MORRIS CLAIMS JERRY REIGLE MEMORIAL WIN AS SEASON GETS SET TO WIND DOWN AT BETHEL MOTOR SPEEDWAY
BETHEL, NY – With $750 on the line for the Jerry Reigle Memorial Sportsman race at Bethel Motor Speedway, several new drivers took to the track for the 30-lap feature. When all was said and done, however, it was a familiar face in Victory Lane as Bob Morris took down his sixth win of the season at the quarter-mile asphalt oval. It was Morris’ first win since August 24th.Kimberlee Morgan started the race from the pole, alongside Eric Moon. Moon got out to the early lead, with Greg Morgan coming to second on the initial lap. Just four laps into the race, both Moon and Morgan were involved in an incident that collected several other competitors as well and resulted in the end of the night for both Moon and Morgan. On the restart, defending division champion Jerry Curry – winner of the inaugural Jerry Reigle Memorial race back in 2011 – grabbed the lead over Kyle Redner, but Redner’s night also ended early as he was involved in an incident just one lap later. This left Curry to contend with the previous week’s winner Roy Crespo and Morris. The next 25 laps were caution-free and fast-paced, as the top three cars ran side-by-side and three-wide at times. Curry was able to hold the lead until lap 18, when Morris nosed out front to grab the top spot. Just two laps later, Crespo took over second. Over the final ten laps, the leaders challenged each other and had to contend with lapped traffic, but Morris proved to be unstoppable as he drove on to the win. Crespo hung on for second, and Curry crossed the line third.
With the win, Morris further cemented his lead in the point standings. Morris will head into the final two features – both slated for this coming Saturday, October 5th, with a 74-point lead over Rich Coons. Coons is the only other driver still mathematically able to make a bid at the title. Curry sits third in the standings, 14 points behind Coons.
A familiar face also visited Victory Lane in the Legends Pro/Masters race, as 2010 Legends champion Todd McCollum notched his fourth win of the year. Richie Coy and 2009 Legends champion Mike Alcaro started on the front row, but were involved in an incident on the first lap that resulted in both cars having to restart at the rear of the field. As a result, McCollum and 2012 Legends Young Lion/Semi Pro champion Matt Evans found themselves on the front row for the restart. McCollum jumped out to the lead, with Evans in tow. Before long, however, Alcaro was right back in the mix, and he took over second just prior to the halfway point. When the caution flew with four laps to go, Alcaro once again had to go to the rear of the field, handing second back to Evans. This brought Coy to the third spot. Neither Evans nor Coy was able to mount a successful challenge for the lead in the closing laps, and McCollum took down the win. Evans was second, and Coy crossed the line third. Bill Johnston, who was fourth in the final rundown, was the highest finishing Masters driver.
With two races remaining on the schedule, Evans leads Alcaro in the standings by 26 points. Evans can pick up a maximum of 26 points in the final two events, while Alcaro can still grab 48 points. Both have recorded 18 events, with Legends season point standings being calculated on a driver’s top 18 finishes. Sylvester sits third, just six points behind Alcaro. While Sylvester can still take second, he is mathematically unable to contend for the championship, as he is 32 points out and can only accumulate a maximum of 30 more points. Coy sits fourth, 64 points out of the lead, but can still pick up 80 points, as he has only recorded 16 races so far.
Aidan Landauer led from green to checker in the Legends Young Lion/Semi Pro race to claim his second win of the year. Landauer started the race on the pole, with Artie Pedersen III to his outside. Landauer took the lead immediately, with Pedersen second and Robert Silver third. With six laps in the books, Pedersen spun and had to rejoin the rear of the field. This put Joe DeGracia in the third position. Landauer continued to pace the field, maintaining his lead in spite of several restarts. Pedersen was working his way back through the field, and he was able to wrestle third from DeGracia with just three laps remaining. Time ran out, however, and Landauer notched the victory. Silver crossed the line second and was the highest finishing Young Lions driver. Pedersen finished third.
With the win, Silver cemented the 2013 championship in the class, as he now has a 140-point lead over Eugene Drew heading into the final two races. It is Silver’s first career Legends championship, and comes in only his second full year of competition at Bethel. Austin Berry and rookie Collin Hoeffner head into the final two events tied for third in the standings.
