September 22nd, 2018:
This past Saturday was music to the ears to those in attendance, not only did they hear the ultimate sweet sounds of horsepower from the race cars, but the track also held their Interstate Batteries ‘Music Night’ which found the greatest hits being played in the grandstands for most of the evening. The track is located in Bethel, NY which is also the same town that hosted the three day music festival of ‘Woodstock’ held in 1969 and attracted an audience of 400,000 music goers to the rolling fields of a local farm. Coming this Sunday, September 30th is the biggest race of the speedway’s season with the ‘Fall of 69’ Dirt Sportsman 69 Lap spectacular presented by the Short Track Super Series along with the street stock ‘Woodstocker’ which is a high purse 40 Lap feature and is the opening race of the Street Stock Shootout Series. Legends and Bandoleros will also be in action which will be awarding INEX national points to those two classes.
Extreme Kleaner Sportsman feature action found second place starting Al Archiere all tuned up and ready to play. Archiere took the lead from newcomer Craig Pritchard on the first lap and never looked back in an outstanding drive. The leader was on a rail in commanding fashion with his McCarthy Aluminum #21x machine and wasn’t challenged for position in the caution free race. Rich Coons and Ed Dachenhausen marched forward from their sixth and eighth starting positions as they worked their way through the pack. Once in the top three, the two hotshoes battled it out for several laps before Dachenhausen secured second place from Coons. Archiere however was singing in glee on his way to victory lane taking home his first career sportsman feature win at Bethel over current point leader Dachenhausen and Coons.
Connecticut racer Stephen Kammer is another driver who has proved the long time race theory, “that the second win comes much easier than the first”. In less than one month since achieving his first career modified win, Kammer was again able to park his Kammer Construction #55 in victory lane for the second time this season. In the race, Kammer took full advantage of his pole position to shoot out into the lead over Nascar Whelen driver Joe DeGracia and former track champion Steve Conklin. DeGracia ran a clean race making multiple challenges on both the high side and low side of Kammer but could not get ahead into the lead. Lap 17 found a backstretch accident involving championship contenders Tyler Dachenhausen and Mike Dutka. Dutka suffered terminal damages with his car and dropped out of the race meanwhile Dachenhausen had to rejoin at the rear of the field. The final restart proved pivotal for the leaders as DeGracia made his last charge in the final two laps, but it was all rhythm and no blues for Kammer as he picked up a hard earned victory over the tenacious DeGracia and ole master John Cote who surged to a third place finish in the final laps.
Shakelton Napa Auto Parts Street Stocks found a strong field of racers in one of their biggest races of the year with the ‘Detroit Iron’ race. The large field of cars roared down the frontchute much to the fan’s excitement but quickly found rookie polesitter A.J. Atkins spinning in turn 2 of lap 1 and collected invader Paul Varricchio. On the restart, last year’s shootout series champion Joel Murns jumped out into the lead over veteran Ray Tarantino. While Murns was out front, hardcharger Kyle Welsch was on a power chord coming up through the pack from his fourteenth position. Lap 6 found a sonic boom for Welsch as he powered his way into second getting past invader Jeff Meltz and Tarantino. Lap 8 the yellow quickly came out again as Tarantino stopped abruptly in turn 4. The restart found Welsch charging ahead of Murns on lap 9 and began to widen the gap from Murns. Three laps later, Meltz was able to surge ahead of Murns before the yellow came out again for a spinning Brian Bauernfeind. At the restart, the yellow quickly flew for rookie Frank Maiori as he came to a stop in turn 4. Once green again, all eyes watched Kevin Skelly and Walt Henry coming through the field with Skelly working into the top three on lap 13 as he got by Murns. Henry, the current point leader also got by Murns one lap later and the two contenders began to pressure the invader Meltz for second position. Skelly was able to duck to the inside and capture second spot from Meltz on lap 15 and began to reel in the leader Welsch. The race mired with yellow fever came again as Larry O’Donnell found his car with problems limping down the backstretch. The race’s final restart found Welsch outgunning his rival Skelly with Henry making a pass stick on third place running Meltz. With the dual checkers waving Welsch proved to have the winning iron horse as he took home his fourth feature victory of the season with his TJ Motorsports # 357 over a very close Skelly nipping at his bumper to finish second with Henry securing a strong finish in third.
