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Rich Gardner Wins Coors Original/Coors Light Opener at Eriez Speedway

by Glenn Slocum

Coors Original/ Coors Light sponsored the 2003 Season opener at Eriez Speedway. A special tribute was given to Bill Freiwald the owner of Glenwood Beers a long time supporter of Eriez Speedway. Bill toured the speedway with the checkered flag as drivers, pit crews and fans showed their appreciation. Thirty Super Lates were on hand for the main event and all thirty started. The “World War III” format was used in the Super Late Event where Rich Gardner led all the laps and hard charging Dave Hess came from the back to finish third while Chris Hackett finished second after a fierce battle with Hess in the closing laps. Tommy Fox won the Spectator feature making it four wins including the three at Stateline Speedway. Dave Cummings Jr. won the Super Sportsman event after early leader Pat McGuire suffered mechanical difficulties. Larry Boumans survived a last lap dash to win the Four Cylinder event and Dave Tolon ran down Ron Seeley in the final laps to win the Outlaw Cadet event. Tom Hagberg ran green to checkers to win the Limited Late event. Dave and Mike Hess finished one and two in the E-Mod feature.  

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 2002 Eriez Champion Rich Gardner was on the pole of the Super Late event with Series Champion Rod Maloy in the second spot. Gardner led lap one then Andy Boozel, Matt Urban and Jason Morrell brought out the yellow before lap two could be completed. Gardner once more beat Maloy to the line to lead lap two with Scott Johnson second and John Lacki third. One lap later Scott Gurdak had troubles slowing the race for caution two. George LaBarbera spun on the restart but before the lap could be completed. Rod Maloy went high in turn one on the restart collecting John Lobb ending up stopped high in turn one ruining the restart. Maloy and Lobb both went to the pits after the incident. Gardner resumed the lead but an incident involving ten cars brought out the yellow before another lap could be completed. The single file restart showed Gardner, Scott Johnson, Chris Hackett then John Lacki as the top five. Andy Kania moved by Lacki on lap nine to move into the top spot as Gardner began to deal with lap traffic. Dave Hess was up on the high side and challenging Kania for fifth on lap fifteen. Mark Ashcraft brought out the caution on lap sixteen with Gardner still the leader, Hackett now in the second spot over Johnson, Hess fourth and Kania fifth. Kelly Frederes brought out the next yellow on lap seventeen as twenty-five cars remained on the speedway. Hess continued to charge with a high side pass of Johnson on lap nineteen. The caution was thrown on lap twenty and all but the top three cars were sent to the pits so the race could be completed in the “World War III” format. Hackett and Hess swapped second twice in the final five as Gardner cruised to the win and Hackett held off Hess for second.  

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SP F Tommy Fox.JPG (123980 bytes)Ray Houser led the first lap of the Spectator feature but before lap two was completed an accident involving several cars stopped the race. Fred McClanahan and Rush Firestone both sustained damage in the wreck and were unable to continue. Tommy Fox quickly moved to the top spot on the restart with Dennis Lunger, Mick Harmon and Brian Crandall in two. A lap seven spin by Nate Lester allowed the field to close with Fox. Fox showed his strength on the restart to quickly build a five car length lead over Lunger. Fox won while Crandall passed Harmon for third and Lunger was second.  

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4C F Larry Boumans.JPG (120501 bytes) J R Cross and Dave Boumans were in the front row of the Four Cylinder feature. Boumans lead the first lap followed by Cross and Danielle Osbourne. Osbourne passed Cross for second on lap three while Boumans continued to build his lead. Osbourne had troubles on lap nine hitting a tire on the edge of the infield then slowing to a stop in turn two of the final lap bringing out the yellow for the first time. Boumans won the one lap dash to the finish with Dale Wise finishing third and J R Cross was second.  

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OC F Dave Tolon.JPG (116015 bytes)Matt Lamphere did not make it through turn one on the initial start as Ron Seeley and Dewey Kinnear led the Outlaw Cadets to the line. Kinnear went wide in turn one on the next start losing several positions with Seeley left alone out front. Brian Zimmerly moved into the second spot with Dave Tolon third and Terry Daniels fourth. Tolon passes Zimmerly on lap five a began to chase down Seeley who had amassed a twenty car length lead. At the half way point Tolon had cut Seeley’s lead in half with Zimmerly a distant third. Three laps later Tolon had caught Seeley and began challenging on the inside as Zimmerly faded and Terry Daniels moved to third. Seeley and Tolon raced side by side for two laps with had charging Tolon gaining the top spot with two to go. Tolon won the event with Seeley second and Daniels third.

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BS Dave Cummings Jr..JPG (120352 bytes)Pat McGuire was the leader after one lap of the Super Sportsman class followed by Dave Cummings Jr. and Randy Parmenter. The field quickly spread out as McGuire maintained a five car length advantage over Cummings. Aaron Robinson brought out the caution on lap six. Parmenter tried a high side move around Cummings on the restart but could not make it happed and McGuire lead. One lap later the leader had problems slowing to a stop on the front stretch relinquishing the lead to Cummings. Parmenter was second and Gary Foster third. On the restart Fosters car went into the pits smoking badly and Bobby Rohrer moved into the third spot. Debris brought out the caution on lap nine as Parmenter battled Cummings for the lead. Rohrer and Don McGuire passed Parmenter on the restart allowing Cummings to gain a ten car length advantage. Cummings maintained the advantage as Parmenter fought his way back to third and Rohrer finished second.