Rudy Roth IV clinched the championship in the Bandolero class, but he had to settle for second in the feature this past Saturday as Christian Eckes took home his fourth consecutive win and sixth of the season. Roth and Eckes started side-by-side on the front row, with Roth taking the early lead. Eckes kept Roth in his sights, and Eckes edged out front with four laps in the books. Neil Rutt III sat third, waiting for an opportunity to bid for the lead. The second half of the race was characterized by a series of cautions, but Eckes remained on top of his game. Rutt’s night ended when he was involved in one of the cautions, and David French inherited third. As the laps dwindled down, Eckes kept himself at the point, and he was first to the checkered flag. Roth was a close second, and French was third.
With two events left on the schedule, Roth is only able to accumulate four additional points, as the top four in points have all recorded 18 races. He has an 80-point lead over Eckes, who can still grab a total of 36 points. Second through fourth are still up for grabs, with only 24 points separating the positions. French, who sits third, can still grab 30 points. Fourth place Rutt, who is 24 points out of second, can still pick up 32 points.
Mike Roth continued on his hot streak in the Beginner Bandolero division, picking up his fourth win in a row and eighth win of the year. Roth started on the pole, and immediately shot out to the lead over Jessica Ricci. Ricci chased Roth over the entire caution-free race, but Roth proved to be unbeatable. Ricci had to be content with second as Roth was first to the checkered flag.
Defending Pro Stock division champion Mark Sylvester had a rough start to his season, but he certainly has been making up for it as the season draws to a close, collecting his third consecutive win this past Saturday. Gerald Lum and Josh Wilbur started on the front row, and Wilbur took the early lead. His time out front was short-lived, as Gene Morton came to the lead on lap two, with Jim Helt second. Helt nosed out front for a single lap, but Morton overpowered him to reclaim the spot. Just prior to the halfway point, Sylvester took over the second spot, and the leaders raced in close quarters, with Sylvester nosing out front for the lead on lap 11. With just four laps remaining in the event, heartbreak struck for Morton, as his night was ended by mechanical issues. As a result, Sam Call inherited second and Kenny Atkins came to third. Sylvester held his position over the closing laps, and he grabbed the checkers. Call was second, with Atkins third.
The Pro Stock division title is still up for grabs heading into this coming weekend’s twin 25-lap features. Beryle Herman has a 27-point lead over Atkins. The two are the only drivers still mathematically able to win the championship. Jim Helt sits solidly in third, 122 points out of the top spot.
Amber VanOrden may have clinched the Street Stock division title as a result of the September 21st rainout, but that didn’t stop her from aiming for the win in the 27-lap Dick Crumley Memorial feature for the division this past Saturday. VanOrden started on the pole, with 2010 division champion Charlie Houghtaling to her outside. VanOrden took the lead, but the two battled for the lead in close quarters until Houghtaling was forced to pit for a flat tire on lap seven. This handed second to Glenn Pallom, but he surrendered to spot to Don Kuhn on lap 13. Just three laps later, Houghtaling made his way back into the top three, but he was unable to make a successful bid to advance any further. VanOrden drove on to her fifth consecutive win – and sixth of the season – with Kuhn second and Houghtaling third.
Tight competition through the entire field has become the norm in the BMS Modified class, and this past Saturday was no exception. Two rookies – Rocky DeMato and Joe McCarthy – started on the front row, with Gary VanOrden Jr. and Steve Galgano in the row behind them. Nearly the entire field ran side-by-side as the laps clicked off, with DeMato leading by a matter of inches over McCarthy. Galgano nosed ahead of VanOrden Jr. for third just prior to the halfway point. DeMato held on to the lead and went on to notch his first career win. McCarthy was second, and Galgano crossed the line third.
Defending division champion John Cote has a comfortable 52-point lead over Galgano in the standings, but both Galgano and VanOrden Jr. remain mathematically able to take the title. VanOrden Jr., a rookie, is 73 points out of the lead.
The 4 Cylinder Advanced race was fast-paced, with only a single caution on lap four to slow the action. Joe Morris and Keith Henry started on the front row, with Morris taking the lead at the drop of the green. Just one lap later, defending division champion Walt Henry took over the point, shuffling Morris to second until Morris was involved in the only caution of the event. This brought 2010 4 Cylinder Senior champion Eddy Lindstadt to second, and K. Henry back to third. As W. Henry led Lindstadt at the front of the field, third changed hands between K. Henry, Tim Curry, and 2012 4 Cylinder Novice champion Vinny Lovric. When the checkered flag waved, W. Henry notched his third win of the season and tightened up the points battle in the class. Lindstadt was second, and Lovric finished third.
