Swauger, Hartzfeld, and Erskine Extend Opening Night Win Streaks At The Bird
For Immediate Release
Saturday, May 1st, 2021
By: Steven Curry - Race Reporter
 
Reynoldsville- Fans and drivers from all over the area flocked to Hummingbird Speedway Saturday night for the 2021 season opener. The start of the season brought with it a couple of firsts for the Bird. It was the first points-paying race for our newly-formed Close Racing Supply Economod division. Also, the Super6 Late Models made their first-ever visit to the track. Seven divisions of cars packed the pits for an action-packed night of racing. The night saw three opening night win streaks get extended with Bryce Swauger extending his opening night win streak to two in the Sunny 106.5 FM Pure Stocks, Bruce Hartzfeld extending his to four in the Cypress Clock & Gift Shop Pro Stocks, and Nick Erskine extending his to three in the Swanson Heavy Truck Repair Semi Late Models. Other feature winners on the night included: "The Hot Rod" Rodney Phillips in the Super-6 Late Models, Jarett Young in the Close Racing Supply Economods, Rich Wicker in the Carns Equipment Super Late Models, and Blake Joiner in the Andy-Man's Car Care Four-Cylinders.
 
The Sunny 106.5 FM Pure Stocks kicked off the feature racing action with their 15-lap main. Dennis Harrison Jr. and Andy Frey led an almost full-field of twenty-two cars to the green flag. A couple of quick caution flags kept the field close with only one lap getting completed through them. Harrison Jr. led the way over Bryce Swauger and Frey. On the restart following the cautions, Swauger looked to the inside of Harrison Jr and began to challenge him for the top spot. Swauger and Harrison Jr. were side-by-side coming to the line to complete lap 2 with Frey in third. Swauger completed the pass around Harrison Jr. for the lead on lap 3 as Tim Steis grabbed the third position from Frey. Swauger began to extend his lead over the field as Harrison Jr. began to feel the pressure from Steis and Josh Fields. They both got around Harrison Jr. and Fields was able to work his way around Steis to move into second behind Swauger. The race stayed green for another few laps until a caution for a spin in turn 4 on lap 6 set up another restart. On the ensuing restart, Steis worked his way back around Fields on the low side to retake the second spot behind Swauger. Swauger led the way over Steis and Fields as flagman Bob Connor displayed the cross flags, indicating the race had reached its halfway mark. Steis gave it all he had as the laps continued to tick away. Swauger held on in the closing laps on his way to picking up the win. His win was his second consecutive win on Opening Night at the Bird. Swauger was followed by: 2) Tim Steis 3) Josh Fields 4) Dennis Harrison Jr. 5) Dustin Challingsworth 6) Bill Mumau 7) Dalton Gustafson 8) Andy Frey 9) Justin Watt 10) Bob Holt 11) Shawnee Sturgeon 12) Wayne Garvey 13) Josh Bloom 14) Ashley Kilhoffer 15) Blaze Harrison 16) Casey Wolfe 17) Cody Cassler 18) Makinna Pearce 19) Ryan Shifter 20) Jake Foradori 21) Steve Brugmann. DNS: Stephen Studer. Mumau, Fields, and Steis won the heat races.
 
Rodney Phillips and Mat Cajka led the Super-6 Late Models trackside for their 15-lap feature event. After a quick caution flag on the initial start, the race saw its first extended green flag run. Phillips jumped out to the lead on the restart as Curtis Stivason worked his way around Cajka for the second spot. On lap 2, Mike Spinneweber got past Cajka on the low line to move into third behind Phillips and Stivason. The race stayed green until lap 5 when a caution for a spin in turn 2 set up another restart. After a few more quick caution flags without getting a lap completed, the race saw its final restart. On the final restart, Phillips pulled out to the lead once again with Stivason in second and Spinneweber in third. Phillips continued to lead over Stivason, Spinneweber, and the rest of the field as the race reached its halfway point. Phillips maintained his lead over the field in the closing laps enroute to capturing the checkered flag in the first-ever Super-6 Late Model race at Hummingbird. Phillips was followed by: 2) Curtis Stivason 3) Mike Spinneweber 4) Ed Dunkel 5) Denny Jerko 6) Mat Cajka 7) Ray Gregory 8) Gary Kriess. Stivason and Phillips won the heat races.
 
