P5098122.jpg (196825 bytes) Rich Gardner Wins on Pepsi Night
at Eriez Speedway
By Glenn Slocum

 Erie, Pa: Mothers Day at Eriez Speedway saw blue skies and warm weather as Mother Nature finally cooperated for the season opener at Eriez Speedway. Double points were on the line in all the divisions. Rich Gardner held off Dick Barton and Scott Gurdak to win the first Super Late Model feature of the season at Eriez. Brian Crandall won the Spectator feature leading every lap from his second starting spot. Andy Knight nearly won the Outlaw Cadet feature but was forced to retire with a flat allowing brother Mike to win the event after holding off Tom Hagberg by a nose. Tom Liberatore won his heat and the feature in the Four Cylinder class. Dale Applebee made a veteran move on lap ten of the E-Mod feature to move by Mike Hess and Justin Carlson for the win. Ryan Scott won the Super Challenger event.

            P5098046.jpg (261997 bytes)Matt Lozowski brought the Spectators to the line for the first feature event of the evening. John Austin spun in turn one bringing out the yellow prior to the completion of the first lap. The second attempted restart was foiled by a Ron Fish spin in turn one. The third attempt was successful as Brian Crandall moved in to the top spot with Lozowski second and Chris Couchenour third. Crandall slid up the speedway on lap five losing the number one spot temporarily to Lozowski but fought right back to lead going into turn one on lap six. Chris Couchenour went to the pits on lap seven with a flat as the yellow appeared for Dennis Lunger who had stopped in turn three. Lunger was pushed to the pits as the field prepared for the restart. Crandall still commanded the first spot with Lozowski second and Dave Tackett third. Tackett used the restart to gain the runner up spot as Crandall began to runaway from the field. Crandall led the final laps winning the first Spectator feature of season with Tackett second and Lozowski third.                           

            P5097935.jpg (253644 bytes)The first lap of the Outlaw Cadet feature saw as incident it turn one involving several cars. The second start allowed Andy and Mike Knight to set the pace with Joe Weber in the third spot. Father to Andy and Mike was fifth with Tom Hagberg in the fourth spot. The yellow appeared with five laps complete for Alex Fiesler sitting on the edge of the speedway in turn two. Dan McGarvie lost the handle on lap seven collecting Ron Seeley and Feisler for the third yellow of the event. Seeley could not refire and was pushed into the pits. Andy Knight slowed on the restart losing several spots as brother Mike assumed the lead. The caution appeared once more on lap eleven as Feisler had stopped and early leader Andy Knight retired. Weber allowed Hagberg the bottom on lap twelve and Hagberg made the pass and started pressing Mike Knight for the lead. Knight led down the backstretch by a nosepiece and managed to hold the advantage through turns three and four to win his first of the season. Hagberg was second with Weber in the third spot.

            P5098077.jpg (264478 bytes)Tom Liberatore jumped to the early lead in the Four Cylinder event with Brian Duryee second and J.R. Cross third. The caution appeared for Dale Wise who had made hard contact with the front stretch wall on lap five. Liberatore survived a final caution for a stopped car on lap nine to win the event with Duryee second and Cross third.

            John Boardman spun on the first lap of the Budweiser Super Sportsman event as Randy Parmenter led. At the end of the first lap Parmenter was leading with Bobby Rohrer second and Bob Van Arsdale third. The McGuire brothers were Don and Pat were fourth and fifth. Bob Van Arsdale had mechanical difficulty on lap five for the second caution. Bill Wanstreet stalled on the front stretch on the restart. Parmenter led Rohrer, Pat McGuire and Don McGuire on the restart. Boardman brought out the caution with three to go and a steaming Randy Parmenter led the field to Spanky Halls green flag. Parmenter was able to hold off the Rohrer challenge to win the event. Pat McGuire finished in the third position.

            P5098099.jpg (305062 bytes)The leaders touched on lap one but made it work as John Lacki grabbed the number one spot with Mike Hess second and Bill Thomas in the third spot. Lacki held the bottom with Hess trying to get underneath. Thomas challenged Mike Hess for the second spot as Lacki began to build a lead. Thomas passed Hess on lap nine as the yellow appeared for Shawn McArdle. Dave Hess moved into the top five just as Lacki ended up against the turn three fence for the second yellow. Mike Hess became the new leader with Thomas second and Justin Carlson third. Dave Hess Jr. lost the handle in turn four and Holly Nelson had nowhere to go hitting Hess. Nelson continued but Dave Hess was towed from the speedway. Carlson took the second spot on the restart then Thomas spun collecting Lacki and Dustin Eckman. Dale Applebee was third on the restart and with file laps to go Hess and Carlson slid high coming out of turn two allowing Applebee to slip underneath for the lead. Applebee won by several car lengths with Carlson second and early leader Mike Hess third.

