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Rob Blair Wins Budweiser/Erie Beer PONY Finale and Dick Barton Wins 2004 PONY Championship Title at Eriez Speedway
By Glenn Slocum

Erie, Pa: A perfect summer evening greeted racers and fans for the Budweiser/Erie Beer Sponsored PONY Finale at Eriez Speedway. Three of the four PONY winners were on hand to compete for $3,000 first place prize in the 30-lap feature event, Robbie Blair, Dick Barton and last night’s winner Dave Hess Jr. The points were close with just one point separating Hackett and Rich Gardner with Barton only five points behind in the third spot. Rob Blair took control of the PONY race early and won the event with Dick Barton finishing second for just enough points to win the PONY title. Chris Hackett was second in the points with Rich Gardner third and Dave Hess Jr. and Scott Johnson tied for fourth.

Rush Firestone finished second in the Spectator race that saw just ten cars finish out of the twenty-five that started but that was good enough for the win as Joel Watson was disqualified after the event. Joe Weber won a caution filled Outlaw Cadet feature for his second win of the season. Dan Osborne won his eleventh in the Four Cylinder division. Chad Carlson won his third of the season in the Budweiser Super Sportsman feature. Dale Applebee survived several cautions to win his second E-Mod of the season. Glenn Slaney won his second feature in the Super Challenger division.

P8084589.jpg (694923 bytes)Chris Hackett won the dash to turn one on the first lap of the PONY race as Rob Blair was challenging P8084591.jpg (665224 bytes) Dick Barton for the runner up spot. Wendell Pinckney stopped under the flag stand on lap three bringing out the first caution. It was Hackett, Barton, Blair, Dave Hess Jr., Doug Eck and Randy Lobb for the lap three restart. The three leaders were three wide for the restart then Eck had trouble negotiating turn two bringing out the yellow. The next restart was foiled when Lobb spun coming down for the green which moved Rich Gardner into the fifth spot. Hackett and Barton ran side by side for the next lap with Barton finally gaining the advantage. Blair did not give taking second from Hackett one lap latter than moved under Barton for the lead one lap after that. Blair began building a lead as the field began to string out around the speedway. Blair caught the tail of the field on lap ten with a half a straightaway lead over Barton and Hackett. Andy Kania got into the front stretch wall with thirteen complete for the second caution, which allowed the field to close with Blair. Chad Valone brought out the yellow before the next lap was completed. Valone repeated his spin in turn three on the restart for another yellow. The next restart was waived off by Spanky Hall. Pinckney stopped in turn four with half the event in the books. Blair resumed control after the restart and began to rebuild his lead over Barton. Hackett chased Barton with Hess, Gardner and Merle Terry in tow. Hackett spun collecting Gardner with twenty-six laps complete moving Hess to third behind Barton with Terry fourth and Hordusky fifth. Blair ran the last four on a rail giving no opening for Barton who had his hands full with Hess for second. Blair won the event but Barton won the title and would go into the record books as the 2004 PONY Champion.

P8084567.jpg (762846 bytes)Rush Firestone led the first lap of the spectator feature with Jim Tolen in the runner up spot. The yellow appeared with one lap complete for Walter Johnson who had stopped in turn four. The restart failed with a multi-car incident brought out the yellow. Jeremy English, Dan McGarvie, Lester Shoff, Brian Crandall and Jim Van Cise were just some of the cars involved. The next restart worked and Firestone remained the leader then the yellow flew for Crandall, Wade Watson and Bill Van Volkenburg. Firestone led the next lap then Rick Thompson spun while running fourth for the next yellow. Two more laps were completed before the yellow appeared for Shiloh Swabik who had stopped in turn two. Joel Watson moved into the lead on the restart and one lap later the yellow flew for debris on the speedway. Watson was first with Firestone second, Mark Garbowski third without a roof and Tom Norland fourth. Watson ran away with the restart with Firestone a distant second followed closely by Norland. Garbowski spun collecting Rick Thompson on the white flag lap. Watson won the dash to the checkers for his first win of the season. Watson was disqualified after the event for illegal tires and the win was given to Firestone.

P8084564.jpg (587110 bytes)Brian Campbell and Scott Lewis brought out the Outlaw Cadet division and a spin by Andy Knight brought out the yellow as Alex Feisler led the first lap. Feisler led Lewis on the restart with Bill Dunn third and Joe Weber fourth. Campbell spun in turn one before the third lap could be completed. Dunn tapped Weber in turn three then slid up the speedway collecting Ron Seeley and Jamie Erhard on the restart lap. Weber took second on the restart as Lewis fell to fifth. Mike Knight was third. Lewis and Andy Knight tangled with four complete. The restart was waived off because Andy Knight had stopped in turn four. Weber beat Feisler to turn one to take the lead then one lap later Mike Knight pulled into the infield with a right rear flat. Phil Knight was third with Nathan Short fourth and Louis DeDionisio fifth. The yellow flew for Campbell with eight laps complete. Phil Knight passed Feisler for second on lap ten then Lewis spun on lap eleven for the seventh yellow. Weber took the two to go signal from Spanky Hall with a five-car length lead over Phil Knight. Weber ran the last two laps unchallenged for his second win of the year.

