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Awtey and Golik Win First of 2020 at Jennerstown Speedway

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Barry Awtey earned his first win of the season in the Martella's Pharmacies Late Model division
Jennerstown Speedway Complex, LLC Photo

Awtey and Golik Win First of 2020 at Jennerstown Speedway

By: Mike Lysakowski

(Jennerstown, PA)  Former Track Champion Barry Awtey earned his first win of the season in the Martella’s Pharmacies Late Model division of racing, as Somserset Trust Company presented “5-Division Racing” and a fireworks display on Saturday, September 5th.  Also celebrating in Stoney’s Beer Victory Lane was Tom Golik, who won the Stoystown Auto Wreckers Modified race, on his mother’s birthday!  Repeat winners included Casey Fleegle (Ron’s Collision Center Street Stocks), Dale Kimberly (Farmers Union Co-Op Chargers), and Evan Nibert (Somerset Trust Company Fast ‘n Furious 4-Cylinders).

Pre-race ceremonies included the annual Autograph Night, and the 2020 Tri-Star Motors Hall of Fame induction ceremony.  Enshrined as the “class of 2020” were retired drivers Ralph Blough, Gary Sleppy, and Tom Eriksen; team owner Doc Scanlon, and photographer David Singer.

The 30-lap Martella’s Pharmacies Late Model feature race started with defedning Champion Teddy Gibala grabbing the lead from rookie Jeremy Shaffer, at the wave of the green flag.  Gibala, a winner in 2020, opened up a big lead on the field, after starting in the second position.  Barry Awtey advanced into second place from his mid-pack starting berth, with a pass of former Champion Garry Wiltrout, on lap four.  On lap eight, while Gibala continued to lead, point standings leader Albert Francis took third position from early season winner Wiltrout.  At the midpoint of the race, Gibala and Awtey were separated by three car-lengths, and Francis was closing in on the lead duo.  Five-time former Champion, Awtey, was within one car length of the lead with just eight laps to go.  Then, a duel of past Champions thrilled the fans, with Awtey and Gibala racing side by side for the win.  Awtey became the leader by inches at the scoring line with four laps to go.  On lap 27, Awtey completed the pass to secure the lead.  With two laps to go, Awtey opened up a one-car-length advantage, as Francis challenged Gibala for second place.  All three drivers fighting for the win, are in contention for the 2020 championship crown.  When the checkered flag was displayed, Awtey earned his first win of the season, in spite of starting the race in eighth position.  Gibala, the leading winner of 2019, placed a close second, after defending that position from a serious late race challenge.  Francis, the only winner of multiple Late Model races in 2020 (three total), finished third, on the heels of Gibala.  Francis, of Painesville, Ohio, now carries a slim four point advantage atop the standings, into next week’s battle.  Recent winner Joe Maruca started in tenth place and finished fourth.  Sophomore driver Jarred Barclay finished fifth.  Awtey and Gibala won the preliminary heat races earlier in the night.  Hometown favorite, Awtey, driver of the Wheeler Family Show Cattle/Stoystown Auto Wreckers/Pizza Hut Chevrolet, is the all time leading winner in Jennerstown Speedway history.

Barry Awtey
Jennerstown Speedway Complex, LLC Photo

John Fama led the first two laps of the Stoystown Auto Wreckers’ Modified division 20-lap feature race, after starting from the pole position.  A rookie, Fama has looked strong all season, but he surrendered the lead on lap three.  Tom Golik, a former dirt track Champion, grabbed the top spot, seeking his first win of 2020, as the most experienced driver in the field.  Fama then lost the second position to Adam Henry on lap three, as “Racin’ Jason” Busch advanced into third place at the same time.  Golik maintained the lead, comfortably ahead of young Henry, into the middle stages of the race.  Defending, Champion Anthony Aiello, battled Busch for multiple laps, door-to-door, in the fight for third place.  On lap ten, Aiello became the third position driver.  At the head of the pack, it was Golik, who had struggled through the 2019 season, but returned to his expected speeds throughout 2020.  A winner of multiple feature events in 2017 and 2018, Golik finally ended a long drought, with a convincing victory.  After the recent passing of Golik’s father, he celebrated in Stoney’s Victory Lane with his mother, on her 82nd birthday!  Henry had a career best performance, earning a second place finish after only a season and a half of Modified competition.  Point standings leader Aiello finished third, ahead of former winner Busch, and 2020 winner R.J. Dallape placed fifth.  Dallape and Aiello won the heat races.

