SPORTSMAN 56 LAPPER; PETE GARDNER MEMORIAL GOES TO VETERAN OPEN WHEEL RACER PAUL MARTIN!

Bethel Motor Speedway held it Moc A Tek Memories Night sponsored by Hig Fab Chassis this past Saturday. The night was highlighted by the Pete Gardner Memorial Race who was a strong feature winning competitor at both Moc A Tek and Bethel Speedways. Sadly, Pete passed away last year after battling illness over the past few years and is missed by many.

The 56 Lap Sportsman race in honor of Pete Gardner, started out fast and caution free with pole sitter Rick Mill jumping out into the lead comfortably, while Mill was cruising along many eyes were on former Moc A Tek Speedway modified champion Dom Roselli as he was working his way up through the pack from his eighth starting position. Roselli charged his way up into the fourth position when he lost the air in his right rear tire on Lap 23 drawing the first yellow of the race. While Roselli was exiting the track to get his tire changed, so did leader Rick Mill with the same problem handing the lead to the Danbury Destroyer, Ed Dachenhausen. Racing resumed under green with both Roselli and Mill making it back out from the pit to tag on to the rear of the field. Dachenhausen fended off the challenges of second place running Bill Deckleman and began to pull away from the field. However, Rick Mill was on a mission to get back onto the point and worked his way up through the field and regained second position on Lap 36, Paul Martin stayed steady throughout the race and was also now looking strong as he overtook third position from Deckleman. By this time, Dachenhausen’s car was starting to get tight in the corners as both Mill and Martin began to track down the leader. On Lap 40, Mill made a move stick and was able to get by Dachenhausen for the lead. Martin then cleared Dachenhausen for second on Lap 45 and appeared to be closing in on the leader Mill for the remainder of the laps. Jeff Richardson and Kyle Redner came on strong in the closing stages as they worked their way past Dachenhausen for third and fourth position. Mill came across the line first with a fast closing Martin for second. In post race technical inspection, the win was awarded to Paul Martin with Richardson, Redner, Dachenhausen, and Deckelman all finishing in the top five positions at the conclusion of the Pete Gardner Memorial.

Gillian Kirkpatrick was off to a strong start in the INEX Legends feature event, holding off the remainder of the field for a good portion of the race. Those who kept an eye on Alex McCollum could see he was working his way up from his sixth place starting position, gradually gaining on Kirkpatrick as laps wore on. Upon restart following the first of two cautions in the Legends race, and in an exciting side by side run, McCollum was able to quash Kirkpatrick’s efforts for his third win of the season, as he skillfully took over the lead position. Kirkpatrick did not give up though, as she continued in attempt to regain her spot. One more caution led the Legends to a green-white-checkered finish, which saw McCollum the victor of his third win at Bethel this season, followed by Kirkpatrick and a strong running Peter Bennett.

Street Stock feature action was fierce and exciting proving why they are the fan favorite class at the speedway. In the beginning stages of the race was it plagued by a few cautions as track newcomer Bill Deak Sr. held the top position but marching their way from deep starting positions was the father daughter team of Van Ordens in their respective cars. Gary Van Orden got to second position but incurred some damage to his car in one of the earlier accidents in the race. Daughter, Amber Van Orden and hardcharger Kyle Welsch were able to work by G. Van Orden on Lap 9. A. Van Orden then tracked down and began applying pressure to leader Deak. On Lap 14, A. Van Orden took command of the lead from Deak, while Welsch followed suit into second. A. Van Orden then kept the pace quick for the remaining laps and took home her third checkered of the season followed by Welsch, and a season best finish of third to Deak Sr.

Four Cylinder Expert feature found former track champion Mike Travis coming up quick from his fourth starting position and into the lead at the start of the event. Travis then had to fend off the challenges of another former champ Ivan Guerra. Travis began to pull away from Guerra and the rest of the field while Tim Curry was working his way up through the field from tenth starting position. Travis cruised to his first expert feature win of the season followed by Guerra and the hard charging Tim Curry in an unfamiliar car.

