By Jay Pees
Saturday July2, 2011, Busti, NY: The first annual Fritz Seamens Memorial was held at Stateline Speedway Saturday night with all classes running for extra purse money in honor of the man who owned the speedway since 1985. Over the time span Seamens owned the track Stateline became the premier dirt track in the western NY and northwestern PA area, attracting as many as 200 cars for a weekly show. Fans gathered to honor the man who exemplified dirt track racing in the northeast US. Seamens passed away September 17, 2010, leaving the legacy that is Stateline Speedway. With the help of sponsors Tobber Racing, Lias Tire, Roberts Trucking, and Arthur R Gren, this night was made possible.
The Spectator class was the first feature with 27 racers taking Mark Matthews green flag. Todd Bacon and Doug Harvey led the field to the green. Nicholas Mohawk spun coming down the main straight, drawing the first caution of the evening. After another lap one restart Bacon took off with the lead but caution was again in the air a lap later with Doug Harvey leading and Bacon back to fourth behind Steve Keith Jr and Lee Meyers. After two more cautions, a single file restart was put in effect, allowing the race to stay green for six laps. Keith got by Harvey at lap seven. At lap eight Bill Reeves and Cody Bliss got together in lap four, again slowing the action. The thirty minute time limit was reached at this point and Keith was declared the winner.
After a giant fireworks display honoring Fritz Seamens, twenty Super Late Models took to the track with Scott Gurdak and Chris Hackett on the front row at the start of the 55-lapper, one lap for each year of Stateline’s history. Dennis Lunger and Ryan Scott both spun in turn one. On the next try to start Dave Hess Jr wound up against the first turn wall. The third attempt was halted when Jim Mason spun in turn one. Gurdak finally led lap one with Hackett right on his bumper, using the extreme high line. With Gurdak hugging the bottom, Hackett used the momentum of the top lane to lead lap four by a nose, then be in command at the completion of the next lap. Behind the leaders Randy Lobb and Greg Oakes were having a side by side battle for third with the most recent winner, Doug Eck in fifth. After pitting from his encounter with the wall, Hess was in the top ten by lap 12. Hackett was using the highest line possible seemingly scraping the wall with the right rear quarter panel at times. At lap 15 Gurdak had caught Hackett again and led lap 17. By 18, Eck was third and gaining on the leaders. Eck got by Hackett and was second at lap 20. Caution flew again at lap 25 when Dutch Davies experienced steering problems and slowed in turn three. At green Eck tried to get by for the lead. Eck and Gurdak were side by side at the line on lap 26 with Eck pulling ahead a lap later. Hess was up to sixth at this point. At lap 31 the leader suddenly slowed at the end of the back straight with front suspension problems, handing the lead back to Gurdak with Dave Hess Jr now second after restarting the race from last from the lap one caution. At the line on lap 33 Hess was the leader. With twenty laps to go Hess’s lead was 4.5 seconds over Gurdak. With 15 laps to go Dennis Lunger again spun, this time in turn one, retiring to the pit after caution was shown. At lap 46 Lobb’s run came to an end as he pulled to the infield and two laps later Gurdak slowed, pulling to the infield from second. Valone was now the runner-up, a quarter lap behind. At the finish it was Hess over Valone with Greg Oakes third, Andy Boozel fourth and Rod Maloy fifth. This was Hess’s fourteenth Late Model win at Stateline and the 205th total in his career in all classes at all tracks.
Paul Norman and Ryan Scott paced the twelve Outlaw Cadets to the green with Scott grabbing the immediate lead over Norman with most recent winner Chad Carlson third. It was four laps before caution number one, which was for John Cline and Jake Finnerty. At green Carlson moved to second and Steve Kania came to third a lap later. At seven laps Carlson was the leader, looking for his second consecutive win. Two more cautions, both for Cline, was all that slowed Carlson’s march to his fourth win of the season. At the finish it was Carlson over Scott with Kania third, Norman fourth and Steve Moynihan fifth.
John Boyd and John Boardman brought the 28-car E-Mod field to green but second row starter Rich Michael spun in turn four, eventually involving Scott Gurdak and Dave Shagla as well as Michael. Dan Davies came from row three to follow the leader Boyd at the end of lap one with caution coming out just after the leaders crossed the line. On lap three Davies got under the leader and was leading by three car-lengths at the end of the lap. Six more cautions slowed the field but Davies prevailed for the win, his first of the season at Stateline. John Boyd was second with Butch Southwell third, John Boardman fourth, and Greg Johnson fifth.
