BETHEL, NY – John Cote, the 2013 BMS Modified champion at Bethel Motor Speedway, headed into this past weekend’s finale at the quarter-mile asphalt oval as the only competitor mathematically able to challenge Ed Dachenhausen for this year’s title. It was, however, a long shot. With 75 points separating the two heading into the last night and a total of 80 points up for grabs, all Dachenhausen had to do was take the green in each of the twin 25-lap features.
Dachenhausen did more than take the green, though, and Cote certainly gave him a run for his money.
In the first segment race, Cote took the lead on the initial lap, with Dachenhausen right behind him. The two put on a battle for the lead that kept fans on the edges of their seats over the entire race distance. Dachenhausen remained within striking distance of Cote, but was unable to make a successful bid for the lead as Cote drove on to the win over Dachenhausen and Frank James.
Dachenhausen took the lead at the drop of the green in the second segment race, leaving Cote to give chase. The pair continued to test one another lap after lap, until heartbreak struck for Dachenhausen when he experienced engine problems with just six laps to go and he shut the car down and retired from the race. Cote went on to win the second race, with Chris Chirico in second.
Dachenhausen claimed the 2015 BMS Modified title, with Cote second and Blair Culhane third in the final standings.
Jerry Curry was able to officially claim the championship in the 358/Sportsman class after second place rival Kyle Redner was unable to make it to the finale due to a prior obligation to compete during the final Super Dirt Week at Syracuse (NY). Dan Dulin, who headed into the night third in points, had already been mathematically eliminated from the chase for the title.
Mill put on a dominating performance all night, taking the lead from Dulin just past the halfway point of the first race and powering his way to the win over Dulin and Rich Coons. In the second segment race, Mill grabbed the lead on the initial lap and managed to lap the entire field during the caution-free 25-lap affair. Curry was second in that segment, and Dulin was third.
In the final season standings, Curry led the way with an 88-point advantage over Dan Dulin, who took over second in Redner’s absence. Redner wound out the season third in points.
Kenny Atkins secured his first Pro Stock championship, needing only to take the green in both segment races in order to guarantee the title. Atkins, the 2010 Rookie of the Year in the division, finished second in points in the past two seasons.
Ed Butler picked up his seventh win of the season in the first segment race, leading every lap of the caution-free event with Atkins hot on his heels. Larry O’Donnell, driving a car he had just purchased from Atkins, wound up third in the first segment.
Riverhead (NY) Raceway regular CJ Lehmann made his first-ever trip to Bethel worthwhile, as he picked up the win in the second segment race. Lehmann started on the outside pole and wasted no time getting out front. Jim Helt gave chase over the entire race distance but had to be content with second. Butler was third.
In the final tally, Atkins ended the season 63 points ahead of Helt. Rookie Mac Crawson wound up third in the point standings.
In Street Stock action, Walt Henry picked up his fourth win of the season in the first segment race, while Tweeter Pallom won the second segment race. Vinny Stanton Jr. was the overall winner, as Pallom had gone down several laps during the first segment race.
Stanton Jr. led the first 24 laps of the first 25-lap segment race, but Henry was able to get in front by a nose coming to the checkered flag. Stanton Jr. had to be content with second, while Steve Smalley was third to cross the line. In only his second start of the season, Pallom took the lead with just six laps complete in the second segment, leading Stanton Jr. to the line. Smalley collected another third place finish.
Prior to the final night’s events, Gary VanOrden had already secured the 2015 title over his daughter, defending division champion Amber VanOrden. The pair finished the season in a tie in the standings, with the elder VanOrden claiming the title by virtue of ten feature wins, while his daughter recorded four wins. Smalley, in his first full season of competition at Bethel, was third in the final standings.
The points battle in the 4 Cylinder Advanced class literally came down to the final event, as Mike Travis and Dan Curry both entered the night with a mathematical shot to win the title. Curry took down the win in the first segment, gaining 24 points on Travis, who retired from the event early. The tables were reversed in the second segment, as Curry retired early for an overheating issue, while Travis went on to win the race and the division crown. Tim Curry claimed the overall win for the night’s events.
Curry took the lead three laps into the first segment race and drove on to the win over Brian Bauernfeind and Greg Cohen. In the second segment race, Charlie Houghtaling, Ivan Guerra, and T. Curry before Travis grabbed it on the white flag lap to take down the win over T. Curry and Jerry Kingeter.
Travis finished the season 43 markers ahead of D. Curry in the points. Bauernfeind, who was the 2014 4 Cylinder Novice champion, was third in the final standings.
