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Last Updated
December 28, 2009 8:05 AM


By Dave Harclerode

BEDFORD, PA –  The Bedford Speedway concluded its 73rd season with the annual Awards Banquet on December 5th, at the Bedford Elks Country Club.  Although only five divisions compete for points at the speedway, seven champions were crowned because two divisions ended the points chase in a tie.   An estimated 300 race fans, track employees, drivers and families packed the banquet hall, and all in attendance would agree the highlight of the evening had nothing to do with points or awards.  Mary Ann Keifer, wife of promoter JR Keifer, made her first public appearance since suffering near fatal injuries in an August 9th motorcycle crash.  Mary Ann was seated at the head of the track employees table near the entrance to the banquet hall to allow people easier access to speak with her.  Not a minute passed that someone wasn't speaking with her, most in awe of her testament to courage and great attitude despite her permanent injuries.

Jack Pencil won his 5th career Super Late Model track championship, tying the legendary Tom Peck for most all-time championships in the division at Bedford.  Pencil also owns two semi-late championships from the nineties.  With all divisions combined, Jack's seven championships is more than anyone in the history of the speedway.  Quite a feat, but breaking and making records at Bedford is starting to become a regular occurrence for the Bedford Middle School math teacher and part time racer.  Pencil is already the all-time feature winner at Bedford when combining wins in all divisions, and he's ranked third for all-time feature wins in the Super Late division with 25 wins, just 11 wins behind record holder Scott Haus.  Pencil won 4 feature events this season, tying his personal best for Super Late Model wins per season.  Only eight drivers found victory lane this year in the division, and only Jack Pencil and Steve Everhart (2 wins) made repeat trips.  The Super Late Model division had an excellent season, with several big shows featuring drivers from across the country.  Pencil was the most consistent throughout the season, taking the top spot over the 100 other drivers who earned points at the speedway.  Hyndman, Pa's DJ Troutman put in a great bid for his first ever championship at Bedford, but fell short by a mere 45 points.  Just 5 points back was 4 time point champ Scott Haus in third, Steve Everhart fourth, and Chuck Clise 5th.  Alan Sagi, Jeff Rine, Scott Lebarron, DJ Myers, and Jeff Miller completed the top ten in points.  Other division award winners were:  Jeff Rine, Hard Luck Award; and Chuck Clise, Most Improved.  

An odd occurrence happened in the Limited Late Model division, something that has never happened since the speedway starting keeping points 1966; two champions were crowned in the same division in the same season.  Mike Duck and Tim Smith were tied for the top spot after the August 21st race, leaving fans thirsty for a great late season points shootout.  Unfortunately, the final two point races of the season were rained out, and Bedford's management decided not to use a tie breaker and crown both drivers champions.  At the banquet, promoter JR Keifer was very adamant that this was not a shared, or co-championship.  He stated very emphatically that it was a dual championship, and each driver is the champion.  Mike Duck had his most impressive season ever in the Limited Late division at Bedford.  Mike, who has been winless in the division since 2000, picked up two feature wins, and was one of only two division drivers to win multiple features (Derek Byler also won 2).  Duck was in the hunt for the championship all season long, but found himself 90 points out of first near the end of the season.  The August 21st race was scheduled as double point night, and Duck had a strong run on what ended up being the final point race of the year.  Mike earned exactly 90 points more than point leader Tim Smith, Jr., sending the championship into a tie.  The Championship is Ducks first in the Limited Late Model division.  He also has one from several years ago in the Hobby Stock division.  Tim Smith also had a fine season.  Consistency was Smith's game all year, and he hit full stride around mid-season when he picked up his one feature win on the season.  Smith has been dominating the big Bedford oval for several years.  This is his third championship, and he is the division's all-time feature winner with 23 wins.  The remarkable thing is all of those wins have occurred since 2002.  Many fans probably considered this an off year for the division veteran since he typically wins several times per season.  An ultra competitive division, combined with the best Limited Late talent in the region and full fields of cars every week make those feature wins a little harder to come by.   At Bedford, practically anybody in the starting lineup has the potential to win.  However, Smith has always had the ability to prepare a wicked fast car, he has an excellent ability to read the track and choose the best lines, and he's always had the courage to run the high groove.  It's that courage that Tim has shown over the years that has helped him garner a huge fan base, and its his experience and talent that has helped him win so many features.  Brian Lesley finished second in his first full year at Bedford, and also picked up his first ever feature win in the process.  Brian Lowery, Daniel Cornman, Allen Lemin, Derek Byler, Rick Singleton, Darrell Dick, Justin Kann, and Donnie Farlling completed the top ten in points. Matt Howsare won the Rookie of the Year award, Craig Perigo was handed the Hard Luck award, and Brian Lowery earned the Most Improved award.

