HAMMETT, Pa. -JoAnne Clinger was remembered at Eriez Speedway with a memorial race for the E-Mods, the class she loved.
Clinger co-owned several cars with her husband, Jim, and was involved with the day-to-day affairs of Clinger Built E-Mods, which she owned along with Jim, who was able to attend the event despite recent medical problems.
The fans attending were able to visit with Jim and watch Rich Michael continue to add to his incredible winning season. His win in the Clinger Memorial was No. 23 on the season. Michael also has enough of a points lead that he merely needs to finish within 17 positions of defending champion Joel Watson this week to earn his first Eriez Speedway Championship.
In other action, Robbie Blair won his eighth Super Late Model feature of the season and locked up the championship, his first ever at Eriez. Max Blair shrunk Chad Wright's bid to unseat him as the Crate Late Model Champion with his sixth win of the season. Defending champion Steve Kania tightened the Limited Late Model championship race with his sixth win, closing the gap slightly on Ryan Scott, a four-time winner. Pat McGuire edged closer to leader John Phelps by winning his third of the season. McGuire is looking to win his third consecutive championship in the Street Stock division. With his second win of the season Joe Beach closed the gap significantly on the Challenger Mini Stock leader, defending champion Kasey Hammond, but not enough to wrest the championship. Hammond merely needs to start the race next week to repeat.
Clinger was remembered with a $1,500-to-win, 30-lap special for the Plyler Overhead Door E-Mods. Heats, a B main and a dash set the starting field for the biggest E-Mod race of the year at Eriez.
Dash winner Michael and Steve Dixon brought the 24-car field to the green flag waved by JoAnne's granddaughter, Brittany. Dixon came to the lead on the back straight, but caution fell for a multi-car incident in turn two. At green Michael immediately shot out to the lead with Dixon trailing. Dave Hess came to second at lap three. Defending champion and current second place points car Joel Watson spun at lap four.
Michael extended his lead over Hess while Dixon and Shane Crotty had a side by side duel for third. With 11 laps to go, Crotty was solidly in the spot and Greg Johnson had come to fifth. The field was bunched when Bill Taylor had mechanical troubles, but was unable to get pitside, stopping at the gate on lap 24. With three to go Shane Crotty was third, but Hess came roaring back a lap later to reclaim the spot. At the checkers it was Michael for the seventh time this season at Eriez over Hess, Crotty, Dixon, and Johnson.
Scott Gurdak and Darrell Bossard brought the Jay's Auto Wrecking Super Late Model feature to the green. Gurdak spun in front of the field when they got to turn four and was missed by everyone while sitting sideways in the groove.
For the restart it was Bossard inside and seven-time winner Robbie Blair outside. At one lap into the race it was Blair by a carlength at the stripe over Bossard. Chris Hackett and Andy Boozel were trading the third spot and catching Bossard with Hackett being the first to get by Bossard, then Chub Frank charged by both Boozel and Bossard on the top side. Frank and Hackett were even at lap nine with Frank the second place car at 10 laps in.
At halfway Blair had a quarter-lap lead over Frank just as Richard Maxim spun his mount in turn two. When racing resumed, Blair jumped back out to a sizable lead over Frank then maintained it to the checkers, his eighth win of the season and sealing the championship, his first ever Super Late Model title at Eriez. Frank held on for second with Hackett, a former champion, third, Mike Knight, the defending champion, fourth, and Boozel.
Kyle Zimmerman and Bobby Rohrer started on the front row of the Bonnell Collision FASTRAK Late Model feature and drove side by side through the first 2 laps until Skip Jackson looped his car in turn two, slowing the field. Max Blair, who was making the front of the pack three wide at times before the caution, came to second when green reappeared, then used the high side to gain the lead a lap later.
By five laps in, points leader Chad Wright was up to third. By six laps in, Wright was second and Robbie Blair third. After a restart on lap 11, the senior Blair got by Wright for second. The Blair's ran side by side in the turns, but Max was stronger coming down the straights, going to the winner's circle for the sixth time this season,. The finish was Max Blair, Robbie Blair, Chad Wright, Kyle Zimmerman, and Scott Gurdak.
The Conway & O'Malley Limited Late Model feature got under way with Dustin Eckman and Steve Kania on the front row. Eckman grabbed the lead at the start with Jake Finnerty coming to second by the end of lap two. Kania got back to second a lap later and began chasing down the leader. With 12 laps complete, Eckman's race came to a sudden stop as his engine began popping on the front straight and gave up completely coming out of turn two, ending with a complete stop in turn four.
When the race restarted, Kania had a near full straight lead over Chris McGuire, who had a heated battle with Finnerty for the runner-up spot over the final laps. Points leader Ryan Scott edged Dan Maxim at the line for fourth.
Scott will take a 135-point lead into the final week of points racing next Sunday.
The Eric Walter Tree & Stump Removal Street Stock championship title is up for grabs with Pat McGuire, the reigning champion, slowly closing in on leader John Phelps. For the feature McGuire started on the pole with Phelps back in seventh. McGuire was the early leader with Phelps mired back in traffic. By the time of a caution in lap six McGuire had a sizable lead over Mark Thompson, who was in a torrid battle with Joe Rohrer. Phelps had only gained one spot at this point. Phelps then slipped two spots on a restart.
When the checkers fell, McGuire won by several lengths over Joe Rohrer, last week's winner Don McGuire, Mark Thompson, and Paul Schreckengost. Phelps wound up sixth, allowing McGuire to gain 50 points toward the championship. McGuire also picked up two points in the heat.
