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Sagi cruises, takes Speedway win

Three drivers earn their second victories of the season

August 30, 2010|By C.J. LOVELACE/Staff Correspondent
  • Alan Sagi (81) makes his final pass on Jamie Lathroum (6) on his way to winning the Bull Durham/Shorty Bowers Memorial at Hagerstown Speedway on Saturday night.
Photo by Jason Walls, WRT Speedwerx

Hagerstown's own Alan Sagi made it look easy.

It's safe to say that Sagi, who some track officials say has "run about a million laps" at the speedway in various classes, knows the racing lines as good as anyone.

Using the bottom to perfection all night, Sagi drove under Jamie Lathroum on Lap 20 and pulled away by almost an entire straightaway to earn Saturday night's 30th Annual Shorty Bowers/Bull Durham 30-lap Late Model Championship at the Hagerstown Speedway.

"It's really nice for me to win this race," said Sagi, who earned his second win of the season. "I've been fortunate enough to win a lot of the big races at the speedway over the years... but I've never won this one."

With several members of the Bowers family as good friends, Sagi said it was an honor to stand in victory lane.

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"And my dad was a really good friend of Mr. Durham," he said. "I remember seeing Mr. Durham at the house when I was a little kid, sitting at the kitchen table, talking to dad about things going on at the track. So that makes it neat for me to win."

With the win, Sagi jumps to third in the overall points standings with just one race left. He trails defending track champ Roy Deese Jr. by just three points for second. Both drivers are pursuing current points leader Frankie Plessinger, who now has a 125-point edge on Deese.

Deese failed to finish Saturday night's feature, bowing out on Lap 9 with rear suspension problems.

Lathroum, of Mechanicsville, Md., finished a distant second behind Sagi, followed by Gary Stuhler, Jerry Bard and Tyler Hershey to round out the top 5.

Bard jumped out to the early lead before fading late. The 54-year-old Shippensburg rookie is still searching for that elusive first win.

Mike Lupfer, Plessinger, J.T. Spence, Marvin Winters and Brain Booze completed the top 10. Hershey, Bard and Lathroum won the Late Model heat races.

Also earning his second win of the year, Ashley Barrett, of Shippensburg, Pa., turned in a dominating performance in the 20-lap Late Model Sportsman feature.

Barrett has come close numerous times this season, but has just had awful luck in finding victory lane. His last win was in April.

"I'm really happy to here tonight," said Barrett, who used a lower line around Hagerstown rather than his typical high-line approach. "I never event went to the top tonight," he said. "I got there in the front and I said 'you know what, I'm going to stay here' and it worked out for us tonight."

Barrett shot by early leader and rookie Justin Weaver and checked out to run away with the convincing win.

Weaver finished second followed by Steve Axtell Jr., Andy Fries and Scott Palmer to complete the top 5. Points leader Pete Weaver, Glenn Elliott, Paul Cursey, Chad Myers, Robby Beall made up the top 10.

In a scary moment in the race, Richard Walls lost steering control entering the first turn on Lap 4 and slammed the wall hard almost head-on, bringing out the red flag from track officials. He was uninjured, but his race car was heavily damaged and had to be towed from the track.

Justin Weaver, Richard Walls and Rodney Walls took the heats.

Keeping with the theme of second-win performances, Darrin Younker, of Berkeley Springs, W.Va., did the same, earning his second trip to victory lane in the 15-lap Pure Stock feature.

After a crash on Lap 1 forced several cars to the pit area, Younker got a great restart and jumped out to grab the lead from Danny Beavers, but the win wasn't guaranteed until he saw that checkered flag.

Dave Stouffer Jr., who was collected in the Lap 1 pile-up and had to restart in the rear, was gaining ground on Younker as the laps clicked off, but he ran out of time to make a pass.

"He looked pretty good in the heat race," said Younker of Stouffer. "Like I say, it's never easy. It's a little easier when you start a little toward the front, but I tell you what, we've worked hard for this."

After Younker and Stouffer, Beavers was third, Brian Miller finished fourth and Mike Warrenfeltz came home fifth. Billy Ecton Jr., Kevin Koontz, Kenny Dillon, Kevin Koontz and Mike Sanders completed the top 10.

Younker and Miller won their respective heat races.

Saturday will be the final points races for all divisions and features the 25th Annual McBee/Hays Championship 44-lapper for the Late Models. Racing starts at 7 p.m.

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