“The Oxford Express” Dale Kober Uses Patience And A Big Right Foot For Late Theatrics To Capture Wounded Warriors Project Firecracker 100 At Hamlin Speedway

By: Steve Pados, GA Motorsports Media

The Fourth of July weekend found the Hamlin Speedway kicking back into racing mode after being shut down for a week of rest and relaxation. Leading up to the return of racing, the entire Eastern Seaboard has seen extreme heat conditions followed by heavy thunderstorms that thankfully moved through the landscape in time for the racing action to commence at Hamlin. The management and staff at the Hamlin Speedway persevered through those obstacles as it was business as usual for a great evening of racing in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania. The spectacular evening of racing unfolded on Saturday night with the successful running of the Wounded Warriors Project Firecracker 100. Race car trailers and teams were still arriving at the speedway after 5 PM as more than 135 entries lined the pit area and included 40 of the top Slingshot drivers in the country today. Speedway Promoters Denise and Randy Smith greeted a standing room only crowd with a dynamic eight division racing card that was seasoned with anticipation and peppered with driving talent as the roster of driving stars laid it all out on the line to produce an event that will be talked about for some time to come. When the racing action was completed, the highs and lows of victory and defeat came to light but for all of the competitors, each and everyone of them should be applauded for their fine efforts on an evening where giving back meant as much as the thrill of victory. The Wounded Warriors Project, headed up by Kim’s Kreations, S&S Speedways, Hamlin Speedway and Rode Racing, put forth a solid effort that saw $7,830.00 raised for the charitable organization

Dale Kober, a mainstay at the Hamlin facility, had to qualify for the main event through one of the B-Main events that built the 31 car starting field for the Wounded Warriors Project Firecracker 100 and started the century grind from 26th starting position. He claimed the lead on lap-97 from Russ Benke III to go and claim a very rewarding pot of gold to the tune of $1,500.00 plus contingencies prizes for the grueling event. “The Beast” Chloe Andreas continued her winning ways with her third win of the season in the Junior Slingshot finale. “The Edge” Eddie Strada made it look easy as he claimed his ninth win of the season in the 600 Sprint finale. “The J-Shot Jacob Hendershot was up to the task to claim his fourth win of the season in the 270 Sprint main. “The Speed Queen” Alyssa Fogel captured her sixth win of the season in the Rookie 270 Sprint main and “The Layton Laser” Brody Adamsky hustled his Koerner Crane sponsored hot rod out front early to claim his first Hamlin win. Dale Kober doubled his action with a win in the Super Slinger headliner. “The Branchburg Bandit” John Comandini was more than up to task in registering his first win of the season in the Brodheadsville Chevrolet Stage One Modified headliner. The speedway was in excellent form all night long as Promoter Randy Smith rolled out the moisture machine whenever the speedway needed a quick drink. The eight racing divisions took to the racy 1/5 mile speed bowl with precision skills throughout the evening and left the crowd wanting more…..much, much more.

After a series of time trials and two B Mains, the 31-car starting field for the All Star Slingshots was established for the run at the hefty pot of gold that would await the winner. The event was the curtain closer for the evening but the headline attraction for the Wounded Warriors Project Firecracker 100 at the speedway. Utilizing the “revenge draw” found the top twelve drivers being shuffled a bit but the field was without question the top field of Slingshot drivers in the country today when the green flag fell. Modified talent “Fast” Frank Yankowski began from the pole position and held off all comers until lap 53 when “Kid Wicked” Tyler Pirone used a full head of steam to power past Yankowski. Pirone would hold onto the lead until lap-68 when mechanical problems forced him to the infield and out of the event. The battle royal behind the leaders was unbelievable as one driver after another would race into contention with brassy moves from all corners of the speedway.

Russ Benke seized the moment and built up a sizeable lead until a skirmish slowed the field. When racing resumed it would be the S&S Speedway team cars going to war with each other and Dale Kober would find the room to slip past “The Sheriff” Simon Egan for the runner-up slot. Egan would make a comeback from the baseline of the speedway and the two warriors made contact with Egan ending up facing the Jersey barriers and out of the event. Benke would again resume command of the field with Kober racing him hard and clean. From lap-90 it appeared the handling on the Jordan Towing sponsored machine of Benke was losing grip in the corners and the veteran Kober began to push the nose of his race car underneath him. Kober throttled past Benke on lap-97 to take over the lead and race away to a hard fought win. Benke ran an excellent race to claim runner-up honors. Troy Langendoerfer was third but a post race infraction found his racer disqualified. Wes Hearn would move to third with Mack Brink in fourth and Louden Reimert claiming a top five after starting from 28th position. Trevor LaBagh, John Gilroy, Collin DuBois, John Rooks Jr and Frank Yankowski completed the top ten with LaBagh, DuBois and Yankowski all racing back through the field after being involved in incidents along the way.

