Fan Notes from Wayne County Rick Susong Memorial All Stars

Monday, September 2, 2019
Wayne County SpeedwayWayne County Speedway Tom Myers (9/2/2019) – Unfortunately, the All Stars were rained out on Sunday September 1st here at Wayne County Speedway for the Pete Jacobs Memorial….. and missed out on a chance to compete for $12,000 to win. Thankfully the weather turned sunny and dry on Monday the 2nd and the All Stars put on a heck of a show for the inaugural Rick Susong Memorial and a $5,000 to win 30 lapper.

Pete Jacobs was the guy who built Wayne County Speedway and the track holds a memorial race for him every year. This racing season, a good friend to the track, former competitor and race car parts supplier Rick Susong passed away, so the promoter and track crew decided they wanted to have a memorial race to honor the memory of Rick.

There were $1 beers and $1 dogs and two cheeseburgers for $5. Mix in a lot of people, sunny weather, a national holiday and 36 sprint cars in the pits and you have a recipe for a great time. The track crew was working feverously when I arrived at around 3:30. It was kind of early for me but not too early since the schedule would be moved up an hour for this race. A few racers that were here yesterday decided not to come back today. However, we did pick up a few newcomers to improve the previous day’s car count by 4.
Jordan RyanJordan Ryan Also on the card were stocks, mini-stocks and modifieds of some sort, e-mods, I guess? Anyway, this big hauler with license plates from a way out west state pulled in and it looked like a sprint car hauler to me. Who is that? It ended up having a modified in it, and I thought, “man alive, what overkill!” This thing had a hydraulic lift that slowly, gently, lowered the race car down from the top level of the hauler. The back of this hauler had two silver panels on each side of the rear opening, that they folded into place after the car was pushed out …and each panel had a window in it….sort of like a drive up window. Prices$ for their t-shirts, cozies, hats, key rings, etc…were plastered all over with big purple letters and numbers. These guys pulled in, right between a bunch of sprint cars and everyone was kind of staring. Then the crew went to work, like busy bees and all business like, pouring over the car, getting it ready to race. All the tires on this racecar had purple like, I guess you would call them “hair nets” covering the tires. Then two of the crew, who looked like twin brothers, kind of portly and long in the tooth, came over and asked directions to the concession stand. I bet their eyes lit up when they found out about $1 dog night and 2 for $5 cheeseburgers! I will give them some props because their racecar was the fastest one there…as far as modifieds go. That left front would lift up real high and their driver would scream that thing around the turns as he passed everyone. I just had to laugh because I’d never seen so much show and go with a racecar of that type….usually they come in on open haulers and are family operations.

So the track decided to run the modifieds, stocks and mini stock hot laps and heats first, all before the All Stars even were pushed off for motor heat. The thinking was to help run in the track, I think. It was a good plan, but the track wasn’t cooperating. All the rain the track got the previous evening made the surface difficult to work. Ruts started to develop, especially in turns 3 and 4.
Cole DuncanCole Duncan After the heat races for the other classes, they got the sprints going. Cap Henry turned the fastest lap in time trials followed by Aaron Reutzel, Dale Blaney, Paul McMahon, Cory Eliason, Buddy Kofid, Brandon Spithauler, Brock Zearfoss, Greg Wilson and Lee Jacobs. The high groove up by the fence was the preferred line for many because it was smoother, but it slicked off after awhile. As it ended up, most of the fastest guys would go high in 1 and 2 and low in 3 and 4 to grab the moisture there. After time trials, the track crew came out and cut the ruts down and ran the track in again, although it didn’t need any water. And then we were onto the 8 lap sprint heats.

In the first heat, Chad Kemenah grabbed the lead from the front row and used his down low style to race to the win. Greg Wilson finished 2nd from his 4th starting spot, Trevor Baker started and finished 3rd, Max Stambaugh came up from 9th to finish 4th and Gerard McIntyre finished in the 5th and final transfer spot. During this heat, McIntyre and pole sitter Malcuit got together in turn 4, bringing out a yellow. They both restarted at the tail and this allowed Stambaugh to move up 2 spots and gain a transfer spot. This after Stambaugh had failed to go to weigh in after his time trial and had to start on the tail of this heat. In the 2nd heat Buddy Kofoid, who started 2nd, wins it, followed by Cory Eliason, Paul McMahon, Time Shaffer and Danny Mumaw. Pole sitter Cole Duncan, driving the white 8 car from western PA, went backwards as he struggled with the handling of the car. The track is getting rough again. The winner of heat 3 was Dean Jacobs followed by Lee Jacobs, Cap Henry, Aaron Ruetzel and Jac Haudenschild. In the last heat, there was a little drama. Spithauler, the 3rd starter, spins in turn 1 and goes to the pits. We have a complete restart. Zearfoss leads as Tyler Gee pulls off. Front row starter Zearfoss was leading it and on lap 6 slowed to a stop. The track is really rough in the turns now. This leaves the lead to Peck who goes on to win followed by Dale Blaney, Andrew Paulker, Jordan Ryan and Dan Kuriger.

After the heats, the track crew went to work again, cutting off the ruts and running it in again. It’s smooth again now and they are going to run the mini stock and super stock features. Between those two features they do the dash draw and Cap Henry pulls a 1 as does Aaron Reutzel. In dash 1, Henry wins it and Kofoid looks strong coming from 5th to 2nd, passing Eliason and Kemenah and Dean Jacobs in the process. In the second dash the winner is 2nd starter Greg Wilson, who held off a pesky Ruetzel. Blaney finished in 3rd, Peck was 4th and Lee Jacobs finished 5th. Next up was the sprint B main. The top 4 would go to the tail of the A main. A determined Zearfoss took a while to get past Spithaler but he finally got it done. Zearfoss wins the B main followed by Spithaler, Duncan and Carson Short.
Cap Henry in Victory Lane at Wayne CountyCap Henry in Victory Lane at Wayne County The track crew comes out yet again and cuts the ruts down and they run in the track again. This time it looks really smooth and racy. Lots of credit goes out to them they have been working so hard all evening to chase this surface. As the track work continued and we waited for the sprint cars to come out for the A main, my friend, who is recently new to the sprint car races turns to me and with a big grin on his face says, “I like the sprint cars.”

On the pole is Cap Henry with Greg Wilson along side. Row 2 is Kofoid and Reutzel and Eliason and Peck make up row 3. At the start, Henry grabs the lead and screams away, man is he flying. Ruetzel grabs second and chases Henry as Kofoid grabs 3rd and starts stalking Reutzel. The race goes green for the whole distance. Traffic comes into play many times as Ruetzel would catch Henry…only to have a lapper get in the way and Henry would scoot away. Same thing with Kofoid. Buddy would creep up on Reutzel and almost pass him but lapped traffic would get in the way and Reutzel would get away. On the last lap, Henry enters turn 3 and almost bicycles, hopping up the track. He collects it and mashes the pedal as Ruetzel is right there coming hard and at the checkers right at the flag stand they make contact, with Henry edging out Ruetzel for the win! Wow, what a race! The top 10 finish was Henry, Reutzel, Kofoid, Eliason, Dean Jacobs, Peck Wison, Blaney, Zearfoss up from 20th and Paul McMahon.

No yellows and the track was much smoother for the feature and it stayed tacky all evening and no dust got on us in the stands! Wow, that was fun. Thank you, Wayne County Speedway and thank you, ASCOC for putting on a great show. Dale Blaney finished 8th and maintains the points lead over Reutzel by 24 points heading into the big weekend in PA.