ACTION HEATS UP WITH FULL SCHEDULE AT BETHEL MOTOR SPEEDWAY
BETHEL, NY – The third week of racing for the 2013 season on the quarter-mile asphalt oval at Bethel Motor Speedway produced some exciting races, with two drivers picking up their first wins of the year and eight others making repeat visits. With plenty of door-to-door racing, fans were treated to a full night of entertainment.
In the Sportsman class, Rich Coons picked up his second win of the young season, in spite of the fact that his closest rival – defending division champion Jerry Curry – was able to edge him out for the heat race win earlier in the day. By virtue of his heat race win, Curry started the race on the pole, and he shot out to the early lead. Coons, hungry for a championship after outside circumstances hurt his chances in each of the previous two seasons, launched his challenge at the drop of the green. By lap four, Coons had assumed the top spot, with both Curry and sophomore driver Bob Morris in tow. The race was fast-paced and without any cautions, and Coons powered his way to the win. Curry had to be content with second, while Morris crossed the line third.
Alliance Shippers Legends driver Mike Alcaro proved his prowess on the track when he captured the championship back in 2009 and so far in 2013 he has proven that he can still find his way to Victory Lane at Bethel, capturing his second win of the year this past Saturday. Alcaro took off from the pole, and led every lap of the event as 2010 Legends champion Todd McCollum and Richie Coy gave chase. Further back in the field, 2012 Legends Young Lion/Semi Pro champion Matt Evans and Raven Schrantz battled for the fourth position, swapping it several times before Schrantz took it back for good with six laps to go. At the front, Alcaro was unstoppable as he claimed the win. McCollum was second, and Coy finished third.
Alliance Shippers Legends Semi Pro competitor Austin Berry continued to turn heads at Bethel this past weekend, taking home his second win in two trips to the speedway. Stephen Kopcik started on the pole in his first-ever trip to the speedway. Berry started on the outside of the front row. Kopcik nosed out front at the drop of the green, but it was short-lived, as he was overpowered by Berry just four laps in. On the following lap, Robert Silver also worked his way past Kopcik, and Silver took over the second spot. As the laps wound down, Brandon Traino applied enough pressure to get by Kopcik for third, but Kopcik was able to wrestle the spot back before the checkered flag waved. Berry was first to cross the line, followed by Silver and Kopcik.
Fans saw another repeat winner in Rudy Roth IV, as the young driver scored his second win of 2013 in the Quality Bus Service Bandolero class. Roth started on the outside pole, with sophomore driver Kaci Stackhouse on the inside. Roth put his car in the lead at the drop of the green, with Alex McCollum following to take second. Neil Rutt III came to third. The race was caution-free, and Roth was first to cross the line. McCollum, one of the youngest drivers in the field, was second. Rutt finished third.
In the Quality Bus Service Beginner Bandolero division, Eugene Storm Drew took down his fourth win in five attempts. Drew started on the outside of the front row, alongside pole sitter Gillian Kirkpatrick. When the green flag waved, Kirkpatrick took the lead. The two ran in close quarters, and Drew edged in to the lead on lap three. Kirkpatrick made every attempt to reclaim the spot and was able to get alongside Drew, but he maintained his position and drove to the win. Kirkpatrick was second.
After breaking a nearly five-year hiatus from Victory Lane in the division’s last race, Beryle Herman made his second consecutive visit this past Saturday, as he led every lap of the Sam’s Towing Pro Stock event to collect the win. Herman took off from the pole and shot ahead of outside pole sitter Kenny Atkins on the start. Jerry Tunney glued himself to Herman’s bumper and followed past to take over second, setting the stage for the battle up front that was between Tunney and Atkins for second as Herman began to distance himself from his competition. Atkins took the spot back from Tunney on lap seven, and Tunney then kept fans on the edges of their seats as he tried to work past Atkins on the outside. When the checkered flag flew, Herman won by a comfortable margin, and Atkins held on to second. Tunney had to be content with third.
George Deckelman also grabbed his second checkered flag of the year in the Shakelton’s Auto & Truck Centers Street Stock division. Deckelman beat pole sitter Steven Steffens to the point at the drop of the green. Five laps into the event, Charlie Deckelman took over second, but the race was far from over. In the closing laps of the event, 2011 Rookie of the Year Amber VanOrden turned up the heat, taking second from C. Deckelman. With just two laps to go VanOrden made a last-ditch attempt to snatch the lead, but ran out of time and had to be content with second. C. Deckelman was third.
