COMING UP: SATURDAY JULY 18th, 2015
3825 W State St.
Midvale, OH, 44653
|Pits: 2:30 pm
|Hotlaps: 3:00 pm
|Grandstands: 3:00 pm
|Qualifying: 4:45 pm
|Racing Action: 6:30pm
Mansfield Grand Reopening Sees Henes, Sibila, and Harkins Dominate Racing Action
(MANSFIELD, OH, June 22nd, 2015)- The grand reopening of Spitzer Motor Speedway of Mansfield Ohio was contested on Sunday afternoon under picturesque skies despite the weeklong threat of rain. Bob Sibila capitalized on a series of mid-race restarts to win the thirty lap modified race against twenty of the Midwest’s top short track stars. Jon Henes led from the drop of the green to the checkered in order to win a fourth career Midwest Supermodified Association race at the state-wide tour’s season opening event. Jim Harkins would also claim victory at the prestigious event, besting fourteen of the best front wheel drive competitors in the state.
In the twenty lap front wheel drive event, Richie Gregory and Timothy Rush would pace the field to the green with the #27 of Tom Keller pulling into the lead in the first turn. Dan Smith would wrestle the lead away on the backstretch only to give way for Gregory who would lead the first lap of feature racing action. Lap two would see two simple spins for Kelly Lille in turn four and then Nick Wolfe in turn one. When the race got back underway, they would lineup with Gregory leading over Smith, Keller, Jim Harkins, and Rick Bays.
Harkins would power to the runnerup position on the restart and would assume the lead by the time they got back to the start/finish line to complete lap two. The battle would then be for the second position. As Harkins continued to pull away from the field, Hunter Combs would pass Keller on lap five for the third position to give chase to Richie Gregory for second. Combs would take the spot on lap nine, but just five laps later, Gregory would spin to cause the third caution of the event.
Jim Harkins, Hunter Combs, Dan Smith, Tom Keller and Devon Stansberry would make up the top five positions for what would be the final restart. Smith would take the runner-up position when the green flag dropped only to lose it again coming off of turn four on lap fifteen. Smith would retake the position on the back straightaway with just two laps to go. However, it was not meant to be as Combs powered back to finish second to the fast qualifier of the afternoon, Jim Harkins. Smith, Justin Cranmore and Keller rounded out the top five while Stansberry, Richie Gregory, Rick Bays, Timothy Rush, and Jeff Barker made up the rest of the top ten. Kelly Lille and Nick Wolfe would finish eleventh and twelfth respectively.
The modified division would be the next division on track, with Brad Copen and Rich Clingan leading the field to the green. Clingan would take the lead in turn three only to be put back to third on the second lap as Dave Dobbins and Bob Sibila rocketed to the top two positions. The first caution of the race would come on lap eleven as Jason Drew spun his #26 Koffel’s Place machine. The order for this restart would be Dobbins, Sibila, Clingan, Chad Lemmerman, and Jeff Amsdale.
Bob Sibila would take the lead on the restart as Clingan slipped back to fifth, Clingan would soon have more to worry about than simply falling out of race contention as his motor quit on lap fifteen, bringing out a caution as he spun out from the rapid deceleration. Sibila, Dobbins, Lemmerman, Klinect and Amsdale would make up the top five. Dobbins would retake the lead in turn one only to have the move negated by Amsdale and Joe Quinn hitting the outside wall hard in turn three, dropping both fast qualifiers from the event before halfway.
During this red flag, the pedal linkage on the Dobbins #53 came undone, causing him to lose a lap as he made repairs in the infield pit area. On the restart, Bob Sibila, Chad Lemmerman, Dave Wagner, Stephen Klinect and Joey Wyckoff would sit in the top five positions with Sibila moving to a lengthy lead prior to Wyckoff and Kenny Calhoun spinning in turn two with a handful of other cars.
When the race got back underway, Stephen Klinect powered to third only to get a flat tire on the last lap trying to pass Lemmerman for second. He would fall back to fourth, however, at the front, Bob Sibila had powered his way to a feature win by a half of a lap as Lemmerman, Wagner, Klinect, and Joe Shannon rounded out the top five. Bailey Delfosse, Tom Joy, Brad Copen, Logan Hamilton, and Kenny Calhoun finished in positions six through ten while Ronnie Souders, Jason Wells, Dave Dobbins, and Tony Heitzman rounded out the finishing order.
Finally, the ground-pounding winged warriors of the Midwest Supermodified Association presented by Adkins Glass were pushed off for their thirty lap affair. Widely regarded as the world’s fastest short track racecars, the division lived up to their name, giving the fans in attendance a lightning-quick but excellent show. Jon Henes’ #36 Perfection Fabricators/Adkins Glass sponsored machine would face off against the #07 Dock Motorsports/Rhode Law Offices winged roadster of Kevin Jaycox Jr. from the front row with Jaycox quickly falling to fourth as “Chargin” Charlie Schultz and AJ Lesiecki aboard the May Motorsports cars took second and third on the first lap. Kyle Edwards’ #11 machine would be the next to go by Jaycox on lap three for the fourth position, and he would be followed by Jim Paller in the #64 Precision Welders entry to knock Jaycox from the top five on the fifth lap.
On lap eight, Schultz tried a power move to the inside of Henes for the race lead only to have Henes throw a successful block, showcasing his veteran status in the open wheel ranks. On lap sixteen, Jim Paller pulled his #64 into the infield pit area, releasing the fifth position to Kevin Jaycox Jr. However, he would not keep the spot as Joey Wyckoff, driving the Riverview Lanes #5 for veteran car owner Joe Gillingham in his supermodified debut, would steal fifth from Jaycox on lap twenty despite a broken left sideboard brace on the wing of the Gillingham machine. Jon Henes would go on to win over Charlie Schultz, Kyle Edwards, AJ Lesiecki, Joey Wyckoff, and Kevin Jaycox Jr.
Henes joins seven other drivers with Mansfield victories in MSA competition out of the eight MSA races ever contested at the state-of-the-art facility, including Moe Lilje, Timmy Jedrzejek, Charlie Schultz, Dave McKnight, Jack Smith, Mike Lichty, and Rich Reid. With that victory, Henes brought his career MSA win total to four, which were all earned at different tracks (Toledo 2005; June 5th, 2010 Sandusky; KilKare 2010; Mansfield 2015). He also ended a winless streak stretching back to KilKare on July 16th, 2010.
Finally, seeing that the race also happened to be the 2015 MSA Supermodifieds season opener due to the first three races of the season being rained out, Henes joins seven other drivers who have won the MSA season opening event. This list also includes DJ Shullick, Trent Stephens, Jedrzejek, Schultz, McKnight, Lou Cicconi and Joe Grunda.
About Spitzer Motor Speedway of Mansfield Ohio: The Spitzer Motor Speedway of Mansfield Ohio, formerly Mansfield Motorsports Speedway, is a half-mile long state-of-the-art automobile racing facility. In prior incarnations, it has hosted the NASCAR Truck Series as well as several internationally touring short track tours like the International SuperModified Association. This year, the track is hosting a special event only schedule which will include modifieds, the Main Event Racing Series, the Midwest Supermodified Association, and various types of stock car classes. For more developing information, visit www.spitzermotorspeedway.com or like us on Facebook by searching ‘Spitzer Motor Speedway’!
Official Speedway Press Release by Media Director, Jarrett Emmerich