Sever Wins after Leaders Collide

Jul 05 2014 Todd Melfi Uncategorized Comments Off

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                          July 4, 2014

(Smithton, PA) – Young Matt Sever claimed his second win of the season in the NASCAR Late Model division, after leaders Bobby Henry and Glenn Gault, Jr. touched bumpers late in the event.  Matt Smith (Modifieds), A.J. Poljak (Street Stocks), and Aaron Van Fleet (Subway Super Compacts) were among the other winners in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series on Friday night, July 4, 2014 at Motordrome Speedway.  Rookie Stephen Shelpman won the biggest event of the season for the Charger division.

After Bobby Henry and Matt Sever won heat races for the NASCAR Late Models, the 40-lap feature started with veteran Mark Poole taking the lead from the pole position.  Mark Cottone, the former Champion, got married on the front straight before the races and started alongside Poole up front. The newlywed slipped back to fourth in first race of the year, while Poole continued to lead over Henry and Garry Wiltrout.  On lap eight, fifth-starting Sever passed defending Champion Wiltrout for third.  On lap 14, Henry moved around Poole for the top spot, and and three laps later, Sever passed Poole for second.  Just before the mid-point of the race, Glenn Gault, Jr. advanced from his sixth starting spot, into third place.  On lap 24, Ohio’s Gault took second from Sever.   For the next eight laps, fans were treated to a great lead battle, as veteran Henry’s Ford, held off young Gault’s Chevrolet.  On lap 31, in turn four, Gault made rear bumper contact with Henry, and the leader spun.  With both cars undamaged, track officials sent Gault to the tail of the field with Henry for causing the caution-flag incident.  When racing resumed on lap 32, Sever was the leader and two laps later another caution flag enabled Henry and Gault to regain positions.  In the final six laps, Wiltrout threatened to earn his fourth win of the year, but Sever was too strong.  Sever took the checkered flag for his second win of the year, (tying Henry and Gault with two wins in 2014), ahead of three-time winner Wiltrout, who placed second.  Henry recovered to finish third with Gault right behind in fourth place.  Poole held on to finish fifth, in his third start of the year.

“It was Bobby and Glenn’s show tonight, and I know that,” Sever admitted in victory lane.  “Our car was good tonight, but not exactly where it needs to be yet,” said the driver of the Martinelli’s Auto/Lux Bros./EESI Chevrolet.

Three different drivers led during the 25-lap Modified feature event.  Sophomore driver and 2014 winner Greg Staggers led lap one, then 2010 Mod Champion Chris Brink took the top spot.  But on lap four, defending Champ Matt Smith passed Brink for position number one.  Smith, who suffered crashes, health problems, and dismal luck all of May and June, drove his “Nuclear Banana” to a second consecutive feature win.  Smith, who won more features than any other driver in 2013, also won his heat race.  Brink finished second and three-time winner Dustin Blank finished third, after flipping down the backstretch one week prior.  Staggers placed fourth and former Champ Bryan Shipp won his heat race and finished fifth.

Second year Street Stock driver Zane Ferrell led the first two circuits of the 25-lap feature.  The former Charger Champ was passed on lap three by Adam Kostelnik.  Kostelnik, a car builder and former Street Stock/Modified Champ, held the top spot for four laps.  Then, after starting in sixth position, points leader A.J. Poljak took the lead.  Poljak is atop the standings as a result of winning every feature of 2014 so far.  The defending Champ remained three to four car-lenghts ahead of Kostelnik, as the teammates swept the top two positions.  Ferrell placed third and heat race winner Scott Aiello finished fourth.  Young Ryan Escott placed fifth.

The biggest event of the season for the Charger division started with Stephen Shelpman on the pole.  On lap one, Chad Gorring spun in turn four, after front runnning cars made contact.  Gorring never stopped moving, and the 25-lap feature was completed without a caution flag.  The field separated after many drivers spiked the brake pedal to avoid the lap one incident.  Shelpman built up a comfortable lead interval, and dominated the race for his second win as a rookie to the division.  Aaron Minjock started fifth and finished second, as Shelpman’s teammate.  Points leader Anthony Aiello advanced from sixth on the starting grid, to finish third. Ron Eiford, III placed fourth and Joe Geary earned fifth place.  Minjock and Aiello won the prelims.

Aaron Van Fleet is a threat to win the Subway Super Compacts’ division title in 2014.  But on June 27, a broken suspension part ended his feature run on lap one.  On July 4, Van Fleet returned with a vengence, leading every lap of the feature event, in spite of starting fourth.  Van Fleet’s win helped him to rebound in the standings, while  Paul Koffler, Jr. finished second after starting fifth, with his good friend Steve Settle placing third.  Angie Kimberly finished fourth and previous week’s winner Mark Tringes was fifth.  Van Fleet and Koffler won the heats.

Friday July 11, Motordrome offers HALF PRICE general admission and reserved seat tickets, on “Family Night.”  Hot Dogs and soft drinks will be marked down to $1 all night. All five NASCAR Whelen All American Series Divisions will be in action.  Racing starts at 7:30 pm.