BUSTI - A new era of racing began at Stateline Speedway on Saturday night.
Papa Don Frank was one of the original owners and builders of Stateline Speedway who carved out of a clearing on Kortright Road in Busti near the Pennsylvania-New York state line. New Stateline owners Bill And Lynne Catania made the decision to honor this racing giant with naming the first race under their leadership after one of the men who made it all possible.
Several of the legends of Stateline's past were present including Sammy LaMancuso with his restored 1972 Dodge Charger race car that he drove to victory in Stateline's early days, Jim Scott and his 1974 Plymouth Duster replica, Austin Main with his restored 1970s era Sportsman coupe racer, Weiner Anderson with a replica of his famed 'Double Dog' Cadet, and the all-time win leader Bobby Schnars and his restored 1956 Oldsmobile.
Above, Clymer’s Jason Covey crosses the finish line to win the Street Stock Division on Saturday night at Stateline Speedway. Below, Sammy Lamancuso passes Jim Scott coming down the back stretch during the oldtimers race. See additional photos at cu.post-journal.com.
P-J photos by Scott Reagle
Past champions Skip Furlow, Ron Blackmer, and others were also in attendance.
One of the largest crowds in Stateline's entire 58-year history filled the newly rebuilt bleachers, which can hold 5,850 fans plus countless fans standing against the fencing. With construction still being performed even as fans filed through the gates, the assembled throng was treated to the awards for the 2013 top 10 points leaders and seven hard-fought features.
At the end of the Papa Don Frank Memorial, it was Rob Blair of Titusville, Pa., at the front of the pack with. Chub Frank wound up second and Mike Knight third.
Dusty Waters charged to the Crate Late Model win, his first-ever at Stateline. Brent Rhebergen was victorious in the E-Mod finale and third-generation star Ryan Scott, a former champion of the class, won the Limited Late finale. Also, Jason Covey won the wreck-strewn Street Stock feature, defending champion Jim Kibbe won the Sportsmen night capper and Ryan White collected his first-ever Challenger feature win.
After the command to start engines was given by the only surviving original owner, Jerry Frank, Dick Barton, the winningest active driver, with 78 wins, and Darrell Bossard led the 30 Super Late Models to Tom Abbott's green flag. Abbott, stepson of Papa Don, and his brother, Kevin, had contributed $1,000 to the $5,800 purse. Niemeyer's garage in Wattsburg, Pa., donated an extra $500, making the first place purse $6,300.
Barton led lap one with Bossard and Chub Frank right behind. With three laps complete, two drivers inadvertently got sideways and recovered but not before Spanky Hall had thrown the yellow flag. Barton and Bossard led the field back to the green with Frank and Dave Hess right behind.
At green, Frank jumped into second. Barton had stretched his lead to five car lengths by lap seven and caught the back-markers at lap 10 just as Chuck Parker looped his mount in turn two, again bringing caution over the field.
Barton sped away from the field at green with Frank, Bossard and Hess in hot pursuit. At lap 19, as Barton again had caught the back of the field, Dave Scott and Steve Kania got together coming out of turn four, again slowing the event. Barton again led, but John Lacki turned around in turn two, giving Frank another shot at the lead from the double-file restart.
Under the yellow, fifth-running Dan Stone retired to the pits. Tenth-starting Rob Blair was up to third at the end of 22 circuits complete. Yellow again flew when Doug Eck suddenly slowed at lap 23. Mike Knight was fifth at that point after starting from the 14 berth in the lineup.
Barton and Frank ran side by side for a lap after green with Frank taking over at lap 24. Frank proceeded to open a lead over Barton, Blair, and now Knight fourth and Bossard fifth by the halfway point. At lap 32, Blair got by Barton and began the arduous task of chasing down the leader. At 38 in, Knight got by Barton as well. At 40 laps Blair had caught Frank and two laps later was alongside on the outside and then took over at the front at lap 43. The leaders caught lapped traffic at 45, but the traffic did not slow Blair as he continued to add to his lead.
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With five to go, Blair had a half straight lead over Frank, who was under attack from Knight. Traffic worked in Frank's favor as Knight was unable to mount a charge. Blair took the prestigious win with Frank settling for second and Knight third. Greg Oakes got by both Bossard and Barton for fourth. Barton wound up fifth.
Bill Reeves and Jason Covey started the first feature, Street Stocks of the Bill and Lynne Catania era from the front row with Covey leading most of lap one, but Reeves edged ahead at the end of the lap. After a flurry of cautions Covey took over at front at lap six and went on to the win over Reeves, 12th-starting Brandon Groters, Joe Chamberlain and Wade Watson.
Former champion Dan Nocero and Jim Kibbe led the Super Sportsmen to the green flag with Nocero leading the first six laps until Kibbe got by for the lead. Kibbe went on to the win in the race which had two cautions. Nocero stayed with the leader the rest of the event, but was unable to mount a charge for the lead. Kibbe and Nocero led a parade of three Kosinskis to the checkers, Mike, Ted, and Matt.?