In 270 Sprint action, Jacob Hendershot grabbed the lead at the opening bell and led the entire event while being chased by Pat Bealer and Sydney Prince to claim his fourth win of the season. Bealer was solid in a runner-up role with Connecticut’s “Smoke Jr” Sydney Prince racing to third place and Mike Kalman and Paul Richards completing the top five. Tyler Galatro, Brittany Erlsten, Alex Shaffer, Zack Bealer and newcomer Ron Helmick completed the top ten.

Eddie Strada powered away from the field after a couple of aborted starts and ran to daylight to claim his ninth win of the season. Behind him found the competition going to crowd pleasing theatrics as “Bad” Chad Sandt and “The Big Dog” Stephen Reynolds waged a war with each other that saw rim-riding, slide jobs and bumper to bumper action throughout the twenty lap excursion. Sandt would claim runner-up honors with Reynolds third, Rick Calvert fourth and Amber Oraschin claiming another top five finish. Joel Smith, Robbie Hocker, the returning Kurt Bettler, Joseph Smith and JD Casazza completing the top ten.

Chloe Andreas hustled to the front of the field at the start of the Junior Slingshot finale and got into the zone quickly as she led all laps on her way to her third win in her last four race events. Tyler Peet ran a great event to finish in the runner-up role with Damon Paul finishing third. Matt Henneforth raced his way to fourth place and Daniel Morgiewicz raced from 13th starting place to round out the top five. Justin Mills, newcomer Aidan Svanda, Michael Samony, Cole Stangle and Alex Yankowski completed the top ten.

The Super Slingers racing action found Dale Kober hustling out to a comfortable lead early in the event with Wes Hearn and Richie VanOrden closing the distance by the midway point of the race. As the laps clicked off the battle between the two heated up with them getting together off of turn four and allowing Caitlin Henneforth the opportunity to drive by both of them on the way to a runner-up finish. Hearn was third with VanOrden fourth and John Rooks Sr completing the top five. Steve Svanda, John Gilroy, newcomer Dan Yankowski, Charlie Bodine and another newcomer Rob Best completing the top ten.

The Rookie 270 Sprint main encounter saw Alyssa Fogel lead all laps on her way to her sixth win of the 2014 racing season. In doing so, she snapped a year long one lap record when she stopped the clocks at 11.461 seconds to shatter the old mark set by Bobby Scherff in 2013. Geordan Marrero was a strong runner-up with newcomer Liz Helmick rounding the three race cars that remained on the track. Chuck DeLade and Brett Altemose completed the top five.

Adam Jones led the first lap of the Rookie Wingless 600 Sprint main but yielded to the high flying Brody Adamsky on lap two. Once in front, Adamsky attacked the cushion of the raceway, turning in consistent 12.45 second laps to hold all competitors at bay and capture his first win of the season. Johnny Smith put on a late charge for runner-up honors with Danny Buccafusca third, Ryan Raidline fourth and Adam Jones rounding out the top five. Russell Thornton, Sam Kravitsky, Shayne Ely, Jesse James Bartleson and the returning Matt Brown completed the top ten.

Jeff Hineline had his A-Game going well as he drove his mount into the lead at the start of the Brodheadsville Chevrolet Stage One Modified event and led until an oil leak forced him out of the event. Bobby Smith Jr inherited the lead but a power move by John Comandini put the veteran Garden Stater out front where he remained to capture his first event of the season at Hamlin. Bobby Smith Jr, Dylan Martin and newcomer Ethan Rutherford completed the field of racers.

