Now that the 2019 racing season is finally underway for the Laurel Highlands Sprint Car Series IMCA Racesavers it is time to turn the clock back to May of 2013 when our Racesaver region was embarking on the second season of racing action at the Dog Hollow Speedway where our series began as the Dog Hollow Racesaver 305’s in 2012. During those early days our region had to survive growing pains with low car counts as the Racesaver concept of sprint car racing tried to take root in this part of west-central Pa. The season began on Friday May 3rd with just 11 sprint cars signing in to compete, there was just one heat race with Huntingdon youngster Bryce Stephens taking the win in the 8-lap event he was followed by Jim Kennedy with Rob Bartchy finishing third, Roger Irvine was fourth, Ryan Lynn fifth, Jeff Bacha sixth, Nicole Walker seventh, Steve Kenawell eighth, Jim Marquette ninth, Don Sotosky tenth and Ed Mesaros eleventh. The 20-lap feature finish was as follows: 1. W1 Bryce Stephens, 2. 29 Rob Bartchy, 3. 26 Ryan Lynn, 4. 7 Jim Kennedy, 5. 71 Nicole Walker, 6. 17K Steve Kenawell, 7. 12 Roger Irvine, 8. 48 Jeff Bacha, 9. 22 Jim Marquette, 10. 15 Ed Mesaros, 11. D9 Don Sotosky who was a DNF as magneto trouble sidelined him from the event. Races for May 10th were cancelled due to rain however the weather improved for the May 17th program with just 9 sprint cars on hand with two newcomers to “The Pound” as Justin Zap and Brian Wright joined the field. Missing from action this night were Nicole Walker, Rob Bartchy, Steve Kenawell and Ryan Lynn. Again just one heat race was run with Bryce Stephens taking the win over Jim Marquette, third went to Don Sotosky, fourth was Justin Zap, fifth Jim Kennedy, sixth Jeff Bacha, seventh Ed Mesaros, eighth Brian Wright, ninth Roger Irvine who dropped out after an altercation damaging his front end however repairs were made to allow him to run the feature. The finish for the 20-lap feature was as follows: 1. W1 Bryce Stephens, 2. 12 Roger Irvine, 3. 22 Jim Marquette, 4. D9 Don Sotosky, 5. 3z Justin Zap, 6. 48 Jeff Bacha, 7. 28 Brian Wright, 8. 15 Ed Mesaros, 9. 7 Jim Kennedy who had dropped from the event with mechanical issues. Cold and windy conditions forced the May 24th races to be cancelled however weather conditions improved for the last Friday event for May to be run with a much better car count with 13 sprint cars participating including newcomer Cory Thornton and Rick Leonard. There would be two heat races this night with the results as follows, Heat One: 1. Roger Irvine, 2. Rob Bartchy, 3. Steve Kenawell, 4. Don Sotosky, 5. Cory Thornton, 6. Brian Wright, 7. Jim Marquette. The second heat race results are as follows, 1. Bryce Stephens, 2. Nicole Walker, 3. Jeff Bacha, 4. Jim Kennedy, 5. Rick Leonard, 6. Ed Mesaros. The 20-lap main event was especially competitive with a great dual for the front spot between Irvona, Pa. driver Roger Irvine and Huntingdon, Pa. youngster Bryce Stephens who had the “hot shoe” during the month of May and at the finish a new feature winner would stand in victory lane, the finish order was: 1. 12 Roger Irvine, 2. W1 Bryce Stephens, 3. 17K Steve Kenawell, 4. 48 Jeff Bacha, 5. D9 Don Sotosky, 6, 71 Nicole Walker, 7. 70B Rick Leonard, 8. 28 Brian Wright, 9. 29 Rob Bartchy, 10. 15 Ed Mesaros (DNF), 11. 22 Jim Marquette (DNF), 12. 7 Jim Kennedy (DNF), 13. 3J Cory Thornton. This concludes the highlights for the racing in May of 2013, the plan is to add a recap of each month of racing from that season at the end of each month during 2019. There were many surprises in store for the Dog Hollow Racesavers as June approached however many of the events up to and including September would change and direct a new future for the young region……Stay tuned for more of the story.
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