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posted April 21, 2003 09:08 PM UIN: 16262997

By: Dustin Jarrett

Stewart, OH (4/18/03) -- The grandstands were packed with over a thousand fans and the pits were flooded with over 100 cars as Skyline Speedway hosted the Topless 50 Friday night. Charleston, WV’s Steve Lucas used some late race heroics to claim the win.

In the Late Model feature, Steve Lucas started on the outside front row of the Topless 50 with fast qualifier and first heat race winner Ralph Withem on the pole. Withem quickly nabbed the early race lead with Lucas and Tim Dohm in hot pursuit. Lucas challenged Withem for the lead on lap 5 and completed the pass one circuit later. The race’s first caution flew on lap 7 for the slowing car of Harold Redman Jr.

On the restart, Lucas motored ahead and distanced himself from Withem and Dohm as Mike Benedum, Jason Montgomery, and Ed Shuman battled for fourth. A pair of lap 16 cautions kept Lucas from checking out and allowed Norm Aronhalt to join the dogfight for the fourth position.

When the race restarted, Lucas wasted no time stretching out to a comfortable lead. As quickly as the lead was built it was diminished near the halfway point when Lucas tried to slice his way through lapped traffic. The backmarkers allowed both Withem and Dohm as well as Benedum to close back in on Lucas.

The front trio remained the same until lap 36 when Dohm slowed on the speedway for a flat tire. During the caution, Aronhalt retired to the pits which made Lucas, Withem, Benedum, Shuman, and Motgomery the top 5 with 14 laps to go.

A caution three circuits later helped keep the field tight as Withem looked to apply pressure to Lucas. As the field received the ten-to-go signal, Withem stuck his nose under Lucas coming off the corners. Withem continued to duck under Lucas until he finally pulled even with the race leader with just 5 laps to go. With the crowd on their feet, Withem nosed ahead of Lucas on lap 46. One lap later the race’s final yellow waved when Larry Bond stopped on the speedway. The caution set up a three lap dash to the finish.

When racing resumed, Lucas shot to the outside of Withem looking to retake the lead. Lucas and Withem raced side-by-side around one and two and down the backstretch, but Lucas throttled ahead on the front straightaway with two laps to go. Withem looked under Lucas on several occasions, including a peek inside coming off turn four to take the checkered, but to no avail as Steve Lucas put the Don White owned Rocket Chassis sponsored #2 in victory lane. Withem finished 2nd with Benedum 3rd, Shuman 4th, and Montgomery 5th.

The AMRA Modified feature saw JC Casto and Kenny Johnson lead the field to the green with Johnson getting the early edge. Johnson pulled ahead by a few car lengths while Casto and John Burdette raced hard for 2nd. Burdette grabbed 2nd on lap 5 and reeled in Johnson. Burdette pulled even with the race leader on lap 5, but Johnson inched ahead the next time by. An outstanding battle for the lead saw Johnson and Burdette side-by-side for several laps as seventh-starting Mark Dickson moved into third and closed in on the leaders. A yellow with five laps remaining tightened the field back up and, on the restart, Burdette looked for a winning pass. Johnson quickly shut the door, but Burdette wouldn’t give up. In a scenario eerily similar to that of two weeks ago, Johnson slipped high with a lap-and-a-half to go opening the door for Budette. The front duo was side-by-side as they took the white flag and Burdette pulled ahead in turns one and two. When the checkered flag waved, Burdette was the first to cross the stripe in his Burdette Camping Center/Performance Chassis/33 Auto Sales sponsored #RV1. Johnson settled for 2nd with Dickson, Ryan Mayle, and Casto completing the top 5.

Pat Gillian didn’t make the Street Stock feature as exciting as the previous two A-Mains. Gillian started on the outside pole and quickly took the lead from pole-sitter Barry Fairbanks. Behind them, Jim Ashcraft, Ronnie Mayle, and Joe Memel diced in out for the third spot. Gillian had a comfortable lead over Fairbanks when mechanical woes forced Fairbanks to fall pitside with just 5 laps remaining. From there, Gillian put the Canepari Race Cars/Last Lap Performance Parts sponsored #19c in cruise control and walked into winner’s circle. Mayle, Memel, John Powell Jr., and Mike Martin followed Gillian to the stripe.

Fourth-starting Kevin Dotson wasted no time getting to the front of the Pure Stock feature as he moved past Charlie Joy to grab the point on lap 2. Dotson kept Eric Francis at bay until a caution with just one lap to go set up a green/checkered situation. When racing resumed, Francis looked for a way around but couldn’t get the job done as Kevin Dotson picked up the win. Francis claimed 2nd with Robert Mayle 3rd, Jeff Tolliver 4th, and Joe Hall 5th.

With his passenger strapped in beside him, Matt Long charged to the early lead in the 4-Cylinder feature. Long remained in the lead until Randy Wise pulled even with him on lap 7. The two raced neck-and-neck for two laps until Wise slipped ahead for good with three laps to go and held on for the win. Long would finish 2nd with Charlie Heiss, Charles Daugherty, and Joe Misel rounding out the top 5.

