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Mitchell Wins Second Straight Super Late, Bakalon Nabs “Smail 25” Special For Mods

SMITHTON, PA (7-15-05) - Two-time Speedway champion Richard Mitchell won his second-straight Napa NASCAR Super Late Model feature, as Beckwith Machinery’s Material Handling Division presented the NASCAR Dodge Weekly Racing Series on Friday night at Motordrome. The Smail Pontiac-GMC Modifieds completed the "Smail 25" which started on May 27, with Mike Bakalon winning the rain-delayed special event. Gary Scott won the regularly scheduled Smail Modified feature, while division point standings leaders Frank Turek (Subway Street Stocks), Jeff Giles (Yellow Book Chargers), and Ed Dinneen (Advance Auto Parts American Flyers) won features in the quest to lock-up championships.

Mike Bakalon earned his second victory of the season by winning the "crown jewel" of the Smail Pontiac-GMC Modified division schedule, the "Smail 25." The event took the green flag on May 27, only to be halted by rain at lap ten. Resuming on lap eleven on July 15, former champion Bakalon led all of the remaining 15 laps, while George P. Nicola advanced from seventh at the restart to second at the finish. Third place finisher Gary Scott progressed from eighth at the restart, and fourth place finisher Adam Kostelnik dropped back after restarting in second behind Bakalon. Beau Glemba placed fifth in the special extra-distance event. In the regularly scheduled 20-lapper for the Mod Squad, Gary Scott led from green to checkered, winning his fourth race of 2005. Scott and John Pribanich were the front row starters, and held those positions until the last lap, when Pribanich made a mistake in turn four and slipped back six positions in the final 150 yards of the race. Nicola inherited second at the finish, with Bakalon placing third after starting seventh. Points leader Kostelnik earned fourth, after making a pit stop for flat tires sustained in a wild lap one crash. The crash sent heat winner Bob Shipp airborne, and involved five cars - all drivers were uninjured. Ohio teenager Tom Frank placed fifth, while the evening’s feature winners also won the heats: Bakalon and Scott.

In the Napa NASCAR Super Late Model feature event, last week’s winner Richard Mitchell started ninth and gained three spots on lap one. The 35-lap race was contested without a caution flag, but Mitchell was still able to march to the front, passing Garry Wiltrout for third on lap six. John Komarinski led the first ten laps, before rookie Tony Musolino put his number atop the scoreboard for the first time in his career, on lap eleven. Musolino’s lead was short-lived, as Mitchell followed the youngster around Komarinski into second, then made a winning move for the lead on lap twelve. Eighth-starting Rick Miller was haunting Musolino in the battle for second by lap 15, and advanced to the runner-up position on lap 16, where he would finish. Miller and Mitchell are the only two repeat Motordrome Champions in competition, and are now the only two drivers to win consecutive features this year. Mitchell won by several car-lengths over points leader Miller, while sixth starting Bobby Henry took third away from Musolino on lap 31. Henry is second to Miller in the point standings and is tied with Mitchell for second in the 2005 win column with four victories, behind Miller’s total of five trophies. Musolino held on to fourth and Jon Messenger earned another top five finish. Wiltrout and Miller won the heat races.

Frank Turek is clearly the man to beat in Subway Street Stock competition. The points leader led all 20-laps for a convincing victory after starting second. Turek has won seven features in 2005, and no other Street Stock driver has made more than one trip to victory lane. Two of those one-time winners, Robin Rimel and Jason Holder, placed second and third respectively. Holder is Turek’s nearest threat in the point standings, while Rimel was the evening’s "Subway Challenge Driver," falling one position short of winning a free sandwich for every fan. Recent Belle Vernon High School graduate Jonathan Hileman placed fourth after winning his heat, and Shawn Phillips earned fifth for the second week in a row in his second start. Turek also won his eleventh heat race of the year in preliminary action, helping to pad his points lead.

