The Berks-Mont News (

Area Racing Round-up

By Ken Johnson

Monday, June 17, 2013

A violent crash claimed the life of race car driver Jason Leffler, a NASCAR veteran lauded by fellow racers as a fierce and versatile competitor. Leffler, 37, died Wednesday, a little more than three months after returning to the world of short-track open-wheel racing after focusing on NASCAR circuits for more than a decade. Leffler’s death at Bridgeport Speedway in Swedesboro, New Jersey, came during a qualifying race during the Night of Wings event, a 25-lap race for sprint cars equipped with stabilizing wings. Leffler competed at Lincoln and Williams Grove Speedways this past spring and was a follower of top money paying races for 410 sprint car races here in the east.
Winning the two mains for the Sunoco USAC Championship SpeedSTR’s were Rick Eckert, York Pa., and Frenchtown, NJ’s Billy Pauch Jr. Kyle Lick, Catasauqua, captured the first feature for the Pioneer Pole Building Wingless 600cc Micro-Sprints, while the second went to Pipersville resident Brian Carber in an amazingly close finish. The pair of winged 270cc Micro-Sprint mains were won by Ross Perchak, Hazelton, and Tommy Kunsman Jr. from Bethlehem, Pa.Twin 17’s for the NAPA Auto Parts All Star Slingshots fell to Matt Massone from Kunkletown, and Leesport’s Mark Sensenig.
Danny Dietrich scored a flag to flag victory over the All Star Circuit of Champions sprint cars at Williams Grove Speedway on Friday night, earning $5,000 for the 30-lap win. With the win, Dietrich became the first repeat 410 sprint car winner of the season at the track. “This was was definitely for Leffler. It hit home,” Dietrich said, dedicating his win while speaking of the loss just two days earlier of California’s Jason Leffler after a sprint car racing accident in New Jersey. Lance Dewease was second and Tim Shaffer was the highest All Stars finisher in third after fending off Dale Blaney and Brent Marks in the final stages. Sixth through 10th went to Alan Krimes, Brian Montieth, Logan Schuchart, Fred Rahmer and Cory Haas.
Shawn Jackson led all 20 laps of the ARDC Midget feature for the victory over Brett Arndt. PJ Gargiulo raced to third at the finish followed by Nick Wean and Bruce Buckwalter Jr.
Jeff Strunk was able to garner his third win of the season at Big Diamond, and 48th of his career at the Schuylkill County oval. Doug Manmiller crossed the line in second spot, followed by current point leader Craig Von Dohren, Frank Cozze, and Duane Howard. Howard came from the rear of
the field after a lap #12 spin. Ricky Yetter came across in sixth, with Meme
Desantis, Dale Hartz, Kevin Smith, and Nathan Klinger rounding out the top ten. Tim Fitzpatrick held on to get the biggest victory of his racing career, followed by Ray Woodall Jr., 2012 track champion Doug Hendricks, Grandview invader Jordan Henn, and Mike Lisowski. Jared Umbenhauer came home sixth, with early leader JasonJames, Billy Moyer Jr., AJ Gerhart, and Andy Cozze rounding out the top ten.
There was no lack of talent in Saturday night’s All-Star Circuit of Champions “A” Main at Lincoln Speedway, but none of them were a match for Denver’s Alan Krimes, who dominated en route to a four-second win and the $5,000 top prize. Danny Dietrich was second while pole sitter Stevie Smith settled for third, with Lance Dewease and tenth-starting Fred Rahmer
completing the top five. Rahmer, the current Central PA and Lincoln point series leader, continued his amazing streak of top-ten finishes, which now sits at 28 straight races. Sixth through tenth were Tim Shaffer, Brent Marks, Dale Blaney, Jim Siegel, and Aaron Ott.
Points leader Niki Young came from tenth starting spot to score his second win of the year in the 20-lap “358” sprint car feature. Chris Arnold settled for second, with Matt Findley third, rookie and one-time 2013 Chase Dietz fourth, and Matt Mountz fifth.
Hometown boy Dylan Cisney won the first 410-sprint car race of his career anywhere Saturday night at his home track of Port Royal Speedway, showing finesse and skill to thwart the attacks of Doug Esh for the $3,000 victory.Doug Esh was second. Chad Layton rode home third followed by Blaine Heimbach and Joey Hershey. Sixth through 10th went to Mike Erdley, Mike Wagner, Davey Sammons, Keith Kauffman and Nate Snyder.
Matt Parks won his third feature event of the season in the 20-lap late model feature. Andy Haus was 12th with Brian Sipe 13th. Sam Schaeffer was 20th.
After winning five NASCAR 358 Modified features in a row Duane Howard saw Meme DeSantis stop his streak winning for the second time this season at Grandview Speedway, picking up $2750 for his efforts in winning the 30-lap NASCAR 358 Modified on Saturday night. The 25-lap Rislone URC Sprint car feature was won by Robbie Stillwaggon, the defending URC champion. And it was Ronnie Peck taking the honors in the 15-lap Blast from the Past Vintage stock car race. With just about six laps remaining in the 358 modified feature Meme DeSantis stormed past Jon Kellner Sr. to take the lead and then held off a very strong effort at the finish by Craig VonDohren to grab the victory. Second spot went to VonDohren for the third week in a row while Jon Kellner Sr. had a strong effort to finish third followed by Frank Cozze and Jeff Strunk. Duane Howard, seeming to struggle with his race car throughout the night had to qualify through the consolation and finished 11th in the feature race. The 25-lap URC sprint feature saw Stillwaggon wait until the late laps to make a charge to the front and then with just one lap remaining he was able to do a slide job on leader Troy Betts and grab the victory. Third spot behind Betts went to Josh Weller followed by Kramer Williamson and Brian Carber.
Ronnie Peck was the leader for all 15 laps of the Blast from the Past Vintage stock car feature race. Finishing second was his teammate Jim Baker. Vince Gagliardo came home third with Dave Smith and Kevin Dries trailing.
For the second week in a row, Pat Cannon of Etters found himself in a hotly-contested battle for the lead and win in Saturday night’s 30-lap Joe Whitcomb Memorial for 358 sprint cars at Selinsgrove Speedway.
Cannon see-sawed for the lead with Ryan Kissinger of Bloomsburg for several laps late in the race before securing the front spot and scoring his fifth win of the year and third in the Whitcomb Memorial. The $1,771 victory was his 46th career in 358-360 sprint car competition at the track driving the Highlands’ Tire & Service Centers No. 3.