September 8th, 2018:
Saturday at Bethel Motor Speedway was ‘First Responders’ night as all those in attendance remembered the tragic September, 11th 2001 terrorist attack and all the lives that were lost on that terrible day. Also held was a tribute to Jimmy Shields who was a first responder, emergency medical technician who also raced regularly at Bethel in the Four Cylinder Pure Stock class. Sadly, Shields passed away of sudden cardiac arrest two years ago, only weeks after the race season had concluded. Shields won the last feature he had competed in at the speedway with his red # 22 car. All of those who are associated with Bethel Motor Speedway thanks and recognizes the efforts of all our first responders in the military, police, fire, and medical fields.
The Interstate Batteries Modified feature saw a new driver picking up his first career open wheel modified win. Stephen Kammer, a former street stock champion on the dirt switched his track and class at the beginning of last season. Kammer’s determination and persistence paid off on this night in the Kammer Construction # 55 modified. Kammer led every lap of the race despite repeated challenges from former champion, Steve Conklin. Also, on the move was Nascar Whelen series driver Joe DeGracia who gallantly came from the last starting position to pass Conklin for second with two laps to go. DeGracia caught up to the leader Kammer and made an inside run in turn one on the final lap. Kammer held strong off the corner and was able to beat DeGracia at the checkers by half a car length to pick up the extra savory victory. Conklin held on for third at the finish.
Current Extreme Kleaner Sportsman point leader, Ed Dachenhausen had the chips fall in his favor on this night as he was able to extend his point lead over his fellow competitors along with taking the checkers. Dachenhausen collected his seventh victory of the season coming from sixth starting position in his Brookfield Glass # 18s machine. Rich Coons outgunned Kyle Redner on the first lap and looked strong in the first half of the race. At the halfway point, Dachenhausen took to the highside and outpowered Coons to take the lead after a multi-lap wheel to wheel battle. Coons stayed steady in second, while Jeff Richardson maneuvered by fan favorite Jerry Curry to take third when Curry fell victim to a flat right rear tire.
Fans were abuzz and delighted to the high turnout of four cylinder racers paying tribute to the late Jimmy Shields in two thrilling 22 lap features with extra purse money and valuable double points on the line. In the first feature, Tisha Curry jumped out into the early lead until lap four when the tenacious Richard Smith dashed out into the lead. Smith continued to lead until the ever-hot Dan Curry captured the lead at the halfway point as he was looking to extend his winning streak further. Chasing down the leader’s tracks, were hunters coming from deep in the field in the likes of Shawn Maloney, David Donovan, and Todd Gadoury. All eyes watched as the second half of the race proved to be a five car race for the lead as all five drivers were in strong contention to win as they sliced and diced each other in wheel to wheel action. With three laps to go, Richard Smith relinquished second position to head up pit road with a flat tire. On the final laps of the race it was eminent that D. Curry was losing the handling due to a rear tire going flat but continued to defend his lead position. The white flag lap proved to be the most eventful, with four leaders going for the glory. D. Curry and Maloney found the short end of the stick tangling in turn 3, with Donovan just squeaking out Gadoury to pick up his second win of the season at the stripe. Charlie Houghtaling valiantly drove from seventeenth position to take third at the checkers.
The second 22 lapper proved to be an action packed sequel to the first feature. Richard Smith would not be denied victory as he led every lap en route to his second victory of the season. David Donovan and Joe Smith put on a show of driving as they came from fourteenth and twenty-third starting positions coming up thru the field to track down the leader Smith. Donovan and Smith were able to get by second and third place running Nicole Nelson and Cliff Levison but both drivers ran out of time to catch Smith who had checked out from the rest of the field.
Shakelton Napa Street Stocks proved again to be a popular barnburner of a race which brought many fans to their feet cheering on their favorite drivers. Fan favorite, Larry O’Donnell took full advantage of his pole position start and took the early lead over fellow veteran racer Joel Murns. However, ninth starting Kyle Welsch came up through the pack to pick up third position by working his way on the high side getting by Bill Deak Sr. Welsch then caught up to Murns and tried several challenges high and low but couldn’t execute a clean pass which allowed last week’s feature winner, Mike Skelly to catch up to Welsch. Lap 12 found Welsch getting by Murns to get second and began to reel in the leader. Skelly worked by Murns for second three laps later and set his sights on Welsch. Soon enough it became a three horse race as the two drivers closed right close to the tail of O’Donnell. Lap 17 found Skelly make a bold frontstretch pass on Welsch to capture second position. With the white flag waving, Skelly began to make a run down the frontstretch on the leader O’Donnell. Skelly tucked hard to the inside in turn 1 with O’Donnell running tight in the middle defending his spot. Skelly got even to the door but slid up ever slightly contacting O’Donnell. O’Donnell was unphased by the contact coming out of turn two as he nosed ahead while Skelly was a bit loose on the inside. O’Donnell secured the lead going into turn 3 but Welsch dove hard into turn 3 resulting in the spin of second place running Skelly. At the checkers, it was O’Donnell picking up a well earned first victory of the season in the Tri Counties Auto # 26 over Murns and current points leader Walt Henry in third.