Marc Luce and Mark Fox comprised the front row for the Sportsman feature but Clint Brady led the first lap after starting in row three. At the end of three it was Jake Eller on the point. Dan Nocero Jr took over at the point on lap six as caution fell for the second time in the event. After another pair of caution periods Nocero went on to his second win of the season over Eller and Joe Buccola Jr.
The Crate Late Models came to their green with Kyle Scott and T J Downes up front. Scott led the first three laps before making way to Ed Carley. Adam Hilyer lost the handle and spun at lap nine, bringing out the first yellow flag. At green Downes took over second from Scott with Bob Dorman getting by the youngster at lap 12. Scott then spun a lap later, bringing caution again over the field. Dennis Lunger spun on the restart involving several cars. Carley then cruised to the win over Downes, Dorman, John Haggerty, and John Lacki.
Super Late Model
Feature: Dave Hess Jr. Waterford PA, Chad Valone Jamestown NY, Greg Oakes Franklinville NY, Andy Boozel Clymer NY, Rod Maloy Panama NY, Andy Kania Waterford PA, Darrell Bossard Centerville PA, Scott Johnson Wattsburg PA, Chris Hackett Corry PA, Matt Urban North East PA, John Lacki Sinclairville NY, Nathan Short Panama NY, Scott Gurdak Bear Lake PA, Randy Lobb Jamestown NY, Dennis Lunger, Doug Eck Corry PA, Dutch Davies Warren PA, Ryan Scott, Doug Ricotta Warsaw NY, Jim Mason Filmore NY
Crate Late Model
Feature: Ed Carley Freedom NY, T.j. Downs Albion NY, Bob Dorman Stockton NY, John Haggerty Olean NY, John Lacki Sinclairville NY, Kyle Scott Garland PA, Newt Tackett North East PA, Matthew Harvey Jamestown NY, Justin Tatlow Franklinville NY, Dennis Lunger Jr. Albion PA, Bob Kish Belfast NY, Darwin Peters Jr. Olean NY, Adam Hilyer Erie PA, Brian Haggerty Olean NY, Chad Silleman South Dayton NY
Feature: Dan Davies Warren PA, John Boyd Waterford PA, Butch Southwell Warren PA, John Boardman Jamestown NY, Greg Johnson Jamestown NY, Scott Gurdak Bear Lake PA, Mike McGee Mayville NY, Jaik Halpainy Ashville NY, Dustin Eckman Erie PA, Mike Eschrich Mt. Jewett PA
Feature: Chad Carlson Lakewood NY, Ryan Scott Garland PA, Steve Kania Waterford PA, Paul Norman Jr. Gerry NY, Steve Moynihan Jamestown NY, Tyler Green Corry PA, Bob Rouche Garland PA, Jake Finnerty Panama NY, Stan Davis Jr. Jamestown NY, Chad Schauers Frewsburg NY
Feature: Dan Nocero Jr. Jamestown NY, Jake Eller Erie PA, Joe Buccola Jr. Falconer NY, Ben Burgess Jr. Sherman NY, Mike Kosinski Ashville NY, Wade Watson Ashville NY, Scott Lawson Jamestown NY, Orville Echard Iii Falconer NY, Clint Brady Frewsburg NY, Mark Fox West Valley NY
Feature: Steve Keith Jr Clymer NY, Douglas Harvey Jamestown NY, Lee Meyers Gerry NY, Paul Nelson Ashville NY, Kevin Hill Gowanda NY, Kyle Weilacher Lakewood NY, Jason Covey Clymer NY, Jeremy Williams Wrightsville PA, Brian Crandall Stockton NY, Elaine Best Jamestown NY
Consolation: Pete Eyler Sugar Grove PA, Scott Dellahoy Jr. Sinclairville NY, Randy Beckstrom Frewsburg NY, Colin Eyler Sugar Grove PA, Stephanie Deveraux Lakewood NY, Nathan Lamb Jamestown NY, Jason Black Spring Creek PA, Todd Dean Jamestown NY, Skip Jackson Jamestown NY, Jason Martin Columbus PA
Feature: Jimmy Diabo Sinclairville NY, Dustin Lamb Jamestown NY, Scott Dellahoy Jr. Sinclairville NY, Dale Haines Warren PA, Travis Darling Jamestown NY, Keith Lamb Panama NY, Pete Eyler Sugar Grove PA, Tyler Little Youngsville PA, Aaron Liberati Busti NY, Preston Matve Celeron NY