P4173060.jpg (356237 bytes)
Doug Eck Wins Sugar Bowl Lanes 2004 Opener at Stateline Speedway
By Jay Pees

               A surprisingly warm April evening awaited racefans at Stateline Speedway for the 2004 opening night. 

            P4172998.jpg (387334 bytes)The ten-lap Spectator feature was lead first by Matt Lozowski.  Chris Couchenour grabbed the lead on a lap three restart.  At the checkers Nate Lester was gaining, but ran out of time to make a challenge for the win.  Dennis Lunger wound up third with Kevin Brummet fourth.

            P4173015.jpg (330748 bytes)The new all stock front wheel drive Challenger division ran their first feature with an immediate caution on the 20-car field.  Justin Passanise led on the restart but was replaced at the point at the end of one lap by the 14 car of Jim Frank.  Wade Slaney moved to second on lap five but was not able to run down the leader.  Following Frank and Slaney at the finish was Ryan Scott.

            P4173025.jpg (359856 bytes) Twelve Cadets started the 15-lap feature with Nathan Short leading the way over 2003 Champion Ron Seeley.  Short had a half straightaway lead after five laps while Seeley had his hands full with challenges from Andy Knight.  Short cruised to the win with Seeley second and Andy Knight third.

               P4173034.jpg (332904 bytes)Seventeen Budweiser Super Sportsmen cars started the feature with Bobby Rohrer and Robert Nocero on the front row.  Nocero led the first lap but it was Pete Volpe by a bumper at the end of two laps.  Several cautions punctuated the event, most for harmless spins and once when Brian Esther slapped the turn two wall in his first ever feature.  Volpe held on for the win followed by Bobby Rohrer, who got by Robert J Nocero in the final two turns.

                P4173041.jpg (341136 bytes)Heat Winners John Lacki and Randy Hall started at the front of the 14-car E-Mod feature with Hall getting the lead at the drop of the green and Justin Carlson moving to second.  Tim Rater slapped the wall on lap four bringing out the caution.  On the restart Carlson challenged for the lead but Hall fought off all attempts using the high side of the speedway.  At the finish it was Hall over Carlson, John Lacki, Bill Thomas, and Greg Oakes.  This was the second year in a row that Randy Hall has won on opening night.

            The 25-lap feature for the Super Late Model started with Wally Fox and Rod Maloy in the front row.  Maloy led the 18-car field after the first lap.  Yellow flew on lap four for a two-car spin by Scott Johnson and Paul Briggs.  On the restart Scott Gurdak began challenging for the lead, getting by Maloy just as Rick Isadore spun in turn four, bringing out another caution.  After the green flew again Gurdak began putting distance between him and the rest of the field.  Doug Eck moved to second on lap nine and began closing on Gurdak.  Ed Carley moved by Maloy for third on lap 14 with Scott Johnson in tow.  With seven laps to go Eck was right on Gurdak's rear bumper, but could not get by.  On the final turn Paul Briggs spun collecting Gurdak just one-quarter lap from the checkers and also gathering Ed Carley in the wreck.  Eck motored by for the win with Scott Johnson coming through for second, Rod Maloy third, Wally Fox fourth, and Rich Gardner fifth.

Heat 1:
P4172890.jpg (429627 bytes)Dennis Lunger, Rush Firestone, Chris Couchenour
Heat 2: P4172896.jpg (407934 bytes)Dana Wellington, Kevin Brummet, Brian Crandall
Feature: Chris Couchenour, Nate Lester, Dennis Lunger, Kevin Brummet, John Swabiic, Dana Wellington, Brian Crandall, Matt Lozowski, Rush Firestone, Dave McClanahan, Jeremy English, Pat Candy, Lester Shoff, Bob Kinne, Ken Lamp, Mike Coast, Mort John

Heat 1:  P4172902.jpg (413607 bytes)Wade Slaney, Glenn Slaney, Mike Genco
Heat 2: P4172910.jpg (376056 bytes)Luke Rutsky, Jay Seekings, Derek Frank
Feature: Jim Frank, Wade Slaney, Ryan Scott, Luke Rutsky, Bob Belson, Glenn Slaney, Jason Genco, Casey Swabik, Jay Seekings, Justin Passanise, Brad Strickland, Dominic Deponcrelle, Sam Coursen, Mike Genco, Mike Little, Mike Hamernick, Dan Nocero Jr, 78, Derek Frank, Michael Stoll, Rob Lahner

Outlaw Cadets:
Heat 1: P4172925.jpg (416829 bytes)Nathan Short, Ron Seeley, Mike Knight 
Nathan Short, Ron Seeley, Andy Knight, Mike Knight, Phil Knight, Bill Dunn, Scott Lewis, Dale McDonald, Mike Moore, 72, Mark Hall, Louis Kinney, Andy Knight

 Heat 1: P4172948.jpg (418460 bytes)John Lacki, Mike Smith, Tommy Fox
 Heat 2: P4172956.jpg (392500 bytes)Randy Hall, Justin Carlson, Greg Oakes
 Feature: Randy Hall, Justin Carlson, John Lacki, Bill Thomas, Greg Oakes, Tommy Fox, Jerry Kielar, Paul Geiger, Jeff Hellwig, Tim Rater, Chad Silleman, Jim Myers, Mike Smith

Budweiser Super Sportsmen:
Heat 1: P4172935.jpg (395095 bytes)Robert J Nocero, Pete Volpe, Don McGuire
Heat 2: P4172942.jpg (421842 bytes)Bobby Rohrer, Dave Cummins, Bob Kuschel
Feature: Pete Volpe, Bobby Rohrer, Robert J Nocero, Pat McGuire, Don McGuire, Bob Van Arsdale, Will Wanstreet, Chris Kuschel, Mike Murray, Dave Cummings, Brian Collin, Jake Eller, Scott Kuschel, Chad Carlson, Jim Leonard, Brian Esther, Tim Nocero
Super Late Models:
Heat 1: P4172967.jpg (377833 bytes)Wally Fox, Rick Isadore, Doug Eck
Heat 2: P4172981.jpg (340551 bytes)Rod Maloy, Scott Johnson, Ward Schell
Heat 3: P4172988.jpg (341067 bytes)Dan Armbruster, Paul Briggs, Jason Morrell
Feature: Doug Eck, Scott Johnson, Rod Maloy, Wally Fox, Rich Gardner, Dan Armbruster, Andy Boozel, Jason Morrell, Matt Lamphere, Ward Schell, Moose Dunnewold, Scott Gurdak, Ed Carley, Paul Briggs, Kevin Weise, Rick Isadore, Wendell Pinckney, Doug Ricotta, Mike Brocious