posted April 23, 2001 09:19 AM
LYNCH AND WELLER TOP SPRINT AND MOD OPENERS AT TRI-CITY; RONCAGLIONE
COMPLETES COMEBACK; WHITLING WINS 21ST
by Brian Spaid
April 22, 2001
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
FRANKLIN, PA .... A large crowd and field of cars were at Tri-City Speedway
on Sunday night for the 2001 season opener as Ed Lynch Jr. (Allegheny Land &
Lumber Co. Super Sprints), Jim Weller (Titusville Motor & Auction Co. DIRT
Modifieds), Todd Roncaglione (RE/MAX E Mods) and Bobby Whitling (E.F. Rogers
Plumbing & Heating Stock Cars) collected the feature wins. A total of 115
cars graced the pit area at the half-mile Venango County dirt oval on a warm
and partly cloudy spring evening.
In one of the most stellar drives of his career, second generation star Ed
Lynch Jr. of Apollo, Penn., won the 20-lap Super Sprint season opener for
the third year in a row. Powering around Brian Ellenberger on the 17th
circuit, Lynch raced home to his eighth career win at Tri-City.
"My dad loved to race here and I love to race here," exclaimed Lynch in
victory lane beside his Howard Concrete Pumping J&J No. 2L. "Sometimes
you've got to race the track, and we managed to get the outside to work for
Scott Bonnell jumped into the early lead at the start of the race with
Ellenberger, Todd Gracey, Brent Covell and Gary Rankin in tow. Covell
struggled all night with motor problems, and his car came to a halt on the
sixth circuit off turn two. The restart saw Lynch locate the preferred line
around the track as he rocketed from seventh to fourth using the outside of
turns one and two.
On the 11th lap, Ellenberger and Gracey both drove past Bonnell to secure
first and second before the final caution waved for a Scott Priester spin.
On this restart, Lynch again used the outside line to get by Bonnell and
Gracey and move into second. Closing in on Ellenberger, Lynch used lapped
traffic to his advantage to take the lead three laps from the end after
Ellenberger finished second followed by Gracey, former track champion Jimmy
Hawley and Bonnell. Lynch, Hawley and Jason Jacoby captured heat race wins
for the 26-car field. Gale Ruth Jr. and Jarod Larson took nasty tumbles in
the third heat, but were both uninjured.
Jim Weller of Hubbard, Ohio, started on the outside pole and led every lap
of the 20-lap DIRT Modified main in his Liberty Steel Bicknell No. 31. It
was Weller's seventh career win at Tri-City, and it came on a special night.
"I'd like to thank my son, Johnny," said Weller. "It's his birthday today
and I know that helped us get the win."
As Weller raced at ease at the front of the pack, it seemed everyone else
wanted a piece of the runner-up slot. Polesitter Dave Murdick held the
position for nearly the entire race as he diced with Jim Rasey. Three-time
track champion Brian Swartzlander was not going to give up, however, and
passed both young lions over the final two laps. It was still not enough
time to catch Weller.
Weller and Swartzlander were chased to the finish by Murdick, Rasey and
defending track champion Kevin Bolland. One red flag interrupted the race on
the 16th lap when teammates Jason Engles and Tim Phillips crashed in turn
one. Neither driver was injured. Bolland, Rex King, Ralph Spithaler Jr. and
Swartzlander were the heat race winners in the 35-car field. Dave Schrader
won the consolation race.
The marathon 15-lap E Mod feature was captured by Todd Roncaglione of
Linesville, Penn. Forced out of racing due to medical problems midway
through the 2000 season, Roncaglione won his first career main event at
Tri-City despite six caution flags that slowed the event.
"I'm back," said a tearful Roncaglione in victory lane. "All I've wanted to
do is get back behind the wheel of a race car."
Roncaglione and Jim Frontz led the field to the initial green and Frontz
took a quick lead into turn one. Roncaglione charged back and snared the
number one spot in turn three aboard his Fame Manufacturing/Chipsco No. 00.
By the fifth lap, Jeff Taylor moved into second. He chased Roncaglione the
rest of the way and nearly passed him with an inside move off turn two on
the final lap. Roncaglione would not be denied his chance in the spotlight,
however. Taylor finished second followed by Bob McCann, Tim Henrich and
Randy Hall. Heat race wins for the 28-car field went to Roncaglione, Frontz
and McCann. Roger Frost won the consolation race.
Bobby Whitling of Seneca, Penn., scored his 21st career win in the 15-lap
Stock Car feature. Whitling and Ron Iorio gave the fans a sterling duel in
the first half of the race. Iorio led the initial three laps with Whitling
on his back bumper in the Ted Karns Specialty Construction Chevrolet No. 7W.
