Fairgrounds at Kutztown, The
Thursday, July 12, 2012
Lewis Hustles to Kutztown 600 Victory; Kunkle & Housworth Get Second Wins; Bowes Takes Xcel Sportsman Main
KUTZTOWN, Pa. -- When you're hot, you're hot, and Shane Lewis is sizzling right now.
The Honeybrook driver, fresh off his 2012 PA 600 Speedweek Championship, registered his first Kutztown Fair Speedway triumph in Wednesday's 20-lapper for the Wingless 600cc Sprints.
Joining the Penn State University Engineering major in Kutztown's winner's circle on Wednesday were Jarid Kunkle (winged 270cc Sprints), Jim Housworth (Wert's Beverage All Star Slingshots), and Aaron Bowes (Xcel Sportsman Modifieds).
With polesitter Taylor Troxel showing the way, Lewis shot from fifth to the runner-up position on the second trip around the clay oval.
By the time five laps were scored, former track champion turned ARDC Midget ace Brett Arndt raced from his sixth starting spot into third, as Lewis shadowed Troxel and waited for his chance to pounce on the leader.
That chance came at the halfway point of the race. Lewis charged to the outside of Troxel on the homestretch, stayed even through turns one and two, then blasted in front of Troxel's No. 24T as they accelerated off the second corner and on to the backstretch.
Arndt, wheeling Brett Schoenly's No. 117, passed Troxel for second on the same lap. The Topton Tornado ran a higher line than Lewis and stayed close to the leader, but never found the opening he needed to pull even with the No. 55L.
Lewis took the checkered flag just under one second before Arndt crossed the stripe, with Tim Buckwalter staging a late race charge to finish third. Brett Peters and James Morris completed the top five.
Kutztown's own Jarid Kunkle became the first repeat winner of 2012 in any of the classes that compete weekly at the fairgrounds, leading every lap from his inside front row starting spot.
The current 270cc Sprint point leader, Kunkle dashed out to a comfortable advantage over his pursuers, then deftly handled lapped traffic during the latter portion of the 20-lapper.
Trevor Kobylarz passed Andrew Dietrich to secure second spot on the sixth circuit, but Kobylarz could not reel in the high flying Kunkle.
Tenth-starting Austin Bishop finished third, with Dietrich and Steve Walters rounding out the top five.
Kunkle may have been the first to repeat, but he was soon joined in that category by the Riegelsville Rocket, Jim Housworth, who notched his second Kutztown triumph of the season in the 20-lap main event for the Wert's Beverage All Star Slingshots. With Wert's Beverage of Topton putting up some extra cash on Wednesday, Houseworth's victory earned him a $300 payday.
Matt Massone set the pace for most of the event as Housworth methodically picked his way from the eighth starting position to second with six laps remaining. One of the most entertaining duels of the night occurred when Housworth and Danny Buccafusca ran side-by-side for three complete laps as they tussled for third, with Housworth eventually claiming the spot on the 13th revolution.
A yellow flag with two to go was the break Housworth needed to make a run at Massone for the top spot. On the restart, Housworth gunned his Bob Gibb Racing No. 31 to the inside, shoving the nose of his car alongside Massone in turns one and two. Exiting the corner in wheel-to-wheel fashion, Housworth edged in front as they raced down the backchute.
Buccafusca followed Housworth past Massone, with the rest of the top six drivers mixing it up as well. Housworth flew to his second win of the campaign, leading Buccafusca to the line by 0.342-seconds. Massone ended up third, while Simon Egan and Brett Bieber finished fourth and fifth, respectively.
Aaron Bowes, Nazareth, took the Xcel Sportsman Modified green from the pole position and led every lap, but it took a key move in traffic with five to go in order to lock up the victory over current point leader Richie Hitzler.
With Bowes in front, Hitzler and Justin Schraden tangled early in the race while battling for third. Hitzler, from Lebanon, sliced his way from the rear of the field to run second, and he challenged Bowes repeatedly during the second half of the 20-lap affair.
As the lead duo closed in on the slower car of Ronnie Molnar, Bowes caught Molnar's No. 3 at just the right location on the one-fifth mile oval. Bowes darted under Molnar and got by, while Hitzler had to back off and wait for another opportunity to get by him.
By the time Hitzler made the pass on Molnar, Bowes was gone. At the checkered, Bowes' margin of victory was 0.690-seconds over Hitzler. Third place money went to Ray Horning, while Ryan Suchon and Kyle Kocher made up the rest of the top five.
