Bates claims ‘King of the Can’ crown

Rain forced Penn Can Speedway officials to reschedule the annual King of the Can Modified portion of the big weekend to the Sunday rain date.

The move proved popular as former Penn Can Sportsman Champion Kevin Bates of Lake Ariel held off the persistent challenges of veterans Mitch Gibbs and Kevin Hartnett to win his first ever modified victory at the speedway.

In the companion Hornbeck Chevrolet Crate Sportsman event Woodhull Raceway regular Ray Bliss Jr fought off the challenges of Jeff Leslie, Kyle Rohner, and Mike Nagel Jr. to get the victory. Shane Wolf Jr recovered from a disappointing run the night earlier to win the street stock event to conclude racing for 2010 at the speedway.

The story line for the King of the Can will be about the great up- front three car battle that took place over the entire fifty lap feature event. Mitch Gibbs led early with Kevin Bates taking his car to the high side and getting the lead during the mid portion of the event. With few cautions lapped traffic played a part with Kevin Hartnett getting under both Gibbs and Bates to lead a lap.

 “I saw the Mitch (Gibbs) was coming during the midpoint of the race and that Hartnett was really fast on the bottom,” explained Bates. “I thought if I could keep the car on the top I would be able to pull away.”

When the leaders approached lap traffic Bates kept his mount on the top side with Gibbs in his tracks. Hartnett was glued to the bottom. The three cars raced lap after lap weaving in and out of traffic. While all of this was taking place the race behind them was also heating up for the fourth spot. The cars of 2010 Penn Can Speedway Champion Mike Gular, and Jeff Strunk had made their way into challenging positions.

The final caution came out on lap twenty nine setting up what was to be an eleven lap dash to the checker. Bates pulled away to a slight lead with Hartnett getting by Gibbs for second on lap forty. Hartnett and Gibbs battled for the runner-up position while Bates went on for the win. Gibbs got under Hartnett with two remaining and claimed the second position. Harnett, Gular, and Strunk rounded out the top five.

 “I didn’t want to see that last caution,” states Bates in Victory Lane. “I thought that would give them a chance to run me down. I just kept the car wound up on the top and was able to hold them off.”

A very talented crate sportsman field made the trip to Penn Can Speedway to compete in the 2010 King of the Can event. Ray Bliss Jr, a Woodhull Raceway regular, took the top spot early when the top running cars of Anthony Perrigo and Jeff Crambo both pulled to the pits with mechanical problems. With Bliss leading Jeff Leslie worked his way through the field into second with Accord regular Kyle Rohner, and Penn Can Champion, Mike Nagel Jr following. The four cars battled the last half of the thirty five lap event with Bliss taking home the top prize.

Twenty two of the top area street stocks signed into the pits for their second night of racing during the King of the Can Weekend. Penn Can star Shane Wolf Jr took the top spot early in the event. With only a few cautions slowing the event, Wolf would stay out front only to be challenged Rich Green, Gene Sharpsteen, Russ Morseman, and Charlie Gilbert. Wolf had his hands full holding back the challenges but was up to the task. Wolf would defend his home track with another street stock win at Penn Can. Green, Sharpsteen, Gilbert, and Denny Decker would follow.

PENN NOTES: A great field of cars made the trip for the Sunday rain date. This would be Kevin Bates first modified win at Penn Can after capturing a sportsman championship. Kevin declined the Gambler’s fee thinking that he had not done well at the speedway this season, a move he now regrets. Five modified heats and two consis were needed to qualify the twenty six car starting field. Justin Holland used his guaranteed redraw spot from the Supernationals to gain the pole for the feature. The speedway will honor its champions at the annual banquet Saturday December 4th at the Montdale Country Club.

Don’s Automotive Mall. Gary’s U-Pull-IT Modified Feature: Kevin Bates, Mitch Gibbs, Kevin Hartnett, Mike Gular, Jeff Strunk, Justin Holland, Shaun Walker, Mike Mammana, Nick Rochinski, Doug Manmiller, Darwin Greene, Grant Hilfiger, Rich Ricci Jr., Joey Grammes, Bobby Trapper Jr, Mike Lartz, Brian Weaver, Bob Trapper, Brad Weaver, John Willman, Billy Pauch Sr., Ryan Godown, Mike Schane, Mike Colsten, Brett Tonkin, Dan Pompey, DNQ, Mike Ricci, Frank Yankowski, Danny Creeden, Brent Boyer, Ted Lamb, Colt Harris, Bryant Brown, Jack Hartnett, David Calaman, Neil Huber, Josh Beierle, Chris Weaver.

Don’s Automotive Mall. Gary’s U-Pull-IT Crate Sportsman Feature: Ray Bliss Jr, Jeff Leslie, Kyle Rohner, Mike Nagel Jr, Grant Hilfiger, Tommy Johnson, Chris Stevens, Bob Johnson, Tyler Boniface, Donnie Lawson, Alex Stanton, John Sundlof, A.J. Potrzebowski, Anthony Perrego, John Hargrave, Adam MacGeorge, Butch Green, Rodney Mullen, Larry Lippencott,  Phil Recchio, Jeff Crambo, Kyle Cicio,  John Juhl. DNS, Kenny Boniface, DNQ, Brian Pessolano, Kyle Borror, Wayne Devantoy, Guy Harby, Nick Hotaling, Greg Pessolano.

Don’s Automotive Mall. Gary’s U-Pull-IT Street Stock Feature: Shane Wolf Jr, Rich Green, Gene Sharpsteen, Russ Morseman, Charlie Gilbert, Denny Decker, Nick Robinson, Butch Green, Rich Powell, Earl Zimmer, Shane Wolf Sr, Rich Talada, Don Russel Jr, Tom Harrington, Brenton Miller, Nate Peckham, Keith Beach, Ryan Stone, Lanson Albanese, Norm Whittemore, Jon Carpenter, DNS, Brady Stark.

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