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           EM F Dave Hess Jr..JPG (118427 bytes) It was the Mike and Dave Hess show in the E-Mod feature as they sat on the front row for the event. Chad Ruhlman and Randy Parmenter were in the second row. Dave Hess lead lap one which ended with a spin by Bill Thomas in turn three bring the field under the yellow flag. Dave Hess moved to the front again with Mike second and Parmenter third. Ruhlman slipped to fifth then moved back to fourth one lap latter. Boyd Whitehead stopped high in turn three on lap six slowing the field once more. Ruhlman passed Parmenter on the restart and Dave Hess moved out to a ten car length lead over Mike Hess. Dave Hess was in lap traffic with five remaining. Dave Hess lead all the remaining laps to win the event with Mike Hess second and Ruhlman third.  

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LL F Tom Hagberg.JPG (114979 bytes)Andy Knight was on the pole of the Limited Late Event but lost the lead to second place Tom Hagberg at the drop of the green. Bobby Rohrer passed for second at the end of lap one as Knight slipped to third. Joe Weber and Pat McGuire were running fourth and fifth. John Pencile and Dave Lyon brought out the caution on lap six negating Hagbergs lead. The restart ended the night for Dan Shellhouse who struck the front stretch wall. Bob Vogt took the third spot on the restart with Knight fourth and Pat McGuire fifth. McGuire passed Knight on lap ten as Hagberg maintained his fifteen-car length advantage. Hagberg completed the event for his first win of the season leading every lap and beating the second place car of Bobby Rohrer by over a straight away, Bob Vogt finished third.  

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      Heat 1: SP 1 Dennis Lunger.JPG (127888 bytes) Dennis Lunger, Rush Firestone, Barrett Brown

      Heat 2: SP 2 Brian Crandall.JPG (129239 bytes) Brian Crandall, Tommy Fox, Mike Harmon

      Feature 1: Tommy Fox, Dennis Lunger, Brian Crandall, Paul Norman, Barrett Brown, Mark Thompson, Justin Krieder, Mark Harmon, Nate Lester, Danielle Wilbur


   4-Cylinder Sportsmen

      Heat 1: 4C 1 J.R. Cross.JPG (127706 bytes) J R Cross, Danielle Osbourne, Rick Hamblin

      Heat 2: 4c 2 Larry Boumans.JPG (128412 bytes) Larry Boumans, Dale Wise, Tom Bean

      Feature: Larry Boumans, J R Cross, Dale Wise, Tom Bean, Stan Davis Jr., Rachel Price, Rich Hamblin, Daniel Osbourne


  Outlaw Cadets

      Heat 1: OC 1 Ron Seeley.JPG (130616 bytes) Ron Seeley, Terry Daniels, Dave Tolon       

      Heat 2: OC 2 Dewey Kinnear.JPG (131098 bytes) Dewey Kinnear, Brian Zimmerly, Phil Knight

      Feature: Dave Tolon, Ron Seeley, Terry Daniels, Mike Knight, Jeff Campbell, Louie DeDionisio, Dewey Kinnear, Dustin Eckman, Nathan Short, Matt Lamphere



     Heat 1: EM 1 Mike Hess.JPG (132275 bytes) Mike Hess, Stu Rickard, Boyd Whitehead

      Heat 2: EM 2 Dave Hess Jr..JPG (132942 bytes) Dave Hess Jr., Bill Thomas, Randy Parmenter

      Feature: Dave Hess Jr., Mike Hess, Chad Ruhlman, Randy Parmenter, Stu Rickard, Tom Anderson, Shawn McArdle, Brad Pease, Bill Thomas, Chris Peterson


   Super Sportsmen:

      Heat 1: BS 1 Dave Cummings Jr..JPG (130335 bytes) Dave Cummings Jr., Don McGuire, Bobby Rohrer

      Heat 2: BS 2 Pat McGUire.JPG (133294 bytes) Pat McGuire, Randy Parmenter, Gary Foster

      Feature: Dave Cummings Jr., Bobby Rohrer, Randy Parmenter, Don McGuire, Chad Carlson, Mike Murray, Jim Leonard, John Daugherty, Hank Francis, Brent Crandall


   Limited Late Models:

      Heat 1: LL  1 Andy Knight.JPG (131953 bytes) Andy Knight, Bobby Rohrer, Joe Weber

      Heat 2: LL 2 Tom Hagberg.JPG (130852 bytes) Tom Hagberg, Paul Briggs, Mike Coyle

      Feature: Tom Hagberg, Bobby Rohrer, Bob Vogt, Pat McGuire, Andy Knight, Paul Briggs, Joe Webber, Mike Coyle, Dave Lyon, Mike Moore


   American Racer Dash: ARD Rich Gardner.JPG (120033 bytes) Rich Gardner, Rod Maloy, Scott Johnson


   Super Late Models:

      Heat 1: SL 1 Rod Maloy.JPG (128899 bytes) Rod Maloy, Wally Fox, John Lobb

      Heat 2: SL 2 Rich Gardner.JPG (130600 bytes) Rich Gardner, Bryan Emory, John Lacki

      Heat 3: SL 3 Scott Johnson.JPG (125958 bytes) Scott Johnson, Andy Kania, Dave Hess Jr.

      Feature: Rich Gardner, Chris Hackett, Dave Hess Jr., Scott Johnson, Andy Kania, Dave Lyons, Scott Gurdak, Wally Fox, John Lacki, Doug Eck, Randy Lobb, George LaBarbera, mark Ashcraft, John Lobb, Dave Shagla, Al Crocker, Steve Halpainy, Kevin Santee, Ward Schell, Andy Boozel, Wendell Pinckney, Kelly Frederes, Chris Blose, Merle Terry, Rod Maloy, Jason Morell, Bryan Emory, Brad Fiesler, Matt Urban