Behind the Wheel
Kings Without Wings
Hamlin Speedway's Nine Feature Race Card Produces Magic In The Mountains
The 2013 racing season may only be in its infancy stages but the premier action attraction in the Pocono Mountains, the Hamlin Speedway, is already at full stride as 137 talented and eager driving stars from a six state area converged at the 1/5 mile clay cushioned facility last night to produce an excellent driving exhibition that had the standing room only crowd heading for home by 10:15 in the evening. Successful race promoters Randy and Denise Smith and Staff worked overtime and then some to accommodate a nine feature race card that is already establishing the parameters for the drivers who have done their homework in the off-season to shine on race day. The Pocono skies above were far more gracious to the speedway than a week ago for the cold weather opening as a warm and sunny day turned to a bright full moon in the evening and granted safe passage to the driving stars who planted their right rear tires in the perfectly manicured Hamlin clay. When the exciting heart stopping action was completed, The LaBagh Brothers, Trevor in the All Star Slingshots and Jared in the Junior Slingshots were victorious for the racing LaBagh Family. Teenage sensation "The Edge" Eddie Strada was flawless in securing his first win of the season in the 600 Wingless Sprint headline attraction while "The Icon" Pat Bealer scored his second consecutive win in the 270 Winged Sprint main event. Defending track champion Joel Smith scored his second win of the season in the Brodheadsville Chevrolet Stage One Modified division while it was "The Carbondale Comet" Paul Ennes was on a rail as he scored the win the Super Slingers event. "The Speed Queen" Alyssa Fogel lived up to her billing as she scored her second win of the season in the Rookie 270 Sprints and "The Storm Trooper" Carl Mease earned his first win at Hamlin in the Rookie Wingless 600 Sprint headliner. The 270 Sprint winged warriors enjoyed the opportunity to take off the tops for a special event at the speedway and teenage driving star "The J-Shot" Jacob Hendershot was all over it as he nailed down the win with a great run. The Smith Family has provided an unparalleled promotion for small car division racing and the 2013 racing season is already showing signs the new season will top all existing records from the record setting 2012 season one season ago.
The hot-lap sessions quickly gave way to time trials and heats and "TK" Tommy Kunsman was the quick timer in the 270 Sprints with a 11.856 clocking with Zack Bealer, Robbie Watson and Grady Johnston close behind. The Wingless 600 Sprints followed and "The Bushkill Bullet" Kyle Rohner was spot on with a fast time of 12.291 seconds that showed Brandon Azzalina, Eddie Strada and "The Travelin Man" Mick D'Agostino close behind. Trevor LaBagh was the quick timer for the All Star Slingshots with a 13.563 clocking to nip last week's feature event winner Troy Langendoerfer for the top spot Slingshots and Jenna Weidner was the quick timer in the Rookie 270 Sprints with a 12.006 clocking to nip Mike Kalman who stopped the clocks at 12.048 seconds. The Junior Slingshot heat event was claimed by "The Quack Attack" Ryan Quackenbush over Jared LaBagh and Paulie Tigue. Jeff Hineline scored a big win in the Stage One Modified heat as he staved off the advances of Joel Smith and "The Dirt Diva" Shannon Smith. Rookie 600 Sprint heats were claimed by Spencer Mease and speedway newcomer Cody Coons. John Rooks Sr and the returning Joe Bodenshatz claimed wins in the Super Slinger heat action. Paul Ennes captured the 12-lap B-Main for the All Star Slingshots over Tommy Zwart and the returning John Pantis.
A quality field of 11 Junior Slingshots rolled out onto the raceway for their scheduled 20-lap feature excursion. The much improved Collin DuBois led the first three laps of the event before yielding to fellow Empire State warrior "The 38-Special" Jared LaBagh. LaBagh wasted no time in establishing the point as he ran of times in the 13.8 second range. After the halfway mark, opening night winner Ryan Quackenbush broke free and took up the chase but it would be LaBagh prevailing for the win over Quackenbush, DuBois, Paulie Tigue and the returning "Flash" Bobby Flood. The second five were Taylor Eccles, newcomer Daniel Morgiewicz Jr, Alex Yankowski, Tyler Peet and the returning Joe Malson.
