HAMMETT, Pa. - Weatherwise it was the best night of the year to go racing after a long cold stretch with the best showing of cars this season competing at Eriez Speedway on Sunday and five drivers made their first visits of the season to Victory Lane.
Boom Briggs got his first feature win of the season in the Jay's Auto Wrecking Super Late Models and Damien Bidwell made his first visit of the season to the winner's circle in the Bonnell Collision Center FASTRAK Late Models. Jake Finnerty got his first win of the season in the Conway & O'Malley Limited Late Model finale and Joe Beach got his first-ever in the Kandy's Gentleman's Club Challengers.
Shawn Fawcett's first win of the season came in the Eric Walter Tree and Stump Removal Street Stock finale, which was the wildest event of the evening with nearly everyone involved in a caution period at some point in the event. In the Plyler Overhead Door E-Mod action, it was Rich Michael making his second trip to the winner's circle and Jimmy Diabo made his first trip to Eriez this summer and barrel-rolled three times at the drop of the green flag. Diabo was PK despite the dizzying ride.
The Eric Walter Tree and Stump Removal Street Stocks were first on the track for their feature with reigning champion Pat McGuire and Pat Fielding leading the 17-car field to the green. The lead cars got together in turn one, blocking the track and involving the cars of Mark Thompson, Guy Adams, and Matt Tuzynski. Both front row cars had to be towed to the pit, but McGuire returned to the event during a second caution on lap one without losing a lap.
The third yellow before a lap was in was for a spin by point-leader Eric Ester in turn one. When the race got underway it was Chris Withers leading the way for the first lap, but then appeared to lose power. In turn four at lap two several cars got together with four cars coming to a halt. Withers used to opportunity to make repairs and return to the race without losing a lap.
Early-race attrition allowed two cars repaired after the first caution, Mark Tompson and last week's winner Pat McGuire, to rise to fourth and fifth in the standings for the restart. Coming to the green Guy Adams tagged the wall hard, again slowing the race. Fawcett was the leader after restarting with Don McGuire second and Pat McGuire coming to third by lap five.
At halfway, Pat McGuire replaced his brother in second and was alongside the leader when caution again flew with six laps remaining, this time for Ron Johnson spinning in turn four. Joe Rohrer, Chris Withers, and John Phelps got together on the back straight on lap10 for the next of a seemingly-endless series of caution periods. Another caution at lap 11 caused the officials to call for a single-file restart in an attempt to finish the event. The final four laps went without incident and Fawcett went on to the win over Pat McGuire, Don McGuire, Thompson, and Johnson.
The Jay's Auto Wrecking Super Late Models had the best turnout of the season with 17 cars reporting to the track for their feature. Briggs and Darrell Bossard started on the front down with Briggs leading the way, but Damon Haupt slapped the turn four wall at the end of lap one, and was unable to get to the pits, bringing I caution after only one lap. After green, Briggs again led with Chris Hackett, Rob Blair, and last week's winner Mike Knight in hot pursuit.
Ten laps in saw sixth starting Blair get by Hackett on the outside. but Briggs had a near-half straight advantage. Also using the high side, Knight got by Hackett for third at lap 14. Eighth-starting Hess also got by Hackett at lap 18.
Blair closed the gap, but laps ran out and Briggs got his first Eriez Speedway win of 2013 and his second of the weekend. Following the Bear Lake, Pa., native to the checkers was Blair, by three car lengths, then Knight, Hess, and Hackett.
The Plyler Overhead Door E-Mods started 18 cars with Rich Michael and Shane Crotty leading the way. Michael led third-starting Greg Johnson after one lap with Crotty falling to third. Brandon Porter looped his mount in turn one after two laps, forcing a caution period. When the race resumed the front three remained the same with Crotty getting alongside Johnson, but not able to get by. At lap six Porter again was involved in a yellow, this time with John Schenker and points leader Chad Carlson, relegating Porter to the pit.
At the green Crotty got back to second as Johnson went high in turns one and two, falling to fourth behind Justin Carlson, who got by Crotty a lap later. With five remaining Michael had 10 car-lengths over Carlson with Mike Kinney coming to third. With three to go, Steve Sornberger spun in turn four, setting up a three-lap dash to the finish. Russ Dunn looped his mount a lap after green, setting up a green-white-checkers run. Michael was up to the task, taking his second win of the season over Carlson, Kinney and Gary Eicher.
Jake Finnerty and three-time winner Ryan Scott led the Conway & O'Malley Limited Late Model field to the green with Finnerty leading the way until Tyler Green looped his car in turn three. Points-leader Ryan Scott retired to the pits under the yellow with front-end damage. Finnerty led the remainder of the event, with one quick caution for a minor spin. Following Finnerty to the line were Steve Kania, the defending champion, then Chris McGuire, Dustin Eckman, and Tyler Green.
The Bonnell Collision Center FASTRAK Late Models had a full field of 25 cars for their 20-lap feature and were led to the green by Damien Bidwell and Bob Dorman. Last week's winner, Chad Wright, quickly came to second with Dorman third. By five laps in, Bidwell had caught the rear of the field and started lapping cars, but the action had to be slowed when Breyton Santee spun his car in turn one.
Khole Wanzer caused the next caution period when he turned his car around in turn one at eight laps as Bidwell was pulling away from the field. With five remaining, Bidwell came into heavy traffic but was able to get through while Wright and Blair battled for second with Wright prevailing at the flag. Fourth was Dennis Lunger with Mike Knight edging Mike Mitchell to fill out the top five.
