Story By: BETHEL MOTOR SPEEDWAY – WHITE LAKE, NY – Bethel Motor Speedway hosted an exciting night of short track auto racing this past Saturday under pristine weather conditions.
Action got hot under the collar in several features and proved to be a pivotal night for teams competing for track points championships. Thunder Country 102 radio sponsored the evening of racing and held a St. Jude’s Hospital Childhood Cancer fundraiser jointly with the speedway. We would like to say a big thank you to all of those who contributed to the worthy cause.
Fred Nees Jr, led the Asphalt Modified field to the green and was the early race leader but the yellow came out on lap 3 when a battle for third position found Mike Dutka spinning in turn three and Larry O’Donnell being sent to the rear for his involvement in the tangle drawing the ire of Dutka. The subsequent restart found former champion Skip LaPolt charging ahead on the outside lane to take full control of the lead on lap 4 over Nees. Current point leader Ed Dachenhausen swiftly navigated through traffic from his eighth starting position and passed Nees Jr for second position on lap 5. A lap 6 spin by O’Donnell brought the yellow out again and slowed the field. The restart was to Dachenhausen’s liking as he outgunned LaPolt to take full control of the lead on lap 7. Several laps later the yellow was thrown for another turn 3 tangle with Dan Archiere spun and Nees being involved but both drivers were able to continue the race at the rear of the pack. LaPolt tried his best on the final restart of the feature but Dachenhausen proved to be too strong to beat on this night. A battle for third developed in the final stage of the race as Mike Dutka diced it out with John Cote trying to maneuver past the all-time feature win leader. At the checkers by two car lengths, it was Dachenhausen picking up his fourth feature win of the season in his Mike Barrett Plumbing # 92 over LaPolt. Cote held off Dutka by mere inches to take a hard earned third place finish.
The Simonicini owned #4NY driven by Andy Crane set the pace in the 602 Sportsman Feature over Corey Lowitt. Ed Dachenhausen moved into the lead as he passed Crane coming out of turn two on Lap 5. Dachenhausen continued to lead until lap 14 when he hesitated slightly in lapped traffic in turn two. Current point leader Jamie Yannone pounced on the opportunity and made a lowside pass for the lead going down the backstretch beating the lapped traffic into turn 3 and completed his pass on Dachenhausen. Yannone led the way to the finish line in his Alex’s Marine #21 to pick up his sixth win of the season over Dachenhausen and Crane.
Street Stock feature racing was rough and tumble but culminated in an exciting finish that the class is known for. Lack of patience found four wide racing down the backstretch on the initial lap which found a five-car crash bringing out the yellow. All cars continued except for Curt Ayers who pulled off with a damaged radiator fan. The restart found Gene Morton taking the lead from Ernie Millen. Walt Henry stormed through the pack to quickly move into second position from his seventh starting position and began to chase down Morton. Lap 7 proved to be very unlucky to Morton as the leaders encountered a lapped car way off pace who was recovering from a spin just mere seconds earlier. The two leaders jockeyed for the same position to get by the lapped car resulting in the two cars making contact, knocking Morton out of the event as he sideswiped the frontstretch wall. A visibly upset Morton went to the flagger’s stand to question the flagger’s decision of not throwing the yellow for the off pace lapped car. At the halfway point Henry surrendered the lead to current point leader JB Morris who was a man on a mission marching forward from twelfth starting position. Lap 12 also proved to have tempers flare when Morris was spun coming out of turn four with Kyle Welsch getting caught up in the tangle and Henry being sent to the rear of the field for rough riding. Scott Tyler inherited the lead from fourth position taking the lead over a returning John Hechinger at the restart. However, Morris and Welsch were putting on a show of thrill drivers as they made daring and bold moves in the few remaining laps of the feature. At two laps to go Morris leaped into second position getting past Hechinger while Welsch moved by Joel Murns to take fourth position. Tyler was losing speed in the final lap as he was battling a handling issue which allowed Morris to catch the leader taking the white flag while Welsch made quick work of Hechinger to take third. Coming to the checkers it was Morris picking up his hard earned third feature win of the season as Welsch beat Tyler to the finish line by a fender to take second place in the exciting finish.
Legends feature racing was fierce but longtime veteran racer Paul Dodorico led every lap in flawless manor and returned to Bethel’s Victory Lane after a 11-year absence. Dodorico a former track champion, was instrumental in getting the Legends division established at Bethel many years ago. Dodorico had to deal with several challengers throughout the feature with defending champion Eugene Drew and current point leader Jeff Otto Jr both putting pressure on the leader, but the final laps found a strong running Tanner Jones on his rear bumper. The checkers found Dodorico picking up the popular victory by half a car length over Jones with Otto taking home a solid third place effort after being spun earlier in the feature.
