Ritchey Wins Hesston

Another great weather weekend greeted the Laurel Highlands Sprint Car Series IMCA Racesaver 305’s as they made their second visit in two weeks to the historic Hesston Speedway with a strong field of 19 sprint cars signing in to race. Good to see Steve Kenawell in the pits minus the 17K his son Stevie drives, also nice to have 2018 LHSS Rookie of the Year Eric Husick in the pits as well, work priorities forced him to sit out 2019 but hopefully he will be back soon, also driver Todd Lynn was in the pit area and hopefully he will be back on the track in the future, in the stands was Mike Murphy, Jr. who is sorting out some fine tuning issues with his sprinter but will be back in action soon. Plenty of new faces graced the field Saturday as Rob Bartchy made his first start of 2019 with his new mount, also making their first LHSS starts this year were Milke Alleman, Colton Hoover and Mark Zimmerman, while Nathan Gramley, Ken Duke, Jr., Roger Irvine, Jonathon Jones, Drew Ritchey, Josh Spicer, Ron Aurand and Bob Garvey, Jr. all made their first Hesston start this year. Sadly in hot laps Ken Duke, Jr. had a rocker arm break and was unable to compete the rest of the evening and in heat race number two contact and a tangle with Jim Kennedy and Josh Spicer caused a nasty flip for Spicer in the 71 but thankfully no injuries but both cars were severely damaged and done for the evening. In heat race number one Scott Lutz and Rob Bartchy paced the field with Lutz taking the point and Bartchy second with Bob Garvey, Jr. and Jonathon Jones dueling for third and fourth but at the green it was Scott Lutz taking the win, Bartchy was second, Garvey was third, Jones fourth, Drew Ritchey fifth, Ryan Lynn sixth, Nathan Gramley seventh, Ron Aurand eighth, and Mark Zimmerman ninth.  In heat two the red flag came out on the opening lap as a big crash and flip involving Josh Spicer and Jim Kennedy brought things to a halt but after the track was clear Roger Irvine and Reed Thompson battled for the lead as Dave Guss, Jr. and Mike Alleman were dueling for third and fourth. Thompson was able to find the edge and win over Irvine with Guss having a good run for third, Alleman fourth, Matt Kline was fifth, Ray Sheetz sixth, he was involved in the 1st lap crash but only lost a nose wing and was able to race the rest of the night without one, Colton Hoover came in seventh with Spicer and Kennedy DNF’s and Ken Duke, Jr. a DNS. The 20-lap feature saw Drew Ritchey and Mike Alleman lead the field to the green flag with Ritchey taking the lead and Alleman behind with Roger Irvine, Reed Thompson, Rob Bartchy, Dave Guss, Jr. all giving chase. As the laps unwound Roger Irvine got by Alleman, then later Reed Thompson did likewise but 10th place starter Ryan Lynn was methodically threading his way to the front and with about 2 laps to go he was closing in on Ritchey but there wasn’t enough time to mount a challenge. Only one yellow was thrown for Matt Kline who looped his car in turn three and did a good job of not getting into the wall, he was able to rejoin the field. Another good run was Mark Zimmerman who making his first start with the LHSS and at Hesston came from 16th to 11th and Dave Guss, Jr. has been consistent the past few weeks garnering another top 10 finish. It was good to see a good turnout of cars especially with the other two Pa Racesaver regions running on the same evening as all three enjoyed solid car counts. The Laurel Highlands group returns to the Clinton County Motor Speedway on Friday June 28th, then the following week prepares for a three day race weekend with another stop at the CCMS on July 5th, the first ever visit to the Latrobe Speedway on Saturday July 6th, the concludes the weekend at the Bedford Speedway on Sunday July 7th. As always a big thank you to the staff at the Hesston Speedway for providing the results for our heat races and feature finish.

The 20-lap feature results are as follows, 1. 880 Drew Ritchey, 2. 26 Ryan Lynn, 3. 12 Roger Irvine, 4. R6 Reed Thompson, 5. 12J Jonathon Jones, 6. 33 Scott Lutz, 7. 99 Ray Sheetz, 8. 46 Mike Alleman, 9. 29B Rob Bartchy, 10. 72 Dave Guss, Jr., 11. 54m Mark Zimmerman, 12. 11x Bob Garvey, Jr., 13. 23 Nathan Gramley, 14. 86 Ron Aurand, 15. 107 Colton Hoover, 16. 25K Matt Kline. (DNS) 7 Jim Kennedy, 71 Josh Spicer, 67 Ken Duke, Jr.