Defending BMS Modified division champion John Cote scored his second win of the year and 93rd of his career this past Saturday, leading every lap except for the first. Wilton Nickerson, who started the event on the outside pole, was scored as the leader on the initial lap, but Cote took over the top spot on lap two. The two battled it out at the front of the field, with the leaders beginning to encounter lapped traffic just past the halfway point of the event. When the checkered flag flew, Cote was in Victory Lane. Nickerson was second, and Steve Galgano crossed the line third. The BMS Modified class is off on Saturday, May 25, and will return to action on Saturday, June 1.
The 4 Cylinder Advanced race saw another defending champion – Walt Henry – make his second trip of the year to Victory Lane. Henry took off from the pole, and the fast-paced, caution-free event made for some exciting racing as Kyle Welsch gave chase, coming from the third starting spot to second on the initial lap. Just past the halfway point, lapped traffic began to play a part, as the leaders negotiated their way around the cars. With just two laps to go, 2011 division champion Ivan Guerra – in his first 2013 appearance in competition - made the pass for second, but even she was unable to steal Henry’s thunder as he drove on to the win. Guerra was second, and Welsch held on for third.
Robert Beach made his first visit to Victory Lane of the year in the 4 Cylinder Novice race. Beach took the lead at the drop of the green and never looked back. Behind him, Heather Fennell came to second, while Tanner Fennell ran in the third spot for the majority of the event. Lapped traffic came into play well before the halfway point of the event, forcing the leaders to contend with the slower cars for much of the race. With five laps remaining, Tisha Curry grabbed third from T. Fennell, but she was unable to advance past that position. Beach was first to cross the line, with H. Fennell second and Curry third.
The Twin Cam 4 Cylinder class made its debut this past Saturday as well, with Mike Skelly Jr. taking the first checkered flag for the division. Skelly Jr. used his experience in other divisions at the speedway to his advantage, winning both the heat race and the feature. Skelly led every lap of the event, with Johnny Bankich holding second until Matt Curry slipped past him for the spot with five laps to go. Skelly collected the win, with Curry second and Bankich third. The next event for the Twin Cam 4 Cylinder division is Saturday, June 8.
This coming Saturday, May 25th, Bethel Motor Speedway will host the 4C Supermodifieds in addition to a slate that includes the Sportsman, Legends, Bandolero, Pro Stock, Street Stock, and 4 Cylinder Advanced and Novice classes. Gates open at 2:30, with hot laps taking to the track at 5 pm. The wheel-to-wheel racing excitement Bethel is known for goes green at 6:30 pm. Grandstand admission is just $6.
Just one week later, on Saturday, June 1st, fans will be treated to a schedule of action that includes the Sportsman, Legends, Pro Stock, Street Stock, BMS Modified, and 4 Cylinder Advanced and Novice classes. The gates will open at the track once again on Sunday, June 2nd, for the Muscle Car and Motorcycle Madness car show, which is open to vehicles of all types. Vendor spaces are also available. Information and n entry form are available on the speedway web site at www.bethelmotorspeedway.com. More information can also be obtained by calling (845) 319-7908.
SPORTSMAN FEATURE FINISH (20 LAPS): 1. Rich Coons, 2. Jerry Curry, 3. Bob Morris, 4. Mike McKerrell, 5. Eric Moon, 6. Chuck Potts, 7. Kimberlee Morgan, 8. John Cook.
LEGENDS PRO/MASTERS FEATURE FINISH (20 laps): 1. Mike Alcaro (P), 2. Todd McCollum (P), 3. Richie Coy (P), 4. Raven Schrantz (P), 5. Matt Evans (P), 6. Jim Sylvester (M), 7. Carl Blandina (M), 8. Jim Hoffman (M), 9. Bobby Rafferty (P), 10. Bill Johnston (M), 11. Wayne Kirkpatrick (M), 12. Jeffrey Lefcourt (M), 13. Steve Woytysiak (M), 14. Fred Graf (M).
LEGENDS YOUNG LION/SEMI PRO FEATURE FINISH (20 laps): 1. Austin Berry (SP), 2. Robert Silver Jr. (YL), 3. Stephen Kopcik (YL), 4. Kyle Dealaman (SP), 5. Brandon Traino (YL), 6. Joseph Graf (YL), 7. Dylan Hoffman (YL), 8. Joe DeGracia (SP), 9. Eugene Drew (SP), 10. Anthony Riforgiato (YL), 11. Matthew Gaughan (YL), 12. Courtney Lefcourt (SP), 13. Wayne Hajek (SP), 14. Collin Hoeffner (YL).
BANDOLERO FEATURE FINISH (15 laps): 1. Rudy Roth IV (O), 2. Alex McCollum (B), 3. Neil Rutt III (O), 4. Christian Eckes (O), 5. David French (O), 6. Max Evans (B), 7. Mikey Policastro (O), 8. Kaci Stackhouse (O), 9. Christina Policastro (O), 10. Matt Addona (B).