Pennsylvania Short Track
Story and Photos by Len and Ben Breech
DELTA, PA, MAR. 31, 2012
With the traditional Mid-Atlantic short-track opener at Trail-Way Speedway being rained out for the first time in more than a decade, the honor of opening the short-track season fell to the Baltimore County Trail Riders-sponsored event at the Mason-Dixon Fairgrounds. And as at most of the short-track events held on multipurpose facilities that are popping up in this area, National number 71, Donnie Mullen, is the rider to beat in the Expert classes. On this night, he dominated the Open A and Open Sportsman classes and added another notch to his victory belt with the Over 30 win. Also, winning in his first start was Donnie’s cousin Zack, who emerged with the 250cc B lead and held off all challenges for the win.
The Open A contest was over as they exited turn two on the opening lap, as Donnie had a two-bikelength lead over Mike Poe, Brett Friedel and Tyler Phillips. The order stayed the same, but the battle for second was a close one. With two laps to go, Phillips got by Friedel for third.
The Open Sportsman event was similar, with Cory Strickler, Poe, Travis Diem and Colton Smith following Donnie. Diem slipped back while the others waged a close battle for second.
The Over 30 event had Mullen winning by half a lap over Roy Miller, Steve Lerch and Rick Winsett.
Each year, the opening race is usually a crapshoot when it comes to the Amateur classes, as the previous year’s dominant riders have moved up to the Expert ranks and some of the mini riders got new toys for Christmas. On this small track, starts are very important. After a midpack finish in the 250cc B heat, Zack Mullen emerged from a second-turn traffic jam with the lead in the main event, over Colin Cunningham, Chris Kirkner, Dalton Gauthier and Anthony Crabbe. Kirkner drifted back a few spots, while Smith took fourth from Crabbe going into three on the fifth lap. Throughout the rest of the race, the front four stayed close, but Mullen held on for his first win.
Crabbe led the Open B final from wire to wire, ahead of Ben Ludlow, Brian Nuse, Matt Trout and Mike Sponseller. The order stayed the same to the end, with just a bikelength or two between each rider.
The 125cc Two-Stroke/150cc Four-Stroke final was another close one, with Tyler Rylee leading Josh Owens and Chase Smith in the hotly contested battle for the lead.
With Rylee being the only 85cc (12-15) rider entered, he was assured of a win in that class, which ran combined with the 85cc (7-11) class. He took the lead from former Youth Rider of the Year Brandon Price, Matt Scibek and Doug Cook. Rylee and Price pulled away, and Price finally took the lead going into turn one on the sixth lap.
Earlier, Price had easily won the 65cc (7-11) class, over Cook, Damon Ream, Karl Wheeler and Scibek. Ream fell on the third lap, and Scibek took third around halfway.
Current Youth Rider of the Year Tyler Scott had an easy time winning the 50cc Shaft-Drive and 50cc Chain-Drive classes, with Ethan Stroh taking second in both classes.
Roy Miller held off spirited attempts by Nick Henderson for the 250cc Sportsman win. Travis Diem, Colton Smith and Kevin Bills battled for third. Smith took third at halfway, with Bills and Dalton Gauthier staying close behind Smith to the end of the race.
Brett Friedel checked out in the Over 45 final, leading Don Mullen Sr., Darren Phillips and Bill Young. Friedel won by more than half a lap, and lapped up to the fourth-place rider.
After dominating the Women’s heat race, Erin Kissinger looked like a winner in the final. She led off turn two, but she fell right after that and was run over by another rider. She was hobbling, but she made the restart and was second, behind Samantha Resch, at the end of the opening lap. For the rest of the race, Kissinger pressured Resch for the lead, but she came up a few feet short at the line.
Results: March 31, 2012
50 SHAFT: 1. Tyler Scott (Yam); 2. Ethan Stroh (Yam); 3. Britney Thomas (Yam); 4. Ethan Strickler (Hon).
50 CHAIN: 1. Tyler Scott (KTM); 2. Ethan Stroh (Con); 3. Ethan Strickler (Hon).
65 (7-11): 1. Brandon Price (KTM); 2. Doug Cook (Kaw); 3. Matt Scibek (Kaw); 4. Karl Wheeler (KTM); 5. Jake Gast (KTM); 6. Damon Ream (Kaw).
