Kunsman shines at Johnny B Classic in front of sell out crowd; Scicchitano, Shearer, and Kimmel also
Jonestown PA - Friday Septtember 6th - This past Friday evening Linda's Speedway presented a truly genuine event which honored past track promoter, John Batz, who passed away back on July 31st at the age of 60. The Johnny B Classic offered free admission to spectators and results were phenomenal. A packed grandstand witnessed a superior evening of auto racing with a wide array of talent gracing the speedway during the night's course. Bethlehem's Tommy Kunesman doubled up on the evening by earning a feature win in both the Hoosier Tire Wingless 600 main event and the Fredericksburg Eagle Hotel 270 Micro Sprint division. Sam Scicchitano captured his second MGS Trailer Sales 600 Modified feature win of the season while Brent Shearer of Manheim topped the Mongoose Chassis 125 Micro Sprint class and Chucky Kimmel of Pine Grove registered his first ever win in the night capping 4-cylinder Charger main event.
In the 25-lap 270 Micro Sprint feature, Brent Shearer powered into the early race lead until a spirited duel with points leader Devin Harron. Shearer and Harron swapped the race lead on lap five with Harron taking command of the point at the lap's completion. During a string of caution free laps, Harron remained up front until an excursion lwith lapped traffic which found him shuffled back to third behind Shearer and a hard charging Kunesman. It was at this moment when the caution flag fell with fifteen completed laps.
The ensuing restart found Shearer closely accompanied by defending track champion Kunesman and two-time feature winner Harron. With just three laps remaining, Kunesman powered past Shearer to gain control of the race lead and brough Harron along with him. Kunesman, steering the family fielded 21K-RTS continued on to score his seventh 270 main event win of the season and fourth triumph in the last five events held. Harron (Shillington) in his RTS-9D enjoyed a good points night by finishing second followed by Shearer in the Harrington Motorsports-76. Ross Perchak (Hazleton) finished fourth in his first appearance of the season and another first '19 starter Jeff Weaver (Lock Haven) finished fifth. Rounding out the top ten were: previous week's winner Scott Gingrich, Mike Boyer, Nick Skias, Mason Peters and Austin Graby.
Heats for the 23 cars trackside were won by Skias, Harron and Pat Bealer.
Second generation talent Richie Hartman paced the field early in the Wingless 600 main event. Hartman, steering the Mark Gray-39, led until his engine expired with twelve laps in the record books. Jacob Severn became the new race leader with Kunesman in pursuit. On the seventeenth circuit, Kunesman thrilled the crowd with an impressive pass via the inside lane on Severn in turn one.
On lap 19, previous race winner Ryan Groff advanced into the runner-up spot behind Kunesman. Both drivers are locked in a tremendous point standings battle this season. Kunesman, in the Hyper-21K, remained in command and seized his seventh 25-lap wingless 600 win of the season. It was Kunesman's third win in the last four races held.
Groff (Manheim) settled for second by 1.043 seconds and Severn (Hellertown), a feature winner last season, ended up in third. Aiden Borden (Jackson NJ) registered his fourth top five finish this year of fourth. Joey Amantea (Mt. Pocono), in only his second full year of 600 racing, nailed down his sixth top five finish of '19 with a fifth place result.
The second five consisted of: sixth driver in points Ben Earnst, Dakota Barlet, Tyler Lindsay, Jesse Maurer and Nash Ely. Heat wins for the 29 cars in competition went to Severn, Fred Heinly and young Logan Rumsey, up from the restricted 600 division. Jared Lilly won the B-Main. Area racer Ty Hoke led the opening moments of the 20-lap Xcel 600 Modified feature with Scicchitano quickly gaining second. On the sixth lap, Scicchitano vaulted past Hoke with an inside lane pass for the race lead. Brianna James returned after a few weeks away and performed impressively by advancing to second on lap ten.
After a restart with five laps to go, James remained close to the leader but it was Scicchitano, a former Slingshot track champion, winning by a mere margin of 0.736 over the second generation racer James (Birdsboro), for her best finish of the year. Twice a feature winner Dylan McCrone took third on lap thirteen and remained there at the finish. Virginia's Chaz Buchinsky made some late race heroics into the fourth position and matched his season's high at the finish. Hoke (Lebanon) grabbed his fifth top five finish of fifth.
Sperryville VA''s Greg Carrico finished sixth ahead of Eric Whitby, Matt Werner, Kenny Harris (who needed to step behind the wheel of the Damyn Haag-09 after his main car lost an engine in qualifying) and Jeff Sechrist. Qualifying heat race winners for the 27 Modifieds on hand included: Whitby, Ray Gradweill and Joe Carter. Buchinksky won the consi.
In a bit of redemption from the 270 micro feature, Shearer took command of the 125 main event on lap five from early leader Austin Graby. The front running order remained close throughout the event's duration and Shearer, in his first actual 125 start of the season, held on for the victory by just one car length over former champion A. Graby (Lebanon). Veteran racer Mike Miller (Reading) made his first start of the year and ended up third over former feature winner Mike Glass (Myerstown). AJ Gerhart (Frystown) rounded out the top five.
Heat winners for the 20 cars on hand were: A. Graby and Glass.
In the 15-lap Charger feature, Kimmel executed a flawless performance during the entire contest. Kimmel has been so close to victory lane on numerous occassions and it all came to a conclusion in the Johnny B Classic. Kimmel narrowly held off his teamates Dale Kreiser (Lebanon) and points leader Troy Hosterrer (Palmyra) to score the hard earned initial triumph. Three-time winner Charles Wengerd (Jonestown) finished fourth ahead of Don Stoudt (Lebanon). Qualifying heats were won by: Chris Cunnane and Justin Riegel.
Linda's Speedway returns to action this Friday September 13th with a full five division show consisting of: 270 Micro Sprints, Winged 600 Micro Sprints, Slingshots, Charger Championship Race and the Central PA Legend Cars. Gates open at 5:30PM with warm-ups beginning at 7PM. Adult General Admission to the stands is just $6.
In two weeks, Friday September 20th, the Xcel Modifieds will compete in their annual 50-lap main event along with racing for the 270's, Wingless 600's Slingshots and restricted 600s. In just six weeks, the 30th annual National Open will be presented for the 270s and 600s on the weekend of October 18th and 19th. For complete coverage of the action at the speedway, be sure to check the track's official website at www.lindasspeedway.com .
NIGHTSIDE NOTES: The Johnny B Classic brough a stellar field of machinery to the 1/4 mile oval including several first 2019 starters in each class. First 270 appearaqnces of the season included: Ross Perchak, Jeff Weaver, Nick Skias, Mike Miller and Brian Mariott, Perchak, a former five-time winner of the National Open, enjoyed the best night with a fourth place A-Main finish...New entrants to the Wingless 600s included: Tim Henry, Jeff Weaver and Morgan Rochelle. Henry finished 11th in the final results...First '19 starters in the 600 Modifieds were: Jon Josko, John Singley and Doug Borger...