By Jay Pees
HAMMETT, Pa. - Cool, but sunny skies greeted fans for the Patriot Sprint Tour's first appearance at Eriez Speedway this season.
Twenty-two of the winged speedsters made the trip from upstate New York for the 200th points-paying event for the tour with Scott Kreutter getting the win over Bryan Howland.
The two finished first and second in the 2012 points championship with Kreutter winning the previous Patriot visit at Eriez last September.
In regular weekly action, Rob Blair dominated the Super Late Models for the win, Scott Gurdak, a former E-Mod champion, collected his first Eriez FASTRAK Late Model feature win and John Boyd, the 2009 champion, won his first E-Mod feature of the season. Dustin Eckman got his first Limited Late Model feature win of the season while Stephen Enlow won his first-ever feature in the Challenger division.
Justin Barger took off with the early lead in the Patriot Sprint Tour with Scott Kreutter second and four-time tour champion Bryan Howland third. At green, Jared Zimbardi came by Howland, but Howland drove back by a lap later. At halfway the leaders were in lapped traffic when at lap 13 Dave Just spun in turn four and was collected by Adam Anderson, who then tipped onto his side. At this point in the event, the top four drivers were all past tour champions.
When green flag racing got back underway, Barger, the 2012 Canadian Tour champion, resumed his lead but spun coming out of turn four to complete lap 17, continuing, but falling to fifth and leaving Kruetter, the 2012 US Tour champion, in the lead. Kreutter and Howland battled for the lead over the remainder of the event with Kreutter getting his third consecutive feature win of the year.
With one lap remaining, Barger again spun in four and again kept moving, allowing the race to continue under green. Following Kreutter to the line were Howland, Dave Ely, Jared Zimbardi, and Mitch Brown.
Five-time Eriez champion Rich Gardner started the Jay's Auto Wrecking Super Late Model feature from the pole with Rob Blair alongside and Blair leading lap one. Andy Boozel came from row three to third place by lap three as Blair and Gardner were distancing themselves from the rest of the field.
By 10 laps into the event, Boozel was closing on Gardner as Blair was coming into lapped traffic. Darrell Bossard broke into the top five at lap 15 as caution flew when Andrew Gordon spun in turn two, putting Gardner and Boozel right on his rear bumper. A lap 17, Boozel got by Gardner but Blair had opened his lead back to nearly a quarter lap already. At lap 19., Bob Dorman looped it in turn two for another caution. At green Scott Gurdak came to second with Gardner getting back by Boozel to run third. At the finish it was Blair, Gurdak, Gardner, Darrell Bossard, and Boozel.
Bob Dorman and Bruce Hordusky led the Bonnell Collision Center FASTRAK Late Model feature through lap two when Khole Wanzer spun in turn two. When the race resumed it was the same pair leading with Bobby Rohrer getting by for second at the end of the first lap back under green. Hordusky regained the spot a lap later, but Rohrer was back alongside at five laps when Jack Young looped his mount in turn four. At the restart Rohrer got back to second with Scott Gurdak coming to third after a lap of green. At lap eight Wanzer again spun, this time in turn four, collecting Skip Jackson.
Halfway through the race, Gurdak was challenging for the lead but Dorman hung on until lap 12 when Gurdak nosed ahead just as Wanzer spun for the third time, causing him to be retired from the event. When the race resumed Rohrer and Chad Wright both got by Dorman, but Gurdak was opening his lead and went on to the win, his first of the year. Rohrer held on for second with Wright third and Bruce Hordusky fourth. Kyle Zimmerman got by Dorman with one lap remaining for fifth.
The Plyler Overhead Door E-Mod feature started with Mike Kinney leading the way over Greg Johnson. After a yellow at lap three, Kinney again led with Chad Carlson to second and former champion John Boyd third. After another caution at lap 13 Boyd came to second and was using the high line to challenge Kinney. Boyd, the 2009 champion, nosed ahead in turn two of lap eighteen, then led the way to the checkers. Kinney was second followed by Greg Johnson, Chad Carlson, and Russ Dunn.
Dustin Eckman took off with the early lead in the Conway & O'Malley Limited Late Model feature with Chris Ottaway right behind. Eckman and Ottaway diced for the lead with Ottaway trying the high side on several occasions, but was unable to get by the leader. At lap 15, Tyler Green lost power and was not able to get to the pit, causing caution to be thrown.
Over the last five laps Eckman was in control with Ottaway having Ryan Scott right on his rear bumper. Scott was looking for his third consecutive win of the season, but had to settle for third behind Eckman and Ottaway. Defending champion Steve Kania was fourth with Chris McGuire fifth.
Joe Rohrer led lap one of the Eric Walter Tree and Stump Removal Service Street Stock feature and restarted the event up front after a lap one yellow. but 2012 champion Pat McGuire was alongside at lap two and leading at lap three. By the end of five laps Ron Johnson was up to second when caution again was shown for Kyle Reinwald, who spun for the second time. By the time Don McGuire came to a halt on the track at lap seven, ninth starting Chris Withers, a former track champion, was up to third. On the first trip into turn one after the green the leader, McGuire spun but continued without stopping. Since McGuire did not stop, he was not charged with the caution and was restored to his position. Withers came to second one lap after green while Johnson fell back through the field, but McGuire was opening a lead. On the final lap McGuire tangled with a lapped car and spun going into turn three. Withers led the final lap to his first win of the season at Eriez with Eric Ester second over Mark Thompson, Eric Reinwald, and John Phelps.
