BETHEL, NY – Drivers and fans who braved a questionable weather forecast at Bethel Motor Speedway this past Saturday were treated to a night of exciting racing action, with only the final race of the night being impacted by rain. The 4 Cylinder Novice race was red flagged with only two laps in the books, and the remainder of that race will kick off the night’s action this coming Saturday, June 27th.
Ed Dachenhausen has been unstoppable in the BMS Modified division, taking down his fifth consecutive win – and seventh of the season – in a caution-free, 20-lap event. Blair Culhane started on the pole, with John Cote to his outside. Culhane got the lead at the drop of the green by mere inches over Cote, who battled hard on the outside. On lap four, however, Cote dropped back just enough for Dachenhausen to slip underneath and take over second. At the halfway point of the race, Dachenhausen was finally able to work his way past Culhane, who collected his best finish of the season so far when he crossed the line behind Dachenhausen. Cote was third.
After winning his first career 358/Sportsman race in May, Kyle Redner likely never imagined that additional trips to Victory Lane would follow so quickly, as he notched his second win in as many weeks this past Saturday and brought his total number of wins so far this season to three. Greg Morgan was slated to start on the pole, but after struggling with mechanical difficulties all afternoon, he elected to start in the rear, shuffling Redner to the outside pole for the start, with Matt Curry to his inside. Redner immediately jumped out front, but it was no easy task to stay there, as Rich Coons was never out of striking distance and 2013 division champion Jerry Curry ran third. With just five laps remaining in the event, the only caution of the race flew, tightening up the field and giving Coons and Curry one final shot to overtake Redner. Redner was flawless on the restart, and drove on to the win over Coons and Curry.
Joseph Graf took down his fifth win of the season in the Legends Pro/Masters/Semi Pro race. Richie Coy started on the pole, with Graf on the outside. Using a “choose cone” for the first time at Bethel, Graf chose the outside on an early-race restart, and was able to work his way past Coy on the outside to take the lead. Once out front, Graf worked on distancing himself from the field as Coy had to hold off the challenges of Brad Lowmaster. During the long green-flag run that followed, the field behind Graf waited for any opportunity to work their way past the young driver. However, Graf made no errors, and was first to the checkered flag, followed by Coy and Lowmaster.
Alex McCollum extended his win streak to five in a row in the Legends Young Lions class. McCollum started on the outside pole, alongside Teddy Hodgdon. As soon as the green flag waved, McCollum put himself out front, shuffling Hodgdon back to second. Connor Holderbach briefly took over the third spot before being passed by Gillian Kirkpatrick. Kirkpatrick battled with Andrew Molleur for third over the second half of the race, swapping the spot before Kirkpatrick claimed it for good with six laps remaining. McCollum took the win over Hodgdon and Kirkpatrick.
After taking last week off, defending Bandolero champion David French came back in full force this week, scoring his seventh win of the season. Eugene Drew took off from the front row and led the first four laps before being passed by French. Lars McElravy then took over the second spot, but Drew was not going to give up without a fight. As French distanced himself from the field, Drew reclaimed second with just two laps remaining. Time ran out for Drew to catch French, who had built a sizeable lead, and French scored the win over Drew and McElravy.
Tyler Dachenhausen made it four-for-four in the Beginner Bandolero class, taking off from the pole and leading every lap on his way to the win, his sixth of the season. Jeff Darrah started the race alongside Dachenhausen, and held second for the first four laps before being passed by Joey Aungst. Aungst then set his sights on Dachenhausen, but with no cautions to slow the pace of the race, Dachenhausen had already pulled away from the field. Dachenhausen led Aungst and Darrah to the finish.
Joe Smith scored his second consecutive win – and fourth of the season – in the 4 Cylinder Advanced division after starting eighth. Tim Curry and Cody Houghtaling were on the front row for the start, and Houghtaling took the early lead. Smith was coming quickly through the field, and worked his way up to second by lap three. Just two laps later, he powered his way past Houghtaling for the lead. JB Morris came to third at the halfway point of the race, but Mike Travis took over the spot two laps later. With 14 laps in the books, Travis claimed second, but Smith had already built a considerable lead. Smith drove on to the win, with Mike Travis second and JB Morris third.
The ATQMRA three-quarter midgets headlined the night’s action, and a familiar face ended up in Victory Lane at the end of the event. Ryan Tidman quickly put himself out front and survived the attrition to take down the win. Tidman, who has been the victor in the once-annual ATQMRA race at Bethel for the last several seasons, took off from the fourth starting spot to claim this year’s win.
