Late Model All Star 100 – Evergreen Raceway Park (PA) – 4/22/18

Last updated: April 23, 2018 at 10:46 am
(Updated throughout the day – Be sure to refresh this page frequently)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Zane Zeiner pockets $3,500 after leading flag-to-flag (Speed51.com photo).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What Won the Race:  Zane Zeiner stayed out of trouble to lead the 100-lap feature flag-to-flag.

 

The Finish:

1 76 Zane Zeiner
2 D11 Mike Sweeney
3 25 Steve Shultz
4 14 Broc Brown
5 66 Mike Parks
6 31NH Luke Hinkley
7 16 Kyle Harvell
8 8 Travis Fisher
9 41 Francis Gross III
10 17 Mitch Hawk
11 3D Todd Cooper
12 61 Frank Hughes
13 11 Bob Weber
14 76x Jerick Johnson
15 00 Paul Koehler Jr.
16 2s Chola Shay
17 19 Larry Fisher
18 X Austin Kochenash
19 71 Lorin Arthofer
20 42x Danny Cascioli
21 2 George Ramos III
22 99 Nick Ross
23 08 Jarrod Hayes

 

The Skinny:  Zane Zeiner’s son Gunnar was elsewhere racing karts, one of the first times Zane was not able to be there for support, and word had come to Evergreen that the young second generation driver had won his features.  Zane was near flawless himself in the Late Model, setting fast time and accomplishing what he needed to on restarts when altercations ensued behind him on a few occasions.  Mike Sweeney improved upon a disappointing qualifying run to steadily maneuver and finish runner-up, but would not have anything for Zeiner toward the end.  Steve Shultz turned in a respectable run the entire distance before coming home in third, making it a Pennsylvania sweep on the podium.

 

Winning Quote:  “Gunnar set the bar high for me today.  He won both classes and set fast time.  I couldn’t want to let my son show me up today.  What an awesome day.  Hats off to these guys working late hours with me these last couple nights.”

 

Winning Crew Chief:  Barry Kuhnel

 

Winning Chassis:  Howe / Zeiner Fabrication

 

Winning Shocks:  Pro Shocks

 

Winning Engine:  Morgantini

 

On the Move:  Mike Sweeney moved up 10 positions from 12th on his way to a second place finish.

 

Biggest Loser:  Nick Ross brought out the first yellow when his rebuilt No. 99 came to stop and was one of the first to drop out of the race with mechanical issues.

 

Feature Notebook:

Lap 1:  Clean and green as Zane Zeiner jumps out to the early lead with Steve Shultz following behind him.
Lap 4:  Luke Hinkley is making the outside line work in third place, but a caution flies for the smoking car of Nick Ross.  Jarrod Hayes comes to the pits and parks his machine.
Lap 7:  Zeiner holds the lead, but Hinkley has maneuvered to the bottom and make his way to second position.  Behind them Frank Hughes, George Ramos III, and Paul Koehler Jr. all go around in the turn four area.
Lap 10:  Zeiner maintains the early lead with Shultz filing into second position.  Harvell is losing numerous spots, stuck on the outside line.
Lap 15:  Front six run nose-to-tail at the front.  First battle on track between Mike Sweeney and Broc Brown for 10th position.
Lap 20:  Bob Weber and Jerick Johnson currently single file in fourth and fifth, but have been making a few peeks at potentially moving up.
Lap 25:  Top 15 cars run within six seconds of each other.  Zeiner continues out front over Shultz, Hinkley, Weber, and Johnson at the quarter-way mark.
Lap 33:  Hinkley drifts high in the third position and almost opens the door for Weber, but the top positions remain unchanged.
Lap 38:  Zeiner begins to stretch his lead a couple car lengths and Weber turns up the aggression for third spot.  He is unable to get the position though and Johnson capitalizes to move into the fourth position.
Lap 43:  Meanwhile, Travis Fisher and Mike Parks ride in sixth and seventh, perhaps saving their equipment.
Lap 46:  Johnson dives below Hinkley and takes the third position.  Weber takes fourth the next time by.
Lap 50:  Hinkley has been shuffled outside the top 10.  At halfway, Zeiner leads Shultz, Johnson, Weber, Travis Fisher, Parks, Harvell, Kochenash, Sweeney, and Brown.
Lap 53:  Caution is out after a long green flag run.  Mitch Hawk and Todd Cooper go into the spin cycle between turns one and two.  Weber slams on the brakes and spins as well after the yellow flag was waved, and is allowed his spot back near the front of the field.
Lap 54:  Johnson moves under Shultz for second on the restart.  Travis Fisher and Mike Sweeney start to jockey toward the front, passing by Weber for fourth and fifth.
Lap 58:  Hinkley begins to move up once again, under the Chola Shay car for eighth.  Francis Gross III spins in turn one and brings out the yellow.
Lap 59:  Major wreck on the restart as Johnson does not get going immediately from the outside.  Weber goes sliding on the frontstretch and collects Kochenash, Larry Fisher, Mitch Hawk, and Chola Shay.  Broc Brown also has noticeable damage to the front of his ride.  Red flag is briefly issued.  Everyone pulls away except the Kochenash machine, which for a quick moment caught air in the process.
Lap 60:  Jerick Johnson gets squirrelly in turn two and clips Travis Fisher.  Weber spins to avoid them.
Lap 63:  Zeiner to the front once more.  Shultz and Sweeney follow.  The battlescarred cars of Fisher, Weber, and Brown try to pick up some spots, but get together in turn four bringing out another yellow.
Lap 66:  Hinkley trying to make the outside line work like he did earlier, but loses fourth to Parks.
Lap 69:  Zeiner maintains a half second lead on Shultz.
Lap 70:  After a couple more stoppages for incidents near the back of the remaining field, Sweeney capitalizes on the latest restart to take second from Shultz.
Lap 75:  With 25 circuits remaining Zeiner currently leads Sweeney, Shultz, Hinkley, Brown, Parks, Harvell, Hawk, Travis Fisher, and Gross.
Lap 80:  Zeiner has spaced his lead out to nearly a second, while Sweeney tries to keep Shultz and Hinkley at bay for the runner-up spot.
Lap 85:  Zeiner catches a couple lapped cars at the wrong time and it allows Sweeney to reel him in for a moment.
Lap 90:  Hughes slows but pulls off the track so that yellow flag is not needed.  Zeiner leads by 0.8 seconds over Sweeney with 10 to go.
Lap 95:  Shultz puts the pressure on Sweeney for the second position.  Meanwhile, Zeiner begins to check out.
Lap 97:  Brown and Hinkley make contact through the turn and Brown takes the spot.  Parks takes fifth.
Lap 100:  Zeiner gets caught behind a slower car but has enough of an edge to win the Late Model All Star 100 flag-to-flag over fellow Pennsylvanians Mike Sweeney, Steve Shultz, and Broc Brown.  Granite State racer Mike Parks rounds out the top five.

 

Pre-Feature Notebook: 

  • An optional practice session was held on Saturday afternoon with Bob Weber recording the quickest time of 14.292 seconds.
  • Teams will be required to run the 100 green flag lap distance on the tires in which they qualify on.  If a driver has to run the consolation race, they may put on a different set of tires for that distance and then change back to the qualifying tires if they transfer to the feature.
  • During the feature, if a driver spins on their own and brings out the yellow flag twice, they will be parked for the remainder of the distance.
  • Kyle Harvell paced the initial Sunday afternoon practice session with a best time of 14.372 seconds.  The Long Islander was forced to turn around yesterday an hour from the track due to issues with the truck towing the trailer.  Luckily, he was able to find a rental in sufficient time to make the trip back.
  • Modified standout Austin Kochenash was a late entry and back behind the wheel of a Late Model for the first time in about five years.  The team received the car they are running late Friday night.  It is a proven winner when it was driven by Matt Barndt, who is now a Database Engineer for Hendrick Motorsports, a few years back and Kochenash recorded the third fastest practice time from the get go.
  • Nick Ross was quickest in the final practice of the afternoon with a best time of 14.394 seconds.  This is Ross’ first start since a season-ending accident at the beginning of 2017.
  • Jarrod Hayes’ fifth fastest qualifying time was disallowed due to a tire compound infraction.  He will line up at the rear of the consolation race, which transfers in defending track champion Francis Gross III as the 15th qualifier.
  • Paul Koehler Jr. leads the 15-lap consolation race flag-to-flag.  Despite some mishaps behind him early on, Danny Cascioli, George Ramos III, Jarrod Hayes, and Chola Shay work their way into the feature.
  • Two starting spots were added to the rear of the field.  Frank Hughes received the race sponsor’s choice position and Lorin Arthofer will start shotgun after receiving a vote from the impressive turnout of fans in attendance.
  • Zane Zeiner set a blistering lap in qualifying, but was not entirely satisfied with the car overall.  The team made some changes before the feature in hopes that the outcome will go in the right direction for the 100-lap distance.
  • Tom Casagrande won the 30-lap Factory Stock feature that preceded the Late Model main event.
  • Todd Cooper has also been added to the field in 23rd starting position.

