REYNOLDSVILLE — Hummingbird Speedway was packed with spectators Saturday for Fan Appreciation Night, and after a meet-and-greet and autograph session between drivers and fans, those in attendance were treated to action-filled night of racing.
By night’s end, fans saw a quartet of drivers notch at least their third victory of the season in their respective divisions at the speedway.
DuBois’ Ed Connor (Warrior Energy Services street stocks) and Kersey’s Doug Surra (pure stocks) each captured their fourth wins of the season, while Frenchville’s Eric Moore (BWP Bats steel block late models) and Weedville’s Matt Bryant (front-wheel drive four cylinders) both recorded their third victories of the year.
DuBois’ Bob Connor and Reynoldsville’s John Reed led the late models to the green flag for their feature, but Connor lost the handle in Turn No. 2 as Osceola Mills’ Derek Rodkey spun out to avoid him. Rodkey went off the track with mechanical problems but Connor was able to restart, but this time at the back of the pack.
The caution put Moore on the pole for the restart, and he quickly jumped out to a comfortable lead over Reed. Behind them, the pack was trying to sort itself out with Turbotville’s Luke Hoffner trying to find his way through Corsica’s Dan Stormer and Brockway’s Paul Kot.
A caution put the field back up with Moore, but he began to turn up the wick again on the restart just as Kot got sideways in turn one while chasing Reed. With Hoffner hot on his tail, Kot was the unlucky recipient of a “back of the pack” restart. Last week’s winner, Falls Creek’s Dwayne Brooks, was patiently working his way into the middle of the pack by mid-race with Connor coming back up through from his earlier mishap.
Reed was having another consistent run setting comfortably in second place but now had to contend with Hoffner on his back bumper. Reed appeared to have it covered until late in the race when he managed to loop it in turn two racing with Hoffner. The restart gave Hoffner one last shot at Moore, but he once again moved out to an easy lead before taking the checkered flag. Hoffner crossed the line in second, while Brooks, Kot and Connor rounded out the Top 5.
Rodkey and Brooks each picked up heat win on the night.
In the street stock feature, Hazen’s Skip Lindemuth and Brockway’s Kyle Shannon found themselves on the front row. Lindemuth took the early advantage as Ed Connor nosed under Shannon for the second position until a caution reset the group.
On the restart, Lindemuth held onto the lead and was followed closely by Connor, Brockway’s Fuzzy Fields, DuBois’ Brandon Connor and Brockport’s Brian Rhed. Cautions continued to reshuffle the field with the likes of Shannon and Lindemuth heading to the pits for repairs.
The Connors along with Rhed stayed at the front of the field as the caution-fest continued. The large number of yellow flags brought likes of Steve Arthurs, Joe Kot, Dan Smeal, Tim Fannin and others into the mix up front.
Ed Connor maintained his lead throughout the cautions as the field finally settled down with some great side-by-side racing from Ed Connor and Arthurs as well as Smeal, Fannin, Brandon Connor and Kot behind the leaders.
Ed Connor was hooked up on the high groove and began to lengthen his lead slightly with each lap before one last caution set up and green-white-checkered flag finish.
Ed Connor held of the field for the win in the final dash and was followed across the line by Smeal, Arthurs, Fannin and Rhed.
Street Stock heat race winners were Shannon, Lindemuth and Ed Connor.
The pure stocks took the track next, with Rockton’s Dave Kohler and Surra on the front row.
Surra made his move early to grab the lead and quickly took a five-car length lead over Kohler. St. Marys’ Dustin Michuck, Bobby Siegel (Morgantown, W.Va.) and Mahaffey’s John Lee followed in a battle for the third through fifth spots.
Surra continued to make it look easy, while Michuck and Lee nosed under Kohler and Siegel trying to take the second and fourth positions. Lee wedged his way into fourth with Kohler managed to hold onto second over Michuck.
A couple of laps later, Lee again nosed between the tires and Michuck to take the third spot. Surra held a comfortable 10-15 car-length lead when late race cautions reeled him back in for a couple of restarts.
They didn’t faze Surra, but Clearfield’s Lester Hudson made his presence known late in the race by jumping into the third spot passing both Lee and Siegel. Also coming into the picture were Clearfield’s Eric Luzier and DuBois’ Colton Joiner. Siegel was challenging Kohler for second in the closing laps but a flat tire ended Siegel’s run.
Surra came away with the victory, while Kohler crossed the line in second. However, Kohler’s car came up light on the scales in the post-race inspections, giving second place to Hudson. Luzier, Joiner and Lee rounded out the Top 5.
Kohler, Doug Surra and Devin Lewis claimed heat wins on the night.
Fans were treated to a large contingent of front-wheel drive four cylinders as 29 cars battled it out to make the 24-car feature.
When the green flag dropped on the division’s main event, DuBois’ Jody Frantz and Curwensville’s Bryan Warren led the field to the line. After a caution on the first lap caused a full restart, the field logged 12 straight laps of green flag action.
Frantz grabbed the lead on the second restart, with Warren and Brookville’s Steven Hill making in three wide off turn four in a battle for the top spot. Bryant was right behind the trio, looking for an opening. Behind that group, it was a crowded field with cars battling, two, three and even four-wide in battles for positions.
Bryant was on the move in the high line taking the lead form Frantz, who was having mechanical difficulties and eventually left the track. Bryant began to stretch out a nice lead of almost 15 car-lengths over Hill. Then it was another seven car lengths back to Warren, who was being challenged by Brookville’s Devin Dempsey and Morrisdale’s Randy Albert.
Bryant proved to be too strong on the night and came away with his third win of the season. Bryant’s win was aided by a spare part on his car given to him by fellow competitor Corey Reitz of Brockway.
Hill finished second, while Warren, Albert and Aaron Hill rounded out the Top 5.
The division had four heat races on the night, with John Campisano, Steven Hill, Bryant and Dale Lindemuth coming away with wins.
Actions returns to the speedway this Saturday with a regular show. Plans are being developed for a potential street stock special on Saturday, Sept. 14, while the annual Mick Orsich Memorial Late Model Open is set for Saturday, Sept. 21.
For more information on those events and more about the speedway, visit the speedway’s website at www.hummingbirdspeedway.com.