Saturday, June 27, 2015

Stevie Smith Kickstarts PA Speedweek With Williams Grove Victory


Mechanicsburg – Stevie Smith kicked off the 25th annual Jakes Wayback Burgers/Trone Outdoor PA Speedweek series for 410 sprint cars at Williams Grove Speedway on Friday night, taking a $5,000 flag to flag victory over Greg Hodnett whom he held at bay for the entire 25-lap distance.

In the 20-lap ARDC Midget feature, PJ Gargiulo took his first victory of the season with the club.

Smith started on the pole of the sprint car main and took off ahead of Hodnett and Danny Dietrich.

Three yellow flags and a red flag hampered Smith’s winning pace during the event, the first occurring on the third lap for a stopped Mark Smith.

Four laps later a stopped Cory Haas again regrouped the field with seventh starter Brian Montieth turning heads after blasting into third on the previous restart. 

The field ran the next 13 laps non-stop with Montieth challenging Hodnett early for second and then Hodnett closing on Smith for the lead during the mid stages.

But as the race wore on, Smith got away from Hodnett and was out of reach when Montieth stopped in the second corner with five laps to go. 

Hodnett was unable to challenge when action resumed however only two more laps were recorded when the red flag appeared for a two car connection on the frontchute involving Brock Zearfoss and Lance Dewease. 

Stevie Smith was home free on the restart, clearly powering away from Hodnett during the final three laps for his second victory of the season at Williams Grove Speedway. 

“They (the crew) had the car really good,” Smith said of his Fred Rahmer-owned mount.

“It needs to be driven hard.  The harder I raced it, the better it felt.” 

Danny Dietrich was third followed by Lucas Wolfe and 14th starter Brent Marks.

Sixth through 10th went to Alan Krimes, Aaron Ott, Ryan Taylor, Steve Buckwalter and Montieth, who tagged to the rear of the field after replacing a tire. 

Heats for the 33-car field went to Montieth, Hodnett, Wolfe and TJ Stutts with Dewease taking the consolation race.

Stevie Smith set quick time with a lap of 16.506 seconds.

With the speedweek opener in the books, unofficial speedweek series points show Stevie Smith the leader with 181 markers over Hodnett, 155; Dietrich, 140; Wolfe, 136: and Marks, 124. 

Gargiulo took the lead in the ARDC Midget main from Brett Wanner on the seventh tour of the 20-lapper to record the victory.

With eight laps to go, seventh starter Tim Buckwalter was poised to challenge Gargiulo for the lead when he slipped up over the cushion in the third corner before losing control and flipping violently into the fourth turn.

Also involved were the third and fourth place cars of Ryan Greth and Wanner.

The final eight laps were all Gargiulo to the finish with Brett Arndt, Steve Drevicki, Nick Wean and Jim Radney completing the top five.

Heats went to Tim Buckwalter and Wean.

June 26, 2015 Feature Finishes:

410 sprints, 25 laps: 1. Stevie Smith, 2. Greg Hodnett, 3. Danny Dietrich, 4. Lucas Wolfe, 5. Brent Marks, 6. Alan Krimes, 7. Aaron Ott, 8. Ryan Taylor, 9. Steve Buckwalter, 10. Brian Montieth, 11. Adam Wilt, 12. Pat Cannon, 13. TJ Stutts, 14. Chase Dietz, 15. Cory Haas, 16. Kyle Reinhardt, 17. Frankie Herr, 18. Brock Zearfoss, 19. Lance Dewease, 20. Glenndon Forsythe, 21. Austin Hogue, 22. Don Kreitz Jr. 23. Mark Smith, 24. Doug Esh
DNQ: Tim Galtfelter, Brady Bacon, Ryan Wilson, Logan Wagner, Wayne Dadetto, Curt Stroup, Brad Franks, Troy Fraker, Jay Galloway

ARDC Midgets, 20 laps: 1. PJ Gargiulo, 2. Brett Arndt, 3. Steve Drevicki, 4. Nick Wean, 5. Jim Radney, 6. Shawn Jackson, 7. Jamie Speers, 8. Brett Wanner, 9. Tim Buckalter, 10. Ryan Greth, 11. Bruce Buckwalter, 12. Trevor Kobylarz
DNS: Jason Rice

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