July 28th, 2018:
Motorcycles came off the streets and into the midway and kids poured in for their Big Wheel races as Bethel Motor Speedway presented its Biker Night this past Saturday. The race fans found another night of exciting racing with many races not decided to the last lap and the night’s enduro finale found a photo finish at the checkers.
In the Interstate Battery Modifieds, veteran campaigner Mike Dutka has been knocking on Victory Lane’s door for several weeks getting close several times.This past Saturday, Dutka came from his fourth starting position to take the lead from rookie Scott Quick on Lap 6 with a highside move coming out of turn two. Dutka was able to open a comfortable margin in the caution free race as Tyler Dachenhausen and Joe DeGracia methodically moved up through the field. Dachenhausen was able to capture second position from Steve Conklin on Lap 11 and began to chase down the leader. Meanwhile, DeGracia was on an inside rail coming from his ninth starting position and worked by a fading Conklin to take third on Lap 15. Dachenhausen was able to close tight and get to Dutka’s rear bumper on the final lap but didn’t have the time to challenge a pass. At the checkers, Dutka came flying across first to a much celebrated feature win in the Active Automotive # 11, as it was his first career win in asphalt modifieds. Both Dachenhausen and DeGracia were satisfied with their stout finishes in second and third respectively at the finish line.
Defending track champion, Jeff Richardson jumped out to the early lead in the Extreme Kleaner Sportsman. As Richardson led, all eyes were watching top guns Ed Dachenhausen and Rick Mill coming through the pack. Dachenhausen got to second place running Rich Coons first and began to battle for multiple laps as they raced door to door. Dachenhausen found the edge charging to the inside in turn 3 to gain full control of second position from Coons. Mill outpowered Coons, two laps later to gain third while he stayed glued to Dachenhausen’s path. Lap 12 found the leader Richardson beginning to experience a handling issue which allowed the top guns to close in on the champ. Dachenhausen made a brilliant outside pass in turn 4 to take the lead from Richardson in the closing laps of the race. Mill continued to chase Dachenhausen and cleared Richardson for second one lap later. Mill made several charges on Dachenhausen but was unable to shake the leader. At the checkers, Dachenhausen picked up his fifth win of the season. However, it was far from over as the speedway’s tech inspectors went forth with a mid season tear down on the top finishers in the class. The engines of Dachenhausen and Mill were disassembled to ensure that no horsepower was being gained improperly. After several hours, it was confirmed that both cars had passed the intensive tech inspection and deemed legal.
Legends feature action found a returning track champion, Mike Alcaro remembering the quick way around his former stomping ground. Alcaro capitalized early in the race when the two leaders tangled in turn 4 with Derek Debbis spinning and involving Sean Verwys. Alcaro inherited the lead from that and had to battle friendly foe, Matt Maring for the remainder of the race. Alcaro was too strong on this night and picked up his first feature win of the season over Maring and red hot Eugene Drew who ended up third in the final rundown.
Defending champion, Ed Butler minced the Interstate Battery Pro Stock field. Butler made it look easy coming from his fifth starting position to take the lead from rookie Josh Wilbur on Lap 4. It was a breeze for Butler for the remaining laps as he easily outdistanced Larry O’Donnell and Mac Crawson in the caution free race. At the checkers, Butler picked up his fourth win of the season in his Tavern on Main # 32.
The Shakelton Napa Auto Parts Street Stocks saw rookie Dan Houghtaling jumping out to the early lead over Bill Deak Sr. Current point leader, Walt Henry capitalized from his fifth starting position to power into the lead on Lap 4 and never looked back in the caution free feature. Henry had no easy task to win, as his car began to show trails of smoke towards the end of the race which allowed second place running Brian Bauerfeind to close in the gap. Coming to the finish line, Henry was able to keep his JBM Truck Repair # 171 in the first position by one car length over Bauerfeind to pick up his fourth victory of the season. Deak Sr. came across the line in third position.
