BETHEL, NY – Time is running out for Sportsman track champion Kyle Redner to defend his title as he is currently second in the point standings. The past month as not been kind to Redner in racing circles as he has been plagued with bad luck. This past Saturday the stars aligned on a crucial double points night as they were competing in a special 35 lap feature event as part of the Sportsman Challenge Series.
Redner got out to the early lead in the feature but soon enough was quickly challenged by current point leader Jeff Richardson. Lap after lap, the leading pilot Redner was hitting his marks on the track and could not be shaken by the pressure Richardson was putting on. Richardson, the veteran racer who is well known for his clean driving style, threw everything but the kitchen sink at Redner to take over the number one spot but came up short at the checkers. Redner picked up his third win of the season along with picking up very valuable double points and really cut into the point lead that Richardson currently holds with two events remaining. Bob Jashembowski continues to amaze at Bethel, as the rookie picked up third position across the line in very limited starts at the track this season.
In Bethel Modified feature action, found longtime veteran driver Steve Conklin starting on the pole. Conklin who has just recently returned to racing after about seven years was marred with engine troubles earlier in the year but is now making a surge of being a top gun in the modified class, late in the racing season. Conklin started the race alongside modified rookie and former street stock champ Stephen Kammer. Conklin jumped out to the early lead and was lucky to be ahead as Kammer looped his ill handling car off turn 4 while trying to hold on for second. The spin resulted in a hard crash knocking out several contenders including current point leader Blair Culhane and last week’s feature winner Joe DeGracia. When racing resumed back to green, Conklin maintained his lead but now had another veteran campaigner and former rival John Cote at his heels in second position. Conklin proved to be to stout on this night as he surged to his first feature win in seven years aboard his famous “Family Affair” number 4 modified ahead of Cote, third place finisher Skip LaPolt ended up third in the rundown and has also been running strong in the late season aboard another car.
Legends, found long time veteran driver Mike Alcaro picking up another victory at his old stomping grounds. Alcaro has a current winning streak at the track, he is all too well familiar with. Alcaro has picked up at least one feature win per season at Bethel since 2009. Alcaro mastered the field on this night and picked up his first feature win of the season at the speedway. Finishing a strong second is current point leader Peter Bennett. The rookie driver has driven beyond expectations and has proved to be very consistent over the course of this race season. Last week’s feature winner Derek Debbis came across in third and picked up another strong finish for the newcomer.
Ed Butler is proving to be a man on a mission in the Pro Stocks ranks, as his torrid hot streak continues at the speedway. Butler picked up his fourth feature win in a row and his eighth of the season as he continues to chop into the point lead of two time defending champion Kenny Atkins.Butler is proving to be quite the competitor as he is seeking his first points championship in the pro stock class. The heated championship battle will continue for the next two weeks as both racers are running strong and is anyone’s guess on who will win it. Fan favorite, Larry O’Donnell brought his strong running “Freight Train” home in the third position despite it being his first feature start of the season for the popular wheelman.
Street Stock action found a strong field of cars in the feature. Rookie Brian Bauerfeind proved to be the winning force on this night despite from starting deep in the pack. Bauerfeind made some crucial moves early in the feature which proved to be very beneficial as he got to the lead first. Current point leader, Amber Van Orden has proven her excellent driving prowless every week this season and did so again this past Saturday night. A.VanOrden came from her twelfth starting position and brought home a strong second place finish behind Bauerfeind. Master of the street stocks and father to Amber, Gary Van Orden Sr. again proved to be a consistent finisher as he came across third at the finish line. Bauerfeind appears to be an all star rookie in the class as he picked up his fifth win of the season and is a contender for the feature win each week.
Cody Houghtaling picked up his second win of the season but in a totally different car. C. Houghtaling is proving to be a very versatile driver as he has also shown some strength competing in the pro stock ranks the past few weeks. Houghtaling was able to beat a returning fan favorite driver, formr track champion, and now a new mommy, Tasha Curry. Curry held on to a second place finish in her maiden run of the season, and Cody’s brother John Houghtaling picked up third place at the finish line.
Robert Beach’s hot streak continues as he came from last to first to pick up his sixth win of the season. Current point leader Dan Houghtaling continues to impress with his consistent top three finishes throughout the season and brought home another second place finish thus expanding his points lead. Eddie Jones Jr. was able to shake some bad luck and come home third in the final rundown.
Mike Roth had his hands full with top Bandolero driver Garrett Zacharias who normally competes at Chemung Speedrome along with rival top gun Anthony Bello throughout the race. The race was halted for a jarring crash between Joey Aungst and Evan Rygielski in turn four during their feature. Both cars suffered severe damage but luckily both young drivers climbed from their cars unharmed. When racing resumed, Roth continued to lead the race and unnerved of the pressure from Zacharias and Bello. Roth crossed the checkers first and took home is tenth win of the season, followed by Zacharias and Bello.
Nick Archiere picked up his sixth win of the season in the Beginner Bandoleros and has seemed to have mastered the class this year. Joey Lamotagne and Justin Aungst finished second and third respectively.
Sportsman Feature: 1. Kyle Redner (Pine Bush, NY) 2. Jeff Richardson 3. Bob Jashembowski 4. Jerry Curry 5. Dan Dulin 6. Matt Curry 7. Shawn Maloney 8. Rick Mill 9. Harry Hindley
Modified Feature: 1. Steve Conklin (Claryville, NY) 2. John Cote 3. Skip LaPolt 4. Stephen Kammer 5. Tyler Dachenhausen 6. Joe DeGracia 7. Blair Culhane
Legends Feature: 1. Mike Alcaro (Fredon, NJ) 2. Peter Bennett 3. Derek Debbis 4. Sean Verwys 5. Joe DeGracia 6. Wayne Hajek 7. Lars McElravy 8. Mike Wahl 9. Joe Fresco
Pro Stock Feature : 1. Ed Butler (Bethel, NY) 2. Kenny Atkins 3. Larry O’Donnell 4. Vinnie Stanton 5. Larry Cole 6. Gene Morton
Street Stock Feature: 1. Brian Bauerfeind (Callicoon, NY) 2. Amber VanOrden 3. Gary VanOrden Sr. 4. Kyle Welsch 5. Bill Deak Jr. 6. Mario Contarino 7. Josh Wilbur 8. Walt Henry 9. Joe Smith 10. Travis Brockner 11. Bill Deak Sr. 12. Jessica Ricci 13. Gary Gamble 14. Patty Falkena
Four Cylinder Expert: 1. Cody Houghtaling (Monticello, NY) 2. Tasha Curry 3. John Houghtaling 4. Marisol Torrens
Four Cylinder Novice: 1. Robert Beach (Hurleyville, NY) 2. Dan Houghtaling 3. Eddie Jones Jr. 4. George VanAken 5. Chris Hardenburgh 6. Felicia Reichenbaugh 7. Frank Maiori DNS. Devon Grimm
Bandolero Feature: 1. Mike Roth (North Branch, NY) 2. Garrett Zacharias 3. Anthony Bello 4. Katie Verwys 5. Conner Piasecki 6. Brian Rygielski 7. Ryan Bille 8. Joey Aungst 9. Evan Rygielski
Beginner Bandos: 1. Nick Archiere (Danbury, CT) 2. Joey Lamontagne 3. Justin Aungst 4. Leland Oefelein