Next Friday night, April 25th, Skyline Speedway will host the Cyclone 20 for the 4-Cylinders as well as a regular racing program for all other classes. In addition, next Friday will be the Kid’s Gold Rush sponsored by Ed Gillian of 33 Auto Sales. For more information visit Skyline Speedway’s website at


Friday, April 25th -- Cyclone 20 for 4-Cylinders, plus the 33 Auto Sales Kid’s Gold Rush.

Friday, May 2nd -- Dirt Fever 25 for the AMRA Modifieds ($800 to win)!

Friday, May 9th -- Mother’s Night! One lucky mom will win a season pass.

Friday, May 16th -- STARS Late Models ($3000 to win, $300 to start)!!!!!



Results for 4/18/03


Topless 50:

(finish, start, car #, driver)

1. (2) 2 Steve Lucas

2. (1) 15w Ralph Withem

3. (4) 25 Mike Benedum

4. (8) 0 Ed Shuman

5. (5) 21 Jason Montgomery

6. (15) 8 Mitch Brunton

7. (7) 22 Mike McDaniel

8. (10) 38 Gary Midcap Jr.

9. (11) 10 Larry Bond

10. (17) 12 Cortney Clewell

11. (3) 6T Tim Dohm

12. (12) 11A Norm Aronhalt

13. (13) 001 Greg Mitchell

14. (9) 5D Dave Hackathorn

15. (16) 0 Larry Smith

16. (18) 11 Rick Hudnell

17. (6) 28 Harold Redman Jr.

18. (14) T7 Todd Smith

Fast Qualifier: Ralph Withem/12.43

Heat #1: Withem, Benedum, McDaniel, Midcap Jr., Mitchell, Hudnell, Andy Bond

Heat #2: Lucas, Montgomery, Shuman, L. Bond, T. Smith, Jim Edminston, L. Smith, Brent Steele

Heat #3: Dohm, Redman Jr., Hackathorn, Aronhalt, Brunton, Doug Henry, Clewell, Dan Morrison, John Brown

B-Main: L. Smith, Clewell, Hudnell, Steele, Edminston; (DNS – Henry, A. Bond, Morrison, Brown)

Cautions: 6 (laps 7, 16, 16, 36, 39, 47)

Lap Leaders

Withem, 1-5

Lucas, 6-45

Withem, 46-47

Lucas, 48-50


Heat #1: JC Casto, Danny Talbott, Mark Dickson, Jess Hartman, Chris Dickson, Matt Yates, Tommy Powell, Jeremy Berwanger, Todd Brennan

Heat #2: Kenny Johnson, Scott Linville, Brian Nethers, Larry Bond, Rick Venham Jr., Ben Adkins, Butch Malone, Jim Johnson

Heat #3: John Burdette, Ryan Mayle, Jason Brookover, Sam Lovejoy, Doug Adkins, Rodney Keefer, Roy Johnson; (DNS – JP Roberts)

B-Main: Malone, Berwanger, R. Johnson, B. Adkins, Yates, Brennan, Powell, J. Johnson; (DNS – Keefer, Roberts)

Feature: Burdette, K. Johnson, M. Dickson, Mayle, Casto, B. Adkins, Malone, Linville, Berwanger, C. Dickson, Hartman, Talbott, Nethers, Bond, D. Adkins, Brookover, Venham Jr., Lovejoy


Heat 1: Barry Fairbanks, Jim Ashcraft, Ronnie Mayle, Robert Hendrix, Mike Martin, Lee Heavener, Darrin Roush, Jeremy Jarvis, Frank Roush

Heat #2: Pat Gillian, Joe Memel, John Powell Jr., Jeremy Blake, Tony Roush, Jeff Gress, Steve Bigley, JR Crum

Feature: Gillian, Mayle, Memel, Powell Jr., Martin, Ashcraft, Blake, Heavener, Fairbanks, Hendrix, F. Roush, T. Roush, D. Roush, Gress, Crum; (DNS – Jarvis, Bigley)


Heat #1: Charlie Joy, Kevin Dotson, Richard Smith, Tom Murphy, Gary Wells, Josh McDaniel, Mike Shinn

Heat #2: Jeff Wells, Jeff Tolliver, Eric Francis, Veryle Lauer, Mike Schafer, Naaman Heiss, Bill Spurlock

Heat #3: Robert Mayle, Roxanne Hubbard, Duke Snyder, Joe Hall, Brian Dotson, Perry Snyder, Curt Reck, Dana Wheeler

B-Main: Wheeler, Heiss, McDaniel, Spurlock, Reck, P. Snyder; (DNS – Shinn)

Feature: K. Dotson, Francis, Mayle, Tolliver, Hall, Schafer, Heiss, Hubbard, Murphy, Joy, G. Wells, J. Wells, Wheeler, McDaniel, Lauer, Smith, D. Snyder;; (DQ – B. Dotson)


Heat #1: Charles Daugherty, Randy Wise, Charlie Heiss, Jeremy Misel, Barry Fluty, Candace Bigham, Ryan Cline

Heat #2: Matt Long, Joe Misel, Bill Wright, Spike Rizor, Jeff Stull, Kyle Barth, Brad Sampson, Crack Seckman

Feature: Wise, Long, Heiss, Daugherty, Joe Misel, Fluty, Jeremy Misel, Wright, Barth, Rizor, Heiss, Stull, Cline, Seckman, Sampson, Bigham

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