Defending Champ Ed Butler’s win streak ended in the Interstate Batteries Pro Stock feature as popular campaigner Gene Morton drove like a rockstar with his famous Ford Thunderstang # 11. Morton outdragged fellow racer Glenn Richard at the green to pull ahead into the lead. Once into the lead, Morton continued his exciting driving by running the high groove the track, Richard stayed closed to his tail but could not get back in contention to get the lead. Meanwhile, Butler was working his way up through the tough field from his ninth starting spot. Pro stock rookie, Josh Wilbur charged his way into second on lap 17 with an inside pass in turn three to get by the smooth running Richard. Butler in hot pursuit of Wilbur, quickly followed into third as Richard got loose dropping off pace. Wilbur and Butler then battled fiercely for second has they closed in on the leader Morton who was developing a handling issue. With the white flag waving, Morton continued to rock it with Butler and Wilbur close behind. At the checkers it was an exciting finish with Morton thunderstruck with his first feature win of the season over Butler and Wilbur.
Legends feature action proved to be plentiful with rookie James Anderson taking the early lead. Lap 3 found a new leader with invader Gary Ham getting around Anderson. Ham found the track to his liking as he continued to lead over several restarts and was under pressure from Legend specialist, Alex McCollum and ARCA series driver Joe Graf Jr. The three drivers diced it out until McCollum was able to take the lead at the halfway point over Ham. Daniel Carter threw his hat in the ring as a contender as he got by Graf Jr. to take third one lap later. Lap 14 found second place running Ham losing grip coming off turn 4 bringing out the caution. On the restart, Carter outgunned McCollum down the frontstretch to take the lead going into turn 1 but McCollum came back finding his sweet spot on the outside. Two laps later, McCollum made the outside lane stick to pick up the lead again over the quick Carter. At the checkers, it was McCollum by half a car length over Carter for his second feature win of the season, with Graf Jr. closely behind in third.
The first half of the Crate Sportsman feature found Matt Curry and Chris Cook in a wheel to wheel battle up front. Curry led until lap 5 when Cook found the traction to pull ahead. At the halfway point, Coons using the outside swept by Curry to take second and began to close in on the leader Cook. The two fellow drivers raced hard side by side for two laps before Coons took sole control of the race on lap 10. The final five laps found Coons whistling to the tune of his West Point Tours crate powered # 27 as he picked up his fifth win of the season over Cook and Curry.
Four Cylinder feature racing found a returning Todd Gadoury playing the class like a fiddle as he took full advantage of his pole starting position to dominate the race by leading every lap. Tasha Curry who has also recently returned to racing action and current point leader Cliff Levison stayed within earshot of Gadoury but neither could make a challenge for the lead. Gadoury, who has been on a racing hiatus for several years only needed a couple of weeks to get back to winning form as he took home his first victory of the season. Levison ended up a strong second to really help his chances in securing the elusive Championship, with David Donovan hard charging from tenth to pick up a final finish of third place.
Bandoleros ran twin 15 lap features which found popular runner Katie Verwys leading for twelve laps in the first feature before getting passed on a restart by a strong running Joey Aungst. Aungst who has multiple top three finishes this year was finally able to crack into victory lane to pick up his crowd cheering first feature win of the season. Verwys finished a close second, with Evan Rygielski in third. The second feature found Brian Rygielski as the leader for the first half of the race but soon found Mike Roth on his tail after coming up through the field from sixth position. Roth found a power move and captured the lead from Rygielski. One lap later, the yellow came out as Rygielski spun in turn 1. The restart found Roth maintaining his lead over Verwys and Aungst. At the checkers it was Roth picking up the hard earned victory over Verwys and earlier winner Aungst.