            P5098122.jpg (196825 bytes)At 8:40 PM the Super Late Models were brought to the speedway for their first feature of the 2004 season at Eriez Speedway beating the 9:30 PM guaranteed starting time by almost an hour. Rich Gardner was first with Chris Hackett on the outside poll. Dick Barton was third and Rod Maloy fourth. Gardner led the first lap with Hackett second followed by Barton and Maloy. Rookie Paul Briggs was fifth with Scott Gurdak sixth and Doug Eck seventh. Gurdak got by Briggs on lap three then Bump Hedman got upside down in turn one stopping Mark Ramsey, Mike Coyle and Wendell Pinckney. Hedman was okay and quickly began checking his car as the safety crew set it back on its wheels. Jason Morell checked up as Maloy slowed when Gurdak pulled a slide job to gain the fourth spot on the restart but the yellow came out placing Maloy back in fourth and Gurdak back to fifth. Hackett went in to turn one too hard on the restart losing five spots as Barton moved up behind Gardner then came Gurdak, Maloy and Eck.  Gardner had a seven-car length lead over Barton who had his hands full holding off Gurdak at the crossed flags. Gardner was now contending with lap traffic. Hackett gained the fifth spot from Eck on lap fifteen then passed Maloy on lap nineteen. Hackett needed a caution to catch the leaders which he did not get and Gardner never faltered winning the double points event. Barton finished second with Gurdak third followed by Hackett and Maloy.P5098130.jpg (187930 bytes)

            Ryan Scott went two for two in the Super Challenger division winning his head a leading every lap of the feature event.


Spectators:

Heat 1: P5097912.jpg (248975 bytes)Matt Lozowski, Lester Shoff, Ken Jackson

Heat 2: P5097920.jpg (252702 bytes)Brian Crandall, Chris Couchenour, Dennis Lunger

Feature: Brian Crandall, Dave Tackett, Jeff Harvey, Matt Lozowski, Tom Norland, Lester Shoff, Jeremy English, Mark Thompson, Ken Lamp, Ron Fish

Outlaw Cadets:

Heat 1: P5097929.jpg (250924 bytes)Mike Knight, Joe Weber, John Cline

Heat 2:P5097935.jpg (253644 bytes) Andy Knight, Phil Knight, Tom Hagberg

Feature: Mike Knight, Tom Hagberg, Joe Weber, Phil Knight, Dan McGarvie, Bill Dunn, Paul Norman, Scott Lewis, Ron Seeley, Louis DeDionisio

Four Cylinders:

Heat 1: P5097945.jpg (245025 bytes)Tom Liberatore, Brian Duryee, J.R. Cross

Feature: Tom Liberatore, Brian Duryee, J.R. Cross, Stan Davis, Doug Kirk

Budweiser Super Sportsmen:

Heat 1: Randy Parmenter, Don McGuire, John Boardman

Heat 2: P5097968.jpg (259305 bytes)Bob Van Arsdale, Bobby Rohrer, Pat McGuire

Feature: Randy Parmenter, Bobby Rohrer, Pat McGuire, Don McGuire, Chris Kuschel, Scott Kuschel, Mike Murray, John Boardman, Brian Collins, Jim Leonard

E-Mod:

Heat 1: P5097983.jpg (271240 bytes)John Lacki, Justin Carlson, Dave Hess Jr.

Heat 2: P5097992.jpg (254313 bytes)Bill Thomas, Mike Hess, Dale Applebee

Feature: Dale Applebee, Justin Carlson, Mike Hess, Bill Thomas, John Lacki, Mike Moon, Chad Silleman, Brian Fardink, 11X, Shawn McArdle

Super Late Model:

Heat 1: P5098001.jpg (262272 bytes)Rich Gardner, Dick Barton, Paul Briggs, Matt Lanphere, Merle Terry

Heat 2: P5098014.jpg (259438 bytes)Chris Hackett, Rod Maloy, Doug Eck, Scott Gurdak, Dave Hess Jr.

Feature: Rich Gardner, Dick Barton, Scott Gurdak, Chris Hackett, Rod Maloy, Doug Eck, Merle Terry, Dave Hess Jr., Matt Lanphere, Wendell Pinckney, Ward Schell, Jason Morell, Mike Coyle, Andy Boozel, Paul Briggs, Bump Hedman, Mark Ramsey

 Super Challenger:

 Heat 1: P5098025.jpg (260654 bytes)Ryan Scott, Jason Genco, Wade Slaney

 Feature:  Ryan Scott, Wade Slaney, Bob Belson, Chris Withers, Casey Swabik, Glenn Slaney, Scott Jordan, Jason Genco, Jason Dingle, Gary Fisher