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posted May 21, 2001 09:46 AM UIN: 16262997
by Brian Spaid

May 20, 2001


FRANKLIN, PA ... Tri-City Speedway was in action once again on a warm and sunny Sunday night in Western Pennsylvania, and Jimmy Hawley (Allegheny Land & Lumber Super Sprints), Jeff Hoffman (Titusville Motor & Auction Co. DIRT Modifieds), Brent Rhebergen (RE/MAX E Mods) and Bobby Whitling (E.F. Rogers Plumbing & Heating Stock Cars) were even warmer on the track as they each collected feature wins at the half-mile dirt oval.
In the 20-lap Super Sprint feature, Jimmy Hawley of West Middlesex, Penn., received a gift when Brian Ellenberger spun in turn four while leading with four laps to go. It capped a race that saw Hawley lead nine of the first 10 laps before Ellenberger slipped under him in turn three when Hawley drifted high.
"I hit the wall going into turn one," said Hawley in victory lane after his 14th career win at Tri-City. "I thought I had a flat tire and just lost it in turn three. This was Brian's race and I feel bad for him. I hate to win this way."
Mark Cassella led the opening lap of the race before Hawley marched his Dr. John Crawford Family Practice J&J No. CIII into the lead. Ellenberger quickly moved into second and the chase was on. As the two veterans diced through lapped traffic, Ellenberger closed on Hawley before he grabbed the lead on the 10th circuit when Hawley drifted high.
At the halfway mark, Ellenberger led over Hawley, Cassella, Ed Lynch Jr. and David Scott. Cassella soon dropped out with a blown motor moving point leader Scott Bonnell into the top five.
Ellenberger looked to be on his way to a sure win, until the 16th circuit when he spun in turn four to the amazement of the crowd. Ellenberger recovered to finish sixth, but it was little consolation for the popular racer.
"I was trying to keep Jimmy behind me," said Ellenberger after the race. "I was just in lapped traffic, hit the berm and upset the car trying to go too fast. I'd like to congratulate Jimmy for his win."
On the restart, Hawley opened a large lead to hold off Lynch for his first win of the season. Scott was third over Bonnell and Jason Jacoby. Lynch and Jarod Larson won the Super Sprint heat races.
Jeff Hoffman of Franklin, Penn., raced to his second victory of the season in the 20-lap DIRT Modified feature. It was a race where no one seemed to want to run up front. Throughout the event, several drivers either spun out of the top five or pulled pitside with mechanical problems.
One of those drivers was defending track champion Kevin Bolland. He led the first five laps of the race before Hoffman slipped under him in turn four to lead the sixth circuit. Bolland returned the favor one lap later to lead at the line, then Hoffman dipped low on the eighth lap to secure first place. Bolland tried in vain to dive under Hoffman in turn one, but looped his car out of second and a top five finish.
"Kevin is tough," said Hoffman in victory lane beside his Hoffman Door Troyer No. 00 following his 18th career win at Tri-City. "Once I got by him, I went to the low groove and I wasn't going to let anyone by, unless they passed me up high. This is a great win for the team."
As Hoffman paced the field, the battle behind him between two fan favorites. Brian Swartzlander and Rex King moved into second and third to challenge for the win by the 12th lap. It was a stellar race for King, who spun on the opening lap and raced back through the field. On the 14th circuit, however, they raced hard into turn three and King collided with the back end of Swartzlander's car. The contact sent Swartzlander around and both drivers to the rear of the field.
In the end, Kevin Hoffman, younger brother of the winner, finished second followed by Josh Skarzenski, Chris Schiffer and Joe Crawford. Bolland, Jim Weller and King captured the DIRT Modified heat race wins.
Brent Rhebergen of Clymer, N.Y., won his second consecutive 15-lap E Mod feature in the Sharp Tool & Die No. 69 owned by Bruce Steadman. It was Rhebergen's third win of the season and his fourth career victory at Tri-City.
Rhebergen did not have an easy run due to the constant challenge of Mike Hess, who led the first three laps of the race. On the fourth circuit, Rhebergen took the lead with an inside move in turn four, but Hess used the same move on the next lap to regain the top spot. Finally, on the ninth circuit, Rhebergen worked under Hess in the backstretch and grabbed the lead and eventual win. Hess made a last ditch effort for victory in the final laps with a side-by-side battle around the track.
"I knew Mike's car would be real good on the bottom groove tonight," said Rhebergen. "I knew when I got by him that he would be tough to beat. We have a strong car and we'll keep on running for the wins."
Hess finished a fine second over Bob McCann, Shawn Shingledecker and Russ Dunn. Hess and Dunn scored wins in the E Mod heats.
Despite eight caution flags, Bobby Whitling of Seneca, Penn., won his 23rd career feature in the 15-lap Stock Car main aboard his Ted Karns Specialty Construction Chevrolet No. 7W. It was Whitling's third win of the season and his second of the weekend following a victory on Saturday night at Mercer Raceway Park.
For Whitling, two restarts on the 13th lap were the key. Up to that point, Brian Counselman led the first three laps of race. Doug Iorio Sr. moved into the lead on the fifth circuit. Counselman remained in contact with Iorio while Whitling charged his way to third by the halfway point. On the 12th lap, Whitling drove around Counselman for second and set his sights on Iorio.
On the first restart on the 13th circuit, Whitling tried to pass Iorio high in turn two, but hit a rough spot on the track. Iorio also drifted wide and Counselman drove by both cars to take the lead. Yet, another caution before the cars completed that lap caused a complete restart with Iorio in the lead. This time, Whitling raced under Iorio off turn two and secured the win. Iorio challenged him in the final turns, but could not get past for the win. Meanwhile, on the last lap, Counselman's driveshaft broke while running third putting a dismal end to an otherwise excellent run.
Following Whitling and Iorio to the line were Ron Iorio, Gary Norman and defending track champion Dave Ferringer. During the race, John K. Miller II flipped his Stock Car, which is a pickup truck, in turn two. He was uninjured. Bob Sloss, R. Iorio and **** Pascorell were the Stock Car heat race winners.
Doug Boyle of Saegertown won the Lowry's Auto Wrecking Demo Derby at the end of the night. Boyle defeated a field of 16 demo cars, including two cars that Boyle turned on their sides during the competition.
This coming Sunday May 27th, Tri-City Speedway celebrates Memorial Day Weekend with a complete four-star racing program of Allegheny Land & Lumber Super Sprints, Titusville Motor & Auction Co. DIRT Modifieds, RE/MAX E Mods and E.F. Rogers Plumbing & Heating Stock Cars. The DIRT Modifieds will compete in the first 30-lap Bicknell Racing Products Modified Tour 2001 event of the season at Tri-City. Gates open at 4 p.m. and racing starts at 6 p.m. Adult grandstand admission will still be $10.

