STEWART, OHIO-The skies were stormy, but the "Thunder and Lightening" came from the on-track fireworks where Chillicothe, Ohio's Danny Smith blitzed the field to become the first-ever Ohio Valley Sprint Car Association winner and Chris Carpenter, South Parkersburg, WV claimed the second half of "Twin 30's" in the Late Model "Spring Thaw" 30-lap feature at Billy Jarrell's Skyline Speedway Friday night. Marietta's Rick Venham, Jr. claimed a narrow win over Kenny Johnson in the AMRA Modifieds, Flyin' Ryan Wilson (Marietta, OH) took the Pure Stock win and Portland's Tommy Adkins claimed the Four Cylinder main.
Threatening skies did not keep away a large crowd and large field of cars. Racing was run off without a hitch including the last 77 laps of feature racing which all green flag racing and sent the crowd home at 11:05 when Adkins pulled into victory lane for the final feature.
The track was in great shape as both the OVSCA sprints and late models closed in on the respective track records. Smith set fast time in the sprints with an 11:08 clocking or average speed of 127 miles per hour. Heat races produced excellent side-by-side, flat-foot racing as the middle groove remained tacky much of the evening on the Skyline high-banks.
One of the original World of Outlaws, veteran Danny Smith, formerly of Danville, Indiana proved to be the class of the field as he blitzed to the inaugural Ohio Valley Sprint Car Association main event. The history-making run saw Smith out-gun his nearest rival, Chillicothe, Ohio driver Josh Davis who challenged early and on the restart, but was no match for Smith. Still Davis maintained a great run to earn a solid second.
Smith lapped every car in the 17-car field up to sixth place Andre Layfield, the rookie sensation who just moved up to the powerful 410's after a successful modified career. The 30-lapper, paying $1,500 to win was run with only two cautions. While Smith was blasting off into a zone of his own with Davis locked into his sights, the rest of the pack was left to grapple for position. Vandalia's Jimmy Stinson, Kory Crabtree, and Aaron Higgins all battled hard for a top five. Higgins was in from California on an off weekend from the NASCAR West Modified series he is participating in. Higgins was in the Billy Jarrell #51, a team car to Stinson's #84 and premier engine builder Charlie Fisher's #22.
Andrea Layfield was the hard charger of the race with intense pressure from Dave Dickson and Brandy Bower for that top honor. Rounding out the top ten were Danny Smith, Josh Davis, Jim Stinson, Kory Crabtree, Aaron Higgins, Andre Layfield, Dave Dickson, Brandy Bower, Charlie Fisher, and Brian Benson.
Said Smith in victory lane, "It's an honor to win the first race in this deal. I'd like to run the series, but actually I'm just taking it one week at a time. The track was very good, especially for the first night out. The car was right and I was able to run just about anywhere on the track."
The Hoosier/Hoosier Ohio Valley series met with great success with more members expected to join and several other cars damaged last week expected to join the series in the following weeks.
From start to finish, three-wide racing highlighted the $1,500-to-win, 30-lap late model main as Chris Carpenter got the jump on pole-sitter Chris Garnes and runner up Jason Montgomery. Audie Swartz, last year's champ, moved into the fray as Carpenter, Garnes and Swartz went three wide, until Swartz moved into second on lap five and took over the top spot on lap six.
Leading laps 6 through 10, Swartz led a three-car Carpenter/Montgomery battle. Carpenter regained the lead on lap 11 when Zack Dohm scuffled with Montgomery for fourth as Garnes shuffled back to sixth. Young Dohm and veteran Swartz battled for second right behind Carpenter in the green-to-checkered battle. On lap 26 Dohm rooted out Swartz for second and now a Carpenter, Dohm, Swartz freight train chugged hard to the finish line.
Rounding out the top ten were Chris Carpenter, Zach Dohm, Audie Swartz, Chris Games, Jason Montgomery, Greg Oliver, KC Burdette, Travis Brookover, Dan Morrison, and Larry Bond. Burdette was hard charger coming from 17th to 7th, while Scott Wolfe came from 16th to 11th.
Said Carpenter of his first Skyline LM win, "Awesome, Awesome, Awesome! I thought Audie was on me the whole way and knew I had to be my best. Come to find out at last it was Zach (Dohm). Thanks to Dad (Freddie), Rocket, Protech, and Truetech and everyone for their support."
When Kenny Johnson is in town, fans know there will be some excitement. Rick Venham, Jr. was none-the-less exciting himself in posting a six-inch win over Johnson at the finish in the Malta AMRA Modifieds. Venham had to be his best and was in what proved to be another green-to-checkered run without a caution.
Venham said, "It's great to get a win, especially when it's this close."
Added Johnson, "This was a good race for the win and a good win for Rick. He raced me clean and deserved the win."
Unretired veteran and former AMRA champ Doug Henry battled hard with Johnson early, then worked hard in holding off challenges from Robert Garnes, Fireball Pinkerton, and Jason Montgomery. A strong field of cars saw Mike McPherson, Jeremy Blake, Matt Holcomb, and Vince Conrad, usually top five cars battling hard for a top ten.
Rounding out the top ten were Rick Venham, Kenny Johnson, Doug Henry,
Robert Garnes, Dave Pinkerton, Jason Montgomery, Mike McPherson, Jeremy Blake, Matt Holcomb, and I-77 winner Vince Conrad.
