Wright continues domination, first wins for Kinney and Longwell, repeat wins for Groters and Cole.
Conneaut, OH (July 3, 2015): Independence Day arrived at Raceway 7 with beautiful weather and one of the largest car counts of the season, with 95 cars signing into the pit area, and full grandstands. The Pennsylvania Vintage Dirt Modifieds made a visit and brought thirteen of the racers that were the mainstay of dirt track racing in the era when Raceway 7 first opened in 1970. Jim Kurpakus of Leechburg, PA won the event in his 1949 Crossley-bodied modified.
In regular racing Chad Wright continued his domination of the Evergreen Lake Park Campground CARS Crate Late Model racing with his fifth feature win in nine nights of racing, tightening his grip on his bid for a second championship. Mike Kinney got his first-ever feature win in the Bonnell Collision Center E-Mods after many years of trying. Kinney dominated his feature, leading flag to flag and never having a serious challenge. Brandon Groters raced to his fourth feature win of the season in the Campbell’s Mini-Storage Street Stock finale and Jason Longwell won his first-ever feature in The Bonnell Auto Sale Economod feature in his first visit this season. Brad Cole, the 2013 champion, captured his second feature win of the season.
Steve Haefke, a winner earlier this year, and Jason Longwell, in his first appearance this season, led the Bonnell Auto Sales Economods to the green with Heafke grabbing the lead at the start. Longwell ran second with fourth starting Eric Reinwald coming to third. At six laps in Haefke slowed with damage to the front and Longwell inherited the lead. With three laps remaining points leader Rick Prosser moved by Brad Blackshear for third but caution flew for a spin by Kyle Fellows in turn two, negating the pass. One more caution flew when fifth running Josh Ferry, the defending champion, looped his mount in turn two. After the final green Longwell went on to the win, his first at Raceway 7 with Brad Blackshear getting to second on the final lap and Prosser gaining third with Reinwald falling to fourth. Brian Foley wound up fifth.
Hoyt Mihalak and Brian McGarvie brought the nineteen Specialty Products Mini Stocks to the green with Minalak leading the way until caution struck on lap four when Zoey Gill spun into the turn two wall. Former champion Brad Cole took over the lead at the green with Mihalak second and Bud Sergeff third. At four complete outside front row starter McGarvie lost his right rear wheel. At seven complete Jason Easler was up to second and Dale Fraschetti, the defending champion, fourth behind Mihalak. Fraschetti came to third a lap later and Sergeff also got by Mihalak for fourth. In turn three at lap eleven Easler pulled next to Cole but couldn’t get the lead. He tried again on the final lap but again Cole was able to hang on for the win, his second of the season. At the stripe it was Cole, Easler, Fraschetti, Sergeff, and Mihalak.
Mike Kinney and Bruce Powell brought the Bonnell Collision Center E-Mod field to green with Kinney, looking for his first-ever Raceway 7 win, leading the way after lap one. Paul Phillips “lost the handle” in turn two at five laps complete for caution with the front five being Kinney, Powell, Chuck Steinle Jr, Gary Sullivan, and Dan McDonald. Phillips and Gary Murphy spun coming to the restart for caution number two. During the yellow second-running Powell experienced problems, heading to the pit and bringing Steinle to second. Sullivan took over the runner-up spot at the first turn after green with Josh McDonald getting by Dan McDonald for fourth. At halfway the order was still the same when points leader Percy McDonald spun in turn two from eighth place. At green Steinle came to second with Dan McDonald gaining third before the end of one lap. Murphy and Jimmy Diabo got together in turn one with both going into the spin cycle and caution was again over the event. Dan McDonald took over second at green with Ken Zimmer now up to fifth, looking for win number three of the season. Caution again at lap thirteen when Shane Crotty, making his first start of the season spun. With five laps left Bill Taylor and Gary Sullivan slammed the front straight wall hard after several cars made contact in three and four and the race was red-flagged. Both drivers were OK but the cars were heavily damaged. One more yellow slowed the race but then Kinney led the remaining five laps to win his first-ever Raceway 7 feature event over McDonald, Steinle, Ken Zimmer, and Josh McDonald.
After a four-wide salute to the fans the Pennsylvania Vintage Modifieds raced for fifteen laps with Jim “Dingo” Kirkwood from Perth, Australia and Al Harju leading the way. Kirkwood led to the end of the back straight when fifth starting Jim Kurpakus took over at the front. By the end of lap two Les Myers, the “Reno Rocket” was second from his tenth place spot on the starting grid. The leaders, Kurpakus and Myers, caught the rear of the field at five laps in when Chris Ketch spun his mount in twin two. Myers got alongside the leader in turn four at lap eight but wasn’t able to complete the pass. On lap twelve Myers again got next to the leader but traffic foiled his bid for the lead this time. With two laps to go Paul St John found the front straight wall out of turn four, again slowing the event. For the final two laps Kurpakus lengthened his lead, winning over Myers, Harju, Kevin “Marbles” Mohney, and Paul Bacchus.
Three-time winner Brandon Groters and former champion Chris Withers started the Campbell’s Mini-Storage Street Stock feature from the front row with Groters immediately establishing himself as the dominant driver in the event, opening a half straight lead by the time seven laps were complete. Withers ran second with Rob Bates third, Jamie Duncan, and points leader Shaun Fawcett fifth. Josh Seippel slowed to a stop at lap ten on the back straight, slowing the event and bunching the field. Groters again led after green with the top five remaining the same. At the checkers the order was still the same.