This Wednesday, July 18, the Junior Slingshots will join the Wingless 600cc and winged 270cc Sprints, the All Star Slingshots, and the Xcel Sportsman Modifieds. The Junior Slingers, making their third appearance of the year at the fairgrounds, will run warm-ups and a feature, while the four weekly classes compete in qualifying heats, consolations, and 20-lap features. This week is also Checkered Flag Fan Club Night at the speedway.
After the annual three week hiatus for the Kutztown Folk Festival, the second half of the 2012 season kicked off with 24 of the Wingless 600cc Sprints, 21 of the winged 270cc Sprints, 18 of Xcel Sportsman Mods, and a robust field of 28 All Star Slingshots. The grand total was 91 cars on Wednesday.
The entire program was completed by 9:23 p.m.
Wingless 600cc heat winners included Joe Kay, Rhett Long, and Kyle Lick.
Austin Bishop, Jason Swavely, and Steve Walters were victorious in heat races for the winged 270cc Sprints.
Swavely, from Douglassville, came from the back of the pack twice during the 20-lap feature. He was involved in two mishaps with other cars, but rebounded nicely, weaving his way to a seventh place finish.
All Star Slingshot heat race victories went to Matt Mertz, B.J. Antonio, and Matt Miller. Antonio's win over Housworth in the second heat was a nail-biter that went right down to the wire.
P.J. Knappenberger won the Slingshot consolation race.
Xcel Sportsman heats were claimed by Eric Whitby and Ryan Suchon.
Coming up on July 25 is WIX Filters 100 Nights of Racing Night at the fairgrounds. Several giveaway items for the fans will be provided, along with special prizes for the feature winners as WIX Filters presents the evening of high speed adventure.
August 1st will see the running of the second annual NAPA Dutch Classic for the All Star Slingshots. The Slingers will be racing for National, Regional, and Speedweek tour points as well as an increased purse. The Wingless 600cc and winged 270cc Sprints will join the Slingers on NAPA Dutch Classic Night, along with the Xcel Sportsman Modifieds. Additional information on the Dutch Classic can be found at www.kutztownfairspeedway.com.
Wingless 600cc Sprint Feature, 20 laps: 1.Shane Lewis, 2.Brett Arndt, 3.Tim Buckwalter, 4.Brett Peters, 5.James Morris, 6.Tony DiMattia, 7.Jeff Hartman, 8.Rhett Long, 9.Doug Snyder, 10.Richie Hartman, 11.Rick Perone, 12.Joe Kay, 13.Zach Fisher, 14.Jay Hartman, 15.Molly Chambers, 16.Taylor Troxel, 17.Dean Seemans, 18.Bowen Decker, 19.Kyle Lick, 20.Chris Rupp, 21.Tex Snyder, 22.Billy Ney, 23.Trevor Kobylarz. DNS: Brett Michalski.
270cc Sprint Feature, 20 laps: 1.Jarid Kunkle, 2.Trevor Kobylarz, 3.Austin Bishop, 4.Andrew Dietrich, 5.Steve Walters, 6.Tom Kunsman Jr., 7.Jason Swavely, 8.Marty Gorr, 9.Josh Pepe, 10.Pete Skias, 11.Trevor Dunn, 12.Paul Richards, 13.Cheyenne Schaffer, 14.David Seip, 15.Brad Stevens, 16.Jon Pepe, 17.Hayden Miller, 18.Jeff Carman, 19.Tom Schearer, 20.Harlee Schaffer, 21.Ronald Helmick.
Xcel Sportsman Modified Feature, 20 laps: 1.Aaron Bowes, 2.Richie Hitzler, 3.Ray Horning, 4.Ryan Suchon, 5.Kyle Kocher, 6.Shawn Horning, 7.Justin Schraden, 8.Jason Dunkelberger, 9.Eric Whitby, 10.Jordan Dreher, 11.Chad Mullen, 12.Jordyn Mohr, 13.Kermit Horning, 14.Ronnie Molnar, 15.Andy Ressler, 16.Josh Fox, 17.Scott Washburn, 18.Jessica Weiss.
All Star Slingshot Feature, 20 laps: 1.Jim Housworth, 2.Danny Buccafusca, 3.Matt Massone, 4.Simon Egan, 5.Brett Bieber, 6.Kyle Gruber, 7.Travis Bieber, 8.Ryan Grim, 9.Joe Nemeth, 10.Matt Miller, 11.Matt Mertz, 12.B.J. Antonio, 13.Jacob Dunn, 14.Mark Sensenig, 15.William Mohring, 16.Ray Nemeth Sr.,, 17.Kurt Bettler, 18.Dylan Hoch, 19.Tayllor Schoenly, 20.Ed Shaub, 21.Sam Scicchitano III, 22.Blaire Schoenly, 23.Jim Laubach, 24.P.J. Knappenberger. DNS: Nick Timar III.