July 13th,2003 -
Al Crocker Wins on Mountain Dew Kids Night 
 
at Eriez Speedway

By Glenn Slocum

            Mountain Dew sponsored Kid’s Night at Eriez Speedway featuring Championship races for the Spectator division. Twenty-six Super Late Models were on hand. J.R Brown won the first Spectator Championship event surviving several cautions for the win. Mark Ramsey won the second Spectator Championship race after losing a rear fender in an early race incident.  AL Crocker beat twenty-five other Super Late Models to the checkered flag for his first Super Late Model win. J.R. Cross won the Four Cylinder feature. Jeff Campbell led all but one to win the Outlaw Cadet event. Scott Gurdak won his second Limited Late Model feature over Tom Hagberg and Bob Vogt. Pat McGuire won his second feature of the year in the Budweiser Super Sportsman class. Dave Hess Jr. passed race leader Brad Pease on the finial lap winning his seventh feature in nine attempts.

Al Crocker and Dave Hess Jr. were on the front row of the Super Late Model feature. Andy Kania and Bump Hedman were in row two. Crocker was the leader after one followed by Kania, Hedman and Hess. Rich Gardner was fifth then John Lacki and Dave Lyon. The field quickly became strung out around the speedway and Crocker had caught the tail end of the field on lap seven.  Kania tried to get under Crocker on lap eight but Crocker slammed the door and the top seven remained the same with ten down. Kania slipped up the speedway on lap fourteen allowing Crocker to get away a little. Two laps later Kania caught Crocker in heavy lap traffic then slipped again allowing Hedman by for the second spot. Mark Gilbert had troubles with eighteen complete causing the first yellow of the event. Chris Hackett pulled into the pits with a flat during the caution. Once the cars were aligned for the restart Crocker was out front followed by Hedman, Kania, Gardner, Lacki, Hess and Lyon. Hackett returned to the speedway before the race was restarted. Hess moved by Lacki for fifth spot on the restart as Crocker continued to lead. Kelly Frederes slowed on lap twenty-one for the second caution. Then Todd Roncaglione car went up in steam on the restart stopping in turn two. Wally Fox slowed two laps later for the last caution as Lacki had slipped back several positions and Rod Maloy was shown in the seventh spot with Gurdak eighth and Dave Scott ninth, Doug Eck tenth and Lacki eleventh. Hess moved up beside Gardner on the restart and made the pass on the final lap for fourth and Crocker won his first Super Late Model event.

 Josh Morell and Vern Sheldon led twenty-two Outlaw Cadets to Spanky Halls green flag. As the leaders crossed the line to complete lap one rookie Adam Hilyer spun in turn three bringing out the yellow and as the flag flew half the field stopped in turn one to avoid a spinning Bill Dunn. After the restart was sorted out Jeff Campbell and Terry Daniels were on the front row with George Cole and John Boardman third and fourth. Campbell was the leader with four complete. Dave Tolon, Josh Morell and Vern Sheldon brought out the next yellow with a collision in turn one. Sheldon was pushed to the pits as the field was realigned. Pete Alspaugh was third with Mike Knight fourth after the restart. Campbell pulled away from Daniels as the lap wound down and Alspaugh took the measure of Daniels. Fourth running Knight spun on lap ten trying to tuck under Alspaugh for the third spot causing the third caution. Alspaugh passed Daniels for second as the two to go was given. Campbell was untouchable over the final two laps winning his first feature of the season. 

Ken Lamp and Ken Seymore brought the first Spectator Championship race to the speedway. J.R. Brown jumped to the front of the pack at the drop of the green with Jeremy English in second. Ken Jackson stopped up against the turn two fence to bring out the yellow on lap three. Shortly after the restart Jackson, Lamp and Jim Wyant tangled in turn four. The lap four restart failed when Ron Watson and Chris McDonald became entangled on the front stretch. One lap later Lamp spun coming out of turn one for the fourth caution. Dan McGarvie was running third followed by Tony Lyngarkos and Justine Krieder. Lamp brought out the caution once more with seven complete. Brown was still the leader with English second then Lyngarkos and McGarvie. Lee Ryder tagged McGarvie on the restart collecting Wade Watson and Ron Fish. Rider was shown fourth on the restart with McDonald fifth. The top three had a ten car length advantage with two to go. McDonald took the fourth spot as the white flag flew. Lyngarkos spun coming out of four for the checkered flag giving third to McDonald. Brown won the event with English second.

