St. Johns, PA- With eight different drivers taking Modified victories in nine main events ran so far this season at Evergreen Raceway Park, a new Modified winner was bound to emerge Friday evening. Emerge he did, in dominating fashion, Brian DeFebo of Berwick scored his first win of the season and 55th overall of his Modified career at the track. Randy Schlenker of Whitehall hasn’t finished worse than second in the last six weeks of Street Stock competition. That hasn’t changed yet; as Schlenker held off Kevin Higgins to notch his sixth win of the season. In a wild and caution plagued Four Cylinder feature, Bob Azarowicz of Tunkhannock bested his competition to score his first career victory and Tom Cassagrande of Drums claimed his fourth Pure Stock win of the year. Vinny Troia of Pemberton nearly missed the show because of traffic to the track, but it didn’t slow him on the speedway, as he dominated the INEX Legends main to notch his first win at the track.
Paul Frantz led the Modified field to the drop of the green flag in the 35-lap main event but he spun the tires on the start, which allowed Jerry Hildebrand to take the lead. Frantz settled into second with Brian DeFebo, Todd Baer and Austin Kochenash in tow.
With two laps in the books DeFebo grabbed second from Frantz and then two laps later he blasted by Hildebrand and into the lead. Meanwhile, Baer and Frantz battled hard for second.
Following a lap 11 yellow for a single car spin by Bobby Jones, who was running in sixth, DeFebo had a terrific restart and retained the lead over Hildebrand, Baer, Kochenash and Frantz. Not long after, Frantz regained fourth from Kochenash.
With the remainder of the event being caution-free, DeFebo opened up the lead and cruised to the checkers over Hildebrand, Baer, Frantz and Kochenash.
Todd Baer and Paul Frantz notched heat race wins.
Bernie Uphold started from the pole position in the 30-lap Street Stock feature but was edged by Randy Schlenker to lead the first lap, followed by Kevin Higgins, Rich Emel and Robert Fink.
With one lap complete, Higgins snuck by Uphold for second and then the yellow flag waved three laps later when Chip Wanamaker got into Uphold when the two were challenging for the third spot.
Green flag racing resumed and Higgins began to pressure Schlenker for the top spot. They both raced door-to-door for many laps and several times it appeared that Higgins had something for the leader. Schlenker however thought differently and retained the lead.
In an exciting fight to the finish, Schlenker held off Higgins to score his sixth win in seven starts. Wanamaker, Emel and Fink completed the top five.
Bernie Uphold was the heat race winner.
After picking up the heat race win, Tom Cassagrande took the lead from Frank Katona on the opening circuit of the 20-lap Pure Stock feature and then drover off to a convincing fourth victory of the season over Matt Mattern, Jr, Mike Moyer, Sr, Katona and Tony Hilliard.
Bob Azarowicz led the Four Cylinder field to the drop of the green flag in the 20-lap feature. He led the first lap followed by Anthony Pugliese, Scott Adams, Ron Heeter and Sam Ryan.
The yellow flag waved on lap one when Richie Pugliese got into Harry O’Neill in turns three and four. Shortly after in turns one and two, Ray Fennell III tangled with Adams.
Green flag racing resumed and Ryan grabbed the lead. However, A. Pugliese battled back to regain the spot.
Lap four brought out another yellow for another tangle with R. Fennell and Adams. And following the restart, Pugliese remained at the helm over Ryan, O’Neill, Azarowicz and Heather Fennell.
O’Neill battled for second with Ryan and jumped to his outside on the exit of turn four. Unaware that O’Neill was on his high side, Ryan and O’Neill touched and then O’Neill slapped the front stretch wall.
The yellow flag was thrown once O’Neill stopped and following the restart, A. Pugliese continued to lead.
That all changed on lap 16 when Azarowicz took the top spot and never looked back, En route to his first career win. H. Fennell, Ryan and O’Neill completed the top five.
Bob Azarowicz and Harry O’Neill were heat race winners.
From the pole position, Rick Collins led the INEX Legends to the drop of the green in the 20-lap feature. Bobby Jones grabbed the lead before a lap was scored and Mitch Dowd and Vinny Troia followed him across the stripe to complete lap one.
With one lap on the scoreboard, Troia moved into the lead and never looked back, taking his first ever win at the track. Dowd, Ricky Collins, Jones and Zack Wells rounded out the top five.
Mitch Dowd and Vinny Troia were heat race winners.
A fantastic firework display capped off the racing. Evergreen Raceway Park would like to thank the following folks for contributing toward the great display: Brookhill Animal Hospital, Bed Rock Garden/Radznell’s Outdoor Specialties, Paulaski Club and Buchman’s Auto.
The next event at Evergreen Raceway Park is slated for Friday, July 4. The Modifieds, Street Stocks, Pure Stocks, Four Cylinders and INEX Legends are on the card. The pit gates will open at 6 PM and practice is slated to begin at 7:15. Heat races will kick off at 8 PM.
Pit Admission at the track is $25 (With Pit License) and $35 without. It is NOT required to purchase a season pit license to compete. As always, grandstand Admission is $10 for adults and children 12 & under are admitted for free.
Evergreen Raceway Park is just minutes from Hazleton, Pa, located on St. John’s Road, between Routes 93 and 309. For more information, including upcoming shows, rules, payouts and news, please visit www.evergreenracewaypark.com.
Modifieds (35-laps) 1. BRIAN DEFEBO 2. Jerry Hildebrand 3. Todd Baer 4. Paul Frantz 5. Austin Kochenash 6. Bobby Jones 7. Jim Bojohnny 8. Brian Sones
Street Stocks (30-laps) 1. RANDY SCHLENKER 2. Kevin Higgins 3. Chip Wanamaker 4. Rich Emel 5. Robert Fink 6. Bernie Uphold 7. Joe Stavoy
Pure Stocks (20-laps) 1. TOM CASAGRANDE 2. Matt Mattern, Jr. 3. Mike Moyer, Sr. 4. Frank Katona 5. Tony Hilliard 6. Larry Spencer III 7. Scott Adams
Four Cylinders (20-laps) 1. BOB AZAROWICZ 2. Anthony Pugliese 3. Heather Fennell 4. Sam Ryan 5. Harry O’Neill 6. Ron Heeter 7. Scott Adams 8. Ray Fennell III 9. Richie Pugliese
INEX Legends (20-laps) 1. VINNY TROIA 2. Mitch Dowd 3. Ricky Collins 4. Bobby Jones 5. Zack Wells 6. Rick Collins 7. Nick VanWickle 8. Jim VanWickle
– Evergreen Raceway Park press release. Photo credit: Joyce Thompson