Eddie Jones Jr. got the monkey off his back as he wired the strong field of Four Cylinder Novice racers from his pole starting position. Jones led every lap but it wasn’t easy as he had to negotiate lap traffic during the race. Meanwhile, Vinny Degraw and Dan Houghtaling were working their way up from deep in the pack. Strong running Felicia Reichenbaugh held onto second for most of the race until coming up to a lap car which saw Degraw squeeze by for second position. Degraw did not get the caution he needed, as the race went green to checkers with no cautions as Jones Jr, triumphed his first victory of the season. Degraw and Reichenbaugh finished second and third in the feature.

After a rocky start in the Bandolero feature race, following two yellow flags in the starting laps, Anthony Bello got right to business in his quest for victory. Joey Aungst and Mikey Roth followed suit, up for the challenge against Bello as they began their own battle for second position. Roth’s night ended after some unfortunate car trouble with only laps to go after the final caution of the race. Holding on for the final laps, Bello crossed the line in first, winning his third Bandolero race at the Bethel Motor Speedway this season, followed by a hard charging Aungst, and Teddy Cranmer came home for third.

In the Vintage Modified feature, found Mike Houghtaling and former Moc A Tek racer Tom Laner Jr. battling for the lead during the first half of the race. Just prior to halfway Houghtaling was able to clear Laner for the lead and held on for the win. Ray See Sr. came hme in the third postion.

Results:

Pete Gardner Memorial Sportsman Feature: 1. Paul Martin (Beech Lake, PA) 2. Jeff Richardson 3. Kyle Redner 4. Ed Dachenhausen 5. Bill Deckleman 6. Milton Mann 7. Matt Curry 8. Mike Traver 9. Dan Dulin 10. Eric Moon 11. Roy Crespo DQ. Rick Mill DQ. Dom Roselli DNS. Jerry Curry

Legends Feature: 1. Alex McCollum (Phillipsburg, NJ ) 2. Gillian Kirkpatrick 3. Peter Bennett 4. Joey Ternullo 5. Chris Hammett 6. Eugene Drew 7. Sean Verwys 8. Storm Drew

Street Stock Feature: 1. Amber VanOrden (Hawley, PA) 2. Kyle Welsch 3. Bill Deak Sr. 4. Gary VanOrden Sr. 5. Brian Bauerfeind 6. Walt Henry 7. Larry O’Donnell 8. Wayne Taylor 9. Shawn Maloney 10. Phil Funcheon 11. Matt Guadagno 12. Patty Falkena 13. Steve Larsen 14. John Hager 15. Mario Contarino 16. Jessica Ricci

Four Cylinder Expert Feature: 1. Mike Travis (Liberty, NY) 2. Ivan Guerra 3. Tim Curry 4. Josh Wilbur 5. Joe Smith 6. Cody Houghtaling 7. Eddy Linstadt 8. John Houghtaling 9. Skip Morris 10. Jeff Degroat

Four Cylinder Novice Feature: 1. Eddie Jones Jr. (Waymart, PA) 2. Vinny Degraw 3. Felicia Reichenbaugh 4. Dan Houghtaling 5. Brandon Golzak 6. Nick Curry 7. James Curry 8. Cliff Levinson 9. Bryan Zeininger 10. Marisol Torrens 11. Gene Helms 12. Keith Unger 13. Marcus Small 14. Tabitha Riordan 15. Edwin King 16. Nicole Nelson

Bandolero Feature: 1. Anthony Bello (Newtown, CT) 2. Joey Aungst 3. Teddy Cranmer 4. Katie Verwys 5. Connor Piasecki 6. Dominic Abbatiello 7. Tyler Alkas 8. Mike Roth

Vintage Modified Feature: 1. Mike Houghtaling 2. Tom Laner Jr. 3. Ray See Sr. 4. Jeff Hager DNS. George Cleveland