85 (7-11): 1. Brandon Price (Hon); 2. Matt Scibek (Kaw); 3. Doug Cook (Hon); 4. Damon Ream (Yam).
85 (12-15): 1. Tyler Rylee (Kaw).
125 2-STROKE/150 4-STROKE: 1. Tyler Rylee (Kaw); 2. Josh Owens (Hon); 3. Chase Smith (Suz); 4. Jeff Standiford (Hon); 5. Chris Thomas (KTM).
150 YOUTH: 1. Chase Smith (Suz); 2. Karl Wheeler (Hon); 3. Courtney Blevins (Suz); 4. Karsten Tribus (Hon); 5. Melanie Siegel (Hon); 6. Jake Gast (Hon).
ADULT 150: 1. Cory Strickler (Kaw); 2. Gerit Callies (Suz); 3. Matt Langrehr (Hon); 4. Dan Deroche (Hon); 5. Nils Tribus (Hon); 6. Gary Cain (Hon).
250 SPORTSMAN: 1. Roy Miller (Suz); 2. Nick Henderson (Hon); 3. Colton Smith (Kaw); 4. Kevin Bills (Suz); 5. Dalton Gauthier (Hus); 6. Travis Diem (Suz); 7. Cameron Smith (Hon); 8. Colin Cunningham (Suz); 9. Matt Langrehr (Kaw); 10. Brody Miller (Suz).
250 B: 1. Zach Mullen (Suz); 2. Colin Cunningham (Suz); 3. Dalton Gauthier (Hus); 4. Cameron Smith (Hon); 5. Anthony Crabbe (Suz); 6. Chris Kirkner (Suz); 7. Ken Kolsovsky (Kaw); 8. Tyler Mullen (Suz); 9. Rick Kohlbus (KTM).
500 2-VALVE: 1. Greg Lerch (Yam).
OPEN A: 1. Donnie Mullen (Hon); 2. Mike Poe (Hon); 3. Tyler Phillips (Kaw); 4. Brett Friedel (Kaw); 5. Nick Henderson (Hon); 6. Colton Smith (Kaw); 7. Cory Strickler (Yam); 8. Steve Lerch (KTM); 9. Mark Miller (Hon).
OPEN B: 1. Anthony Crabbe (Suz); 2. Ben Ludlow (Hon); 3. Brian Nuse (Hon); 4. Matt Trout (Suz); 5. Mike Sponseller (Hon); 6. Jerry Alexander (Suz); 7. Gary Cain (Hon).
OPEN SPORTSMAN: 1. Donnie Mullen (Hon); 2. Cory Strickler (Kaw); 3. Mike Poe (Hon); 4. Colton Smith (Kaw); 5. Nick Henderson (Hon); 6. Tyler Phillips (Kaw); 7. Jesse Long (Hon); 8. Gerit Callies (Kaw).
WOMEN 150: 1. Samantha Resch (Kaw ); 2. Erin Kissinger (Hon); 3. Melanie Siegel (Hon); 4. Elizabeth Fitch (Yam); 5. Hailey Marshall (Kaw); 6. Delaney Cadden (Hon).
30+: 1. Donnie Mullen (Hon); 2. Roy Miller (Suz); 3. Steve Lerch (KTM); 4. Rick Winsett (Kaw); 5. Donald Mullen (Hon); 6. Sean Simmons (Hon); 7. Jerry Alexander (Suz); 8. Mike Sponseller (Hon); 9. Brody Miller (Hon).
45+: 1. Brett Friedel (Kaw); 2. Donald Mullen (Hon); 3. Darren Phillips (Kaw); 4. Bill Young (Hon); 5. Cliff Diem (Suz); 6. Rick Kohlbus (KTM); 7. Frank Primrose (Hon).
VINTAGE: 1. Matt Langrehr (Bul); 2. Brian Schwein (Car); 3. Mike Cortese Jr. (Yam).