Behind the Wheel
Kings Without Wings
Hamlin, PA - Hamlin Speedway Rocks The Poconos With Spectacular Evening Of Racing Action
After suffering a rainout one week ago and Mother Nature threatening to do it again, the Smith Family threw caution to the wind and produced a spectacular racing card at the Hamlin Speedway in an evening that saw a new track record in the 600 Sprints and nine tremendous feature events that saw many of the features settled in the final moments of the racing action. The immediate area to the south of the Hamlin Speedway was totally awash and many of the area race tracks were forced to throw in the sponge but the Smith Family and staff forged on and Promoter Randy Smith had a meticulous race track laid down for the 148 entries that would do battle during the evening. After all was said and done, the nine feature race card was completed at 10:18 in the evening and the great crowd on hand enjoyed another monumental night of short-track racing excitement, Hamlin style. The Brodheadsville Chevrolet Stage One Modified Tour was the headline attraction on this evening and saw "The Icon" Pat Bealer storm into the lead with one lap remaining to capture the twenty lap spectacular. "The Quack Attack" Ryan Quackenbush was on point as he wired the field in the Junior Slingshot finale while defending all challenges from "The 38 Special" Jared LaBagh. Jenna Weidner made it two in a row in the Rookie 270 Sprints as she inherited the lead from newcomer Bobby Scherff to nail down the victory. "The Oxford Express" Dale Kober added his own theatrics into the mix when he slipped by race leader "Double J" Jimmy Johnston on the last lap with a top-shelf move off of turn two to race on to victory. "TK" Tommy Kunsman showed off all of the right stuff as he raced to victory in the 270 Sprint main and Troy Langendoerfer made it two wins for the season as he hustled his Grimm Construction wagon to victory in the All Star Slingshot main event. "The Branchville Bullet" Kyle Rutledge raced the Steven's owned SBF House car to his first win in the Rookie 600 Sprint finale and "The Sheriff" Simon Egan held off the hard charging "Bushkill Bullet" Kyle Rohner in a two car shoot-out that had the fans standing throughout the event as the two racing stars put on a whale of a show in the twenty lap jaunt. The ladies, who are normally sitting in the grandstands, had their own opportunity to shine last evening in the popular Powder Puff Derby and once again the drama played out until the end as Bethany Salack overcame a huge lead by Tara Bush to take over the lead with an aggressive move on turn four to triumph in the curtain closer for the evening
The time trialed sessions saw Ron Pierson Jr lay down a fast time of 11.324 seconds for the 270 Sprints that found the top fifteen within 3/10 of second of a second of one another. Ryan Quackenbush was quick timer for the Junior Slingshots. Bobby Scherff steered a Butler owned machine to a fast time of 11.6 seconds in the Rookie 270 Sprints. "The Flying Dutchman" Richie VanOrden stopped the clocks at 13.722 seconds to be the fast timer in the All Star Slingshots. The Stage One Modified heats saw two rounds of heat action with Simon Egan, Shannon Smith, John Comandini and Joel Smith emerging victorious. Wingless 600 Sprint heats saw Rick Calvert capture the first heat, Simon Egan the second and the third heat by Kyle Rohner as Rohner was in the zone with the Ronda and Gary Phillips owned Not Just Cuts/JAA.Inc sponsored speed buggy as Rohner shattered the track record with a new time of 11.4 seconds to handily destroy the old mark of 11.981 seconds set in 2010 by Keith McIntyre for the Wingless 600 Sprints. Super Slinger heats saw Richie VanOrden and Jimmy Johnston drive to victories and Rookie 600 Sprints wins were claimed by Mackenzie Harper and Cody Coons. A B-Main was needed for the 31 All Star Slingshots that signed in for battle and "The Ambassador" Wes Hearn was on the mark as he drove to the win.
The Brodheadsville Chevrolet Stage one Modified feature saw Simon Egan charge into the lead with "Thrillin" Dylan Martin in pursuit. Pat Bealer worked the inside lane of the speedway to work his way past Martin and go to work on Egan. The tour event saw great competition front to back and without question one of the top Stage One Modified events ever at the speedway. Bealer kept nipping away at Egan and with the white flag flying was able to drive inside of Egan in turn one to execute the pass but Egan came right back and the pair of drivers were side by side down the backstretch and into turns three and four. Bealer would be the winner by the narrowest of margins, .0006 seconds as they crossed the finish line. Egan settled for second with Joel Smith nailing down third place, Shannon Smith in fourth and Martin finishing up in fifth place. Mark Tischler, Cole Hentschel, Brody Adamsky, Pat Van Varick and Paul Ennes would complete the top ten.
