posted May 06, 2001 08:50 AM
MARK SMITH CHARGES TO CHECKERS AT JENNERSTOWN SPEEDWAY
by Mike Milliron
Jennerstown, PA – May 5, 2001 – It was a complete turnaround of fortunes from last week to tonight’s racing action for Wheeler Bros./AC Delco Late Model driver Mark Smith. He grenaded an engine in heat race action one week ago, and had to step into a back up machine loaned to him by Shawn Beam. Tonight he was back in action with his own car, along with a new engine, and held off a determined Barry Awtey throughout the entire event to claim his first win of the 2001 NASCAR Weekly Racing Series season. Other divisional winners during Dave Dively Race Fuel night at Jennerstown Speedway were Todd Knight in Brown Timber & Land Street Stock, Jayme Bolkovac in Cover Insurance Agency/PA Legacy Car, Josh Coughenour in Pro Truck, Jason Holder in Jennerstown Charger, and Todd Price in the rain postponed Pro Truck feature event. Also Tiffany Shaffer won her first Women’s Enduro for the 2001-racing season.
It was a dynamic turn of events that took place in seven days which saw Mark Smith of Myersdale, PA go from the doghouse to the penthouse, as he piloted his Hunters Peterbuilt/R&M Trucking Ford Taurus to the front of the pack in the opening laps of the feature race, and maintain a slim lead over defending divisional champ Barry Awtey for the race win. Awtey refused to give up any ground during the majority of the race, and had his Schaffers Equipment Monte Carlo alongside Smith on several occasions. The two cars battled all the way to the finish line, with Smith winning by less than a single car length. In a fantastic show of sportsmanship, one of the first people to greet Smith in the winners circle to congratulate him on his victory was none other than Barry Awtey. Following close behind in fourth and fifth were Neil Brown and Snooky Williams. Jeff Dunmyer rebounded from an early race spin to climb back through the field to finish fifth. Heat races went to Sean Beam and Neil Brown.
In the Brown Timber & Land Street Stock division, the top two racers once again were Adam Kostelnik and Todd Knight. The only difference between last week and this week was that Knight crossed the finish line first, and Kostelnik had to settle for the runner-up position. The top two finishers were the class of the field, running the majority of the race within a car length of each other. In the final laps Tracy "Dink" Colarusso cleared the remaining top five logjam and pressured Kostelnik for second, but to no avail, and had to settle for third. Chris Deyarmin and Roger Onstead had their own personal battle going on throughout most of the race, and finished in fourth and fifth respectively. Heat race wins went to Chris Deyarmin and Todd Knight.
In the rain delayed Pro Truck division race it was Todd Price who claimed the win with a dominant performance in claiming another win. Josh Coughenour came home with a second place performance, that was a prelude to better thins to come later in the evening. Dave Brunell finished in third, with Brandon Mans and Marion Reno rounding out the top five. Defending Pro Truck champion Aaron Will was forced to retire his racer before the feature races due to a blown engine during hot lap action.
In the regular Pro Truck feature race it was Josh Coughenour who let his star shine brightly, as he took control of the race with an outside pass at the start, and did not look back until the checkered flag flew. He continued to extend his race lead over eventual runner-up Dave Brunell and cruised to the clear and comfortable win. In the final laps Brunell had to fend off the late charge from Todd Price, who recovered from a bad restart to claim the third position. Jason Houndshell and George Englert finished out the top five. Josh Coughenour and Brandon Manns took the heat race wins.
Jayme Bolkovac was once again the class of the Cover Insurance Agency/PA Legacy Car division, as she used the high line around the Laurel Highlands Oval to pass Will Thomas for the race lead. Thomas refused to give much ground until a race spin late in the race forced him to the back of the pack. Rick Boyer and Ricky Anderson, who were hounding Thomas for most of the event, quickly took over the pressure role, and shadowed Bolkovac to the finish line to finish in second and third. Todd Peck showed great maturity and patience beyond his fifteen years, to claim the fourth place position, while Art McElhinney Jr. came home in fifth.
It was the Jason & Jason show once again in the Jennerstown Charger division feature, as Jason Holder was able to hold off the charge from Jason Fritz to claim yet another win. Quite ironically, all of the top five finishers have a first name that starts with the letter ‘J’. They were June Wyant in third, Joe Geary in fourth, and Jeff Petrini rounding out the top five. All five of the ‘J’ racers were in the hunt for the win, as the Charger division continues to grow in both car counts and experience at Jennerstown Speedway. These racers will soon be mixing it up with the already explosive Street Stock division racers in the next few seasons.
The first Ladies Enduro race of the season got off to a slow start in entrants, as only four competitors came out to try their luck. The race distance was reduced to ten laps, and Tiffany Shaffer had the right stuff to hold off the remainder of the race field. Her closest competitor was Jessica Emerik, who finished in second, with Cindy Stout and Sally Trevarrow finishing the race in third and fourth.
Next week will be Fan Appreciation Night Presented by Snyder’s of Berlin, with adult General Admission tickets being sold for only $5 dollars! Don’t miss out on the fun!!