The weather proved to be vastly different from the previous two Saturday’s at Bethel Motor Speedway which proved to be fruitful with some nice weather for the scheduled Scout Night at the speedway.
The ATQMRA racing series club came into town and quickly went into to action with electrifying speeds and close wheel to wheel action at the quarter mile. Their 25 lap feature started off when Matt Janisch took full advantage of his pole position start and jumped out into the lead. Joey Bailey took command of second place and pressured Janisch high and low in the beginning stages of the race, Bailey’s maneuvers to get the lead allowed a hole to open up for fast running Buddy Sload who took that opportunity and seized second on Lap 3. Sload then tracked down and began to apply pressure on Janisch for the lead meanwhile on the move from his sixth starting position was Ryan Tidman. Tidman broke into the top three order on Lap 9 and picked up second when the Sload ride bobbled when trying to pass Janisch for the lead. Tidman was next to challenge Janisch as he reeled him in and was running the outside groove. Janisch appeared to have Tidman covered until encountering a lap car on Lap 23 who was running the middle groove. Janisch made a split second decision and went low to navigate past the lap car entering turn 1, Tidman went to the outside of the lap car. Janisch got pinched down low and spun bringing out the caution. When racing resumed, Tidman who is fresh off his recent victory at Wall Speedway, cruised to victory and continued his success with the ATQMRA series.
Prior to intermission, the BMS Modifieds ran the first of their twin features. Pole sitter Blair Culhane hopped right to it, holding his position as the green flag waved. The rest of the field formed a nose-to-tail formation as their run began. Culhane and seasoned modified veteran John Cote soon began their battle as they pulled away from the rest of the field, with Rob Rafferty and Skip LaPolt ensuing in their own battle for the third position. Culhane and Cote, checking out from the pack, continued a hard run for the victory with Culhane having lead every lap thus far. After the only caution of the race, Joe DeGracia was able to capture the fifth position. Culhane picked up his third win of the year, followed by Cote, LaPolt, Steve Galgano and DeGracia.
Making his first appearance at the Bethel Motor Speedway in the 2017 season, outside pole sitter Joe DeGracia was able to quickly spring to the first position very early on in the second of the twin modified features. DeGracia, pulling no punches, managed to swiftly carry himself about half a straightaway ahead of the pack as they looked quickly to advance. Following the only caution of the race, Skip LaPolt challenged DeGracia for position as they ran side by side. DeGracia continued his hot streak with all other top contenders on his tail, but he proved he was in it to win it as laps dwindled down and he held his lead over Blair Culhane and John Cote, both of whom had moved their way through the field in their run for the glory. DeGracia triumphantly took the checkered flag in his first win of 2017, followed by Culhane, Cote, Steve Galgano, and Rob Rafferty rounding out the top 5.
In Legends feature action, the race went green to checkered with no yellows. Brad Lowmaster jumped out to the lead on the first lap from his second starting position and took command of the field. Sixth place starting Joe Graf Sr. however was on a mission to the front of the pack. By Lap 4, Graf Sr. had worked his way into the top three running order. Graf then tracked down and applied pressure to the second place running Gillian Kirkpatrick and completed the pass for that spot on Lap 11. At this point leader Lowmaster had a sizeable lead over Graf, and the yellow that Graf needed never came out. Lowmaster took home his first win of the season, with Graf and Kirkpatrick coming home second and third.
The fan favorite street stock class put on an action packed race for the nightcap. Rookie Brian Bauerfeind jumped out to the early lead from his second starting position but the fans had their eyes on watching street stock hotshoes Amber VanOrden and Walt Henry coming from deep in the field to the front of the pack. A. VanOrden got to the front first as she overtook Bauerfeind for the lead on Lap 5, Henry quickly got by Bauerfeind for second and went to work on passing A. VanOrden. Henry searched high and low for a pass that would stick but A. VanOrden was just too strong on the racy track. VanOrden picked up a hard earned second feature win of the season followed by Henry and a hard charging Kyle Welsch for third.
John Houghtaling took home his first feature win of the season in the Four Cylinder Expert class. Houghtaling led every lap of the 20 Lap race but had to fight off the challenges of former champion Mike Travis and his brother Cody Houghtaling. J. Houghtaling took the checkers with C. Houghtaling second with Mike Travis in third position.
The Four Cylinder Novice class put on a very exciting race for the grandstand audience. Bryan Zeininger took the early lead before being passed by Felicia Reichenbaugh on Lap 2. Dan Houghtaling meanwhile was marching his way forward from his tenth starting position. Houghtaling got by Zeininger on Lap 5 and went to work tracking down Reichenbaugh for the lead. Houghtaling was able to complete a pass for the lead on lap 10 while negotiating lap traffic. The following lap found Vinny Degraw getting by the strong running Reichenbaugh for second position.
