Henry Wins Summer Sizzler 100 Presented by Howard Concrete Pumping
(Smithton, PA) – Former Champion, Bobby Henry of Connellsville, PA, earned his most prestigious victory in several years on Friday June 6, 2014 at Motordrome Speedway. Henry defeated drivers from three states to celebrate in victory lane, following the 100-lap “Summer Sizzler Presented by Howard Concrete Pumping.” Dustin Blank (Modifieds), A.J. Poljak (Street Stocks), Anthony Aiello (Chargers), and Paul Koffler, Jr. (Subway Super Compacts) were also repeat winners in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series.
After Glenn Gault, Jr., of Hubbard, Ohio, set the fastest time in NASCAR Late Model qualifying (17.530 seconds), fellow Buckeye State driver Tom Fares, Jr. started the “Summer Sizzler 100 Presented by Howard Concere Pumping” from the pole position. Fares was the benefactor of a six-car “invert” for the starting lineup, but was involved in a lap one crash that heavily damaged his machine. Steve Black drove into the grass apron of turn three, triggering a melee that eliminated New York superstar Bob Weber, and Fares, before the second lap was complete. Three other cars were damaged but continued to compete. Bobby Henry, the 2007 NASCAR Late Model Champion grabbed the lead after taking the green flag in fourth position, with Gault advancing to second place from his sixth place berth. For 20 laps, Gault haunted Henry’s rear bumper and peeked inside, looking for an opportunity to pass. Gault, making his second start of the year, was victorious in his only previous race of 2014, as the winner one week prior at Motordrome. On lap 21 Gault took the lead from Henry, after a duel reminiscent of the battles Gault’s Champion father had with Henry in the early 1990′s. But on lap 25, Gault slowed entering turn two with a broken panhard bar, rolling to a stop and ending his bid for a second straight win. Henry’s teammate, Garry Wiltrout, a the two-time and defending Champion, was in second place when racing resumed after the Gault caution flag, and began to fall several car lengths behind Henry. In the late stages of the event, Wiltrout gained ground on the leader. Reeling in Henry with 15 laps remaining, the duo encountered three lapped cars. Henry worked the traffic masterfully, to build up a five care-length-advantage and take the checkered flag for his second win of 2014. Three-time winner Wiltrout finished second with Mark Poole maintaining the third position for most of the event, earning a podium finish in his second racce of the season. Jordan Miller, a touring series racer with the CRA All Star Tour, made his first Motordrome visit of the year a stellar one, recovering from the lap one crash to place fourth. Black, likewise persisted after sustaining lap one damage and crossed the finish line fifth.
“We made major changes to the car about three weeks ago, and we have been fast ever since,” Henry stated. “I am so grateful that (team owners) Richard and Joan Pologruto put (me) in this car, and for all the work they do to maintain these cars.”
Henry’s father, his first car owner, passed away during this past winter and Henry was joined in victory lane by his brothers, as he dedicated the crown-jewel event win to his parents’ memory. Henry leads all active Motordrome drivers in career victories, and drives the Stone & Company/Franjo Construction/Scotdale Lumber/Meegan Ford.
Three different drivers led the Modified division’s 25-lap contest, with “Big Dady” Lou Botti starting from the pole position and pacing the first three circuits. Greg Staggers, a winner in 2014, took the lead and remained in front until lap 20, withstanding heavy pressure from Dustin Blank. Blank started fourth, and grabbed the top spot with four laps to go. Former Champion, Bryan Shipp, started seventh and advanced to second place on lap 22, challenging Blank for the lead right to the finish line. But Blank, the previous week’s winner, proved that his first win in the Mods was no fluke, scoring consecutive victories – both narrow wins over previous Champs in his first season as a regular competitor in the division. The caution-free event pleased fans with Blank, Shipp, Staggers, two-time winner Joey School, and “Racin’ Jason” Busch as the top five finishers.
A.J. Poljak’s quest for perfection in the Street Stocks continued without a serious threat, during the 10-lap main event. Making a first start in over two years in a Street Stock, former Champ Adam Kostelnik led the first lap. Kostelnik, a six time Modified Champ and former Late Model competitor, is also Poljak’s “boss.” But on lap two, Poljak stole the lead from his car owner, and easily drove to another win. The defending Champion, Poljak, led Kostelnik, touring series racer Bill Ashton, and young, second year competitor Ryan Escott across the finish line.
A thrilling duel that lasted more than ten of the 15 laps of Charger feature racing was a memorable battle to the checkered flag. After Ron Eiford, Jr. led lap one from the pole, Joe Geary took command of the event. He and Anthony Aiello rubbed doors and traded paint, while Jeremy Hill made it a three-car-fight at the head of the pack. Geary officially led at the scoring line from lap two through lap 14, but on the final circuit – an entire half mile of door-to-door scraping - Aiello reached the finish line first. Aiello started the race in eighth spot and earned his third win of 2014, leading only the final feet of the race. Geary was second, the best finish of his “comeback season,” and Hill placed third. Ron Eiford, III was fourth and Chad Gorring was fifth.
Veteran Dale Kimberly led the first of 15 laps in the Subway Super Compact feature, from the pole position. After a devastating crash one week prior, Paul Koffler, Jr. borrowed his son’s race car and scored another win, as an unlikely rebound. Koffler lost a wheel and demolished his car, leaving him sore but uninjured seven days prior. But, after starting ninth taking the lead from Kyle Komarinski on lap four, Koffler was standing in victory lane again when the race concluded. Steve Settle, Koffler’s close friend, finished second and rookie Chris Richter posted a career best, of third place. Two time winner Mark Tringes, Jr. was third and Angie Kimberly was fifth.
This Friday, June 13th is Kid’s Night with an on-track autograph session before the races and the first 500 kid’s through the main gates receive an autograph card. Plus, the Late Models, Modifieds, Chargers and Subway Super Compacts will be in action.