Story By: DINO OBERTO / EVERGREEN RACEWAY – BUTLER TOWNSHIP, PA – He’s called “Boy Wonder” and for good reason as 12-year old marvel Paulie Hartwig III of Galloway, NJ won for the eighth time this season, picking up another victory Sunday afternoon at Evergreen Raceway, coming in the 30-lap 602 Crate Sportsman Modified feature.
Hartwig has now won three times on pavement and five on dirt. Earlier he collected a victory at Evergreen in the Evergreen Mods and was a winner at Mahoning Valley Speedway with the 602 Crate car. On dirt he’s been to Victory Lane with a 602 Crate Sportsman Modified at Big Diamond Speedway and is a four time winner and point leader at Bloomsburg Fair Raceway in the same class.
In Sunday’s action Hartwig started second alongside Brian Rygielski but made haste as soon as the initial green waved by out-powering him off the second turn and scoring into the lead at the end of lap one.
The rest of the way it would be a race for second as no one was able to stay close to the No. 73 who kept growing his lead lap after lap. By the time the race ended Hartwig was over four seconds ahead of runner-up Evan Rygielski.
“This car was on rails today and it would be that way without all the work that my crew chief Bobby Geiger puts into it,” Hartwig said, who collected $1000 for his effort.
“The competition here is great but we just unloaded with a great car today.”
While Hartwig may have been in his own zone, it was a totally different scene for second spot as point leader E. Rygielski had a thrilling back-and-forth battle with Neil Rutt III and late in the going had Nick Baer to contend with.
The trio continued to race hard up to the checkers with Rygielski holding the off for the runner-up spot and gaining insurance points on his standings lead. Baer was right on his tail taking third and likewise Rutt took fourth in the same fashion on Baer while Steve Shultz rounded out the top five.
However, during post-race inspection Baer’s car was found to be under the designated weight limit and he was disqualified, elevating Rutt and Shultz to third and fourth respectively and James Blewett into fifth.
Coming into the Late Model feature teams knew the two cars to beat where point leader Mike Sweeney and Nick Ross and Kyle Harvell would be the guy to do it.
The driver out of New York City started on the pole and hustled out front over Ross when the race commenced. The pair was then pulling away from the pack and making it a very close one-two race for the lead. But, with five laps to go a caution waved and under the restart Sweeny would line up third.
On the restart Harvell got out first while Sweeney darted under Ross for second. He then stayed on the rear bumper of Harvell but could not do anything more as Harvell was quick and hitting his marks which enabled him to race to his first win here since May of 2014.
“I was just trying to get around each lap perfectly and I had good drive off the corners and as long as I had that I knew Nick (Ross) or Mike (Sweeney) weren’t going to get me unless they moved me,” said Harvell who now has a dozen Late Model wins at Evergreen.
“Brian Sones spots for us and he did such a terrific job of keeping me calm and letting us know what’s going on behind us. The car was a dream today through turns one and two but on the other end it was a little bit of a hand full so we’ll go back and work in that.”
Following Sweeney and Ross where Roger Maynor in fourth and Micah Adams fifth.
Calling it the cleanest and most exciting race he’s ever run in, the Street Stock feature came down to a photo finish with Bobby Kibler Jr., of Lehighton nipping Mitch Hawk at the line even though was a shorted feature due to constraints.
The race was actually decided on the previous lap when Kibler had taken the lead from Hawk. However, Hawk than stepped back to the front but before the lap could be completed the yellow waved and the race was scored back to the previous circuit.
At that point it was also official due to the fact that a rash of cautions continued to interrupt the event plus with time restrictions in place the race was called short of the scheduled 30 laps and thus Kibler was awarded his first win at Evergreen.
Micah Adams of Lake Ariel put on a heck of a drive in winning his third 4-Cylinder Stock feature of the season. Coming from 15th on the grid Adams picked and clawed his way past one car after another until getting alongside leader Jimmy Ayre on a lap 18 restart.
It would be on that re-go that Adams would execute his race winning pass. Once in the lead he pulled away to a three car length margin of victory and sixth in class at Evergreen.
Ayre held on for second and remains in a tight point battle with Adams.
In the Rotten and Forgotten feature Tommy Dawson of Berwick faced off in a torrid lead duel with Noah Jensen before positioning out front for good on lap 15 of 25. Once he took control there was no doubt that he was the car to beat and went on to claim his win on pavement.
Dillon Beadle of Hamlin was unstoppable en route to winning for the second time with the Novice class. Beadle took the lead from the get-go and stayed perfect the distance. Savannah Romig was second with Sarabeth Mesko third.
602 Modified feature finish (30 laps): 1. Paulie Hartwig II, 2. Evan Rygielski, 3. Neil Rutt III, 4. Steve Shultz, 5. James Blewett, 6. Jayden Harman, 7. Brian Rygielski, 8. Mackenzie Adams, 9. Brian Halecki, 10. Jaden Brown, 11. Bobby Jones, 12. Mike Pollack DQ: Nick Baer
Late Model feature finish (30 laps): 1. Kyle Harvell, 2. Mike Sweeney, 3. Nick Ross, 4. Roger Maynor, 5. Micah Adams, 6. Dennis Wenner, 7. Evan Berretta, 8. Frank Del Nero Jr., 9. Brian Romig Jr., 10. Dave Imler Sr., 11. Mark Aigeldinger, 12. Brooks Smith
Street Stock feature finish (19 laps): 1. Bobby Kibler Jr., 2. Mitch Hawk, 3. Eric Kocher, 4. Mike Pollack, 5. Tucker Muffley, 6. Tommy Flanagan, 7. Mike Erney, 8. Thomas Flanagan, 9. Larry LaBatch, 10. Dan Palwicki, 11. Jason Harman, 12. Larry Labatch, 13. Geary Rinehimer Jr., 14. Cory Derr, 15. Brandon Christman, 16. Gordie Buchman Jr., 17. Blain Barry
4-Cylinder Stock feature finish (25 laps): 1. Micah Adams, 2. Jimmy Ayre, 3. Harry O’Neill, 4. Nick Schaffer, 5. BJ Wambold, 6. Larry Spencer III, 7. Zeb Farber, 8. Dave Imler jr., 9. Ed Herman, 10. Lyndsay Buss, 11. Nicholas Kerstetter, 12. Robert McNulty, 13. Maggie Yeakel, 14. Jacob Knittle, 15. Adam Heckman, 16. Jeffrey Tubs, 17. Ralph Borger Jr., 18, Mallory Kutz, 19. Tony Hilliard, 20. Michael Wambold, 21. Johnny Bennett, 22. Brian Romig Jr., 23. Brooklyn Peters
Rotten and Forgotten feature finish (25 laps): 1. Tommy Dawson, 2. Noah Jensen, 3. Sam Jensen, 4. Anthony Napilotano, 5. Dan Jensen, 6. Ian Morgan, 7. Ryan Casagrande, 8. Elliot Maleski, 9. Jon Jensen, 10. Dean Kline DNS: Tom Jensen
Novice feature finish (12 laps): 1. Dillon Beadle, 2. Savannah Romig, 3. Sarabeth Mesko, 4. Ella Sones, 5. Abby McNulty, 6. Lexus Kutz, 7. Tyler Skordensky, 8. Andrew Yutko