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Right now, Brett Bieber’s favorite tune is the old Jerry Reed classic, “When You’re Hot, You’re Hot”, as the Oley Throttle-jockey is burnin’ up the Slinger Speedweeks Series at the moment.
Bieber, the defending National Slingshot Champion, captured his third consecutive main event of Speedweeks on Wednesday, August 1st, at the Kutztown Fair Speedway, earning $750 for winning the 30-lap NAPA Dutch Classic at the fairgrounds.
Joining Brett on “Bieber Fever” night at Kutztown were Wingless 600cc Sprint winner Brett Schoenly; Kutztown’s own Jarid Kunkle (winged 270cc Sprints); and Jordan Dreher (Xcel Sportsman Modifieds).
Blandon’s Matt Miller led from the pole as the NAPA Dutch Classic went green and 27 of the All Star Slingshots charged into turn one.
Cody Kline, who won the Slinger Speedweeks opener at Linda’s Speedway on July 27, slipped past Shannon Smith for second and began his assault on the leader. Kline could draw even with Miller in the turns, but could not find the forward bite needed to catapault by the leader as they accelerated off the corner.
That battle for the top spot followed the pattern described above for several circuits, until Kline made another surge for the lead with 16 tours in the books. Miller nosed ahead once more as they blasted off turn four, and Kline appeared to lose his momentum, allowing Brett Bieber to shoot past him and take over the runner-up position.
Bieber, who set fast time over the large field of Slingshots in the time trials that began the evening of competition, shoved the nose of his NAPA of Kutztown/ Slinger Warehouse No. 7 under race leader Miller in three and four on the 20th trip around the oval. Miller got wide, skating up the track at the exit of turn four, and Bieber gassed his mount into the top spot.
Kline followed Bieber past Miller, hoping they would catch some lapped traffic that would permit him to make a move on the new leader.
It almost happened, but a caution with three laps remaining provided a clear track in front of Bieber. Brett (the Oley Jet) streaked under the checkered flag for his second triumph of the 2012 campaign at Kutztown, where he is also the current point leader.
Kline finished second, with Shannon Smith salvaging third after a terrific late race battle with Danny Buccafusca (fourth) and Miller. Their tussle produced some three-wide racing at times as they waged a spirited battle for third.
Brett Schoenly, Emmaus, has been fast all season in his Schoenly Enterprises No. 117. On Wednesday, he finally secured some good luck, too, as the two drivers dueling for the lead in front of him got together on a restart in the main event for the Wingless 600cc Sprints.
After the yellow flag waved with five laps complete, Bobby Butler and Tyler Ross lined up for the single file restart. As the green was shown to the field, Ross jumped to the bottom lane and drew even with Butler at the end of the homestretch. They made contact, Butler spun into turn one, and speedway officials determined that Ross should go to the back of the pack, too, for being a bit too aggressive in his attempt to overtake the leader.
That put Schoenly at the head of the field, and he took full advantage of his golden opportunity, leading the rest of the way and winning his first feature of the year at the fairgrounds by almost 1.5-seconds over Tyler Esh.
Esh survived an entertaining fight with Tony DiMattia for runner-up honors, while Zach Fisher (fourth) and Eric Bodine made up the top five at the end of the 20-lapper.
The winged 270cc Sprints needed three attempts to get their feature race underway. When the first laps could finally be scored, it was Steve Walters at the head of the pack and current point leader Jarid Kunkle right behind him.
On a restart with six laps complete, Kunkle roared to the inside of Walters, then edged in front to assume command of the 20-lap main event. He went on to record his third Kutztown victory of the season, solidifying his hold on the top point position.
Ross Perchak, Hazleton, was involved in one of the incidents on the initial start. Perchak, a former track champion, navigated his way from the rear to run third with six tours left. He passed Walters for second with a couple of laps remaining, then chased Kunkle to the checkered.
Darin Bartholomew, who started 12th, raced to a third place finish and Walters ended up fourth. Josh Pepe earned fifth-place money.
In Xcel Sportsman Modified action, Jordan Dreher notched his second Kutztown triumph of the year.
Dreher started on the pole, then fought off attacks from Andy Ressler, the previous week’s winner. Ressler ducked under Dreher on the frontstretch as they completed lap seven; the duo banged wheels and the contact sent Ressler up the track in turn one. Eric Whitby pulled to the inside of Ressler’s car and they made just enough contact to send Ressler spinning.
Whitby made numerous attempts to dive under Dreher, but could not make the pass for the lead. Whitby gave it one more shot in the final corner of the last lap, but spun as he tried to slip under the leader’s car.
Dreher scored the victory, with Korey Inglin (making his first Kutztown start of the season) finishing second. Ryan Suchon, Factor X Grafix point leader Richie Hitzler, and Justin Schraden rounded out the top five at the end.
Twenty-seven of the All Star Slingshots took part in the Dutch Classic presented by the region’s NAPA Auto Parts Stores. The Slingers were joined by 23 of the Wingless 600cc and 20 of the winged 270cc Sprints, along with a 13-car Xcel Sportsman Modified field. Those numbers add up to a total of 83 racecars in competition at the fairgrounds on Wednesday.
