By Jay Pees
HAMMETT, Pa. - Mother Nature cooperated to allow Eriez Speedway to get the first night of the 2013 season completed, but the action was rained out last week, meaning the Dan McGarvie Memorial has been rescheduled for today.
McGarvie suddenly passed away of heart failure during the feature race on opening night of 2007. He had been a driver at Eriez and other local speedways for many years, first in Spectator Stocks, then Challengers. He is survived by his wife Wendy, and son, Steven, both of whom attend Eriez Speedway weekly.
The race will pay $500 to win. Kasey Hammond, the 2012 class champion, is expected to be contending for the win from the drop of the green flag. Last week she waited until the final lap to take the lead, but started her championship defense on a winning note. Jason Brightman, who led much of the opening week's feature and Tim Fisher will be gunning for the win as well as last year's points runnerup, Wes Stull.
Mike Knight, the 2012 Jay's Auto Wrecking Super Late Model champion, picked up right where he left off last year in the winner's circle. Ron Davies ran second on opening night, so he will be looking to better his position by one this week. Former champions Chris Hackett, Dave Hess Jr, and Rich Gardner all will be looking to get back to the top of the standings. The top five drivers last week were all former class champions.
Bill Henry led from the drop of the green flag to dominate the first Bonnell's Collision Center FASTRAK Late Model of the season. Matt Latta, a winner last summer, former E-Mod champion Scott Gurdak, and defending champion Max Blair filled out the top five. All are expected to return this week.
Steve Dixon led flag to flag in picking up his first-ever Eriez Speedway Plyler Overhead Door E-Mod feature win opening night in a wreck-strewn race over Ron Davies and Rich Michael. A full field of the open-wheeled racers are expected today.
Steve Kania appeared to have the Conway & O'Malley Limited Late Model feature in the bag until he suddenly lost power on the main straight at lap 13. That opened the door for Ryan Scott to pick up his first win of the season with Dustin Eckman second and Dan Maxim third. Kania is expected to be back in action today to regain his championship form.
John Phelps won his second-ever Eric Walters Tree and Stump Removal Street Stock feature over Shawn Facett and former champion Greg Fenno.
The gates open at 4 p.m. and racing begins at 5:30 p.m.