Category Archives: Bethel Speedway

Ed Dachenhausen Pockets $6,900 ‘Summer of 69’ STSS Sportsman Victory

WHITE LAKE, NY – On a day that will stand out in the history of Bethel Motor Speedway, Ed Dachenhausen’s name will forever be etched the in the record books.

Dachenhausen, of Danbury, Conn., raced to victory in the unprecedented ‘Summer of 69’ spectacular paying $6,900 to the Bob Hilbert Sportswear Short Track Super Series (STSS) Fueled By VP Sportsman winner.

The 69-lap race, which pitted Open and Crate 602 Sportsman engine combinations, offered the largest Sportsman winner’s share at any venue in 2017, with the unique twist of dirt-style cars tackling the tight one-quarter-mile paved oval.

The event thrust Bethel into the spotlight with a large crowd, regional media attention and 30 competitors trying their hand at the money.

At day’s end, it was Dachenhausen’s Scott Sanford-owned car in Victory Lane.

“This is awesome,” said a thrilled Dachenhausen after climbing to the roof of his race car on the frontstretch before the energized Bethel fans. “I can’t thank everyone enough for putting this race on and giving a guy like me a chance to run for this kind of money.

“The cautions were working out in my favor. It’s always nice when you have open track to race on.”

Dachenhausen races on the dirt at Accord (N.Y.) Speedway on Friday nights in the Modified division. Bethel is his home for Saturday racing. He is a Sportsman regular while his son Tyler competes in the track’s pavement-style BMS Modified ranks.

The storybook weekend for Dachenhausen included Saturday wins by both he and his son at Bethel as a ‘Summer of 69’ prelude.

“It couldn’t have been any better of a weekend for us,” he said. “I was pretty emotional last night when my son won his first (Modified) race. This is Hollywood stuff.”

Dachenhausen’s Saturday win at Bethel granted him a guaranteed sixth starting spot for Sunday’s main event.

“I was lucky to win last night and not have to go through all the qualifying,” he admitted.

A field of 26 STSS Sportsman took the green on the Bethel bullring, setting up some wild moments in the race’s opening laps.

Jackie Brown Jr., from fourth, sixth-starter Dachenhausen and veteran Frank Jashembowski – up from 14th – defined themselves as victory contenders through the race’s rough-and-tumble beginning.

When Brown’s No. 6X became entangled with a lapped car in turn two during the latter part of the race’s first segment, it became a Jashembowski/Dachenhausen lead battle.

Through heavy slower traffic, Dachenhausen slipped past ‘Frankie J’ and established his No. 11x as the leader.

Race rules set two “competition cautions” on laps 25 and 50, giving teams the option to head to the pits and change tires.

For Dachenhausen, it wasn’t a consideration.

“I tried to keep the tires under me and drive straight,” he said. “We didn’t have any plans to pit.”

Dachenhausen remained the leader as the crowd intently watched Brown pick his way back through the field. Brown, a winner on dirt at Accord Speedway among other venues and frequent participant on the pavement at Devil’s Bowl Speedway in Vermont, raced back into second.

Despite a final caution on lap 66, the Hurley, N.Y., driver couldn’t unseat Dachenhausen at the front of the field.

Brown’s Crate 602 powered car settled for runner-up status, worth $3,000, with Jashembowski – a longtime big-block Modified racer at N.Y.’s Orange County Fair Speedway – returning to the seat with a stout third-place result.

Bethel regular Jeff Richardson of Goshen, N.Y., lost the powerplant on his No. 50 during Saturday’s program. He appeared to be on the sidelines, that is, until the main event started.

When Dom Roselli was involved in a heat-race tangle and later fought distributor issues, he failed to qualify for the main. Roselli then turned his car over to Richardson, who was eligible for a provisional start as the speedway’s point leader.

Richardson started dead last, 26th on the grid, and raced to a fourth-place finish.

Second-generation driver Cole Hentschel of Pine Bush, N.Y., ran a steady race to finish fifth after starting 17th.

Completing the top-10 were Brian Papiez of Belle Mead, N.J., driving the Horton family No. 43 (after a flat tire); Vermont invader Joey Roberts, also recovering from a flat; Orange County regular Billy Eggers; Accord’s Nick Plumstead and Eric Moon.

Winners of the three 20-lap ‘Semi’ qualifiers were Papiez, Jashembowski and Al Archiere. Matt Curry and Jimmy Zacharias snagged the consolations.  

