SUSQUEHANNA, PA – As the weather starts getting colder leading us into the off season, you can still find racing at the Penn Can Speedway. With the Patriot Sprint tour back at the track for an exciting night of double features, some of the regular divisions took to the stage as well. It was an all-around intense night, as the drivers put their cars to the test before it all ends for the year.
The SUNOCO Race Fuels and Insinger Modifieds saw Alan Barker lead green to checkers with a full field of cars trying to chase him down. Barker and Butch Getz lead the roaring Modifieds to the green flag. Upon the start, the crowd saw Barker and Getz go door to door through turns one and two, with Barker’s 77B ride taking the lead. Behind the leaders Kevin Harnett and Byron Worthing were fighting hard for the fourth position. Previous Track Champion Brian Malcom was charging his way through the field to take the fifth place away from Worthing. All the spots gained would not last as the first caution of the feature came out for a collision in turn two involving Sam Allen and Randall Paxton. Last weeks’ feature winner Danny Creeden would come to a halt on the front straightaway in what was a heated moment between the 16X and Darwin Green as Creeden went off on the hook. On the restart, Barker and Malcom led the pack to another green flag, Barker’s car was on rails as he took to the high line and extended his lead. Lap 7 would see that the leader was quick to catch the tail of the field.
In a scary moment for the crowd and drivers, the 119 car of Malcom would have major issues with his brake system and send him over the turn four embankment. This would cause the red flag to come out as the drivers came to an abrupt stop on the front straightaway. The announcer quickly gave the update that Malcom was out the car under his power and crews quickly and diligently worked to get the car to the pits. With racing back underway, Barker and Getz would lead the field once again with the 77B taking the lead. Brett Tonkin would make his move as he passed Getz for the second place. Behind the leaders, Nick Petrilak and Cory Costa battled for the fifth position. Lap 9 would see a caution as Worthing and Leah Decker tangled in turn 4. Barker would lead the pack as Tonkin fell to second with Getz and Kevin Hartnett battling door to door for the third position. Hartnett moved into the third position as Barker continued to pull away from the field. With 10 laps remaining the crowd watched as the leaders moved their way in and out of lapped traffic. Costa and Nick Pecko fought for the sixth position while Hartnett would make his move on Tonkin’s 9 machine for the second position completing the pass. As the laps wound down, the crowd would see the final caution of the feature on lap 26 as George Kostelansay would spin in turn one. When the checkered flag dropped, Barker took the win leading the feature flag to flag, with Hartnett, Tonkin, Getz, and Costa round up the top five.
Modified track champion Brett Tonkin has been a front runner all season and it continued in the Insinger Performance and Stone Brothers Automotive Sportsman division. Tyler Stoddard and Mike Wilcha would bring the field to the Green before a flurry of early cautions would slow the action. Lap 1 had Jeremy Warren slowing to a stop in turn two and Frank Payne took a spin in turn four. The restart had Wilcha leading the pack as Stoddard, Mike Nagel Jr, and Dave Rosa fought for second. In a power move that wowed the crowd Nagel went up the middle and all three cars held on escaping the sticky situation. Stoddard came out with second as Nagel fell in for third and Rosa shuffled back to fourth. Behind them Tonkin and Payne battled for fifth. The second caution for Warren stopped in turn four and Travis Green leaving on the hook led to a sloppy restart as Dan Soloman, Frank Payne, and Jim O’Hara spun in turn one. With one more lap completed Soloman, Kyle Walsh, and Meckenzie Marsh spun in turn one.
With the field finally able to get a green flag run Wilcha would get a good jump as Nagel, Stoddard and Tonkin took it 3 wide for second. Tonkin would take away the second spot with Nagel working the high line and hot on his tail. Over the ensuing laps Tonkin and Wilcha would pull away from the field as Ray Leonard made the outside work as he moved past Rosa for fifth. Lap 12 lead change put Tonkin in front of Wilcha as Tonkin’s car completed its journey to the front. He would have to defend his position however as Kyle Walsh spun in turn four causing a lap 14 caution. Tonkin would pull away quickly on the restart as Nagel ripped the cushion outside of Stoddard for third. Leonard would follow suit as he passed Rosa for fifth. A Frank Payne turn 2 spin would give the field one more shot at Tonkin with three to go. Tonkin would sail away to victory followed by Wilcha, Stoddard, Nagel, and Leonard.