Former track champion Mike Travis was dynamite as he charged through a strong field of Four Cylinders from his twelfth starting position to take the lead on lap 4 of the feature from Vinny DeGraw. Travis dominated the remainder of the race as he picked up his third feature win of the season as he lapped most of the field. David Donovan and Tasha Travis worked their way up into the top three but had nothing for the leader.
Enduro feature action found a four car battle up front with Danny Cascioli leading the way over Donovan, Murns, and Scott Riggleman. Around the halfway event Cascioli was pushed and parked into the turn 4 fence in a severe form of rough riding from Donovan which resulted in his disqualification from the event. Riggleman then was able to outdistance veteran street stocker Murns, enduro master Don Rogers, dirt modified driver Josh Wilbur, and ARCA series driver Sean Corr. Riggleman, a former asphalt modified racer took home his second feature win of the season in his throwback paint scheme # 7X run in memory of his father.
Monica Deckleman survived yellow fever in the caution plagued Bandolero feature to win her seventh checker of the season in the Sullivan Engine # 9 machine. Kaden Rogers and Ethan Dion finished second and third respectively.
The Novice Pure Stock feature saw Steve Koskey coming from last to first not once but twice as he was penalized for rough riding in his first attempt for the lead on lap 4 in turn 4 when he made hard contact with leader Fawn Card. Marcus Small took control of the lead but was passed cleanly by Koskey on lap 10. Koskey cruised home the winner for his first feature win of the season over Small and Leora Fabian.
Asphalt Modified Feature: 1. Ed Dachenhausen, Danbury, CT 2. Skip LaPolt 3. John Cote 4. Mike Dutka 5. Stephen Kammer 6. Dan Archiere 7. Larry O’Donnell 8. Rick Bradley 9. Fred Nees Jr. 10. John Hager DNS. Steve Haskett
602 Sportsman Feature: 1. Jamie Yannone, Newburgh, NY 2. Ed Dachenhausen 3. Andy Crane 4. Corey Lowitt 5. Chris Peloso 6. Shawn Johannessen DNS. Josh Wilbur
Street Stock Feature: 1. JB Morris, Middletown, NY 2. Kyle Welsch 3. Scott Tyler 4. John Hechinger 5. Joel Murns 6. Emerson Cargain Jr. 7. Walt Henry 8. Brent Shaddock 9. Bob Miller 10. Kenny Atkins 11. Don Rosinski 12. Anthony Tarantino 13. Gene Morton 14. Ernie Millen 15. Curt Ayers DNS. Scott Sepe DNS. Alec Graham
Legends Feature: 1. Paul Dodorico, Miller Place, NY 2. Tanner Jones 3. Jeff Otto Jr. 4. Kyle Rogers 5. Jack Gerzabek 6. Eugene Drew 7. Jack Polan
Four Cylinder Pure Stock Feature: 1. Mike Travis, Liberty, NY 2. David Donovan 3. Tasha Travis 4. Danny Cascioli 5. Tisha Curry 6. Jerry Kingeter 7. Dan Houghtaling 8. Richard Smith 9. Vinny DeGraw 10. Nicole Nelson 11. John Houghtaling 12. Emily Curry 13. Bruce Illenberg 14. Dan Dulin 15. Marisol Torrens 16. Jeff DeGroat DNS. Harold Kinner
Enduro Feature: 1. Scott Riggleman, Manchester, NJ 2. Joel Murns 3. Don Rogers 4. Josh Wilbur 5. Richard Smith 6. Tim Curry 7. Rich Smith Sr. 8. Sean Corr 9. Dennis Hummel 10. Danny Cascioli DQ. David Donovan (Rough Riding)
Bandolero Feature; 1. Monika Deckelman, Fremont Center, NY 2. Kaden Rogers 3. Ethan Dion 4. Rodney Dowless Jr. 5. Adam Harrison 6. Leland Oefelein 7. Nick Chaber
Novice Pure Stock Feature 1. Steve Koskey, Monticello, NY 2. Marcus Small 3. Leora Fabian 4. Eric Spellman 5. Fawn Card 6. Aiden Fabian 7. Antonio Leone 8. Kaitlyn Miller 9. Cam Reichenbaugh 10. Trevor Rush