first and led all the way, followed across the line by Brandon Yarlett, Ben Houtz, Mike Zielonis, and Austin Quick. Rich Halter had been running fourth until the final lap when his drive chain broke, which then broke the engine case, leaving engine parts scattered along the backstretch.
In the second segment Hannah Riser was leading the way with Mike Zielonis and Ben Houtz close behind. Riser appeared to slow exiting turn two on lap twelve and Houtz moved to the high side, going from third to first in one move. Steve Whary came from starting last to the runner-up spot on lap twelve, but could not catch Houtz in the remaining laps. The win is the first for Houtz, and it gave both wins for the night to drivers running 600cc engines versus the 1000cc engines the Sidewinders are allowed. Zielonis ended up third while Rohan Beasley passed the struggling Riser on the final lap for fourth.
Last week the 4-Cylinder Thunder Car drivers beat on each other's cars. This week a tacky but rough surface did the beating. Justin Williamson led from drop of the green, but when Jeremy Moore left the race with a flat tire on lap seventeen Williamson was the last driver remaining in the six-car field. Tony Hampton was credited for third, ahead of Charlie Stallman and Randy Stull. The heat race was won by Stallman.
The Mini Stock feature was controlled all night by Chris Anderson. Anderson started second in the heat and led every lap, then started first in the feature and led every lap. Dillon Wilson finished second, followed by Matt Williamson, Jeremy Ott, and Josh Group.
Path Valley results 6/14
270cc Micro Sprint: 1.Brian Heist (Annville, PA), 2.Colby Dice, 3.Cory Myers, 4.Brent Bull, 5.Mark Mehalick, 6.Tim McClelland, 7.Coty Ramirez, 8.Levi Peck, 9.Zach Glass DNS: Chad Ward
Lap Leaders: Brian Heist (1-20)
Heat: Levi Peck
600cc Micro Sprint: 1.Garrett Bard (Wells Tannery, PA), 2.Dwayne Gutshall, 3.Tanner Hunsicker, 4.Timmie Barrick, 5.Ben Houtz, 6.P.J. Williams, 7.Anthony Macri, 8.Steve Bull, 9.Nick Macri, 10.Jim Young, 11.Hannah Riser, 12.Cheyenne Topper, 13.Brandon Noel, 14.John Flick, 15.Len Ozio, 16.Dave Peterson, 17.Steve Whary, 18.Buddy Hines DNS: Travis Scott
Lap Leaders: Garrett Bard (1-20)
Heats: Timmie Barrick, Tanner Hunsicker
ACMS Stock 600cc Micro Sprint: 1.Lance Yeager (St. Thomas, PA), 2.Drew Ritchey, 3.Buddy Hines, 4.Justin Whittall, 5.Tom Whittall, 6.Alyssa Rowe, 7.Logan Jones, 8.Brent Sparks, 9.Mark Mullen, 10.Al Vican, 11.Sean Garman, 12.Gunnar Layton DNS: Steve Bull
Lap Leaders: Lance Yeager (1-5, 17-20), Drew Ritchey (6-16)
Heats: Tom Whittall, Buddy Hines
Street Stock: 1.Rusty Garlock (Three Springs, PA), 2.Boyd Brode, 3.Tom Wakefield, 4.Brad Karns, 5.Rob Harling, 6.Ridge Bookwalter, 7.Ken Singer, 8. Anthony Varner, 9.Dustin Kirk DQ: Randy Wible
Lap Leaders: Rusty Garlock (1-20)
Heats: Randy Wible, Ridge Bookwalter
Sidewinder (feature #1): 1.Steve Whary (Lebanon, PA), 2.Brandon Yarlett, 3.Mike Zielonis, 4.Austin Quick, 5.Rich Halter, 6.Matt Kreider, 7.Hannah Riser, 8.Rick Stone, 9.Mike Murphy, Jr., 10.Tim Townsend DQ: Ben Houtz DNS: Rohan Beasley, Zach Overmiller
Lap Leaders: Steve Whary (1-15)
Sidewinder (feature #2): 1.Ben Houtz (Newport, PA), 2.Steve Whary, 3.Mike Zielonis, 4.Rohan Beasley, 5.Hannah Riser, 6.Brandon Yarlett, 7.Matt Kreider, 8.Rick Stone, 9.Austin Quick DNS: Rich Halter, Michael Murphy, Jr., Zach Overmiller, Tim Townsend
Lap Leaders: Hannah Riser (1-11), Ben Houtz (12-15)
4-Cyl. Thunder Car: 1.Justin Williamson (Orbisonia, PA), 2.Jeremy Moore, 3.Tony Hampton, 4.Charlie Stallman, 5.Randy Stull, 6.Tyler Kirby.
Lap Leaders: Justin Williamson (1-20)
Heat: Charlie Stallman
Mini Stock: 1.Chris Anderson (Rockhill, PA), 2.Dillon Wilson, 3.Matt Williamson, 4.Jeremy Ott, 5.Josh Group, 6.Cody Kershner, 7.Bill Kennedy
Lap Leaders: Chris Anderson (1-20)
Heat: Chris Anderson