Story credit: Raceway 7 Facebook page
By: Jay Pees
Monroe Center, OH (July 31, 2020): Seasoned veterans and newcomers went to Victory Lane on yet another hot night of five-star racing at Raceway 7. Joe Long and Mitchell Wright made their first trips to the Winner’s Circle with Long’s visit the first-ever feature win of his career and Wright’s the first for him at his home track. At the other end of experience at winning was Joel Watson, the winningest driver in Raceway 7 history, putting yet another notch in his growing list of accomplishments. Young Jessica Harvey put up her third Mini-Stock win of the season to expand her points lead and Chas Wolbert collected the RUSH Modified victory. During heat race action in the RUSH Modifieds Gary Haupt got up on an infield marking tire and rolled, ending his night.
The first feature on the track was the RUSH Modifieds with Chas Wolbert and July 17 winner Rob Kristyak leading the way. Wolbert took the immediate lead and led lap one over Kristyak, Tony Tatgenhorst, July 3 winner Kole Holden, and Jacob Jordan. He then built up a 2.353 seconds lead by lap three, extending it to 3.262 seconds by the halfway point. The race’s sole caution period happened at lap fifteen when Greg Porter slowed on the front straight with a flat left rear tire. That eliminated Wolbert’s then 3.481 second lead. Ayden Cipriani came into the top five at lap seventeen. At the checkers it was Wolbert by 1.233 second over Kristyak, Tatgenhorst, Holden, and Cipriani.
Mitchell Wright and Bill Cunningham brought the Economod feature to Mark Osburn’s green flag with Wright leading Cunningham, Dustin Demattia, points leader Nate Young, and June 19 winner Zack Lenart through lap one. Demattia took over second and Young came to third at two laps when the first caution slowed the event as Billy Cunningham, Justin Sax, Garrett Calvert, Judson Fell, and Bob Vogt all got together in turns three and four. Wright continued to lead after green with Lenart getting by Bill Cunningham for fourth, then Young taking over second at lap four, when yellow appeared again, this time for Todd Miller, Sax, Fell, and Andrew Piscarchick. Matt Alexander was up to fourth at five laps from tenth on the grid. After a yellow for Edward Roberts, spun at six laps, Demattia came to second at seven complete. The halfway order was Wright, Demattia, Young, Lenart, and Alexander. Roberts spun again at nine laps. Young was back up to second at ten laps but Demattia again held the spot at the stripe. Caution was shown yet again at eleven laps for Bill Cunningham, spun in turn four, and Justin Chaddock, stopped on the front straight. July 3 winner Jarrett Young was fifth at eleven laps with Demattia solidly second. Miller, Derek Connors, and Roberts got together with two to go. For Roberts, it was his third caution, so he was sent pitside. Just one more lap was complete before the final caution, this time for Lenart, with Jordan Simmons and Judson Fell also involved. Under the caution Jarrett Young stopped in the front straight, apparently the victim of a dropped driveshaft. The final finishing order was Wright, Demattia, Nate Young, Alexander, and Calvert.
Next up we’re the RUSH Late Models with Matt Sipes and Joe Long on the front row. At just two laps in, opening night winner Josh Ferry spun on the back straight after contact with another car. Long was the leader from the start with John Lacki and Kyle Zimmerman in hot pursuit. Long was pulling away at the halfway point with a .871 second lead that was extended to 1.044 second at lap eleven. Zimmerman began closing the gap at twelve laps, narrowing it to 0.464 at five laps remaining when Bud Watson spun in turn four. Then, in turn two Zimmerman uncharacteristically spun. When the race resumed it was points leader and two time 2020 winner Matt Latta right on Long’s rear bumper with July 3 winner Jason Genco third, Sipes fourth, and Lacki fifth. At seventeen laps Long had again established himself as the one to beat with a now 1.742 sec lead. Meanwhile, Zimmerman had come back through the pack and was fifth by lap eighteen. At the finish it was Long in a dominating fashion for his first-ever feature win over Latta, Genco, Sipes, and Zimmerman.
The E-Mod feature started with 2018 champion Troy Johnson on pole, and the winningest driver in Raceway 7 history, Joel Watson, outside. Watson led from green but went wide in turn two nearly clipping the retaining rails. He managed to hold on and led lap one by 0.220 second over Johnson, Randy Hall, Casey Bowers, and Percy McDonald. A lap later Hall and Bowers were side by side for second with Johnson dropping to fourth and McDonald fifth. McDonald pitted with an apparent flat tire at lap four, elevating opening night winner Brent Rhebergen to fifth. Watson continued to extend his lead to 4.961 seconds at lap nine. The halfway point saw Watson leading Bowers Hall, Mike Kinney, and Rhebergen. Bowers started to eat into Watson’s lead at lap eleven, narrowing it to 4.525, then disappearing completely when Dan McEwen drifted to a halt in turn two. At green it was Watson, Bowers, Kinney, Hall, and Rhebergen, but Kinney got by Bowers for second. At twelve laps Rhebergen was fourth with Al Brewer up to fifth. At sixteen laps the advantage was .835 seconds. The final order of the top five was Watson, Kinney, Rhebergen, Bowers, and Brewer.
