Phelps takes extra Street Stock cash at Eriez Speedway!
Kinney gets first-ever Eriez feature win, Rob Blair, Mike Knight, Dustin Eckman, and Darling also score wins.
By Jay Pees
Hammett, PA, (August 17, 2014): As the season winds down the racing and the tempers both grow hotter with points races on the line. The on-track action at Eriez had some of the best racing of the season with a first-time Eriez winner in the person of E-Mod driver Mike Kinney, first this season for defending champion John Phelps in the Street Stock special, and the first time this year for Travis Darling in the Challenger finale. Rob Blair, with his third feature win, now has an insurmountable lead in the Super Late Model points so will repeat as champion of the Super Late Models. Mike Knight prevailed in the Crate Late Model feature for his second win of the season and with a fourth place finish Kyle Zimmerman will be the champion for the second time in his career. Brandon Groters, with a third in the Street Stock feature, will be the champion of his his class. Joel Watson struggled, with engine problems while leading, but will have a lead sufficient to propel him to the E-Mod points title. With consistent finishes and one feature win, Jason Brightman will be the Challenger champion this season. Current leader Nate Short, defending champion Ryan Scott, and Chris McGuire all have a chance to win the Limited. Late Model championship so their title is sill in contention. Please note that points are unofficial until all scoresheets are checked and declared official. Some of the totals could change.
The Waterford Hotel Street Stocks were the featured division Sunday night with a 25-lap feature for $500 to win with points leader Brandon Groters, winner of five features this season on the pole and a former champion Chris Withers, a single winner this season, outside. Withers pulled into the lead on the back straight of lap one and held it with Groters second but caution falling the the end of three circuits for a spin by Bill Best. After another yellow at lap three Withers again led Groters with 2013 champion John Phelps third and Jeremy Williams running next to Mark Thompson several laps before edging ahead at lap ten. Guy Adams, Don McGuire, and Kenny Lamp got together on lap eleven for the next caution. At green Phelps got by Groters and Thompson got back ahead of Williams with Phelps then drawing alongside Withers at lap thirteen but unable to complete the pass. At fourteen the two leaders were side by side with Withers just ahead. Phelps completed the pass at lap sixteen with Groters now challenging Withers for the runner-up spot. Williams was back to fourth with Rod Lasky breathing down Thompson’s neck and getting by with three to go. Phelps went to Victory Lane for the first time this season with Withers second, Groters third, Williams fourth, and Lasky fifth.
The Plyler Overhead Door E-Mods had current points leader Joel Watson on the pole and former champion John Boyd outside. Five cars failed to negotiate turn four on lap one forcing a complete restart. On the first lap back under green Watson, Boyd and Gary Eicher battled for the lead with Eicher and Boyd colliding in turn four with Eicher sustaining enough damage to make a trip to the pit necessary but he was able to rejoin the field before the race resumed. Butch Southwell got to second at lap three with Mike Kinney getting by Boyd for third at six complete. Eicher lost the handle in turn one, looping the car and getting collected by Steve Samuelson. At the end of seven laps Kinney was second. At green Boyd spun in turn two, collecting Steve Simon and John Boardman. Under caution third-running Southwell also retired to the pit. Watson led the field back to green with Kinney, the ninth place starter, coming by on the high side of turn four just as Watson’s power plant went up in smoke. Kinney, the defending Sharon Speedway champion, went on to his first ever Eriez Speedway win. Carr wound up second with Chad Carlson third, Mike Samuelson, fourth, and John Boardman fifth.
Steve Kania and Rob Blair started the Jay’s Auto Wrecking Super Late Models feature on the front row with Blair leading the field out of turn two. By three laps into the event sixth starting Chub Frank was fourth with ninth starting Max Blair up to sixth. Chris Hackett ‘jumped the cushion’ on lap four, coming to a halt next to the retaining wall. After green Robbie Blair again led with Max Blair immediately coming to fifth then challenging Frank for fourth. Greg Oakes came to second at six laps in with Steve Kania holding third. At lap nine Frank slid sideways in turn one, coming to a stop in traffic. The top five for the restart were Rob Blair, Greg Oakes, Steve Kania, Max Blair, and Bump Hedman. After one lap of green the order was R Blair, Steve Kania, and M Blair with the younger Blair to second a lap later. At fourteen in Max Blair went wide out of four and scraped the wall allowing Kania, Oakes and Mike Knight to get by. With five to go Oakes was battling for the lead with the younger Blair back up to third. Chris Peterson then spun in turn two, with Max Blair sent to the rear for his part in the incident. Oakes worked high and low to get by Rob Blair over the remaining five laps but the points leader hung on for his third trip to Victory Lane this season. Oakes was second with Kania coming home third, Knight fourth and Bump Hedman fifth.
Dustin Eckman led the Conway & O’Malley Limited Late Models feature from the pole position with outside front row starter Pat McGuire falling back. Dan Maxim ran second throughout the event but finished a quarter lap behind Eckman at the checkers. Points leader Nate Short was third with defending champion Ryan Scott fourth. Pat McGuire was fifth. The race ran green to checkers with no cautions.