After a quick shot of H2O to the speedway the 270 Sprint main event rolled onto the speedway. Pat Bealer wasted no time as he bolted from his third place start to grab the lead as the field entered turn one. Bealer was in the zone for the first half of the race as he separated himself from the rest of the competitors. Zack Bealer put on a late race charge to get close to his brother but it would Pat securing his second straight win over Zack in a battle of the Bealer Boys. Jacob Hendershot was third with Robbie Watson and Gene Burd completing the top five. The second five consisted of Tommy Kunsman Jr, modified ace Michael Weinert, Grady Johnston, Trevor Dunn, and Bobby Butler.
The Rookie Wingless 600 Sprint main saw a 16-car feature line-up for the event. Carl Mease grabbed the lead at the start of the event and held steady as he fought off the advance of Kyle "Hot Rod" Rode and last week's feature winner Matt Swanson. Mease may have waivered on a couple of occasions but never gave in as led the entire distance enroot to his first ever win at the speedway. Rode and Swanson followed with Cody Coons and Will Butler completing the top five. Colin White, the returning TJ Lilly, Jamie Czekai, Spencer Mease and Amber Oraschin completed the top ten.
Alyssa Fogel jumped into the lead at the drop of the green flag for the Rookie 270 Sprint main and Fogel wasted no time to establish herself as the girl to beat and went on to triumph for the second week in a row. Mike Kalman took up the chase and ran a good solid race to finish in the runner-up role with Jacob Dunn, Jenna Weidner, Paul Richards Jr and Mallory Prince following.
The Super Slinger feature saw Paul Ennes vault into the lead at the drop of Russ Furry's green flag and Ennes had a fast hot rod under him as he went on to lead the entire event to claim the victory. "Double J" Jimmy Johnston was the runner-up with "The Flying Dutchman" Richie VanOrden in third place followed by Dale Kober and Wyatt Clark. Joe Bodenshatz, Charlie Shaver, Carl Bittenbender, Frank Yankowski and Kevin Olver completed the top ten finishers.
The Wingless 600 Sprint main was top-notch from the drop of the green flag as the highly competitive field used every inch of the raceway to find the sweet spot of the facility. Eddie Strada grabbed the lead at the start of the event and hit his marks throughout as he clicked off consistent 12.185 second laps to hold the field at bay throughout the event. Mick D'Agostino was the runner-up with a hard charging Brandon Azzalina nipping at his heels in third place. Kyle Rohner was fourth and "The Odd One" Chris Oraschin enjoyed a solid outing to complete the top five. Joseph Smith, Shelby Harper, Tommy Kunsman Jr, Simon Egan and last Week's opening night winner Robbie Hocker completed the top ten.
The Brodheadsville Chevrolet Stage One Modified feature saw track champion Joel Smith jump into the lead at the start and ran a flawless races on his way to his second straight triumph. Jeff Hineline was exceptional in a runner-up role and established himself as a contender on any given occasion. John Comandini was third in a great run with Shannon Smith in fourth and "Thrillin" Dylan Martin completing the top five. Brody Adamsky, Danny Buccafusca, Paul Ennes and Collin DuBois followed.
The All Star Slingshot main attraction saw Trevor LaBagh and Troy Langendoerfer squaring off right at the drop of the green flag as they challenged each other for the quick real estate at the facility. LaBagh won the battle and would lead the remainder of the way to claim his first ever win at the speedway. Langendoerfer was second with "The Tornado" Tyler Johnston in third place, Rich VanOrden in fourth and Jimmy Johnston completing the top five. The second five consisted of Paul Ennes from 19th starting spot, Tyler Pirone, Dale Kober, Charlie Shaver and Wyatt Clark.
Jacob Hendershot established the point at the drop of the green flag and went on to claim his victory in the special event Wingless 270 Sprint outing. Zack Bealer was the runner-up with "The Conductor" Bobby Butler in third place after a spirited battle with Bealer, Tommy Kunsman Jr in fourth and Robbie Watson completing the top five.