The Kandy's Gentleman's Club Challengers had Kevin Covell and Jeff Nunemaker on the front row with Nunemaker taking the immediate lead. Stephen Enlow came to second on lap two with Mike Pohl coming to third. At halfway Enlow was leading Nunemaker with 2012 champion Kasey Hammond coming to third with two laps remaining. Enlow went on to his first win with Hammond getting by Nunemaker for the runner-up spot on the final lap of the caution-free event. Joe Beach and Mike Pohl rounded out the top five.
It was Enlow's first-ever feature win.
Patriot Sprint Tour
Heat 1: Jared Zimbardi, Bryan Howland, Clint Ide, Steve Hutchinson, Geoff Quackenbush, Scott Just, Brad Knab, Brandan Warner
Heat 2: Justin Barger, Mitch Brown, Scott Kruetter, Kyle Drum, Dave Wickham, Jay Groves, Tommy Wickham
Heat 3: Dave Ely, Bruce Dewick, George Suprick, Derek Jonathan, Brad Knab, Dave Just, Adam Anderson
Dash: Kyle Drum, Clint Ide, Steve Hutchinson, Scott Just, Dave Wickham, Derek, Jonathan (DNS)
Feature: Scott Kreutter, Bryan Howland, Dave Ely, Jared Zimbardi, Mitch Brown, Tommy Wickham, Kyle Deum, George Suprick, Justin Barger, Bruce Dewick, Steve Hutchinson, Geoff Quackenbush, Clint Ide, Brandan Warner, Dennis Wagner, Dave Wickham, Brad Knab, Tyler Graves, Dave Just, Derek Jonathan, Adam Anderson, Scott Just
Super Late Models
Heat 1: Chris Hackett, Rob Blair, Andy Boozel, Darrell Bossard, Andrew Gordon, Chevy Scott
Heat 2: Rich Gardner, Scott Gurdak, Scott Johnson, Bob Dorman, Damon Haught, Mike Bores
Feature: Rob Blair, Scott Gurdak, Rich Gardner, Darrell Bossard, Andy Boozel, Chris Hackett, Scott Johnson, Bob Dorman, Andrew Gordon, Chevy Scott, Damon Raught, Mike Bores
FASTRAK Crate Late Models
Heat 1: Bobby Rohrer, Scott Gurdak, Bruce Hordusky, Billy Henry, Jack Young, Khole Wanzer, Skip Jackson, Chris Peterson (DNS)
Heat 2: Bob Dorman, Chad Wright, Joe Buccola, Jamie Brown, Kyle Zimmerman, Al Brewer, Kevin Decker, Bobby Whitling (DNS)
Feature: Scott Gurdak, Bobby Rohrer, Chad Wright, Bruce Hordusky, Kyle Zimmerman, Bob Dorman, Billy Henry, Joe Buccola, Jamie Brown, Jack Young, Bobby Whitling, Chris Peterson, Al Brewer, Skip Jackson, Khole Wanzer, Kevin Decker (DNS)
Heat 1: Russ Dunn, Steve Simon, Chad Carlson, Steve Rex, Jake Eller, Steve Sornberger, Mike Esrich, Gary Eicher
Heat 2: Greg Johnson, John Boyd, Mike Kinney, Cale Crocker, John Schenker, Kyle Scott, Joe Weber
Feature: John Boyd, Mike Kinney, Greg Johnson, Chad Carlson, Russ Dunn, Steve Simon, Gary Eicher, Cale Crocker, Mike Esrich, John Schenker, Steve Rex, Steve Sornberger, Kyle Scott, Joe Weber, Jake Eller
Limited Late Models
Heat 1: Steve Kania, Chris Ottaway, Tyler Green, Dustin Eckman, Ryan Scott, Chris McGuire, Jake Finnerty, Dan Maxim, John Cline
Feature: Dustin Eckman, Chris Ottaway, Ryan Scott, Andy Kania, Chris McGuire, Dan Maxim, Kevin Decker, Tnler Green, Jake Finnerty
Heat 1: Chris Withers, Mark Thompson, Joe Rohrer, Eric Reinwald, Ron Johnson, Shawn Fawcett, Gary Fisher, Elaine Best, Wade Watson, John Phelps
Heat 2: Pat McGuire, Kyle Schreckengost, Ken Lamp, Ron Boardman, Andy Faulhaber, Eric Ester, Don McGuire, Kyle Reinwald, Matt Tuzynski, Art Edwards
Feature: Chris Withers, Eric Ester, Mark Thompson, Eric Reinwald, John Phelps, Ken Lamp, Shawn Fawcett, Ron Johnson, Gary Fisher, Kyle Schreckengost, Joe Rohrer, Elaine Best, Ron Boardman, Kyle Reinwald, Matt Tuzynski, Pat McGuire, Wade Watson, Art Edwards, Don McGuire, Andy Faulhaber
Heat 1: Kasey Hammond, Stephen Enlow, Wes Stull, Zach Downes, Joe Beach, Tim Fisher, Kevin Covell, Matt Marcy, Garrett Zimmer, Todd Hanlon
Heat 2: Jeff Nunemaker, Kenny Luma, Mike Pohl, Ryan White, Eddie Orton, Jason Brightman, Jessee Phelps, Gary Olson, Rick Sperry, 36 (DNS)
Feature: Stephen Enlow, Kasey Hammond, Jeff Nunemaker, Joe Beach, Mike Pohl, Kevin Covell, Wes Stull, Jason Brightman, Gary Olson, Kenny Luma, Garrett Zimmer, Todd Hanlon, Ryan White, Tim Fisher, Rick Sperry, Tom Cupp, Jessee Phelps (DNS), Zach Downes (DNS), Matt Marcy (DNS)