BETHEL, NY – As the gates swung open on the 2015 season at Bethel Motor Speedway, one of the biggest surprises came from defending BMS Modified champion Joe McCarthy, as he sat in the stands while another driver piloted his championship-winning car. McCarthy, who is in the process of building another car, opted to hand over the wheel to his brother-in-law, Ed Dachenhausen, for the night. Dachenhausen made the most of the opportunity, taking down the hard-earned win in the BMS Modified feature.
Dachenhausen started on the pole, with George Rudinas Jr. to his outside. Rudinas took the lead at the drop of the green, leaving Dachenhausen to battle with John Cote for the second spot. Dachenhausen held off Cote and was able to grab the top spot from Rudinas four laps into the event. Just one lap later, Cote took over second, shuffling Rudinas back to third. Lap after lap, Cote waited for the opportunity to put his car out front, but Dachenhausen proved to be unbeatable as he took down the win. Cote crossed the line second, and Rudinas was third.
Jerry Curry got his 2015 season off on the right foot in the 358/Sportsman class, topping the Opening Night field. Kyle Redner and Guy Harby made up the front row for the start, but Curry quickly came from the third spot to take the lead. Redner held second while Harby and Dan Dulin fought for third. Just pas the halfway point of the race, Harby took second but then made contact with Redner, forcing both to restart at the rear of the field. Greg Morgan inherited the second spot as a result, and Dulin restarted third. The top three was unchanged over the remainder of the race, and Curry grabbed the win over Morgan and Dulin.
Joseph Graf dominated the Legends Pro/Masters/Semi Pro event, leading every lap on his way to victory. Graf started on the pole, alongside Brad Lowmaster. As soon as the green flag waved, Graf put his car out front. Lowmaster settled into the second spot, and Brandon Debrakeleer came to third. The rest of the field jockeyed for position behind them as the laps clicked off quickly in the caution-free event. Lowmaster ran out of time to work his way past Graf, and Graf notched the win. Lowmaster finished second, and Dylan Hoffman was credited with third following post-race technical inspections.
Alex McCollum led the entire length of the Legends Young Lions race, capturing the win. McCollum took off from the pole, forcing outside pole sitter Max Evans to second. With just four laps in the books, Gillian Kirkpatrick powered her way into second. As the laps wound down, Kirkpatrick found herself unable to mount a successful bid for the lead, and she had to be content with second as McCollum was the first to the checkered flag. Evans was third.
Defending Bandolero champion David French continued his hot streak, taking down his second consecutive win. French, who will only be running a limited schedule in 2015 as he moves into a CRSA Sprint car, surprised the field with his unexpected appearance. He started on the front row, with Eugene Storm Drew on the outside. French immediately shot out front, leaving Drew to battle for second with Matt Addona and Sean Verwys. Drew laid claim to the second spot four laps into the event. Verwys held third until lap 13, when Teddy Bowen worked his way past. French proved to be unstoppable, notching the win over Drew and Bowen.
Tyler Dachenhausen walked away with the Beginner Bandolero race win following post-race technical inspections although he crossed the line second in the race. Dachenhausen started on the outside pole, with Katie Verwys to his outside. Verwys got the lead at the start of the race, and Joey Aungst came to second. Aungst and Jeff Darrah swapped the second spot, but heartbreak struck on lap four when contact between Verwys and Aungst forced both drivers to retire from the event. Darrah inherited the pole for the restart, with Dachenhausen in second. Darrah was first to the flag, but Dachenhausen was awarded the win after inspections.
The Pro Stock feature kept fans on the edges of their seats, as Ed Butler and Kenny Atkins battled for the top spot for nearly the entire race distance. Butler and Atkins started on the front row, with Butler getting the advantage at the drop of the green. Atkins held second, and Greg Cohen came to third. Butler led every lap of the race, but he was challenged by Atkins on the outside lap after lap. In spite of Atkins’ efforts, he was unable to complete the pass, and Butler collected the hard-fought win. Atkins was second, and Cohen finished third.
The father-daughter team of defending track champion Amber VanOrden and her father Gary VanOrden made up the front row for the Street Stock race. G. VanOrden took off from the outside to take the lead, and then he refused to surrender it as his daughter tested him. Kyle Welsch grabbed the third spot and set his sights on A. VanOrden, but the top three remained unchanged as G. VanOrden drove to the win. A. VanOrden was second, and Welsch finished third.
Mike Travis took down the win in the 4 Cylinder Advanced feature after starting on the outside pole. Joe Smith started on the pole, but Travis got the advantage on the start. JB Morris held third until lap six, when defending division champion Brian Bauernfeind took over the position. Bauernfeind’s progress was halted as the laps clicked off and Travis continued to pace the field. Travis drove to the win, followed by Smith and Bauernfeind.