P8084569.jpg (701849 bytes)Dan Osborne led all but one lap of the Four Cylinder feature to win his eleventh consecutive feature. Tom Bean was second and Brian Duryee was third.

 

P8084572.jpg (702699 bytes)Chad Carlson grabbed the early lead in the Budweiser Super Sportsman feature. Bobby Rohrer passed Brent Crandall for second on lap three and started to run down Carlson. Pat McGuire was third with Crandall fourth and Don McGuire fifth at the half way mark. Carlson encountered lap traffic on lap eight as the race stayed under green. Jake Eller spun with twelve of the fifteen laps complete for the only yellow of the event. Carlson competed the final three with Rohrer trailing for his third win of the season.

P8084578.jpg (705735 bytes)Dale Applebee moved from second to first on the start of the E-Mod feature sending Mike Boyd to second with Mike Hess third, Dave Hess Jr. fourth and Bill Thomas fifth. Applebee had built a five car length lead when the yellow flew for Bill Taylor and Joe Buccola both stopped in turn two. Applebee led lap five with Dave Hess Jr. on his rear bumper. Boyd was third and Thomas fourth. Jim Irwin and Shawn McArdle tangled with seven complete for the second yellow. The top four remained the same on the restart lap then Justin Carlson spun collecting Taylor, Buccola and Irwin. Carlson and Irwin were towed to the pits. Applebee took control after the restart leading Dave Hess Jr. by five car lengths. Dave Hess Jr. lost a left rear wheel bringing out the yellow with twelve compete and moving Boyd to second. Thomas was third with Mike Hess fourth and Dustin Eckman fifth. Applebee was taking the two to go when Eckman spun after tangling with Troy Carr. Applebee survived the restart and ran the final two laps unchallenged to notch his second win of the season.

Spectators:

Heat 1: P8084391.jpg (756204 bytes) Mark Garbowski, Brian Bush, Jim Van Cise

Heat 2: P8084402.jpg (773271 bytes) Wade Slaney, Lester Shoff, Rick Thompson

Feature: Rush Firestone, Bill Van Volkenburg, Mark Thompson, Wade Slaney, Jim Tolon, Matt Lozowski, Wade Watson, Rick Thompson, Tom Norland, Mark Garbowski

Outlaw Cadets:

Heat 1: P8084414.jpg (754806 bytes) Mike Knight, Brian Zimmerly, Andy Knight

Heat 2: P8084424.jpg (740204 bytes) Paul Norman, Phil Knight, Alex Feisler

Feature: Joe Weber, Phil Knight, Alex Feisler, Nathan Short, Louis DeDionisio, Andy Knight. Brian Zimmerly, Paul Norman, Scott Lewis, Dave Tolon

Four Cylinder:

Heat 1: P8084434.jpg (716199 bytes) Doug Kirik, Tom Bean, Brian Duryee,

Feature: Dan Osborne, Tom Bean, Brian Duryee, Stanley Davis, Larry Taylor, Mike Harmon, Doug Kirik

Budweiser Super Sportsman:

Heat 1: P8084448.jpg (754146 bytes) Eric Ester, Mike Corrigan, Mike Murray
Heat 2: P8084455.jpg (816598 bytes) Chad Carlson, Don McGuire, Pat McGuire

Feature: Chad Carlson, Bobby Rohrer, Pat McGuire, Don McGuire, Aaron Robinson, Eric Ester, Mike Murray, John Volpe, Mike Corrigan, Brian Collins

E-Mod:

Heat 1: P8084464.jpg (721072 bytes) Mike Boyd, K. C. Decker, Dave Hess Jr.

Heat 2: P8084472.jpg (751057 bytes) Dale Applebee, Mike Hess, Bill Thomas

Feature: Dale Applebee, Mike Boyd, Bill Thomas, Mike Hess, Troy Carr, Brad Pease, Bill Taylor, Dustin Eckman, Dave Will, Mike Moon

Super Late Model:

Heat 1: Dick Barton, Doug Eck, Dave Hess, Randy Lobb, Rich Gardner

Heat 2: P8084502.jpg (695054 bytes) Chris Hackett, Rob Blair, Scott Gurdak , Scott Johnson, Jason Morell

Feature: Rob Blair, Dick Barton, Dave Hess Jr., Merle Terry, Bruce Hordusky, Scott Johnson, Paul Briggs, Chris Hackett, Moose Dunnewold, Mike Coyle, Andy Boozel, Rich Gardner, Randy Lobb, Bump Hedman, Chad Valone, Scott Gurdak, Andy Kania, Wendell Pinckney, Doug Eck, Jason Morell

Super Challenger:

Heat 1: P8084514.jpg (676895 bytes) Gary Fisher, Jason Dingle, Jeff Kinnear

Heat 2: P8084529.jpg (660395 bytes) Jay Seekings, Ryan Scott, Chris Withers

Feature: Glenn Slaney, Chris Withers, Lee Matczak, Jay Seekings, Bob Belson, Steve Soto, Duane Hinkson, Jason Dingle, Ryan Scott, Jason Johnson

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