New faces take top places at Speedway

September 15, 1998|By MIKE SIRBAUGH / Staff Correspondent

Is this the new regime? The next generation of drivers?

Fans were treated to a novel experience Sunday night at the Hagerstown Speedway. Two divisions were won by drivers who have begun to make their presence known, and the two higher classes saw new drivers in Victory Lane.

Jeremy Miller of Littlestown, Pa., won his first career late model feature in the 40-lap Richard "Boney" Bonebrake Memorial.

Miller started ninth as pole-sitter Kyle Pettyjohn held the early lead. Charlie Schaffer, winner of two consecutive late model races, took over the lead on lap 7 and held on for the next 23 laps, stretching it to a dozen car lengths.

Miller worked his way up to third by the 14th lap, and, 10 laps later, he exploded past Rodney Franklin to take over second. By lap 28, he was challenging Schaffer. Miller overtook him down the back straightaway, passing on the outside three laps later.


Miller, driving a new yellow No. 75, a Masterbilt from Bart Hartman, gradually opened a half-a-straightaway lead by the time he took the checkered flag. He beat some well-known competition.

Nathan Durboraw finished second, followed by Gary Stuhler and Franklin. Schaffer dropped out right after Miller passed him, the rear end of his No. 11 going out on the fourth turn.

"I've got to really thank my parents," Miller said. "I've got to thank Bart Hartman for all his support. We had no idea what this car would do. This race is by far the best."

In the late model sportsman 20-lap feature, Devin Friese earned his first career victory. He took the low groove in turn 2 on the third lap and passed Alan Sagi and Scott Andrews. Both had gone high and made enough contact to slow each other down for Friese's maneuver to work.

Friese opened a half-a-straightaway lead, until a caution on lap 16 brought him back to the field.

With track champion Wayne Walls Jr. in second, it appeared that Friese's lead was in jeopardy. But Friese was more than up to the task. In the remaining five laps, he regained all of his lead and more to take the win. Walls finished second, and Andrews came in third.

"(The caution) was the last thing I wanted to see," said Friese after he was joined by his father, Bob, also a driver in the race, in Victory Lane.

"I'm very proud," Bob Friese said. "In his second full season, this is just great."

Kenny Dillon of Hanover, Pa., won his second consecutive feature, his third of the year, in the pure stock division.

With one of the fastest cars on the track, Dillon moved quickly through the field, taking taking advantage of every opening to get to the front.

On the fifth lap, he passed Doug Bennett on the outside and held on in the 15-lap race, beating Bennett by a car length. Dave Rice Jr. took third and Mike Warrenfeltz fourth.

Art Jerin won the Ernie's Salvage Yard 25 for the 4-cylinders in a flag-to-flag victory. Jerin had the inside pole and brother Tommy Jerin started on the outside. They dueled each other for 15 laps.

Eric Mellott passed Tommy Jerin on the inside of the back straightaway and pressured Art Jerin for the last three laps of the 25-lap race.

But Art Jerin was too strong.

Tommy Jerin finished third, followed by Derek Wink.

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