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Stuhler caps stellar year with Octoberfest 350 win

October 28, 2003

A record 249 late models, modified and sprint cars signed in for the 16th Annual Octoberfest 350 at the Hagerstown Speedway on Saturday.

Following 37 qualifying events and 350 laps of feature racing at Hagerstown Speedway this weekend, four drivers went home $10,000 richer Sunday by winning feature events at the 16th annual Octoberfest 350 before a record crowd.

Gary Stuhler, of Greencastle, Pa. - the 2003 Hagerstown Speedway track champion - ended his record-setting season by winning his second straight $10,000 feature in the late model 100-lap finale.

Brian Weaver of Windsor, N.Y., grabbed the biggest win of his career in the 100-lap big block modified feature, Andy Bachetti of Shefield, Mass., won the 100-lap small block modified feature and Greg Hodnett of Memphis, Tenn., ended a great season with a victory in the 50-lap super sprint feature.

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It was the first Octoberfest win for Hodnett, Weaver and Bachetti and the fourth for Stuhler.

Polesitter Tom Myers led the 100-lap late model feature as the red flag was waved on lap 50 for the fuel stop, but steam rolled from the his car in the pits, forcing Myers out of the race and turning the lead over to Rick Eckert.

Eckert led the field with Stuhler, Todd Andrews, D.J. Myers and Brian Ruhlman in pursuit. By lap 70, Eckert had opened a 10 car-length lead and looked to be on his way to a third straight Octoberfest win when he rolled to a stop with a broken ball joint.

Stuhler assumed the lead on the restart and stayed three car-lengths in front until caution came out on the next-to-last lap.

Stuhler had no problem on the restart as he crossed the finish line five car-lengths in front of Andrews.

Myers and Ruhlman were third and fourth, while Kenny Pettyjohn came from 15th to finish fifth.

Tickets are on sale for the Hagerstown Speedway Annual Awards Banquet and Dance. The event is scheduled for Dec. 20 at 6 p.m. For more information, call the track at 301-582-0640.

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