posted June 27, 2001 03:23 PM
Limited Lates Dominate at Hesston Weekly and Path Valley July 6
By Walt Cox
for The Daily News
First, let's clear the air a little.
Several Hesston Speedway teams are being reprimanded this week for bad behavior
Saturday. They are getting notices of suspensions of varying lengths, loss of
purse and points, and other penalties.
Actions by the drivers under the heat and passion of competition ? and by their
crew members ? ARE held against them. Hesston is a family track and racing is
supposed to be fun. When some, in total disregard for the track's general rules,
take their racing as a life and death affair, then it's getting out of hand and
the track is acting now to prevent future misbehavior.
I don't want to here belabor the point or further humiliate those who got wild
Saturday night. I hope they have the grace and sense to be ashamed of their
behavior. Let's hope they at least think of the bad example they set for their own
and all the other children at the track.
Read the general rules, as well as the specific tech rules. The worst offense
Saturday came when one driver appeared not to know that he wasn't allowed to leave
the track and pit under red. He didn't seem to know that he couldn't enter the
pits at turn one where the next division lines up to go on. And when he wasn't
allowed back out and another driver who pitted according to the rules was, he
Read the rules! Cars can get off the track on turn two, halfway down the
backstretch and on turn four, but not ever on turn one unless sent off there by a
track official for safety reasons! The same goes for the red flag.
Even with a couple limited lates missing, there should be a good field this
weekend and plenty of the most popular drivers for the kids' autograph session on
the front stretch at intermission. This Saturday, June 30, is the Keith Warsing
Memorial sponsored by Sheffield Auto Sales in memory of the young cancer victim
who was an ardent team member and supporter of local racers while drag racing
Lates Outshine Sprints
The Stultz & Brown Limited Late Models put on the better show Saturday by far,
with some great racing between the cautions and a thrilling surprise win when
three time champion Brad Houck in the Clark #96 put a last lap move on defending
champion Dwayne Taneyhill. Houck's last lap pass on the outside of turn two
reminded me of the pass Rick Singleton pulled of the race before on turn four,
both going to the outside cushion and grabbing better traction to pass the car on
the shorter inside line. That pass to win alone gave the fans their money's worth.
Vince Snyder also used an outside line to pass several other sprints. The track
was the best yet this season, thanks to the hard work during the week Mike Grubb
put in on the grader, packer, sheepsfoot, water truck and run-in cars.
Watching to see if Taneyhill could pass again in the remaining two turns I missed
completely the action on the backstretch when Tom Eriksen and Rick Singleton
collided. One of them got sideways out of turn two and the other hit. I did have a
front row seat to the lap five crash on the front stretch when Mike Ashe got loose
on a restart and turned sideways in front of half the field. The cars were all
coming out of turn four under power for the start at the cone. When they found
Ashe sitting still halfway to the flagstand they scattered like ducks in front of
a dog and eight of them piled up.
At the earlier drivers meetings I heard flagman Chuck Verbonitz warn the drivers
to watch their manners on restarts to stay under control and one wide until they
reached the cone, so no sympathy goes to any of those torn up.
The 305 Grubb Lumber Sprints put on a great show as Vince Snyder worked his way to
the front and then stayed ahead of Shawn Howe for the second half the race. Howe
too, in his first Hesston race since the #17 was finished, ran a fine race with
lots of clean passing. Talk about speeds, one observer clocked Vince Snyder and
Shawn Howe at more than 106 miles per hour around the Hesston oval Saturday night!
The technical disqualification because Snyder was six pounds light reflects on his
crew and maintenance program, but not on Snyder as a driver because it was
obviously not an intentional rules violation. Someone didn't dump enough fuel into
the #15. Indeed, Snyder had to pass twice for the lead, and the front five at the
finish were only a length apart.
The Shellbrook Stables Street Stocks and the Cars Unlimited Hobby Stocks both ran
exciting features with full fields of cars, and Joe DeArmitt who lives a block
from the track won his first in the hobby stocks at Hesston. He also has two wins
a Hummingbird, which is a newly reopened track that I've actually looked for in
the wilds between Dubois and Clearfield. The hobby stocks deserve a hearty slap on
the back for completing their whole feature almost within the time limit. The
points lead might change in the Metzler Bros. Transport Pure Stocks this weekend,
and I'll explain why below.
