The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

Sports

May 1, 2014

Raceway 7 set to open 2014 season

Track hopes to get things going Friday

MONROE TOWNSHIP — Raceway 7 is set to open for the 2014 season Friday, with regular points racing.

The regular card of events will again include the Evergreen Lake Park Campground Crate Late Models as the headline class with reigning champion Chad Wright, from ready to defend his title.

Wright, from nearby Springboro, Pa., won in convincing fashion last season and will be ready to charge to a repeat championship with essentially the same program in the now in-sanctioned class that will include racers from both regional sanctioning series.

Wright will have plenty of competition as past champion Dennis Lunger intends to be a regular competitor with last year’s runner-up Kyle Zimmerman also expected to be on contention for the honors. As part of the new rules for the class, the season-long points payout will be increased and the tire rules will be such that all tires from the main sanctioning bodies plus compounds from American Racer will be able to be run. This should encourage more teams to be competitive at the track.

Joel Watson has had things pretty much his way over the last three seasons, winning the Bonnell Collision Center E-Mods championship all three years. He will be looking to extend the streak but will have lots of company near the front of the pack with all three McDonalds battling, including 2009 champion Percy McDonald, who scored his first win since his championship season at the final race of last season.

Russ Dunn is expected to be back in competition as well as top runners Shane Crotty, Mike Potosky and Gary Eicher are expected to be regular contenders. Rumors at the end of last year were that Zimmer Service Center Economods champion would be moving into the class as well.

Chris Withers dominated the Campbell’s Mini-Storage Street Stocks last summer but as of this writing his plans are unknown for the new season. Shawn Fawcett broke into the Winner’s Circle at the end of the season and will be back to try for the top honors, he feat he appeared to be headed to a few years ago before disaster in the form of an end for end flip near the end of the season ended the dream for that year.

Fawcett looked stronger every week last year and will be a constant threat this year. Former champion Ed Bolyard will be looking to make his way to the top of the standings as well as Art Gilchrist, who suffered a devastating end for end flip last summer. Gilchrist was beginning to show some muscle last summer and would not be unexpected in Victory Lane.

If Zimmer Service Center Economods champion Brian Hathaway does indeed move up, there is plenty of talent waiting to take over at the front of the pack. 2012 Western PA Rookie of the Year Casey Bowers is always a threat and Josh Ferry was turning some good practice times in the practice session held at the track in April.

Brad Cole will be defending his Specialty Products Mini Stocks championship title in the same car he enjoyed success in last year. 2012 champion Bud Sergeff narrowly missed repeating the conquest last summer and will be looking to regain the honor. 2013 rookie Dale Fraschetti will be back in his potent little Dodge and John Boyd Sr. will be returning on a weekly basis. Jason Easler scored his first win in 2013 and is eager to pay another visit to the Winner’s Circle.

Weather permitting, gates open every Friday at 5:30, with pill draw cut off at 7 and racing at 7:30. VIP suites are available for rental for $250 a night which includes eight general admissions passes. Admission is set for $10 for adults for regular events, kids 7-14 are $5. Children 6 and younger are free. Pit passes are $25. For more information, visit www.raceway7.com or call the track on race day after noon at 594-2222.

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