posted March 12, 2001 07:45 AM
BONEBRAKE, HEARN, OPEN 2001 SEASON AT HAGERSTOWN WITH WINS
HAGERSTOWN, MD - Late model driver Denny Bonebrake won 84 features and six
track championships at the Hagerstown Speedway. Sunday afternoon, his son,
Wesley Bonebrake of Hagerstown opened the 2001 season with his first career
late model win in the 30-lap Octoberfest Qualifier..
"Is this a dream or what, I can't believe this," said the second
generation driver. "The day started off good and when I saw Charlie
(Schaffer) come to a stop on the backstretch I knew I had to keep this car
straight the rest of the way. I felt somebody bumping me there at the end,
but I knew if I could keep this car on the bottom I would have a chance. I
couldn't do any of this without my Dad and I know if he was in the car he
would have won by half a straightaway. If I was going to win my first race I
am glad it came here at Hagerstown."
Brett Hearn of Sussex, NJ won the 30-lap big Octoberfest Qualifier for
the big block modifieds and modified driver Ray Swinehart of Bechtelsville PA
and late model chauffeur Roy Deese Jr. of Odenton teamed up to win the 30-lap
late model/modified combo
"This is a good way to start off the season," said Brett Hearn of Sussex
NJ who won the Northeast Opener for modifieds last year at Hagerstown. " I
like this place or this place likes me. This is a new car and I didn't think
it was good enough to win. But we made a few changes and the car just took
off. The car didn't feel good in warm-ups but we made a few changes and the
car worked great."
Both Bonebrake and Hearn picked up $2,000 for their wins and guaranteed
starting spots in the Octoberfest 350 on October 27-28. Modified driver Ray
Swinehart of Bechtelsville PA and late model chauffeur Roy Deese Jr. of
Odenton teamed up to win the $2,000-to-win 30-lap late model/modified combo
Charlie Schaffer grabbed the lead from the outside of row one at the drop
of the green in the late model feature with Wesley Bonebrake, Buck Tomblin
and C S Fitzgerald in pursuit. Following a caution for debris on lap five,
Roy Deese Jr. and Jeremy Miller made contact coming off the second turn on
the restart to bring out the caution again ending Miller's day on the hook.
Schaffer took the green on the restart and quickly pulled away from the
field. At the half-way mark, Schaffer had opened a 20 car length lead when
suddenly he rolled to a stop with fuel pump problems turning the lead over to
Bonebrake. With Tomblin on his bumper, Bonebrake took the green on the
restart as Fitzgerald pressured Tomblin for second. On lap 21 right before
the third and final caution, Fitzgerald passed Tomblin for second. Fitzgerald
stayed right on Bonebrake's bumper on the restart and pulled even with the
leader going into turn two on lap 24. A couple more times Fitzgerald put his
front bumper along side of the leader only to have Bonebrake keep his line to
regain the lead. At the end, it was Bonebrake coming home with his first
career win two car lengths in front of Fitzgerald. Tomblin was third with
Rick Eckert and Gary Stuhler finishing out the top five. D J Myers came on
strong at the end for sixth after starting 15th with Andy Anderson and John
Flinner next. Frankie Plessinger came from 19th for ninth and Jim Bernheisel
rounded out the top ten. Preliminary winners for the 45 late models were
Bonebrake, Schaffer, Anderson and Fitzgerald with Richard Irwin and John
Mason the consolation winners.
In the 30-lap big block modified feature, Brett Hearn got the jump on
Jeff Strunk from the outside front row starting position to take the lead
going into the first turn. Craig VonDohren quickly moved into second from his
fourth starting position as Billy Decker moved from his fifth starting spot
into third on the second lap. Following a caution on the second lap for Jamie
Mills and Duane Howard, Hearn quickly set the tempo as he pulled 10 car
lengths in front of VonDohren and the rest of the field. By the 12th lap,
Hearn was putting slower cars a lap down as A J Romano and Tim Fuller were
battling out for fourth. On lap 14, VonDohren closed in on Hearn as the
leader worked his way through the slower cars. Fuller made his move in lapped
traffic moving into third past Romano and Decker by the 20th lap. The second
and final caution on lap 21 for Romano gave VonDohren another shot at the
leader, but Hearn pulled away on the restart. Just when it looked like
VonDohren was closing in with five laps remaining, Hearn picked up the pace
and pulled away to a 10 car length win. Von Dohren was next with Fuller,
Strunk and Keith Hoffman rounding out the top five. The next five in line
were Decker, Butch Tittle, 17th starting Kevin Hirthler, Jared Schultz and
Rick Laubach. Heat winners for the 38 modifieds were Strunk, Hearn, Schultz
and VonDohren. Scott VanGorder and Brian Swartzlander won the consolations.
In the first ever combo race, the top 15 late models were paired with the
top 15 modifieds. The modifieds were lined up inverted from their feature
finish to race the first 15 laps. Then the late model teammate would start
the last 15 laps of the late model portion where the modified teammate was
running at the end of the first 15 laps. Ray Swinehart, who finished 15th in
the modified feature started on the pole and quickly jumped out in front with
Brian Swartzlander in second. On the fourth lap, veteran Spencer Huster
rolled his car three times going into the first turn bringing out the red
flag. Huster was uninjured but his car was done for the day. On the restart,
Bud Christmann took over second as Swinehart pulled out to a large lead.