Path Adds Legends Races
After a weekend of total rainout on top of past rainouts, Path Valley has added
the Central PA Legends Cars to the Saturday lineup. The Legends Cars race under
the INEX sanction for national points, and they have lost so many regular Friday
night races that they are in danger of missing the INEX minimum number of races
raced. So for the next few weeks, at least, they will race Friday and Saturday
nights at Path Valley.
The Legends Cars are the brainchild of Humpy Wheeler at Charlotte Motor Speedway,
and they race at hundreds of tracks for national points. The cars are five-eights
replicas of the classic coupes and sedans that raced here shortly after WWII. They
are powered by 1200cc motorcycle engines, and because they weigh practically
nothing, they get some impressive speeds.
This Friday the 305 Sprints are at Path Valley too, and most of the top ten from
this Saturday at Hesston should also be at Path Valley along with some of the
Virginia Sprint Series stars. Only Scott Ellerman, a former micro sprint racer,
has won two races this season at both tracks combined, and based on Path Valley's
lineup and handicap system, I can confidently predict a new first time winner this
Friday, quite likely from Hollidaysburg!
So this Friday night at Path Valley is nothing special, just your usual thrilling
races for two classes of sprints and four divisions of stock cars. Friday night is
also Photos by Walt Cox trophy night at Path Valley and the bi-weekly 305 PA
Sprints return. I needn't remind anyone that photo sales at the track help a
little to pay for the services of a publicist to send out the race results every
week. Also racing June 29 will be the Central PA Legends Cars, 270cc sprints, V-8
Street Stocks, modified mini stocks and four-cylinder thunder cars. Gates open at
5 p.m. with racing by 7:00.
The Saturday afternoon races for four-wheelers and karts will feature a motor race
June 30, and the regular all-sprint program Saturday night now includes five
classes of sprints and now the Legends Cars. The scaled down sprints are the 600cc
sprints, which are self-starting, the 270cc modified sprints, the 250cc Sportsman
classes in both water cooled and air-cooled divisions, and the 125cc sprints.
Gates open at 11 a.m. for the kart and quad races, and again at 5 p.m. for the
No races are currently scheduled for Sunday, July 1, but the Fourth of July
weekend races feature the 358 limited late models on July 6 along with another
$2000 purse for the Legends sponsored by Star and Eagle Trailers and trophies for
the limited lates, Legends and street stocks from Shippensburg Auto Auction.
Saturday, July 7, the quads and karts race includes a bicycle race for the kids,
and the Legends join the sprints again Saturday night. Then Sunday, July 7,
features the second of the season's Junk Car Races. See the website at www.pathvalley.com for full details and junk car rules.
We Interrupt This Race to Bring You a Wedding
Ron Beam Jr. from down past Shade Gap has dominated the four-cylinder class until
now, with his dad, Ron Sr., right behind. Well this coming weekend Ron Sr. has a
good chance to take back the points lead in defense of his 2000 championship
because Ron Jr. is getting married.
Ron Beam Jr. and Penny Armstrong will be married at 3 p.m. Saturday at the St.
Luke's Methodist Church in Shade Gap. His bride reports that he will have to go to
the reception following, but his dad will be able to leave early to race. His
bride Penny says she realizes now that she should have scheduled the wedding for
"noonish" so no one would have had to miss the race. She is willing to turn a
wrench herself, and Ron's marriage will only make his racing career stronger.
Late model driver Dave Leonard is also part of the wedding party, along with their
sons Brandon Beam and Jimmy Blair. Both of the youngsters, at four and seven, are
ready to start racing in motocross.
Around the Tracks
I've been catching it for a week or two for not writing about a couple drivers
from the Huntingdon area who race at tracks outside the area. At the beginning of
the season I asked for results from other tracks and so what I've got this week is
that most every track rained out. That includes Thunder Valley, Port Royal, Hidden
Valley, etc. I do have results from Tazewell TN.
Dog Hollow is one exception where Jim Parson placed third and Dwayne Taneyhill
fourth in their Friday night features. Bedford and Cumberland might or might not
have raced, but they don't send me results. Scotty Haus won the 50-lapper for late
models at Clinton County two weeks ago, the last report I have from there.
I actually feel guilty even mentioning other tracks when I don't have space enough
to report everything from the two local tracks. If you have complaints, see me at