Steve Morse led Joe Beach through the first eight laps of the Kandy's Gentleman's Club Challenger feature. Beach took over when lapped traffic came into play and went on to his second win of the season. Mike Pohl wound up third with Tom Cupp fourth and Stephen Enlow fifth.
Super Late Models
Heat 1: Chris Hackett, Doug Eck, Scott Johnson, Andy Boozel, Chuck Parker, Damon Haught, Chris Peterson
Heat 2: Robbie Blair, Chub Frank, Boom Briggs, Darrell Bossard, Greg Oakes, Chevy Scott
Heat 3: Mike Knight, Rich Gardner, Scott Gurdak, Bob Dorman, Mike Oakes, Richard Maxim
Burger King of the Hill: Boom Briggs, Chub Frank
Feature: Robbie Blair, Chub Frank, Chris Hackett, Mike Knight, Andy Boozel, Scott Johnson, Greg Oakes, Boom Briggs, Scott Gurdak, Darrell Bossard, Rich Gardner, Doug Eck, Chevy Scott, Chris Peterson, Chuck Parker, Richard Maxim, Bob Dorman, Mike Oakes, Damon Haught
Crate Late Models
Heat : Scott Gurdak, Bobby Rohrer, Kyle Zimmerman, Dennis Lunger, Eric Andrus, Khole Wanzer, Skip Jackson
Heat 2: Max Blair, Chad Wright, Jamie Brown, Rob Blair, Derrick Frank, Mike Knight, Al Brewer
Feature: Max Blair, Robbie Blair, Chad Wright, Kyle Zimmerman, Kyle Zimmerman, Scott Gurdak, Dennis Lunger, Bobby Rohrer, Dereck Frank, Khole Wanzer, Mike Knight, Eric Andrus, Al Brewer, Jamie Brown, Skip Jackson
Heat 1: Rich Michael, Dave Hess, Gary Eicher, Darren Tarabori, Tony Maratto, Dan Sasso, Steve Simon, Brian Fardink
Heat 2: John Boyd, Gary Johnson, Bill Taylor, Mike McGee, John Schenker, Steve Sornberger, Chevy Sweet, Chuck Steinle Jr
Heat 3: Steve Dixon, Percy McDonald, Bud Watson, Joel Watson, Butch Southwell, Dan Davies, Chad Carlson, Josh McDonald
Heat 4: Shane Crotty, Mike Kinney, Russ Dunn, Justin Carlson, John Boardman, Kyle Scott, Mike Smith, Joe Weber
B-Main: Dan Davies, Chad Carlson, Mike Smith, Justin Carlson, Chuck Steinle Jr, Josh McDonald, Brian Fardink, Tony Maratto, Joe Weber, Chevy Sweet, Kyle Scott, Steve Simon (DNS)
Dash: Rich Michael, Steve Dixon, Percy McDonald, Dave Hess, Mike Kinney, John Boyd, Shane Crotty, Greg Johnson
Feature: Rich Michael, Dave Hess, Shane Crotty, Steve Dixon, Greg Johnson, John Boyd, Steve Dixon, Percy McDonald, John Boardman, Dan Davies, Russ Dunn, Darren Tarabori, Chuck Steinle Jr, Chad Carlson, Joel Watson, Steve Sornberger, John Schenker, Dan Sasso, Butch Southwell, Bud Watson, Bill Taylor, Justin Carlson, Mike Kinney, Gary Eicher, Mike McGee
Limited Late Models
Heat 1: Dustin Eckman, Chris McGuire, Ryan Scott, Tyler Green, Jermin Strickland, Wade Watson
Heat 2: Dan Maxim, Jake Finnerty, Steve Kania, Chris Ottaway, John Cline Jr
Feature: Steve Kania, Chris McGuire, Jake Finnerty, Ryan Scott, Dan Maxim, Chris Ottaway, John Cline Jr, Wade Watson, Jermin Strictlin, Dustin Eckman
Heat 1: Pat McGuire, Jimmy Kennerknecht, David Baker, Shawn Fawcett, Charlie McMillan, Pat Fielding, Elaine Best
Heat 2: Don McGuire, Eric Harvey, Paul Schreckengost, Mark Thompson, Eric Reinwald, Brandon Groters, Eric Ester
Heat 3: Mark Ramsey, Joe Rohrer, John Phelps, Rod Lasky, Ron Boardman, Matt Tuzynski, Ron Johnson
Feature: Pat McGuire, Joe Rohrer, Don McGuire, Mark Thompson, Paul Schreckengost, John Phelps, Shawn Fawcett, Mark Ramsey, Jimmy Kennerknecht, Brandon Groters, Eric Ester, Eric Reinwald, Charlie McMillan, Eric Harvey, Pat Fielding, David Baker, Elaine Best, Matt Tuzynski, Ron Boardman, Rod Lasky, Ron Johnson (DNS)
Heat 1: Joe Beach, Tom Cupp, Gary Olson, Stephen Enlow, Kasey Hammond, Tim Fisher, Wes Stull, David Scriven
Heat 2: Kevin Covell, Steve Morse, Mike Pohl, Jason Brightman, Drew Panko, Bob Parker, Roger Hall
Feature: Joe Beach, Steve Morse, Mike Pohl, Tom Cupp, Stephen Enlow, Jason Brightman, Kasey Hammond, Gary Olson, Wes Stull, Tim Fisher, Drew Panko, Bob Parker, ad avid Scriven, Kevin Covell, Roger Hall