By Todd Fisher
Newberrytown, PA (April 15, 2012) – The Susquehanna Speedway Park opened up this past weekend with three successful nights of racing action as a prelude of what’s in store for the 2012 racing season. The 58th year of operation opened up with racing at the 1/9 mile SSP Outback Track with more than 50 young and old racers taking to the track. On Saturday night, Roy Miller visited the SSP victory lane on the big track after claiming the 25-lap Late Model feature. Then on Sunday night, Greg Hodnett won a thrilling non-stop 25-lap Sprint Car feature event over Aaron Ott.
On Saturday, Carl Billet grabbed the early lead from the pole position. Billet retained the lead until a flat tire forced him from the event when he tangled with two slowing cars on the 10th circuit. Roy Miller inherited the lead on lap 11. The first 14 laps were filled with 9 cautions. Finally on the lap 14 restart, the race continued non-stop to the end with Miller taking the win over Chase Billet and Derrick Zirkle. Justin Ehrhart finished fourth and J.R. Rodriguez rounded out the top five. Billet, Miller and Dave Lightner were the heat race winners.
Mike Zeigler Jr. grabbed the early lead of the 20-lap Street Stock feature and never looked in the rear view mirror to claim the victory. Randy Zechman challenged for the top spot, but could not make the winning pass and settled for the runner-up spot. Scott Thunberg finished third, followed by Tim Drawbaugh and David Latsha. Jim Rost Sr. and Zeigler were heat race victors.
In one of the most exciting features of the night, Donnie Broderick won the non-stop 20-lap Xtreme Stock Car feature event that saw seven drivers with the possibility of winning the race. Patrick McClane finished second, followed by Cameron Benyou who was also the Madison House Hard Charger after starting tenth and finishing third. Adam Smith and Chad Stine finished fourth and fifth respectively. Heat races were claimed by Smith and Tim Hahn.
Daryl Sipe won the 15-lap Road Warriors feature event but failed post-race technical inspection, thus awarding the win to Dennis Dorosz. The win is the first of Dorosz’s Road Warrior career. Early leader Curt McDade finished second, followed by Thomas Thompson, Roy Denike and Adam Peters. Sipe and McDade won their respective heat races.
The 10-lap Pro Signs & Design Mini Van feature event began with Al Kessock grabbing the early lead. Kessock relinquished the lead on lap 6 to Butch Richcreek who went on to win the race over Kessock. Davey Groff Jr. finished third with Anthony Roberts and Donnie Groff rounding out the top five. Richcreek also won the qualifying heat race.
Aaron Brommer picked up where he left off in 2011 by winning the 12-lap PENNMAR Vintage Car feature event. Fred Krickbaum finished second, followed by Rick Pastor, Glenn Pobletts and Larry Felty. Brommer won the qualifying heat race.
On Sunday night, Derek Sell grabbed the early lead from the pole and led the first six laps until third place starter moved past Sell for the top spot. Weaving through lapped traffic, Hodnett was closely pursued by Aaron Ott and Danny Dietrich. With all competitors using the entire width of the track, with the exception of the 3 feet near the outside wall, action was found all over the track. Hodnett won the non-stop 25 lapper by two car lengths over Ott. Dietrich settled for third, followed by Alan Krimes and Logan Schuchart. The top three were the same driver from last year’s Spring Classic with the Ott besting Dietrich and Hodnett in that order. Twenty-three of the starters finished the race with David Wilson the only driver dropping out on lap 12. Hodnett, Krimes and Sell won their respective qualifying heat races.
In the 20-lap 358 Sprint Car feature event, Mark Smith bested Pat Cannon for the second straight night. Smith grabbed the early lead and never looked back as he wired the field from start-to-finish to win the 20 lap feature event. Pat Cannon pursued Smith but never got close enough to challenge for the win and settled for second place. Polesitter Eric Tomecek finished third, followed by Kyle Moddy and Austin Hogue. Cannon, Hogue and Smith were heat race victors.
Racing action returns to the SSP Outback Track on Friday night, April 20 at 7:30 p.m. featuring quarter midget, kart and Adult Speedcar racing action.
Racing action returns to the Big Track at SSP on Saturday night, April 21 with the Late Models, Street Stocks, Xtreme Stock Cars, Road Warriors and PA Sprint Series.
The Susquehanna Speedway Park is located off I-83 to exit 32, then 1.4 miles NW on SR382 to York Road, then 1.3 miles south. For more information, contact the speedway offices at (717) 292-1696 or visit online at sspracing.net. On raceday, use the track phone at (717) 938-9170 for up-to-date information at the “Big Track” and (717) 932-1608 for the “Outback Track.”