Withers Wins Richest ProStock Race of the Year at Eriez

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Photo courtesy Eriez Speedway.

HAMMETT, Pa. — A beautiful June day greeted fans as Alexander’s Eriez Speedway presented another evening of dirt track racing.

At the end of the night, it was Dutch Davies collecting his first win of the season in the Mill Run collision Super Late Model feature, Mike Knight leading the Nic Dit Trucking / Empire RUSH Late Models to the checkers, Dave Hess Jr again dominating the Waterford Hotel UMP Modifieds, Garett Calvert cruising to the Johnson’s Car Care and Collision Economod win, former champion Chris Withers winning the Curtze Food Service ProStocks / ABC Glass of Erie $1000 special victory, and Zack Eller winning his first of the year in the Everhart Asphalt and L &D Tree Service Challengers.

The featured class of the evening was the Curtze Food Service ProStocks with their richest race of the year, a twenty-lap feature sponsored by ABC Glass of Erie that paid $1000 to win. Chris Withers and Jimmy Kennerknecht, both former champions, brought the field to green with Withers leading lap one, followed by Kennerknecht, Douglas Eck, Wesley McCray, and Bill Applebee. Mikael Beaver spun in turn two at two laps for caution number one. Kennerknecht edged ahead of Withers at the stripe for the lead at lap three with Withers nosing ahead at the end of four and powering out to the sole possession of the lead at lap five while Applebee and defending champion John Boardman were fighting for fifth. Yellow flew again at lap 7 for a spin in turn two by Drake McCray. On the restart it was Beaver spinning in turn two. At halfway the top five were Withers, Kennerknecht, Eck, Drake McCray, and Boardman. The top five remained that way through to the end of the event.

The Johnson’s Car Care and Collision Economod class started with Garrett Calvert and Nate Young on the front row with Calvert grabbing the immediate lead over Young, John Boyd, Steve Simon, and Jarett Young. Jarett Young was fourth at lap two with Zack Lenart coming to fifth. The race ran green to checkers with no yellows with Calvert going on to the win over Nate Young, Boyd, Jarett Young, and Simon.

Veterans Mike Knight and Chub Frank brought the Nic Dit Trucking / Empire RUSH Late Models to Mark Matthews’ green flag with Knight leading fourth-starting Jason Genco, Frank, Scott Gurdak, and Bruce Hordusky Jr. At lap four Jacob Peterson spun in turn two, got it refired but the engine stalled and yellow was necessary in spite of Peterson’s best efforts. At halfway the order was the same. At lap twelve Hordusky was side by side with Gurdak for fourth and had the spot by half a car-length at thirteen laps. Gurdak fought back and had it by the same distance a lap later. Yellow flew at lap fourteen with Gurdak holding fourth. At sixteen laps Gurdak was challenging Frank for third but Frank held him off. Hordusky successfully got to fourth at lap eighteen. The final top five were Knight, Genco, Frank, Hordusky Jr, and Gurdak.

The Waterford Hotel UMP Modifieds were led to green by Braidy Westfall and Troy Johnson. Through turn two Shane Crotty, the third-place starter, made it a three-wide race for the lead down the back straight. When the lap was finished it was Johnson alone in the lead with sixth-starting Dave Hess Jr and Westfall side by side for second. At three laps it was Johnson, Hess, Crotty, Westfall, and Steve Rex leading the pack. At five laps Johnson slid wide in turns one and two, allowing Hess to drive to the lead. At the same time Rex got by Westfall for fourth. Matt Alexander looped his car in turn four at the end of the lap and headed pitside. John Boyd was up to fifth at this point. Crotty then slipped wide in turn two at lap eight, allowing Rex to take over second and dropping Johnson to third. At nine laps Hess had a quarter lap lead. The front five at halfway were Hess, Rex, Johnson, Crotty, and Boyd with many-time champion Joel Watson lurking in fifth, up from tenth at the start. At thirteen laps Hess enjoyed a full half-lap lead and caught the rear of the field to start lapping back-markers at fifteen. Watson replaced Boyd for fifth at seventeen laps. Eighteen laps saw caution again as Hunter Hulley spun it turn two. On the restart, as the cars hit turn one, Crotty spun, collecting Westfall and Ken Zimmer. At the checkers it was Hess, Rex, Johnson, Watson, and Boyd.

Eriez Speedway’s premier class has always been the Mill Run Collision Super Late Models and this class always delivers fast, exciting racing. Second generation driver Steve Kania and Dutch Davies brought the race to green with Kania leading to turn four before surrendering the spot to Davies with Mike Knight, Chad Wright, and Darrell Bossard filling out the top five. Sixth-starting Hess was fourth at two laps, then swung wide through turn four but held the spot. Bossard and Wright were side by side for fifth at lap seven with Bossard having the edge. It was still side by side at eight laps but now Wright was slightly ahead. At nine laps Hess was third and Wright had secured fifth at lap ten. At halfway Davies was leading with Knight beginning to close the gap, Hess third, Kania fourth, and Wright fifth. Hess took over second at lap sixteen as caution flew for a three-car incident on the back straight among Anthony Marotto, Bossard, and Wright. Hess went to the pit under the yellow but returned before the race was resumed. The order for the restart was Davies, Knight, Kania, Jason Genco, and Andy Boozel. With green again out, Kania got second and at eighteen laps Hess was back up to fifth. The race for third was side by side between Knight and Genco at twenty-two laps with Knight prevailing and Hess also getting by Genco, setting the top five at the finish to Davies, Kania, Knight, Hess, and Genco.

