WHITE LAKE, NY – On a day that will stand out in the history of Bethel Motor Speedway, Ed Dachenhausen’s name will forever be etched the in the record books.
Dachenhausen, of Danbury, Conn., raced to victory in the unprecedented ‘Summer of 69’ spectacular paying $6,900 to the Bob Hilbert Sportswear Short Track Super Series (STSS) Fueled By VP Sportsman winner.
The 69-lap race, which pitted Open and Crate 602 Sportsman engine combinations, offered the largest Sportsman winner’s share at any venue in 2017, with the unique twist of dirt-style cars tackling the tight one-quarter-mile paved oval.
The event thrust Bethel into the spotlight with a large crowd, regional media attention and 30 competitors trying their hand at the money.
At day’s end, it was Dachenhausen’s Scott Sanford-owned car in Victory Lane.
“This is awesome,” said a thrilled Dachenhausen after climbing to the roof of his race car on the frontstretch before the energized Bethel fans. “I can’t thank everyone enough for putting this race on and giving a guy like me a chance to run for this kind of money.
“The cautions were working out in my favor. It’s always nice when you have open track to race on.”
Dachenhausen races on the dirt at Accord (N.Y.) Speedway on Friday nights in the Modified division. Bethel is his home for Saturday racing. He is a Sportsman regular while his son Tyler competes in the track’s pavement-style BMS Modified ranks.
The storybook weekend for Dachenhausen included Saturday wins by both he and his son at Bethel as a ‘Summer of 69’ prelude.
“It couldn’t have been any better of a weekend for us,” he said. “I was pretty emotional last night when my son won his first (Modified) race. This is Hollywood stuff.”
Dachenhausen’s Saturday win at Bethel granted him a guaranteed sixth starting spot for Sunday’s main event.
“I was lucky to win last night and not have to go through all the qualifying,” he admitted.
A field of 26 STSS Sportsman took the green on the Bethel bullring, setting up some wild moments in the race’s opening laps.
Jackie Brown Jr., from fourth, sixth-starter Dachenhausen and veteran Frank Jashembowski – up from 14th – defined themselves as victory contenders through the race’s rough-and-tumble beginning.
When Brown’s No. 6X became entangled with a lapped car in turn two during the latter part of the race’s first segment, it became a Jashembowski/Dachenhausen lead battle.
Through heavy slower traffic, Dachenhausen slipped past ‘Frankie J’ and established his No. 11x as the leader.
Race rules set two “competition cautions” on laps 25 and 50, giving teams the option to head to the pits and change tires.
For Dachenhausen, it wasn’t a consideration.
“I tried to keep the tires under me and drive straight,” he said. “We didn’t have any plans to pit.”
Dachenhausen remained the leader as the crowd intently watched Brown pick his way back through the field. Brown, a winner on dirt at Accord Speedway among other venues and frequent participant on the pavement at Devil’s Bowl Speedway in Vermont, raced back into second.
Despite a final caution on lap 66, the Hurley, N.Y., driver couldn’t unseat Dachenhausen at the front of the field.
Brown’s Crate 602 powered car settled for runner-up status, worth $3,000, with Jashembowski – a longtime big-block Modified racer at N.Y.’s Orange County Fair Speedway – returning to the seat with a stout third-place result.
Bethel regular Jeff Richardson of Goshen, N.Y., lost the powerplant on his No. 50 during Saturday’s program. He appeared to be on the sidelines, that is, until the main event started.
When Dom Roselli was involved in a heat-race tangle and later fought distributor issues, he failed to qualify for the main. Roselli then turned his car over to Richardson, who was eligible for a provisional start as the speedway’s point leader.
Richardson started dead last, 26th on the grid, and raced to a fourth-place finish.
Second-generation driver Cole Hentschel of Pine Bush, N.Y., ran a steady race to finish fifth after starting 17th.
Completing the top-10 were Brian Papiez of Belle Mead, N.J., driving the Horton family No. 43 (after a flat tire); Vermont invader Joey Roberts, also recovering from a flat; Orange County regular Billy Eggers; Accord’s Nick Plumstead and Eric Moon.
Winners of the three 20-lap ‘Semi’ qualifiers were Papiez, Jashembowski and Al Archiere. Matt Curry and Jimmy Zacharias snagged the consolations.
Kevin Skelly of North Branch, N.Y., drove to a $1,069 payday in the 40-lap ‘Woodstocker’ Street Stock special. Skelly and Kyle Welsch distanced themselves from the field in an extra-distance event slowed by just a single caution. Skelly masterfully worked slower traffic to outdistance Welsh.
The ‘Woodstocker’ event allowed only street-legal DOT tires rather than racing tires. Skelly invaded Bethel on Saturday with DOT tires on to prepare and it paid off.
