Bethel, NY – Bethel Motor Speedway opened its doors for the first time in 2017 at the fast 1/4 mile asphalt oval. The track hosted its practice day for all classes but also held INEX points races for the Legends and Bandolero classes. Also in competition was Enduro, Vintage Modifieds, and Beginner Bandoleros. Practicing was the Sportsman, BMS Modifieds, Pro Stocks, Street Stocks, and Four Cylinder Pure Stocks which are all regular classes at the speedway.
New Jersey’s Alex McCollum wired the field in INEX Legends action as he won both the heat and feature. In feature action, as the field came to to the green flag there was a four car jingle bringing out the yellow which forced Steve Chapman to the pits for repairs. When racing went green McCollum took control of the lead and never relinquished leading all twenty laps to the dual checkered flags. Legends defending champion Gillian Kirkpatrick chased McCollum the entire race staying close on his tail but was unable to complete a pass for the lead. Kirkpatrick settled for second with track newcomer Peter Bennett picking up a strong third place finish for his first time at the track.
In INEX Bandolero action, strong runner Mike Roth of North Branch,NY picked up his first win of the season in his nice looking # 8 car. The field came to green with polesitter Connor Piasecki jumping out front, however it was very short lived as their was a multi car accident heading into turn 3. Piasecki ended up taking a hard hit into the wall with the rear of his racer and unfortunately was done for the night. Second and third place running Joey Aungst and Anthony Bello were also involved in the accident and restarted at the rear of the field. Four place running Roth inherited the lead and took the point pulling away from the field. Newcomer Evan Rigielski was running second until lap six when he spun coming out of turn 4 collecting four other cars in the crash. Anthony Bello retired to the pits from the crash. When racing resumed, Roth kept control of the lead with another newcomer Brian Rigielski running second staying within striking distance. On the last lap, Aungst who had come back up thru the field captured second place at the checkered flag. Brian Rigielski held onto third with his beautiful # 72 machine.
The Northeast Vintage Modified club ran a 20 lap feature. Mike Houghtaling jumped out into the lead and lead every lap until Lap 14 when he went spinning into the infield. When racing resumed Ray See Sr. took command of the lead taking home the victory over a hard charging Mike Houghtaling. Jeff Hager ran steady to finish third.
The speedway also held it’s first Enduro in many seasons. The four and six cylinder passenger type cars went for the glory of winning the enduro and it’s $ 400 dollar prize. Dan Curry jumped out into the lead until lap four when he came to a stop off Turn 4. Mike Travis of Liberty,NY picked up the lead and proved to have a fast car. Cody Houghtaling ran second until dropping out on lap 14. Hard chargers and experienced enduro racers Matt Curry and Tim Curry worked their way up from the back of the pack to run second and third. However, they couldn’t catch up to the fast running Travis as he cruised to the 40 lap victory and picked up his first enduro win of the season. Travis will now be handicapped to the back of the pack for future enduro runs.
Justin Aungst of Pompton Lakes, NJ picked up the win in the Beginner Bandoleros feature.
Legends Feature(20 Laps): 1. Alex McCollum 2. Gillian Kirkpatrick 3. Peter Bennett 4. Teddy Bowen 5. Steve Chapman.
Bandolero Feature(15 Laps) 1. Mike Roth 2. Joey Aungst 3. Brian Rigielski 4.Teddy Cranmer 5. Evan Rigielski 6. Anthony Bello 7. Connor Piasecki
Vintage Feature (20 Laps) 1. Ray See Sr. 2. Mike Houghtaling 3. Jeff Hager 4. John Hager 5. George Cleveland
Enduro Dash (40 Laps) 1. Mike Travis 2. Matt Curry 3. Tim Curry 4. Kody Welsch 5. Eddie Jones Jr. 6. Clifford Levinson 7. Paul Harding 8. Cody Houghtaling 9. Michael Bull 10. Vinny Degraw 11. Dan Curry 12. Keith Unger 13. Jeff Degroat 14. Joe Smith