posted April 01, 2001 01:10 PM
STEVE PAINE LEADS DIRT SERIES WITH HAGERSTOWN'S SEASON OPENER
HAGERSTOWN, MD - Steve Paine proved on Saturday night he doesn't need new
equipment to win. The defending Advance Auto Parts Super DIRT Series
champion towed six hours from Waterloo, NY to Hagerstown Speedway and
rewarded himself with the $6,000 series opener in a two-year old Teo Pro
Car. The event was the first ever-nighttime appearance of modifieds on the
Maryland facility, an event rained out last season.
"This is the same two-year old car," Paine said of his Paine Motorsports,
Advance Lubrication, Tallmadge Tire, Terrells Potato Chip modified. It's my
favorite car. It's good everywhere we go."
Paine started the night with third quick time and later drew the third
starting position. Leading two laps in the first half of the 100 lap event,
Paine continued to be a threat until getting by Danny Johnson with ten laps
remaining, then stretched his lead to 2.6 seconds over Jack Johnson at the
"The car was good for awhile, then it wasn't good for about 20 laps,"
explained Paine. "After Jack went by earlier, I found a better line and
started working on it. Danny was getting looser and looser and looser. I'm
sure he was frustrated. We had a wicked race. It probably was fun to watch
it. It was awful fun to race. There wasn't a bump anywhere on the track. You
could pass anywhere; bottom, middle, top."
"Danny's always tough. You have to race him to the end. He's a tough
competitor, "said 15th starting Jack Johnson, who passed D. Johnson with
five laps remaining. "It was a good clean race and I really enjoyed it
tonight. I can't wait to go again."
Gary Stuhler drove to victory in the ITSI 25 late model feature, the first
of the season for the Greencastle, PA driver.
"Everything went our way tonight, I guess," said Stuhler. "I want to thank
Ernie (Davis) for the opportunity to drive his equipment. The track was kind
of slick, but still kind of racy. I was getting a little loose there towards
the end. There at the midway point, I had a decent car and it kept getting
looser and looser. I kept watching the 05 (Deese) coming up on the
scoreboard and knew he started back a ways. I kept watching the laps and was
hoping I could hold on."
When the green waved for the DIRT 100 lapper, outside pole setter Brett
Hearn quickly slipped under Danny Johnson coming off turn two as Hearn led
the first five circuits until Johnson went to the high side to assume the
lead with Paine running third.
Following a caution on lap 25 for a turn one incident involving Andy
Bachetti and quick timer, Chuck Bower, Johnson remained in control as Hearn
slid high on the 36th lap allowing Paine to advance a position, then pass
Johnson for the lead. Paine led laps 42 and 43 with Johnson regaining
control while Jack Johnson bypassed the battle for fourth and moved into
third on the 54th, later taking second from Paine ten laps later.
The close battle continued between the front three while Bob McCreadie held
to fourth with challenges of his son, Tim, and several others.
Paine regained second after another ten laps, and then began his assault for
the top spot. He slipped under Danny Johnson coming off turn four on the
90th circuit, and then began stretching his lead over the field.
Paine led by 2.6 seconds at the finish with Jack Johnson passing Danny J.
with five remaining. Tim McCreadie took the fourth position with 24 laps
remaining with 20th starter, Jimmy Horton following McCreadie with the pass.
Alan Johnson, Hearn, Tim Fuller, Bud Christmann and Bob McCreadie completed
the top ten.
With the top six qualifiers, Chuck Brown, Danny Johnson, Paine, Bob
McCreadie, J. R. Heffner and Hearn, locked into the dash, heat winners for
the 62 modifieds were Doug Hoffman, Andy Bachetti, Billy Decker, Fuller and
A..J. Romano. Consy events went to Jim Gabriel Jr., Craig Von Dohren and Lou
With Frankie Plessinger and Doug Burkholder on the front row, third starter
in the 12-car inversion, Charlie Schaffer, quickly moved to the front as
Stuhler followed him from fifth.
With a single caution on the third lap when C.S. Fitzgerald rolled to a
stop, Stuhler took control following the restart with Andy Fries moving past
Burkholder for third. Stuhler began to stretch his lead to over a second by
the tenth lap and arrived at the rear of the field on the 14th circuit.
Coming through traffic was two time consecutive winner, Roy Deese from 11th,
as he passed Fries on the 20th, then shot by Schaffer with two remaining,
but ran out of time as Stuhler raced to the checkered with a two second
advantage. Schaffer held to third while D. J. Myers passed Fries on the
final circuit. Burkholder finished sixth followed by Plessinger, Andy
Anderson, Richard Irwin and Jeremy Miller.