Swinehart was never challenged the rest of the way as he handed over the lead
to his late model teammate Roy Deese Jr at the end of 15 laps. Deese didn't
let his partner down as he continued the fast pace in the second half and
pulled away to a half-lap victory in the combo race. Christmann and Andy
Fries were second with Von Dohren and Rodney Franklin third. The team of
Shawn Reimert and Fitzgerald was next with Swartzlander and Flinner
completing the top five.
Next Sunday, Hagerstown will have its Grand Opening to start its 54th
year. The ITSI late models, Hoosier Tire Mid-Atlantic, Ernie's Salvage Yard
pure stocks and 4-cyl pure stocks will be in action. Gates open at 10 A.M.
with racing at 1:30 P.M.
RESULTS: 30-LAP LATE MODEL FEATURE: 1. Wesley Bonbrake; 2. C.S. Fitzgerald;
3. Buck Tomblin; 4. Rick Eckert; 5. Gary Stuhler; 6. DJ Myers; 7. Andy
Anderson; 8. John Flinner; 9. Frankie Plessinger; 10. Jim Bernheisel; 11.
Andy Fries; 12. Rodney Franklin; 13. Kenny Pettyjohn; 14. Scott Haus; 15. Roy
Deese Jr.; 16. Alan Sagi; 17. Devin Friese; 18. Rodney Sweitzer; 19. Ray
Kable Jr.; 20. Terry Neitz; 21. Tim Wilson; 22. Charlie Schaffer; 23. Jeremy
Miller; 24. John Mason; 25. Richard Irwin; 26. Wayne Johnson.
(Heat 1) 1. Bonebrake; 2. Tomblin; 3. Sagi; 4. Flinner; 5. D. Friese. (Heat
2) 1. Schaffer; 2. Franklin; 3. Miller; 4. Bernheisel; 5. Johnson. (Heat 3)
1. Anderson; 2. Eckert; 3. Fries; 4. Myers; 5. Plessinger. (Heat 4) 1.
Fitzgerald; 2. Stuhler; 3. Deese; 4. Pettyjohn; 5. Wilson. (Consi #1) 1.
Irwin; 2. Sweitzer; 3. Kable. (Consi #2) 1. Mason; 2. Haus; 3. Neitz. DNQ:
Larry Wright; Luke Hoffner; Ronnie Dehaven; Eric Hons; Mike Yeakle; Rick
Workman; Mike Christopher; Mark Elksnis; Bobby Stokes; Dennis Lamb; Bob
Griffith; Doug Burkholder; Jeff Masden; Dan Stone; Richard White; Billy
Wamper; Mike Lupfer; Drew Kotleles.
30-LAP MODIFIED FEATURE: 1. Brett Hearn; 2. Craig Von Dohren; 3. Tim Fuller;
4. Jeff Strunk; 5. Keith Hoffman; 6. Billy Decker; 7. Butch Tittle; 8. Kevin
Hirthler; 9. Jared Schultz; 10. Rick Laubach; 11. Bud Christmann; 12. Shawn
Reimert; 13. Spencer Huster; 14. Brian Swartzlander; 15. Ray Swinehart; 16.
Mike Colsten; 17. Rick Bishop; 18. Colin Jackson; 19. Ryan Watt; 20. Doug
Pannepaker; 21. Jim Weller; 22. Scott VanGorder; 23. AJ Romano; 24. Bruce
Kline; 25. Duane Howard; 26. Jammie Mills.
(Heat 1) 1. Strunk; 2. Decker; 3. Romano; 4. Laubach; 5. Hirthler. (Heat 2)
1. Hearn; 2. Tittle; 3. Howard; 4. Pannepaker; 5. Huster. (Heat 3) 1.
Schultz; 2. Swinehart; 3. Hoffman; 4. Mills; 5. Reimert. (Heat 4) 1.
VonDohren; 2. Costen; 3. Fuller; 4. Christmann; 5. Kline. (Consi #1) 1.
VanGorder; 2. Jackson; 3. Weller. (Consi #2) 1. Swartzlander; 2. Bishop; 3.
Watt. DNQ: Richard Scabliotta; Kyle Strickler; Ron Selman; Robert Dutton;
Larry McVay; Richard Brown; Norman Short; Darren Wroten; Austin Kerby; Randy
Chronister; Ron Johnson; Steve Moss.
30-LAP COMBO RACE: 1. Swinehart/Deese; 2. Christmann/Fries; 3.
VonDohren/Franklin; 4. Reimert/Fitzgerald; 6. Hirthler/Stuhler; 7.
Hearn/Eckert; 8. Hoffman/Haus; 9. Fuller/Plessinger; 10. Schultz/Myers; 11.
Tittle/Tomblin; 12. Laubach/Pettyjohn; 13. Strunk/Anderson; 14.
Decker/Bonebrake; 15. Huster/Bernheisel.