JENNERSTOWN – Jennerstown Speedway’s second annual Motor Mountain Masters 150-lap late model race on Saturday attracted nearly 40 competitors from 10 states.
At the finish line, Todd Stone of Middlebury, Connecticut, captured the checkered flag, taking home the $10,000 top prize for his night’s work in the Laurel Highlands track’s biggest late-model division race in over 25 years.
“This is the biggest race I’ve ever won,” Stone proclaimed from Victory Lane. “For our team, winning against this field of drivers is like winning the Daytona 500.”
Also celebrating in Victory Lane were Jennerstown’s R.J. Dallape in the modifieds, and Dale Kimberly of Sutersville (Westmoreland County) in the chargers feature.
Four different drivers led laps during the late model feature and officially six lead changes were recorded. Fast qualifier Ray Christian of Uncasville, Connecticut, led the most laps, holding the top spot three times in two
Stone won the second segment, which left 60 laps to decide the Masters winner in segment three. Tenth place starter, Mike Hopkins, of Hermon, Maine, grabbed the lead from Christian on Lap 108 of 150, as Stone rode in third place.
On Lap 114, Stone took the second position from Christian and a memorable battle for the lead soon developed. For several laps, leader Hopkins and Stone raced side by side, and more than once the duo rubbed fenders and nudged bumpers.
Stone claimed the lead on Lap 140, then masterfully worked lapped traffic to earn the Motor Mountain Master title, the red sport coat, massive trophy and along with the impressive check.
Hopkins placed second, Christian was third, with fellow Connecticut driver Cory Casagrande earning fourth place. Josh Brock of Corbin, Kentucky, a former winner of the Champion Racing Association touring series, won segment two of three on Saturday and finished fifth overall.
Jennerstown Speedway point leader Teddy Gibala of Coulter (Allegheny County) was sixth, the highest area finisher.
Recent winner and former Jennerstown champion Garry Wiltrout started 17th and advanced to a seventh place finish at his home track.
Ben Rowe of Turner, Maine, was eighth in the field of 38 drivers with Jimmy Renfrew of Candia, N.H., and Jennerstown’s Jarred Barclay of Somerset rounding out the top 10.
Barclay, a rookie, earned the “Hard Charger Award” by passing the most cars, after starting 23rd to land in the top 10. Brock, Stone, Rowe, and North Carolina’s Matt Wallace won heat races.
Ohio’s Albert Francis won the B Main and Todd Price of Bedford won the non-qualifiers race.
Regular five-division racing returns to Jennerstown next Saturday and will feature a meet-the-drivers’ pre-race celebration.