The Close Racing Supply Economods were next to the track for their 15-lap feature race. Dennis Asel and Mitchell Wright led the field to the start. After a caution flag on the opening lap, the race saw its first extended green flag run. On the restart, Wright and Jarett Young were both able to work their way around Asel to move into first and second respectively. On lap 2, Jarett Young worked his way around Wright to take the top spot. On lap 3, Nate Young looked to the inside of Asel and completed the pass to move into the third position behind the leaders. Then, on lap 6, Nate Young got by Wright to move into second behind Jarett Young. The race stayed green for another lap or two before another caution came out right around the halfway mark. The caution set up what would ultimately be the final restart of the race. On the final restart, Jarett Young jumped out to the lead as Wright and Nate Young battled intensely for the second spot. Wright and Nate Young battled for the next several laps until a mechanical issue in Young's car on lap 13 forced him to retire from the race, moving Wright to second and Asel to third. Jarett Young extended his lead over the field on his way to taking the checkers in the first points-paying race for the newly-formed Close Racing Supply Economods division. Jarett Young was followed by: 2) Mitchell Wright 3) Dennis Asel 4) Mike Anderson 5) Bob McMillen 6) Gary Miller Jr. 7) Travis Creech 8) Dale Reiber 9) Orin Taylor 10) Dylan Morando 11) Justin Lapcevich 12) Nate Young 13) Matthew Benjamin. DNS: Brad Curran Jr. Nate Young and Miller Jr. won the heat races.
 
Garrett Mott and Rich Wicker led the Carns Equipment Super Late Models trackside for their 25-lap feature. Wicker jumped out to the lead on the initial start as Gary Lyle and Jerry Redden both worked their way around Mott to move into second and third respectively. Another lap would be completed before a caution for Lyle jumping the cushion in turns 1 and 2 and hitting the outside wall hard. Lyle would be able to continue on in the race following the crash. The crash moved Redden to second and Jon Lee to third for the restart. On the ensuing restart, Wicker pulled out to the lead over Redden and Lee. The race remained under green flag conditions until a caution for a spin in turns 3 and 4 on lap 6 set up another restart. On the restart, Wicker jumped out to the point over Redden and Lee. Levi Sikora challenged Lee for the third spot soon after the restart and completed the pass to move into the third spot behind Wicker and Redden. The race stayed green until lap 8 when a caution for Sikora spinning in turn 4 set up another restart. A wreck involving Redden and others on the restart moved Lee to second and Johnny Lindenpitz to third for the restart. On the following restart, Wicker went out to the lead once again with Lee and Lindenpitz following behind. Lee jumped the cushion in turn 2 and hit the wall hard enough that he had to retire from the race. That moved Lindenpitz to second and Dwayne Brooks to third. On lap 12, Brooks worked his way around Lindenpitz to move into second place. Wicker continued to lead the way over Brooks and Lindenpitz as the race reached its halfway point. The race stayed green until a caution for a spin on the frontstretch brought about another restart on lap 15. After another quick caution flag, the race saw its final restart. On the restart, it was Wicker out to the lead once again with Brooks and Lindenpitz following behind. On lap 16, Kenny Schaffer worked his way by Lindenpitz for the third spot. Then, on lap 17, Schaffer used the low line to his advantage to pass Brooks and move into second. Schaffer began to reel in Wicker in the closing laps but it was not enough as Wicker held on to pick up his first win in a Super Late Model. Wicker was followed by: 2) Kenny Schaffer 3) Dwayne Brooks 4) Levi Sikora 5) Johnny Lindenpitz 6) Jerry Redden 7) Dan Smeal 8) Garrett Mott 9) Chris Farrell 10) Jon Lee 11) Gary Lyle 12) Nathan Brady 13) Scott Alvetro 14) Orvis Newcome lll. DNS: Larry Hollenbaugh. Lee and Farrell won the heat races.
 
