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New Jersey driver qualifies for Octoberfest 350

March 24, 2006

Brett Hearn of Sussex, N.J., led all the way dominating the 30-lap small-block modified feature to win his second race of the season at the Hagerstown Speedway last Sunday. In addition to the $2,000 first-place money, Hearn earned the guaranteed starting spot for the 100-lap $10,000-to-win small-block feature in the Octoberfest 350 on Oct. 28-29.

"The car was awesome. The car wasn't good in the beginning, but it stepped up in the middle." said Hearn after notching his 20th career win at Hagerstown. "We have a solid program in both the big block and small block, and we are looking forward to Saturday night for the Super Dirt Series. I want to win Saturday since I am hoping to win the DIRT championship this year."

"The guaranteed starting spots are important for the Octoberfest, especially when you have 60-65 cars trying to qualify," added Hearn, who didn't have any tire problems like some of the other drivers experienced. "This is the same tire I used last week to win the big-block race."

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Rick Eckert of York, Pa., made his all-night drive from a postponed World of Outlaws event in Louisiana pay off as he led every lap to win the 30-lap Cindy Rowe Auto Glass late-model feature and also earned a guaranteed starting spot in the late-model part of the Octoberfest.

"I didn't really have a good car today, but we had a good starting spot," said Eckert after his 19th career win. "The track was tough with the sun going into turn three and also slippery. Hopefully we aren't racing elsewhere and can come back here and use this guaranteed starting spot in October."

Hearn started on the pole in the 30-lap small-block feature and quickly pulled in front of Willy Decker and Kevin Hirthler. Jimmy Horton passed Hirthler for third on the second lap right before the first caution was waved. On the restart, Hearn jumped in front and by the 10th lap was putting the slower cars a lap down. While Decker tried to keep pace with the leader, Horton began to pressure Decker for the runner-up spot. As Hearn dominated the race, the only thing that kept Hearn close to the rest of the field were the flat right rear tires of Dave Duboin on lap 18 and Hirthler on lap 19. But once the race resumed, Hearn easily pulled away from the field. Horton passed Decker for second on lap 26, but did not have anything for the leader as Hearn easily picked up his second win of the year.

Horton was next, and Mike Colsten charged through the field in the latter stages from his ninth starting spot for third. Decker and Billy Pauch rounded out the top five. Kenny Brightbill and Richie Pratt were next, with Ray Swinehart coming from 15th for eighth. Kevin Bates and H.J. Bunting III finished out the top 10. Heat winners for the 34 small-block modifieds were Hirthler, Decker and Hearn. Brian Kresley won the consolation.

Gerald Davis got the jump on Eckert at the start of the 30-lap late-model feature, but a multicar pileup going into the third turn before the first lap was completed wiped out Davis's move. The race was restarted single file for drivers' safety with Eckert taking the lead from the pole with Davis, Ronnie DeHaven and Tim McCreadie in pursuit. DeHaven bolted around Davis on the fifth lap only to have the caution wave for Steve Kent. Eckert pulled away from the field on the restart and by the 20th lap was working his way through the rear of the field. DeHaven passed Davis on lap 21 and started to close in on Eckert in the final laps of the race, but Eckert was never seriously challenged as he picked up the win and the guaranteed starting spot for the Octoberfest.

Dehaven settled for second with McCreadie, who also towed from Louisiana, third. Allen Brannon and Davis rounded out the top five. Gary Stuhler, Andy Anderson, Jason Covert, Roy Deese Jr. and Bo Feathers completed the top 10. Brannon, DeHaven, Davis and Eckert were the heat winners for the 46 late models. Tim Wilson and Jared Miley won the consolations.

This Saturday the Super DIRT Series modifieds come to Hagerstown for a 100-lap $6,000-to-win race in the first Saturday night race of the season. Joining the modifieds will be the Cindy Rowe Auto Glass late models Race time is 6 p.m. with gates opening at 4 p.m.

30-Lap Small-Block Feature: 1. Brett Hearn; 2. Jimmy Horton; 3. Mike Colsten; 4. Willy Decker; 5. Billy Pauch; 6. Kenny Brightbill; 7. Richie Pratt; 8. Ray Swinehart; 9. Kevin Bates; 10. H.J. Bunting III; 11. Ron Cartwright; 12. Kevin Hirther; 13. Paul Kinney; 14. Gary Hager; 15. Kyle Wriss; 16. Sean Merkle; 17. Dave Duboin; 18. Mark Frankhouser; 19. Bryan Terwilleger; 20. Brian Kresley; 21. David Calaman; 22. Dion Lasalle; 23. Junior Green; 24. Vic Coffey. DNQ: Gary Wagner; Dale Hartz; Rich Scagliotta; Robbie Grant; Colt Harris; Ryan Grim; Gary Smoker; Ryan Grimm; Tom Miller. DNS: Ron Riccio; Mile Iles. (Lap Leaders: Hearn, 1-30) 34 cars.

30-Lap Cindy Rowe Auto Glass Late-Model Feature: 1. Rick Eckert; 2. Ronnie DeHaven; 3. Tim McCreadie; 4. Allen Brannon; 5. Gerald Davis; 6. Gary Stuhler; 7. Andy Anderson; 8. Jason Covert; 9. Roy Deese Jr.; 10. Bo Feathers; 11. Alan Sagi; 12. Devin Friese; 13. Brent Smith; 14. J.T. Spence; 15. Daryl Hills; 16. Billy Wampler; 17. Brian Booze; 18. Jared Miley; 19. Bobby Stokes; 20. Frankie Plessinger; 21. Scott Haus; 22. Wayne Johnson; 23. Steve Kent Jr.; 24. Kris Eaton; 25. Tyler Hershey; 26. Tim Wilson. DNQ: Dave Zona; Scott Palmer; Cody Lear; David Reed; Brian Tavenner; Terry Flaherty; Kyle Lear; Ryan Hackett; Barry Lear Sr.; Mike Walls; Jeff Johnson; Mike Mort; Greg Robertson; Billy Marvin; Josh Knoll; Mike Lupfer. DNS: Denny Bonebrake; Kirk Baker; Gary Simpson; Lewis Hudson. (Lap Leaders: Eckert 1-30) 46 cars.

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