Tonkin had a good idea of what the track would feel like for the sportsman feature as he had run the Modified feature shortly beforehand. The key to the race he felt was through the restarts and that single file restarts hurt his ability to see where his competition was at. He felt as though the race would never end as every time, he built up his lead it was shrank by the yellow. He and Mike Wilcha have a close relationship as he helped build the 84-car last winter. Brett especially wanted to thank the Stafursky family, Little Joe, and sponsors Stafursky paving, Stafursky Auto Parts, Pine Line Auto and Equipment Sales, and Castle Key Real Estate.
Doug Polhamus parked his ride in Victory Lane for the Insinger Performance Street Stocks, it was the 21st victory for his outstanding car. The 15-lap abbreviated feature was led to green by Eric Beach and Thomas Moon. Beach would take the early lead as the field worked around Moon, finding a home in fifth battling Dusty Decker. Lap 3 would see our first yellow as Ricky Davis spun in turn three and Mike Stoddard pulled to the infield. The restart had great battles throughout the field as Damon Decker moved past Beach for the lead, Polhamus quickly took advantage going door to door with Beach for second. Heartbreak for Damon Decker would see his 89-ride head to the pits with a left rear flat on lap 5. The following restart was packed with intense action as Polhamus and Beach traded moves working each other for the lead. Constant line swaps would be the story for the next few laps as the two drivers put on a great show. Shane Wolf Jr. had worked his way through the field and looked fast on the high line taking third away from Dusty Decker. Deeper in the pack 4 wide battles over 8th utilized every lane the track has to offer.
Lap 8 would see the exit of Kyle Stark as he headed to the pits from the front stretch and the field stayed green. A high low switch would move Wolf comfortably in front of Decker. A few donuts for Gregory Miller on the front stretch would cause some panic for leader Polhamus as he went by. Behind Polhamus, Wolf went to work on the outside of Beach for second. Beach would hold the position as Wolf’s inside came under fire from Decker for third. The leaders would have to work some lapped traffic in the closing laps, but it would not change the outcome as Polhamus crossed the line with a comfortable lead followed by Beach, Wolf, Dusty Decker, and Abe Rohanik.
Polhamus has some experience with Victory Interviews as he holds three track championships and many feature wins across multiple speedways. The five feature winner stickers adorning his car are just a few of his collection. The veteran driver felt his car was a little tighter than he would have liked but was able to work the top very well. He enjoys running against the larger fields and admitted Beach worried him on some of the restarts. Hard fought battles make for more fun and exciting wins. Polhamus would like to thank his Dad and Crew for their continued support of both him and his racing efforts. He would also like to thank his many sponsors Balducci Bluestone, Doug’s Speed shop, ARS Auto, Kohlbala Forestry, MCcain Gas and Electric, Diffendorf Lawn Care, The Lounge, KC Kabooms Fireworks, Polhamus Fabrications, Complete Auto Center, French’s Auto Parts, and Precision Crankworks.
Brett Gray got some redemption this week after a third place points finish for the year. After points Champion Dana Davis and Chuck Lohmeyer brought the field to racing speed Gray quickly challenged Davis for second. The action would not last long however as Bretton Miller slowed down the backstretch for the chain coming of his car. The restart would see a hard collision between a sideways Ali Scutt, Jeff Baldwin, John Dinninny, and Stanley Matthews. Scutt would exit the car under her own power and make her way to the ambulance to be checked over for some knee pain. Lohmeyer would get the restart jump on Gray with Davis moving into second. The chain issues continued for Miller as he slowed in turn one and brought out the lap 4 caution. Lohmeyer would get the jump on the following restart as Davis challenged Gray for second. Gray would hold on to the position as Nick Robinson challenged Davis for third. In front of the hard racing for third, Gray and Lohmeyer were swapping lines for the lead. A beautifully executed high low switch by Gray moved him into the lead. Before Sheldon Whitman slowed on the backstretch causing a lap 8 caution.
The restart saw Gray choose the outside relegating Lohmeyer to the inside, Gray would get the jump as hard racing ensued between Davis and Robinson. Lots of contact between the two cars ended in Davis pulling a high low switch of his own on Robinson to take away third. Contact would continue on lap 9 as Robinson took it back to the inside of Davis. The lap 10 running order was Gray, Lohmeyer, Davis, Robinson, and Nolan Smith. The rest of the field would single file it out while Davis and Robinson continued to trade paint. Davis would get the better of Robinson as Gray took the checkers first with Lohmeyer, Davis, Robinson and Smith following. After the race Davis was calm and collected, he stated that sometimes it is all about racing your competitors how they race you and that it is part of racing. Robinson could not be found for comment.