Kelly Frederes and Ryan Scott brought the Limited Late Model feature to the green, but Jermin Strickland and Nate Short tangled on the back straight, negating the start. Frederes grabbed the lead with Scott right behind. At halfway, Scott was able to draw alongside the leader but could not compete the pass. Meanwhile Chris Ottaway was closing the gap on Scott, catching him at lap 14. At lap 15, Scott edged ahead at the line but Frederes didn't give up, staying with Scott another lap but then falling back into the clutches of Ottaway, who was alongside with two to go but unable to complete the pass. Tyler Green wound up fourth with John Cline Jr fifth.
Mike Smith and Troy Carr started from the front of the 27-car Emod field. Carr spun at turn one immediately bringing caution over the field. With Joel Watson on the front row with Smith, the race restarted with Watson narrowly ahead at the end of one lap, but caution flew just before the lap was completed, causing another complete restart.
Three more restarts were needed before the race could get underway. Then Smith led Ron Seeley and Joel Watson with Brent Rhebergen coming to third at lap three when caution again flew. Under caution Watson pulled to the pits with a flat left rear tire. Smith lengthened his lead while Seeley and Rhebergen fought over the runner-up spot until caution again few at lap six. Yet another yellow flew at lap 12 with Smith leading Rhebergen, Seeley, defending champion John Woodward, and John Boyd. Rhebergen got next to Smith several times in the closing laps and finally got by at lap 23, going on to the win over Smith, Seeley, Woodward and Boyd.
Bob Dorman and Dustin Waters started the Crate Late Model feature at the front, but caution slowed the event immediately. Waters led the opening laps over Dorman but caution again slowed the race when T.J. Downes and Chad Schauers got into the wall on the front straight. After green finally flew for good Waters had a half straight lead when he caught lapped traffic at lap 13. With five to go, the order at the front was Waters, Dorman, Jamie Brown, Wayne Robertson, and Scott Gurdak. Wendell Pinckney and Luke Carlton spun with one lap remaining destroying Waters' huge lead and putting Dorman right next to him for the final one-lap dash to the checkers. Waters went on to the win and Jamie Brown got to second on the final lap over Dorman. Chad Ruhlman got to fourth on the final lap with Gurdak fifth.
Brandon Troutman led the Challenger feature from the pole with Ryan White coming to second at the end of one lap. White took over at the front at the halfway point. Tom Cupp was second at the end of nine after starting 12th, but could not catch the leader. At the checkers it was White, Cupp, Joe Beach, Roger Hall, and Andy Proper.
Super Late Model
Heat 1: Dave Hess Jr. Waterford PA, Darrell Bossard Centerville PA, Brent Rhebergen Clymer NY, John Lacki Sinclairville NY, Andy Boozel Clymer NY
Heat 2: Dan Stone Thompson PA, Dick Barton Ashville NY, Robbie Blair Centerville PA, Mike Knight Ripley NY, Max Blair
Heat 3: Ryan Scott Garland PA, Doug Eck Corry PA, Greg Oakes Franklinville NY, Matt Urban North East PA, Steve Kania
Heat 4: Chub Frank Bear Lake PA, Bump Hedman Sugar Grove PA, Rich Gardner Waterford PA, Chris Hackett Jamestown NY, Randy Lobb Jamestown NY
Feature: Robbie Blair Centerville PA, Chub Frank Bear Lake PA, Mike Knight Ripley NY, Greg Oakes Franklinville NY, Dick Barton Ashville NY, Darrell Bossard Centerville PA, Matt Urban North East PA, Rich Gardner Waterford PA, Dave Hess Jr. Waterford PA, Bump Hedman Sugar Grove PA, Jason Dupont Cyclone PA, Brent Rhebergen Clymer NY, Ryan Scott Garland PA, John Volpe Lakewood NY, Jeff Hoffman Clarendon PA, Chris Hackett Jamestown NY, Randy Lobb Jamestown NY, Scott Gurdak Bear Lake PA, Boom Briggs Bear Lake PA, Steve Kania, Doug Eck Corry PA, Chuck Parker Ashville NY, Andy Boozel Clymer NY, Dan Stone Thompson PA, John Lacki Sinclairville NY, David Scott Garland PA, Brian Fardink, Michael Oakes Franklinville NY, Bob Dorman Stockton NY, John Lobb