Fred McClanahan and Josh Lucas brought the second Spectator feature to the green flag and on the back straight Brian Crandall, Paul Norman and Tommy Fox collided. Fox drove to the pits as did Crandall, but Norman lost a wheel and went to the pits on the wrecker. On the second start the leaders touched and when the spinning stopped Chris Couchenour, Dennis Lunger, Josh Lucas, Dave Auge, Mark Thompson and Mark Ramsey were involved. Merle Burlingham led the first lap but a spin by Jason Heslop brought out the yellow on lap two. Jason Stetson was second followed by Steve Keith and Mark Ramsey. Point leader Tommy Fox was pushed into the pits after stopping during the caution. Stetson also went into the pits giving up his second spot and returned before the race was restarted. Keith and Ramsey came out in front on the restart then Burlingham spun in turn three slowing the race once more.  Ramsey led the next lap with Keith second followed by Dana Wellington and Mike Harmon. Ramsey slowed as the checkers fell but Keith was not close enough to make the pass. Wellington finished third.

Scott Douglas made hard contact with the fourth turn wall on the start of the Four Cylinder event. The next attempted start was ruined by a spin by Dan Osborne in turn two. Tom Liberatore jumped the inside berm collecting Ken Wanzer on the front stretch at the start of lap two. Wanzer lost a wheel and was towed to the pits while Liberatore drove in. J.R. Cross was the leader with Tom Bean second. Liberatore, who had returned to the speedway just before the restart, moved into the third spot five laps remaining. Liberatore made a high side pass for second as Cross finished for the win.

Mike Murray’s bright orange number 3M car was the leader of the first lap of the Budweiser Super Sportsman feature. Randy Parmenter and Hank Francis were second and third. Pat McGuire and brother Don moved into the fray on lap three. Pat McGuire took control on lap five and began to build a lead over the remainder of the field. Murray, Parmenter and Don McGuire were in a fierce battle for the runner up spot as Pat McGuire ran from the filed. Don McGuire had trouble in turn four on lap eleven ending up stopped up against the turn four fence. Pat McGuire led at the restart followed by Murray, Gary Foster and Pete Volpe. Foster puffed smoke in three as the checkers fell for Pat McGuire. Early leader Murray finished second and Volpe third.

 Tom Anderson and Brad Pease were out in front for the first three laps of the E-Mod feature. Jim Irwin and Jason Illig tangled on lap four for the first caution. Anderson led the restart and Dave Hess Jr. moved into the fifth spot after starting in the middle of the pack. Shawn McArdle brought out the next yellow on lap eight with Pease in front followed by Anderson, Dale Applebee, Dave Hess and Mike Hess. A spin by Bill Thomas on lap nine stopped the race again. Dave Hess and Applebee moved into second and third on the restart then one lap later early leader Anderson spun on the front stretch and Justin Carlson who had been running fifth went into the pits. Carlson returned as Pease brought them around for the restart. Hess and Applebee immediately started a battle for second with Hess coming out on top on lap thirteen. Hess was then up and under Pease for the lead as the white flag flew. Thomas and McArdle had trouble once more bringing out the yellow with one lap remaining. Hess moved to the outside of Pease at the drop of the green and led coming out of turn four to led the only lap that counted. Applebee finished third.

