Nate Lester Wins Pepsi Spectator Championship
 and Scott Gurdak is Super Late Winner at Eriez Speedway
By Glenn Slocum
 

Erie , Pa : The Pepsi Spectator Championship Race was held under cloudy skies with cool westerly breeze. Racing was almost entirely washed out on Saturday so a number of racers were on hand for the eveningís events. Nate Lester first battled early leader Rick Thompson then Lester Shoff to win the Pepsi Spectator Championship. Dave Tackett led all but the final two laps of the Outlaw Cadet feature with Nathan Short wining after recovering from and early race incident. Don McGuire won the Budweiser Super Sportsman feature after his brother Pat suffered mechanical problems on the final lap. Mike Hess won the Emod event after early leader Dave Hess suffered a mechanical failure then was disqualified after an incident on the track. Scott Gurdak held off a determined Brady Wonderling to win his first of the season in the Super Late Model division. Leslie Armstrong won her second feature in the Ladies Challenger class and Glenn Slaney was the Super Challenger winner.  

            The Pepsi Spectator Championship was the first feature event of the evening. Veteran Rick Thompson led the first lap with Jason Heslop second and Nate Lester third. The caution flew with three completed laps with a spin by Jason Genco in turn four. Lester was second on the restart and then ran side by side for nearly one lap before the yellow flew for Walt Johnson and Ken Jackson. Lester won the next restart after Thompson washed up the hill in turn one and Lester Shoff moved into the third starting spot. Wade Watson retired with radiator problems on lap six as Thompson and Shoff chased Lester for the lead. Lester began to catch lap traffic and at the half way point but managed to keep a five car length advantage over Thompson and Shoff. Shoff moved into the runner up spot on lap fourteen then the yellow flew for Johnson on the backstretch. Thompson had a right rear flat and went into the pits returning as the green fell but was won at the end of the pack. Shoff used the restart to gain the lead from Lester but Lester fought back with two to go placing Shoff in the second spot. Lester held on to win the race with Shoff second.  

            Mike Knight and Brady Wonderling were on the front row for the Super Late Model feature. Wonderling beat Knight into turn one and quickly gained a five car length advantage over the field. On lap two Steve Halpainy and Dave Lyon tangled bringing out the caution flag. Dave Hess Jr. was third with Paul Briggs fourth and Knight fifth. Brady Wonderling lost the lead to veteran Scott Gurdak on the restart with Hess third, Chris Hackett fourth and Paul Briggs fifth. John Lacki and Bump Hedman brought out the next yellow after making contact in turn three. Brady Wonderling continued to battle Gurdak for the front spot with Hess looking on when the yellow was shown again for Wendell Pinckney and Steve Halpainy. The top four remained the same and past track champion Rich Gardner was in the fifth spot. The green stayed out until an incident on lap ten by John Lobb brought out the yellow. Gurdak beat Brady Wonderling on the restart and had a three car length lead at the half way point. Lyon spun on lap fourteen for the next yellow. The top five for the restart were Gurdak, Brady Wonderling, Hess, Hackett and Briggs, Gardner had slipped to sixth. Gurdak kept the lead after the restart and Gardner moved back into the top five. With ten to go Gurdak had a five car length lead over Wonderling and Hess was on his rear bumper. Hess challenged Wonderling with five to go but could not make the pass as Gurdak lengthened his lead. The yellow flew for Andy Boozel who had slowed to a stop near the pit entrance with just two laps remaining. Gurdak was up to the challenge as Wonderling could not catch him. It was Gurdakís first win of the season.           

            Dave Tackett and Joe Weber were the first ones to the flag on the first lap of the Outlaw Cadet event. Brian Zimmerly was third. The yellow flew with three complete as Nathan Short and Brian Crandall tangled in turn one. Tackett remained the leader after the restart with Weber second and Seeley in third. A four car incident on lap six brought out the yellow once more. Phil Knight moved into the top three on the restart and began to apply pressure to the second running Weber. Louis DeDionisio was fourth and Short fifth. Lap traffic helped Knight get by Weber for second. George Milks brought out the caution with thirteen complete laps putting the leaders all together for the final laps. Short passed Knight then Tackett as the white flag fell to win the event his second feature win in two attempts.           

            Aaron Robinson brought the Budweiser Super Sportsman out for their feature event. Robinson led the first lap with Brent Crandall second and Jake Eller third. Eller lost a number of spots on lap tree putting Pat McGuire into the third spot. Eller slid to a stop on the front stretch bringing out the caution with four laps complete. Pat McGuire was second after the restart then gained the lead on lap six with Robinson second and Crandall third. Don McGuire passed Crandall for third with tow laps to go and was under Robinson for the second spot as the white flew and Pat McGuire slowed to a stop on the back stretch bringing out the caution. Don McGuire led the final lap for his first win of the season.  

