Saddlemen

Mullen One-Twos Trail-Way Opener

| 3 April 2015 2:07 pm

Pennsylvania Short Track
Trail-Way Speedway

Story and Photos by Len Breech and Ben Breech
HANOVER, PA, MAR. 29, 2015

Trail-Way Speedway launched its season with this open short-track event in the Mid-Atlantic region on a chilly, breezy and cloudless day. And Donnie Mullen showed why he is still one of the best short-trackers in the area by winning the Open A final and placing second in the 450cc Sportsman A final on his Wallace Trucking/ Blackman’s Cycle/ AMS Honda. Double wins were scored by Roy Miller, in the 250cc Sportsman and Open Twin events; Matt Trout returned to racing after a three-year hiatus to top the Open B and Sportsman B classes; and Tyler Scott again destroyed the 65cc and 85cc classes, lapping up to third in each contest.

Donnie Mullen (71) and Jake Shoemaker (55) finished first and second, respectively, in the Open A final at Trail-Way Speedway.

Donnie Mullen (71) and Jake Shoemaker (55) finished first and second, respectively, in the Open A final at Trail-Way Speedway.

In the 450cc Sportsman A final, young gun Brandon Price put his Don’s Kawasaki Kawi in front of Mullen, Evan Baer, Mike Poe and Cameron Smith. While the track was fairly smooth for late March, the usual clay-surface small groove developed, making passing difficult – difficult, but not impossible, as Smith demonstrated, using the very outside edge of the groove to take fourth by the end of the opening lap and third by the end of the second lap.

Over the remainder of the race, the front three stayed very close, but this time youth prevailed on a tricky surface, as Price took the win, over Mullen. Cameron Smith was third. Jake Shoemaker moved up to challenge Baer for fourth but came up just short.

Brandon Price (92), Donnie Mullen (71) and Cameron Smith (15) went one, two, three in the 450cc Sportsman A final.

Brandon Price (92), Donnie Mullen (71) and Cameron Smith (15) went one, two, three in the 450cc Sportsman A final.

In the Open A final, Mullen had a 10-yard margin off turn two, with others bumping and shoving behind him. Shoemaker emerged in front of Smith, Derek Hersh and Poe as they exited turn two.

Smith got too close to Shoemaker in turn one on the second lap, falling down. Shoemaker closed a little on Mullen, while Poe, Jamison Minor, Hersh, Baer and Price waged a close battle for third that saw Minor and Poe going to the front of that pack late in the race.

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Matt Trout returned to racing after almost three years off, showing no rust and jumping in front of Devon Gerhart, Trevin Caruccio, Brett Johnson and Zach Mullen in the 450cc Sportsman B final. The order stayed the same to the end, except Caruccio kept sliding off the groove, dropping a spot here and there.

The Open B final was a little difficult, as Trout and Jeremy Orr brought out the only red flag of the day with a first-turn slide-down.

Mullen led the official start, over Johnson, Trout (who was coming from the penalty line), Jeremiah Johnson and Justin Haag. Trout took second off turn four on the third lap and took the lead from Mullen off turn two on the fourth lap.

Matt Trout (16A) won the Open B contest, with Zach Mullen (24) as runner-up.

Matt Trout (16A) won the Open B contest, with Zach Mullen (24) as runner-up.

In the Open Twins contest, Miller put his Roy-Built Kawasaki in front of a pair of National numbers and several more Roy-Built Kawasakis. Following him were Evan Baer, Jamison Minor and Jake Shoemaker.

Baer stayed a few bikelengths behind Miller and some more in front of Minor and Shoemaker until he drifted slightly high just past the halfway point, setting up a three-way battle for second that went to the Bonneville Performance Triumph of Shoemaker with an edge-of-the-groove pass on the final lap.

Roy Miller (56) won the Open Twins event. Jake Shoemaker (55) moved up to take second, and Evan Baer (89) was third.

Roy Miller (56) won the Open Twins event. Jake Shoemaker (55) moved up to take second, and Evan Baer (89) was third.

The 250cc Sportsman class is primarily a chance for 250cc B riders to ride another class, sometimes against Expert riders. And since Roy Miller has a wide inventory of machinery, he chooses a two-stroke Suzuki for this class – and he destroyed the rest of the class, leaving Nathan Reichert, Jeremy Orr and Tyler Rylee to battle for second. Reichert took the runner-up spot, with Orr third and Rylee fourth at the finish.

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As was the case for most of the finals, the first rider out of turn two usually won, and in the Over 30 contest, Jerry Alexander led Roy Miller, Ben Ludlow, Darren Phillips and Rich Mellinger. Phillips took third at the end of the second lap, while Ludlow and Mellinger fought over fourth.

In the late laps, Miller slowed slightly, letting Phillips take second at the start of the seventh lap. Mellinger got by Miller at the end of the seventh lap for third.

In the Over 30 final, Jerry Alexander (44) scored the victory. Rich Mellinger (86) ended up third and Roy Miller (56) was fourth.

In the Over 30 final, Jerry Alexander (44) scored the victory. Rich Mellinger (86) ended up third and Roy Miller (56) was fourth.

Mellinger led from wire to wire for the Over 40 win, ahead of Lowell Wherley, Phillips and Bill Young.

Wherley and Phillips jumped out in front of Jim Chapman, Young and Scott Slade in the Over 50 final. The battle for the lead was close the entire distance, but the order stayed the same. Slade worked his way into third by the fourth lap.

Lowell Wherley (11A) and Darren Phillips (4) finished first and second, respectively, in the Over 50 class.

Lowell Wherley (11A) and Darren Phillips (4) finished first and second, respectively, in the Over 50 class.

