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posted September 22, 2001 11:25 PM
SCOTT BONNELL WINS WINGLESS WARRIORS MAIN AT TRI-CITY ON SATURDAY;
DAVE SCHRADER TOPS MOD MASTERS 2001
by Brian Spaid
September 22, 2001
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
FRANKLIN, PA ... Sunny and warm weather greeted race fans at Tri-City Speedway on Saturday night for the first leg of Mod Madness V as Scott Bonnell captured the inaugural Wingless Warriors Sprint Series event and Dave Schrader won the Mod Masters 2001 for the Titusville Motor & Auction Co. DIRT Modifieds. Heat and dash races were also run for the DIRT Modifieds, York Triathlon E Mod Series and Sportsman Modifieds in preparation for Sunday's NorthPointe Automotive 150.
The 2001 Allegheny Land & Lumber Super Sprint track champion Scott Bonnell of Fairview, Pa., won the biggest event of his career in the Pasce Metal Fabricating/Arctic Fire Suppression Wingless Warriors 20-lap feature. The victory was Bonnell's second of the season at Tri-City and the third of his career at the half-mile oval. The $2,000 triumph was highlighted by a mid-race three-car duel between Bonnell, Scott Priester and Tommy Quarterson.
"We owe this win to Deuce Terrill," said Bonnell in victory lane referring to the renowned sprint car mechanic. "He's helped us a lot and we wouldn't be in the winner's circle tonight without him. That race is what wingless sprints are all about. It was close out there tonight and it's a nice way to end the season."
Quarterson beat polesitter Jarod Larson into the first turn after two aborted starts. As the cars roared into turn three, Larson and Chad Hill made contact and were forced to the rear of the pack. Quarterson continued to lead on the restart, but the race was red flagged on the fifth lap after third place driver Tommy Burns Jr. spun in turn one causing a wild melee that resulted in two flips. The race would run under green flag conditions for the remainder of the event.
On the restart, Quarterson led over Gary Edwards, Priester, Rod George and Arnie Kent. Bonnell, who started 15th, moved under Kent for fifth on the sixth circuit while Priester dashed by Edwards for second. Bonnell continued his charge through the top five, and by the tenth circuit, Quarterson led Priester, Bonnell, Edwards and George.
After the halfway point, the race became a wild scramble. Over the next five circuits, the lead changed hands at least a half dozen times as Quarterson, Priester and Bonnell all spent time out front. On the 15th lap, Bonnell dashed under Priester in turns two and four before he finally secured the lead heading past the flagstand into turn one. Once out front, Bonnell opened ground on Priester in lapped traffic. At the finish, Bonnell was the winner over Priester, Quarterson, George and Edwards.
The race was punctuated by two cautions and two reds. Buddy Cochran flipped on the opening lap in the third corner. Then, on the fifth lap, Burns looped in turn one while running third and collected Mike Lauterborn, who rolled over. As the rest of the pack tried to avoid both cars, Mark Cassella hopped a wheel and flipped for the second time of the night. He destroyed the Funtime Motorsports No. 91 after a nasty flip in the first heat, and he was driving the Funtime Motorsports No. 81 normally piloted by Brent Covell in the feature.
Edwards and Burns won the heat races for the 25-car field. Quarterson won the four-car Tommy Hein Wingless Challenge Dash for Cash to collect an extra $200. Several drivers were involved in some wild accidents during preliminary events. Gary McCollum flipped in hot laps while Cassella and Charlie Cornelius tumbled in the heats. Brian Hartzell was transported to Northwest Medical Center, where he was treated and released, after he hit the fourth turn guard rail at the pit exit following contact with Cassella's flipping sprinter.
In a wild event, Dave Schrader of Endeavor, Pa., topped Joe Crawford in the final round of the Sunoco/Ray's Racing Specialties Mod Masters 2001. Comprised of the top eight finishers in the four heat races run earlier in the evening, the round-robin tournament of two-lap races whittled down to Schrader and Crawford. Although Crawford excelled in the outside lane, Schrader used the low groove to perfection and snared the $500 win as Crawford spun in turn four on the final circuit.
"We had a good bite off turn four, so when I won the coin toss to select the lane in the final race, I chose the inside," said Schrader. "I knew I could get him because the car worked real well off the corner."
Crawford defeated Jeff Hoffman and Harold Michaels to reach the final. Michaels outlasted Ron Smoker in his first round battle after Smoker's car suffered an unknown mechanical failure. Schrader topped Kevin Bolland and Jim Weller to reach the final. Weller beat George Hobaugh in the other first round race.
The first round battle between Bolland and Schrader drew some controversy when Bolland challenged the start of the race. Bolland contended that Schrader was too far ahead of him when the race went green. Bolland protested the decision of track starter Greg Wheeling by driving past the grandstand after the final round event as Schrader entered victory lane.
The DIRT Modified heats were won by Crawford, Smoker, Bolland and Hobaugh over the 39-car field. During intermission, Hoffman drew the pole position for Sunday's Kodiak Memorial/BRP Modified Tour 50.
The five York Triathlon E Mod Series heats for 43 RE/MAX E Mods were captured by Brent Rhebergen, Jeff Rudrick, Chuck Kennedy, Russ Dempsey and Logan Dernoshek. Dempsey was a surprise winner of the Coy Bros. Trucking Dash. The former Stock Car driver recently debuted his Bob Pierce chassis, which is the same type of car that carried Rhebergen to ten straight feature wins in the division at Tri-City.
In the Sportsman Modifieds, Gerry Bruce and J.D. Whitman won the heat races for the 25-car field. Gary Smoker captured the Montgomery Truss and Panel/Ray's Racing Specialties Dash.
On Sunday September 23rd, after final qualifications, the Mod Madness V NorthPointe Automotive 150 will be held, which will include the 50-lap Kodiak Memorial BRP Modified Tour race for the DIRT Modifieds paying $3,000-to-win. The York Triathlon E Mod Series will race in the Myrgo All-Star 50 and the Sportsman Modifieds will also compete in the NorthPointe Automotive 50. Gates open at 4 p.m. and racing starts at 6 p.m. Adult grandstand admission is $15.
WINGLESS WARRIORS SPRINTS (20 Laps): 1. SCOTT BONNELL, 2. Scott Priester, 3. Tommy Quarterson, 4. Rod George, 5. Gary Edwards, 6. Arnie Kent, 7. Daryl Stimeling, 8. Skip Dougherty, 9. Gary Rankin, 10. Jarod Larson, 11. Tommy Burns Jr., 12. Jim Kennedy, 13. Jeff Weaver, 14. Charlie Cornelius, 15. Jim Lender, 16. Gale Ruth Sr., 17. Sheila Rankin, 18. Chad Hill, 19. Mike Lauterborn, 20. Mark Cassella, 21. Buddy Cochran, 22. Ben Moore. DNS: Brian Hartzell, Jon Banas, Gary McCollum.
MOD MASTERS 2001
Round One: Joe Crawford over Jeff Hoffman, Harold Michaels over Ron Smoker, Dave Schrader over Kevin Bolland, Jim Weller over George Hobaugh.
Round Two: Crawford over Michaels, Schrader over Weller.
Final Round: Schrader over Crawford.