posted April 30, 2001 07:47 AM
JASON JOHNSON INVADES AND WINS SPRINT MAIN AT TRI-CITY;
BLANEY, RHEBERGEN AND WHITLING ALSO ON TOP
by Brian Spaid
April 29, 2001
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
FRANKLIN, PA … For the second Sunday evening in a row, beautiful spring weather graced Tri-City Speedway as Jason Johnson (Allegheny Land & Lumber Super Sprints), Lou Blaney (Titusville Motor & Auction Co. DIRT Modifieds), Brent Rhebergen (RE/MAX E Mods) and Bobby Whitling (E.F. Rogers Plumbing & Heating Stock Cars) captured feature events. It was the first time in track history that four feature winners hailed from four different states.
In a surprise visit during an off night for the All Star Circuit of Champions, Jason Johnson of Eunice, La., drove a stellar race in the Elden Racing Maxim No. 22 to capture his first career 20-lap Super Sprint feature at Tri-City. The 24-year-old racer pilots the sprint car formerly driven by World of Outlaws veteran Jac Haudenschild. It was Johnson’s second feature of the weekend after a victory Friday night at Sharon Speedway.
“I’ve only been racing less than two years, and I’m lucky I’ve got this ride,” said Johnson. “It was a slick track tonight and this team gave me a good car to race.”
There were four different leaders in the race with Brent Covell leading from the pole position. Jarod Larson grabbed the lead on the second circuit and held it until the fifth lap when Scott Bonnell zipped past. Bonnell led for only one lap, however, as Johnson blasted past Larson for second in turn one and raced into the lead off turn four. Shortly after, Brian Hartzell did a slow roll in turn three.
Only two more cautions slowed the action over the final 14 laps, but Johnson was the class of the field. Bonnell finished second followed by Larson, Mark Cassella and Jason Jacoby. Johnson and Cassella won the heats.
Lou Blaney of Hartford, Ohio, survived a late race tangle with last week’s feature winner Jim Weller to capture his first 20-lap DIRT Modified feature of the season. It was his 23rd career feature win at Tri-City.
“I thought I had the low groove,” said Blaney in victory lane beside his Colonial Metals Blaney No. 10. “I guess [Weller] thought he could get by. This car still runs good. Dave [Blaney] built it and it’s been a winner for three years.”
Chris Schiffer took the lead from the front row, but spun in the fourth turn on the first lap. The entire field avoided him and Dave Murdick assumed command of the race on the restart. By the fifth lap, Murdick was in command over Blaney, Kevin Bolland, Ralph Spithaler Jr. and Weller. As the pack sliced and diced for the top five spots, Blaney grabbed the lead with an inside move in turn three on the 10th lap.
Weller slipped into second on the 12th lap and began to challenge Blaney for the lead. Four laps later, he made a move on the inside of turn four. Blaney and Weller collided, and Weller lost his right front wheel. Spinning of turn four into the outside wall, cars scattered to avoid Weller and his lost wheel. As the dust settled, Spithaler, Jim Rasey and Josh Skarzenski were caught in the melee.
Blaney raced unscathed to the victory over Bolland. Brothers Jeff and Kevin Hoffman finished third and fourth after a classic duel over the final four laps. Brian Swartzlander recovered from an early spin to take fifth in the race, which was slowed by eight caution periods. Skarzenski, Hoffman and Swartzlander won the heats. Joe Crawford captured the consolation.
Brent Rhebergen of Clymer, N.Y., won a competitive 15-lap E Mod feature. Rhebergen Scott Stiffler and Todd Roncaglione raced the entire distance nearly side-by-side. Gary McCann led the first lap before Stiffler took command. Roncaglione and Rhebergen quickly jumped into second and third as four cautions dotted the first two laps of the race.
With Stiffler and Roncaglione in the high lane and Rhebergen on the inside, the trio thrilled the crowd. Finally, on the 11th circuit, Stiffler was trapped by a lapped car. Roncaglione tried to go high to take the lead, but tapped the backstretch wall after contact with Stiffler. Rhebergen raced by both of the them to secure first place.