Normally, the 50cc classes are follow-the-leader affairs after a lap or two, but the 50cc Chain Drive contest saw a late battle for the lead. Aaden Johnson led Legend Erisman, Aiden Hawthorne and Benjamin Holmes into turn one, with Hawthorne moving into second on the back straight, and he took the lead in the same spot on the next lap.

At about the middle of the race, a switch must have flipped on in Johnson’s head, as he started closing on Hawthorne. As they entered the third turn on the final lap, Johnson took the lead, and he then held it to the end.

Trail-Way Speedway
Hanover, Pennsylvania
Results: March 29, 2015

50 CHAIN DRIVE (4-8): 1. Aaden Johnson (KTM); 2. Alden Hawthorne (Lem); 3. Benjamin Holmes (Con); 4. Legend Erisman (KTM); 5. Cody McGraw (Yam).

50 SHAFT DRIVE: 1. Jack Rutledge (Yam); 2. Benjamin Holmes (Yam); 3. Aiden Hawthorne (Yam); 4. Aaden Johnson (Yam); 5. Gabriel Mazza (Yam).

65 (7-11): 1. Tyler Scott (Kaw); 2. Dylan Cunningham (Kaw); 3. Dominick Cooper (KTM); 4. Logan Eisenhard (Cob); 5. Tyler Cunningham (Kaw); 6. Bradley Uselton (Kaw); 7. Reginald Holmes (KTM).

85 (7-11): Tyler Scott (KTM); 2. Dominick Cooper (Yam); 3. Logan Eisenhard (Suz); 4. Patrick Gottshall (Yam).

85 (12-15): 1. Jared Florian (Suz).

125 2-STROKE/150 4-STROKE: 1. Damon Ream (Hon); 2. Bronson Jackson (Suz); 3. Melanie Siegel (Kaw).

250 B: 1. Jeremy Orr (Suz); 2. Damon Ream (Hon); 3. Tyler Rylee (Suz); 4. Tate Adamson (Kaw); 5. Austin Kellett (Hon); 6. Robert Wheatley (Kaw); 7. Robert Ream (Hon).

250 SPORTSMAN A/B: 1. Roy Miller (Suz); 2. Nathan Reichert (Kaw); 3. Jeremy Orr (Suz); 4. Tyler Rylee (Suz); 5. Chris Johnson (Kaw); 6. Robert Wheatley (Kaw).

450 SPORTSMAN A: 1. Brandon Price (Kaw); 2. Donnie Mullen II (Hon); 3. Cameron Smith (Hon); 4. Evan Baer (Kaw); 5. Jake Shoemaker (Hon); 6. Jamison Minor (Hon); 7. Jesse Long (Hon); 8. Mike Poe (Hon); 9. Derek Hersh (Hon); 10. Jerry Alexander (Hon); 11. Kyle McGrane (Hon); 12. Frank Valentin (Suz).

450 SPORTSMAN B: 1. Matt Trout (Suz); 2. Devon Gerhart (Hon); 3. Brett Johnson (Suz); 4. Zach Mullen (Hon); 5. Nathan Reichert (Kaw); 6. Ben Ludlow (Hon); 7. Ronnie Mercer (Hon); 8. Tate Adamson (Hon); 9. Trevin Caruccio (Hon); 10. Brandon Beale (Suz); 11. Jeff Slade (Kaw); 12. Jeremiah Johnson (Hon).

500 2-VALVE: 1. Justin Johnson (Yam).

OPEN A: 1. Donne Mullen II (Hon); 2. Jake Shoemaker (Hon); 3. Jamison Minor (Hon); 4. Mike Poe (Hon); 5. Evan Baer (Kaw); 6. Derek Hersh (Hon); 7. Ryan Varnes (Hon); 8. Brandon Price (Kaw); 9. Kevin Bills (Suz); 10. Austin Wherley (Kaw); 11. Joey Alexander (Suz); 12. Cameron Smith (Hon).

OPEN B: 1. Matt Trout (Suz); 2. Zach Mullen (Hon); 3. Brett Johnson (Suz); 4. Jeremy Orr (Hon); 5. Justin Haag (KTM); 6. Jeremiah Johnson (Hon); 7. Trevin Caruccio (Hon).

OPEN TWIN: 1. Roy Miller (Kaw); 2. Jake Shoemaker (Tri); 3. Evan Baer (Kaw); 4. Jamison Minor (Kaw); 5. Kyle McGrane (Kaw); 6. Ryan Varnes (Kaw).

30+: 1. Jerry Alexander (Suz); 2. Darren Phillips (Kaw); 3. Rich Mellinger (Rtx); 4. Roy Miller (Hon); 5. Ben Ludlow (Hon); 6. Steve Lerch (Hon); 7. Jason Cunningham (Hon); 8. Chris Johnson (Kaw).

40+: 1. Rich Mellinger (Rtx); 2. Lowell Wherley (Kaw); 3. Darren Phillips (Kaw); 4. Bill Young (Hon).

50+: 1. Lowell Wherley (Kaw); 2. Darren Phillips (Kaw); 3. Scott Slade (Suz); 4. Jim Chapman (Hon); 5. Mike Rabold (Hon); 6. Bill Young (Hon); 7. Mike Slade (Kaw); 8. Frank Primrose (Hon).

OPEN VINTAGE: 1. Jeff Hogan (Tri).

4-WHEEL SPORTSMAN: 1. Tracey Vogelsong (Yam); 2. Cody Wompler (Yam); 3. Justin Moyer (Hon); 4. Zach Hahn (Suz); 5. Josh Paul (Yam); 6. Brandon Shearer (Yam); 7. George Andrews (Yam); 8. Jeff Foster (Yam).

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Category: ATV, Regional, Short Track, Vintage, Vintage Flat Track

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