BETHEL, NY – With only four points races remaining for the BMS Modified division at Bethel Motor Speedway, Ed Dachenhausen further stretched his lead when he collected his 12th win of the season, due to an unexpected turn of events.
Frank James and Robbie Konikowski started on the front row, and James got out front at the drop of the green. Konikowski slipped back through the field on the initial lap, with Cote coming to second and Dachenhausen taking over third. Cote then looked for a way past James, who was determined to keep the field behind him. Just past the halfway point of the race, James spun and both he and Cote had to restart at the rear of the field. Dachenhausen inherited the lead as a result, with Blair Culhane second and Konikowski third. Over the closing laps, Cote worked his way back into the top three, but time ran out for him to catch Dachenhausen, who was first to the line. Culhane was second, and Cote had to be content with third.
It was a busy weekend for the INEX divisions, as the Legends, Bandoleros, and Beginner Bandoleros all raced on both Saturday and Sunday. The Legends wins were split between Alex McCollum (Saturday) and Joseph Graf (Sunday).
On Saturday, McCollum started on the pole, alongside defending Pro/Masters champion Richie Coy. McCollum immediately got out front, but had his hands full of Coy, who chased him over the entire race distance as rookie David French applied pressure from third. McCollum drove to the win over Coy and French.
Graf and Teddy Hodgdon made up the front row for the start of Sunday’s race, and Graf put himself solidly out front right at the start. Hodgdon ran in the second spot over the first half of the race, but McCollum was able to take over the spot on lap 13. He then set his sights on Graf as the laps wound down, but was unable to make a successful bid for the lead as Graf picked up the win over McCollum and Coy.
Defending Bandolero champion and current point leader David French – who scored a pair of top five finishes in the Legends class over the course of the weekend – recorded a perfect weekend in the Bandolero, living up to his recent nickname “the Dominator”. The two wins brought French’s total number of wins at Bethel for the season to 16.
Bryan Chirico took off from the pole in Saturday’s event, and led the first three laps before being passed by French. The two swapped the top spot, with Chirico grabbing it back briefly before French laid final claim to the position and paced the field for the remainder of the event. French was first to the line, followed by Chirico and Sean Verwys.
French’s win on Sunday was not an easy one, as he started at the rear of the field. Robby Gordon Douglas took the lead at the drop of the green over pole sitter Jake Matheson. French took advantage of an early-race restart to work his way to the front, taking over the lead with just five laps in the books. Once out front, French was unstoppable and he drove on to the victory over Douglas and Verwys.
Beginner Bandolero driver Joey Aungst also had a flawless weekend, picking up wins in the features on both Saturday and Sunday.
Aungst took off from the third starting spot in Saturday’s feature, jumping to the lead on the initial lap over Isabella Macchia and Katie Verwys. Conner Piasecki quickly came to second. Piasecki spun just prior to the halfway point, but was able to work his way to second yet again as Aungst led the field. In spite of his best efforts, Piasecki was unable to catch Aungst, and Aungst picked up his fifth win of the year over Piasecki and Verwys.
Aungst’s sixth win of the season came on Sunday, starting on the outside pole and leading every lap on his way to the win. Verwys started on the pole and ran in the second spot for the first half of the race, before Macchia took over the spot. The race went from green to checker with no cautions, and Aungst crossed the line ahead of Macchia and Verwys.
In Saturday’s Pro Stock action, Ed Butler picked up his fifth win of the season. Vinny Stanton and Mac Crawson took off from the front row, with Stanton taking the early lead. Jim Helt held the second spot for the first three laps, before being passed by Kenny Atkins. Atkins took over the top spot on lap seven, and Butler came from the fifth starting spot to grab second just one lap later. Just past the halfway point, Atkins spun while leading, handing the lead to Butler. Butler then went on to claim the win over Stanton and Helt.
Street Stock rookie Walt Henry walked away with the win in the inaugural Street Stock Shootout Series race, and walking way with nearly $700 in prize money for his efforts. Henry led every lap of the caution-free event to notch the victory. By virtue of an invert, Henry started on the pole, alongside Joel Murns Jr. Henry immediately shot out front, as Ryan Brockner came to second and Steve Smalley took over the third spot. The top three challenged each other lap after lap, and Brockner was able to get alongside Henry several times, but Henry was able to hold on to the spot in spite of the efforts of Brockner. Henry crossed the line ahead of Brockner, but Brockner was disqualified in post-race tech, and Smalley was credited with second. Bob Sleight Jr. was third in the final rundown.
Henry came up just short in the 4 Cylinder Advanced race, as Brian Buernfeind picked up the win. Henry and Bauernfeind made up the front row for the start, and the pair swapped the lead in the opening laps before Bauernfeind laid final claim to the spot on lap six. With only a single caution to slow the pace of the race, the top three remained unchanged over the remainder of the event. Bauernfeind beat Henry to the line, and Dan Curry was awarded third place following post-race tech.
John Houghtaling took the lead on lap four of the caution-free 4 Cylinder Novice race, and he drove on to the win. J. Houghtaling took the lead from pole sitter Dn Houghtaling, who then settled in to the second spot. On lap ten, however, David Donovan grabbed second. Houghtaling and Felicia Reichenbaugh then bettled for the third spot, with Reichenbaugh laying solid claim to the spot on lap 16. Reichenbaugh worked to chase down the top two, but time ran out, and J. Houghtaling crossed the line ahead of Donovan and Reichenbaugh.
Nostalgia Night festivities on Saturday included the Atlantic Coast Old Timers (ACOT), the vintage division of ATQMRA, and the Northeast Vintage Dirt Modifieds. Bud Hinman claimed the ACOT win over Gary Collucci and Jim Leys. The vintage ATQMRA win went to Mark Pritchard, who crossed the line ahead of Tom Arntz and Bill Force. Chris Adams took the lead with just four laps remaining to claim the Northeast Vintage Dirt Modified win over Ray See Jr. and Jim Halpin.