David Donovan scored the win in the 4 Cylinder Novice feature after starting on the pole. Ryan LaMantia started on the outside pole and settled into second behind Donovan when the green flag flew. Behind the pair, the battle raged for third between John Houghtaling and Danny Houghtaling. The two swapped the spot before D. Houghtaling claimed it for good just prior to the halfway point of the race. Donovan marched on to the win, with LaMantia second and D. Houghtaling third.
This coming Saturday, May 2, the gates will once again swing open at Bethel Motor Speedway for an action-packed night of racing. On the schedule are the BMS Modified, 358/Sportsman, Legends, Bandolero, Pro Stock, Street Stock, and 4 Cylinder Advanced and Novice classes. Gates open at 2:30 pm, with hot laps at 4:30 pm, and racing set to go green at 6 pm. In celebration of the track’s 55th anniversary, grandstand admission is just $5 for the first five weeks of the season. The promotion ends May 23.
More information, including a complete 2015 schedule, is available at www.bethelmotorspeedway.com, or by calling (845) 319-7908.
BMS MODIFIED FEATURE FINISH (20 laps): 1. Ed Dachenhausen (Danbury, CT), 2. John Cote, 3. George Rudinas Jr., 4. Frank James, 5. Mike Bryant, 6. Blair Culhane, 7. James Hansen. DNS – Chris Chirico, Robbie Konikowski.
358/SPORTSMAN FEATURE FINISH (20 laps): 1. Jerry Curry (Neversink, NY), 2. Greg Morgan, 3. Dan Dulin, 4. Guy Harby, 5. Paul Knox, 6. Kyle Redner, 7. Kimberlee Morgan.
LEGENDS PRO/MASTERS/SEMI PRO FEATURE FINISH (20 laps): 1. Joseph Graf (Mahwah, NJ), 2. Brad Lowmaster, 3. Dylan Hoffman, 4. Matt Evans, 5. Mike Alcaro, 6. Drew Bottge, 7. Joe Graf, 8. Richie Coy, 9. Eugene Drew, 10. Chris Hammett, 11. Wayne Hajek, 12. Rob Rafferty, 13. Jim Sylvester, 14. Tyler McArdle, 15. Joe DeGracia, 16. Fred Graf. DQ – Brandon Debrakeleer. DNS – Jeffrey Lefcourt.
LEGENDS YOUNG LIONS FEATURE EVENT (20 laps): 1. Alex McCollum (Philipsburg, NJ), 2. Gillian Kirkpatrick, 3. Max Evans, 4. Nick Lizbinski.
BANDOLERO FEATURE FINISH (15 laps): 1. David French (Rome, PA), 2. Eugene Storm Drew, 3. Teddy Bowen, 4. Sean Verwys, 5. Jessica Ricci, 6. Matt Addona. DNS – Bryan Chirico.
BEGINNER BANDOLERO FEATURE FINISH (15 laps): 1. Tyler Dachenhausen (Danbury, CT), 2. Katie Verwys, 3. Joey Aungst. DQ – Jeff Darrah.
PRO STOCK FEATURE FINISH (20 laps): 1. Ed Butler (Jeffersonville, NY), 2. Kenny Atkins, 3. Greg Cohen, 4. Jim Helt, 5. Vinny Stanton, 6. Skip LaPolt, 7. Mac Crawson, 8. Steve Vasey, 9. Darwin Moon, 10. Larry O’Donnell, 11. Gene Morton.
STREET STOCK FEATURE FINISH (20 laps): 1. Gary VanOrden (Hawley, PA), 2. Amber VanOrden, 3. Kyle Welsch, 4. Vinny Stanton Jr., 5. Jay Smalley, 6. Ryan Brockner, 7. Walt Henry, 8. Arthur McArthur, 9. Steve Smalley.
4 CYLINDER ADVANCED FEATURE FINISH (20 laps): 1. Mike Travis (Harris, NY), 2. Joe Smith, 3. Brian Bauernfeind, 4. Joe Morris, 5. Jerry Kingeter, 6. Michael Wiener, 7. Dan Curry, 8. Cody Houghtaling, 9. Patty Falkena, 10. Robert Clarke, 11. JB Morris.
4 CYLINDER NOVICE FEATURE FINISH (20 laps): 1. David Donovan (Liberty, NY), 2. Ryan LaMantia, 3. Danny Houghtaling, 4. Chris Predmore, 5. Gene Helms, 6. John Houghtaling, 7. Brittany Curry, 8. Heather Porter, 9. Dan Bryant, 10. Austin Zweck. DNS – Lee Cogswell, Jessey Torrens, James Curry.