By: Gene Ostrowski
October 22, 2017
St. Johns, PA (10/22/2017)- The second and final day of Evergreen Raceway’s
second annual “King of the Green” (KOTG) weekend kicked off Sunday
afternoon. With $4,000 on the line for the winner of the 100-lap American
Rental Equipment Modified main event, it was destined to be a show that
would draw cars from the tri state area, which it did for all three
divisions on Sunday’s card. Despite a slow start to the Modified main, which
eliminated some of the stout runners, Matt Hirschman of Northampton, PA took
the checkers over Zane Zeiner to claim the big check and the division
championship. It was no surprise to see Randy Schlenker of Whitehall running
up front in the Barbush Automotive Street Stock division. In what he calls
his career best season, Schlenker not only took the victory, but also
claimed another Evergreen championship. After crossing the stripe second in
the Factory Stock feature, mixed with the disqualification of the feature
winner, Gerard Lawrence of Long Island, NY was honored with the victory.
Twenty eight tour type Modifieds lined the pit area. Each and every driver
had their first goal in mind- to finish well in the heat or consi to make
the 20 car starting field. Three drivers were well on their way with heat
race wins, including John Mandatto, Brian DeFebo and Scott Adams. Thirteen
cars started the consi and Blake Barney took that victory.
With a heads up start from qualifying, Mandatto led the field to the drop of
the green in the 100-lap contest. He led the opening circuit over DeFebo,
Adams, Matt Hirschman and Roger Coss. The top five settled in and quickly
ran off some quick laps before a quick yellow waved on lap 11.
Green flag racing resumed and then a pileup occurred at the exit of turn
two. Many drivers were involved, including DeFebo, Coss, Earl Paules, Buddy
Miller, Lou Strohl, Gene Bowers, Barry Callavini , Zane Zeiner and Randall
Richard. Nearly turning over, Zeiner rode the backstretch wall before
landing back on all four wheels. Amazingly, after some quick crew work,
Zeiner rejoined the field without losing a lap. DeFebo on the other hand was
not as lucky and the day came to a close for the 2016 event winner.
With the green back out and with Mandatto still showing the way, a quick
caution waved on lap 14. Hirschman held second on the restart and got the
jump on Mandatto to take the lead.
A red flag stopped the show for minutes on lap 17 when Callavini’s car
appeared to have a part break while entering turn one. He shot up the track
and collected John Fortin, Jr. Fortin’s car slammed into the Styrofoam
blocks and then rode the fence prior to flipping on its roof. Thankfully,
Fortin was uninjured both the hopes of winning for both drivers came to an
More green flag laps clicked off following the restart and Adams found
himself on Hirschman’s back bumper at the halfway mark. Mandatto, Paules and
Coss were in tow.
Within the next 20 laps, Brandon Oltra made his presence known and moved
into the third behind the two front runners. Amazingly, Zeiner had moved
into fourth after the incident early in the show.
The show slowed on lap 74 and Adams gave up second and hit the pits for a
tire. The only problem was; the pits were closed. Realizing the mistake, it
forced him to restart as the last car on the lead lap. When the pits were
finally open, many of the top ten runners pitted, including Paules, Coss,
Barney, John Markovic and Mandatto. With a very strategic call, Hirschman
did not pit and held the lead over Oltra and Zeiner for the restart.
Once the green flag came back out, Hirschman focused on the lead and Zeiner
focused on overtaking Oltra for second. He succeeded on lap 75 but didn’t
have anything left for the leader by the event’s end. Hirschman went on to
score his fifth King of the Green victory over Zeiner, Coss, Oltra and
Eric Kocher, Rich Paciotti and Randy Schlenker notched Street Stock heat
wins to secure excellent starting spots in the 50-lap feature. Kocher led
the field to the green and Schlenker got the edge to lead lap one by a
bumper over Kocher, Mike Pollack, Paciotti and John Moser.