Veteran chauffeur Dan Curry is currently on a hot streak in the Four Cylinder class as he picked up his fourth straight feature victory and fifth overall win of the season. George VanAken was the early race leader until being passed by Tisha Curry. Her lead was short lived as D. Curry passed her on the outside down the frontstretch three laps later. D. Curry who charged through the pack from his tenth starting position easily led the remaining laps over hard charger Richard Smith and a strong finish by sophomore driver Tabitha Riordan.
Bandolero racing found young gun Joey Aungst leading from Lap 1. Aungst was very impressive on this night as he ran wheel to wheel on the outside for many laps with defending champion, Mike Roth. Roth finally gained the inside momentum and made a winning pass coming out of turn 4 on Lap 12 to take the lead. Roth picked up the hard earned victory over Aungst and Katie Verwys.
The Beginner Bandos feature found Colton Geary leading early on until the halfway point when Ty Smith made a smooth move to obtain the lead. Smith then cruised to his fourth victory of the season over Geary and Monica Deckelman.
Fans were on their feet as the enduro delighted many for the final race of the evening. Three Dirt Sportsman racers, Travis Cogswell, Shawn Maloney, and Mike Travis traded their open wheels for full fender grassroots racing and performed a three car shootout at the front of the field. The three drivers ran in tight formation as they encountered obstacles throughout the distance. On Lap 18, the motor on Maloney’s machine went sour and he retreated to the infield. The remaining laps found Cogswell and Travis battling door to door while negotiating lap traffic. On the white flag, Travis made a gutsy move and powered into the lead with slight contact, Cogswell then raced him down the backstretch and persevered to regain the lead coming out of turn four with contact and smoke billowing from underneath the hood. At the checkers, Cogswell picked up his first career enduro win by about 2 inches at the finish line over his fellow dirt sportsman competitor Travis. Alec Graham took home third place in his first career enduro start.
Modified Feature: 1. Mike Dutka, Gardiner, NY 2. Tyler Dachenhausen 3. Joe DeGracia 4. Skip LaPolt 5. John Cote 6. Wayne Kirkpatrick 7. Steve Conklin 8. Scott Quick 9. Stephen Kammer
Sportsman Feature: 1. Ed Dachenhausen, Danbury, CT 2. Rick Mill 3. Jeff Richardson 4. Rich Coons 5. Chris Cook 6. Dan Dulin 7. Bryan Jones
Legends Feature: 1. Mike Alcaro, Fredon, NJ 2. Matt Maring 3. Eugene Drew 4. Sean Verwys 5. Joe Fresco 6. Quinn Trimmer 7. Kenny Hopkins 8. Derek Debbis 9. Mike Policastro
Pro Stock Feature: 1. Ed Butler, Bethel, NY 2. Larry O’Donnell 3. Mac Crawson 4. Josh Wilbur 5. John Rood
Street Stock Feature: 1. Walt Henry, Walden, NY 2. Brian Bauerfeind 3. Bill Deak Sr. 4. Dan Houghtaling 5. Corey Stanton 6. Patty Falkena 7. Gary Gamble 8. Frank Maiori
Four Cylinder Feature: 1. Dan Curry, Swan Lake, NY 2. Richard Smith 3. Tabitha Riordan 4. George VanAken 5. Travis Cogswell 6. Tisha Curry 7. Cody Houghtaling 8. Joe Smith 9. Cliff Levinson 10. Ethan Cogswell 11. Marcus Small 12. Brett Kiakis
Bandolero Feature: 1. Mike Roth, North Branch, NY 2. Joey Aungst 3. Katie Verwys 4. Justin Aungst DNS. Joey Lamontagne DQ. Brian Rygielski
Beg. Bandos Feature: 1. Ty Smith, Eldred, NY 2. Colton Geary 3. Monica Deckelman 4. Kaden Rogers
Enduro Feature: 1. Travis Cogswell, Liberty, NY 2. Mike Travis 3. Alec Graham 4. Cody Houghtaling 5. Ryan Brockner 6. Richard Smith 7. Todd Gadoury 8. CJ Tinnelly 9. Shawn Maloney 10. Joe Smith 11. Ethan Cogswell