Zach Eller and Nick Robie brought the Everhart Asphalt and L &D Tree Service Challengers to green with Eller leading from the start. Behind Eller it was Robie, Jessica Harvey, Andy Proper, and defending champion Chris Horton fillIng out the top five. Proper came to third at lap three with Horton coming to fourth. At halfway it was Eller, Robie, Horton, Proper, and Harvey as Theresa Maloney and Camden Van Hooser spun on the front straight. Ken Luma was fifth at lap six. The fight for the lead was hot between Eller and Horton with Horton barely ahead at lap six and Eller having a half-length lead at seven. Yellow slowed the field on the last lap for Theresa Maloney, slow on the backstraight. Eller held off Horton over the one lap dash for the win with Proper, Robie, and Harvey following.

Next Sunday’s racing will be for the French Creek Animal Rescue Benefit.

Mill Run Collision Super Late Models
Heat 1: Mike Knight, Chad Wright, Steve Kania, Jason Genco, Chub Frank, Andy Boozel, Kyle Bedell
Heat 2: Darrell Bossard, Dave Hess Jr, Dutch Davies, Bob Dorman, Anthony Marotto, Khole Wanzer
Feature: Dutch Davies, Steve Kania, Mike Knight, Dave HessJr, Jason Genco, Andy Boozel, Darrell Bossard, Bob Dorman. Khole Wanzer, Chad Wright, Anthony Marotto, Chub Frank, Kyle Bedell

Nic Dit Trucking / Empire RUSH Late Models
Heat 1: Breyton Santee, Mike Knight, Khole Wanzer, Bruce Hordusky Jr, Gary Youngs, Gary Troyer, D J Krug
Heat 2: Jason Genco, Chub Frank, Scott Gurdak, David Parker, Jacob Peterson, Logan Jaquay
Feature: Mike Knight, Jason Genco, Chub Frank, Bruce Hordusky Jr, Scott Gurdak, Breyton Santee, Khole Wanzer, Jacob Peterson, David Parker, Gary Troyer, Gary Youngs, D J Krug, Logan Jaquay

The Waterford Hotel UMP Modifieds
Heat 1: Dave Hess Jr, Steve Rex, Matt Alexander, John Boyd, Zach Johnson, Ken Zimmer, Hunter Hulley, David Warrior
Heat 2: Troy Johnson, Shane Crotty, Braidy Westfall, Steve Simon, Joel Watson, Geoff Conn, Chris Peterson, Eric Reinwald
Feature: Dave Hess Jr, Steve Rex, Troy Johnson, Joel Watson, John Boyd, Zach Johnson, Steve Simon, Eric Reinwald, Geoff Conn Ken Zimmer, Braidy Westfall, Chris Peterson, Shame Crotty, Hunter Hulley, Matt Alexander, David Warrior

Johnson’s Car Care and Collision Economod
Heat 1: Jarett Young, Zack Lenart, Nate Young, Brandon Porter, Dominic DePonceau, Bobby Vogt
Heat 2: Garrett Calvert, Steve Simon, John Boyd, Ryan Howard, Gary Olsen
Feature: Garrett Calvert, Nate Young, John Boyd, Jarett Young, Steve Simon, Zack Lenart, Brandon Porter, Dominic DePonceau, Gary Olsen, Ryan Howard, Bobby Vogt

Curtze Food Service ProStocks $1000 to win sponsored by ABC Glass of Erie
Heat 1: Chris Withers, Jimmy Kennerknecht, Bill Applebee, John Boardman, Drake McCray, Chris Fenno
Heat 2: Wesley McCray, Douglas Eck, Steve Yokum, Tanner Ramsey, Mikael Beaver, Shane Applebee
Feature: Chris Withers, Jimmy Kennerknecht, Douglas Eck, Wesley McCRay, John Boardman, Bill Applebee, Steve Yokum, Tanner Ramsey, Drake McCray, Gris Fenno. Shane Applebee, Mikael Beaver

Everhart Asphalt and L &D Tree Service Challengers
Heat 1: Zack Eller, Jessica Harvey, Phillip Powell, Sean Murphy, Collin Larson, JimmyWhite, Tylar Youngs, Harmony Polach, Carl White Jr, Dalton Eggleston, Brandon Maroyto
Heat 2: Andy Proper, Nicholas Reed, Ken Luma, James Weigel, Jack Warrior, John Bailey, Matt Marcy, Camden Van Hooser, Charles Silvis Jr, Jeremy White
Heat 3: Chris Horton, Nick Robie, Brandon Huffman, Brian McGarvie, Andrew Smith, Theresa Maloney, Timothy Dragar Jr, Ethen White, Brando Kerstetter, Cory Brown
B-Main: Top three transfer: Camden Van Hooser, Dalton Eggleston, Jeremy White, Harmony Polach, Carl White Jr, Charles Silvis Jr, Ethen White, Cory Brown, Brandon Marotto, Brandi Kerstetter
Feature: Zack Eller, Chris Horton, Andy Proper, Nick Robie, Jessica Harvey, Brian McGarvie, Brandon Huffman, Ken Luma, Andrew Smith, Timothy Dragar Jr, Phillip Powell. Nicholas Reed, Collin Larson, Dalton Eggleston, Camden Van Hooser, Jeremy White, Matt Marcy, John Bailey James Weigle, Theresa Maloney, Sean Murphy, Jimmy White, Jack Warrior, Tylar Youngs

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