NAPA Auto Parts stores in Sayre, Towanda, Wysox, and Troy stepped in to sponsor the events at The Hill this week, and the show was a home run for the sponsors, the promotional team, the fans, and the competitors with drivers recording their first wins of the season and the back stories and results for regular competitors keeping the fans entertained.
Dusty Decker made his first trip to The Hill Speedway of 2019 a true “Thrill on the Hill” by ending up in Close Racing Supply Victory Lane at the end of a very competitive Pure Stock feature. Brad Sites, who has been getting faster each week, led the way to the checkered flag in the Modifieds to record his first win of the season, and 2018 Champion Adam Delgrosso finally overcame the bad luck that has dogged him all season to get his first win of 2019 in the Front Wheel Drive Four Cylinder division. In the Rear Wheel Drive Four Cylinders, Larry Colton is locked in a tight points battle for the Championship, but his luck again took a turn for the worse as mechanical gremlins took him out of the feature while leading. Aaron Benjamin was set to make his 2019 debut in the Modifieds, but put it on hold when fellow competitor Jake Maynard, who is running a close second in the points standings, blew a motor in his heat. Benjamin immediately offered his car, and Maynard drove it to a top five finish in the feature, keeping his championship hopes alive.
The weekly schedule rotation put the Pure Stocks on the track first, with Cole Burgess leading the first three laps, with Daltyn Decker and two time feature winner Buck Mills Jr. giving chase. Decker pitted with a flat tire on lap two, and Mills suffered the same fate on the third circuit, moving Dusty Decker to second. Dusty charged to the lead on the next lap with Burgess and Les Smith keeping the pressure on from second and third. By the midpoint, Mike Chilson had moved into the top three and was challenging Burgess for the second spot. Mills was back in the top five by the thirteenth lap, and running wheel to wheel with Smith for fourth through the closing laps. With the field coming to the two to go signal, Burgess spun out of second in turn four, and Mills finally completed the pass for third on the white flag lap. Decker led Chilson to the line, with Mills third, Smith fourth, and Duane Bailey rounding out the top five.
Lou Sharpsteen paced the Street Stock field for the first two laps, with points leader Earl Zimmer taking command on lap three. Sharpsteen, Mike Koser, and Jason Benjamin debated the runnerup spot, with Benjamin winning the debate as the race neared the midpoint. Benjamin set his sights on the top spot, but while he closed in, was unable to get close enough through the closing laps and Zimmer picked up his sixth win of the season. For the second week in a row, Benjamin had to settle for second. Sharpsteen and Koser battled for third throughout, with Abe Romanick and Dustin Maynard staying close. Sharpsteen held onto the third spot at the finish with Koser crossing fourth and Maynard holding on to fifth.
Larry Colton was looking to close in on points leader Joe Lane, and quickly wrestled the top spot from Anton Smith on the second lap of the Rear Wheel Drive Four Cylinder feature. Lane spun to avoid a collision on that second lap, and Colton began to pull away. It was not to be, as Colton was bit by mechanical ills for the second week in a row, and pulled off the track on the sixth lap as he was building a lead. Brett Gleason took over the lead, with Smith in tow, but Lane was moving back to the front, and by the tenth circuit he was challenging for the lead, taking it on the next lap. As Lane pulled away, Smith kept the pressure on Gleason for second. With five to go, Smith’s car seemed to fall off the pace a bit, and he lost contact with the leaders. At the line, Lane picked up his fifth win of the season with Gleason second, Justin Hall third, Mike Navone fourth and Smith fifth.
Dalton Maynard and points leader Chris Clemens battled for the lead in the early laps of the Snell Metalfab Crate Sportsman feature, with last week’s feature winner, Rich Talada challenging. Talada took over the second spot as the trio ran in a tight group, with Kinser Hill and Rich Powell just a couple of car lengths back. Talada slipped out of the groove on the ninth lap, and dropped back to fourth. As Maynard led, Talada powered by Hill to take third, and battled with Clemens for a couple laps before taking over second with five laps to go. Talada was able to pull alongside Maynard a number of times during the closing laps but Maynard continued to hang onto the lead. On the final lap, Talada pulled even again and the pair ran side by side down the back straight with Maynard still maintaining the edge as they entered turn three. The race off turn four to the finish was won by Talada, by only a few inches. Clemens crossed third, with Hill fourth, and Powell fifth.
Defending Champ Gary Lamphere quickly grabbed the lead in the Modif8ed feature, but sixth place starter Brad Sites took over the second spot on the third lap, and grabbed the lead on the fourth circuit. Eddie Sites was on the move from his ninth place starting spot, and took over second on lap seven, drawing alongside Brad two laps later. The pair ran wheel to wheel for the lead through the half way point, but as they were coming to complete lap thirteen, Eddie’s mount slowed, then came to a stop on the outside of turn four. Jason Benjamin, who had been battling Sonny and Logan Terry for the third spot, took over second on the restart, and challenged for the lead. Sites was able to fend off the challenge and pick up the win, with Benjamin a close second. Logan got around Sonny as the Terrys recorded third and fourth, with last place starter Jake Maynard steadily working up through the field to take fifth.
Trevor Williams and Adam Delgrosso ran wheel to wheel for the lead in the early laps of the Front Wheel Drive Four Cylinder feature, with Delgrosso taking command on lap three. Williams stayed close, with Josh Bailey, Greg McKernan, Mike Ely and Devon Bailey running with him in a tight pack. McKernan left the group on the sixth lap with engine problems. Points leader Matt Browning joined the group, taking over fifth on the sixth lap, fourth on lap seven, third on lap eight, and moving into second as the field approached the halfway mark. After that it was the Adam and Matt show as the pair ran side by side for the remainder of the event. Browning was scored in the lead on lap fourteen, but the remainder of the trips past the scoring line, Delgrosso had the advantage. The pair split around a lap car off the final turn, with Delgrosso hanging on for the win by just a few inches. Williams was a couple car lengths back in third, with the Bailey boys, Devon and Josh, recording fourth and fifth.