Saturday, June 30, 2012
Stuhler’s Last Turn Effort Scores Hagerstown’s Roberts Memorial for Seventh Time
HAGERSTOWN, Md. -- Gary Stuhler led less than 50 yards of the 25 miles he raced Saturday at Hagerstown Speedway in the 47th Annual Johnny Roberts Memorial Buchanan Auto Stores Late Model Championship Series 50-lap event, but that was the only distance the Greencastle, PA veteran needed to claim his seventh overall triumph of the prestigious event and his career 130th at Hagerstown to remain the overall leading event winner and post his first since April 9, 2011.
Stuhler started seventh following the pre-race draw of the top nine positions, moved into third on lap 33 and stole the win from Brian Booze in a final turn effort.
“I could get to him, but I got to him that one time and he closed the door on me going into three and I got a little loose and lost a lot of time,” Stuhler said. ”I didn’t know if I’d have enough time to get back to him but I thought if I could stay close enough, he was trying to protect the bottom a little bit and I thought if I could pace myself, I’d try that last lap on the outside and see if it worked. Luckily everything worked out.”
Justin Weaver of nearby Williamsport led the final six laps to become the sixth different winner in the Hoosier Tire Mid Atlantic late model sportsman event with Hanover, PA.’s Kenny Dillon pulling a Stuhler move and getting around Brian Miller off the final turn in the Ernie D’s pure stock feature. Frederick, MD’s Mark Vegh was awarded the D & D Auto Recycling hobby stock win when Gary Proctor failed to allow an inspection of his fuel tank for added weight that was protested.
The top nine late model qualifiers chose a young fan from the stands with a hidden starting number as Booze and previous weeks winner Rusty Sites luckily choosing the fans with the one and two as they brought the field to the green flag waved by Roberts’ granddaughters. Booze got out front over Sites and Alan Sagi while Stuhler was into fifth on the opening lap. Booze entered the rear of the field on the 13th lap awhile Stuhler moved to fourth on lap 24 after getting past Jerry Bard.
Sagi passed Sites on lap 26 while Stuhler got past him two laps later and Booze was 1.84 seconds ahead when the only caution of the feature waved on lap 32.
With the green again waving, Stuhler sped around Sagi on the restart and tracked Booze and began his challenges. A distance behind, Sagi was contending with series points leader Nick Dickson who had advanced from 13th while Roy Deese Jr. had closed on the duo.
To the final lap and Stuhler was glued to Booze’s rear bumper and looking inside on the backstretch, Stuhler suddenly charged around the outside to exit the final turn side by side to squirt ahead in the final yards to the finish.
“It’s gets tougher every year,” Stuhler said. “Starting position means a lot. You can’t come from the back like you used to years ago. It’s a tough deal anymore. Fortunately I have a lot good people and sponsors to put a good deal together. It feels good to be back in victory lane again”
“I used up too much on the last lap,” said Booze, who received the Nininger’s Tire and Auto Hard Luck award. “He shot by me so fast on the front straightaway, we came up about 30-40 yards too short, I guess. I can’t hang my hat about being beat by Gary Stuhler. Gary has been doing this forever. I can remember playing under the grandstand and watching him win races. He’s a Hall of Famer for a reason. We’ll get one soon, the car’s been good.
“We had a good race,” said third finisher Sagi. “ I had a lot of fun racing with Rusty Sites. We probably ran side by side for 20 laps and never touched fenders. After I cleared Rusty, I was tracking Brian down and then the caution came out. After that my car wasn’t the same, and Gary got around me right away on the restart. I thought Brian was going to win, He drove a heck of a race. Nobody lost that race, Gary just won it. He beat me one time on the last lap too.”
Dickson ended fourth for the Nininger’s Hard Charger award with 11th starting Deese in fifth. Bard was sixth with Scott LeBarron from 12th, Duane Harbaugh (14th), Kenny Moreland, and Kyle Lear completing the top ten. Booze, Moreland and Stuhler were the heat winners.
Pole sitter Chad Myers jumped out in front of Weaver and Paul Cursey in the late model sportsman event and got to the rear of the field by the halfway mark as Weaver closed in traffic to take the lead just before a lap 13 caution. It took three attempts to put another lap in the books but Weaver pulled ahead of Myers as Scott Palmer and Cory Houck got past Cursey and later Donnie Farlling with three to go.