This coming Saturday, September 12th, the gates at Bethel Motor Speedway will once again swing open for an action-packed night of racing excitement. On the schedule are the 358/Sportsman, Legends, Bandolero, Pro Stock, Street Stock, and 4 Cylinder Advnced and Novice classes. The World Formaula Modified Tour will also be making an appearance. Gates open at 2:30 pm, with hot laps at 4:30 pm, and racing set to go green at 6 pm.
On Sunday, September 13th, Bethel Motor Speedway will present its third annual Fall Fling Car Show, which is open to vehicles of all types. Entry is $10 for a car and passenger, and dash plaques will be given to the first 50 cars. A $200 prize will be awarded to the car judged to be “Best in Show”. Gates open at 12 noon, with judging beginning at 2 pm.
More information, including a complete 2015 schedule, can be obtained online at www.bethelmotorspeedway.com, or by calling (845) 319-7908.
BMS MODIFIED FEATURE FINISH (20 laps): 1. Ed Dachenhausen, 2. Blair Culhane, 3. John Cote, 4. Chris Chirico, 5. Amber VanOrden, 6. Frank James, 7. Robbie Konikowski.
LEGENDS FEATURE FINISH (Saturday, 20 laps): 1. Alex McCollum, 2. Richie Coy, 3. David French, 4. Joseph Graf, 5. Chris Rogers, 6. Brad Lowmaster, 7. Jim Sylvester, 8. Drew Bottge, 9. Josh Andrews, 10. Gillian Kirkpatrick, 11. Jeff Lefcourt, 12. Mark Foster, 13. Jerry Macchia, 14. Matt Maring, 15. Teddy Hodgdon.
LEGENDS FEATURE FINISH (Sunday, 20 laps): 1. Joseph Graf, 2. Alex McCollum, 3. Richie Coy, 4. David French, 5. Teddy Hodgdon, 6. Chris Rogers, 7. Jim Sylvester, 8. Brad Lowmaster, 9. Matt Forsythe, 10. Drew Bottge, 11. Gillian Kirkpatrick, 12. Collin Hoeffner, 13. Jeff Lefcourt, 14. Jerry Macchia, 15. Mark Foster, 16. Josh Andrews.
BANDOLERO FEATURE FINISH (Saturday, 15 laps): 1. David French, 2. Bryan Chirico, 3. Sean Verwys, 4. Robby Gordon Douglas, 5. Jake Matheson, 6. Ethan Durocher, 7. Jeff Darrah, 8. Matt Addona.
BANDOLERO FEATURE FINISH (Sunday, 15 laps): 1. David French, 2. Robby Gordon, 3. Sean Verwys, 4. Bryan Chirico, 5. Jeff Darrah. DQ – Jake Matheson. DNS – Ethan Durocher.
BEGINNER BANDOLERO FEATURE FINISH (Saturday, 15 laps): 1. Joey Aungst, 2. Conner Piasecki, 3. Katie Verwys, 4. Isabella Macchia, 5. Nick Archiere, 6. Bethani Durocher.
BEGINNER BANDOLERO FEATURE FINISH (Sunday, 15 laps): 1. Joey Aungst, 2. Isabella Macchia, 3. Katie Verwys, 4. Nick Archiere, 5. Bethani Durocher.
PRO STOCK FEATURE FINISH (20 laps): 1. Ed Butler, 2. Vinny Stanton Sr., 3. Jim Helt, 4. Mac Crawson, 5. Kenny Atkins, 6. Rob Rafferty, 7. John Cole Jr.
STREET STOCK SHOOTOUT SERIES FEATURE FINISH (25 laps): 1. Walt Henry, 2. Steve Smalley, 3. Bob Sleight Jr., 4. Kyle Welsch, 5. Jim Maher, 6. Ray Tarantino, 7. Tommy Pickles, 8. Jay Smalley, 9. Joel Murns Jr. DQ – Ryan Brockner.
4 CYLINDER ADVANCED FEATURE FINISH (25 laps): 1. Brian Bauernfeind, 2. Walt Henry, 3. Dan Curry, 4. Mike Travis, 5. Andrew Lovric, 6. Rich Coons, 7. JB Morris, 8. Cody Houghtaling, 9. Jerry Kingeter, 10. Charles Hummel, 11. Keith Unger, 12. Robert Clarke, 13. Brent Shaddock. DQ – Vinny Lovric.
4 CYLINDER NOVICE FEATURE FINISH (25 laps): 1. John Houghtaling, 2. David Donovan, 3. Felicia Reichenbaugh, 4. Dan Houghtaling, 5. James Shields, 6. Billy Porter.
ATLANTIC COAST OLD TIMERS FEATURE FINISH (12 laps): 1. Bud Hinman, 2. Gary Collucci, 3. Jim Leys, 4. Bruce Carman, 5. Tom Grenga, 6. Paul Dillon, 7. Alan Preliasco, 8. Keith Majka Jr. DNS – Paul Weisel Jr., Keith Majka Sr.
VINTAGE ATQMRA FEATURE FINISH (20 laps): 1. Mark Pritchard, 2. Tom Arntz, 3. Bill Force, 4. Jimmy Maguire, 5. Sam Cifelli, 6. Rick Casario, 7. Joe Klein. DNS – Mike Casario, Keith Majka Jr., Hank Rogers Jr.
NORTHEAST VINTAGE DIRT MODIFIED FEATURE FINISH (20 laps): 1. Chris Adams, 2. Ray See Jr., 3. Jim Halpin, 4. John Hager. DNS – Rob Sanford.