The Cypress Clock & Gift Shop Pro Stocks were next to the track for their 20-lap main. Duke Davidson and Bruce Hartzfeld led the field to the opening green flag. Davidson pulled out to the lead on the initial start with Hartzfeld in second and Brandon Connor in third. On lap 2, Davidson had an issue coming out of turn 4 which allowed Hartzfeld, Connor, and Zack Gustafson to get by and move into first, second, and third respectively. On lap 5, Gustafson worked his way around Connor to grab the second position. Hartzfeld extended his lead over Gustafson and Connor as the laps continued to click away. At the halfway mark, it was Hartzfeld with a pretty substantial lead over the field with Gustafson in second and Connor in third. The race remained under green flag conditions until lap 13 or 14 when a caution for Connor spinning in turn 4 set up a restart. Another caution flag came out on the restart involving Gustafson and others. That moved Jim Challingsworth and Jamie Colwell into the picture behind Hartzfeld for the restart. On the ensuing restart, Hartzfeld jumped out to the point as Colwell worked his way around Challingsworth for second. On lap 16, Colwell went high which allowed Challingsworth and Joshua Seippel to get by and move into the top 3. Hartzfeld continued to lead over Challingsworth, Seippel, and the rest of the field as the race neared its end. Hartzfeld received the white flag from flagman Bob Connor and he got about halfway down the backstretch before another caution flag came out, setting up a green-white-checkered finish. On the final restart, Connor was able to get back into the top 3 by passing Seippel. Challingsworth gave it all he had in the last couple of laps but it was not enough as Hartzfeld held on to capture his fourth consecutive Opening Night win at the Bird. Hartzfeld was followed by: 2) Jim Challingsworth 3) Brandon Connor 4) Trevor McCann 5) Joshua Seippel 6) Jamie Colwell 7) Josh Blum 8) Brian Fabiano 9) Braxton Ratliff 10) Zack Gustafson 11) Duke Davidson 12) Pernell Beimel 13) Cregen Brady. Gustafson and Colwell won the heat races.
 
Deegen Watt and Austin Getch led the Swanson Heavy Truck Repair Semi Late Models trackside for their 20-lap feature event. Watt jumped out to the early lead on the initial start with Getch in second and Nick Erskine in third. On lap 2, Doug Surra worked his way by Erskine to move into third behind the two leaders. Then, on lap 5, Surra got past Getch to take the second position behind Watt. The race stayed green for another lap until a caution for a spin in turn 1 set up the first restart of the race. On the restart, it was Watt out to the point with Surra and Getch following behind. On lap 8, Erskine worked his way by Getch on the low side to move into the third spot. Watt continued to lead the way at the midway mark with Surra and Erskine in second and third respectively. Later that lap, another caution flag came out, setting up another restart. On the ensuing restart, Erskine and Gabe Shaffer were both able to work their way by Surra to move into second and third respectively. Lap 11 was completed before a caution for a wreck in turns 1 and 2 brought about another restart. After another quick caution flag, the race saw what would ultimately be its final restart. Surra was able to regain the third spot on the restart with 8 laps to go. Erskine began to put the pressure on Watt on the low line as the number of laps remaining continued to dwindle. On lap 14, Erskine was able to make the low line work and get past Watt for the lead. Then, on lap 16, Surra passed Watt on the low side as well to take the second spot. Erskine would go untouched in the remaining few laps enroute to his third consecutive Opening Night win at Hummingbird. Erskine was followed by: 2) Doug Surra 3) Deegen Watt 4) Nate Smith 5) Eddie Connor 6) Joe Loffredo 7) Don Henry 8) Kyle Shannon 9) Gabe Shaffer 10) Rich Runyan Jr. 11) Nick Loffredo 12) Austin Getch. Erskine and Joe Loffredo won the heat races.
 