Kevin Skelly of North Branch, N.Y., drove to a $1,069 payday in the 40-lap ‘Woodstocker’ Street Stock special. Skelly and Kyle Welsch distanced themselves from the field in an extra-distance event slowed by just a single caution. Skelly masterfully worked slower traffic to outdistance Welsh.

The ‘Woodstocker’ event allowed only street-legal DOT tires rather than racing tires. Skelly invaded Bethel on Saturday with DOT tires on to prepare and it paid off.

“I’m glad we came last night to get dialed in for this race on the DOT tires,” he said.

Welsch finished second, followed by Walt Henry, Amber Van Order and Steve Simpson.

Like their full-fender Street Stock counterparts, the Four Cylinders ran with just a single caution in their 39-lap event! Mike Travis of Liberty, N.Y., took advantage of a head’s-up start to wire the ‘Hippie Bowl’ presented by Hibernation Heating and win the $669 top prize. Travis won convincingly over Shawn Maloney.

Up next for the STSS is the Recovery Sports Grill ‘Stampede at ‘toga’ on Tuesday, August 15 at Albany-Saratoga Speedway in Malta, N.Y., paying $5,000 to the Modified winner as part of the Halmar International North Region, plus a $1,000-to-win King of Dirt (KoD) Crate 602 Sportsman main.

Bethel Motor Speedway is located at 361 Horseshoe Lake Road Bethel, NY 12783. The speedway can be contacted by phone at 845.319.7908, on the web atwww.bethelmotorspeedway.com, and on Facebook under Bethel Motor Speedway.

To learn more about the Short Track Super Series Fueled By VP or BD Motorsports Media LLC, visit www.shorttracksuperseries.com or www.bdmotorsportsmedia.com, call845.728.2781 during business hours, e-mail bdmotorsportsmedia@gmail.com, “like” Short Track Super Series on Facebook or follow @ShortTrackSS on Twitter.

BETHEL BEATS: The event carried a ‘Woodstock’ theme at a track located just miles from the original site of the 1969 festival. Era appropriate music, tie-dyed event shirts and more added to the event’s atmosphere….

The large crowd filled the speedway’s grandstands and spilled out to both sides with lawn chairs….

Despite the busy program of racing, the final checkered flew just after 7 p.m., well in advance of the town-imposed 8 p.m. Sunday curfew….

A number of drivers took in the event as spectators including Jimmy Horton, Anthony Perrego, Danny Creeden, Brett Tonkin, Matt Stangle, Brandon Grosso, Craig Hanson and more….

A unique blend of officials included announcers Tim Pitts and Jeff Ahlum, starter Warren Alston, tech director George McKelvey, pit staff Eric Kormann and Dave Pace joining the Bethel staff for the program….

The 2017 Short Track Super Series is presented by American Racer/Lias Tire, VP Racing Fuel, Bob Hilbert Sportswear, Halmar International, Allstar Performance, ATL Racing Fuel Cells, Behrent’s Performance Warehouse, Bicknell Racing Products, Dirt Track Digest, Fast Axle, Fox Racing Shocks, Hig Fab, Henry’s Exhaust, HyperCo, Keizer Wheels, Kirkey Racing Fabrication, K&N, QA1, Race Pro Weekly, Racing Optics, Speed51.com, Teo-Pro Car, Velocita, Weld & Wilwood.

‘SUMMER OF 69’ RACE SUMMARY – BETHEL MOTOR SPEEDWAY AUGUST 6, 2017

Bob Hilbert Sportswear Short Track Super Series Fueled By VP Sportsman Feature Finish (69 laps): ED DACHENHAUSEN ($6,900), Jackie Brown Jr., Frank Jashembowski, Jeff Richardson, Cole Hentschel, Brian Papiez, Joey Roberts, Billy Eggers, Nick Plumstead, Eric Moon, Rob Rowe, Harold Humphrey, Milton Mann, Mike Sabia, Shayne Spoonhower, Corey Cormier, Chris Raser, Larry Mekic, Brad Horton, Dan Dulin, Rich Coons, Al Archiere, Jimmy Zacharias, Colin DuBois, Kyle Redner, Matt Curry.

Did Not Qualify: Dom Roselli, Roy Crespo, Craig Pritchard, Michael Talmadge.

‘Woodstocker’ Street Stock Feature Finish (40 laps): KEVIN SKELLY ($1,069), Kyle Welsch, Walt Henry, Amber Van Orden, Steve Simpson, Ryan Brockner, Bill Deak, Josh Wilbur, Brian Bauernfiend, Matt Guadagno, Josh Towner, Joel Murns, Charlie Towner, Jeff Hager, Mario Contorino, Larry O’Donnell, Jessica Ricci, Gary Gamble.

