Gault Claims Bounty at Motordrome
Gault Claims Bounty at Motordrome
For Immediate Release
(Smithton, PA) – Glenn Gault, Jr., of Hubbard, Ohio, claimed the $300 Bounty on defending Champion Garry Wiltrout, by winning the NASCAR Late Model feature at Motordrome Speedway on Friday, May 30, 2014. Also visiting victory lane on Whelen Engineering Night were A.J. Poljak (Street Stocks) and Mark Tringes, Jr. (Subway Super Compacts), who continued winning streaks, while Dustin Blank (Modifieds) and Stephen Shelpman earned first-career wins in their respective divisions.
Garry WIltrout and Mark Poole won the NASCAR Late Model heat races, and the two veterans began the 40-lap feature in row three, with an inverted starting grid. Ohio’s Glenn Gault, Jr. and West Virginia’s Scott Stern shared the front row when the green flag waved. Gault, the former Lake Erie Speedway Champion, took the lead, and was immediately chased by former Motordrome Champ Bobby Henry. Henry, a winner already in 2014, pursued Gault closely in the early stages of the event, while Poole climbed into third position in his first start of the season. Behind the lead trio, Wiltrout, who seemed unstoppable in the month of May, passed Tom Fares, Jr. for fourth place on lap ten. Fares, of Hudson, Ohio, was using the event as tune-up for next week’s crown-jewel event and brought famous crew chief Gary Balough to dial-in his ride for the first time this year at Motordrome. Gault pulled away from Henry as laps were completed with only one caution flag in the event. A winner with three different touring series in his career, Gault won multiple events at Motordrome in 2013, including a 100-lap special event. When the checkered flag waved, Gault earned the Whelen Medallion by winning in his first race of 2014, and claimed the “Bounty Bonus” for halting the win streak of Wiltrout. Henry, who had raced door-to-door with Gault’s Champion father in the 1990′s finished second, with Poole third, and Wiltrout crossing the finish line for the first time all season in a position other than first; fourth. Fares claimed the fifth position.
“We came here with last year’s setup on the car, and it was way off,” Gault admitted. “With the new weight rule and tire compound we still aren’t where we need to be, and we will make some changes before next week,” he said, knowing that competitors from the tri-state region will be in action for the “Summer Sizzler 100,” on June 6.
Veteran Tom Golik led the first lap of the Modified feature, but on lap two, previous week’s winner Joey School tangled with Golik while fighting for the top spot. Dustin Blank inherited the lead on the restart, with defending Champ and heat race winner Matt Smith in second place. For the rest of the 25-lap event, fans were thrilled by a memorable battle, wheel-to-wheel between the veterans. Blank, looking for his first victory in the Modified division as a driver, held the lead officially each lap until the 17th circuit. Smith, seeking his first win of the year, led at the scoring line from lap 18 until the final lap, when his loose handling car slid out of turn two, and Blank reclaimed the point position and crossed the finish line with fans on their feet. Blank, who won in Street Stock competition as a driver and in the Modifieds as a team owner, praised Smith’s clean driving in victory lane. Smith, former Champ Bryan Shipp, heat winner Jason Busch in his 2014 debut, and School completed the top five.
The 20-lap Street Stock feature started with sophomore Ryan Escott and veteran Bill Ashton on the front row. Scott Aiello, back in the seat of his 2013 car, took the early lead after starting fourth. Aiello was in command of the field until lap seven, when defending Champ A.J. Poljak made the winning pass. Poljak won the heat race and feature, to maintain his “perfect” season, cruising to another overpowering win. Poljak’s only losses this year have been with his dirt track car, as he is doing “double duty” this season, remaining undefeated on asphalt. Aiello, rookie and defending Super Compact Champ Jerod Brougher, Ashton, and Escott completed the top five.
Battling for the win during most of the 15-lap Charger feature were two drivers on opposite ends of the “experience spectrum.” Joe Geary was winning at Motordrome at the turn of the new century, but took a hiatus from the sport for over decade. He led the first seven laps, before he succumbed the pressure of Stephen Shelpman. Shelpman, a rookie to the division after winning in the Super Compacts, is among the younger drivers in the Chargers. After the heated duel with Geary, Shelpman earned his first win in the division. To do so, he had to hold off two-time winner this season, Aaron Minjock, his close friend. Minjock started seventh and took second place from Geary on lap eleven. At the conclusion of the race, heat winner Minjock placed second with Geary, heat winner Anthony Aiello, and Chad Gorring, claiming the top five positions.
The Subway Super Compacts’ 15-lap feature started with drivers racing four-wide on the Motordrome surface… twice, in the opening laps. Rookie Bentley Miller emerged with the lead, after earning a first-career win two weeks prior. Aaron Van Fleet started seventh, and advanced to second on lap eight, haunting Miller for the lead lap after lap. With two circuits remaining, Miller and Van Fleet collided as the leaders went from battling, to crashing. On the restart, Mark Tringes, Jr. inherited the lead and drove to his second consecutive win, after predicting that the leaders were going to wreck, laps before the incident occurred. Kyle Komarinski, Angie Kimberly, rookie Chris Richter, and heat winner Van Fleet earned top-five finishes. Heat winner Paul Koffler, Jr. lost a front wheel on lap one of the feature, and destroyed his race car in the turn three wall, but was not injured.
In the 1980′s, Motordrome Speedway was a thriving dirt track and the “Summer Sizzler Series” were the most anticipated special events on the schedule. Known at that time as “Invitational Events,” the top Late Model drivers from several states would converge annually for the “Summer Sizzler” races, offering high paying purses and packing the grandstands with fans from far and near. Now that Motordrome Speedway’s future as an asphalt racing venue is securely in the capable hands of promoters Todd and Melissa Melfi, the “Summer Sizzler 100″ for the NASCAR Late Models on June 6, is certain to lure drivers from all corners of PA, OH, and NY to compete for the first crown-jewel trophy of 2014. All other divisions of the NASCAR Whelen All American Series will also be in action, with a “features only” format of competition.