The Rookie 270 Sprint main saw Bobby Scherff take off at the start and drive away from the field at will.
An early tip over from Alyssa Fogel slowed the action but it was Scherff on the hammer when the racing went back to green. Problems emerged for Scherff on lap seventeen as his machine suddenly fell off of the pace and Jenna Weidner inherited the lead. Weidner drove on to her second consecutive win and the division has seen ladies capture all four races this season with Fogel winning the first two weeks and Weidner the last two weeks. "The Weasel" Jacob Dunn continues to impress with a solid runner-up finish with Mike Kalman, Mallory Prince and Danny Leaper rounding out the top five.
The All Star Slingshot main saw Troy Langendoerfer out-hustle "Kid Wicked" Tyler Pirone into turn one at the start of the race and go on to lead all laps to garner his second win of the season at Hamlin. A late race charge by "The Rockaway Rocket" Danny Buccafusca saw him slip by Pirone to challenge Langendoerfer but would settle for runner-up honors on this night of competition. Pirone was third with
Dale Kober fourth from 14th starting spot, and defending track champion "The Mack Attack" Mack Brink completed the top five. Tyler Johnston, Richie VanOrden, Jeff Cosgrove, Dalton Maynard and Robbie Hocker completed the top ten.
Rick Calvert and Simon Egan made up the front row for the Wingless 600 Sprint feature attraction. Egan grabbed the lead at the start and was getting some great drives off of the corners as behind him new track record holder Kyle Rohner moved past Calvert and immediately began to reel in Egan. As the two combatants matched moves, they separated from the rest of the field as they clicked off laps in the 11.7 second range. On lap eight a dual flip on turn four from Joseph Smith and Stan Tykarski saw an immediate red flag but Chris Rupp could not stop fast enough and he too became upside down in front of the pit lanes. No one was injured in the scary incident but the ERT Team was fast to respond with their Wallace Tractor and Equipment safety vehicle. None of the three cars could continue and Tykarski was disqualified from further participation for his actions on the speedway. The racing restarted with a diminished field, but the talent was deep and Egan and Rohner picked up where they left off. "The Sheriff" would not be denied as he drove to a close victory over Rohner. "The Tornado" Jordan Tittle was third with "The Edge" Eddie Strada in fourth from an eleventh place start and "The Electrifying" Shelby Harper completing the top five. Stephen Reynolds, in his best run to date, was sixth and Chris Oraschin, Brandon Azzalina, Chad Sandt and Robbie Hocker completed the top ten.
The Rookie 600 Sprint event found pole sitter Jamie Czekai grabbing the lead at the start of the event and would lead for two laps before yielding to "Wheels" Amber Oraschin. Oraschin would lead until lap six when Kyle Rutledge drove by to assume command of the lead. Lap twelve would see Oraschin taking a hard hit in turn two and suffering a possible a broken finger in the incident. Rutledge would lead the remainder of the way to claim his first win of the season with Czekai running a great race for second, Mackenzie Harper nailing down a fine third, Colin White and Heidi Hedin completing the top five.
Connecticut driving ace Grady Johnston seized the lead at the start of the 270 Sprint main with Zach Weidner in tow. Tommy Kunsman, who got upside down the last time Hamlin raced, drove past Weidner to take command of the runner-up slot. Kunsman began to nose under Johnston in the turns and on lap nine was able to complete the pass and take control of the point. Sixth place starting Pat Bealer worked his way into the runner-up slot with a few laps remaining but this night was for Tommy Kunsman as he drove to victory. "The Machine " Gene Burd was third with Zack Bealer in fourth and "The Big L" Larry Hoagland getting untracked for a solid top five finish. Jacob Hendershot, Bobby Butler, Ron Pierson Jr, Rich O'Neill and Trevor Dunn completed the top ten. Austin Ely, driving one of the Widdos hot rods, suffered a tip over early in the event but was unhurt in the incident although was forced from the event late in the race when his wing decided to flip backwards.