“I’m glad we came last night to get dialed in for this race on the DOT tires,” he said.
Welsch finished second, followed by Walt Henry, Amber Van Order and Steve Simpson.
Like their full-fender Street Stock counterparts, the Four Cylinders ran with just a single caution in their 39-lap event! Mike Travis of Liberty, N.Y., took advantage of a head’s-up start to wire the ‘Hippie Bowl’ presented by Hibernation Heating and win the $669 top prize. Travis won convincingly over Shawn Maloney.
Up next for the STSS is the ‘Stampede at ‘toga’ on Tuesday, August 15 at Albany-Saratoga Speedway in Malta, N.Y., paying $5,000 to the Modified winner as part of the Halmar International North Region, plus a $1,000-to-win King of Dirt (KoD) Crate 602 Sportsman main.
Bethel Motor Speedway is located at 361 Horseshoe Lake Road Bethel, NY 12783. The speedway can be contacted by phone at 845.319.7908, on the web at www.bethelmotorspeedway.com, and on Facebook under Bethel Motor Speedway.
To learn more about the Short Track Super Series Fueled By VP or BD Motorsports Media LLC, visit www.shorttracksuperseries.com or www.bdmotorsportsmedia.com, call 845.728.2781 during business hours, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, “like” Short Track Super Series on Facebook or follow @ShortTrackSS on Twitter.
BETHEL BEATS: The event carried a ‘Woodstock’ theme at a track located just miles from the original site of the 1969 festival. Era appropriate music, tie-dyed event shirts and more added to the event’s atmosphere….
The large crowd filled the speedway’s grandstands and spilled out to both sides with lawn chairs….
Despite the busy program of racing, the final checkered flew just after 7 p.m., well in advance of the town-imposed 8 p.m. Sunday curfew….
A number of drivers took in the event as spectators including Jimmy Horton, Anthony Perrego, Danny Creeden, Brett Tonkin, Matt Stangle, Brandon Grosso, Craig Hanson and more….
A unique blend of officials included announcers Tim Pitts and Jeff Ahlum, starter Warren Alston, tech director George McKelvey, pit staff Eric Kormann and Dave Pace joining the Bethel staff for the program….
The 2017 Short Track Super Series is presented by American Racer/Lias Tire, VP Racing Fuel, Bob Hilbert Sportswear, Halmar International, Allstar Performance, ATL Racing Fuel Cells, Behrent’s Performance Warehouse, Bicknell Racing Products, Dirt Track Digest, Fast Axle, Fox Racing Shocks, Hig Fab, Henry’s Exhaust, HyperCo, Keizer Wheels, Kirkey Racing Fabrication, K&N, QA1, Race Pro Weekly, Racing Optics, Speed51.com, Teo-Pro Car, Velocita, Weld & Wilwood.
‘SUMMER OF 69’ RACE SUMMARY – BETHEL MOTOR SPEEDWAY AUGUST 6, 2017
Bob Hilbert Sportswear Short Track Super Series Fueled By VP Sportsman Feature Finish (69 laps): ED DACHENHAUSEN ($6,900), Jackie Brown Jr., Frank Jashembowski, Jeff Richardson, Cole Hentschel, Brian Papiez, Joey Roberts, Billy Eggers, Nick Plumstead, Eric Moon, Rob Rowe, Harold Humphrey, Milton Mann, Mike Sabia, Shayne Spoonhower, Corey Cormier, Chris Raser, Larry Mekic, Brad Horton, Dan Dulin, Rich Coons, Al Archiere, Jimmy Zacharias, Colin DuBois, Kyle Redner, Matt Curry.
Did Not Qualify: Dom Roselli, Roy Crespo, Craig Pritchard, Michael Talmadge.
‘Woodstocker’ Street Stock Feature Finish (40 laps): KEVIN SKELLY ($1,069), Kyle Welsch, Walt Henry, Amber Van Orden, Steve Simpson, Ryan Brockner, Bill Deak, Josh Wilbur, Brian Bauernfiend, Matt Guadagno, Josh Towner, Joel Murns, Charlie Towner, Jeff Hager, Mario Contorino, Larry O’Donnell, Jessica Ricci, Gary Gamble.
‘Hippie Bowl’ Four Cylinder Feature Finish (39 laps): MIKE TRAVIS ($669), Shawn Maloney, Tim Curry, Dave Donovan (pending tech), Dan Curry (pending tech), Dan Houghtaling (pending tech), Cody Houghtaling, Edward Jones, Brandon Golzak, Clifford Levison, Robert Beach, Nicholas Curry, Ray Lamantia, Marcos Small, Michael Weiner, Jessey Torrens, Marison Torrens, Edwin King, Joe Morris Jr., Jeff DeGroat, Josh Houghtaling