Heat 1: Steve Dixon Smethport PA, Shawn Shingledecker, Ron Seeley Warren PA, Nathan Hill East Otto NY, Butch Southwell Warren PA
Heat 2: John Woodward Jr. Franklinville NY, Shane Crotty Corry PA, Troy Carr Kennedy NY, John Boyd Waterford PA, Chad Carlson Lakewood NY
Heat 3: Brent Rhebergen Clymer NY, Joel Watson Conneaut OH, Mike Smith Arkport NY, Justin Carlson Sherman NY, Leonard Enos Russell PA
Feature: Brent Rhebergen Clymer NY, Mike Smith Arkport NY, Ron Seeley Warren PA, John Woodward Jr. Franklinville NY, John Boyd Waterford PA, Shane Crotty Corry PA, John Boardman Jamestown NY, Michael Mcgee Mayville NY, Cale Crocker Pittsfield PA, Justin Carlson
Limited Late Models
Heat 1: Ryan Scott Garland PA, Kelly Frederes Russell PA, John Cline Jr. Kennedy NY, John Cline Kennedy NY, Chris Ottaway Sherman NY
Feature: Ryan Scott Garland PA, Kelly Frederes Russell PA, Chris Ottaway Sherman NY, Tyler Green Corry PA, John Cline Jr. Kennedy NY, John Cline Kennedy NY, Nathan Short Panama NY, Rodney Thoms Sherman NY, Mike Moon Portland NY, Jermin Strickland Jamestown NY
Heat 1: Dan Nocero Jr. Jamestown NY, Don Mcguire Harborcreek PA, Ron Burgun Brocton NY, Mike Burnham Frewsburg NY, Mike Murray Erie PA
Heat 2: Jim Kibbe Clymer NY, Ted Kosinski Lakewood NY, Michael Kosinski Ashville NY, Tom Kosinski Lakewood NY, Matt Kosinski Lakewood NY
Feature: Jim Kibbe Clymer NY, Dan Nocero Jr. Jamestown NY, Michael Kosinski Ashville NY, Ted Kosinski Lakewood NY, Matt Kosinski Lakewood NY, Norm Kloszewski Erie PA, Michael Little Ashville NY, Kendelle Kosinski Ashville NY, Tom Kosinski Lakewood NY, Mike Burnham Frewsburg NY
Heat 1: Gary Fisher North East PA, Stanley Davis Jamestown NY, Wade Watson Ashville NY, Guy Adams Ashville NY, Bryon Johnson
Heat 2: Eric Harvey Jamestown NY, Jason Covey Clymer NY, Bill Best, Cody Bliss Celeron NY, Eric Paulus Mayville NY
Heat 3: Dennis Asel Kane PA, Bill Reeves Ashville NY, Joe Chamberlain Farmersville NY, Brandon Groters Clymer NY, Vaughn Nystrom Kane PA
Feature: Jason Covey Clymer NY, Bill Reeves Ashville NY, Brandon Groters Clymer NY, Joe Chamberlain Farmersville NY, Wade Watson Ashville NY, Stanley Davis Jamestown NY, Eric Harvey Jamestown NY, Kyle Weilacher Lakewood NY, Cody Bliss Celeron NY, Guy Adams Ashville NY
Heat 1: Jake Kowalski Corry PA, Ryan White Edinboro PA, Todd Hanlon Pleasantville PA, Skip Jackson Lakewood NY, Ken Hultin Panama NY
Heat 2: Roger Hall Sinclairville NY, Joe Beach North East PA, Brandon Troutman Jamestown NY, Chris Paar Mt. Jewett PA, Jonathan Hagg Youngsville PA
Feature: Ryan White Edinboro PA, Thomas Cupp, Joe Beach North East PA, Roger Hall Sinclairville NY, Andy Proper, Brandon Troutman Jamestown NY, Chris Paar Mt. Jewett PA, Anthony Green Conewango Valley NY, Matt Proper, Coty Schauers Frewsburg NY
Crate Late Model
Heat 1: Jamie Brown Jamestown NY, Jason Genco Frewsburg NY, Wendell Pinckney Albion PA, Luke Carleton Port Colborne ON, Breyton Santee North Kingsville OH
Heat 2: Dustin Waters Portville NY, Chad Silleman South Dayton NY, Wayne Robertson, Chad Ruhlman Bemus Point NY, Chub Frank Bear Lake PA
Heat 3: Bob Dorman Stockton NY, Scott Gurdak Bear Lake PA, Garrett Mott Smethport PA, Dave Lyon Jamestown NY, Ward Schell Warren PA
Feature: Dustin Waters Portville NY, Jamie Brown Jamestown NY, Bob Dorman Stockton NY, Chad Ruhlman Bemus Point NY, Scott Gurdak Bear Lake PA, Wayne Robertson, Dave Lyon Jamestown NY, Ward Schell Warren PA, Dave Shagla Jr. Sugar Grove PA, Jim Frank Jamestown NY, Damian Bidwell Eldred PA, Wyatt Scott, Kyle Scott, Chad Silleman South Dayton NY, Chub Frank Bear Lake PA, Tony Mariano Windsor OH, Luke Carleton Port Colborne ON, Doug Ricotta Warsaw NY, Breyton Santee North Kingsville OH, Kevin Hill Gowanda NY, Wendell Pinckney Albion PA, Garrett Mott Smethport PA, Mike Lozowski North East PA, Chad Schauers Frewsburg NY, TJ Downs Albion NY, Jason Genco Frewsburg NY