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Winters weathers storm at Speedway

March 26, 2002

Marvin Winters grabbed the lead from the pole and held off the challenge of Gary Stuhler the final 10 laps Sunday to win the 30-lap late model feature at the Hagerstown Speedway.

Meanwhile, J.R. Heffner, of Averille Park, N.Y., passed Gil Teggt for the lead on the ninth lap and fought off Brett Hearn and Jamie Mills on the final two laps to win the 30-lap small block modified feature.

Both drivers pocketed $2,000 for their efforts and Heffner also received a guaranteed starting spot for the Octoberfest 350 on Oct. 26-27. Eric Hay of Somerset, Pa, led all the way for the win in the 15-lap modified Light/Dwarf car main event.

Winters, of Mercersburg, Pa., started on the late model pole and blasted his way out in front bringing the inside line of cars of D.J. Myers and Stuhler with him while Charlie Schaffer settled for fourth.

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On the 13th lap, Stuhler moved withing two-car lengths Winters for the rest of the race. Several times Stuhler was able to get his nose along Winters' back quarter-panel on the straightaways, but was never able to get underneath the leader.

Stuhler made one last effort on the final lap, but came up short as Winters picked up his first win since returning to the late models at the end of last year.

"This really feels good, its been a long time since I won a late model race," said Winters who last recorded a late model win in February 1998 before assembling 23 wins in the late model sportsman the past two years. "We got a great car owner, we been at the front a lot, I just hope that this turns things around and have a good year maybe."

Stuhler finished second, followed by Schaffer, Frankie Plessinger and Kenny Pettyjohn in the 43-car field.

In the small block modified feature, Teggt quickly jumped out to a ten car length lead at the drop of the green with Heffner, Kevin Hirthler and Bret Hearn in pursuit. A caution on lap six wiped out the large lead of Teggt and two laps after the restart on lap nine, Heffner took the lead when Teggt came out of the first turn high against the cushion. Hearn followed Heffner under Teggt for second and began to pressure the leader.

Hearn kept the pressure on Heffner. On lap 26, Mills cleared Hirthler and within two laps was right behind Heffner and Hearn. With two laps remaining, the three cars charged through two lapped cars and somehow came out in the same order with Heffner still on stop. Going into the third turn on the final lap, the leaders were on lapped cars again. As Hearn set-up to make a final attempt for the lead, Mills made a charge inside of Hearn making contact that allowed Heffner to get away for the win.

Hearn was able to straighten himself out to finish second while Mills spunout. Kevin Hirthler and Kenny Brightbill were able to slip through the congestion for third and fourth.

In the 15-lap dwarf car feature, Eric Hay took the lead from the pole and never looked back as he scored his first career win at Hagerstown. Bobby Walls, Jon Callaway, Nick Hendricks and Laddis Musser rounded out the top five.

30-Lap Late Model Feature

(43 Cars)

1. Marvin Winters; 2. Gary Stuhler; 3. Charlie Schaffer; 4. Frankie Plessinger; 5. Kenny Pettyjohn; 6. Rick Workman; 7. Andy Fries; 8. James Adkins; 9. Dan Stone; 10. Keith Barbara; 11. Jeff Smith; 12. Tim Wilson; 13. Jim Bernheisel; 14. Brad Fiesler; 15. Gerald Davis; 16. Kirk Ryan; 17. Bobby Stokes; 18. Mike Lupfer; 19. Drew Koteles; 20. Devin Friese; 21. D.J. Myers; 22. Alan Sagi; 23. Mike Christopher; 24. Paul Crowl; 25. Andy Anderson; 26. Buck Tomblin. DNQ: Billy Wampler; Doug Burkholder; Scott Andrews; Wesley Bonebrake; Joe Leavell; Donnie Farlling; Jeff Leiphart; Jamie Eichholtz; Jere Wierman; Billy Tucker; Eric Hons; Jeremy Stone; Tom Myers; Jeff Gassmann; Scott Lupfer; Tom Decker; Shawn Cosbrov. Race Leaders: Winters 1-30

30-Lap Small Block Modified Octoberfest Qualifier

(34 Cars)

1. J.R. Heffner; 2. Bret Hearn; 3. Kevin Hirthler; 4. Kenny Brightbill; 5. Craig VonDohren; 6. Mike Costen; 7. Gil Teggt; 8. Rick Laubach; 9. Doug ManMiller; 10. Richard Brown; 11. Kyle Strickler; 12. Bob Ebersole; 13. MeMe DeSantis; 14. Mitch Gibbs; 15. Gary Hager; 16. Kyle Weiss; 17. Ryan Watt; 18. Jamie Mills; 19. Jack Hartnett; 20. Lenny Leibold; 21. Ray Swinehart; 22. Al Shawver Jr.; 23. Norman Short; 24. Dion LaSalle. DNQ: Jason Smythe; John Wilman; Greg Sarangoulf; Sparky White; Jeff Graby; Todd Marburger; Jimmy Chester; Mark Frankhouser; Keith Brightbill; Barry Badinger. Race Leaders: Teggt, 1-8; Heffner, 9-30.

15-Lap modified Lights/Dwarf Cars

(39 Cars)

1. Eric Hay; 2. Bobby Walls; 3. Jon Callaway; 4. Nick Hendricks; 5. Laddis Musser; 6. Mike Uamino; 7. Tracy Fritter; 8. Tom Curtis; 9. Mike Stratton; 10. Lynn Knepper; 11. Tim White; 12. John Curtis; 13. Steve Dutton; 14. Mike Hay; 15. Bobby Brown; 16. Frank Dunkie; 17. Glenn Richards; 18. Dennis Candy; 19. Hal Merrick; 20. George Gwynn; 21. Eddie Benedick; 22. Joshua Sigman; 23. Steve White; 24. Rick Buttle; 25. Jim Kurpakas; 26. Tyler Reno. DNQ: Ray Puglese; John Witrowski; Bill Bauer; Butch Summer; Greg Johnson; Wes Funck; Dan Hageman; Don Droney; Dale Hawkins; Jeff Barclay; Frankie Dunkle; Elvis Matlick; Gary Summer. Race Leaders: Hay 1-15.

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