BETHEL, NY – Five years after winning the BMS Modified championship on the quarter-mile asphalt oval at Bethel Motor Speedway, Skip LaPolt returned to the class at the start of the 2016 season. With four races in the books for the division this season, LaPolt picked up his first win this past Saturday night.
Rookie Joe DeGracia started on the pole, with LaPolt to his outside. DeGracia got the advantage on the start and led the first two laps before LaPolt edged into the spot. Just prior to the halfway point, multi-time division champion John Cote came to second. With no cautions to slow the action, Cote chased LaPolt lap after lap, but had to be content with second as LaPolt notched the win. Blair Culhane – who won the division’s first three races of the season – crossed the line third.
Veteran dirt driver Rick Mill took to the asphalt in Bethel’s 358/Sportsman division late in the 2015 season, and has proven himself to be a formidable competitor on pavement, having picked up his fourth win in five events this past Saturday. Dan Dulin took off from the pole and led the way early in the race, with Mill making his way up to the second spot with just three laps in the books. Mill took over the top spot on lap nine, bringing Kyle Redner with him into the second spot. Redner was unable to make a successful bid for the lead as Mill picked up the win over Redner and Dulin.
Defending Legends Young Lion champion Alex McCollum made his first visit to Bethel of the season a profitable one, as he found himself in Victory Lane at the conclusion of the 20-lap Legends feature. Teddy Hodgdon started on the pole and led more than half of the event before McCollum – who had started sixth – wrestled the spot from him. Hodgdon spun with four laps remaining, handing the second spot to Chris Rogers. One lap later, Joe Graf grabbed second, and Joseph Graf worked his way into the third spot with just two laps remaining.
Eugene Drew grabbed his second Bandolero win of the season, leading every lap on his way to the win. Drew started on the pole, alongside Ryan Macartney. Tyler Dachenhausen quickly took over the second spot, and a battle ensued between Dachenhausen and Verwys for the position. Verwys took over second just prior to the halfway point, but contact between Dachenhausen and Verwys brought out the caution and both had to restart from the rear. Mike Roth inherited second as a result, but he was unable to catch Drew, who collected the win. Roth was second, and Dachenhausen worked his way back up to third.
Teddy Cranmer started on the pole and led every lap of the Beginner Bandolero feature to claim his third win of the season. With no cautions to slow the pace of the race, Katie Verwys chased Cranmer to the checkered flag. Nick Archiere was third.
Jim Helt started on the pole for the Pro Stock race with Darwin Moon to his outside. Helt got out to the early lead, but was passed by Ed Butler on lap four. Vinny Stanton Jr. ran third for the first half of the race before defending division champion Kenny Atkins – who left the track following his heat race to pick up another car because of mechanical issues and had to start at the rear of the field as a result – took the spot. Butler drove on to the win in the caution-free event, followed by Helt and Atkins.
There was plenty of action up front in the Street Stock race, as Arthur McArthur, Walt Henry, and Amber VanOrden all spent time in the lead before Kyle Welsch grabbed it just after the halfway point. In the closing laps, Welsch had to hold off defending division champion Gary VanOrden. Welsch was first to the checkered, scoring his second win of the year. G. VanOrden was second, and A. VanOrden was third.
For the first time in 2016, someone other than defending division champion Mike Travis was in Victory Lane following the 4 Cylinder Advanced race. When the front row starters tangled on lap one, Brian Bauernfeind inherited the lead, and Travis quickly came to second. The pair put on a side-by-side battle for the top spot that lasted nearly the entire race, but Bauernfeind picked up the win – and the advertised “bounty” – over Travis. Kody Welsh was awarded third after post-race tech.
Travis Cogswell used lapped traffic to his advantage with just two laps remaining in the 4 Cylinder Advanced race, as he grabbed the lead and his first win of the season. James Shields, who had led the majority of the race, suffered a flat tire with three laps to go, opening the door for Cogswell to get out front. John Houghtaling was second, and Dan Houghtaling was third.