Veteran Mel Wilt led the early laps of the Ron’s Collision Center Street Stock divisions’ 20-lap feature race.  Former winner Zac Todaro held the runner up spot, with defending Champion Aaron Van Fleet racing in third place.  At the halfway mark, point standings leader Casey Fleegle advanced from the tenth starting spot to claim third position, passing his championship nemesis, Van Fleet.  Taking second place from Todaro on lap eleven, Fleegle immediately challenged Wilt for the lead.  Wilt, a multi-division winner in his Jennerstown career, surrendered the top spot after leading 14 laps.  Fleegle then pulled away, earning his division-leading fifth victory of 2020, after launching from the fifth row in the race.  At the finish line the top five were Fleegle, Wilt, Todaro, two-time winner Van Fleet, and veteran Rick Meehlieb who started eighth.  Fleegle and Van Fleet won the heat races, and Fleegle holds a mere ten point advantage over Van Fleet in the battle for the 2020 Street Stock title.

Barry Awtey
Jennerstown Speedway Complex, LLC Photo
Barry Awtey
Jennerstown Speedway Complex, LLC Photo

The 15-lap Farmers Union Co-Op Charger division feature race started with teenage rookie Will Hemminger on the pole position.  But, grabbing the lead early was defending Champion Dale Kimberly, who started outside of row number one.  Hemminger, a third generation racer, maintained the second spot as Steven Singo advanced through the field.  Veteran Singo started in eighth position, and quickly made his way into the top five.  On lap eleven, Singo passed Hemminger to become the runner up.  When the checkered flag waved, Kimberly increased his division leading win total, earning his sixth trophy of 2020.  Singo claimed second place and, was gaining on Kimberly in the closing laps. Hemminger continued to impress, with a third place finish.  Veteran Bob Mostoller has been very strong in recent weeks, earning another “top five” spot, with his fourth place run.  Cody Gaynor finished fifth.  Kimberly also won the heat race.

The Somerset Trust Co. Fast ‘n Furious 4-Cylinder division’s 15-lap feature race started with former Champion Evan Nibert grabbing the lead from his front row starting spot.  Lance Shawley, in the quest for a first victory, chased leader Nibert for the first half of the race. Point standings leader Jeff Vasos became the runner up on lap ten, after taking the green flag in tenth position.  Nibert held the top spot the entire distance, however, and claimed another victory – his third of the year.  Fellow three-time winner, Vasos, enjoys a comfortable lead in the point standings, and claimed second position in the race.  Shawley’s stellar night ended with a third place finish, and 2019 winner Michael Saler placed fourth.  Jason Fulton earned his first top five finish of the season, with a smooth run.  Michael Mohle and Nibert were the heat race winners.

Barry Awtey
Jennerstown Speedway Complex, LLC Photo

Saturday, September 12th, winged Sprint Cars attack the Jennerstown asphalt for the first time in 2020.  The 800 horsepower, methanol burning, open-wheeled warriors of the nationally televised “Must See Sprint Car Series” bring their tour to the Laurel Highlands for one night only.  Plus, “5 Division Racing” for the stars of Jennerstown’s weekly stock car wars, on the same night.  Advance tickets are on sale now at www.jennerstown.org 

