The Centennial Chevrolet Autograph and Picture Night at Roaring Knob Motorsports Complex, Saturday, brought forth an even split of repeat winners and first-time winners in the 2013 season. Scott Rhodes, Super Late Models; Mike Lewis, RUSH Crate Late Models and Mike Duritsky in Street Stocks notched their first wins of the season while Denny Perigo, E-Mods; Shawn Smith, Chargers and Paul Koffler, Jr., Roardunners re-visited victory lane.
Rhodes, of Somerset, PA, became the seventh different winner in the season’s first seven Super Late Model races as he led flag-to-flag to claim victory in what the driver estimates as his 121st-career victory. The 2011 track champion got a great start in his No. 83 Rocket chassis as he jumped to a commanding lead by the time the field reached the backstretch on the first lap. Hooversville, PA’s Quintin Wyandt started second, but he remained in that spot despite a valiant effort to chase down Rhodes. Wyandt fell as far back as 10 car lengths at one point, and he managed to cut that in half by the time the checkered flag fell. He would settle for second. Keyser, WV’s Bob Gordon ran in the top-five the entire night before advancing to his third-place finish. Oakland, MD’s Cody Hardesty started seventh and methodically advanced his way forward to finish fourth. Defending track champion Billy Holbert, of Fairmont, WV, rounded out the top five.
Gordon and Holbert won the Super Late Model heat races.
Oakland, MD’s Mike Lewis grabbed the lead from John Over on lap eight and never looked back as he stormed to his first win of the 2013 season in the RUSH Crate Late Model event. Over, of Uniontown, PA, took the green from the pole and held the top spot for the first seven circuits. Lewis made several bids at the lead and finally made the lower groove work as he moved to the inside of Over to grab the lead. Lewis led the remaining laps to score the victory. Over held on for second while Acme, PA’s Troy Shields finished third. Morgantown, WV’s Louie Krushansky and Nolan Dalton finished fourth and fifth, respectively.
Over and Dalton won the two RUSH Crate Late Model heats.
The E-Mod division saw a repeat winner as Stoystown, PA’s Dennis Perigo grabbed his second win of the season. Perigo began the race in third, but he quickly moved to the point to lead lap one. Perigo would go virtually unchallenged as he led the entire distance to grab the checkers. Galeton, PA’s Darren Tarabori made his first visit of the season to Roaring Knob, and he made it a good visit, as he finished in the runner-up position. Fairmont’s Vic Vandergrift, who won the previous Saturday, moved his way from his seventh-starting spot to finish third. Mt. Morris, PA’s Ron Howard finished fourth and defending track champion, Denny Nakutis, of Graysville, PA, crossed the stripe in fifth. Vandergrift won the sole heat race.
Masontown, PA’s Mike Duritsky claimed his 21st-career win and first of the season in the Street Stock event. Bill Pluta, Jr., led the opening lap but was overtaken by Duritsky on lap two. Duritsky led the remaining laps, but he was forced to hold off a hard-charging Scott Spade for several laps. Spade ran in the second spot until two laps remaining when he was passed by his cousin, Marty Spade. Scott Spade’s car slowed, and he fell out of the top five. Marty Spade, of Farmington, PA, finished second while Cairnbrook, PA’s Pluta held on to finish third. McClellandtown, PA’s Jim Byers finished fourth and Dunbar, PA’s Bob Nelson rounded out the top five.
Pluta and Duritsky won the Street Stock heat races.
The Charger division featured the Bus Matthews Memorial race for the late Bus Matthews, who passed away last year. Matthews drove the No. 5 Charger at Roaring Knob, and the driver considered Autograph and Picture Night as one of his favorite nights of the season.
