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Moran STARS at Hagerstown

April 25, 1999|By MIKE SIRBAUGH / Staff Correspondent

Sometimes, the only way to truly appreciate an accomplishment is to be there in person and witness it for yourself.

Saturday night, Donnie Moran of Dresden, Ohio, took the lead on the first lap and handily won the 18th Annual Stanley Schetrompf Memorial at the Hagerstown Speedway.

Sounds too easy. It wasn't.

Moran finished second in the time trials to Rick Aukland and earned another second behind Bart Hartman in his qualifying heat.

The six-time trial winners then raced 15 laps in a dash for cash and Moran came in fourth, earning him a fourth-place starting position in the 50-lap feature.

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But when the field took the green flag, Moran burst past Aukland, Lynn Geisler and R.J. Conley and began his quest for the $6,000 winners purse and his fourth STARS victory at Hagerstown.

Rodney Franklin's start resembled Moran's, and he sped from sixth to second by lap 2 and immediately began to dog the leader. But, in one of the cleanest big races in recent memory, Moran had to deal with only one caution flag, on lap 29, and was able to steadily pull away from Franklin and the rest of the field.

However, Moran still had to display his driving skills as the leaders encountered lapped traffic as early as lap 12 and he deftly maneuvered his No. 99, holding off Franklin for the final 38 laps.

"The Speedway was in super condition tonight," Moran said. "You could run high or low, anywhere you wanted to go. The track changed a little, but we just ran consistent laps all race long."

Aukland came in third, Hartman was fourth and Brent Smith took fifth.

Wayne Walls Jr. was in top form in the late model sportsman 20-lap feature, winning the race by charging from his ninth starting position and taking the lead from Mike Yeakle on lap 15.

The second place finisher, Yeakle had taken the lead from Scott Sipe on lap 5 and held on before being overtaken by Walls. Darryl Burkholder, Sipe and Richard Walls rounded out the top five.

Chambersburg's Steve Long earned his first Hagerstown win in the pure stocks 15-lap feature. Long began first, lost the lead to Gary Calimer on lap 3 and snatched it back on lap 13 to edge Calimer. Jeff Bennett, Bruce Leibowitz and Bill Ecton completed the top five.

Tommy Jerin got his first win of the year in the 4-cylinder 10-lap race, followed by Eric Mellott, Brian Miller, Dean Holmes and Andy Holmes.

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