            It was a Hess front row for the Emod feature with Mike on the pole and Dave Jr. in second. The first start was ruined when Dustin Eckman slowed to stop in turn one.  Brian Fardink spun to a stop on the next attempt.  Dave Hess led the first lap with Mike Hess second and Justin Carlson third. Quincy Turner turned Tom Hagberg but the green stayed out. Mike Moon was the next to have problems with five laps complete Moon ended up facing the wrong direction up against the back stretch guard rail. The guard rail needed repair after the incident and the leader Dave Hess Jr. went to the pits with a broken control arm on his racecar. Dave Hess was able to return to the track before the green but was last in the field. A three car incident on the restart brought out the yellow just after the green. Dave Hess was lined up tenth for the next restart. The race resumed with Mike Hess still the leader followed by Carlson and Tommy Fox. Mike Boyd was fourth with Quincy Turner fifth. Dave Hess Jr. was in the top six with ten completed laps and five remaining. Fiesler spun for the next yellow closing up the field. Troy Carr made contact with Dave Hess during the yellow and both cars were sent to the pits ending Dave Hessís run to the front. The leaders remained the same after the restart. Carlson could catch Mike Hess but not make the pass. The leader had just taken the white flag when the yellow flew for Eugene Stetson in turn one. Only twelve of the twenty-two starters remained for the one lap dash that ended the event. The dash to the checkers was won by Mike Hess with Carlson second and Fox third.

             Leslie Armstrong led green to checkers to win her second of the year in the Lady Challengers.

             Jared Boardman did a barrel roll in turn one on the initial lap of the Super Challenger feature. Boardman was okay and the race was restarted with Bob Belson and Ben Burgess Jr. on the front row. Chris Withers was the leader at the end of the first lap with Burgess second and last weeks feature winner Glenn Slaney third.  The yellow appeared for Tim Dulmus stopped up against the fence in turn one. Slaney passed Withers for the lead on the restart lap. Slaney went unchallenged for the remainder of the event with Withers second and Jeff Strickland third.

 

Spectators:

 Heat 1: Lester Shoff, Rick Thompson, Nate Lester, Ken Jackson, Wade Watson

 Feature: Nate Lester, Lester Shoff, Jason Heslop, Steve Huling, Ken Jackson, Rick Thompson, Ken Lamp Jr., Walt Johnson, Jason Genco, Rod Bates

 Outlaw Cadets:

 Heat 1: Nathan Short, Dave Tackett, Louis DeDionisio

Heat 2: Ron Seeley, Phil Knight, Dave Tolon, Dennis Lunger, Joe Weber

 Feature: Nathan Short, Dave Tackett, Phil Knight, Louis DeDionisio, Joe Weber, Dennis Lunger, Chris Bowman, James Crisman, George Milks, Dave Tolon

Budweiser Super Sportsman:

Heat 1: Don McGuire, Eric Ester, Pat McGuire

Feature: Don McGuire, Aaron Robinson, Bobby Rohrer, Mike Murray, Pete Volpe, John Boardman, Chad Carlson, Hank Francis, Pat McGuire, Brent Crandall

E-Mod:

Heat 1: Mike Hess, Mike Boyd, Tom Hagberg

Heat 2: Dave Hess Jr., Tommy Fox, Alex Fiesler

Heat 3: Dave Will, Justin Carlson, Troy Carr

Feature: Mike Hess, Justin Carlson, Tommy Fox, Quincy Turner, Mike Boyd, Dave Will, Brian Fardink, Dave Surrena, Shawn McArdle, Eugene Stetson

Super Late Model:

Heat 1: Mike Knight, Scott Gurdak, Andy Kania, Mike Wonderling, Bump Hedman

Heat 2: Brady Wonderling, Chris Hackett, Jason Morell, Wendell Pinckney, John Lacki

Heat 3: Dave Hess Jr., Paul Briggs, Rich Gardner , Randy Lobb, Jason DuPont

Feature: Scott Gurdak, Brady Wonderling, Dave Hess Jr., Chris Hackett, Rich Gardner , Paul Briggs, Scott Johnson, Randy Lobb ,Andy Kania, John Lobb, Jason DuPont, Doug Eck, John Lacki, John Lobb, Mike Knight, Ward Schell, George LaBarbera, Bump Hedman, Dave Lyon, Wendell Pinckney, Mike Coyle, Matt Lanphere, Andy Boozel, Jason Morell, Steve Halpainy, Mike Wonderling, Merle Terry

Super Challenger:

Heat 1: Chris Withers, Casey Swabik, Lee Matczak

Heat 2: Glenn Slaney, Monty Seekings Jr., Tim Dulmus

Feature:  Glenn Slaney, Chris Withers, Jeff Strickland, Ben Burgess Jr., Shawn Seekings, Len Strange, Monty Seekings Jr., Mike Beatman, Scott Kinney, Dan MacGarvie

Lady Challenger:

Heat 1:Leslie Armstrong, Kayla Riefstahl, Mary Hammond

Feature:  Leslie Armstrong, Daniel Clark, Rakyl Riefstahl, Kari Moore, Mary Hammond, Montica Seekings