The Laurel Highlands Sprint Car Series finished up the 2019 racing season at the Greater Cumberland Speedway on Saturday October 5th on a beautiful autumn day. It is always great to be in Maryland at the historic fairground facility and with the trees just starting to change colors all added to the thrill of the of good weather for the final event of the year. A thank you to the race teams that made the trek to compete among them Larry McVay who made his first Cumberland start and making the long haul from New Jersey, also making his first start at the big half-mile was rookie sensation Garrett Bard. There was only one heat race with Roger Irvine taking the win with Rob Bartchy on his tail toward the end of the 8-lap event to claim the runner-up spot with Ryan Lynn taking the third spot, Larry McVay looked good as he took fourth with Brad Mellott finishing in fifth, Reed Thompson was sixth and Garrett Bard was seventh. There was one caution during the race. With a 7 car redraw Reed Thompson and Roger Irvine brought the field to the green in the 20-lap feature with Thompson getting the edge and taking the lead with Irvine close behind. This event went green to checker and was the fourth main event in a row that went non-stop, the other 3 features that saw green to checkers was at the Clinton County Motor Speedway. As the field sorted themselves out it was a battle as the drivers found their grooves and stayed clean until the checkered waived. It is fantastic to see such great racing at all the tracks that Laurel Highlands competes at with green to checker action. The finish was as follows: 1. R6 Reed Thompson, 2. 12 Roger Irvine, 3. 95 Garrett Bard, 4. 26 Ryan Lynn, 5. 29B Rob Bartchy, 6. 83 Larry McVay, 7. 6x Brad Mellott. The feature win for Thompson was his second of the year and sealed his runner-up spot in the Summer Showdown points, he had a feature over Labor Day slip away while leading when he broke a driveshaft ending his night.
The top ten for the 2019 Summer Showdown is as follows: 1. 33 Scott Lutz 1,132, 2. R6 Reed Thompson 959, 3. 26 Ryan Lynn 717, 4. 67 Ken Duke, Jr. 556, 5. 92 Dylan Proctor 549, 6. 52 Jeff Weaver 506, 7. 78 Dale Schweikart 462, 8. 17K Stevie Kenawell 444, 9. 6x Brad Mellott 398, 10. 72 Dave Guss, Jr. 395.
Jeff Weaver was named “Rookie of the Year”, he often races 3 divisions in one night when the LHSS is competing at Clinton County and he seems to always do a great job with the sprint car. The choosing of this honor is always tough with many talented drivers competing with us in 2019. Other award nominations are pending as is the date, time and location of our awards banquet. An announcement will be made in the future for this event.
Rounding out the top 20 points finishers is as follows: 11. 19 Tylor Cochran 393, 12. 880 Drew Ritchey 392, 13. 95 Garrett Bard 364, 14. 99 Ray Sheetz 336, 15. 78c Dakota Schweikart 312, 16. 4J Jake Gomola 286, 17. 79 Ian Cumens 278, 18. 12J Jonathon Jones 275, 19. 29B Rob Bartchy 245, 20. 86 Ron Aurand 244.
Again a huge thank you to all the drivers and teams that supported Laurel Highlands in 2019, there were 73 different drivers who competed from 6 different states. We are looking for an even better 2020 season, stay tuned for future activities also a thank you to all the speedways who hosted our racing series throughout the season.