Sever Upset Winner With Rebuilt Car; Blank Scores Mod Special

Jun 21 2014 Todd Melfi Uncategorized Comments Off


(Smithton, PA) - Turning his first laps in car that was rebuilt following a devastating crash two weeks ago, Matt Sever, of West Newton, PA won the NASCAR Late Model feature at Motordrome Speedway.  Other winners on Friday June 20, 2014 in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series included Dustin Blank, who won the biggest Modified race of the season, A.J. Poljak (Street Stocks), Aaron Minjock (Chargers) and Aaron Van Fleet (Subway Super Compacts).   “Kid’s Night” included an autograph session, a visit from the Pirate Parrot, and a lengthy rain delay before the start of the action.

Former Pro Stock Champion John Komarinski started the NASCAR Late Models’ 40-lap feature in the pole position, but it was Matt Sever who led lap one.  Sever, a former Super Compact and Street Stock Champion, started along-side Komarinski and outduelled the veteran for the early lead.  Steve Black, a former Truck division Champ, raced in the runner-up spot, while heat race winner Bobby Henry passed teammate Garry Wiltrout for third.  Sever cruised comfortably in front of the field, as Glenn Gault, Jr. advanced from the sixth starting spot.  On lap 17, Gault took third place from Henry.  Gault and Henry had battled for the lead in the recent crown-jewel 100-lapper, which was won by Henry.  Five laps later, Gault caught and passed Black for second place.  Gault, a winner at Motordrome in 2014, was able to cut down the lead interval built up by Sever, but was never close enough to challenge for the win.  Sever, in his second full season of top division competition, led every lap of the race.  Just two weeks prior Sever hit the turn one wall in practice, as a result of a mechanical failure.  The car was nearly destroyed, and spent time at the manufacturer’s facility in Michigan for refurbishing.  With practice rained out, it seemed unlikely that Sever could be successful in his first race with the rebuilt Martinelli’s Auto Service/Lux Brothers/EESI Chevrolet.

“I have to thank my guys, because they worked so hard on this car every night this week, until 11 (pm) or 12 (am) at the shop trying to get ready for tonight,” the West Newton, PA resident said in victory lane.  “You can’t believe how much effort it took just to be here tonight.”  The win was Sever’s second career triumph in the NASCAR Late Model division,a and first of the year.  Ohio’s Gault, Black, two time winner Henry, and Wiltrout, the leading winner of 2014, trailed Sever across the finish line.

Former Champion Bryan Shipp started the 30-lap Modified division special event from the pole position, and led the first seven circuits.  Joey School, a winner twice in 2014, then took the lead after starting in third place, with fifth place starter Adam Kostelnik advancing to second place.  Kostelnik, a six time Champion, made his 2014 debut and challenged School for the lead until lap eleven.  On lap twelve, Dustin Blank took the runner-up position from Kostelnik.  Blank, who started seventh, immediately pressured School for the lead.  A thrilling battle ensued, with  Blank taking the lead on lap 20.  A restart on lap 24 played right into School’s hands, as he passed Blank to lead three more laps.  On lap 27, Blank made the winning pass and drove to his third consecutive victory – the biggest of his career, after five lead changes in the event.  School finished second, while Shipp placed third.  Kostelnik crossed the line fourth, and defending Champion Matt Smith completed the top five.  Blank and “Racin’ Jason” Busch won the heat races.

Making his first start of the year, former Charger Champ Zane Ferrell led the first two laps of Street Stock 25-lap feature.  But after starting sixth, defending Champ A.J. Poljak took the lead on lap three, and again distanced himself from the field to remain undefeated for 2014.  Poljak also won the heat race, showing unprecedented domination all season long.  Ferrell’s maiden voyage yielded a second place finish ahead of veterans Scott Aiello and Bill Ashton, with young Ryan Escott driving to a fifth place finish.

After Joe Geary and Ron Eiford, III won heat races for the Charger division, Stephen Shelpman led lap one of the 15-lap feature.  Aaron Minjock then took the lead, and opened up a huge interval over the field.  Minjock, a three division Motordrome winner, earned his third trophy of the year, while the action was heated for other top five spots.  Geary won the battle for second over Chad Gorring, as the two traded paint for several laps. Gorring had a strong thrid place finish, with multi-feature winner Anthony Aiello, and Eiford placing fourth and fifth.

Three different drivers led during the 15-lap Subway Super Compact feature event.  Angie Kimberly, seeking a career-first win, led the first three laps before multi-feature winner Paul Koffler, Jr. took the top spot.  Kofler started sixth.  On lap seven, Aaron Van Fleet became the leader, and held the position until the checkered flag for his third victory of the year.  Koffler, two time winner Mark Tringes, Jr., Kyle Komarinski, and Kimberly placed second through fifth.   Tringes and Koffler were the heat race victors.

Next Friday is the Mid-Championship with Double Points for all Divisions.  All five NASCAR Divisions will be in action.