 

Starting Lineup:

1 76 Zane Zeiner
2 16 Kyle Harvell
3 25 Steve Shultz
4 31NH Luke Hinkley
5 76x Jerick Johnson
6 11 Bob Weber
7 8 Travis Fisher
8 X Austin Kochenash
9 66 Mike Parks
10 99 Nick Ross
11 14 Broc Brown
12 D11 Mike Sweeney
13 19 Larry Fisher
14 17 Mitch Hawk
15 41 Francis Gross III
16 00 Paul Koehler Jr.
17 42x Danny Cascioli
18 2 George Ramos III
19 08 Jarrod Hayes
20 2s Chola Shay
21 61 Frank Hughes
22 71 Lorin Arthofer
23 3D Todd Cooper

 

Time Trial Results: (Top 15 locked into feature)

1 76 Zane Zeiner 14.181
2 16 Kyle Harvell 14.254
3 25 Steve Shultz 14.313
4 31NH Luke Hinkley 14.341
5 76x Jerick Johnson 14.355
6 11 Bob Weber 14.396
7 8 Travis Fisher 14.405
8 X Austin Kochenash 14.444
9 66 Mike Parks 14.473
10 99 Nick Ross 14.539
11 14 Broc Brown 14.583
12 D11 Mike Sweeney 14.593
13 19 Larry Fisher 14.623
14 17 Mitch Hawk 14.634
15 41 Francis Gross III 14.699
16 00 Paul Koehler Jr. 14.731
17 42x Danny Cascioli 14.739
18 2s Chola Shay 14.814
19 71 Lorin Arthofer 14.872
20 01 Brian Romig Jr. 14.913
21 2 George Ramos III 14.937
22 3D Todd Cooper 15.082
23 61 Frank Hughes 15.350
24 42 Rob Kutz 15.468
25 08 Jarrod Hayes (Time Disallowed)

 

Consolation Race Results: (Top 5 Transfer)

1 00 Paul Koehler Jr.
2 42x Danny Cascioli
3 2 George Ramos III
4 08 Jarrod Hayes
5 2s Chola Shay
6 71 Lorin Arthofer
7 01 Brian Romig Jr.
8 3D Todd Cooper
9 61 Frank Hughes
10 42 Rob Kutz

 

Consolation Race Lineup:

1 00 Paul Koehler Jr.
2 42x Danny Casicoli
3 71 Lorin Arthofer
4 2s Chola Shay
5 2 George Ramos III
6 01 Brian Romig Jr.
7 3D Todd Cooper
8 61 Frank Hughes
9 42 Rob Kutz
10 08 Jarrod Hayes

Car Count:  Today’s turnout at Evergreen boasts the largest count of Late Models on the grounds in nearly a decade, dating back to the years of the NELMA events that were promoted by J.A. Ackley, now an editor for Speedway Illustrated, each fall.  25 Late Models in total are on hand.

 

Entry List:

X – Austin Kochenash – Danielsville, PA
00 – Paul Koehler – Northampton, PA
01 – Brian Romig Jr. – Schnecksville, PA
08 – Jarrod Hayes – Calverton, NY
2 – George Ramos III – Coplay, PA
2S – Chola Shay – Matamoras, PA
3D – Todd Cooper – Nescopeck, PA
8 – Travis Fisher – Freeland, PA
D11 – Mike Sweeney – Nesquehoning, PA
11 – Bob Weber – Clarence Center, NY
14 – Broc Brown – Shickshinny, PA
16 – Kyle Harvell – Sayville, NY
17 – Mitch Hawk – Saylorsburg, PA
19 – Larry Fisher – Fern Glen, PA
25 – Steve Shultz – Drums, PA
31NH – Luke Hinkley – Claremont, NH
41 – Francis Gross III – Allentown, PA
42 – Rob Kutz – Easton, PA
42x – Danny Cascioli – Brodheadsville, PA
61 – Frank Hughes – West Pittston, PA
66 – Mike Parks – Walpole, NH
71 – Lorin Arthofer – Bath, PA
76 – Zane Zeiner – Bath, PA
76J – Jerick Johnson – Mooresville, NC
99 – Nick Ross – White Haven, PA

 

Qualifying Format: Single-car time trials will lock the 15 fastest cars into the field.  A consolation race will transfer five more drivers for a total starting field of 20.