In addition to the $750 winner’s share, the Dutch Classic was chock-full of cash bonuses and contingency awards presented by a multitude of sponsors.
Danny Buccafusca received a bonus for recording the Strapped In Magazine Fastest Lap of the Feature.
Brett Bieber pocketed an extra $50 for being the fastest in time trials, courtesy of Kim’s Kreations. The owner of the business,Kim Glass, who had her second child just a few days before the Dutch Classic, also provided prizes for the fifth and tenth place finishers in the main event.
Racers Roundtable.com presented the Hard Charger Award to Jim Housworth, who advanced ten positions and finished seventh in the Slingshots’ feature race.
The Christman’s Meats Hard Luck Award went to Matt Massone, who was the first driver to retire from the main event.
S&S Speedways put up cash awards for each Slingshot heat race winner. Taking the S&S Speedway dollars were Housworth, Robbie Hocker, Simon Egan, Mike Fogler, Matt Mertz, and John Bockhorn. Two rounds of heat races were run for the Slingers on Wednesday.
Brett Bieber also received a case of his favorite beverage from Wert’s Beverage of Topton. And the top three finishers in the 30-lap feature (Bieber, Cody Kline, and Shannon Smith) each received a dinner for two at the Texas Roadhouse in Trexlertown, Pa.
AMSOil, Kelly Racing Fuels, Delacy Coil Covers, and Herr’s Snack Foods also participated as contingency sponsors.
Event sponsor NAPA also provided special prizes for the drivers and giveaway items for the fans.
Xcel Sportsman heat races were won by Justin Schraden and Jordyn Mohr.
The winged 270cc heats went to Eric Bodine and Jason Swavely. Bodine then turned his ride over to Darin Bartholomew for the feature.
Tyler Ross, Bobby Butler, and Brett Schoenly won the three heats contested by the Wingless 600cc Sprints.
The final 2012 point races for the Wingless 600 and winged 270 Sprints will be run this Wednesday, August 8. The schedule for the final two weeks of racing at the fairgrounds appears below...
Tuesday, August 14 at 7 p.m. - Fair Week Nationals for winged 270cc Sprints PLUS final point races for All Star Slingshots and Xcel Sportsman Modifieds. At least $750 to win winged 270cc Nationals.
Wednesday, August 15 at 7 p.m. - Fair Week Nationals for Wingless 600cc Sprints PLUS the Leon Gruber Memorial ($1,000 to win) for Xcel 600 Modified Tour and Junior Slingshot National. The Wingless 600cc Sprint National will pay at least $750 to the winner.
Thursday, August 16 at 7 p.m. - An Evening with the Quarter Midgets...Final event of the 2012 racing season at Kutztown Fair Speedway.
NAPA Dutch Classic All Star Slingshot Feature, 30 laps: 1.Brett Bieber, 2.Cody Kline, 3.Shannon Smith, 4.Danny Buccafusca, 5.Matt Miller, 6.Simon Egan, 7.Jim Housworth, 8.Travis Bieber, 9.Kyle Gruber, 10.Jason Harman, 11.Matt Mertz, 12.John Bockhorn, 13.Kurt Bettler, 14.Joe Nemeth, 15.William Mohring, 16.Ryan Raidline, 17.Robert Hocker, 18.Mark Sensenig, 19.B.J. Antonio, 20.Jim Laubach, 21.Scott Dinin, 22.Mike Fogler, 23.Jacob Dunn, 24.Ray Nemeth Sr., 25.Sam Scicchitano III, 26.Demetrios Drellos, 27.Matt Massone.
Wingless 600cc Sprint Feature, 20 laps: 1.Brett Schoenly, 2.Tyler Esh, 3.Tony DiMattia, 4.Zach Fisher, 5.Eric Bodine, 6.Molly Chambers, 7.Travis Esh, 8.Doug Snyder, 9.Brett Peters, 10.Tim Iulg, 11.Tyler Ross, 12.Jeff Hartman, 13.Jay Hartman, 14.Ryan Neil, 15.Tom Schearer, 16.Steve Kemery, 17.Taylor Troxel, 18.Joe Kay, 19.Rhett Long, 20.Carey Becker, 21.James Morris, 22.Rick Perone. DQ: Bobby Butler.
Winged 270cc Sprint Feature, 20 laps: 1.Jarid Kunkle, 2.Ross Perchak, 3.Darin Bartholomew, 4.Steve Walters, 5.Josh Pepe, 6.Brandon Heist, 7.Jason Swavely, 8.Trevor Dunn, 9.Tom Kunsman Jr., 10.Hayden Miller, 11.Pete Skias, 12.Luke Fogg, 13.Andrew Dietrich, 14.Brad Kemp, 15.Paul Richards, 16.Jeff Carman, 17.Dave Kemp, 18.Jonathan Swift, 19.Jon Pepe, 20.Ronald Helmick
Xcel Sportsman Modified Feature, 20 laps: 1.Jordan Dreher, 2.Korey Inglin, 3.Ryan Suchon, 4.Richie Hitzler, 5.Justin Schraden, 6.Jordyn Mohr, 7.Eric Whitby, 8.Ray Horning, 9.Jason Dunkelberger, 10.Jessica Weiss, 11.Kermit Horning, 12.Chad Mullen, 13.Andy Ressler.