By Pam Baker
KNOX. PA-Blue skies greeted race fans at Knox Raceway on Mother’s Day May 14th where the FAST 410 Sprint Cars put on a show for the fans. Kicking off the 2023 circle track season presented by Heeter Lumber & Concrete was Brandon Spithaler picking up the win in the FAST 410 Sprint Cars. In the 270cc Micro Sprint division it was Jim Horwat picking up the checkers and in the 358 Modifieds Jimmy Holden was the victor.
The FAST 410 Sprint Cars held qualifying for the 22-car field and setting fast time was Brandon Spithaler with a time of 13.941 seconds. The field was broken down into three heat races after qualifying and the winner of the first heat was Sean Rayhall. Heats two and three were won by Justin Clark and Kasey Jedrezek.
Starting on the pole for the 25-lap feature event was Sean Rayhall with Greg Wilson to his outside. Wilson got the lead on lap one with Jack Sodeman, Jr., Rayhall and Spithaler in tow. By lap four, lapped traffic started to play a roll in the non-stop event. Wilson used the highside of the track to get by several lapped cars while Spithaler worked on Sodeman, Jr. for the second position. On lap nine Spithaler was able to make second position stick and then started to work on the leader, Wilson. As lap sixteen clicked off Spithaler used the bottom of the speedway to get the lead away from Wilson coming off the second turn. The final laps of the feature found heavy lapped traffic, but Spithaler kept his cool and extended his lead by several car lengths to pick up the first win of the season at Knox Raceway. Finishing second was Greg Wilson followed by Justin Clark, Jack Sodeman, Jr. and Ricky Peterson.
The 270cc Micro Sprints were up next for their 15-lap feature. Starting on the pole was the car of Jim Horwat with local driver, Keaton Himes in second. Horwat took off at the drop of the green flag with James Horwat, III in second. The nine-car field all followed Jim Horwat throughout the race and attrition was high as at the checkers only four cars finished. Jim Horwat had challenges by James Horwat, III in the final laps but was able to maintain the lead and pick up the checkers. In victory lane, Jim talked about coming to the speedway when he was little with his father, Jerry Bouher who was a top 6-Cylinder Modified driver at the time and how happy he was to be in victory lane. Finishing second behin Jim Horwat was James Horwat, III, Wes Libert, Keaton Himes and Parker Lucas in fifth.
Only five 358 Modifieds were on hand for their 15-lap event and Jimmy Holden driving the Mike Stein owned machine picked up the feature win after starting third on the grid. Chad Reitz who has returned to Modified racing after having 19 years off led the field to the green. Reitz led the first two laps before Holden took the lead in turn two. Holden led the field by seven car lengths at the halfway point, but a caution on lap ten for Reitz brought the field back together for the restart. Holden lined up beside Kyle Fink on the restart but was able to get the lead going into the first turn and never looked back to pick up the feature win. Finishing second was Kyle Fink followed by Ayden Cipriano, Tom Holden and Chad Reitz.
Coming up next on the circle track schedule will be the first night of the Western PA Sprint Speedweek on Wednesday, May 31st. This will be the first of five events in a row to take place with the 410 Sprint Cars. On the racing card for that night will also be the RUSH Wingless Sprints. Gates will open at 4pm with racing starting at 7pm. Camping is available across the road at Knox Campground and for more information please call 814-227-2600.
Feature Finish FAST 410 Sprints: Brandon Spithaler, Greg Wilson, justin Clark, Jack Sodeman, Jr., Ricky Peterson, Sean Rayhall, Michael Bauer, AJ Flick, Bob Felmlee, George Hobaugh, Jr., Kasey Jedrezek, Brandon Matus, Carl Bowser, Jeremy Weaver, Mitch Harble, Darin Gallagher, Jordan Ryan, Andy Cavanaugh, Michael Lutz, Brent Matus, Brandon Mazaros
270cc Micro Sprint Finish: Jim Horwat, James Horwat, III, Wes Libert, Keaton Himes, Parker Lucas, Conno Metheney, Jace Pettigrew, Bella Betts, Nash Lucas, DNS: Audrina Hobaugh
358 Modified Finish: Jimmy Holden, Kyle Fink, Ayden Cipriano, Tom Holden, Chad Reitz
Knox Raceway is owned an operated by Brian and Brianna Steinman and has seven circle track events planned for the 2023 season along with two GSP Demolition Derbies and a two-day Music weekend on July 14-July 15 featuring Montgomery Gentry – Eddie Montgomery, Gary Burke III & Perfect Timing on July 14th. On July 15th will be David Lee Murphy – Dust your Bottle Off Night along with Gary Burke III and Kaleb Beichner presented by Rustler Sales & Service. For more information please call the track at 814-797-5385 or 814-227-2600.