REYNOLDSVILLE — After two consecutive weeks of rainouts, it was finally time to get the 2022 season underway on Saturday night at Hummingbird Speedway.
The 2022 Season Opener marked the first race with new flagman, Earl Jackson, at the helm. Previous flagman, Bob Connor, made his return to full-time racing driving the #V2 Pro Stock.
It was scheduled to be an action-packed season opener with all six of our regular divisions in action plus the Young Guns Jr Sprints visiting for the first time this season and the first race of the Lemonhead Graphics PowderPuff Series.
However, Mother Nature had different plans. The weather began to change as the Swanson Heavy Truck Repair Semi Late Models took to the track. The wind began to pick up and a noticeable decrease in temperature could be felt.
The drastic change in the weather led to the lights going out around the speedway, thus putting the racing action under a red flag. The loss of power was followed shortly thereafter by a steady rain. The steady rain along with the loss of power would ultimately put an end to the night’s racing.
The feature winners prior to the weather moving in were: Cameron McClure in the Young Guns Jr Sprints –Open Class, Easton Corbin in the Young Guns Jr Sprints –Stock Class, Paul Kot in the Carns Powersports/Mountain Extreme Super Late Models, and Brandon Connor in the Cypress Clock & Gift Shop Pro Stocks.
The Young Guns Jr Sprints kicked off the feature racing program with their 6-lap feature event. They ran the Stock Class and Open Class together in one feature since there was only one Open Class car in attendance.
Stock Class drivers Easton Corbin and Colton Guiher made up the front row for the feature with Randy White and Brandt Cramer in row two and Open Class driver Cameron McClure making up the rest of the starting lineup. Corbin jumped out to a slight lead on the start over Guiher, White, Cramer, and McClure. Corbin and Guiher made contact in turns 3 and 4 of the opening lap which allowed Cramer to move into the top spot with White now in second.
On lap 2, Corbin made a three-wide move on Cramer and White to move back into the lead as White held on to second and Guiher moved into third ahead of Cramer. At the halfway mark on lap 3, Corbin led the way over White and Guiher. On lap 4, Guiher used the inside line to his advantage to work his way by White to move into second behind Corbin.
Guiher began to challenge Corbin for the top spot as they came to get the white flag. Guiher and Corbin made contact again in turns 1 and 2 which led to Corbin spinning and bringing out the first and only caution of the race.
The caution set up a green-to-checkered finish. Just before the caution, Cramer pulled into the infield and retired from the race. For the restart, it was Guiher out front with White, Corbin, and McClure following behind. Corbin made a three-wide move on the restart to get the race lead back.
Corbin held on in turns 3 and 4 to capture the checkered flag in the Stock Class. Guiher, White, and Cramer rounded out the field. McClure picked up the win in the Open Class. Corbin won the heat race.
Paul Kot and Kenny Schaffer led the Carns Powersports/Mountain Extreme Super Late Models trackside for their 25-lap feature race. Kot pulled out to a slight lead over Schaffer with Dylan Fenton following behind in third.
On lap 5, Joe Loffredo made the pass on Dylan Fenton to move into the third position behind Kot and Schaffer. Kot continued to lead the way over Schaffer and Loffredo as the laps clicked away. The race remained under green flag conditions until a caution for a stopped car in turn 2 around lap 9 or 10 set up the first and only restart of the race.
On the restart, Kot again edged out to a slight lead over Schaffer with Loffredo following behind in third. As the race reached its halfway point on lap 13, Schaffer edged ahead of Kot on the lowside to take the top spot.
A couple of laps later, on lap 15, Kot was able to get back by Schaffer using the low line to retake the race lead. Kot began to check out on Schaffer and Loffredo as the laps waned.
On lap 21, with just four laps remaining, a hard-charging Levi Yetter (who started the feature in last) made the pass on Loffredo to move into third behind the leaders.
Kot would go unchallenged the rest of the way enroute to taking his first trip to victory lane this season. Schaffer, Yetter, Loffredo, and Dylan Fenton rounded out the top 5. Kot and Schaffer won the heat races.
The Cypress Clock & Gift Shop Pro Stocks were next to the track for their 20-lap feature. Bruce Hartzfeld and former flagman Bob Connor led the field to the opening green flag. Brandon Connor jumped out to the lead on the initial start over Bob Connor and Hartzfeld. One lap was completed before a caution for a spin in turns 3 and 4 set up the first and only restart of the race.
On the restart, it was Brandon Connor out to the lead over Bob Connor and Hartzfeld. At the halfway point, it was Brandon Connor in control of the race with Bob Connor and Bruce Hartzfeld in second and third respectively.
Brandon Connor maintained his lead over Bob Connor, Hartzfeld, and the rest of the field in the closing laps on his way to taking his first trip to Carns Powersports Victory Lane this season. Bob Connor, Hartzfeld, Fuzzy Fields, and Josh Seippel rounded out the top 5. Jim Bloom and Zack Gustafson won the heat races.
Speedway Notes: A total of 82 cars were in attendance for the 2022 Season Opener. That breaks down to: 5 Young Guns Jr Sprints, 15 Super Late Models, 14 Pro Stocks, 12 Semi Late Models, 15 Four-Cylinders, 7 Economods, and 14 Pure Stocks. The remaining features of the night were rained out. The features for the Swanson Heavy Truck Repair Semi Late Models, Sunny 106 Four-Cylinders, Andy Man’s Car Care Economods, and Pennsylvania Great Outdoors Pure Stocks will be made up over a two-week period starting on June 4th.
Coming up this Saturday will be the Summer Series National Truck and Tractor Pull presented by CS Pulling Promotions. The Truck and Tractor Pull will get underway at 7 p.m. The classes that will be in competition include: Sportsman Street Gas Trucks, Sportsman Street Diesel Trucks, 466 Hot Farm Tractors, 4.500 Small Block Modified Trucks, Summer Series Semis, and 2.6 Pro Street Diesel Trucks.
Racing will return to the Bird in two weeks time on June 4th when the BRP Modified Tour and the PA Thunder on the Dirt Vintage Modifieds both make their first visits of the season.
For more information call the track office at (814) 653-8400 or visit the tracks’ website at www.hummingbirdspeedway.com. You can also follow the track on Facebook and Twitter.