With second-place finishes in each of the two segment races, David Donovan grabbed the title in the 4 Cylinder Novice class. In the first segment, Travis Cogswell took down his first career win. Cogswell took the lead with four laps remaining in the event, and crossed the line ahead of Donovan and Jessey Torrens. James Curry led every lap of the second segment event to claim the victory over Donovan and Cogswell.
Donovan ended the season 79 points ahead of Dan Houghtaling. John Houghtaling was third in the final standings, just six points out of second.
To cap off the night, several members of the track crew took part in a 20-lap officials’ 4 cylinder race. Jonathan McGibbon was scored as the leader for the first 15 laps, although Martin Chevalier was alongside him challenging for the lead for the majority of that time. Over the final laps, McGibbon and Chevalier traded the spot at the line several times, as George Van Arsdall sat in third, waiting for an opportunity to get by. Chevalier took over the top spot for good with two laps remaining and took down the win over McGibbon and Van Arsdall.
Bethel Motor Speedway will close out its 2015 season with the 3rd annual Fall Finale Car Show and Swap Meet this coming Sunday, October 18th. Gates open at 12 noon, with car show judging beginning at 2 pm. Car entry is just $10, with all types of vehicles welcome. There will be a $200 prize for Best in Show. Vendor spots are also available, and vendors are welcome to sell any types of items – from cars and parts to household or even commercial items.
The 2015 awards banquet is slated for Saturday, December 5th. More details on the banquet will be posted in the coming week at www.bethelmotorspeedway.com.
BMS MODIFIED OVERALL FINISH (50 laps): 1. John Cote (New Milford, CT), 2. Chris Chirico, 3. Ed Dachenhausen, 4. Steve Galgano, 5. Frank James. DNS – Robbie Konikowski, Joe DeGracia. SEGMENT WINNERS – John Cote (2).
358/SPORTSMAN OVERALL FINISH (50 laps): 1. Rick Mill (New Windsor, NY), 2. Jerry Curry, 3. Dan Dulin, 4. Rich Coons, 5. Paul Knox. SEGMENT WINNERS – Rick Mill (2).
PRO STOCK OVERALL FINISH (50 laps): 1. CJ Lehmann (Medford, NY), 2. Jim Helt, 3. Ed Butler, 4. Kenny Atkins, 5. Larry O’Donnell, 6. Mac Crawson, 7. Rick Bradley, 8. Glenn Richard, 9. Arthur McArthur. SEGMENT WINNERS – Ed Butler, CJ Lehmann.
STREET STOCK OVERALL FINISH (50 laps): 1. Vinny Stanton Jr. (Jeffersonville, NY), 2. Steve Smalley, 3. Walt Henry, 4. Billy Porter, 5. Tweeter Pallom, 6. Kyle Welsch, 7. Jay Smalley. SEGMENT WINNERS – Walt Henry, Tweeter Pallom.
4 CYLINDER ADVANCED OVERALL FINISH (50 laps): 1. Tim Curry (Liberty, NY), 2. Eddy Lindstadt, 3. Greg Cohen, 4. Walt Henry, 5. Eddy Lindstadt, 6. Brent Shaddock, 7. Charlie Houghtaling, 8. Ivan Guerra, 9. Brian Bauernfeind, 10. Dan Curry, 11. Mike Travis, 12. Charles Hummel Sr., 13. Tasha Curry, 14. Cody Houghtaling, 15. George VanAken. SEGMENT WINNERS – Dan Curry, Mike Travis.
4 CYLINDER NOVICE OVERALL FINISH (50 laps): 1. James Curry (Woodbourne, NY), 2. David Donovan, 3. Travis Cogswell, 4. Jessey Torrens, 5. Lee Cogswell, 6. Austin Zweck, 7. Felicia Reichenbaugh, 8. Johnny Bankich, 9. Charles Hummel Jr., 10. James Sweeney, 11. Dan Houghtaling, 12. James Shields, 13. Keith Unger, 14. John Houghtaling, 15. Dan VanAken.
OFFICIALS’ 4 CYLINDER FEATURE FINISH (20 laps): 1. Martin Chevalier (Jeffersonville, NY), 2. Jonathan McGibbon, 3. George Van Arsdall, 4. Ric Ryder, 5. Woody McGibbon, 6. DJ VanWolde, 7. Rob Kachelreiss, 8. Tiffany Cabrera, 9. Brett Hughes, 10. Andrew Van Arsdall.