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Rick Smith Returns to Victory Lane!

BETHEL, NY (8/10/2013)- In an action-packed night that included 13 feature events, a large crowd at Bethel Motor Speedway was treated to a night that included a lot to feel good about. The night began with nine-year-old Fantasy Holland – a White Lake resident who attends the Town of Bethel Youth camp program – singing the National Anthem. By the time the night ended, more than 275 laps had been turned on the quarter-mile asphalt oval, with one driver capturing a historic 100th win and four drivers taking home their first checkered flags in a very busy Victory Lane.

The points battle in the Pro Stock division has been a tight one at the top so far this season, and double features this past Saturday left their mark on the standings. The lead has bounced back and forth between Beryle Herman and 2010 Rookie of the Year Kenny Atkins. Just a few weeks back, the pair was tied for the lead, but a bad night for Atkins had given the lead solely to Herman. The tables were turned this past Saturday, as Herman felt the effects of one less-than-desirable finish, which cut his points lead to a mere six points over Atkins.In the division’s holdover race, defending division champion Mark Sylvester and Jim Helt occupied the front row for the start. Sylvester got out front early, but was caught up in an incident on lap two, just after Ed Butler had made a pass for the lead. Sylvester retired to the pits and was done for the night, as he was unable to make it out for the night’s regular feature. Butler retired from the event after receiving the black flag just two laps later, and Helt had assumed the lead. Over the next few laps, Helt led a contingent that included Larry O’Donnell on his bumper. Atkins was moving towards the front of the field, and he grabbed second on lap six. By the halfway point of the race, Atkins put his car out front. Herman was involved in a late-race spin, but was able to make up ground as several cautions in the closing laps made it easier for him to work his way back to the front. With four laps to go, Herman grabbed second as 2010 division champion Joe Barnes and John Hager battled for third. Atkins was first to the line for his fifth win of the year. Herman finished second and Hager was third.  

   The night’s regular feature started with O’Donnell and Helt on the front row. O’Donnell shot out front at the drop of the green, and Helt held on to second for the first half of the event. When the race reached halfway, Rick Smith powered his way past Helt for second. Atkins followed through to take third. Just after the halfway point, Smith worked his way past O’Donnell for the lead. With just two laps to go, Atkins grabbed second from O’Donnell. Atkins was out of time to catch Smith, and he had to settle for second. O’Donnell crossed the line third.

   Herman’s eighth place finish in the regular event tightened up the points battle, leaving Atkins just six points out of the lead. Helt sits third, with 56 points separating him and Atkins.
PRO STOCK FEATURE FINISH (15 laps): 1. Rick Smith, 2. Kenny Atkins, 3. Larry O’Donnell, 4. John Hager, 5. Jerry Tunney, 6. Joe Barnes, 7. Jesse Mann, 8. Beryle Herman, 9. Jim Helt, 10. Wayne Hajek, 11. Gerald Lum, 12. Steve Vasey, 13. John Spencer. DNS – Mark Sylvester.
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