Story By: MARSHALL GABELL / GEORGETOWN SPEEDWAY – GEORGETOWN, DE – During an action-packed, star-studded six-feature match card, Northeast invaders were able to steal the show and flex their muscle on a spontaneous Monday in the First State.
And yes, that was not a typo.
Dirt-track racing on a Monday night at Georgetown Speedway.
On a night designed to make-up the recent motorsports rain-outs in the mid-Atlantic region, which included last weekend’s weather marred Tri-State Challenge (a three-race series hosted at Georgetown Speedway, Potomac Speedway and Winchester Speedway), Georgetown opened their gates to not just a stout field but also a huge attendance turnout.
A pit-bulging 112 race cars took part in program, which saw Empire State star Danny Johnson take home the $2,000 Modified triumph, and Chad Hollenbeck, representing the Keystone State of Pennsylvania, the Super Late Model triumph and accompanying $2,000.
Hailing from Rochester, N.Y., ‘The Doctor’ Danny Johnson utilized his heat win and pole position to rocket him into the winner’s circle at Georgetown, capturing the checkered flag in the 25-lap big-block/small-block Modified feature after making the long haul south.
Johnson, 57, triumphed after leading wire-to-wire, holding back challenges from Delaware hotshoe Jordan Watson in the opening stages and veteran Ryan Godown in the final laps.
“It is a long trip down here for me,” a smiling Johnson said. “We debated on coming down here, and now I’m glad we did. It was sure worth the while as now we get to take some pictures in the winner’s circle. Our car worked really well. Starting up front helped me a ton.”
Johnson received a guaranteed redraw position in the ‘Blast at the Beach’ Bob Hilbert Sportswear Short Track Super Series Fueled By VP event at Georgetown on Aug. 29.
Jordan Watson pressured Johnson during the race’s caution-free first half before his night came to an untimely end. A blown engine forced his No. 1J off the backstretch and drew the yellow.
Duane Howard, driving the Norm Hansell No. 357 small-block, briefly inherited second, before Godown powered around his outside to take the runner-up spot. Ringoes, N.J.’s Godown chased Johnson to the finish, placing a car-length back in second with John Chemidlin’s famed No. 747.
Howard settled for third, with David Van Horn Jr. in the Fred Vahlsing No. 323ov and Craig Von Dohren completing the front five. Von Dohren rallied late in Dave Dissinger’s No. 88x small-block.
In the Super Late Model division, Northeast traveler Hollenbeck dominated the field, avoiding challenges from local favorite Ross Robinson and Austin Hubbard throughout the 20-lap feature.
Kingsley, Pa.’s Hollenbeck, who has competed in various Super Late Model events across the United States, started the event from the pole position and wasted no time marching to the triumph; also clinching a starting position in the August 17 World of Outlaws Craftsman Super Late Model Series ‘Fulton Bank 40’ event at Georgetown.
Not to mention, this was his mere debut at the half-mile dirt track.
“I’ve always heard a lot of good things about this track,” Hollenbeck said. “I’ve always wanted to come here. I never anticipated coming here and doing this well. I’m just thrilled.”
“Georgetown puts on a heck of a show. The fan base here is just unbelievable.”
Georgetown’s Robinson hustled to a second-place finish after clearing Hubbard. Robinson worked the inside of Hollenbeck on two occasions, ultimately earning the runner-up position. Hubbard, Amanda Whaley and Donald Lingo Jr. with a late surge filled out the front five.
Chip Disharoon, a graduate of the go-kart ranks, won a thrilling 20-lap RUSH Crate Late Model feature. The event marked the first-ever RUSH-sanctioned program in the history of Georgetown Speedway.
Disharoon fended off one of the best on the race’s final lap. Austin Hubbard, pulling double-duty on the evening, took over second place with two laps to go. Hubbard chased Disharoon across the line.
“I’ve got to thank Ricky Elliott for the help with the car,” Disharoon said. “I was trying to go easy there at the end.”
Hubbard fell shy of a win in second, followed by Matt Hill who took over third on the last lap, Joey Warren and Mike Wharton.
Tyler Reed was a victory contender until losing an engine on the final lap. He fell to 11th.
Scott Hitchens went two-for-two in L&J Sheet Metal Crate 602 Sportsman action at Georgetown this season. The Dagsboro, Del., driver fought hard with Ryan Riddle during the opening circuits of the 20-lap main. Once in front, Hitchens had to contend with Delaware International Speedway defending champion Jordn Justice.
Justice had a final shot at Hitchens when the yellow flew on lap 19. He settled for second, with Brett Ballard (recovering from an early trip to the rear of the field), Nick Alberti and Ryan Riddle.