 Ed Simmer and Tom Hagberg were the early leaders in the Limited Late Model event. Bob Vogt was third followed by Scott Gurdak, Brian Fardink and Gary Eicher. Eicher, Pat McGuire, Joe Weber and Dan Shellhouse tangled with five complete for the first caution just as Gurdak moved by Simmer for the lead. Gurdak was out in front by ten car lengths after the sixth lap. Hagberg got by Simmer one lap later and set off after Gurdak as Simmer and Vogt fought for the third spot. Vogt won out over Simmer on lap ten as Mike Moore retired to the infield. Gurdak ha caught the back of the field by lap thirteen and had a straight away lead over Hagberg and Vogt who were fighting for second. Shellhouse spun in four with sixteen down allowing the field to catch up to Gurdak. Simmer, Pencile and Shellhouse spun between turns three and four with seventeen laps down. Gurdak ran the remaining three laps unchallenged to win his second feature of the year. Hagberg was second with Vogt third. 

Results:

   Spectators:

      Heat 1:  Jeremy English, Ken Jackson, Mike Rhines

      Heat 2: Jason Stetson, Tony Lyngarkos, Fred McClanahan
      Heat 3: Dennis Lunger, Tommy Fox, Merle Burlingham

      Feature 1: J.R. Brown, Jeremy English, Dan McDonald, Lee Rider, Justin Krieder, Wade Watson, Dan McGarvie, Monty Seekings, Walt Johnson, Chris McDonald

      Feature 2: Mark Ramsey, Steve Keith, Dana Wellington, Merle Burlingham, Mike Harmon, Jason Stetson, Mark Thompson, Jason McCurdy, Fred McClanahan, Jason Heslop

 

   4-Cylinder Sportsmen

      Heat 1: Dan Osborne, Tom Bean, Tom Liberatore

      Feature: J.R. Cross, Tom Liberatore, Tom Bean, Boyd Hess, Stan Davis Jr., Rich Hamblin, Bob Harrison, Larry Boumans, L7, Ken Wanzer

  

  Outlaw Cadets

      Heat 1: Jeff Campbell, Dustin Eckman, George Cole

      Heat 2: Mike Knight, Terry Daniels, Dewey Kinnear

      Feature: Jeff Campbell, Pete Alspaugh, Terry Daniels, George Cole, Ron Seeley, Brian Zimmerly, Louie DeDionisio, John Boardman, Nathan Short, Dustin Eckman

 

  E-Mods:

     Heat 1: Dave Hess Jr., Justine Carlson, Dave Will

      Heat 2: Mike Hess, Brad Pease, Bill Thomas

      Feature: Dave Hess Jr., Brad Pease, Dale Applebee, Mike Hess, Bill Thomas, Mike Boyd, Rim Rater, Chad Ruhlman, Justin Carlson, Chris Peterson

 

   Budweiser Super Sportsmen:

      Heat 1: Randy Parmenter, Pat McGuire, Bobby Rohrer

      Feature: Pat McGuire, Mike Murray, Pete Volpe, Chad Carlson, Bob Van Arsdale, Don McGuire, Don Standley, Brent Crandall, Gary Foster, Brian Collins

 

   Limited Late Models:

      Heat 1: Bobby Rohrer, Tom Hagberg, Mike Moore

      Heat 2: Gary Eicher, Scott Gurdak, John Pencile

      Feature: Scott Gurdak, Tom Hagberg, Bob Vogt, Andy Knight, Mike Coyle, Pat McGuire, Brian Fardink, John Pencile, Ed Simmer, Paul Briggs

 

   American Racer Dash: Bump Hedman, Rich Gardner, John Lacki

 

   Super Late Models:

      Heat 1: Al Crocker, Bump Hedman, Ward Schell, David Scott, Dave Shagla

      Heat 2: Dave Hess Jr., Rich Gardner, Dave Lyon, Doug Eck, Moose Dunnewold

      Heat 3: Andy Kania, John Lacki, Chris Hackett, Jason Morell, Scott Gurdak

      Feature: Al Crocker, Bump Hedman, Andy Kania, Dave Hess Jr., Rich Gardner, Dave Lyon, Rod Maloy, Scott Gurdak, Dave Scott, Doug Eck, John Lacki, Ward Schell, Chris Hackett, Dave Shagla, George LaBarbera, Chris Blose, Jason Morel, Andy Boozel, Wendell Pinckney, Mark Gilbert, Wally Fox, Moose Dunnewold, Kelly Frederes, Todd Roncaglione, Kevin Santee, Tim Cole