History made as Paige Polyak wins Patriot Sprint Finale!
By Jay Pees
Hammett, PA, (May 25, 2014): Beautiful holiday weather greeted fans and competitors as they arrived at Eriez Speedway for the annual Memorial Day visit of the Patriot Sprint Tour along with all regular divisions and fireworks to fill out the evening. The evening was punctuated by a flip in the sprint ‘Dash’ and a flip in the Challenger feature, both necessitating a red flag. Both drivers were ok. Steve Coons, a track safety responder, was injured in a mishap on a four-wheeler and was transported to a hospital in Erie, treated, and released.
History was made as Paige Polyak, all the way from Tiffin, OH became only the second woman to ever win a Patriot Sprint A-Main. Jessica Zemken was the first. And she did it in Classic style, taking the lead at the white flag after following three-time winner Scott Kruetter since early in the event.
In regular divisions “Flyin” Ryan Markham towed in from Ashland, OH and closed in on leader Andy Boozel in the final turn and took the lead and the win in the final 100’ of the race. Matt Latta took the lead just past halfway in the Crate Late Model feature, going on to his first win of the season. Joel Watson (E-Mods), Brandon Groters (Street Stock), and Nate Short (Limited Late Models) all repeated their wins from last week and Matt Marcy won his first Challenger feature of the season.
The Patriot Sprint Tour had twenty-four entrants and all of them started the feature, including former winner George Suprick, who had taken a rough tumble during the Dash. After a 4-wide salute to the fans Scott Kruetter and Scott Just brought the field to the green. On the second attempt to get the race underway Kruetter led the way with Paige Polyak coming to second at four laps compete. Third running Scott Just spun in turn one at eight laps complete. Kruetter and Polyak brought the field back to green with Kyle Drum and defending champion Jared Zimbardi fighting over third. Kruetter, looking for his fourth win in a row at Eriez, began opening a lead over Polyak, who in turn was looking to become just the second woman in Patriot history to win an A-Main. After a caution at lap eleven, the race ran until lap seventeen when George Suprick spun into the infield, then re-entered the track and stopped, causing another restart. Kruetter reached lapped traffic with two laps remaining allowing Polyak to close and take the lead at the white flag to become only the second woman in history of the Patriot Sprints to win an A-Main. Kruetter wound up second with Zimbardi third, Dennis Wagner fourth, and Drum back to fifth.
The Waterford Hotel Street Stocks were started with the heat winners up front. Chris Withers led with Jimmy Kennerknecht second. Jeremy Williams got by Kennerknecht after a lap three caution, then Kennerknecht looped it in turn four two laps later. At lap eight eleventh starting Brandon Groters was challenging Withers just as caution again flew for a spin for third-running Jeremy Williams. With two remaining Groters got next to the leader and was leading at the white flag, going on to his second consecutive win. Withers had to settle for second with Eric Paulus third, Kenny Lamp fourth, and Kennerknecht fifth.
The Plyler Overhead Door E-Mods were brought to the green flag by Gary Eicher and Dave Hess with Hess leading the way after one lap but Eicher fought his way back to the lead by lap four then went wide a lap later allowing both Joel Watson and Hess back by him. Again Eicher powered by Hess. The leaders were moving away from the rest of the field when Kurt Thorpe spun in turn two slowing the field at lap eleven. Hess and Eicher ran side by side for the next four laps with Hess on the high side and slowly edging to the spot with three to go. Watson went on to his second win of the young season with Hess second, Eicher third, John Boardman fourth, and Mike Smith fifth.
Heat winners Chris Hackett, John Volpe, and Andy Boozel led the nineteen Jay’s Auto Wrecking Super Late Models to the green flag with Hackett grabbing the lead at the green with Boozel immediately coming to second and then the lead at the end of two laps. A lap later Boozel also got by Hackett with Darrell Bossard third the next time by. Lapped traffic came into play at lap ten but Boozel and Volpe were pulling away even in traffic. With ten to go the top five was Boozel, Volpe, Bossard, Ryan Markham, and Rich Gardner. At lap sixteen Hiram Bachman spun in turn three, bringing caution for the first time in the race. At green Bossard took over second and Markham came to third two laps later. Bachman spun with five to go, again tightening the field. With two to go Markham was second and Hess came to third at the white flag. Flyin’ Ryan swept around the high side on turn four and came by for the win. Boozel had to settle for second after an exceptional race with Hess third, Bossard fourth, and Volpe fifth. It was the sixth-starting Markham’s first visit to the speedway since 2004.