Monika Deckelman came on late to win the Beginner Bandos feature for her sixth win of the season over Ty Smith and Leland Oefelein
Street Stock top gun Kevin Skelly used smart strategy and played his cards just right to pick up the win in the popular TJ Motorsports Street Stock elimination race. Skelly came from the ninth seed to defeat all the contenders with his Deckelman Trucking # 67. Patty Falkena and Frank Maiori rounded out the top three finishers.
Sportsman Feature: 1. Al Archiere, Danbury, CT 2. Ed Dachenhausen 3. Jerry Curry 4. Rich Coons 5. Jeff Richardson 6. Bryan Jones 7. Craig Pritchard 8. Chris Cook 9. Matt Curry
Modified Feature: 1. Stephen Kammer, Redding, CT 2. Joe DeGracia 3. John Cote 4. Skip LaPolt 5. Steve Galgano 6. Steve Conklin 7. Tyler Dachenhausen 8. Mike Dutka
Street Stock Feature: 1. Kyle Welsch, Narrowsburg, NY 2. Kevin Skelly 3. Walt Henry 4. Jeff Meltz 5. Joel Murns 6. Bill Deak Sr. 7. Bill Deak Jr. 8. Patty Falkena 9. AJ Atkins 10. Larry O’Donnell 11. Ray Tarantino 12. Paul Varricchio 13. John Hechinger 14. Jay Smalley 15. Phil Funcheon 16. Mike Mergendahl 17. Brian Bauernfeind 18. Jessica Ricci 19. Frank Maiori 20. Dan Houghtaling 21. Andy Crane 22. Ernie Millen
Pro Stock Feature: 1. Gene Morton, Woodbourne, NY 2. Ed Butler 3. Josh Wilbur 4. Mac Crawson 5. Jim Helt 6. Vinny Stanton Sr. 7. Porter Crawson 8. Glenn Richard 9. John Roese DNS. Mike Pollack
Legends Feature: 1. Alex McCollum, Phillipsburg, NJ 2. Daniel Carter 3. Joe Graf Jr. 4. Sean Verwys 5. Mike Policastro 6. Eugene Drew 7. Gary Ham 8. James Anderson 9. Jeffrey Lefcourt 10. Jack Gerzabek 11. Conner Piasecki 12. Coleby Felber 13. Chris Gall
Crate Sportsman Feature: 1. Rich Coons, Montgomery, NY 2. Chris Cook 3. Matt Curry 4. Bryan Jones 5. Shawn Maloney 6. Charlie Houghtaling
Four Cylinder Feature: 1. Todd Gadoury, Narrowsburg, NY 2. Cliff Levison 3. David Donovan 4. Tisha Curry 5. Ivan Guerra 6. Eddie Jones Jr. 7. Jeff Degroat 8. Jeffrey Tubbs 9. Brent Shaddock 10. JW Gannon 11. Dick Shaddock 12. Tasha Curry
TJ Motorsports Street Stock Elimination Race: 1. Kevin Skelly, North Branch, NY 2. Patty Falkena 3. Frank Maiori 4. Dan Houghtaling 5. Bill Deak Sr. 6. Joel Murns 7. Bill Deak Jr. 8. Walt Henry 9. Kyle Welsch 10. Jessica Ricci
Bandolero Feature: 1. Joey Aungst, Pompton Lakes, NJ 2. Katie Verwys 3. Evan Rygielski 4. Brian Rygielski 5. Justin Aungst 6. Kaden Rogers 7. Joey Lamontagne 8. Mike Roth
Bandolero Make-Up Feature: 1. Mike Roth, North Branch, NY 2. Katie Verwys 3. Joey Aungst 4. Evan Rygielski 5. Justin Aungst 6. Joey Lamontagne 7. Kaden Rogers 8. Brian Rygielski. Note; INEX points only; no track points
Beg. Bandos Feature: 1. Monika Deckelman, Fremont Center, NY 2. Ty Smith 3. Leland Oefelein