 

Event Schedule:  All Times ET

Noon – Drivers Meeting
12:30 p.m. – Practice (Up to two rounds per division)
2:00 p.m. – Heats and Qualifications Begin (Local divisions will run heats, Late Models will run time trials)
To Follow – Late Model Consolation Race (15 Laps)
To Follow – Up to 15 Minute Intermission
To Follow – Features (Including the Late Model All Star 100)

 

Who to Watch For:  The list of names going for the $3,500-to-win prize this afternoon reads as a who’s who of accomplishments in the area.  Travis Fisher is always a threat on opening day and has won major events at Evergreen as well as other tracks in Pennsylvania and New York.  His sponsor Plum Air has contributed greatly to what will be the largest Late Model purse in the track’s history.  Over $1,000 in additional lap money has been collected from generous fans, racers, businesses, and families alike.

Travis’ father Larry Fisher is the winningest Late Model driver at Evergreen and will come out of retirement, hoping to add to a list of accomplishments including 2005 and 2007 titles and a record four wins in the annual King of the Green event (formerly known as the King of the Mountain).  In all, eight former track champions making up for a total 11 championships in the division will be in attendance (Paul Koehler Jr. – 2001-2002, Chola Shay – 2004, Mike Sweeney – 2008-2009, Kyle Harvell – 2012, Mitch Hawk – 2013, Steve Shultz – 2014, Francis Gross III – 2017)

Sweeney will be one of the local heavy hitters, as he is the two-time defending track champion at the nearby Mahoning Valley Speedway (PA) and won the 2017 running of the King of the Green.  Other Pennsylvania racers to watch for include Lorin Arthofer, a winner of a wild finish to 2017’s Mahoning Valley Octoberfast, Modified talent Zane Zeiner, who has a few major Late Model victories to his credit as well, and teenage phenom Broc Brown.

A series of out of state invaders will be looking to take the victory away after making the long tow.  New Yorker Jarrod Hayes has proven himself before at Evergreen, winning the 2006 and 2009 editions of the NELMA classic.  Upstate driver Bob Weber is a multi-time U.S. Open winner at Lancaster National Speedway (NY), Granite State Pro Stock Series contenders Luke Hinkley and Mike Parks are also in attendance and perhaps making the lengthiest drive is North Carolina’s Jerick Johnson.

 

Title Fight:  While many competitors in the field today will not be running full time throughout the local racing season, it is crucial for racers or are focused on a track championship to be in attendance.  100 “show up” points will be given to all drivers who make an attempt at being in the All Star 100 show.  The first points race for the Late Models will take place on Sunday, May 5.  This afternoon is the first 2018 points event for the supporting Street Stock, Four Cylinder, and Factory Stock divisions.

 

The Track:  Evergreen Raceway is a 1/3-mile asphalt oval located in the beautiful mountains of Northeast (St. Johns) Pennsylvania.  The speedway landscape started off as an amusement park in the 1930s, and in its first iteration as a racetrack in the 1950s hosted the NASCAR Sportsman (now Xfinity) Series on a few occasions.  Ever since, the overall track layout has remained unchanged and has been known by numerous names including New Evergreen, Mountain Speedway, Sundance Vacations Speedway, and now Evergreen Raceway under the current promotion of former local racer Jason Makarewicz.

 

Weather:  Temperatures are expected to be in the mid-50s and may reach 60 come feature time, much warmer than the region has experienced in recent months.  The sun is shining bright with no chance of rain and a very light breeze.

 

Next Series Race:  Although it is not a specific series race, Crooks Racing is offering up incentives to competitors that choose to participate in both today’s Late Model All Star 100 at Evergreen and the inaugural Motor Mountain Masters 150-lap feature at Jennerstown Speedway (PA) being held on Saturday, August 11.

 

A $2,500 store credit will be awarded if a driver wins both events, and a $1,000 store credit will be awarded to the driver with the best combined average finish if the same driver does not win both events.  If the winning driver is piloting a Port City chassis, the prize will be increased to $3,500 and $1,500, respectively.

 

In addition, the winner of today’s race will have a guaranteed starting position in September’s Late Model portion of Race of Champions weekend at Lake Erie Speedway (PA).

 

 

Speed Central: Late Model All Star 100 at Evergreen (PA)