Paciotti climbed to second and the remainder of the top five remained the
same until lap 28 when Pollack moved by Kocher for the fourth spot. All the
while, Paciotti, who appeared to have a faster car than the leader, tried
Schlenker high and low for position. Each time, the leader shut the door.
Only four short yellow flags slowed the show and Schlenker went on to claim
the checkers over Paciotti, Moser, Pollack and Kevin Kromer.
Eric Zeh and Tom Casagrande scored Factory Stock heat race wins and then
shared the front row for the start of the 40-lap feature. Zeh led the
opening circuit over Casagrande, Scott Sipe, Gerald Lawrence and Elliott
Wohl. The top five battled hard in the early going and then settled into
line. With 10 laps complete, Zeh still showed the way over Casagrande and
The first of three yellows waved when Stephanie Moyer broke and lost a right
rear wheel on lap 22. She pitted for repair and rejoined the competition.
Sipe worked on Casagrande for second and then made the pass on lap 24.
Shortly after, Casagrande headed to the infield with mechanical issues.
Green flag racing resumed and with 26 laps complete, Zeh held the point over
Sipe, Wohl, Mark Tyson and Lawrence.
Lawrence’s car came to life in the closing laps and he climbed into the
second spot. The pair took the checkers in the same order over Wohl, Sipe
and Tyson. However, Zeh failed to pass post race inspection and Lawrence was
awarded the crown.
Evergreen Raceway is located minutes from Hazleton, PA, in between routes 93
and 309. For more information regarding Evergreen Raceway, including the
entire season schedule, directions and divisional payouts, please visit
forget to like their Facebook page as well.
Evergreen Raceway is proud to be associated with Fairway Motors, Harry’s U
Pull It, Penn’s Peak Radio, Sponenberg’s Exhaust, Wheel’s Bar & Grill, CK
Auto Service & Race Fab, Himmer Graphics, Evan’s Roadhouse, Bob’s Subs &
Pizza, American Rental Equipment, Barbush Automotive, Valve Tech Sales,
Penn’s Peak, Printers Edge & RockAuto.com.
Modified (100-laps) 1. MATT HIRSCHMAN 2. Zane Zeiner 3. Roger Coss 4.
Brandon Oltra 5. John Markovic 6. Earl Paules 7. Blake Barney 8. Todd Baer
9. Scott Adams 10. Alan Creveling 11. Randall Richard 12. Gene Bowers 13.
Lou Strohl 14. Jon Mandato 15. Joey Jarowicz 16. Barry Callavini 17.John
Fortin 18. Justin Gumley 19. Brian DeFebo 20. Buddy Miller DNQ: Paul
Frantz, Mitch Dowd, James Pritchard, Wayne Szerencsits, Joe DeGracia, Scott
Miller, Paul Monkoski
Street Stock (50-laps) 1. RANDY SCHLENKER 2. Rich Paciotti 3. John Moser
4. Mike Pollack 5. Kevin Kromer 6. Josh Mooney 7. Todd Ahner 8. Broc Brown
9. Eric Kocher 10. Steve Shultz 11. Steve Hoffman 12. Mark Martini 13.
Jillian Long 14. Corey Edelman 15. Rick Reichenbach 16. Dan Pawlicki
17.Brian Halecki 18. TJ Gursky 19. Mark Deysher 20. Bobby Kibler Jr DNQ:
Corey Swartz, Stacey Brown, Sam Danaher, Steve Tito, Zach Biros, Paul Morgan
Factory Stock (40-laps) 1. GERALD LAWRENCE 2. Elliot Whol 3. Scott Sipe 4.
Mark Tyson 5. Jerry Koenig 6. Andrew Monkoski 7. Steph Moyer 8. Frank
Katona 9. Bob Wink 10. Mike Montano 11. Tom Casagrande 12. Bryan O’Shea
13. Jake Jones DQ: Eric Zeh