The extensive work Randy Smith and his staff did over the winter months continues to provide dividends as the new clay on the speedway has created a fast race track that is getting faster as the teams keep working to find best set-up for their driver. The new clay surface remained tacky and very drivable throughout the evening of events and was relatively dust free.
The strong contingent of racers from the Empire State of New York has filled out the ranks of the Junior Slingshots as nearly half of the Junior Slingshot field is from New York with Jared LaBagh, Collin DuBois, Bobby Flood, Ryan Quackenbush and newcomer Daniel Morgiewicz Jr all making their way out of New York to compete at Hamlin. "Radio Active" Robbie Hocker and "The Bigg Dog" Stephen Reynolds represent New York well in the 600 Sprint ranks. Richie VanOrden, Wyatt Clark, Trevor LaBagh, Tyler and Randy Johnston, Tyler Pirone, Kevin Predmore, Tommy Zwart and John Pantis are all residents of New York that have found success at the Hamlin facility. Connecticut residents who have made an impact on Hamlin racing include Sydney and Mallory Prince, Grady Johnston and newcomer JD Casazza while Massachusetts counters with the great work from Mick D'Agostino who makes the six hour trip each way from Taunton, Massachusetts each week to qualify himself as "The Travelin Man". The remainder of the quality field at Hamlin is from Pennsylvania and New Jersey and sometimes includes the states of New Hampshire, Vermont and Rhode Island.
Seven and a half year old Michael Samony continues to improve as he has made vast strides from his initial performance at the speedway. Michael Weinert continues to impress with another good run in the 270 Sprints. Weinert has spent the past couple of seasons in the Modified ranks at Big Diamond and Grandview and is a welcome addition to the 270 Sprint field at Hamlin. Newcomers to the 270 Sprints ranks from the bumper rookie crop of a season ago Glenn Macomber, Sydney Prince, John Dvorscak and Tyler Galatro have all made the successful transition into the ranks with bright futures ahead for them. "The Weasel" Jacob Dunn has made the transition into the rookie 270 ranks and finally shook off his mechanical maladies with a third place finish and Charles McDaniel is another rookie contender who is looking better with each outing. Matt Swanson has a first and third in his first two Hamlin outings in the Wingless Rookie 600 Sprints and the division appears to be even stronger than a season ago with fresh new faces joining the action. Jamie Czekai made his first appearance of the season as did "The T-Jet" TJ Lilly. Will Butler brought out a new racer from the Dickie Keiper Shops and finished fifth in the shakedown run for the team. The Super Slingers have a strong contingent of racers that will make the 2013 exceptional for this division of grizzled veterans. Jim Wyant, Mark Henneforth and Joe Bodenshatz made their first appearances of the season. The Johnston brothers duo of Tyler and Randy have identical race cars and look sharp on the racetrack. AJ Hobbs is another newcomer making some noise in the All Star ranks and Erin Paulison, who enjoyed much success at the Oakland Valley track, is making big gains in adapting to the Hamlin oval.
Wallace Tractor and Equipment and Trailers, one of the new sponsors at the speedway, was featured in the Hamlin program with a full array of some of the great equipment they have on hand for purchase. It is encouraged for all race fans to checkout their extensive website at: www.wallacetractorandequipment.com for a great deal on a brand new or refurbished or demo unit and all at great savings to the consumer. Wallace Tractor and Equipment can be reached at: 570 689 7494 to chat with one of the friendly staff.