Geoffrey Sutton and Buddy Sload started on the front row, with Sload taking the early lead. It was short-lived, however, as Tidman powered his way out front with only four laps in the books. Sload and Joey Bailey then battled for second, with Bailey taking the spot prior to the halfway point of the race.
Heartbreak struck for Sload just a few laps later, as he lost a wheel and was forced to retire from the event. Over the remaining laps, both Mike Glaser and Matt Roselli both also retired from the event, as Tidman distanced himself from Bailey and Sutton, who battled fiercely for second. When the checkered flag flew, Tidman was first to the line, followed by Bailey. Sutton finished third. Nick Ladyga, in his first-ever start at Bethel in a TQ, was fourth.
Bill Force Sr. looked to be on the way to the win in the Vintage TQ midget feature, taking off from the pole and leading the first ten laps of the 12-lap event. With just two laps to go, however, Mike Pritchard came from third to pass both Terry Zuidema and Force for the top spot. Tom Arntz followed to take second, and Mike Osite crossed the line third.
This coming Saturday, June 27th, in addition to the remainder of the 4 Cylinder Novice race and their regularly scheduled race, the schedule includes the BMS Modified, Legends, Bandolero, Pro Stock, Street Stock, and 4 Cylinder Advanced divisions. Gates open at 2:30 pm, with hot laps at 4:30 pm, and racing set to go green at 6 pm. Grandstand admission is just $6.
More information, including a complete 2015 schedule, can be obtained online at www.bethelmotorspeedway.com, or by calling (845) 319-7908.
BMS MODIFIED FEATURE FINISH (20 laps): 1. Ed Dachenhausen (Danbury, CT), 2. Blair Culhane, 3. John Cote, 4. Steve Galgano, 5. Frank James. DNS – Chris Chirico, George Rudinas.
358/SPORTSMAN FEATURE FINISH (20 laps): 1. Kyle Redner (Middletown, NY), 2. Rich Coons, 3. Jerry Curry, 4. Dan Dulin, 5. Paul Knox, 6. Kimberlee Morgan, 7. Paul Hyde, 8. Matt Curry, 9. Milton Mann, 10. Charles Hummel, 11. Greg Morgan.
LEGENDS PRO/MASTERS/SEMI PRO FEATURE FINISH (20 laps): 1. Joseph Graf (Mahwah, NJ), 2. Richie Coy, 3. Brad Lowmaster, 4. Drew Bottge, 5. Jim Sylvester, 6. Rob Rafferty, 7. Eugene Drew, 8. Jeff Lefcourt, 9. Josh Andrews, 10. Eric Henschel, 11. Mark Foster, 12. Vinny Colletti.
LEGENDS YOUNG LIONS FEATURE FINISH (20 laps): 1. Alex McCollum (Phillipsburg, NJ), 2. Teddy Hodgdon, 3. Gillian Kirkpatrick, 4. David French, 5. Andrew Molleur, 6. Connor Holderbach, 7. Nick Lizbinski, 8. Matt Forsythe.
BANDOLERO FEATURE FINISH (15 laps): 1. David French (Rome, PA), 2. Eugene Drew, 3. Lars McElravy, 4. Matt Addona, 5. Sean Verwys, 6. Jessica Ricci, 7. Jade McElravy.
BEGINNER BANDOLERO FEATURE FINISH (15 laps): 1. Tyler Dachenhausen (Danbury, CT), 2. Joey Aungst, 3. Jeff Darrah, 4. Conner Piasecki, 5. Katie Verwys, 6. Nick Archiere.
4 CYLINDER ADVANCED FEATURE FINISH (20 laps): 1. Joe Smith (Liberty, NY), 2. Mike Travis, 3. JB Morris, 4. Tim Curry, 5. Mike Bryant, 6. Patty Falkena, 7. Dan Curry, 8. Joe Morris, 9. Mike Wiener, 10. Walt Henry, 11. Brian Bauernfeind, 12. George Zeininger, 13. Jerry Kingeter, 14. Joe Wilson. DQ – Cody Houghtaling.
ATQMRA MIDGET FEATURE FINISH (25 laps): 1. Ryan Tidman, 2. Joey Bailey, 3. Geoffrey Sutton, 4. Nick Ladyga, 5. Matt Roselli, 6. Mike Glaser, 7. Buddy Sload. DNS – BJ MacDonald, John Gambuti, Patrick Force, Bill Force Jr.
VINTAGE ATQMRA FEATURE FINISH (12 laps): 1. Mark Pritchard, 2. Tom Arntz, 3. Mike Osite, 4. Terry Zuidema, 5. Bill Force Sr.