Heats for the 29 late models went to Anderson, Deese and Myers while Devin
Friese won the consy.
DIRT Super Modifed (100 Lap): 1. Steve Paine, 2. Jack Johnson, 3. Danny
Johnson, 4. Tim McCreadie, 5. Jimmy Horton, 6. Alan Johnson, 7. Brett Hearn,
8. Tim Fuller, 9. Bud Christmann, 10. Bob McCreadie, 11. Doug Hoffman, 12.
Jeff Strunk, 13. Billy Decker, 14. Craig Von Dohren, 15. Vic Coffey, 16.
Jason Barney, 17. J. R. Heffner, 18. Ricky Elliott, 19. Jerry Higbie Jr.,
20. Kenny Tremont, 21. Butch Tittle, 22. Pat Ward, 23. Lou Blaney, 24. Alex
Hoag, 25. Rick Laubach, 26. Ron Smoker, 27. Frankie Caprara, 28. Jim Gabriel
Jr., 29. Andy Bachetti, 30. Chuck Brown, 31. A. J. Romano, 32. Bobby Varin
Time Trials : 1. Chuck Bower, 14.466, 2. Danny Johnson, 19.501, 3. Steve
Paine, 19.522, 4. Bob McCreadie, 19.535, 5. J.R.Heffner, 19.583, 6, Brett
Hearn, 19.601, 7. Doug Hoffman, 19.624, 8. Craig VonDohren, 19.655, 9. Billy
Decker, 19.765, 10. Jimmy Horton, 19.822, 11. Jason Barney, 19.868, 12. Lou
Blaney, 19.905, 13. Alan Johnson, 19.914, 14. Jeff Strunk, 19.928, 15. Tim
Fuller, 19.946, 16. A. J. Romano, 19.988, 17. Tim McCreadie, 20.021, 18. Jim
Gabriel Jr. 20.041, 19. Butch Tittle, 20.046, 20. Jack Johnson, 20.052, 21.
Chris Shultz, 20.060, 22. Larry McVay, 20.129, 23. Andy Bachetti, 20.154,
24. Ricky Elliott, 20.154, 25. Frankie Caprara, 20.209, 26. Vic Coffey,
20.209, 27. Jerry Higbie, Jr. 20.212, 28. Ron Smoker, 20.298, 29. Bobby
Varin, 20.300, 30. Kenny Tremont, 20.321, 31. Jimmy Phelps, 20.352, 32,
Jimmy Chester, 20.353, 33. Jamie Mills, 20.355, 34. Frank Cozze, 20.375, 35.
Pat Ward, 20.376, 36. Frank Cozze 2, 20.376, 37. Rick Laubach, 20.391, 38.
Bud Christmann, 20.410, 39. Jared Shultz, 20.465, 40, Darryl Ruggles,
20.476, 41, Keith Hoffman, 20.481, Tom Sears Jr., 20.494, 43. Rick Bishop,
20.547, 44. Mike Colsten, 20.549, 45, Steve Poiner, 20.558, 46. Brian
Swartzland, 20.598, 47. Don Hallowell, 20.618, 48. Glenn Reed, 20648, 49.
Jeff Hoffman, 20.661, 50. Bob Lineman, 20.812, 51. Shawn Reimert, 20.842,
52. Alex Hoag, 20.868 53. Gary Butler, 20.907, 54. Kyle Strickler, 20.912,
55. Jim Weller, 20.987, 56. Rich Scagliotta, 20.992, 57. Butch Riddle,
21.075, 58. Del Rougeux, 21.136, 59. Chris Kokosa, 21.152 60. Rich Ricci Jr.
21.167, 61, Scott Gurdak 21.188, 62. Ray Bliss Jr. 21.554
ITSI Late Model (25 Lap): 1. Gary Stuhler, 2. Roy Deese Jr. 3. Charlie
Schaffer, 4. D. J. Myers, 5. Andy Fries, 6. Doug Burkholder, 7. Frankie
Plessinger, 8. Andy Anderson, 9. Richard Irwin, 10. Jeremy Miller, 11. Brent
Smith, 12. Mike Johnson, 13. Jack Pencil, 14. Alan Sagi, 15. Devin Friese,
16. Buck Tomblin, 17.Gerald Davis, 18. Brad Omps, 19. Mark Elksnis, 20.
Wesley Bonebrake, 21. Billy Wampler, 22. Larry Wright, 23. C. S. Fitzgerald,
24. Mike Blose, DNQ- Ernie Davis, Shane Beegle, Ronnie DeHaven, Drew
Koteles, Dennis Lamb