All Star Slingshots: Trevor LaBagh, Troy Langendoerfer, Tyler Johnston, Rich VanOrden, Jimmy Johnston, Paul Ennes, Tyler Pirone, Dale Kober, Charlie Shaver, Wyatt Clark, John Rooks Jr, Mike Fogler, Frank Yankowski, Danny Buccafusca, Randy Johnston, Steve Yankowski, Kevin Predmore, AJ Hobbs, Jeff Cosgrove, Erin Paulison, Tommy Zwart, Aaron Howell, Tommy Vroom Jr, John Pantis
270cc Sprints: Pat Bealer, Zack Bealer, Jacob Hendershot, Robbie Watson, Gene Burd, Tommy Kunsman Jr, Michael Weinert, Grady Johnston, Trevor Dunn, Bobby Butler, Paul Richards, Tyler Galatro, Larry Hoagland, Glenn Macomber, Sydney Prince, John Dvorscak, Zach Weidner, Steve Walters, Jeff Ubel
600cc Wingless Sprints: Eddie Strada, Mick D'Agostino, Brandon Azzalina, Kyle Rohner, Chris Oraschin, Joseph Smith, Shelby Harper, Tommy Kunsman Jr, Simon Egan, Robbie Hocker, Jordan Tittle, Larry Mekic, Doug Snyder, Chad Sandt, Mark Manieri, Kyle Lick, Molly Chambers, Stan Tykarski, Rick Calvert, Stephen Reynolds, Greg Stevens, Ryan Neil, JD Casazza, Kurt Bettler,Tim Howell
Brodheadsville Chevrolet Stage One Modifieds: Joel Smith, Jeff Hineline, John Comandini, Shannon Smith, Dylan Martin, Brody Adamsky, Danny Buccafusca, Paul Ennes, Collin DuBois
Junior Slingshots: Jared LaBagh, Ryan Quackenbush, Collin DuBois, Paul Tigue, Bobby Flood, Taylor Eccles, Daniel Morgiewicz Jr, Alex Yankowski, Tyler Peet, Joe Malson, Michael Samony
Super Slingshots: Paul Ennes, Jimmy Johnston, Richie VanOrden, Dale Kober, Wyatt Clark, Joe Bodenshatz, Charlie Shaver, Carl Bittenbender, Frank Yankowski, Kevin Olver, John Rooks Sr, Bob Wilson, Jim Wyant, Mark Henneforth, Russ Benke, Wes Hearn, Del Howell
Rookie 270cc Sprints: Alyssa Fogel, Mike Kalman, Jacob Dunn, Jenna Weidner, Paul Richards Jr, Mallory Prince, Charles McDaniel, Danny Leaper
Rookie 600cc Wingless Sprints: Carl Mease, Kyle Rode, Matt Swanson, Cody Coons, Will Butler, Colin White, TJ Lilly, Jamie Czekai, Spencer Mease, Amber Oraschin, Rcky Leaper, Adam Jones, Cody Smith, Mackenzie Harper, Aaron Henneforth, Shelby Ogozaly
Wingless 270 Sprints: Jacob Hendershot, Zack Bealer, Bobby Butler, Tommy Kunsman Jr, Robbie Watson, Jenna Weidner, Paul Richards, Eric Trautman, John Dvorscak, Jeff Ubel
Racing every Saturday evening from April through September. The first special event of the new season will unfold on May 4th with the exciting Wingless 600cc Sprints pounding the Hamlin clay for a $600.00 reward based on a 24-car starting field. The following week on May 11th, the Briggs & Stratton Mid-Atlantic Gold Slingshot Tour makes a stop-over in Hamlin for an event that will offer up $500.00 to the first car under Russ Furry's checkered flag and based upon a 24 car entry. Pit Gates open at the speedway at 1 PM; Drivers Meeting at 4:45; Hot Laps are at 5:00 and the racing begins at 6 PM sharp. Admission Prices for regular shows are: Adults $8.00; Senior Citizens $4.00 Children under 6 are Free; Pit Pass: $20.00 The "new" General Admission Bonus Pack is available for families: It consists of 4 General Admission Tickets + $20.00 in Food Vouchers for $40.00 (a savings of $12.00)
For further updates and information regarding all of the news and additions to the Hamlin Speedway, logon to their well documented website at: http://www.hamlinspeedway.com or call the speedway hotline at: 570 420 5500. For video work or questions regarding the purchase of videos from the exciting on-track action at the Hamlin Speedway, contact videographer Barry Boyd at: http://www.boydracingvideos.com For photos of all of the great racing action contact Rick Schwindenhammer Racing Photos at: http://www.ricksracingphotos.zenfolio.com
Visit us often for a great night of racing action as............................................
The Hamlin Speedway Is The Gateway To The Poconos
By: Steve Pados, GA Motorsports Media
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