Wiltrout Wins Motordrome Opener
Wiltrout Wins Motordrome Opener
(Smithton, PA) – Motordrome Speedway kicked off the 2014 season with round one of the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series on Friday May 2, and three former Champions earned victories. Garry Wiltrout, of Somerset, PA, dominated the NASCAR Late Model feature event, as defending Champion of the division. Former Modified Champ Bryan Shipp and 2013 Street Stock Champ A.J. Poljak earned opening night trophies as well. Young Anthony Aiello was the victor in the Charger class, and veteran Paul Koffler, Jr. won the Subway Super Compact main event.
After teammate Bobby Henry won the NASCAR Late Model heat race, Garry Wiltrout backed up his 2013 division title with a dominating performance in the 40-lap feature. Starting on the front row alongside Steve Black, Wiltrout blasted into the lead and was never seriously challenged. Young Matt Sever, a winner in his rookie season a year ago, finished in second place with Henry claiming third spot. Pologruto Motorsports secured two podium positions, with Sever splitting the pair, while Black placed fourth. Former Pro Stock Champ John Komarinski finished fifth. Wiltrout praised the crew of his Stone & Company/PAI/Scottdale Lumber Ford, although the team did not have time to put the numbers, logos, or graphics on the car before the opening night contest. The blank machine was faster than the competition, but handled with a loose condition in the closing laps
“The new tire compound is a bit of a different ballgame from last year, but all these tough competitors will figure out how to handle them,” Wiltrout stated in victory lane. Several top teams will debut their 2014 colors in the coming weeks, but Wiltrout mastered the new rubber first. The 40-lap feature was slowed only once, for debris.
Unlike the trouble-free Late Model event, the 25-lap Modified feature required two restarts before a single lap was completed, due to grinding crashes, both in turn three. Heat winner Dustin Blank, defending Champ Matt Smith, and 2013 Rookie of The Year Greg Staggers tangled with significant damage to Smith’s car. during the first attempt to start the race. Blank and Smith were finished for the night before the first feature lap of the year, but all drivers were uninjured. The second attempt to start was marred by former Champion Chris Brink hitting the outside wall, again with a damaged car and no injury. Joey School led the first nine green flag laps, before he and second-place driver Bryan Shipp collided while fighting for the lead, sending both drivers to the back of the back for a caution flag incident. Veteran Tom Golic inherited the lead, but he and Lou Botti tangled, as both were battling for a first career win. When racing resumed after the Golic/Botti caution flag, Staggers was leading the pack. But on lap 16, Shipp returned to the top spot with a clean pass of Staggers. When the checkered flag was displayed the top five finishers were Shipp, who also won his heat race, Staggers, School, Botti, and rookie Howard Henninger.
The Street Stock action was ruled by 2013 Champion A.J. Poljak, who swept the heat race and feature wins. Poljak led all 25 laps, to score the victory over his close friends Andrew Kostelnik and Scott Aiello, the father of the Charger division winner. Kostelnik is now driving the Lauren Butler #53 for the 2014 season. Sophomore Ryan Escott and defending Super Compact Champion Jerod Brougher sustained damage to their machines, but were credited with fourth and fifth positions respectively.
Young Anthony Aiello started winning in the Charger division as a teenage rookie, and has visited victory lane every year of his career. He led all 15 laps for the opening night victory holding off Dave McManus, who placed second. Heat winners Chad Goring and Aaron Minjock finished third and fourth with Jon Scott charging from the tenth starting position to place fifth.
A dirt track Champion, Paul Koffler, Jr. uses the same car on the Motordrome pavement and has won several events the last few seasons. In the Subway Super Compacts’ 15-lap feature, Koffler took the lead on lap four and cruised to a convincing win over Matt Welch and two of last year’s championship contenders; Kyle Komarinski and Aaron Van Fleet, who crossed the finish line third and fourth. Steve Settle was fifth.
Friday, May 9th is round two of the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series. Spectator Gates open at 6:00 pm and Racing will begin at 7:30pm with five division racing.