Defending Champion Ed Butler continues to dominate the Interstate Batteries Pro Stock class. Butler’s Tavern on Main # 32 picked up his ninth win of the season coming from fifth starting position. The first half of the race showed a great race up front between second generation drivers Josh Wilbur and Gene Morton, the two drivers ran twelve laps racing wheel to wheel swapping positions several times until Butler found an inside line open up in turn 3 giving him the hole he needed to execute a winning pass on lap 13. Wilbur continued to chase Butler in second, but Morton began to fade some getting passed by Glenn Richard for third on lap 14. Post race tech found Richard with a weight infraction which awarded Mac Crawson third position.
Legends feature racing saw veteran Eugene Drew picking up his third feature win of the season as he led wire to wire in the caution free race. Current point leader Mike Policastro finished second over Chris Gall in third.
Defending Champion, Mike Roth continued his dominance in the Bandoleros as he worked very hard to capture the lead from Katie Verwys going into turn 1 with five laps to go. It was smooth sailing from there for Roth and his Sullivan Engine # 8. Evan Rygielski surged to second and tried to rally to the lead but fell about one car length short at the checkers. Cousin Brian Rygielski finished a stout third position.
Monika Deckelman picked up her fourth win of the season over Leland Oefelein and Ty Smith. Deckelman led every lap of the race in the Beginner Bandos feature.
New Jersey racers Rick Casario and Don Zrinski were victorious in the ATQMVC Vintage TQ exhibition races.
Modified Feature: 1. Stephen Kammer, Redding, CT 2. Joe DeGracia 3. Steve Conklin 4. John Cote 5. Skip LaPolt 6. Mike Dutka 7. Scott Quick 8. Tyler Dachenhausen
Sportsman Feature: 1. Ed Dachenhausen, Danbury, CT 2. Rich Coons 3. Jeff Richardson 4. Kyle Redner 5. Al Archiere 6. Jerry Curry 7. Willy Auchmoody 8. Brian Jones DNS. Rick Mill
Four Cylinder Twin 22 Feature # 1: 1. David Donovan, Neversink, NY 2. Todd Gadoury 3. Charlie Houghtaling 4. Tim Curry 5. Tasha Curry 6. Kody Welsh 7. Jeffrey Tubbs 8. Tisha Curry 9. Tabitha Riordan 10. Cliff Levison 11. Richard Smith 12. Nicole Nelson 13. Brandon Conklin 14. Rich Smith Sr. 15. Jessey Torrens 16. Dick Shaddock 17. Alec Graham 18. J.W. Gannon 19. Marisol Torrens 20. Gene Chariott 21. Jerry Kingeter 22. Cody Houghtaling 23. Mike Travis 24. Tim Degrote 25. Dan Curry 26. Shawn Maloney DNS. Joe Smith DNS. Dan Houghtaling DNS. Brian Bauernfeind
Four Cylinder Twin 22 Feature # 2: 1. Richard Smith, Neversink, NY 2. David Donovan 3. Joe Smith 4. Kody Welsh 5. Tasha Curry 6. Nicole Nelson 7. Cliff Levison 8. Todd Gadoury 9. Jeffrey Tubbs 10. Dan Houghtaling 11. Tim Curry 12. Brian Bauernfeind 13. Jerry Kingeter 14. Tisha Curry 15. Tabitha Riordan 16. JW Gannon 17. Brandon Conklin 18. Dick Shaddock 19. Jessey Torrens 20. Tim Degrote 21. Rich Smith Sr. 22. Alec Graham 23. Cody Houghtaling DNS. Charlie Houghtaling DNS. Marisol Torrens DNS. Gene Chariott DNS. Mike Travis DNS. Dan Curry DNS. Shawn Maloney
Street Stock Feature: 1. Larry O’Donnell, Monticello, NY 2. Joel Murns 3. Walt Henry 4. Bill Deak Sr. 5. Bill Deak Jr. 6. Brian Bauernfeind 7. Patty Falkena 8. Frank Maiori 9. Dan Houghtaling 10. Ernie Millen 11. Mike Skelly 12. Kyle Welsch 13. Corey Stanton
Pro Stock Feature: 1. Ed Butler, Bethel, NY 2. Josh Wilbur 3. Mac Crawson 4. Gene Morton 5. Porter Crawson 6. Gary Gamble 7. Glenn Richard DNS. Brayden Spencer
Legends Feature: 1. Eugene Drew, West Milford, NJ 2. Mike Policastro 3. Chris Gall 4. Sean Verwys 5. Jeffrey Lefcourt 6. Quinn Trimmer 7. Jack Gerzabek
Bandolero Feature: 1. Mike Roth, North Branch, NY 2. Evan Rygielski 3. Brian Rygielski 4. Joey Aungst 5. Katie Verwys 6. Justin Aungst 7. Kaden Rogers
Beg. Bandos Feature: 1. Monika Deckelman, Fremont Center, NY 2. Leland Oefelein 3. Ty Smith
Vintage ATQMVC Feature: 1. Rick Casario, Newton, NJ 2. Frank Mammano 3. Mike Casario 4. Drew Fornoro 5. Billy Fischer 6. Gary Mondschein 7. Blu Metz 8. Mike Corigliano
Vintage Suzuki TQ Feature: 1. Don Zrinski, Piscataway, NJ 2. Tim Adams 3. Vinny Testanero 4. Keith Majka 5. John Leombruno 6. Mike Casario 7. Blu Metz 8. Graham Hughes