Defending Champion Kyle Zimmerman and 2013 champion Chad Wright led the Evergreen Lake Park Campground CARS Crate Late Models to Roger Osburn’s green flag with Wright taking the lead, looking for win number five on the season. Zimmerman ran second in the early going with Joe Long third and heat winner Dave Airgood fourth. At lap five Dennis Lunger came by Khole Wanzer for fifth. At eleven complete Lunger was challenging for fourth with Billy Henry trying to get by him. Wright went on to the win over Zimmerman, Long, and Lunger, who got by an apparently overheating Airgood on the final lap. Wright and Zimmerman had a half track lead over third at the finish.
Pennsylvania Vintage Modifieds:
Heat 1: Les Myers, Kevin “Marbles” Mohney, Rick Majka, Gary Beers, Fred Casagni, Jim “Dingo” Kirkwood (DNS)
Heat 2: Al Harju, Jim Karpakus, Paul Bacchus, Paul St John, “Big Mike” Vanderwalle, Chris Ketch, Dan Osmer (DNS)
Feature: Jim Kurpakus, Les Myers, Al Harju, Kevin Mohney, Paul Bacchus, Jim Kirkwood, Rick Majka, Chris Ketch, Gary Beers, Paul St John, Mike Vandewalle, Fred Casagni, Dan Osmer (DNS)
Evergreen Lake Park Campground CARS Crate Late Models:
Heat 1: Breyton Santee, Kyle Zimmerman, Dennis Lunger, Billy Henry, Matt Harvey, Chris Nicholson, Mike Swansiger
Heat 2: Dave Airgood, Chad Wright, Joe Long, Khole Wanzer, Wendall Pinckney, Gary Winans, Bob Pifer
Feature: Chad Wright, Kyle Zimmerman, Joe Long, Dennis Lunger, Dave Airgood, Billy Henry, Breyton Santee, Matt Harvey, Wendall Pinckney, Darrell Bossard, Mike Swansinger, Khole Wanzer, Chris Nicholson, Bob Pifer (DNS)
Bonnell Collision Center E-Mods:
Heat 1: Mike Kinney, Joel Watson, Dan McDonald, Josh McDonald, Shane Crotty, Percy McDonald, Gary Murphy
Heat 2: Troy Carr, Gary Sullivan, Jim Plance, Bruce Powell, Paul Phillips, Jesse Gould, Wayne Mohawk
Heat 3: Bill Taylor, Ken Zimmer, Chuck Steinle Jr, Jimmy Diabo, John Schenker, Rick Pratschler
Feature: Mike Kinney, Dan McDonald, Chuck Steinle Jr, Ken Zimmer, Josh McDonald, Percy McDonald, Percy McDonald, Troy Carr, Jesse Gould, Rick Pratschler, Wayne Mohawk, Jim Plance, John Schenker, Jimmy Diabo, Gary Sullivan, Bill Taylor, Joel Watson, Shane Crotty, Gary Murphy, Bruce Powell, Paul Phillips
Campbell’s Mini-Storage Street Stocks:
Heat 1: Chris Withers, Brandon Groters, Jamie Duncan, Mark Frontera, Gary Fisher, Bryan Wagner, Josh Seippel, Eric Harvey
Heat 2: Chris Hochschild, Ron Boardman, Shaun Fawcett, Rob Bates, Steve D’Apolito, Ed Bolyard, Jason Covey
Feature: Brandon Groters, Chris Withers, Rob Bates, Jamie Duncan, Shaun Fawcett, Ron Boardman, Gary Fisher, Chris Hochschild, Steve D’Apolito, Ed Bolyard, Bryan Wagner, Josh Seippel, Jason Covey, Mark Frontera (DNS), Eric Harvey (DNS)
Bonnell Auto Sales Economods:
Heat 1: Rick Prosser, Kyle Fellows, Steve Haefke, Brad Blackshear, Chuck Steinle Sr, Bob Bellinger, R J Simmons
Heat 2: Jason Longwell,Josh Ferry, Eric Reinwald, Russ Kapalin, Kevin Sergeff, James Myers, Brian Foley
Feature: Jason Longwell, Brad Blackshear, Rick Prosser, Eric Reinwald, Brian Foley, Josh Ferry, Russ Kapalin, Kyle Fellows, Chuck Steinle Sr, Bob Bellinger, James Myers, Kevin Sergeff, Steve Haefke, R J Simmons
Specialty Products Mini Stocks:
Heat 1: Bud Sergeff, Scott Gill, Brian McGarvie, George Rossi, Zoey Gill, Jack Hribar, Dylan Goodman
Heat 2: Justin Boardman, Casey Harmon, Kyle Adkins, Hoyt Mihalak, Mike Rotunda, Derrick Tuttle
Heat 3: Dale Fraschetti, Ryan White, Jason Easler, Brad Cole, Mitch Stokes, Logan Keney
Feature: Brad Cole, Jason Easler, Dale Fraschetti, Bud Sergeff, Hoyt Mihalak, Casey Harmon, Ryan White, Scott Gill, Logan Keney, Justin Boardman, Jack Hribar, George Rossi, Derrick Tuttle, Brian McGarvie, Mike Rotunda, Kyle Adkins, Zoey Gill, Mitch Stokes, Dylan Goodman (DNS)