Winner Brett Gray smiled when asked about getting some redemption for his loss in the points battle. The track conditions made life rough for the driver as he battled a loose car in the turns and avoided some ruts and rough spots. The victorious driver felt the key was in the single file restarts and thanked his sponsors Gray Trucking & Transport, Moose Wraps, and All Things Vinyl by Alicia. He also would like to thank his Dad who helps to make everything possible.
Josh Landers picked up the win in the Junior division this week and thanked his mom and dad in victory lane. Liam Jackson slowed to the infield on lap four of the Juniors feature and did not finish the race.
With this exciting weekend coming to an end, everyone is looking forward to the most anticipated event of the year, King of the Can. On Friday, there will be a Modified match race that is $500 to win and practice, $1,400 GRIT 602 Sportsman event, Mike Petrilak Memorial for the Street Stocks and $1,000 to win, GRIT 600cc Modified paying $400 to win. The 4 cylinders will be handing out $500 to the winner and the Juniors will be back in action. On the following day, the Short Track Super Series Modifieds paying out $5,555 to the winner! The Factory Stocks will be racing for $700, IMCA Modifieds will be making their season debut paying $1,000 to win and a hundred to take the green, and the Seward Rice Memorial presented by Mohawk Valley Vintage Modifieds will also take to the speedway. This is a weekend you do not want to miss! There will be a ton of action with several new drivers looking to hunt down the prize money. Grandstand will be $20 for each night. For more information visit our Facebook page: Penn Can Speedway.
SUNOCO RACE FUELS INSINGER PERFORMANCE MODIFIEDS
WINNER – 77B- ALAN BARKER
2) 133-Kevin Harnett 3) 9-Brett Tonkin 4) 15G-Butch Getz 5) 02- Corey Costa 6) 42-Nick Pecko 7) 58M-Marshall Hurd 8) 145-Alan Rudalavage 9) 117- Alex Stanton 10) 85- Dan Vauter 11) 163W- Byron Worthing 12) 163B- Bailey Boyd 13) 17D-Mike Loney 14) 1-Darwin Green 15) 72-Nick Petrilak 16) 3J-Joe Judge 17) 77C- Jeff Cranbo 18) 17-George K. 19) 189-Leah Decker 20) A11- Sam Allen DNF 21) 52- Brandon Fritch 22) 119-Brian Malcolm 23) 16X- Danny Creeden 24) 22R-Randall Paxton
INSINGER PERFORMANCE & STONE BROS. AUTOMOTIVE 602 CRATE SPORTSMAN
WINNER – 27K-BRETT TONKIN
2) 84-Mike Wilcha 3) 23T-Tyler Stoddard 4) M7- Mike Nagel Jr. 5) 3R-Ray Leonard 6) 61- Dave Rosa 7) 88-Alan Komar 8) 4-Dan Soloman 9) 32-Eddy Kudrako 10)35- Jared Green 11) 145-Jermey Warren 12) 66G-Kyle Walsh DNF 13) 3F-Frank Payne 14) M14-Moose Gulley 15) 26- Meckenzie Marsh 16) 44-Jim O’Hara 17) T69- Travis Green DNS18) 13- Unknown
INSINGER PERFORMANCE STREET STOCKS
WINNER – 98P-DOUG POLHAMUS
2) 167-Eric Beach 3) 81-Shane Wolf Jr 4) 20JR-Dusty Decker 5) 85- Abe Rohanick 6) SIX- Jimmy Sykes 7) 36F- Jerri Tonti 8) 2 Shannon Oswald 9) 00-Don Reeves 10) 77- George Miller 11) 51- Thomas Moon 12) 9&3/4- Brett Vanteger 13) 84T- Tim Avants 14) 89A-Damon Decker 15) 55S-Kyle Stark 16)140- Ricky Davis 17) 23-Mike Stoddard
WINNER – 28-BRETT GREY
2) 5-Chuck Lohmeyer 3) 138-Dana Davis 4) 8R-Nick Robinson 5) 77X- Nolan Smith 6) 343- John Dininny 7) 0-Jeff Baldwin 8) 31-Justin Hall 9) 4MK-Sheldon Whitman 10) 80- Tyler Smith 11) 29-Bretton Miller 12)108- Ali Scutt 13) 22M- Stanley Matthews
WINNER – JOSH LANDERS