MAY 13 NOTES ... There were a couple of items missing from last week's race results. Bobby Whitling captured the dash for the Stock Car division. The top two finishers from each heat race competed in the six-lap event. Whitling defeated Ron Iorio, Dave Ferringer, Gary Norman, Doug Iorio Sr. and Brian Counselman for the win. In addition, the Super Sprint drivers collected $1,100 from the generous fans in the grandstands. The money will benefit fellow racer Kevin Andrusky of Hermitage, Pa. Andrusky suffered three compression fractures in his vertebrae after a flip in the Super Sprint feature on May 6.

SUPER SPRINTS (20 Laps): 1. JIMMY HAWLEY, 2. Ed Lynch Jr., 3. David Scott, 4. Scott Bonnell, 5. Jason Jacoby, 6. Brian Ellenberger, 7. Jarod Larson, 8. Ricky Ferkel, 9. Brent Covell, 10. Gary Rankin, 11. Gregg McCandless, 12. Ray Bullis, 13. Brian Hartzell, 14. Ed Etzel, 15. Donny Minor, 16. Sheila Rankin, 17. Mark Cassella, 18. Chad Hill.
DIRT MODIFIEDS (20 Laps): 1. JEFF HOFFMAN, 2. Kevin Hoffman, 3. Josh Skarzenski, 4. Chris Schiffer, 5. Joe Crawford, 6. Jim Weller, 7. Dave Schrader, 8. J.R. McGinley, 9. Del Rougeux Jr., 10. Kevin Bolland, 11. Brian Swartzlander, 12. Scott Gurdak, 13. Ed Fuller, 14. Skip Moore, 15. Rex King, 16. Leonard Leibold Jr., 17. Nick Ritchey, 18. Carl Murdick, 19. Jim Rasey, 20. Pete Simpson, 21. Dave Murdick, 22. Jeremiah Shingledecker, 23. Lee Miller, 24. Dean Pearson, 25. George Hobaugh.
E MODS (15 Laps): 1. BRENT RHEBERGEN, 2. Mike Hess, 3. Bob McCann, 4. Shawn Shingledecker, 5. Russ Dunn, 6. Mike Samuelson, 7. Ron Jaeger, 8. Bill Taylor, 9. Herm Myers, 10. Kari Petrosky, 11. Ron Loney, 12. Jim Abbott, 13. Rich Stiffler, 14. Todd Roncaglione, 15. Bootie Petsko, 16. Shawn Domhoff, 17. Mike Petosky, 18. Chuck Schell, 19. Jim White. DNS: Kenny Hall, Holly Nelson.
STOCK CARS (15 Laps): 1. BOBBY WHITLING, 2. Doug Iorio Sr., 3. Ron Iorio, 4. Gary Norman, 5. Dave Ferringer, 6. Danny Exley, 7. Scott Peterson, 8. John Iorio, 9. Jamie Shetler, 10. Doug Calvert, 11. John Shetler, 12. Lonny Blair, 13. **** Pascorell, 14. Todd Titus, 15. Don Baughman, 16. Arthur Edwards, 17. Frank Johnson, 18. Brian Counselman, 19. Scotty Carbaugh, 20. Brian Booher, 21. Rod Urey, 22. John K. Miller II, 23. Jim Green, 24. Mike Dolecki, 25. Bob Sloss. DNS: Mike Work, Tim Hinkle


May 27 - Sprints, DIRT Modifieds, E Mods and Stock Cars (B.R.P. Modified Tour 2001)(Knox
Auto Supply Night)
June 3 - Sprints, DIRT Modifieds, E Mods and Stock Cars (Twin State Auto Racing Club and
Pittsburgh Circle Track Club Night) (Student Appreciation Night)
June 10 - Sprints, DIRT Modifieds, E Mods and Stock Cars with End-of-School Bus Races (Joy
Mining Machinery Employees Night)(Little League Night)

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