Mike Hopkins wins Motor Mountain Masters 150 at Jennerstown

JENNERSTOWN, PA – One year ago, Mike Hopkins finished second in the prestigious Motor Mountain Masters event at Jennerstown Speedway Complex. On Saturday, August 8th, 2020, Hopkins, of Hermon, Maine, defeated 35 competitors from eleven states to score a victory in the third annual running of “The Masters” for the Martella’s Pharmacies Late Model division of racing. He earned a $10,000 paycheck for his night’s work. Also visiting Stoney’s Beer Victory Lane was Ohio’s Rick Sibila in the Stoystown Auto Wreckers Modified division of racing, as the crown jewel event of 2020 was presented by Arsenberger Trucking, of Mill Run, PA.

In Martella’s Pharmacies Late Model competition, Ohio’s Albert Francis collected the Arsenberger Trucking Fast Time Award for the quickest qualifying time. Francis went on to win his preliminary heat race. Mike Hopkins won heat race number two, while ARCA Series star Derek Griffith, of New Hampshire, was victorious in heat race number three. Weston Griffith, of Indiana won the fourth heat race, and former NASCAR Truck Series winner Cale Gale, of North Carolina, won the fifth heat race. Francis and Gale had already won feature events in 2020 at Jennerstown.

A total of 36 race teams converged on the Laurel Highlands oval, each hoping to be wearing the traditional red sportcoat in Stoney’s Victory Lane, following the three segment, 150 lap, crown jewel event. Before a lap was completed, one of the most accomplished drivers in the Midwest, Michigan’s Brian Campbell, spun forcing a restart. Hopkins grabbed the early lead from pole starter Francis when lap one was officially scored. Hopkins earned runner-up honors after leading many laps in the 2019 Masters event. On lap seven, Francis passed Hopkins for the top spot. In lapped traffic, Hopkins reeled in leader Francis, but was unable to reclaim the top spot.

At lap 30, Francis held a commanding lead. A spin by ARCA Series superstar Travis Braden, of West Virginia, slowed the action at lap 33, which led to the scheduled five minute race break on lap 40. Braden went two laps down during the incident.  Teams had the chance to adjust the handling of the cars at lap 40, and again at lap 90 with scheduled pitside work breaks. When segment two began, Hopkins grabbed the lead again, and Francis fell back to third spot.  World Series of Asphalt Racing Champion Derek Griffith, advanced to second place briefly. Kentucky’s Josh Brock was the next driver to turn laps in the second position, as he became the runner up on lap 56.

On lap 62, Gale became the fourth place driver, passing Griffith. Immediately after the pass, Gale slowed with mechanical problems. At the lap 90 break, the top five remained Hopkins, Francis, Griffith, Brock and young Carson Hocevar, of Michigan. The final 60 lap segment started with the winner of the inaugural running of the Masters, Barry Awtey in the pits with a mechanical problem. Hopkins chose the outside lane for the double-file restart and maintained the lead, as Griffith gained two positions in a bold move, to claim second place again. As Hopkins built a six car length advantage, Francis raced back into the runner up spot.

On lap 111, Francis made contact with a lapped car and spun with damage, from the second position. Hopkins, Griffith, Hocevar, and Brock were the top five when the green flag was displayed on lap 115. A three car crash on lap 120 eliminated another 2020 Jennerstown winner, Garry Wiltrout. The restart with 25 laps to go gave Griffith another opportunity to steal the lead from Hopkins. A four car battle for the top spots in the closing stages ensued, including Hocevar, Brock and Griffith, as Hopkins held position number one. A caution flag on lap 147 created late race drama. But, Hopkins outgunned his foes, sustaining the lead through side-by-side restarts.

After admitting that he “threw away” the big victory with a mistake during the 2019 Masters race, Hopkins earned the $10,000 paycheck and etched his name into Jennerstown history as the winner of the third running of “The Masters.” Former CRA touring series Champion, Brock claimed second place with Hocevar in third position at the finish. Twelfth starting Braden made up two laps, thanks the “lucky dog” rule utilizing caution flags, and earned fourth position. Griffith finished fifth. Local favorite Bryan Shipp, a previous winner in weekly competition, gained 17 positions to claim ninth place, as the highest finishing Pennsylvanian.

(find full race results listed below)

Next Saturday, August 15th, Jennerstown Speedway presents five division racing on Autograph Night. Before the racing begins, fans will be invited onto the front straightaway of the oval, to meet the drivers, touch the cars, and take photos. For more information, visit www.Jennerstown.org.

Jennerstown Speedway Release

Photos courtesy of Brandon Zumbach

Stay tuned to superlatemodel.com. We will have more on the Motor Mountain Masters and Jennerstown Speedway as it becomes available.

2020 Motor Mountain Masters – Jennerstown Speedway
Feature Results – 150 laps

2020 Motor Mountain Masters – Jennerstown Speedway
Heat 5 Results – 10 laps

2020 Motor Mountain Masters – Jennerstown Speedway
Heat 4 Results – 10 laps

2020 Motor Mountain Masters – Jennerstown Speedway
Heat 3 Results – 10 laps

2020 Motor Mountain Masters – Jennerstown Speedway
Heat 2 Results – 10 laps

2020 Motor Mountain Masters – Jennerstown Speedway
Heat 1 Results – 10 laps

2020 Motor Mountain Masters – Jennerstown Speedway
Qualifying Results – Time Trials

2020 Motor Mountain Masters – Jennerstown Speedway
Practice Three Results

2020 Motor Mountain Masters – Jennerstown Speedway
Practice Two Results

2020 Motor Mountain Masters – Jennerstown Speedway
Practice One Results

For more information on the Motor Mountain Masters and Jennerstown Speedway visit jennerstown.org

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