Jimmy Johnston grabbed the lead at the start of the Super Slinger feature and seemingly had things going his way as he flawlessly motored around the Hamlin clay with Richie VanOrden and Dale Kober in hot pursuit. The pressure mounted quickly after the halfway mark as first VanOrden made a bid but was held off by Johnston and then Kober made his bid as found an outside seam to his liking to slip past VanOrden only to have VanOrden return the gesture one lap later. Kober kept up his outside pressure and once again moved in alongside VanOrden as the pair raced side by side just behind Johnston. It was now or never for Kober as the white flag flew and Kober kept his foot in the throttle and found the might and the bite to pull alongside of Johnston betweens turn one and two and drive past him as they headed down the backstretch. Kober edged ahead and Johnston dove to the inside with one last shot and they crossed the finish line side by side with Kober narrowly defeating Johnston in one of the closest Super Slinger events ever staged at Hamlin. VanOrden was third with Charlie Shaver fourth and Aaron Henneforth completing the top five. Mike McLaughlin, Paul Ennes, Kevin Olver, Wes Hearn and Jim Conroy completed the top ten.
The Junior Slingshot event found two dueling New Yorkers, Ryan Quackenbush and Jared LaBagh, setting sail when the green flag dropped and the dynamic duo put on a race throughout the twenty lap excursion as Quackenbush nailed down his second win of the season over LaBagh who has captured two events as well. Collin DuBois was a solid third place performer while Paul Tigue was fourth and the "Big D" Daniel Morgiewicz completing the top five making it four out of five placers for Empire State driving talent. Cole Hentschel, Bobby Flood, Alex Yankowski, Tyler Peet and Chloe Andreas completed the top ten.
The Powder Puff Derby for the ladies was a fifteen lap affair that found Tara Bush setting the pace early as she blasted into the lead on the very first lap. She continued to open up a huge advantage over the field as the ladies grew accustomed to their new racers. Bethany Salack was riding around in the fifth position at the midway point and then found some extra pedal to make quick work of Stacey McLaughlin, Jen Benke and Doreen Adamsky. With five laps remaining, Tara Bush began to encounter lapped traffic and Salack was riding on a full head of steam as she worked her way closer to the front. On the white flag the drivers were nose to tail and coming out of turn two they were now side by side. As the dueling ladies hit turn three, a bump and run transpired with Salack making contact with Bush and earning enough of an advantage to go on and claim the win. Tara Bush, Stacey McLaughlin, Jen Benke and Doreen Adamsky completed the top five. Jenn Oraschin, Myranda Strada, Tina Conroy, Erin Parkin, Ashley Wheeler and Jacklyn Borthwick completed the field.
The cool and cloudy weather remained throughout the evening of racing but the on track action kept another great crowd on hand witnessing the sizzling racing and cheer for the great driving stars who converge on Hamlin to do battle. Thanks to the tidings of Mother Nature, Randy Smith did not have to utilize the moisture machine at the speedway but did utilize it to smooth out the cushion during the evening. The speedway surface was amazing throughout the evening and the drivers reported very little tire wear and the track remained extremely racy with many events being determined towards the end of an event.
The largest field of Slingshot race cars in the country continue to make their way into the Pocono Mountains to try their hand at mastering the 1/5 mile playground of the Hamlin facility. With 31 stout competitors vying for 24 positions, the competition was over the top and lends credence to the fact it is tough to defeat the Hamlin regulars on their home turf and just as tough to beat them when they travel out to compete at other speedways. Good competition makes for better drivers and the talented roster of Hamlin driving stars can be proud of their achievements at home and on the road.
Newcomers included Bobby Scherff and Tim Aberant in the Rookie 270 Sprints, and Leo McGurrin made his first start of the season in the Junior Slingshots. Bill Darcy was on hand but suffered problems with his beautiful Super Slinger. Austin Ely made his first appearance of the season but suffered a tip-over in the feature. Mike Homeiger, Caitlyn and Joe Krum and Robbie Hocker made their first appearances in the All Star Slingshots although Hocker has been in action all season long in the 600 Sprints and the Radio Active One was a winner on opening night.
A special thanks goes out to the Slingshot car owners who took the risk to give the ladies a chance to shine at the speedway. No major incidents occurred and the ladies did well in their first attempt of going in circles. The defending champion Allesson Rode was away on this evening and should lead to an interesting event when the ladies take to the track in the future.
Congratulations are in order for "The Dirt Diva" Shannon Smith as she graduated from East Stroudsburg University in the afternoon and then traded in the cap and gown for her racing gear to compete at Hamlin last night.