Results September 5, 2020

Late Models

Pos       Start    Driver  Hometown      Car

1          8          Barry Awtey    Jenners, PA      #75

2          1          Teddy Gibala   Coulter, PA      #3

3          12        Albert Francis  Painesville, OH            #33F

4          10        Joe Maruca     Slickville, PA    #90

5          6          Jarred Barclay Somerset, PA   #92

6          4          Garry Wiltrout Somerset, PA   #95

7          9          Eldon King       Freedom, NY   #0

8          3          Brandan Marhefka      Windber, PA    #13

9          7          Zane Ferrell     Ruffs Dale, PA #14

10        2          Jeremy Shaffer            Derry, PA         #16

11        5          Paul Fess         Mt. Pleasant, PA          #89

12        11        Todd Price       Bedford, PA     #96

13        16        Mike Hemminger        Stoystown, PA #72

14        13        Lauren Butler  West Mifflin, PA          #53

15        14        Bryan Shipp     Scottdale, PA   #40

16        15        Patrick Waugh New Florence, PA        #21

17        17        Chris Brink       Penn Run, PA  #77

Modifieds

Pos       Start    Driver  Hometown      Car

1          3          Tom Golik        West Newton, PA        #98

2          1          Adam Henry    Friedens, PA    #62

3          8          Anthony Aiello White Oak, PA #31

4          6          Jason Busch     Pittsburgh, PA #42

5          5          RJ Dallape       Jennerstown, PA         #75

6          2          John Fama       Central City, PA           #55

7          10        Brad Milburn   Schellsburg, PA           #95

8          4          Cindy Shaulis   Somerset, PA   #83

9          9          John Gerula     Boswell, PA     #10

10        7          Dustin Gursky  Friedens, PA    #29

Street Stocks

Pos       Start    Driver  Hometown      Car

1          10        Casey Fleegle  Friedens, PA    #113

2          1          Mel Wilt          Hollidaysburg, PA        #33

3          2          Zac Todaro      Johnstown, PA #4

4          6          Aaron VanFleet           Scottdale, PA   #95

5          8          Rick Meehleib Stoystown, PA #37

6          7          Angie Kimberly            Sutersville, PA #9

7          3          Scott Mitchell Somerset, PA   #20M

8          4          Jeff Barclay     Rockwood, PA #74

9          5          Brent Bickerstaff         Herminie, PA   #53

10        12        Harold Meyers            Friedens, PA    #64

11        13        Rich Burbidge  New Castle, PA            #77

12        9          Josh Coughenour        Gray, PA          #20

13        11        Marvin Sleith   West Newton, PA        #69

Fast 4s

Pos       Start    Driver  Hometown      Car

1          2          Evan Nibert     Somerset, PA   #7

2          10        Jeff Vasos        Stoystown, PA #12

3          4          Lance Shawley Stoystown, PA #13

4          9          Michael Saler  Somerset, PA   #38

5          6          Jason Fulton    Normalville, PA           #19

6          3          Matthew Ruffing         Johnstown, PA #47

7          8          Mark Gustafson           Mt. Pleasant, PA          #66G

8          7          Kurtis Frampton          Boswell, PA     #77

9          12        John Haburcsak           Jerome, PA      #40

10        11        Rebecca Horner          Berlin, PA        #9

11        14        Nate Valente   BROWNSVILLE, PA      #69

12        13        Brianna Mohle Johnstown, PA #56

13        5          Jason Truscott Johnstown, PA #26

14        1          Michael Mohle            Johnstown, PA #8

Chargers

Pos       Start    Driver  Hometown      Car

1          2          Dale Kimberly Sutersville, PA #22

2          8          Steven Singo   Hooversville, PA          #7

3          1          Will Hemminger         Stoystown, PA #76

4          3          Bob Mostoller Pittsburgh, PA #43

5          6          Cody Gaynor   Greensburg, PA           #61

6          5          Nick Niemiec   Acosta, PA       #19

7          7          Chris Ament    Latrobe, PA     #2

8          4          Kyle Burkholder          Mill Run, PA     #27

Saturday, September 12th, winged Sprint Cars attack the Jennerstown asphalt for the first time in 2020.  The 800 horsepower, methanol burning, open-wheeled warriors of the nationally televised “Must See Sprint Car Series” bring their tour to the Laurel Highlands for one night only.  Plus, “5 Division Racing” for the stars of Jennerstown’s weekly stock car wars, on the same night.  Advance tickets are on sale now at www.jennerstown.org

By: Mike Lysakowski

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