Weaver rounded the final laps to score the victory by .965 seconds over Myers and the other top five remained unchanged. Cursey, Weaver and Myers were the heat winners. Tyler Castle was the Liberty Auto and Tire Hard Charger after advancing seven positions.
Dillon led the pure stocks over Keith Koontz while Steve Lowery and Kevin Boyer moved into the mix as Koontz went around Dillon and the others followed his line. Koontz led while Boyer took second with four to go and they got together off four heading to the checkered as Koontz spun and Brian Miller and Dillon lined up 1-2 for the final lap with Dillon trying the outside line in the final turns to score the win and become the ninth different winner. Tony Catlett was third and the Ecton and Son Service and Repair Hard Charger with Drew Fitzsimmons and Chris Ebersole completing the top five. Dillon and Koontz were the heat winners.
Proctor had the lead from Joe Rogers by the second lap and led all the way for a sixth win but a protest was lodged against several components of his racer and he would not allow the fuel tank to be checked for added weight, therefore was disqualified and Mark Vegh awarded the win. Kenny Thomas was third and the Lucky Seven winner sponsored by Bob Davis Home Improvement while Lane Hessong and Tom Caravello completed the top five.
The latest news, results, photos, schedule or rule changes can be on the speedway’s website: www.hagerstownspeedway.com. Follow the speedway on Twitter and Facebook. Also check the website for any changes in weather conditions that may delay or cancel the program or contact the speedway office at 301-582-0640.
Hagerstown Speedway Results
47th Annual Johnny Roberts Memorial, Buchanan Auto Sales Late Model Championship Series: 50 Laps, 22 entries (Lap Leaders: Brian Booze 1-49, Gary Stuhler 50) 1.Gary Stuhler, 2.Brian Booze (Nininger’s Hard Luck), 3.Alan Sagi, 4.Nick Dickson (Nininger’s Hard Charger), 5.Roy Deese Jr., 6.Jerry Bard, 7.Scott LeBarron, 8.Duane Harbaugh, 9.Kenny Moreland, 10.Kyle Lear, 11.Glenn Elliott, 12.Frankie Plessinger, 13.Rusty Sites, 14.Marvin Winters, 15.Steve Long, 16.Matt Murphy, 17.Jeremy Miller, 18.Al Shawver Jr., 19.Larry Baker, 20.Lindsay Barton, 21.Wayne Johnson, 22.Tim Murphy
Hoosier Tire Mid Atlantic Late Model Sportsman, 20 Laps, 23 Entries, (Lap Leaders: Chad Myers 1-14, Justin Weaver 15-20) : 1.Justin Weaver, 2.Chad Myers, 3.Scott Palmer, 4. Cory Houck, 5.Donnie Farlling, 6.Paul Cursey, 7.Andy Fries, 8.Terry Flaherty, 9.Wayne Walls Jr., 10.Mike Walls, 11.Rick Hulson, 12.Courney Shreiner, 13.Chaz Walls, 14.Tyler Castle, 15.Kevin Palmer, 16.Scott Daniels 17.Ray Ciccarelli, 18.Elwood Sord, 19.Pete Weaver, 20.Sam Schaeffer, 21.Tyler Horst, 22.Jeff King, DNS - Nick Pappas
Ernie D’s Pure Stocks, 15 Laps, 14 Entries (Lap Leaders: Kenny Dillon 1-10, 15, Keith Koontz 11-14) 1.Kenny Dillon, 2.Brian Miller, 3.Tony Catlett (Ecton & Son Hard Charger) , 4.Drew Fitzsimmons, 5.Chris Ebersole, 6.Darrin Younker, 7.Wayne Hawbaker, 8.Steve Lowery, 9.Brian Swiger, 10.Keith Koontz, 11.Dave Stouffer Jr. DSQ – Kevin Boyer, DNS – Charlie Pensinger
D&D Auto Recycling Hobby Stocks, 15 Laps, 12 Entries, (Lap Leaders: Joe Rogers 1, Gary Proctor 2-15-DQ) 1.Mark Vegh,2.Joe Rogers, 3.Kenny Thomas,(Lucky Seven, Bob Davis Home Improvement), 4.Lane Hessong, 5.Tom Caravello, 6.Gary Breeden, 7.Matt Smith, 8.William Crook, 9.Dave Shatto, 10.Rick Turner, 11,Charles Stambaugh.