‘Hippie Bowl’ Four Cylinder Feature Finish (39 laps): MIKE TRAVIS ($669), Shawn Maloney, Tim Curry, Dave Donovan (pending tech), Dan Curry (pending tech), Dan Houghtaling (pending tech), Cody Houghtaling, Edward Jones, Brandon Golzak, Clifford Levison, Robert Beach, Nicholas Curry, Ray Lamantia, Marcos Small, Michael Weiner, Jessey Torrens, Marison Torrens, Edwin King, Joe Morris Jr., Jeff DeGroat, Josh Houghtaling.

Bethel Motor Speedway To Host Historic ‘Summer of 69’ STSS Sportsman Event Paying $6,900 To Win

Highest-Paying Northeast Sportsman Race To Take Place On Quarter-Mile Paved Oval

WHITE LAKE, NY – The richest event in the entire Northeast for the 2017 season for dirt-track Sportsman will be part of the Short Track Super Series (STSS) Fueled By VP schedule.

And it will take place on pavement!

Bethel Motor Speedway, the quarter-mile paved oval nestled in the Catskill Mountains of New York State, will be thrust into the Northeast spotlight Sunday, August 6 with the inaugural ‘Summer of 69’ for dirt-track Sportsman. The Bethel location is convenient for competitors hailing from New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Connecticut.

This 69-lap event will offer $6,900 – yes, $6,900 – to the winner from a massive posted purse. Not only will this be the most lucrative event run in speedway history, it will also serve as the highest-paying race run at any venue, anywhere, for the Sportsman division. A field of 24 cars will take the green flag, with $150 reserved for the last-place finisher.

The race will be reserved for dirt cars only. Dirt tires will be run. Open and Crate engine combinations will be eligible to participate with staggered weights for each. All competitors entering this event will receive 60 points toward the STSS Sportsman championship battle; as such the ‘Summer of 69’ will be open to any driver wishing to compete.

In recent seasons, Bethel Motor Speedway has headlined its weekly Saturday programs with dirt-track Sportsman. The Bethel layout has proven racy for the division, with multi-groove racing the norm.

The ‘Summer of 69’ creates a true marquee program for the facility that will generate interest from across the area. The speedway sits just miles from the original site of Woodstock and will be themed as a throwback to the famed festival held in the summer of 1969.

“We were looking to do something to put the track on the map,” speedway owner Jeff Lefcourt said. “By running this show, I think it will open the eyes of the Northeast racing community to our facility. It’s going to attract new fans, get us attention we’ve never had here before from racers, media and sponsors.”

STSS organizer Brett Deyo will not only sanction the event, but manage its marketing and promotion.

“This is such a unique, out-of-the-box idea that it really piqued my interest,” he said. “The Sportsman division has never seen anything quite like this before. Neither has the speedway.

“My first opportunity in racing was covering racing at Bethel for Area Auto Racing News when I was 15 years old. I’ve always had an interest in the track and being part of something like this is an honor for me.”

Complete rules and further information on the event will be released in the coming weeks.

Support divisions will be included on the program, as well. Street Stocks will compete for a $1,069 winner’s share in the ‘Woodstocker’ and will be joined by FWD Four Cylinders ($669 to win) in the ‘Hippie Bowl’ and Slingshots ‘Drum Beat Heat’ ($369 to win).

A rain date of August 13 is set in the event of inclement weather.