The Street Stock division suffered the very same fate as the Limited Late Model division; a tie for the points lead with the last two races getting rained out.  For the very same reason as the Limited Lates, two champions were crowned for the 2009 Street Stock Championship.  Both Jim Sayler and Bob Jay are very familiar with winning championships and features.  The championship marked the third one for Sayler in Bedford's Street Stock division.  Jim was a force all season long.  Four feature wins on the season gives him seventeen for his career, placing him 4th on the divisions all time win list.  The only dim part of the entire season for Jim was a horrific, fiery crash that severely damaged his car and may have played a large part in keeping Jim from being the sole champion for the season.  Bob Jay was tied with Sayler, and this championship is Jay's fifth Street Stock Championship at Bedford.  He also won a Hobby Stock championship several years ago.  Bob Jay proved that you don't have to win features to win championships, and not winning features is unfamiliar territory for this Everett native.  In fact, this was Jay's first winless season since 2001.  Just like Jack Pencil in the Late Models, Bob is accustomed to setting records.  The five same division championships ties Pencil for that record.  He's the Street Stock divisions all-time feature win leader with 22, and he holds the record for most feature wins in the Hobby Stock division.  Darryl Whetstone, who has raced at Bedford on and off for over 40 years, nearly won his first ever Bedford championship.  Whetstone led the points late in the season, but a terrible frontstretch crash involving several flips destroyed his car.  Whetstone finished the season in a borrowed car, and lost the point lead on the final point race of the season.  Division veteran Kerry Molovich finished third in points, with Chris Chamberlain, Donald Wyles, Brian Duffy, Jesse Snyder, Greg Hainsey, Bill Pluta, Jr., and Rookie of the Year award winner Zane Weicht rounding out the top ten in points.  Darryl Whetstone received the Hard Luck Award, and Kerry Molovich earned the Most Improved Award. 

There was no need to worry about a tie in the Hobby Stock points during the '09 season.  Charlie Walter won 7 out of 9 features, and won his second career championship just one year after winning the first.  Charlie showed signs of greatness when he won that first title last season, but nobody expected the total domination he displayed this season.  In just three short years he has climbed into 5th on the Hobby Stock all-time win list.  Fellow competitors may have cringed at the banquet when Charlie announced his 2010 plans are to remain in the same division.  If anyone can give him a run for the points title in '10, second place points finisher Bill Replogle would be a good bet.  Replogle keeps his Pork Sell owned stocker in the hunt week after week, and its only a matter of time until their race team finds that extra little zing to put the car in victory lane on a regular basis.  Rookie of the Year award winner Lou Wannyn took home the third place points trophy after a very impressive first season at the often tough to tame speedway.  Second generation driver Tyler Ritchey finished fourth, and division veteran Terry Norris finished fifth in points after missing several seasons.  The rest of the top ten point getters were Ryan Beckett, Travis Group, Jarrod Brown, Rick Potter, and Reed Stickel, Jr.  Donnie Imler went home with the Hard Luck award, and young Tyler Ritchey won the Most Improved award. 