Last weeks winner Nate Short on the inside and Ryan Scott on the outside led the Conway & O’Malley Limited Late Models to the green with Short grabbing the lead and Pat McGuire second. McGuire spun in turn two on lap two slowing the field. Short then led with Dan Maxim second and Chris McGuire third until lap eight when Chris Ottaway spun going into turn three and again slowing the event. Short led the remaining distance to record his second win in a row in a photo finish with Maxim second, Chris McGuire third, opening night winner Kelly Frederes fourth, and Pat McGuire fifth.
Sixteen Bonnell Collision Center FASTRAK Late Models came to the green flag with Darrell Bossard and Mike Mitchell pacing the field. Bossard led the way after one lap but caution flew when Jason Genco spun on lap two. When the race resumed Matt Latta came to second and Bobby Rohrer came to third a lap later. Mitchell got back by Rohrer two laps later with Wayne Robertson coming to fifth. At lap eight Latta got next to Bossard but went way high in turn two and dropping back. At halfway Robertson got to third and a lap later Latta got by Bossard and got to the line before Chad Schauers spun in turn two again bringing caution over the field. Only one more lap was compete when Schauers and Mike Lozowski tangled in turn four. The top five was now Latta, Bossard, Mitchell, Robertson, and Bruce Hordusky. One more yellow session slowed the race and, just as the race was getting the green, fifth-running Hordusky suddenly slowed, negating the start. Latta led the remaining distance for his first win of the season. Bossard withstood a strong challenge from Mitchell for second with Robertson fourth and Bobby Rohrer fifth.
The Kandy’s Gentleman’s Club Challengers had nineteen cars at the start with Justin Boardman taking the lead at green with outside starting Travis Darling second. Wes Stull got out of shape coming out of turn four and rolled one time at the end of lap two, stopping the race. Stull was ok. At green Boardman resumed the lead but Darling came back to lead just as caution was shown when Tim Fisher came to a halt at the pit entrance. At five laps in sixth running Cale Sousa slammed the wall coming out of turn for and was hit hard by Todd Hanlon, again stopping the race. At the restart Stephen Enlow came to the lead at one lap of green and Matt Marcy was leading after the next time by with Darling now second. At the checkers it was Marcy, Justin Boardman, Darling, Jason Brightman, and Enlow.
Patriot Sprint Tour:
Heat 1: Scott Kreatter, Mitch Brown, Paige Polyak, Kyle Drum, Steve Glover, Don Adamczyk, Derek Jonathan, Geoff Quackenbush
Heat 2: Sammy Reakes, Jared Zimbardi, Brad Knab, Dave Just, Dennis Wagner, Steve Collins, Clint Ide, Dan Lorenc
Heat 3: Bryan Howland, Scott Just, Tyler Graves, George Suprick, Darryl Ruggles, CJ Jones, Jake Muench, Steve Zanchin
Dash: Dave Just, Darryl Ruggles, Tyler Graves, Brad Knab, George Suprick, Dennis Wagner
Feature: Paige Polyak, Scott Kruetter, Jared Zimbardi, Dennis Wagner, Kyle Drum, Bryan Howland, Sammy Reakes, Darryl Ruggles, Dave Just, Mitch Brown, Steve Collins, Tyler Graves, Don Adamczyk, CJ Jones, Brad Knab, Clint Ide, Derek Jonathan, Dane Lorenc, George Suprick, Dave Just, Geoff Quackenbush
Jay’s Auto Wrecking Super Late Models:
Heat 1: Chris Hackett, Darrell Bossard, Rich Gardner, Chuck Parker, Tom Merryman, Dutch Davies, Randy Sterling
Heat 2: John Volpe, Ryan Markham, Randy Lobb, Steve Kania, Bob Dorman, Ryan Scott, Chevy Scott
Heat 3: Andy Boozel, Scott Gurdak, Dave Hess, Matt Urban, Mike Bores, Hiram Bachman
Feature: Ryan Markham, Andy Boozel, Dave Hess, Darrell Bossard, John Volpe, Chris Hackett, Rich Gardner, Randy Lobb, Scott Gurdak, Matt Urban, Mike Bores, Steve Kania, Ryan Scott, Bob Dorman, Hiram Bachman, Chuck Parker, Tom Merryman, Dutch Davies, Chevy Scott
Bonnell Collision FASTRAK Crate Late Models:
Heat 1: Matt Latta, Mike Mitchell, Jason Genco, Scott Gurdak, Mark Tatalovic, Chad Schauers, Matt Harvey, Mike Lozowski, Dave Lyon
Heat 2: Bobby Rohrer, Darrell Bossard, Wayne Robertson, Bruce Hordusky, Wendell Pinckney, Chad Wright, Khole Wanzer, Kyle Zimmerman
Feature: Matt Latta, Darrell Bossard, Mike Mitchell, Wayne Robertson, Bobby Rohrer, Kyle Zimmerman, Jason Genco, Scott Gurdak, Matt Harvey, Khole Wanzer, Mike Lozowski, Dave Lyon, Wendell Pinckney, Mark Tatalovic, Bruce Hordusky, Chad Schauers, Chad Wright (DNS)
Plyler Overhead Door E-Mods:
Heat 1: Gary Eicher, Joel Watson, Mike Smith, John Boardman, Bruce Powell, Cubby Haupt, Chuck Frye
Heat 2: Dave Hess, Steve Simon, John Boyd, Butch Southwell, Kurt Thorpe, Rob Middleton, Tom Hagberg
Feature: Joel Watson, Dave Hess, Gary Eicher, John Boardman, Mike Smith, Eric Reinwald, Bruce Powell, Butch Southwell, Steve Simon, Chuck Frye, Kurt Thorpe, Rob Middleton, John Boyd, Cubby Haupt (DNS), Tom Hagberg (DNS)
Conway and O’Malley Limited Late Models:
Heat 1: Nate Short, Pat McGuire, Chris McGuire, Tyler Green, John Cline Jr, Mark Frontera
Heat 2: Ryan Scott, Dan Maxim, Kelly Frederes, Chris Ottaway, John Cline Sr
Feature: Nate Short, Dan Maxim, Chris McGuire, Kelly Frederes, Pat McGuire, Ryan Scott, Chris Ottaway, Mark Frontera, John Cline Jr, John Cline Sr, Tyler Green
Waterford Hotel Street Stocks:
Heat 1: Jeremy Williams, John Phelps, Mark Thompson, Kenny Lamp, Ron Boardman, Eric McCray, Tyler Lyngarkos, Gary Fisher, Geoff Maloney
Heat 2: Jimmy Kennerknecht, Jason Covey, Carl Marcy, Brandon Groters, Wade Watson, Don McGuire, Rob Bates, Eric Harvey
Heat 3: Chris Withers, Eric Paulus, Art Edwards, Kyle Reinwald, Chris Dann, Guy Adams, Ron Johnson
Feature: Brandon Groters, Chris Withers, Eric Paulus, Kenny Lamp, Jimmy Kennerknecht, Carl Marcy, Eric Harvey, Gary Fisher, Tyler Lyngarkos, Mark Thompson, Jeremy Williams, Guy Adams, Chris Dann, Kyle Reinwald, Ron Johnson, Jason Covey, John Phelps, Art Edwards, Ron Boardman, Mark Tatalovic, Rob Bates, Wade Watson (DNS), Don McGuire (DNS), Geoff Maloney (DNS)
Kandy’s Gentlemen’ Challengers:
Heat 1: Justin Boardman, Ryan White, Tom Cupp, Wes Stull, Todd Hanlon, Gary Olson, Kevin Covell, Tom Brightman, Drew Panko, Jesse Phelps, Todd Hanlon
Heat 2: Travis Darling, Cale Sousa, Stephen Enlow, Matt Marcy, Jason Brightman, Andy Proper, Tim Fisher, Joe Beach, Kelsey Parker, Chris Panko
Feature: Matt Marcy, Justin Boardman, Travis Darling, Jason Brightman, Stephen Enlow, Joe Beach, Tom Brightman, Gary Olson, Ryan White, Tom Fisher, Kevin Covell, Andy Proper, Chris Panko, Cale Sousa, Todd Hanlon, Kelsey Parker, Drew Panko, Wes Stull, Tom Cupp, Jesse Phelps (DNS), Steve Morse (DNS)