Pearl Jams:

Former Firecracker 100 winners Danny Buccafusca (2011), Ben Whitaker (2012) made the show but were early retirees from the event. Additional outside invaders came from far and wide and included former Junior Slingshot National Champion Joseph Kata who is now doing great work on the CRSA Sprint Car circuit. Dakota Kohler and Shjon Dove came up from the Berks County area and Dan Yankowski picked up a ride in the former Bill Reidenbach racer. Dan was a strong competitor in the past at the Utica Rome Speedway. Kyle Herve made his first Hamlin appearance and made the show through one of the B-Mains. Kim Glass made her first start in the Slingshots in four years and showed to still be a solid competitor in the event. Kim was the promoter’s option for the feature run and dropped out early. “Double J” Jimmy Johnston competed in his final event last night at Hamlin as the solid campaigner is retiring from racing but did so with a 15th place run in his final performance on the track. The management and staff at the speedway wish Jimmy well in his step away from the sport.

All of the time trials and heat racing action produced some great side by side battles with heat winners being Chad Sandt and Stephen Reynolds in the 600 Sprints, Wes Hearn and Dale Kober in the Super Slingers, Pat Bealer and Jacob Hendershot in the 270 Sprints and Jeff Hineline in the Stage One Modifieds. Time trial found the brother act of Jared and Trevor LaBagh being up to the task of turning identical times of 13.884 to lead the parade of tough Slingshot competition. Geordan Marrero was the top timer in the Rookie 270 Sprints. Johnny Smith was to fast timer in the Rookie 600 Sprints. Chloe Andreas stopped the clocks at 14.084 seconds to lead the Junior Slingshot roster. Two B-Mains were need to complete the All Star Slingshot field and Jeff Cosgrove and Dakota Kohler were spot on to drive to victory and claim spots in the feature run.

Redemption Racing, through driver Joseph Smith, donated $1,040.00 to the Wounded Warriors Project by selling fifty-two stars on his race car. WWII veteran Edwin Frisbee of Lake Township was on hand at the speedway and made the presentation to announcer Steve Pados for the Wounded Warriors Project. Smith later claimed one of the $100.00 raffle prizes and added that amount as well making it a $1,140.00 donation from Redemption Racing.

Once again the generous support from the racers and fans created the wonderful family atmosphere that exists at the Hamlin Speedway and this event proved to be another solid promotional effort for the Wounded Warriors Project. A total of $ 7,830.00 was collected for the project and a tip of the hat goes out to Kim Glass at Kim’s Kreations, Hamlin Speedway, S&S Speedways, Allesson Rode and Rode Racing and GA Motorsports Media in unison to market this great event and the racers and fan support was overwhelming and a huge thank you to everyone for their gracious support of the event including all of the sponsors who put up some hard earned dollars to sponsor every lap of the century long run. The Silent Auction for the lithograph of Dale Earnhardt went to Randy Smith who bid $255.00 for the item. The speedway thanks driver Paul Ennes and Country Car Care for the donation. Orlando Sanchez won the 50/50 and worth $144.00.

The fast time award worth $100.00 was claimed by Jared LaBagh. Dale Kober was the Hard Charger and worth an extra $100.00 from OMS Racing as he passed 26-cars on his way to victory. Tyler Pirone claimed the Hard Luck award worth $50.00 from OMS Racing for leaving the event while leading. The Best Appearing car was claimed by Kim Glass and worth $50.00 from OMS Racing. The first non-qualifier went to Steve Yankowski and was worth an extra $50.00 to him from OMS Racing. The Long Haul award was claimed by Louden Reimert and worth an extra $25.00 from SDS Photography. An extra $25.00 each went to the B-Main winners Dakota Kohler and Jeff Cosgrove and came courtesy of Raidline Racing.

Sponsors for the Chinese Auction included Paul Ennes, Jill Brink, Allesson Rode, S&S Speedway, Northeast Safety, Linda Macomber, Carl Edwards, Clint Bowyer, Davey Sammons, Bealer Family, Barry Boyd and Frank DiSalvo Snap-on Tools.

Clock Drawing winners included Payton Vroom ($100.00), Sharon Ahner ($100.00), Shane Enslin ($200.00), Jesse Benke ($100.00), Sydney Johnson ($300.00), Joseph Smith ($100.00), Phyllis Hennings ($400.00), Sue Ann Wilkins ($100.00), David Johnson ($500.00), Teri Langendoerfer ($100.00), and Susan Huffman ($1,000.00)

The great evening of racing was brought to a bombastic conclusion with some added fireworks for the packed crowd on hand. The well-noted concession stand was kept busy throughout the evening as the many specials offered up were a hit among the fans and drivers at the speedway.