For a great deal on home equipment, anything from a mower, chain saw, trimmer or gardening related, please contact the speedway's new sponsor Wallace Tractor and Equipment located a few miles from the speedway on Route 348. They also have a full array of Trailers for construction, toy or race cars. Contact them by phone at: 570 689 7494 or check out their extensive website at: www.wallacetractorandequipment.com
All Star Slingshots: Troy Langendoerfer, Danny Buccafusca, Tyler Pirone, Dale Kober, Mack Brink, Tyler Johnston, Richie VanOrden, Jeff Cosgrove, Dalton Maynard, Robbie Hocker, Trevor LaBagh, Paul Ennes, Randy Johnston, Jimmy Johnston, Wes Hearn, John Rooks Jr, Charlie Shaver, Shaina Barker, Tommy Vroom Jr, AJ Hobbs, Erin Paulison, Mike Fogler, John Pantis, Kevin Predmore Jr
270cc Sprints: Tommy Kunsman, Pat Bealer, Gene Burd, Zack Bealer, Larry Hoagland, Jacob Hendershot, Bobby Butler, Ron Pierson Jr, Richie O'Neill, Trevor Dunn, Glenn Macomber, Grady Johnston, Kyle Rutledge, Jeff Ubel, Tyler Galatro, Sydney Prince, Austin Ely, Zach Weidner, John Dvorscak, Paul Richards (DNS)
600cc Wingless Sprints: Simon Egan, Kyle Rohner, Jordan Tittle, Eddie Strada, Shelby Harper, Stephen Reynolds, Chris Oraschin, Brandon Azzalina, Chad Sandt, Robbie Hocker, Doug Dodson, Rick Calvert, Molly Chambers, Chris Rupp, Joseph Smith, Larry Mekic, JD Casazza, Mark Manieri, Greg Stevens, Tim Howell (DNS), Stan Tykarski (DQ)
Brodheadsville Chevrolet Stage One Modifieds: (Tour Event) Pat Bealer, Simon Egan, Joel Smith, Shannon Smith, Dylan Martin, Mark Tischler, Cole Hentschel, Brody Adamsky, Pat VanVarick, Paul Ennes, Collin DuBois, John Comandini
Junior Slingshots: Ryan Quackenbush, Jared LaBagh, Collin DuBois, Paul Tigue, Daniel Morgiewicz Jr, Cole Hentschel, Bobby Flood, Alex Yankowski, Tyler Peet, Chloe Andreas, Leo McGurrin, Taylor Eccles
Super Slingshots: Dale Kober, Jimmy Johnston, Richie VanOrden, Charlie Shaver, Aaron Henneforth, Mike McLaughlin, Paul Ennes, Kevin Olver, Wes Hearn, Jim Conroy, Del Howell, John Rooks Sr, Russ Benke, Jim Wyant, Johnny Bush, Bill Darcy (DNS)
Rookie 270cc Sprints: Jenna Weidner, Jacob Dunn, Mike Kalman, Mallory Prince, Danny Leaper, Bobby Scherff, Paul Richards Jr, Scott Dean, Alyssa Fogel, Jenna Schostkewitz, Tim Aberant (DNS), Charles McDaniel (DNS), Brenden Koehler (DNS)
Rookie 600cc Wingless Sprints: Kyle Rutledge, Jamie Czekai, Mackenzie Harper, Colin White, Heid Hedin, Nick Corazzi, Shelby Ogazaly, Aaron Henneforth, Ricky Leaper, Amber Oraschin, Cody Coons, Will Butler
Powder Puff Derby: Bethany Salack, Tara Bush, Stacey McLaughlin, Jen Benke, Doreen Adamsky, Jenn Oraschin, Myranda Strada, Tina Conroy, Erin Parkin, Ashley Wheeler, Jacklyn Borthwick
Racing every Saturday evening from April through September. Another special event is on tap May 25th when Hamlin Speedway ushers in Memorial Day Weekend with Sprint Division Specials offering $500.00 to win based on a 24-car entry. Five lucky fans and a friend can win the opportunity to enjoy the exciting Hot-Lap sessions from the infield area. The first NASCAR Crew Challenge of the season is coming up on June 8th with an autograph and interview session for the fans. 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 "Pearl" In The Poconos
By: Steve Pados, GA Motorsports Media
Photos by Rick Schwindenhammer :
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