Mike Lauffer had a record setting year in the front wheel drive 4 cylinder division.  Lauffer won his second consecutive championship, the first in his division to accomplish this feat.  He also surpassed Darrell Schimmel as the all-time 4 cylinder feature winner, which includes all of the various forms of 4 cylinder classes over the years.  Mike doubled his career win total this season by winning 5 out of 9 feature events.  Mike won this year's championship by nearly 200 points over second place winner Joe Means.  The rest of the points rundown went to Ed Vogel, Paul Crynock, Jr., Bill Noll in fifth, Davey Lambert, Juan Ryan, Cindy Rhodes, Paul Crynock III, and Jeff Treece in tenth.  There were 34 different drivers at the speedway in the '09 season, proving the cost effective division is gaining popularity with race drivers.  Kevin See won the Rookie of the Year honors, Davey Lambert was given the Hard Luck award, and Paul Crynock, Jr. earned the Most Improved award. 

Various non-point championship awards were also handed out at the banquet.  Donald Wyles and Bob Jay won the Auto Racing Club of Hagerstown (ARCH) Sportsmanship Award, and Ray Shepherd and Derek Byler earned the Perseverance award.  Super Late Model driver Wayne Johnson was given a life time free pass and a plaque for being added to the Legends of Bedford Speedway list.  Jack Pencil won the Buzz award, and Denny Claar and Charlie Walter Sr. won the Lifetime Achievement award, which included a plaque and a lifetime pass to the speedway for their consistent help with equipment, tools, and anything else needed to help the speedway.

The Bedford Speedway will be releasing the 2010 schedule very soon.  Another season of great racing with many special shows will fill the schedule, and it will all get underway on April 16th.  The following week will be the first big show of the year, when the Lucas Oil Late Models return for a third year to race for $10,000 to win.

Photo credit:  Scott Welsh

Tim Smith Jr, Bob Jay, Jim Sayler, Mike Duck, Jack Pencil, Charlie Walter, Mike Lauffer



The following is a list of drivers who will be racing with sealed engines for the 2009 racing season.  Thanks to all the drivers and car owners who have participated in this very successful program.

If you are a racer (Limited Late, Street Stock, Hobby Stock, or Four Cylinder) without a sealed engine  and would like more information, please contact, Todd Bechtel at 814-793-3478..

Limited Late Model: Sealed by: Street Stocks Sealed by:
Josh Berrier Todd Bechtel Greg Hainsey Todd Bechtel
Robbie Black Todd Bechtel Cody Buderbaugh Todd Bechtel
Andy Fries Todd Bechtel Bob Jay Todd Bechtel
Pete Weaver Todd Bechtel
Ashley Barret Todd Bechtel
Steve Bard Todd Bechtel Hobby Stocks  Sealed by:
Scott Palmer Todd Bechtel
Mike Shoemaker Todd Bechtel Charlie Walters Joe York, Bill Metz, Ron Gibner
Randy Wible Todd Bechtel Travis Group Todd Bechtel
Derick Byler Todd Bechtel Tyler Ritchey Todd Bechtel
Rick Singleton Todd Bechtel Reid Stickle Todd Bechtel
George Beckett Joe York, Bill Metz, Ron Gibner Ed Vogel Todd Bechtel
Matt Sponagle Todd Bechtel Chuck Weyant Todd Bechtel
Matt Cosner Todd Bechtel
Curtis Heath Todd Bechtel
Brian Lowery Chris Rhodes Four Cylinders Todd Bechtel
Dave Leighty Jr. Todd Bechtel
Brian Lesley Todd Bechtel Mike Lauffer Todd Bechtel
Donnie Farling Todd Bechtel
DJ Troutman Todd Bechtel
Timmy Smith Todd Bechtel
Nick Pappas Todd Bechtel
Matt Parks Todd Bechtel
Barry Welsh Todd Bechtel
Craig Perigo Todd Bechtel
Andy Teno Todd Bechtel
Rance Garlock Todd Bechtel
Brandon Hoover Joe York
Justin Kahn Todd Bechtel
Don and John Hedge Todd Bechtel

Click the image for complete details

Starting line ups will go back to the '07 rules.  Draw a pill at sign up, and redraw after the heat race for feature. 

             - Top 3 out of each heat race if there are 3 heat races.
                 - Top 5 if there are only 2 heat races.

ATTENTION DRIVERS AND RACE TEAMS:  For the upcoming 2009 season the raceceiver will be mandatory for all 5 divisions.  They can be purchased at TC Warehouse, phone number is 1-800-296-3760.

This page will have archived information from the home page.


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