Mike Knight and Breyton Santee started the Bonnell Collision Center FASTRAK Late Models feature from the front row with Knight leading from the start. Max Blair was second, Chad Wright third, and points leader Kyle Zimmerman was fourth at halfway and closing on the leader but Knight maintained his lead, getting to lapped traffic at lap seventeen and expertly getting through the back-markers with Blair unable to make up any more ground. Knight won his second of the season by two car lengths over Blair, Wright, Zimmerman, and Santee in a caution-free feature.
Matt Marcy and Travis Darling brought the Kandy’s Gentleman’s Club Challengers to the green with Darling taking the lead at the start. With three complete Marcy had the right front tire go down, dropping him from contention. Darling led Justin Boardman, Wes Stull, Hunter Hully, and Skip Jackson to the checkers for his first win of the season in a race run without cautions.
Jay’s Auto Wrecking Super Late Models:
Heat 1: Max Blair, Chub Frank, Greg Oakes, Matt Urban, Andy Boozel, Chris Hackett, Jake Finnerty
Heat 2: Boom Briggs, John Volpe, Robbie Blair, Mike Knight, John Lacki, Rich Gardner, Brian Fardink, Chris Peterson
Heat 3: Darrell Bossard, Bumpy Hedman, Steve Kania, Ryan Scott, Doug Eck, Scott Gurdak, Michael Oakes
Feature: Rob Blair, Greg Oakes, Steve Kania, Mike Knight, Bump Hedman, Chris Hackett, Matt Urban, John Volpe, Boom Briggs, Darrell Bossard, John Lacki, Rich Gardner, Ryan Scott, Max Blair, Scott Gurdak, Jake Finnerty, Doug Eck, Brian Fardink, Chub Frank, Michael Oakes, Andy Boozel, Chris Peterson, Chuck Parker
Bonnell Collision FASTRAK Crate Late Models:
Heat 1: Max Blair, Joe Long, Breyton Santee, Michael Mitchell, Scott Gurdak, Khole Wanzer
Heat 2: Chad Wright, Kyle Zimmerman, Mike Knight, Mark Tatalovic, Mike Lozowski
Feature: Mike Knight, Max Blair. Chad Wright, Kyle Zimmerman, Breyton Santee, Scott Gurdak, Michael Mitchell, Joe Long, Mark Tatalovic, Khole Wanzer, Mike Lozowski
Plyler Overhead Door E-Mods:
Heat 1: Joel Watson, Gary Eicher, Chad Carlson, John Boardman, John Schenker,
Heat 2: John Boyd, Mike McGee, Josh John, Eric Reinwald, Steve Samuelson
Heat 3: Butch Southwell. Shane Crotty, Mike Kinney, Troy Carr, Mike Samuelson, Walt Johnson
Feature: Mike Kinney, Troy Carr, Chad Carlson, Mike Samuelson, John Boardman, John Boyd, John Boardman, Walt Johnson, Gary Eicher, Joel Watson, Steve Simon, Eric Reinwald, Butch Southwell, Josh John, Mike McGee, Greg Johnson, Shane Crotty
Conway and O’Malley Limited Late Models:
Heat 1: Ryan Scott, Nate Short, Wade Slaney, Dan Maxim, Pat McGuire, Dustin Eckman, Tyler Green, Chris McGuire, Steve Simon, Chris Ottaway
Feature: Dustin Eckman, Dan Maxim, Nate Short, Ryan Scott, Pat McGuire, Chris McGuire, Wade Slaney, Tyler Green, Steve Simon, Chris Ottaway (DNS)
Waterford Hotel Street Stocks:
Heat 1: John Phelps, Gary Fisher, Rob Bates, Art Edwards, Tyler Lyngarkos, Wesley McCray
Heat 2: Chris Withers, Jeremy Williams, Kenny Lamp, Bill Best, Rod Lasky, Jimmy Kennerknecht
Heat 3: Brandon Groters, Mark Thompson, Don McGuire, Dennis Asel, Guy Adams, Pat Fielding
Feature: John Phelps, Chris Withers, Brandon Groters, Jeremy Williams, Rod Laskey, Mark Thompson, Jimmy Kennerknecht, Don McGuire, Dennis Asel, Gary Fisher, Rob Bates, Bill Best, Pat Fielding, Guy Adams, Wesley McCray,Tyler Lyngarkos, Kenny Lamp, Art Edwards
Kandy’s Gentlemen’s Club Challengers:
Heat 1: Steve Morse, Matt Marcy, Justin Boardman, West Stull, Brandon Troutman, Ken Luma, Drew Panko, Jimmy Nicholson
Heat 2: Travis Darling, Thomas Cupp, Hunter Holly, Skip Jackson, Gary Olson, Jason Boardman, Charles Morris, Ryan White
Feature: Travis Darling, Justin Boardman, Wes Stull, Hunter Hully, Skip Jackson, Jason Brightman, Steve Morse, Ryan White, Drew Panko, Brandon Troutman, Charles Morris, Matt Marcy, Jimmy Nicholson, Gary Olson, Ken Juna, Thomas Cupp (DNS)