The Kandy's Gentleman's Club Challenger feature started with pole-sitter Jimmy Diabo,making his first start of the season, getting turned into the outside wall and barrel-rolling three times down the front straight. When the race got the green again Joe Beach was the leader with Brad Cole second at the end of one lap. With two laps complete Tom Cupp spun in turn two for caution No. 2.
At the completion of three laps Stephen Enlow was alongside the leader and they remained side by side until caution again flew as lap four when Garrett Zimmer came to a stop on the front straight. Beach then led the remaining distance to score his first win of the season over Travis Darling, Kasey Hammond, Brad Cole, and Wes Stull.
Super Late Models
Heat 1: Chris Hackett, Greg Oakes, John Volpe, Doug Eck, Herb Reich, Damon Haupt
Heat 2: Boom Briggs, Mike Knight, Dave Hess, Rich Gardner, Chub Frank, Chevy Scott
Heat 3: Rob Blair, Darrell Bossard, Scott Johnson, Andy Boozel, Scott Gurdak
Burger King of the Hill: Rich Gardner, Chris Hackett
Feature: Boom Briggs, Rob Blair, Mike Knight, Dave Hess, Chris Hackett, Darrell Bossard, Scott Gurdak, Rich Gardner, Chub Frank, Doug Eck, Andy Boozel, John Volpe, Scott Johnson, Herb Reich, Greg Oakes, Chevy Scott, Damon Haupt
FASTRAK Crate Late Models
Heat 1: Max Blair, Dennis Lunger, Kyle Zimmerman, Mike Knight, Joe Buccola, Matt Latta, Wade Mohawk, Breyton Santee, Khole Wanzer
Heat 2: Damien Bidwell, Mike Mitchell, Bob Dorman, Billy Henry, Scott Gurdak, Bobby Whitling, Chris Peterson, Al Brewer
Heat 3: Jamie Brown, Chad Wright, Bobby Rohrer, Kevin Decker, Alex Anderson, Mark Tatalovic, William Stile, Bruce Hordusky
Feature: Damien Bidwell, Chad Wright, Max Blair, Dennis Lunger, Mike Knight, Mike Mitchell, Bob Dorman, Kyle Zimmerman, Billy Henry, Jamie Brown, Bobby Rohrer, Matt Latta, Bobby Whitling, Joe Buccola, Breyton Santee, Mark Tatalovic, Wade Mohawk, Alex Anderson, Khole Wanzer, Al Brewer, William Stile, Kevin Decker, Scott Gurdak, Bruce Hordusky, Chris Peterson
Heat 1: John Boyd, Shane Crotty, Justin Carlson, Mike Kinney, Gary Eicher, Steve Simon
Heat 2: Mike Eschrich, Kyle Scott, Russ Dunn, John Schenker, Jake Eller, Brian Fardink
Heat 3: Rich Michael, Greg Johnson, Joel Watson, Brandon Porter, Steve Sornberger, Chad Carlson
Feature: Rich Michael, Justin Carlson, Mike Kinney, Shane Crotty, Gary Eicher, Joel Watson, Steve Simon, Brian Fardink, Steve Sornberger, John Schenker, Russ Dunn, Greg Johnson, Kyle Scott, John Boyd, Chad Carlson. Brandon Porter, Mike Eschrich, Jake Eller
Limited Late Models
Heat 1: Ryan Scott, John Cline, Steve Kania, Dan Maxim, Tyler Green
Heat 2: Chris McGuire, Dustin Eckman, Jake Finnerty, Mike Lozowski, Chad Schauers
Feature: Jake Finnerty, Steve Kania, Chris McGuire, Dustin Eckman, Tyler Green, John Cline, Mike Lozowski, Dan Maxim, Ryan Scott, Chad Schauers (DNS)
Heat 1: Pat Fielding, Chris Withers, Don McGuire, Ron Johnson, Kyle Schreckengost, Mark Thompson, Mark Fontera, John Phelps
Heat 2: Joe Roher, Pat McGuire, Shawn Fawcett, Derrick Dickerson, Ken Lamp, Guy Adams, Matt Tuzynski, Eric Reinwald, Eric Ester
Feature: Shawn Fawcett, Pat McGuire, Don McGuire, Mark Thompson, Ron Johnson, Eric Ester, Kyle Reinwald, Joe Rohrer, John Phelps, Chris Withers, Derrick Dickerson, Kyle Schreckengost, Mark Frontera, Guy Adams, Pat Fielding, Ken Lamp, Matt Tuzynski
Heat 1: Kasey Hammond, Joe Beach, Jimmy Diabo, Eddie Orton, Wes Stull, Tom Cupp, Kelsey Parker, Jessee Phelps, Mike Rotunda, Jeff Nunemaker, Ryan White, Travis Darling
Heat 2: Mike Pohl, Stephen Enlow, Brad Cole, Tim Fisher, Jason Brightman, Todd Hanlon, Gary Olson, Drew Panko, Matt Wolf, Preston Matve
Feature: Joe Beach, Travis Darling, Kasey Hammond, Brad Cole, Wes Stull, Jessee Phelps, Tim Fisher, Drew Panko, Kelsey Parker, Preston Matve, Jason Brightman, Matt Wolfe, Stephen Enlow, Garrett Zimmer, Eddie Orton, Tom Cupp, Todd Hanlon, Gary Olson, Mike Rotunda, Jimmy Diabo, Mike Pohl, Jeff Nunemaker (DNS), Ryan White (DNS)