Confluence, PA’s Shawn Smith led flag-to-flag to claim his second win of the season. “Bus was a very nice man. He always went through the pits shaking everyone’s hand before each race. I am honored to win this race tonight,” said Smith in victory lane. Smith held a commanding lead throughout the race. His lead may have been aided by the hard-fought battle between J.T. Baird and Ken Burkholder for the second spot. The two drivers ran side-by-side and traded the spot several times before Baird, of Uniontown, PA, grabbed the runner-up spot with four laps remaining. He held it to finish second. Burkholder, of Mill Run, PA, held on for third. Farmington’s John Redshaw finished fourth and Mill Run’s Kyle Burkholder claimed the fifth spot.
Redshaw and Ken Burkholder won the heat races.
Despite missing a shift and losing several spots at the start, West Leisenring, PA’s Paul Koffler, Jr., recovered nicely to score his second win of the season and 77th-career victory. Koffler was quickly in second by lap three and began a fierce side-by-side battle with Mark Seiler for the race lead. Seiler would succumb to mechanical failure on lap six and retired from the event. Koffler led the final half of the event to hold off Connellsville, PA’s David Friend at the line. Friend finished second followed by Somerset’s Cindy Rhodes in third. Connellsville’s Paul Koffler III took fourth and Ed Leonard claimed fifth.
Paul Koffler, Jr. and Leonard won the heat races.
All six divisions will return to racing, Saturday, at Roaring Knob. The night will feature a Father’s Day Special 25-lap Street Stock event. Pit gates will open at 4:30 p.m., and spectator gates will open at 5 p.m. Hot laps are scheduled for 6:45 p.m.
Hoosier Tire Mid-Atlantic Super Late Models: 1. Scott Rhodes, 2. Quintin Wyandt, 3. Bob Gordon, 4. Cody Hardesty, 5. Billy Holbert, 6. L.C. Powers, 7. Tim Senic, 8. Brandon Delano, 9. Garry Gellner, 10. Mark Booth, 11. Mike Altobelli, 12. Matt Cosner, 13. Danny Pugh, 14. Bob Hershman, 15. Jess Whitehair
High Gear Speed Shop RUSH Crate Late Models: 1. Mike Lewis, 2. John Over, 3. Troy Shields, 4. Louie Krushansky, 5. Nolan Dalton, 6. Ken Herman, 7. Russell Baird, Jr., 8. Rick Singleton, 9. Michael Lake, 10. Chad McClellan, 11. Jeff Ferguson, 12. Jeff Compton, 13. Rick Strickler, 14. Vince Masi, Jr., 15. Dylan Lewis, 16. Garrett Shepherd
Krause Electric E-Mods: 1. Dennis Perigo, 2. Darren Tarabori, 3. Vic Vandergrift, 4. Ron Howard, 5. Denny Nakutis, 6. Nick Wilson, 7. Larry Atha, 8. Rich Curry, 9. Bryson Sanders
Penn Summit Insurance Agency Street Stocks: 1. Mike Duritsky, 2. Marty Spade, 3. Bill Pluta, Jr., 4. Jim Byers, 5. Bob Nelson, 6. Scott Spade, 7. Greg Cornell, 8. Kevin Collins, 9. Jason Gibbs, 10. Ryan Newman, 11. Barry Farris, 12. Josh Bendishaw, 13. Scott Bittinger, DNS: Mike Duritsky Jr.
Fort Necessity Garage Chargers: 1. Shawn Smith, 2. J.T. Baird, 3. Ken Burkholder, 4. John Redshaw, 5. Kyle Burkholder, 6. Cody Colflesh, 7. Justin Howell, 8. Eric Miller, 9. Tanner Hauger, 10. Allen Fortney, 11. Dan Jackson, 12. Brad Nesline, 13. Todd Weldon, 14. Dan Chesney, 15. DNS: Brad Jenkins
Newt’s York Bar Roadrunners: 1. Paul Koffler, Jr., 2. David Friend, 3. Cindy Rhodes, 4. Paul Koffler III, 5. Ed Leonard, 6. Dustin Detrick, 7. Ed Detrick, 8. Mark Seiler, 9. Mike Custer, 10. Steve Frazier, 11. Doug Hostetter, 12. Todd Detrick