From there, Rhebergen went on to collect his second career E Mod win at Tri-City in his Sharp Tool & Die No. 69. Roncaglione passed Stiffler for second on the final restart late in the race. Ron Jaeger and Mike Hess rounded out the top five. Hess and Stiffler won the heats.
Bobby Whitling of Seneca, Penn., drove a superior race in his Ted Karns Specialty Construction Chevrolet No. 7W as he outlasted seven caution periods to win the 15-lap Stock Car main. It was Whitling’s 22nd career win at Tri-City and his third in a row dating back to the 2000 Applefest 100.
Bob Sloss led the first two laps of the race, but Whitling used an outside move off turn four to grab the front spot on the third lap. Once in front, he was unstoppable despite the fact that his adversaries had six restarts to try to catch and pass him for the win. Ron Iorio finished second followed by former track champions Doug Iorio Sr. and Dave Ferringer. Tom Scott passed Sloss for fifth on the final lap. Ferringer, Whitling and Ron Iorio won the heats.
Tri-City Speedway will be in action once again next Sunday night will another four-star racing program of Allegheny Land & Lumber Super Sprints, Titusville Motor & Auction Co. DIRT Modifieds, RE/MAX E Mods and E.F. Rogers Plumbing & Heating Stock Cars. Gates open at 4 p.m. and racing starts at 6 p.m. Adult grandstand admission is $10.
SUPER SPRINTS (20 Laps): 1. JASON JOHNSON, 2. Scott Bonnell, 3. Jarod Larson, 4. Mark Cassella, 5. Jason Jacoby, 6. Buddy Cochran, 7. Gary Rankin, 8. Sheila Rankin, 9. Brent Covell, 10. Ray Bullis, 11. Ed Etzel, 12. Chad Hill, 13. Brian Hartzell, 14. Mike Marano II.
DIRT MODIFIEDS (20 Laps): 1. LOU BLANEY, 2. Kevin Bolland, 3. Jeff Hoffman, 4. Kevin Hoffman, 5. Brian Swartzlander, 6. Del Rougeux Jr., 7. Joe Crawford, 8. Carl Murdick, 9. J.R. McGinley, 10. Rex King, 11. Dave Schrader, 12. Dave Murdick, 13. Dean Pearson, 14. Jim Rasey, 15. Jason Engles, 16. Ralph Spithaler Jr., 17. Josh Skarzenski, 18. George Hobaugh, 19. Jim Weller, 20. Jeremiah Shingledecker, 21. Rick Hoctor, 22. Chris Schiffer. DNQ: Skip Moore, Ed Fuller, Adam Siegel, Lee Miller, Les Myers, Nick Ritchey, Scott Gurdak.
E MODS (15 Laps): 1. BRENT RHEBERGEN, 2. Todd Roncaglione, 3. Scott Stiffler, 4. Ron Jaeger, 5. Mike Hess, 6. Shawn Domhoff, 7. Hugo Litwiler, 8. Gary McCann, 9. Bill Taylor, 10. Kari Petrosky, 11. Holly Nelson, 12. Ron Loney, 13. Jim White Jr., 14. Bob McCann, 15. Jim Abbott, 16. Mike Potosky, 17. Shawn Shingledecker, 18. Dave Ferringer, 19. Roger Frost, 20. Rich Stiffler.
STOCK CARS (15 Laps): 1. BOBBY WHITLING, 2. Ron Iorio, 3. Doug Iorio Sr., 4. Dave Ferringer, 5. Tom Scott, 6. Matt Cummings, 7. Bob Sloss, 8. Scotty Carbaugh, 9. Jamie Shetler, 10. Brian Counselman, 11. John Shetler, 12. Doug Calvert, 13. Jim Green, 14. Lonny Blair, 15. David Atkinson, 16. John Iorio, 17. Bill McMurray, 18. Frank Johnson, 19. Arthur Edwards, 20. Ron Urey, 21. Jay Feely, 22. Scott Peterson, 23. Danny Exley, 24. Billy Beiter, 25. **** Pascorell.
May 6 - Sprints, DIRT Modifieds, E Mods and Stock Cars
May 13 - Sprints, DIRT Modifieds, E Mods and Stock Cars with Powder Puff Stock Car Races
May 20 - Sprints, DIRT Modifieds, E Mods and Stock Cars with Lowry Auto Wrecking