The Yellow Book Charger division’s top gun became the only driver to score eight feature wins in 2005 at Motordrome. Jeff Giles Jr., the points leader, started twelfth, and with the aid of a lap one caution stormed into second place on lap four. Tracy Keller, second in points, battled Giles for the win in the middle stages of the event, keeping the eventual winner in second place until lap eight. But when the checkered flag waved, Giles was comfortably ahead and also earned the Valvoline Hard Charger Award along with the winner’s trophy. Behind Keller, heat race winner Rick Broadwater placed third, with Denny Keller fourth and Victor Keller fifth. Giles, who also won his heat, complimented Tracy Keller’s clean racing style in his interview from victory lane.

Ed Dinneen is crew member for Gary Scott’s Modified, and is also the most successful driver of 2005 in the Advance Auto Parts American Flyer division. Winning for the seventh time this year, Dinneen put a bit more distance between himself and second-place points man Richie Miller. Aaron Minjock led three laps and placed a season’s best second, between the standings leaders, Dinneen, and Miller who finished third. Chuck Hall drove to a fourth place finish after leading lap one, and hometown favorite Roger Bryan was fifth. Dinneen won the heat, and Miller was the Valvoline Hard Charger after starting tenth.


Napa Late Models

Valvoline Oil Hard Charger: Richard Mitchell

Heat Race Winners: Rick Miller, Garry Wiltrout

Feature: (35 Laps) 1) Richard Mitchell, 2) Rick Miller, 3) Bobby Henry, 4) Tony Musolino, 5) Jon Messenger, 6) John Komarinski, 7) Brandon Manns, 8) Chad Hemphill, 9) Steve Black, 10) Mike Adams, 11) Garry Wiltrout, 12) Tommy Beck

Smail Pontiac GMC Modifieds

Valvoline Oil Hard Charger: Chris Dodds

Heat Race Winners: Mike Bakalon, Gary Scott

Feature: (20 Laps) 1) Gary Scott, 2) George P. Nicola, 3) Mike Bakalon, 4) Adam Kostelnik, 5) Tom Frank, 6) Tom Knight Jr., 7) Beau Glemba, 8) John Pribanich, 9) Chris Dodds, 10) Matt Smith, 11) Ben Easler, 12) Matt Panaia, 13) Rick Huffman, 14) Al Sivik, 15) Harry Opfer, 16) Brad Calvert, 17) Robert Shipp, 18) Jim Nicola

Smail Pontiac GMC Modified (“Smail 25” Make Up Feature from May 27)

Feature (25 Laps) 1) Mike Bakalon, 2) George P. Nicola, 3) Gary Scott, 4) Adam Kostelnik, 5) Beau Glemba, 6) Matt Panaia, 7) Jim Nicola, 8) Bob Shipp, 9) Tom Frank, 10) Brad Calvert, 11) Harry Opfer, 12) Rick Huffman, 13) Ben Easler, 14) Al Sivik, 15) Chris Dodds

Subway Street Stocks

Valvoline Oil Hard Charger: Bill Ashton

Heat Race Winners: Frank Turek, Jonathan Hileman

Feature (20 Laps) 1) Frank Turek, 2) Robin Rimel, 3) Jason Holder, 4) Jonathan Hileman, 5) Shawn Phillips, 6) Bill Ashton,k 7) Andrew Kostelnik, 8) Dave Tavormina, 9) Joe Holp, 10) Bill Henry, 11) Tom Knight Sr., 12) Richard Burbidge, 13) Mike Holp, 14) James Celovsky, 15) Al Minjock

Yellow Book Chargers

Valvoline Oil Hard Charger: Jeff Giles Jr.

Heat Race Winners: Rick Broadwater, Jeff Giles Jr.

Feature (15 Laps) 1) Jeff Giles Jr., 2) Tracy Keller, 3) Rick Broadwater, 4) Denny Keller, 5) Victor Keller, 6) Cliff Abbott, 7) Bryan Shipp, 8) Dan Jordan, 9) Scott Margie, 10) Andy Hogan, 11) Garry Ankrom, 12) Scott Aiello

Advance Auto Parts American Flyers

Valvoline Oil Hard Charger: Richie Miller

Heat Race Winner: Ed Dinneen

Feature (8 Laps) 1) Ed Dinneen, 2) Aaron Minjock, 3) Richie Miller, 4) Chuck Hall, 5) Roger Bryan, 6) Larry Vance, 7) Bill Oldham, 8) Gene Greco, 9) Andrew Giles, 10) Kevin Ludwick