Tanner Marvel overcame a tumultuous opening to take the 15-lap Delmarva Charger top prize. David Smith defeated a 17-car field of Delaware Super Trucks in the 15-lap main.
GEORGETOWN GEMS: The 112-car total included 23 Modifieds, 23 Super Late Models, 23 RUSH Crate Late Models, 16 L&J Sheet Metal Crate 602 Sportsman, 10 Delmarva Chargers and 17 Delaware Super Trucks….
Despite the late addition of Monday’s event, a very healthy crowd took in the program….
Shawn Ward walked away from a violent incident in Modified qualifying when he struck an infield tire in turn one. A break was taken following the incident to ease sun-glare issues….
Modified and Super Late Model headline feature events were completed by 10:15 p.m. on the quickly run weeknight program….
Andrew Mullins and Austin Hubbard competed in both the Super Late Model and RUSH Crate Late Model programs….
Mechanical issues sidelined Jamie Mills’ small-block in hot laps. He ultimately strapped into the back-up Jake Marine No. 85, finishing eighth….
Georgetown Speedway will now take a short breather before roaring back into action on Friday, June 2 with the annual Deron Rust Memorial for big-block/small-block Modifieds paying $3,396 to the winner. L&J Sheet Metal Crate 602 Sportsman, Southern Delaware Vintage Stock Cars, Delmarva Chargers & Delaware Super Trucks complete the program.
Georgetown Speedway, originally constructed by Melvin L. Joseph in 1949, is located at the intersection of Route 113 and Speedway Road in Georgetown, Del., just miles from the Delaware beaches and less than a 40-minute drive from Ocean City, Md.
A website is live for the speedway at www.thegeorgetownspeedway.com. Like Georgetown Speedway on Facebook, follow @thegtownspdwy on Twitter, e-mail email@example.com or contact Brett Deyo at 845.728.2781 during business hours for more information. A race day information line has been established: 302.563.GTWN (4896).
GEORGETOWN SPEEDWAY MONDAY, MAY 15 RESULTS SUMMARY
Modified Feature Finish (25 laps): DANNY JOHNSON ($2,000), Ryan Godown, Duane Howard, David Van Horn Jr., Craig Von Dohren, Howard O’Neal, Dillon Steuer, Jamie Mills, Carson Wright, Richie Pratt Jr., Jim Britt, Kevin Sockriter, Brad Trice, Steve Davis, Jeff Brown, Don Hallowell, Brian Hitz, Jordan Watson, H.J. Bunting.
Did Not Start: Michael White, Shawn Ward, Clay Tatman, Daniel Johnson.
Super Late Model Feature Finish (20 laps): CHAD HOLLENBECK ($2,000), Ross Robinson, Austin Hubbard, Amanda Whaley, Donald Lingo Jr., Darryl Hills, Ricky Elliott, Andrew Mullins, Danny Snyder, Kevin Scott, Nick Davis, Dylan Evans, Rob Schirmer, Pancho Lawler, Tim Murphy, Jason Dean, Zac Weller, Max Robichaud, C.J. Faison, Matt Murphy, Mark Pettyjohn, Geoff Carey, Sparky White.
RUSH Crate Late Model Feature Finish (20 laps): CHIP DISHAROON, Austin Hubbard, Matt Hill, Joey Warren, Mike Wharton, Scott Hitchens, Matt Glanden, Andrew Mullins, Charles Shawver, Derek Magee, Tyler Reed, Paul McGinley, Brandon Sturgis, Daren Alvey, Jamie Emory, Travis Justice, Wes Clifton, Cory Lawler, Robert Smith, Robert Paczowski, Chuck Bowie, Jamie Eicholz, Sparky White.
Crate 602 Sportsman Feature Finish (20 laps): SCOTT HITCHENS, Jordn Justice, Brett Ballard, Nick Alberti, Ryan Riddle, Adam White, Brandon Dennis, Matt Smith, Dwayne Heck, Fred Massey, Trey Hicks, Jason Rush, David Jenkins, Jeff Marker, Jeremy Harrington, Sean Metz.
Delaware Super Truck Feature Finish (15 laps): DAVID SMITH, Shane Clogg, Mike Kennedy, Jerry Hill, Matt Smith, Matt Esham, Robert Smith, Dale Elliott, Rocky Whitley, Action Jackson, Michelle Jackson, Dick Beachem, Kirk Miles, Dylan Reed, Billy Lockwood, Lawrence Bergmann, Cory Sapp.
Delmarva Charger Feature Finish (15 laps): TANNER MARVEL, Jay Sipple, Jerry Barker, Bud Sipple, Ashley Merritt, Derek Swafford, Randy Merritt, Earl Truitt, Scott Heverin, Todd Frances.