Henry trails point leader Kyle Welsch by 21 markers in the standings, and is the only driver mathematically able to challenge Welsch for the title. Patty Falkena, who is third, sits 125 points out of the top spot.
The 4 Cylinder Novice feature was postponed due to curfew, and will kick off the night’s events this coming Saturday, October 5th.
The Bethel Motor Speedway season will wrap up this Saturday and Sunday, Octobr 5th and 6th, with the “Bethel Motor Madness” event. On Saturday, the schedule will feature twin 25-lap features for the Sportsman, Pro Stock, Street Stock, BMS Modified, and 4 Cylinder Advanced and Novice classes in addition to the 4 Cylinder Novice holdover event. Also on the schedule are the Legends, Bandolero, and Twin Cam 4 Cylinder divisions. Gates open at 2:30 pm, with hot laps at 5 pm and racing at 6 pm. The Legends and Bandolero classes will finish their season on Sunday, October 6th. Gates will open at 12 noon, with hot laps at 2 pm and racing set to go green at 3 pm.
JERRY REIGLE MEMORIAL SPORTSMAN FEATURE FINISH (30 laps): 1. Bob Morris, 2. Roy Crespo, 3. Jerry Curry, 4. Mike Traver, 5. Kimberlee Morgan, 6. Matt Curry, 7. Chris Burgio, 8. Kyle Redner, 9. Greg Morgan, 10. Eric Moon, 11. Joe Giachinta. DNS – Eddie Redner, Brandon McGill, Guy Harby, Paul Knox.
LEGENDS PRO/MASTERS FEATURE FINISH (20 laps): 1. Todd McCollum, 2. Matt Evans, 3. Richie Coy, 4. Bill Johnston, 5. Brian Spencer, 6. Jim Hoffman, 7. Mike Alcaro, 8. Jeffrey Lefcourt, 9. Jim Sylvester, 10. Fred Graf. DNS – Wayne Kirkpatrick.
LEGENDS YOUNG LION/SEMI PRO FEATURE FINISH (20 laps): 1. Aidan Landauer, 2. Robert Silver, 3. Artie Pedersen III, 4. Joe DeGracia, 5. Collin Hoeffner, 6. Dylan Hoffman, 7. Wayne Hajek, 8. Joseph Graf, 9. Jordan Lamothe, 10. Drew Bottge, 11. Courtney Lefcourt, 12. Chris Hammett, 13. Joe Fresco, 14. Allan Pedersen.
BANDOLERO FEATURE FINISH (15 laps): 1. Christian Eckes, 2. Rudy Roth IV, 3. David French, 4. Kaci Stackhouse, 5. Jared Palmer, 6. Neil Rutt III, 7. Gillian Kirkpatrick, 8. Alex McCollum.
PRO STOCK FEATURE FINISH (20 laps): 1. Mark Sylvester, 2. Sam Call, 3. Kenny Atkins, 4. Rick Smith, 5. Jim Helt, 6. Joe Barnes, 7. Beryle Herman, 8. Emerson Cargain, 9. Larry O’Donnell, 10. Ed Butler, 11. Clarence Palmer, 12. Gene Morton, 13. Jeff Hager, 14. John Hager, 15. Josh Wilbur, 16. Gerald Lum. DNS – Wayne Kmieczak.
DICK CRUMLEY MEMORIAL STREET STOCK FEATURE FINISH (27 laps): 1. Amber VanOrden, 2. Don Kuhn, 3. Charlie Houghtaling, 4. Glenn Pallom, 5. Gary VanOrden Sr., 6. Ken Reed. DNS – Ryan Brockner.
BMS MODIFIED FEATURE FINISH (20 laps): 1. Rocky DeMato, 2. Joe McCarthy, 3. Steve Galgano, 4. John Cote, 5. Gary VanOrden Jr., 6. Frank James, 7. Wilton Nickerson.
4 CYLINDER ADVANCED FEATURE FINISH (20 laps): 1. Walt Henry, 2. Eddy Lindstadt, 3. Vinny Lovric, 4. Shawn Maloney, 5. Kyle Welsch, 6. Tim Curry, 7. Charlie Houghtaling, 8. Patty Falkena, 9. Keith Henry, 10. Michael Weiner, 11. Joe Morris Sr., 12. George Zeininger, 13. Enio Lovric. DNS – Charles Hummel Sr.