This coming Saturday, June 11th
, the gates at Bethel Motor Speedway will once again swing open for an action-packed night of racing excitement. On the schedule are makeup races from May 21st
for the Pro Stock and 4 Cylinder Novice classes, plus twin 25-lap features for the BMS Modifieds, and regular events for the 358/Sportsman, Legends, Bandolero, Pro Stock, Street Stock, and 4 Cylinder Advanced and Novice classes. Gates open at 2:30 pm
, with hot laps at 4:30 pm
, and racing set to go green at 6 pm. Grandstand admission is just $8, and children five and under are admitted free of charge. More information, including a complete 2016 schedule, can be obtained online at www.bethelmotorspeedway.com
, or by calling (845) 319-7908 Tuesday
from 9 am until 6 pm
BMS MODIFIED FEATURE FINISH (20 laps): 1. Skip LaPolt (Swan Lake, NY), 2. John Cote, 3. Blair Culhane, 4. Joe DeGracia, 5. Steve Galgano, 6. Rob Rafferty.
358/SPORTSMAN FEATURE FINISH (20 laps): 1. Rick Mill (New Windsor, NY), 2. Kyle Redner, 3. Dan Dulin, 4. Mike Dutka, 5. Paul Martin, 6. Eric Moon, 7. Jerry Curry, 8. Rich Coons.
LEGENDS FEATURE FINISH (20 laps): 1. Alex McCollum (Phillipsburg, NJ, YL) , 2. Joe Graf (M), 3. Joseph Graf (P), 4. Chris Rogers (P), 5. Stephen Hershey (P), 6. Jim Sylvester (M), 7. Drew Bottge (SP), 8. Teddy Hodgdon (SP), 9. Mike Rutkoski (SP), 10. Eugene Drew (P), 11. Rob Rafferty (P), 12. Jerry Macchia (YL), 13. Mike Policastro (SP), 14. Paul Dodorico (M), 15. Gillian Kirkpatrick (SP).
BANDOLERO FEATURE FINISH (15 laps): 1. Eugene Drew (Oakland, NJ, O), 2. Mike Roth (B), 3. Tyler Dachenhausen (O), 4. Sean Verwys (O), 5. Jeff Darrah (O), 6. Joey Aungst (B), 7. Jade McElravy (O), 8. Ryan Macartney (B), 9. Conner Piasecki (O).
BEGINNER BANDOLERO FEATURE FINISH (15 laps): 1. Teddy Cranmer (North Hanover, NJ, B), 2. Katie Verwys (B), 3. Nick Archiere (B).
PRO STOCK FEATURE FINISH (20 laps): 1. Ed Butler (Jeffersonville, NY), 2. Jim Helt, 3. Kenny Atkins, 4. Glenn Richard, 5. Darwin Moon, 6. Mac Crawson, 7. Vinny Stanton Jr.
STREET STOCK FEATURE FINISH (20 laps): 1. Kyle Welsch (Narrowsburg, NY), 2. Gary VanOrden, 3. Amber VanOrden, 4. Walt Henry, 5. Patty Falkena, 6. Bryan Chirico, 7. Arthur McArthur, 8. Jessica Ricci, 9. Brent Shaddock. DQ – Joe Smith.
4 CYLINDER ADVANCED FEATURE FINISH (20 laps): 1. Brian Bauernfeind (North Branch, NY), 2. Mike Travis, 3. Kody Welsh, 4. Matt Curry, 5. Cody Houghtaling, 6. Gary Miller, 7. Wayne Atkins, 8. Tim Curry, 9. Jerry Kingeter, 10. Dan VanAken. DQ – Bill VanAken.
4 CYLINDER NOVICE FEATURE FINISH (20 laps): 1. Travis Cogswell (Liberty, NY), 2. John Houghtaling, 3. Dan Houghtaling, 4. James Shields, 5. Jessey Torrens, 6. Eddie Jones Jr., 7. George VanAken, 8. John Bankich, 9. Nick Curry, 10. Richard Smith, 11. Lea Houghtaling, 12. Nicole Nelson, 13. Vinny DeGraw, 14. Daniel Bryant, 15. Marisol Torrens, 16. Gene Helms, 17. Keith Unger. DNS – Felicia Reichenbaugh, Kayla Curry, Allison Scott.