BETHEL MOTOR SPEEDWAY WRAPS UP 2016 SEASON WITH AWARDS BANQUET

BETHEL, NY – Drivers, families, and friends packed the room at The Ramada at The Sullivan Event Center in Rock Hill this past Saturday night to recognize the efforts of the drivers and celebrate the 2016 season at the quarter-mile asphalt oval. In the mix of title winners were four first-time champions and five champions who have previously won titles.
BMS Modified champion John Cote, who has recorded more than 115 wins in his time at Bethel Motor Speedway, led the list of repeat champions. Cote has numerous titles at the speedway – where he has competed for the last 18 years – with the last one coming in 2013. During the course of the 2016 season, Cote’s accomplishments included seven feature event wins. Cote also set fast time in the division’s first-ever time trial race held in June. Joe DeGracia, who captured his first career win in the class in July, was honored as the division’s Rookie of the Year. Former division champion Skip LaPolt – who finished second in 2016 points – was awarded Best Appearing Car.
The 358/Sportsman division saw Kyle Redner pick up his first career title. Redner captured his first career win in the class in September, and he backed it up with two more in the next two weeks, bringing his season total to three wins. Redner is the son of former dirt and asphalt competitor Eddie Redner. Mike Dutka, who picked up two wins this season on his way to a second-place finish in the final points, was awarded Rookie of the Year. Former BMS Modified competitor Paul Martin – also a rookie in the class this year – picked up Best Appearing Car honors.
Richie Coy was also a repeat champion, picking up his second Legends Pro/Masters title. Coy’s season included five feature event wins, as well as his second Masters division win at the prestigious LegendStock national qualifier event. Coy – who also picked up the INEX New Jersey State Masters Championship – has announced that he is moving out of Legends and into NEMA Lite Midgets for the 2017 season. Coy’s teammate Stephen Hershey, who was second in the season standings, went home with Best Appearing Car honors.
In the Legends Young Lion/Semi Pro class, 2013 Bandolero Rookie of the Year and 2015 Legends Co-Rookie of the Year Gillian Kirkpatrick picked up her first career title. While she only had a single overall feature win in 2016, Kirkpatrick picked up numerous Semi Pro division wins during the season, and put forth a strong enough showing to also receive Most Improved INEX Driver recognition. Mikey Policastro, who finished second in the class in only his first full season of competition, was honored as Rookie of the Year.
Bandolero champion Sean Verwys was among the first-time champions, winning six features along the way. Verwys was honored as the speedway’s Most Improved Driver in 2015, and captured the INEX Pennsylvania State Outlaw division title in addition to his Bethel crown, finishing eighth overall in national points. Isabella Macchia, who captured five Beginner Bandolero wins before moving up into the regular Bandolero division and finishing tenth in points, was named Rookie of the Year. Jeff “JD” Darrah, in recognition of his hard work in maintaining his car all season in spite of some hard hits, took home the Best Appearing Car award for the class.
Defending Pro Stock division champion Kenny Atkins may have missed Opening Night, but he fought back ferociously to pick up his second consecutive title. Atkins was the division’s 2010 Rookie of the Year and finished second in points in both 2013 and 2014 before capturing his first title in 2015. Atkins had ten wins to his credit in 2016. Vinnie Stanton Jr., who was sixth in overall points, was named Rookie of the Year. Third-place points finisher Jim Helt was awarded Best Appearing Car.
For the second straight year, Gary VanOrden topped the Street Stock field to take home the championship. With six feature wins to his credit, the veteran driver – who had only planned to run a partial season in 2016 – grabbed the crown. Patty Falkena, who moved up from the 4 Cylinder class, took home Rookie of the Year honors in the growing class which had several rookies in it. Kyle Welsch, who finished second in the standings after missing a week early in the season, was awarded Best Appearing Car. Thirteen-year-old Rookie Bryan Chirico, who moved up from Bandoleros and was the youngest driver to compete in the class – requiring special approval – took home Most Improved Driver honors. The young driver, who flipped his Bandolero four times on Opening Night in 2015 and rebounded to capture the New York State Bandit Championship that year, finished seventh in the standings in spite of missing three races.
Brian Bauernfeind took home the 4 Cylinder Advanced title. While it was his first championship in that particular division, it was his second championship, as he was the 2014 4 Cylinder Novice champion. Bauernfeind notched a total of 11 feature wins in 2016, and he also picked up the Best Appearing Car Award.
John Houghtaling grabbed his first-ever title, winning the 4 Cylinder Novice championship after picking up five feature event wins. Jimmy Shields, who picked up his first career win in August and going on to finish second in points in the class before passing away unexpectedly after the conclusion of the season, was remembered with an Honorary Championship, and was also the recipient of the track’s Mechanic of the Year award. Felicia Reichenbaugh took home the Best Appearing Car award for the class.
Attendees at the banquet honored the late Jimmy Shields with the 4th Annual Dick Crumley Memorial Sportsmanship Award, while Business Operations Manager Tracy Chirico was voted as the recipient of the 4th Annual Sherri Barnes Memorial Woman’s Dedication to Racing Award.
At the conclusion of the night’s awards ceremonies, it was announced by track owner Joe Graf that Tracy Chirico would be leaving Bethel Motor Speedway to pursue an opportunity as the Promoter and Operations Manager at Evans Mills Speedway. It was disclosed that Graf was selling the speedway to Jeff Lefcourt, who has been involved with the track for many years through sponsorship from Alliance Shippers Inc. Further details regarding the sale of the speedway and management are expected to be made in the coming weeks