By JEFF GROMIS
MILL HALL, PA – Andrew Yoder of Middleburg, score the biggest pay check in his young racing career with his victory in the Super Late Model 50 on Saturday night at the Clinton County Motor Speedway. The race closed out the 2017 racing season at Clinton County in style with a field of 51 late model drivers on hand to battle for the $5000 first prize.
Other winners as part of the evening’s card were Shaun Lawton in the Pro-Stocks, Chris Anderson in the FWD four-Cylinders, and Dave Hawkins in the 270-micro sprints.
At the drop of the green of the 50-lap feature for the super late models, pole sitter Andy Fries jumped out ahead of outside front row starter Robbie Black to the early lead. Just as Fries was closing in on some lapped traffic, the first caution flag fell on lap six for the disabled 44 of Dave Hess, Jr. Bryan Bernheisel, who dominated for the third heat, had improved from his ninth starting spot to sixth, also retired with a suspension problem. The green returned for a lap before Walker Arthur came to a stop on the back stretch while running sixth.
West Virginia road warrior, Travis Strickley quickly wheeled his 32 from his fifth starting spot to challenge Fries for the lead on the restart. Strickley challenged Fries heavily and made the pass for the lead on lap 8 and quickly began walking away from the field. Another caution came out for a spin by Waylon Wagner on the 15th lap wiping out Strickley’s huge advantage but when the green returned Travis again pulled away to a big lead. The leader’s strong run came to an end as he lost the drive shaft in the 32 and came to a stop on the backstretch.
Andy Fries reassumed the lead over the rim-riding 72 of Dan Stone (who started 10th) and fast closing Andrew Yoder. Yoder started third was running a steady race until finding his rhythm and held the low line on Stone while they closed in on Fries. Lap after lap Andrew keep getting closer and closer to Fries and was racing side by side for a number of laps before edging ahead on lap 36 while Stone continued on the far outside, waiting for the leaders to make an error. The young Yoder finally mage the pass with his 2 on lap 36 while Fries stayed right there trying to regain the top spot. Yoder steadily began to pull away, leaving Fries and Stone to battle for the second spot. Yoder’s lead did look safe for a couple of laps, before 15th starting Matt Cochran started to inch his way to the front.
Cochran had worked is way into the top five on lap 31 and was in a five car battle for spots, which keep changing lap after lap. Matt cleared the battle and drove into second spot on the 39th lap. Matt was closing the gap until he caught the inside wall in the closing laps enabling Yoder to pull away and score the 50-lap feature win.
“I really don’t know what to say right now, this is awesome,” shared Yoder in the winning circle, struggling to express himself in the winner’s circle excitement. “My first big win with the super late model could not have come at a better place with all the fans that are hear tonight. Great racing! Andy Fries gave me room when I got the nose of my car beside him.
“I was just biding my time on the bottom of the track but on that last long run (of green flag racing) I just got a good rhythm,” noted Andrew of his early run in the main after struggling during the week to decide to run his limited or super late model before super. “I have to thank Ed Powell. He gave us a car and motor, the only thing I put in it is tires and fuel. I can’t thank him enough for giving me this opportunity to come out and do this in super late models,” commented Yoder.
Matt Cochran, using a 358 limited engine placed second, and also earned the hard charger award. “I thought I was catching him until I made some contact with the wall down in the corner in three and four, then I just got myself out of rhythm, and I had a tire going down. I started to get a little tight coming off the turn,” noted Cochran. “This car was a rocket ship tonight, but I was getting worried about fuel, because when you run alcohol you only get so many laps with that, but I was glad I could make this happen with the little 358. We struggled a bit with this Club 29 car but towards the end of the season we have now got it dialed in.”
Dan Stone, who drove the Ron Coleman #72 to third, was disappointed but happy at the same time.
“This place (CCMS) is awesome. I cant believe the improvements that they have made here> It’s racy and you can’t beat that,” stated Stone. “The car was good tonight. I think Ron has changed motors like nine times, and this is only the second time we have finished a race in that car in two year We’ll take it, it was a good run and I had a blast, everyone was racing me clean. Congrats to Andrew. He has to be tickled to death.
Dylan Yoder came from the 14th starting spot to claim a fourth place finish with Mike Lupfer, fifth. Rounding out the top ten were Jim Yoder, Andy Fries, Robbie Black, and Delaware’s Ross Robinson., Heat races went to Lupfer, Dave Hess Jr., Bryan Bernheisel, Mike Smith,and Robbie Black. Twin B-mains went to Robinson and Dave Blazavich.
In the 18-lap Pro-Stock feature Shaun Lawton from his fifth starting spot roared to the lead on the first lap, but had to contained with challenges from Tommy Dawson and Johnny Bouse who each took turns and getting alongside the leader for the most part of the race. Dawson gave it the first challenge from laps one though five before Johnny Bouse went after the leader. Nothing was going to slow down Lawton as he was determined to get the win, with his first race at the track this year. Bouse held on for second with Noah Jensen coming on strong at the end to collect third, Tommy Dawson was fourth with Brad Mitch fifth. Heats went to Lawton and AY Schilling
In the 15-lap FWD four-cylinders feature Chris Anderson drove from his third starting spot and took the lead with a sweeping move off the four turn on the first lap and never looked back to score the feature win and collect the $300 top prize. Justin Williamson tried to stay close to the leader, but could not get close enough to make a move and settled for second, in the event that had three cautions. Travis Semple was third with Tim Raup, and Andy Proper fifth. Heats went to Anderson and Williamson
In the 15-lap micro sprint feature Troy Whitesel led the first three laps of the feature before fourth starting Dave Hawkins drove to the front and took charge for his first win of the season at CCMS. Hawkins, who traveled three and a half hours to race tonight, collect the $400 top prize over Troy Whitesel, with Lance Spotts third, and Jeff Gyurina and Bryce Craft in the tp five. Heat races for the 22 car field went to Craft, Spotts, and Whitesel.
Super Late Model 50: 1) 2 Andrew Yoder, 2) 16 Matt Cochran. 3) 72 Dan Stone, 4) 24 Dylan Yoder, 5) 06 Mike Lupfer, 6) 27 Jim Yoder, 7) 82 Andy Fries, 8) D19 Dillon Stake, 9) 01 Robbie Black, 10) 7 Ross Robinson, 11) 87 Walker Arthur, 120 69 Paul Kot, 13) 9 Hayes Mattern, 14) 116 Travis Mease, 15) 94 Charles Powell, Jr., 160 46 Tyler Emory, 17) 5W Waylon Wagner, 180 57 Mike Smith, 19) 99 Doug Eck, 20) 18B Dave Blazavich, 210 88 Devin Weyandt, 22) 18 Chris Farrell, 23) 44 Dave Hess, Jr., 24) 32 Travis Stickley, 25) 11 Kirk Baker, 26) 119 Bryan Bernheisel. DNQ: 14 Tyler Horst, 4s Danny Snyder, 1 Rod Phillips, 44 Ralph Morgan, 1 Rich Gardner, 69 Waco Williams, 43 Tom Decker, Jr., SR1X Tom Shaffer, CJ1 Chad Ruhlman, 68 Kevin Probst, 63 Nathan Long, 14 Dave Brouse, Jr., 10 Dave Stamm, 33 Chris Hackett, 40 Cody Robbins, SR1 Jamin Chapman, 11H Cale Huey, 27 Mchael Lake, 83 Matt Wilson, 86 Austin Berry, 21 Rick Hemphill, 5E Ron Mertz, 20 John Myers, 3VKyle Hardy, 90 Kyle Rhoads.