Flyin' Ryan Wilson claimed the 15-lap Pure Stock feature, picking up where he left off last year in his immaculate #00. The Marietta driver held off charges from Rick VanDyne for much of the race before pulling away for the easy win at the end. Reck, Blake, and Brisker all battle hard for position in solid top five runs. Rounding out the top ten were Ryan Wilson, Rick VanDyne, Curt Reck, Jeremy Blake, Barry Brisker, George Klintworth, Levi Woods, Ben Ayers, Perry Snyder, and Kenny Lilly.
Tommy Adkins moved back into his hometown of Portland after a year in Wisconsin. The homecoming was a good one as the former 4-cyl champ put his new mount in victory lane over George Klintworth and Tuppers Plains' Jeff Rankin. While Adkins controlled the gait up front Klintworth, Jeff Rankin, Chris Lauer, Dana Gilkey, Keith Marlow, and Tyler Emmelhainz (Gene Adkins grandson) battled hard for position.
Rounding out the top ten in this exciting division were Adkins, George Klintworth, Jeff Rankin, Chris Lauer, Dana Gilkey, Keith Marlow, Tyler Emmelhainz, Bobby Dennison, Scott Neal, John Rankin, and Barry Kitts. Skyline Speedway continues action next Friday night with a $2000 to win.
410 Sprint Cars (17)
• Fast Time: Jim Stinson 11.08 (Drew "0" for Inverson)
• Heat One: Danny Smith, Jim Stinson, Wes McGlumphy, Brian Benson, Eddie Miller, Brandy Bower, Chris Myers, Tim Mosher, Greg Mitchell
• Heat Two: Josh Davis, Kory Crabtree, Aaron Higgins, Charlie Fisher, Bryce Dickson, Dave Dickson, Andre Layfield, Sam Mosher
• Feature: Danny Smith, Josh Davis, Jim Stinson, Kory Crabtree, Aaron Higgins, Andre Layfield, Dave Dickson, Brandy Bower, Charlie Fisher, Brian Benson, Bryce Dickson, Chris Myers, Sam Mosher, Tim Mosher, Wes McGlumphy, Eddie Miller, Greg Mitchell
AMRA Late Models (33)
• Fast Time: Chris Garnes 12.82 (Drew "0" for Inverson)
• Heat One: Chris Garnes, Larry Bond, Roy Roush, Scott Wolfe, Justin Powell, Shawn Jett, Jeremy Misel, George Klintworth, Buckwheat Shutts
• Heat Two: Chris Carpenter, Audie Swartz, Andy Bond, KC Burdette, Freddie Carpenter, Tony Roush, Nelson Freshour
• Heat Three: Jason Montgomery, Zack Dohm, Travis Brookover, Brian Eaton, Nick Dohm, Bryan Wright, Joey Harper, TJ Roush
• B-Main One: Freddie Carpenter, Justin Powell, Shawn Jett, Bub Crum, Tony Roush, Nelson Freshour, Jeremy Misel, George Klintworth
• B-Main Two: Ed Shuman, Nick Dohm, Joey Harper, Adam Colley, Ted Dille, Bryan Wright, TJ Roush, Kenny Newhouse
• Feature: Chris Carpenter, Zach Dohm, Andie Swartz, Chris Games, Jason Montgomery, Greg Oliver, KC Burdette, Travis Brookover, Dan Morrison, Larry Bond, Scott Wolfe, Andy Bond, Fred Carpenter, Ralph Withmen, Bryan Eaton, Kyle Thomas, Roy Roush, Ed Shuman
MALTA AMRA MODIFIEDS (26)
• Heat One: Robert Garnes, Jason Montgomery, Jeremy Roush, Kurt Stacey, Phillip Bapst, Frank Roush, Dusty Boley, Mark Lunning, Toby Roush (DNS)
• Heat Two: Rick Venham, Doug Henry, Mike McPherson, Joe Hamon, Nick Carr, Vince Conrad, Ken Patrick, Luke Jordan, Jim Corley (DNS)
• Heat Three: Kenny Johnson, Jeremy Pinkerton, Cliff Crank, Jeremy Berwanger,
• B-Main: Vince Conrad, Dusty Boley, Frank Roush, Ken Patrick, Luke Jordan, Cliff Crank, Mark Luning, Rick Neace, Toby Roush
• Feature: Rick Venham, Kenny Johnson, Doug Henry, Robert Garnes, Dave Pinkerton, Jason Montgomery, Mike McPherson, Jeremy Blake, Matt Holcomb, Vince Conrad, Jeremy Roush, Phillip Bapst, Dusty Boley, Kurt Stacey, Frank Roush, Nick Carr, Rodney Keefer, Joe Hamon
• Heat One: Ryan Wilson, Jeremy Blake, Berry Brisker, Perry Synder, George Klintworth, Kenny Lilly, Levi Woods
• Heat Two: Rick VanDyne, Gary Gould, Curt Reck, Ben Ayers, Jerrad Willis, Bill Fordyce
• Feature: Ryan Wilson, Rick VanDyne, Curt Reck, Jeremy Blake, Barry Brisker, George Klintworth, Levi Woods, Ben Ayers, Perry Snyder, Kenny Lilly, Gary Gould, Jarrod Willis
• Heat One: Chris Lauer, Gary Gilkey, Keith Marlow, Booby Dennison, John Rankin
• Heat Two: Tom Adkins, George Klintworth, Jeff Rankin, Tyler Emmelhainz, Barry Kitts
• Feature: Tom Adkins, George Klintworth, Jeff Rankin, Chris Lauer, Dana Gilkey, Keith Marlow, Tyler Emmelhainz, Bobby Dennison, Scott Neal, John Rankin, Barry Kitts