The Andy-Man's Car Care Four-Cylinder capped off Opening Night with their 15-lap feature race. Shawn Hadden and Jeremy Stewart led the field to the opening green flag. A quick caution flag on the opening lap of the race forced a complete restart. On the restart, Hadden jumped out to the lead over Blake Joiner and Ashton Daughenbaugh. Joiner began to close in on Hadden as the race neared its halfway mark. Hadden led at halfway over Joiner and Daughenbaugh. On lap 9, Joiner used the low side to his advantage to pass Hadden and take the top spot. While Joiner and Hadden were battling for the lead, Daughenbaugh was able to close in as well to make it a three-car race for the lead. The leaders had to negotiate heavy lapped traffic which tightened things up even more between the top 3 as the race neared its final laps. The white flag was displayed for the leaders as they went almost three-wide into turn 1 trying to negotiate the traffic. They made it part way down the backstretch before a mechanical issue on Hadden's car sent him spinning, bringing out the caution flag. That caution pushed the race into overtime with Joiner leading over Daughenbaugh and Michael Phillipson. On the final restart, Phillipson was able to get around Daughenbaugh for the second spot. Joiner took off on the restart and never looked back on his way to capturing the checkered flag. Joiner was followed by: 2) Michael Phillipson 3) Ashton Daughenbaugh 4) Todd Davis 5) Bill Eckenrode 6) Bill Hassenplug 7) Wayne Truitt 8) Jeremy Stewart 9) Brayden Seippel 10) Joe Anthony 11) Kevin Killinger 12) Shawn Hadden 13) Christina Killinger 14) Cody Blose 15) Travis Timko 16) Jim Boyer 17) Devin Kaufman 18) Carl Killinger 19) Justin Finland. DNS: Randy Albert, Braden Bice, Heidi Miller, and Joe Beningo. Daughenbaugh, Phillipson, and Joiner won the heat races.
 
Speedway Notes: 107 cars packed the pits for the 2021 Season Opener. That breaks down to: 22 Pure Stocks, 8 Super-6 Late Models, 14 Economods, 15 Super Late Models, 13 Pro Stocks, 12 Semi Late Models, and 23 Four-Cylinders. Next Saturday will feature a 5-division program plus a Pure Stock Australian Pursuit. The Australian Pursuit will be up to 10-laps. Cars will line up by pill draw. Each car that is passed during the pursuit will be black flagged until only 1 car remains or the 10 laps are completed. Also, the Pro Stocks will have the night off in respect to the Penn Ohio PSX Race being held this coming Saturday at another regional track. Gates open at 4:00 with racing beginning at 7:00. The Sub Hub Kids Club gets underway every Saturday night at 6 pm by the pit gate entrance. It is a great place to take your kids to do some fun kids club activities prior to racing getting started  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. 
 
 
Results:
 
Sunny 106.5 FM Pure Stocks
1st) #28 Bryce Swauger
2nd) #34 Tim Steis
3rd) #88 Josh Fields
4th) #42H Dennis Harrison Jr.
5th) #46 Dustin Challingsworth
6th) #871 Bill Mumau
7th) #4G Dalton Gustafson
8th) #55X Andy Frey
9th) #00 Justin Watt
10th) #31H Bob Holt
11th) #13 Shawnee Sturgeon
12th) #72G Wayne Garvey
13th) #37B Josh Bloom
14th) #50 Ashley Kilhoffer
15th) #25 Blaze Harrison   DNF
16th) #6/2P Casey Wolfe   DNF
17th) #14C Cody Cassler   DNF
18th) #01P Makinna Pearce   DNF
19th) #80R Ryan Shifter   DNF
20th) #14 Jake Foradori   DNF
21st) #95 Steve Brugmann   DNF
22nd) #8X Stephen Studer   DNS
 
