CASHES IN AT SUNDANCE WITH HUGE
"KING OF THE MOUNTAIN" WIN
For the first time in ten seasons of racing during Sundance Vacations
Speedway’s “King of the Mountain” annual showdown a repeat winner was born.
Palmerton’s Earl Paules pitted for fresh rubber on lap 100 and took the race
lead with 32 laps remaining to cash in with the $5000 payday to win the
prestigious event. Mike Nichols inherited the race lead on lap 16 and never
looked back as he rolled to his first Street Stock victory at the speedway
and Robert Fink scored his first season-ending event in the FWD main.
Capping off a championship season, Scott Hubler took the INEX Legends top
Eric Beers set the quickest time of the afternoon during time
trials and the fastest fifteen Modified time trailers were locked in for the
150-lap main event. Matt Hirschman drew the pole position when the top ten
fastest drivers redrew for starting positions.
Hirschman led the opening lap at the drop of the green over Zane
Zeiner, John Fortin, Justin Gumley and Larry Fisher.
Drivers began to settle into position and make a run before the
competition yellow on lap 75 for fuel. Prior to the mandatory yellow, Gumley
overtook Hirschman for the race lead on lap 57. Hirschman regained the lead
when Gumley pitted for tires during a lap 61 yellow flag.
Earl Paules had worked his way into the second spot, just ahead of
Zeiner and Anthony Sesely. It didn’t take long for Paules to jump to the
outside and overtake Hirschman on lap 67.
Following pit stops by several drivers at the halfway mark, Paules
led over Pete Brittain, Brian DeFebo, Jimmy Zacharias and Justin Bonsignore,
who started back in twenty-first.
With the green flag back out and without pitting for fresh tires as of yet,
Paules held the point, but Fortin became the new race leader on lap 89.
The first of three yellow flags flew when Paules lost grip and spun
in turn four. Paules headed pit side for service and was forced to restart
from the tail of the field. The second lap 100 yellow waved when Bobby
Jones, Hirschman, Beers and DeFebo spun in turn one. Beers suffered the
worst damage from contact with the fence, which forced him to retire from
Fortin remained out front with Andy Walko glued to his bumper,
followed by Zeiner, Rusty Smith and Nick Pecko. Paules wasted no time and
made a strong run back toward the front and was scored in the fourth spot on
Paules worked over Walko to take the second spot and then
challenged Fortin for the lead on lap 118. With Paules in command, Fortin
ran second, followed by Bonsignore, Zeiner and Hirschman. Bonsignore
overtook the second spot with ten laps remaining and ran out of time if he
had anything for Paules.
Paules drove off to the $5000 payday over Bonsignore, Fortin,
Zeiner and Hirschman. The win also earned Paules a guaranteed starting spot
in the years Turkey Derby at Wall Stadium and also a guaranteed starting
spot in the seasons North/South Shootout in Concord, NC.
Kyle Ebersole finished seventh in the event, which was good enough
to take the track points championship over Bobby Jones. The margin of
victory for Ebersole was a mere five points.
Chip Wanamaker sat on the pole position and led the early portion
of the 50-lap Street Stock feature with Harry Sager, Brad Barbush, Brian
Wozniak and Mike Nichols in tow.
B. Barbush attempted to take the race lead in turn three on lap 16.
Wanamaker tried to hold the spot and contact sent Wanamaker into a spin.
Also collected were Sager, Steve Clark and Joe Barbush, who came into the
day as the points leader.
Nichols inherited the race lead and never looked back, as he took
the checkers en route to his first Sundance win over Richie DiMarco, Todd
Barbush, Clark and B. Barbush.
With his fifth place effort, Brad Barbush won his first Street
Stock championship and dedicated it to his father, Joe (known as Frank), who
passed away in 2007.
Street Stock heat race wins went to Chip Wanamaker, Harry Sager and
Brian Wozniak. Joe Barbush won the consi.
Following heat race wins earlier in the day, Jon Smith and Robert
Fink shared the front row in the 40-lap FWD feature. Smith shot out to the
early lead, but Fink grabbed the coveted spot on lap two.
Fink raced away with his first King of the Mountain crown over
Smith, Eric Banashefski, Brian Kunkel and Nikki Sager.
With his second place feature finish, Jon Smith wrapped up the FWD
Johnnie Gloor IV led the INEX Legends to the drop of the green flag
and was overtaken by Derek Hopkinson before a lap was scored. Meanwhile,
Scott Hubler moved into the runner up spot and took the race lead on lap
The duo swapped the top spot on three occasions throughout the
event before Hubler came out with the race lead for good on lap 20.
Hubler drove off to take both, his first King of the Mountain crown
and also his first career INEX Legends track championship.
Heat race wins went to Darren Scherer and Scott Hubler.
Sundance Vacations Speedway is just minutes from Hazleton, Pa,
located on St. John’s Road, between Routes 93 and 309. Grandstand admission
for regular events is just $10. As always, children ages 10 and younger are
admitted for free.
For further information, please visit the track site at
Modifieds (150-Laps) 1. EARL PAULES 2. Justin Bonsignore
3. John Fortin 4. Zane Zeiner 5. Matt Hirschman 6. Jim Zacharias 7. Kyle
Ebersole 8. Rusty Smith 9. Brian Defebo 10. Larry Fisher 11. Nick Pecko 12.
Russ Frantz 13. Todd Baer 14. Andy Walko 15. Bobby Jones 16. Lewis Hallock
17.Daren Scherer 18. David Schneider 19. Brian Romig 20. Anthony Sesely 21.
Barry Callavini 22.Eric Beers 23. Pete Brittain 24. Harry Buchman 25. Rob
McCormick 26. Justin Gumley 27. Tommy Flanagan 28. Marissa Niederauer DNQ:
Matt Higgins, Ken Vogel, Jr., Dave Sapienza, Lenny Fischer, Billy Weichert,
Ken Darch, Adam Horwith
Street Stocks (50-Laps) 1. MIKE NICHOLS 2. Rich DiMarco
3. Todd Barbush 4. Steve Clark 5. Brad Barbush 6. Steve Shultz 7. Brian
Wozniak 8. Mitch Hawk 9. Brian Brown 10. Todd Ahner 11. Robert Haueisen 12.
Alan Schlenker 13. Shawn Sitarchek 14. Joe Mongeau 15. Paul Morgan Jr 16.
Joe Barbush 17.Chip Wanamaker 18. Robert Fink 19. Dave Jennings 20. Harry
Sager DNQ: Jim House, Josh Mooney, Dylan Terry, CJ Lehmann, Jeff McGrath,
FWDs (40-Laps) 1. ROBERT FINK 2. Jon Smith 3. Eric
Banashefski 4. Brian Kunkel 5. Nikki Sager 6. Mike Kline 7. Pete Maier 8.
Justin Hughes 9. Ken Kleppinger 10. Joe Katona 11. David Bartuski 12. Harry
O'Neill 13. Jay Skupski DNS: Frank Katona
INEX Legends (30-Laps) 1. SCOTT HUBLER 2. Mark Tischler
3. Kevin Nowak 4. Justin Grimm 5. Mike Carroll 6. Chris Young 7. Darren
Scherer 8. Brandon Michael 9. Derek Hopkinson 10. Karl Heisler 11. Tyler
Hughes 12. JD Abrahams 13. Beth Scherer 14. Greg Rittenhouse 15. Drew
Weisser 16. Van Michael 17.Casey Robicheau 18. John Beatty DQ: Johnnie Gloor
IV DNS: John Visconti
Source: Geno Ostrowski / Sundance Vacations Speedway PR