The Mini-Stock feature started with Zoey Gill and Jacob Wheeler at the front. Gill led from green but Alex Siekkinen slowed in turn one, putting the race under caution. When green was again flying Wheeler led Gill, two-time winner Jessica Harvey, Trisha Jacklett, and July 17 winner, defending champion Mark Lawrence. Harvey was second at lap two and was the leader at lap three when Gill and Wheeler were side by side for second with Lawrence fourth and Derrick Randolph fifth. Yellow appeared at lap three when Kevin Watson stopped in turn one. With four in the books Dalton Speer was fourth and third at lap five. At half-way Harvey was leading Speer, Wheeler, Gill, and Randolph. Yellow was again on the raceway at lap seven for Charles McClintock and Ana Vassen, both spun in turn two with Harvey leading Speer, Wheeler and Lawrence and Gill side by side for fourth. With two laps remaining Lawrence was second. On the final trip through turn two Harvey got out of shape and nearly crashed but she recovered and went on to the win over Lawrence, Speer, Gill, and Wheeler. In vIctory Lane she noted “I thought I had lost it, I just closed my eyes and held on.”
Heat 1: Kole Holden, Jacob Jordan, Greg Porter, Kyle Martel, Jacob Wolfe, Ayden Cipriani, Mike Smith
Heat 2: Chas Wolbert, Tony Tatgenhorst, Rob Kristyak, Amelia Clay, Brandon Ritchey, Dave Price, Gary Haupt
Feature: Chas Wolbert, Rob Kristyak, Tony Tatgenhorst, Kole Holden, Ayden Cipriani, Jacob Jordan, Kyle Martell, Amelia Clay, Jacob Wolfe, Brandon Ritchey, Dave Price, Mike Smith, Greg Porter, Gary Haupt (DNS)
Heat 1: Zack Lenart, Garrett Calvert, Judson Fell, Jarett Young, Jordan Simmons, George Bestal, Alex Brockway
Heat 2: Bill Cunningham, Billy Cunningham, Coleton Longwell, Justin Sax, John Boyd, Derek Connors
Heat 3: Nate Young, Mike Harmon, Mitchell Wright, Bob Vogt, Todd Miller, Andrew Pisarchick
Heat 4: Matt Alexander, Justin Chaddock, Dustin Demattia, Donald May, Edward Roberts, Dale Reiser
Feature: Mitchell Wright, Dustin Demattia, Nate Young, Matt Alexander, Garrett Calvert, John Boyd, Mike Harmon, Andrew Pisarchick, Jarett Young, Zack Lenart, Judson Fell, Jordan Simmons, Derek Connors, Todd Miller, Edward Roberts, Billy Cunningham, Coleton Longwell, Justin Sax, Donald May, George Bestal (DNS, Dale Reiser (DNS), Alex Brockway (DNS)
RUSH Late Models
Heat 1: Matt Latta, Kyle Zimmerman, John Lacki, Dennis Dellinger, Steve Hollabaugh, Jon Rivers
Heat 2: Josh Ferry, Chad Sines, Billy Henry, Bud Watson, Jonathan Stockdale, Tyler Allison
Heat 3: Cory Sines, Jason Genco, Joe Long, John Watson, Breyton Santee, Brandon Porter
Feature: Joe Long, Matt Latta, Jason Genco, Cory Sines, Kyle Zimmerman, John Lacki, Breyton Santee, John Watson, Billy Henry, Josh Ferry, Dennis Dellinger, John Stockdale, Steve Hollabaugh, Tyler Allison, Chad Sines, Jon Rivers, Bud Watson, Brandon Porter
Heat 1: Jeff Johnson, Casey Bowers, Troy Johnson, Al Brewer, Dan McDonald, Brandon Grossman, Josh McDonald
Heat 2: Randy Hall, Alan Atkinson, Percy McDonald, Mark Titus, Dan McEwen, Bill Watson, Chuck Steinle Jr
Heat 3: Joel Watson, Mike Kinney, Brent Rhebergen, Jesse Gould, Eric Reinwald, Dennis Lunger, Jim Plance
Feature: Joel Watson, Mike Kinney, Brent Rhebergen, Casey Bowers, Al Brewer, Dennis Lunger, Josh McDonald, Alan Atkinson, Randy Hall, Dan McDonald, Troy Johnson, Jeff Johnson, Eric Reinwald, Mark Titus, Chuck Steinle Jr, Brandon Grossman, Jesse Gould, Dan McEwen, Percy McDonald, Jim Plance (DNS), Bill Watson (DNS)
Heat 1: Jacob Wheeler, Mark Lawrence, Trisha Jacklett, Bondy Stoyer, Mike Barr, John Kish, Alan Sousa
Heat 2: Pat Hanlon, Alex Siekkinen, Jessica Harvey, Kevin Watson, Jamie Lamp, Andrew Smith
Heat 3: Zoey Gill, Alexis Vogt, Ana Vassen, Tristan Start, Krista Start, Scott Gill
Heat 4: Dalton Eller, Derrick Randolph, Justin Bailey, Devin Haefke, Charles McClintock, Calvin Tedrow, Zack Eller
Feature: Jessica Harvey, Mark Lawrence, Dalton Speer, Zoey Gill, Jacob Wheeler, Zack Eller, Alan Sousa, Bondy Stoyer, Derrick Randolph, Trisha Jacklett, Mike Barr, Charles McClintock, Tristan Start, Krista Start, Ana Vassen, Calvin Tedrow, Andrew Smith, Alex Siekkinen, Alexis Vogt, Justin Bailey, Devin Haefke, Kevin Watson, Jamie Lamp, Pat Hanlon