Current point leader Gene Helms worked his way into the lead on Lap 17 as he came from his 11th starting position. Dan Houghtaling’s new car proved to be a winning combination as he took home his first win of the year ahead of Degraw and Helms in their 30 lap feature.
Anthony Bello wired the Bandolero field to pick up his second win of the season in their 15 Lap feature. Mike Roth gave Bello everything he had but Bello didn’t slip up. Roth had to settle for second. Joey Aungst was the hard charger of the race as he came from his seventh starting position to take home third in the feature after taking a hard heat race crash.
In the ATQMVC club exhibition had Billy Hughes cruising to victory lane in his vintage TQ racer. Bobby White visited victory lane in the VMRS club race in his beautiful vintage racer machine.
Due to time constraints the scheduled Sportsman Feature will now be run on Saturday, June 3rd. Rick Mill and Bill Deckelman were both running strong and picked up heat race wins.
Next Saturday, May 27th is Hig Fab Chassis ‘Moc A Tek Memories’ Night at the speedway highlighted by the dirt sportsman Pete Gardner Memorial a 56 Lap race paying $1,000 to Win and is the first race of the Dirt Asphalt Challenge Series sponsored by Tri Co Electric and PJ Degracia Contracting.
ATQMRA TQ Midget Feature: 1. Ryan Tidman (Holland, PA) 2. Joey Bailey 3. Buddy Sload 4. Matt Roselli 5. Jeff Kot 6. Tim Proctor 7. Mark Yoder 8. Geoffrey Sutton 9. Matt Janisch 10. Joey Payne III 11. Ronnie Mullen 12. Cole Mullen 13. Dave Gorbatuk
BMS Modified Feature # 1 : 1. Blair Culhane (Brookfield, CT) 2. John Cote 3. Skip LaPolt 4. Steve Galgano 5. Joe DeGracia 6. Rob Rafferty 7. Tyler Dachenhausen 8. Stephen Kammer 9. Rob Konikowski
BMS Modified Feature # 2 : 1. Joe DeGracia (Lyndhurst, NJ) 2. Culhane 3. Cote 4. Galgano 5. Rafferty 6. Dachenhausen 7. LaPolt 8. Kammer 9. Konikowski
Legends Feature: 1. Brad Lowmaster (Phillipsburg, NJ ) 2. Joe Graf Sr. 3. Gillian Kirkpatrick 4. Mikey Policastro 5. Joseph Graf Jr. 6. Steven Chapman 7. Artie Petersen 8. Eugene Drew 9. Peter Bennett 10. Chris Gall 11. Jonathan Puleo 12. Sean Verwys
Street Stock Feature: 1. Amber VanOrden (Hawley, PA) 2. Walt Henry 3. Kyle Welsch 4. Brian Bauerfeind 5. Gary VanOrden Sr. 6. Phil Funcheon 7. Joe Smith 8. Shawn Maloney 9. Mario Contarino 10. John Hager 11. JB Morris 12. Patty Falkena 13. Bill Deak Sr. DNS: Jessica Ricci
Four Cylinder Expert Feature: 1. John Houghtaling (Monticello, NY) 2. Cody Houghtaling 3. Mike Travis 4. Bill VanAken 5. Ivan Guerra 6. Eddie Jones Sr. 7. Skip Morris 8. Tim Curry DNS. Robert Clarke
Four Cylinder Novice Feature: 1. Dan Houghtaling (Monticello, NY) 2. Vinny Degraw 3. Gene Helms 4. Nick Curry 5. Nicole Nelson 6. Jessey Torrens 7. Marisol Torrens 8. Bryan Zeininger 9. Cliff Levinson 10. Brandon Golzak 11. Greg Cohen 12. Felicia Reichenbaugh 13. Edwin King 14. Tabitha Riordan 15. Marcus Smalls 16. Eddie Jones Jr.
Bandolero Feature: 1. Anthony Bello (Newtown, CT) 2. Mike Roth 3. Joey Aungst 4. Katie Verwys 5. Connor Piasecki 6. Teddy Cranmer 7. Dominic Abbatiello DNS: Tyler Alkas
TQ Vintage Feature: 1. Billy Hughes (Levittown, PA) 2. Drew Fornoro 3. Hank Rogers Jr. 4. Gary Mondschein 5. Jack Duffy 6. Sam Cifelli 7. Tom Arntz 8. Dave Williams
VMRS Feature: 1. Bobby White (Scituate, MA ) 2. Harry Weed 3. Jeff Schecter 4. Geoffrey Sutton