Gault and Henry Tangle Again at Motordrome; Gault Perseveres for 5th Win
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Gault and Henry Tangle Again at Motordrome; Gault Perseveres For 5th Win
(Smithton, PA) – For the second time in 2014 at Motordrome Speedway, Bobby Henry and Glenn Gault, Jr. spun from the top two positions, after making contact in the NASCAR Late Model feature event. Gault recovered from the incident to earn his fifth victory of the season, on Friday night August 1, 2014. Dustin Blank (Modifieds), A.J. Poljak (Street Stocks), Aaron Minjock (Chargers), and Aaron Van Fleet (Subway Super Compacts) were also winners in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series on “102.5 WDVE Pack The Track Night.”
Connellsville, PA’s Bobby Henry, the 2007 Motordrome NASCAR Late Model Champion, took the lead on lap one of the 40-lap feature, after starting in third place. Henry, with two victories in 2014, remained in front for four laps, until his car fishtailed just enough to allow the inside lane to open for Glenn Gault, Jr. Gault, of Hubbard, Ohio, took the lead on lap five. Fans were polarized earlier in 2014, when Gault and Henry bumped, in the closing laps of a race, after a long duel for the win, sending both to the tail of the field. On Friday, for 17 consecutive laps, Gault set the pace with point standings leader and heat race winner, Henry, in second place, many car-lenghts behind. A restart on lap 21, matched the controversial pair door-to-door for green flag racing to resume. Gault led into turn one, but in turn two Henry touched Gault’s rear bumper, and again, both leaders spun from the top two positions, forcing a caution flag. Their cars appeared minimally damaged. Matt Sever inherited the lead, but the two-time winner’s reign at the front was brief. Following another restart for a crash by top-five runner Joe Maruca, Gault took the lead again – this time from Sever – and went on to claim his fifth victory of the season. A former Lake Erie Speedway Champion, Gault was already the leading 2014 winner in the Late Models, and he was not bashful about sharing his perspective on the events leading up to his third consecutive win.
“I just can’t believe he tried to spin me out THREE times. He succeeded once, but he tried two other times,” Gault proclaimed, amid the cheers of his fans, and the audible jeers from the Henry supporters. The newly heated rivalry helped set a dramatic stage for next week’s crown-jewel event, The TRUPAR 100. “The ‘hundred lapper’ next week will be a great show, with more top competitors here, and I think we are in a good position for it, with this car handling like it is,” Gault forecasted. Henry was the winner of the only previous 100-lap contest, held in the Spring of 2014.
Behind Gault’s Tabone Snow King Roof Systems/Lennox Heating & Cooling/Gault Bros. Heating Chevrolet, Sever claimed second place and John Komarinski earned third position. Komarinski now has two straight impressive performances, as he also won a heat race earlier in the night. Steve Black, driving a backup car placed fourth, and West Virginian Dave Wiltse placed fifth.
A thrilling three-car battle for the win capped off the 25-lap Modified feature event, after former Champion Bryan Shipp led the first five laps. Adam Kostelnik slid along the backstretch wall to bring out a caution flag, and Greg Staggers took the lead on the lap six restart. Staggers, a winner this season as a former Super Compact Champ, held a comfortable advantage over Shipp while heated battles raged behind the lead duo. A restart on lap 14, moved points leader Dustin Blank into third position as Kostelnik rallied from the back of the pack up to fifth. While Blank pressured Staggers for the lead on lap 18, Kostelnik took third place, and soon became part of the tussle at the front. Over the final eight circuits, the trio of 2014 feature winners swapped spots and raced wheel-to-wheel with minimal contact. Blank officially took the lead with just three laps to go, and increased his division-leading win total by narrowly defeating six time Champion Kostelnik. Blank and Kostelnik also won the heat races. Staggers earned third place and veteran Harry Opfer finished fourth. Shipp, also a winner this year, crossed the line in fifth place.
The 20-lap Street Stock feature started with Andrew Kostelnik taking the lead, after he placed a close second one week prior. The younger of the Kostelnik racing brothers led for three laps before his H.B. Motorsports teammate A.J. Poljak took the lead. Poljak, the 2013 Champion, ran away from the field for much of the race until a pair of late race caution flags. Second year Street Stock competitor Zane Ferrell challenged Poljak on the restarts, showcasing the experience he gained while earning a Charger division Championship. But when the checkered flag waved, Poljak was in front, and remained undefeated in 2014. Poljak, who admittedly never dreamed of being “perfect” into the month of August, also won the heat race. Ferrell, Kostelnik, Victor Keller, and Mike Holp placed second through fifth.
Pole starter Joe Geary led the first lap of the Chargers’ 15-lap feature, in quest for a first win of the season. On lap two, Chad Gorring grabbed the top spot, after starting third. Geary remained in second place until multi-feature winner Aaron Minjock became the runner-up on lap eight. But, Gorring was so far ahead, that heat race winner Minjock could not catch him; However, Gorring was disqualified in post race inspection. Apparent second place finisher Minjock inherited another win, ahead of points leader Anthony Aiello, officially scored in second place. Geary finished third and two-time winner Stephen Shelpman was fourth. Ron Eiford, Jr. won the other heat race and placed fifth.
Brian Noel led the first lap of the Subway Super Compact feature event, before Steve Settle took the top spot. Settle, a winner in two divisions at Motordrome, had to fend off challenges from his good friend Paul Koffler, Jr. in the middle stages of the 15-lap race. Koffler started ninth, and the duo fought for the lead until lap eleven, when Aaron Van Fleet stole second position. Van Fleet started seventh, and on the final lap, he made a bonsai pass for the win, leading only the final few hundred feet to win for the fifth time in 2014; the division’s top winner. Multi-feature winner Settle was second, with points leader Koffler in third place. Three time winner Mark Tringes, Jr. placed fourth and Noel held on to fifth place. Koffler and previous week’s winner Kyle Komarinski won the heat races.
Next Friday, August 8, the annual running of the prestigious “TRUPAR 100” for the NASCAR Late Models will be the highlight of the five division racing. “Fanfest 2014,” will kick off the night’s activities with a pre-race concert by One South East from 5:30-7pm, presented by WindStax. At 7:30pm, feature racing will begin for all divisions, as top Late Model drivers from four states will battle for the first round of the Keystone Cup. The Keystone Cup is a two-race, combined points fund designed by both Motordrome and Jennerstown Speedways to entice drivers to compete in both extended lap races on Aug. 8th and 9th respectively. The Top 3 finishers will receive added bonus money, but only one will be crowned the overall champion!