LATROBE, PA – Latrobe Speedway’s 2023 Season Opener was under beautiful skies and excellent track conditions.
It was on the edge-of-your-seat race viewing from the Grandstands at Latrobe Speedway, where the passing was hard-earned in all of the FAST-FIVE features.
Taking opening night FAST-Fives feature wins were; E.J. Rozak (Joe’s Body Shop & Towing Pure Stocks), Michael Duritsky (K2 Engineering Crate Late Models), Jacob Gomola (Bowers Farms RaceSaver Sprint Cars), Colton McNaney (Special T Metals LLC Modified 4 Cylinders), and Brian Noel (Marliungo Disposal LLC Stock 4 Cylinders).
The Joe’s Body Shop & Towing Pure Stocks were the first feature to hit the track for what was going to be the start of awesome FAST-FIVE features. With three wide at the start of the 12-lap feature, E.J. Rozak would lead them into Turn 1. As Rozak would maintain the point position, the battle for second was between the 22F of Corey Faris of Uniontown, and the 66 of Anthony Monteparte, from Jeannette. This battle raged on until lap-11, when Monteparte was able to pass the 22 coming to the stripe. With Rozak still in the lead, Monteparte ran out of laps to catch Rozak from New Salem.
Rozak explained in victory lane his struggle to build a new car which got him to victory lane at Latrobe Speedway.
“We struggled in ’21 and ’22 with everything, including building a new car,” Rozak said. “I’ll be honest with you; I did not see that (the win)coming.”
Following Monteparte and Faris was Joey Koteles in fourth and John Cain to round out the top five.
Heat races went to Monteparte and Koteles.
During the feature, Anthony Monteparte carried the ashes of the recently departed Joe’s Auto Body & Towing Pure Stock driver of the No. 06, Bill Finlay, in the No. 66. Bill Findlay’s Nephew, Luke Findlay, was the honorary starter for the feature.
In the K2 Engineering Crate Late Model feature, Latrobe’s Joe Zulisky started on the pole alongside Troy Shields for what was going to be an exciting 20-lap feature event.
Shields jumped out to an early lead with the No. 90J of Michael Duritsky in pursuit. On lap-7, Duritsky would pass Shields, and Shields would then battle with the 16 of Clinton Hersh for second. Hersh would finally wrestle second away for Shields with two laps to go. Jeff Ferguson in the 11L was fourth, and in fifth was the K2 Engineering, K2 of John Over.
Shields and Zulisky were the heat race winners.
The Jesse Sterbutzel Memorial $10,000 to-win feature for the Crate Late Models will feature some of the best drivers from multiple states. Also on the card will be a $2,500 to-win feature for the Super Late Models. There will be several drivers pulling double duty on June 3.
The Bowers Farms RaceSaver 305 Sprint Cars were up next, with Jarrett Rosencrance from Butler, in the No. 25 alongside the R6 of Reed Thompson of Petersburg.
Rosencrance took the lead, followed by Thompson then the
4J of Jake Gamola. Fowler, Ohio’s Jim Morris in the 16 was followed by another Buckeye, Tommy Jasen from Hubbard in the 12G.
After having problems in the Heat race, the 29B Bowers Farms entry of Robbie Bartchy would jump up five spots before retiring for the evening.
On lap 9, with Rosencrance in the lead, the 4J of Gamola would move under Rosencrance in Turn 3 to have the head exiting Turn 4.
Rosencrance was slowed by traffic between him and Gamola, and the 4J would keep the lead in the 15-lap feature until the Checkered flag flew.
Third was Thompson, followed by Morris, and in fifth was the Hard Charger of the race, Jasen.
Morris and Gamola won the heat races.
The Special T Metals LLC. Mod 4’s were next to hit the big half-mile as nineteen cars were on hand for Opening Night FAST-FIVE action.
Starting outside the front row, Colton McNaney of West Newton would pick up his first-ever win at the Latrobe Speedway.
The “Cobalt Cowboy” has three career wins in the No.51.
Following McNaney were Jeremy Grubbs, Paul Koffler III, and Joe Jacobs, with Ed Leonard rounding out a stout field.
In the Marilungo Disposal LLC Stock 4 Cylinders feature, the pole-sitter Brian Noel of Scottdale took home the win over the No. 16 of Dylan Nedrow, Mark Shaffer, CJ Parrill, and the 722 of Cody William, came home fifth.
Latrobe Speedway will be back in action Saturday, May 13, for Mother’s Day Spectacular with Big Block Modifieds, K2 Engineering Crate Late Models, Joe’s Body Shop & Towing Pure Stocks, Special T Metals LLC Mod 4Cylinders, and the Marilungo Disposal LLC Stock 4 Cylinders.
Keep up to date with Latrobe Speedway by going to www.latrobemotorsports.com or on Facebook at Latrobe Speedway Stock Car Dirt Track.
Saturday, May 6, 2023
K2 Engineering Crate Late Models (11) – Michael Duritsky, Clinton Hersh, Troy Shields, Jeff Ferguson, John Over, Marino Angelicchio, Noah Brunell, Jay McCracken
Joe’s Auto Body & Towing Pure Stocks (13) – E.J.Rozak, Anthony Monteparte, Corey Faris, Joey Koteles, John Cain, Matthew Weltz, Cody Behanna, Michael Peters, Ron Ramsey, Tim VanDivner, Adam Large, Justin Ruff, McCade Elliott
Bowers Farms RaceSaver 305 Sprint Cars (13) -Jacob Gomola, Jarret Rosencrance, Reed Thompson, Jim Morris, Tommy Jasen, Ryan Beatty, Jay Fry, Shane Heath, Bodey McClintock, Jayzlyn Boyles, Robbie Bartchy, Ron Aurand, Jacob Begenwald
Special T Mod 4 Cylinders (19) – Colton McNaney, Jeremy Grubbs, Paul Koffler III, Joe Jacobs, Ed Leonard, Shawn Ghrist, Tifani McElhose, Brian Spangler, Jerry Batcher, Mike Pavlak, Josh Grubbs, Jeremy Deglau, Andrew Jones, Dayton Hazlett, Brandon Meyers, Tylar Huffmann, Dale Grubbs, Joe, Neiderhiser, Cory James
Marliungo Disposal LLC Stock 4 Cylinders (12) – Brian Noel, Dylan Nedrow, Mark Shaffer, CJ Parrill, Cody William, Justin Connors, Emily Moyer, Dan Shortman, Katlyn Spangler, Ron Vasos, Sadie Lancashire, Jerry Batcher