P9211341.JPG (476680 bytes)Tommy Fox Wins Budweiser Spectator Special at Eriez Speedway
By Glenn Slocum

 Hammet Pa: A beautiful Sunday afternoon greeted fans at Eriez Speedway for the Budweiser $1,000 to win Spectator Special and a season ending Demolition Derby. There were four qualifying heats for the forty-five Spectator cars from which six cars transferred in to the feature event and the remainder ran a consolation from which four transferred.  Rick Thompson passed Jeremy English on lap three to win the consolation event. Tom Liberatore won the Four Cylinder race. Tommy Fox took the lead on lap nine from Steve Keith who finished second in the event. Fox survived several cautions but was not seriously challenged through out the remainder of the event.

             Dennis Lunger and Chris Couchenour were on the front row but Lunger pulled into the pits after the first pace lap allowing McMurdy to move up to the front row. Steve Keith and Tommy Fox were in row two with Justin Krieder and Merle Burlingham in row three. Nate Lester spun in turn one on the initial start and after receiving a push rejoined the rear of the field for the complete restart. Lunger rejoined the race during the yellow. McMurdy led lap one with Couchenour second and Keith third. Brian Crandall was fourth followed by Tommy Fox and Bill Van Volkenburg. Chris McDonald brought out the second caution with four laps complete with a spin in turn two. Dennis Lunger was up to the sixteenth spot on the restart. McMurdy was building a lead when simultaneous spins by Mark Thompson and Burlingham brought out the third yellow.  

It was McMurdy, Keith, Fox, Couchenour and Rick Thompson in the top five spots for the restart. Keith and Fox beat McMurdy around to the flag but the yellow quickly appeared for McDonald who had lost a wheel in turn four collecting Mark Thompson and Ray Finch. None of the three could continue.  Ron Watson spun in turn two and Skip Joslin could not avoid him for the next caution and then as the yellow flew several cars spun in turn three including Burlingham, Barrett Brown and Nate Lester. Eight laps were in the books and twenty-two cars remained on the speedway. Lunger was now in the sixth spot with Keith first and Fox second.  

Crandall, McMurdy, Ron Bush, Mike Zemcik and Barrett Brown brought out the yellow one lap later nearly blocking the speedway coming out of turn four. Couchenour nearly spun in turn one on the restart and suffered a left rear flat moving Van Volkenburg to fourth and Lunger to fifth. Keith and Fox went high in turn two allowing Rick Thompson to sneak underneath but Thompson went too hard into turn three spinning and collecting Van Volkenburg and Lunger. Keith, Fox, Krieder, McMurdy and Ron Fish were the top five with seventeen cars remaining. Fox used the restart to get under Keith in turn two and lead into three. Burlingham and Van Volkenburg tangled on the backstretch with twelve complete.

Bill Baker stopped on the front stretch with fourteen complete. Fox and Keith were nose to tail on the restart with just thirteen of the original thirty cars remaining. With five laps remaining Fox had built a ten car length lead and Bob Kinne stopped in turn two for the final caution of the event. Fox owned the final five beating Keith to the checkers by five car lengths. Joe McMurdy finished in the third spot.

 Scott Douglas led the first lap of the Four Cylinder Championship race then tangle with Steve Forstein turning the lead over to Scott Friend on lap two. Douglas had more trouble with a spin on lap five, which slowed the event. Dan Osborn took control after Friend nearly spun.  A late race caution set up a two lap dash for the win and Tom Liberatore won the race to the checkers with Tom Bean second and Stan Davis Third.




      Heat 1: P9211231.JPG (470003 bytes)Dennis Lunger, Steve Keith, Nate Lester, Bill Van Volkenburg, Mark Thompson, John Polsky              

                 Heat 2: P9211249.JPG (468904 bytes)Chris Couchenour, Merle Burlingham, Paul Norman, Mike Harmon, Fred McClanahan, Bill Baker

     Heat 3: P9211254.JPG (466816 bytes)Joe McMurdy, Justin Krieder, Brian Crandall, Mike Zemcik, Ron Fish, Tony Lyngarkos

      Heat 4: P9211258.JPG (464297 bytes)Tommy Fox, Barrett Brown, Ken Bush, John Swabik, Chris McDonald, Skip Joslin

      Consolation: P9211273.JPG (471046 bytes)Rick Thompson, Jeremy English, Ray Finch, Bob Kinne

      Feature: Tommy Fox, Steve Keith, Joe McMurdy, Justin Krieder, Mike Zemcik, Bill Baker, John Polsky, Jeremy English, Chris Couchenour, J. R. Brown, Paul Norman, Mike Harmon, Bob Kinne, Ron Fish, Bill Van Volkenburg, Ron Bush, Merle Burlingham, Dennis Lunger, John Swabik, Rick Thompson, Brian Crandall, Mark Thompson, Ray Finch, Skip Joslin, Barrett Brown, Ron Watson, Nate Lester, Chris McDonald, Tony Lyngarkos, Fred McClanahan


   4-Cylinder Sportsmen:


      Heat 1: Tom Liberatore, Dale Wise, Dan Osborne

      Feature: P9211299.JPG (460300 bytes)Tom Liberatore, Tom Bean, Stan Davis, Dale Wise, Chevy Sweet, Rich Hamblin, Todd Cross, Scott Douglas, Dan Osborne, Boyd Hess, Scott Friend, Steve Forstein



   #1: Bob Gardner(12) and Ed Bowman(1C) tied for first, Bob Studly(10)

   #2: Brett Comerford(6A), Ryan Travis(11A)Dennis Odebrulski(7A)