Super-6 Late Models
1st) #1P Rodney Phillips
2nd) #36S Curtis Stivason
3rd) #6 Mike Spinneweber
4th) #34 Ed Dunkel
5th) #2J Denny Jerko
6th) #12 Mat Cajka   DNF
7th) #82R Ray Gregory   DNF
8th) #55 Gary Kriess   DNF
 
Close Racing Supply Economods
1st) #21 Jarett Young
2nd) #M1 Mitchell Wright
3rd) #0 Dennis Asel
4th) #76 Mike Anderson
5th) #50 Bob McMillen
6th) #1M Gary Miller Jr.
7th) #75 Travis Creech
8th) #262 Dale Reiber
9th) #21T Orin Taylor
10th) #27X Dylan Morando
11th) #22 Justin Lapcevich
12th) #42 Nate Young   DNF
13th) #9 Matthew Benjamin   DNF
14th) #C17 Brad Curran Jr.   DNS
 
Carns Equipment Super Late Models
1st) #2T Rich Wicker
2nd) #13X Kenny Schaffer
3rd) #1B Dwayne Brooks
4th) #57S Levi Sikora
5th) #29L Johnny Lindenpitz
6th) #5R Jerry Redden
7th) #44 Dan Smeal   DNF
8th) #43X Garrett Mott   DNF
9th) #53 Chris Farrell   DNF
10th) #5L Jon Lee   DNF
11th) #10 Gary Lyle   DNF
12th) #77 Nathan Brady   DNF
13th) #64 Scott Alvetro   DNF
14th) #66N Orvis Newcome lll   DNF
15th) #1H Larry Hollenbaugh   DNS
 
Cypress Clock & Gift Shop Pro Stocks
1st) #101 Bruce Hartzfeld
2nd) #44 Jim Challingsworth
3rd) #55 Brandon Connor
4th) #12M Trevor McCann
5th) #84S Joshua Seippel
6th) #54J Jamie Colwell
7th) #39B Josh Blum
8th) #35 Brian Fabiano
9th) #24R Braxton Ratliff
10th) #983 Zack Gustafson   DNF
11th) #81 Duke Davidson   DNF
12th) #43 Pernell Beimel   DNF
13th) #2 Cregen Brady   DNF
 
Swanson Heavy Truck Repair Semi Late Models
1st) #5X Nick Erskine
2nd) #3xAA Doug Surra
3rd) #17 Deegen Watt
4th) #28N Nate Smith
5th) #27C Eddie Connor
6th) #9J Joe Loffredo
7th) #68 Don Henry
8th) #11 Kyle Shannon   DNF
9th) #28S Gabe Shaffer   DNF
10th) #18 Rich Runyan Jr.   DNF
11th) #9N Nick Loffredo   DNF
12th) #71A Austin Getch   DNF
 
Andy-Man's Car Care Four-Cylinders
1st) #569 Blake Joiner
2nd) #69 Michael Phillipson
3rd) #44D Ashton Daughenbaugh
4th) #119 Todd Davis
5th) #19A Bill Eckenrode
6th) #Wild5 Bill Hassenplug
7th) #54 Wayne Truitt
8th) #00 Jeremy Stewart
9th) #84 Brayden Seippel
10th) #55 Joe Anthony
11th) #24K Kevin Killinger
12th) #3H Shawn Hadden   DNF
13th) #8K Christina Killinger
14th) #44 Cody Blose
15th) #910 Travis Timko   DNF
16th) #11 Jim Boyer   DNF
17th) #25D Devin Kaufman   DNF
18th) #76K Carl Killinger   DNF
19th) #56 Justin Finland   DNF
20th) #17 Randy Albert   DNS
21st) #77 Braden Bice   DNS
22nd) #35 Heidi Miller   DNS
23rd) #21 Joe Beningo   DNS