Friday night the Williams Grove Speedway spotlight was on the Credit Connection Auto Sales 358 Late Models. Former driver Kenny Riland presented the Topless 30, an evening of stock car racing under the stars. Each race team removed the roof off their respective machines. The loss of a roof did not slow down veteran Gene Knaub as he recorded a dominating victory.
Knaub began the evening’s racing by setting fast time, touring the speedway in a time of 20.832 seconds, making him the only driver under 21 seconds. He received $300 from Miller’s Racing Parts for his quick time.
Gene Knaub and Matt Nailor started in the front row. Knaub sprinted into the lead with Nailor, Dan Zechman, Tommy Slanker, and Randy Christine giving chase. Knaub quickly gained a ten-length lead while Zechman advanced into second.
Zechman narrowed the lead to four lengths when the first caution occurred on lap six. The restart brought a red flag when a large back stretch crash blocked the racing surface.
Gene Knaub continued his fast pace with Dan Zechman trailing by eight lengths. Matt Nailor, Ron Kline, Sam Gallagher, and Randy Christine had an intense fight for third.
By lap 15 Zechman reduced the gap between first and second. During the 17th lap he gained three tenths of a second on leader Knaub. Three laps later the right rear tire exploded on Zechman’s machine and his night came to an end.
Gene Knaub owned the remaining laps, stretching his lead to over four seconds. Matt Nailor, Ron Kline, Sam Gallagher, and Randy Christine were in close competition for second. Knaub, from Dover, won by a full straightaway making him the first two-time victor in the Topless 30. Ron Kline finished in second with Matt Nailor, Randy Christine, and Chad Julius following.
The cars of Gene Knaub and Ron Kline went to the speedway inspection area. Both cars passed their inspections.
Coleby Frye, Knaub and Nailor won the heat races for the 33 entries. Les Hare was victorious in the consolation. Jake Jones won the $250 Hard Charger award. Randy Christine received the Fusion D Baddest Move award.
D.J. Montgomery started second in the 20 lap Tool Sheds of America 358 Sprint Car main event. Montgomery led with Jay Galloway, Tony Smolenyak, Rich Eichelberger, and Chandler Leiby trailing. Montgomery and Galloway had a close battle; the two were even during the third lap.
The fight for first became a five-car challenge when Rich Eichelberger, eighth-place starter Matt Campbell and Chandler Leiby caught the lead duo. The first caution of the event came in the seventh lap when second-place driver Jay Galloway spun in turn two.
D.J. Montgomery, following the restart, led ahead of Rich Eichelberger, Matt Campbell, Chandler Leiby, and Kevin Nouse. Campbell wrestled second from Eichelberger and quickly challenged Montgomery for the lead.
Matt Campbell, in the 12th circuit, drove under D.J. Montgomery in turn three. Exiting turn four Campbell slid up the track and made contact with Montgomery’s car. Montgomery’s machine struck the outside fencing launching the car into a series of flips. A stunned D.J. Montgomery walked away from the accident scene.
Matt Campbell was the new leader and the Fawn Grove driver gained a four-second advantage. Rich Eichelberger, Chandler Leiby and Kevin Nouse were in an intense competition for second position.
Matt Campbell won his first Williams Grove Speedway feature by 5.6 seconds. He missed by two days of becoming the youngest driver to win at Williams Grove Speedway.
Rich Eichelberger, Chandler Leiby and Kevin Nouse exited the final turn in a tight pack. Moments before the finish line there was contact between Nouse and Leiby. Leiby’s car slammed into the inside fencing, launching the car into several flips. Leiby quickly exited his car.
The official finish has Matt Campbell the winner ahead of Rich Eichelberger, Kevin Nouse, Doug Hammaker, and Adrian Shaffer. Hammaker and Nouse won the preliminaries for the 17-car field.
The Blazer’s Body Shop Super Sportsman competed in a 20 lap feature rained out the week prior. Paul Miller and Chad Smith battled through the opening two laps. Smith gained the number one position in the third circuit. At the end of the third lap the caution came out when Frankie Herr came to a stop with a flat tire.
Smith led following the restart with Paul Miller in second and Bobby Hockenberry third. Scott Geesey, the ninth-place starter, was in fourth. Caution returned in the fifth lap for a multiple-car crash in the second turn. The incident eliminated Mike Enders, guaranteeing Frankie Herr the 2014 point title.
Scott Geesey worked the bottom lane to charge into second behind Chad Smith. The third caution of the night came in the 12th lap. Scott Geesey used the restart to pull even with Chad Smith. Exiting turn four there was contact between the leaders. Geesey became the new leader with Paul Miller in second and Chad Smith dropped to third.
Scott Geesey, from Wellsville, won by an eighth mile over Paul Miller, Scott Dellinger, Rich Eichelberger, and Gregg Foster. Scott Dellinger received the Sprint Aces Hard Charger award.
Williams Grove Speedway returns to action this Friday featuring the Lawrence Chevrolet 410 Sprint Cars and the Tools Sheds of America 358 Sprint cars. The Eastern Museum of Motor Racing will have restored race cars in the infield for a photo shoot. Racing action begins at 7:30. Adult admission is $14 with youth admitted in for $8.
358 Late Models: 1. Gene Knaub, 2. Ron Kline, 3. Matt Nailor, 4. Randy Christine, 5. Chad Julius, 6. Chaz Walls, 7. Jake Jones, 8. Charlie Schaffer, 9. Justin Weaver, 10. Cam Zeigler, 11. Travis Mease, 12. Tyler Horst, 13. Sam Gallagher, 14. Dan Zechman, 15. Alan Sagi, 16. Roy Miller, 17. Larry Neiderer, 18. Tommy Slanker, 19. Brandon Bernheisel, 20. Bobby Beard, 21. Les Hare, 22. Devin Frey, 23. Kyle Lee, 24. Brad Shank, 25. Kyle Martin DNQ: Pat McNeal, Pat Beard, Drew Weisser, Randy Croop, Jed Latsha, Rick Singleton DQ Colby Frye
358 Sprint Cars:
1. Matt Campbell, 2. Rich Eichelberger, 3. Kevin Nouse, 4. Doug Hammaker, 5. Adrian Shaffer, 6. Kody Lehman, 7. Brie Hershey, 8. Tony Smolenyak, 9. Jay Galloway, 10. Chris Arnold, 11. Tyler Templin, 12. Chris Frank, 13. C.J. Quirk, 14. Chandler Leiby, 15. Chad Trout, 16. D.J. Montgomery, 17. Leah Starner
Super Sportsman results:
Scott Geesey, 2. Paul Miller, 3. Scott Dellinger, 4. Rich Eichelberger, 5. Gregg Foster, 6. Rick Barr, 7. Bobby Hockenberry, 8. Russ Mitten, 9. Tom Wyckoff, 10. Frankie Herr. 11. Chad Smith, 12. Kenny Edkin, 13. Jay Fannasy, 14. David Socks III, 15. Bob Gutshall, 16. Devin Beidel. 17. Chad Trout, 18. Mike Enders, 19. Steve Fannasy, 20. Todd Leonard, 21. Scott Smith, Dave Berkheimer DNS: Tony Jackson, Steve Wilbur