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STARS shine in Hagerstown

May 18, 1998|By MIKE SIRBAUGH / Staff Correspondent

Despite the overcast skies and a smattering of rain, the STARS were out Saturday night at the Hagerstown Speedway for the 17th Annual Stanley Schetrompf Memorial for late models.

Current STARS points leader and two-time defending champion Steve Francis, of Ashland, Ky., broke Gary Stuhler's streak of five straight Schetrompf Memorial wins by taking the lead on the first of 50 laps to earn the $8,000 winner's purse.

"The guys on the radio did a good job," Francis said. "We set ourselves a good, even pace and tried not to make any mistakes. The track was excellent. Hagerstown is always a good track."

Rick Eckert, of York, Pa., moved from his third place starting position into second on lap 14 and followed Francis through lapped traffic the rest of the way to easily win the $4,000 second-place money. Greencastle, Pa.'s Stuhler finished third for $2,500, and Rodney Franklin came in fourth to earn $1,500.

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Wayne Walls Jr. continued his dominance of the late model sportsman division, winning his fifth consecutive race and sixth of the season.

He also earned the Hard Charger award by starting 12th, working his way to the leaders by lap 5 and taking the top spot from brother Richard at the halfway point in the 20-lap feature.

"I'd like to thank Hagerstown for getting the track as smooth and fast as it is," Walls said. "There's no friends or relatives while you're out on the track. Everybody wants to win."

Richard Walls, in first from the second lap until Wayne passed him, held on for second with Barry Miller and Darryl Burkholder close behind.

Kim Ramer won his second pure stock feature in three weeks to move into second place in the point standings. Ramer took the lead on lap 12 when race leader Mike Warrenfeltz was bumped and spun out in heavy traffic on the first turn of the previous lap.

As the green flag dropped, Ramer shot past Bruce Leibowitz, who finished second. Ricky Harbaugh, Bill Funk and Jeff Bennett complete the top five.

In the 4-cylinder feature, Brian Miller started 10th, moved up to third on lap 4, and passed Art Jerin on the eighth lap to earn his third victory of the season and propel him into the lead in the tight point standings.

Jerin finished second, Tony Daniels was third, and Andy Holmes came in fourth.

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