Whitling used an outside move off turn four on the fourth circuit to take
the lead. He raced on unchallenged to his second consecutive win after
capturing the 2000 Applefest 100.
"This is a good start to the season," said Whitling in victory lane.
"Hopefully, we'll be able to keep it going."
Defending track champion Dave Ferringer finished second after climbing from
the eighth starting spot. Andy Buckley finished third followed by Bob Sloss
and Iorio. With 26 cars in the pit area, Brian Counselman, Buckley and Sloss
won the heat races.
Next Sunday night April 29th, Tri-City Speedway presents another four-star
show of the Allegheny Land & Lumber Co. Super Sprints, Titusville Motor &
Auction Co. DIRT Modifieds, RE/MAX E Mods and E.F. Rogers Plumbing & Heating
Stock Cars. Adult grandstand admission is $10. Gates open at 4:00 p.m. and
racing starts at 6:00 p.m.
SUPER SPRINTS (20 Laps): 1. ED LYNCH JR., 2. Brian Ellenberger, 3. Todd
Gracey, 4. Jimmy Hawley, 5. Scott Bonnell, 6. Tommy Quarterson, 7. David
Scott, 8. Mark Cassella, 9. Gary Rankin, 10. Brad Ellenberger, 11. Jason
Jacoby, 12. Kevin Schaeffer, 13. Todd Bauer, 14. Ray Bullis, 15. Jeff
Weaver, 16. Sheila Rankin, 17. Scott Priester, 18. Brian Hartzell, 19. Brent
Covell, 20. Butch Beasley, 21. Gregg McCandless, 22. Rob Eyler. DNS: Jarod
Larson, Ricky Ferkel, Chad Hill, Gale Ruth Jr.
DIRT MODIFIEDS (20 Laps): 1. JIM WELLER, 2. Brian Swartzlander, 3. Dave
Murdick, 4. Jim Rasey, 5. Kevin Bolland, 6. Rex King, 7. Jeff Hoffman, 8.
Chris Schiffer, 9. Ralph Spithaler Jr., 10. Adam Siegel, 11. Jeff Schaffer,
12. Rick Hoctor, 13. Dean Pearson, 14. Joe Crawford, 15. Kevin Hoffman, 16.
Carl Murdick, 17. Del Rougeux Jr., 18. George Hobaugh, 19. Jason Engles, 20.
Tim Phillips, 21. Skip Moore, 22. Josh Skarzenski, 23. Dave Schrader, 24.
Brian Fink. DNQ: Pete Simpson, J.R. McGinley, Lee Miller, John Boyer, Rick
Kress, Nick Ritchey, Scott Gurdak, Jeremiah Shingledecker, Les Myers, Tommy
Kristyak, Dave Reges.
E MODS (15 Laps): 1. TODD RONCAGLIONE, 2. Jeff Taylor, 3. Bob McCann, 4.
Tim Henrich, 5. Randy Hall, 6. Holly Nelson, 7. Kari Petrosky, 8. Dave
Ferringer, 9. Bill Taylor, 10. Rich Stiffler, 11. Jim White Jr., 12. Jim
Abbott, 13. Mike Hess, 14. Bill Cunningham, 15. Hugo Litwiler, 16. Jim
Frontz, 17. Ron Roncaglione, 18. Roger Frost, 19. Scott Stiffler, 20. Shawn
Domhoff, 21. Mike Petosky, 22. Shawn Shingledecker. DNQ: Ron Loney, Ron
Jaeger, Tom Congdon, Bob Craig, Dale Applebee, Brent Rhebergen.
STOCK CARS (15 Laps): 1. BOBBY WHITLING, 2. Dave Ferringer, 3. Andy
Buckley, 4. Bob Sloss, 5. Ron Iorio, 6. Gary Robinson, 7. Kevin Thompson, 8.
Tom Scott, 9. Scotty Carbaugh, 10. Jay Feely, 11. Scott Peterson, 12. Mike
Work, 13. Glenn Pupino, 14. John Shetler, 15. Bill Schall Jr., 16. Doug
Calvert, 17. Rod Urey, 18. Joe Drusko, 19. Brian Counselman, 20. David
Atkinson, 21. Jamie Shetler, 22. Danny Exley, 23. Jim Green, 24. Lonny
Blair. DNS: **** Pascorell, Brian Felmlee.
Apr. 29 - Super Sprints, DIRT Modifieds, E Mods and Stock Cars
May 6 - Super Sprints, DIRT Modifieds, E Mods and Stock Cars
May 13 - Super Sprints, DIRT Modifieds, E Mods and Stock Cars with Powder
Stock Car Race (Scout Night)