Lasalle secures first late model feature win at Bedford oval
BEDFORD — In an event filled with heartbreak, drama and a wild last lap challenge, Nathan Lasalle scored his first-ever late model feature win at Bedford Friday night.
With the win, Lasalle became the 144th different feature winner in the track’s long history, and following his famous father Dion’s win over 20 years ago, they became the 10th father-son combination winners at the track.
Lasalle led a night of second-generation winners as three of the four victors fit that category.
Kyle Deneen and Drake Troutman were the pure stock and EMod winners joining Lasalle.
Only the semi-late winner Greg Hainsey was a first-generation winner.
After a season of frustration and misfortune, Matt Sponaugle’s low point average earned him a front row starting spot in the late model 25 lapper. He grabbed the opportunity and shot off from the field at the start.
Sponaugle drove away from the field in an event slowed only by a quick caution on lap five. Behind Sponaugle, Lasalle got to second and held off a charge from Andy Haus until Jeff Rine displayed one of his patented late race charges. Rine took third on lap 11 and instantly tore off after Lasalle.
With Sponaugle well ahead, Rine closed on Lasalle and by lap 16 was all over him for second.
That became an important battle as Sponaugle suddenly shot to the pits on lap 22 with fuel pump issues.
Sponaugle’s misfortune suddenly made the Rine and Lasalle battle one for the win. Over the last three laps, Rine was all over the youngster, but Lasalle held on for the win.
In a twist, Dion Lasalle who was on the stage observing, was allowed to drop the checkered flag on the happy winner. Rine was a very close second, followed by Haus, first-time visitor Andrew Wylie and Chuck Clise. Rine and Clise won the heats.
Again the semi-late event was the race of the night. Greg Hainsey was the pole sitter and early leader in the 30-lap extra distance event, but he was immediately shadowed by Bob Jay. As the pair drew away early, Brian Weyandt and Bill Replogle were charging forward from the pack.
Five quick cautions dotted the event, but Hainsey held off Jay while Weyandt and Replogle joined in late.
With a four-car pack for the lead and tension mounting, Weyandt and Jay banged together on lap 26 resulting in a Weyandt spin. Replogle moved into the picture as the field went for the finish.
Coming off the fourth turn for the checkered, Replogle managed to split the two front runners and snag second at the line right on Hainsey’s back bumper.
With the late rally, Replogle was second, ahead of Jay, Mark Patterson and Chubby Childers. Weyandt rejoined the field and took seventh. Patterson and Jay won the heats.
The Emod 20-lapper started off wild with three cautions in the first two lape, several for multi-car events. Ryan Beckett was the early leader, but Drake Troutman took over on lap three. Evan Taylor grabbed second on lap five but never mounted a serious challenge to Troutman, who led to the finish. Taylor, Daniel Cornman, Beckett and Sam Reeder completed the top five.
Reed Stickel led the opening pure stock lap before Charlie Clise took over. He attracted a crowd at the front as Deneen, Nick Bechtel and Josh Frankenberry closed fast. Deneen squeezed by on lap 13 but the four car pack ran tightly. Clise paid the price with a spin after contact on lap 14 reducing the lead pack to three. Over the last six laps, Frankenberry was all over Deneen but fell a length short at the finish. Bechtel, Dalton Ritchey and Jason Haggerty completed the top five. Frankenberry and Ritchey won the heats.
CLEARFIELD — Ross Perchak of Hazelton made the long tow to Hidden Valley Speedway Saturday night to claim the inaugural Rally in the Valley for the 270 Micro Sprints, taking home the $1,000 top prize.
Kyle Colwell of Knox won the 305 Racesaver Sprint portion of Open Wheel Madness while Josh Beamer of Turbotville won the 600 Micro feature.
Michael Lake of Uniontown won his first ever HVS Super Late Model feature, while Ray Rothfuss of Clarkstown won the pure stock feature and Jason Mullen of Loretto picked up the win in the four-cylinder main.
Knoxville Nationals: David Gravel started off the week in Knoxville, Iowa by winning The “Capitani Classic.”
Four days later, debuting a new blue and fluorescent color painted car with Axalta on the side of it for the first time, Gravel won his preliminary race for the Nationals, thus earning a second-place starting position for Saturday’s feature.
The Jason Johnson Racing team then started their Saturday evening by winning best appearing car and best dressed crew with the entire JJR team looking like rainbow warriors in their red, yellow, orange and blue Axalta gear.
SELINSGROVE SPEEDWAY: Jared Miley of Pittsburgh extended his points lead in the Ultimate Northeast Late Model Series with his $3,000 win in Saturday night’s 30-lap Showdown on Sand Hill at Selinsgrove Speedway.
The victory was Miley’s second of the season in the series and his first career at Selinsgrove Speedway. He became the 11th different winner in 12 races this season in the super late model division, making it one of the most competitive seasons in late model history at the track.
Jason Covert of York was the night’s fast qualifier over the star-studded 33-car field with a lap time of 19.255.
Lebanon’s Devin Adams won the 20-lap PASS/IMCA 305 sprint car feature.
CLINTON COUNTY MOTOR SPEEDWAY: When a driver becomes older they might feel it’s time to think about retirement. Then, sometimes they become fast again, while winning regularly, doing something they love.
If Selinsgrove’s Jim Yoder entertains such thoughts, he’s not ready for retirement any time soon. Yoder is in the midst of an enjoyable season at Clinton County Motor Speedway. The veteran added to his season total by claiming the second annual Lenny Stroud Jr. Memorial race held Friday at the Lock Haven area speed plant.