All Star Slingshots: Dale Kober, Russ Benke III, Wes Hearn, Mack Brink, Louden Reimert, Trevor LaBagh, John Gilroy, Collin DuBois, John Rooks Jr, Frank Yankowski, AJ Hobbs, Kyle Herve, Ryan Quackenbush, Shane Lewis, Jimmy Johnston, Charlie Lawrence, Simon Egan, Dakota Kohler, Jeff Cosgrove, Jared LaBagh, Tyler Pirone, Aaron Henneforth, Danny Buccafusca, Joe Kata, Mike McLaughlin, John Pantis, Dalton Maynard, Ben Whitaker, Kim Glass, Steve Svanda, Troy Langendoerfer (DQ)

270cc Sprints: Jacob Hendershot, Pat Bealer, Sydney Prince, Mike Kalman, Paul Richards, Tyler Galatro, Brittany Erlsten, Alex Shaffer, Zack Bealer, Ron Helmick, Alyssa Fogel, Brenden Koehler, Glenn Macomber, Mallory Prince, Shawna Winters

600cc Wingless Sprints: Eddie Strada, Chad Sandt, Stephen Reynolds, Rick Calvert, Amber Oraschin, Joel Smith, Robbie Hocker, Kurt Bettler, Joseph Smith, JD Casazza, Mick D’Agostino, Makenzie Harper, Larry Mekic, Colin White, Zack Bealer, Grady Johnston, Simon Egan, Chris Oraschin, Kyle Rutledge

Brodheadsville Chevrolet Stage One Modifieds: John Comandini, Bobby Smith Jr, Dylan Martin Ethan Rutherford, Jeff Hineline, Will Casazza, Joel Smith

Junior Slingshots: Chloe Andreas, Tyler Peet, Damon Paul, Matt Henneforth, Daniel Morgiewicz, Justin Mills, Aidan Svanda, Michael Samony, Cole Stangle, Alex Yankowski, Ashley Kober, Nathen Marold, Joshua Marcus

Super Slingshots: Dale Kober, Caitlin Henneforth, Wes Hearn, Richie VanOrden, John Rooks Sr, Steve Svanda, John Gilroy, Dan Yankowski, Charlie Bodine, Rob Best, Jim Wyant

Rookie 270cc Sprints: Alyssa Fogel, Geordan Marrero, Liz Helmick, Chuck Delade, Brett Altemose

Rookie 600cc Wingless Sprints: Brody Adamsky, Johnny Smith IV, Danny Buccafusca, Ryan Raidline, Adam Jones, Russell Thornton, Sam Kravitsky, Shayne Ely,Jesse James Bartleson, Matt Brown, Spencer Mease, Cody Smith, Nick Corazzi

Racing every Saturday evening from April through September. The speedway will spring back into action on July 12th with a regular eight division show. The date of July 19th brings into the speedway the running of the Northeast Pennsylvania Twin-Track Summer Nationals, highlighting the All Star Slingshots, 270 Sprints and Wingless 600 Sprints with the final portion of the event moving up to the Penn Can Speedway on July 20th for the second day. All eight regular divisions will compete at Hamlin and it will be a Slingshot Gold Tour race on the 1/5th mile clay cushioned oval. Pit Gates open at the speedway at 1 PM; Drivers Meeting at 4:45; Hot Laps are at 5:00 and the racing begins at 6 PM sharp. Admission Prices for regular shows are: Adults $10.00; Senior Citizens $5.00 Children under 6 are Free; Pit Pass: $25.00

Please support the many great sponsors who assist in working and sponsoring the season long events at the speedway. Dutch’s Market in Greentown, PA; Schmitt Sales, Stream Energy, Tilcon, Yankowski Enterprises, Triple Cities Mack, Dickie Keiper Speed Supplies, Ron Brown Hauling, Classic Cycles, Kim’s Kreations, RockAuto.com and Howe’s Comfort Inn are all part of the advertising family at the speedway and we graciously thank them for their support.

For further updates and information regarding all of the news and additions to the Hamlin Speedway, logon to their well documented website at: http://www.hamlinspeedway.com or call the speedway hotline at: 570 420 5500. For video work or questions regarding the purchase of videos from the exciting on-track action at the Hamlin Speedway, contact videographer Barry Boyd at: http://www.boydracingvideos.com For photos of all of the great racing action contact Rick Schwindenhammer Racing Photos at: http://www.ricksracingphotos.zenfolio.com
Visit us often for a great night of racing action as……………………………………..

The Hamlin Speedway Is The “Pearl” In The Poconos