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Full Track story

McGuire wins first late model feature of season at Eriez

By Jay Pees

ERIE, PA (July 18, 1999) - Northeast, PA’s Pat McGuire won his qualifying heat to earn the pole position for tonight’s feature, then led wire-to-wire for his first Late Model victory of 1999. McGuire, who has five Limited Late Model wins this year, opened a quarter lap lead by the tenth circuit and was nearly half a lap ahead of nearest competitor Rod Maloy when the race’s first caution flew on lap sixteen, for Maloy, whose car had lost power in turn three and was unable to leave the track. Another caution was wave on the seventeenth lap, but after that, McGuire simply powered away from the field. Matt Urban ran second at the checkers with John Lobb recording yet another fine run for third. Steve Halpainy and Chub Frank ranked fourth and fifth. McGuire, Maloy, and Urban won the heat events.

Sinclairville, NY’s John Lacki triumphed in the Limited Late Model feature, bringing his win total for the weekend to two, having won the previous night at Stateline. Lacki started the race in seventh position. Bill Catania, Jr had started from the pole position and led the first three laps. On the restart from a caution after three laps, Joe Weber made a daring three-wide pass going down the back straight. The race ran green only two more laps before the two more caution flags were required to complete lap five. Lacki had by this time advanced to second and began hounding Weber at the drop of the flag on lap six. Coming out of turn two on lap nine, Lacki got to the inside of Weber and outpowered him down the back chute for the lead. The veteran driver was never challenged the remainder of the event. Lacki had previously scored two wins at Stateline, but this was his first at Eriez in ’99. Weber finished the race second with Chris Hackett third, Bobby Rohrer fourth, and Pat McGuire fifth. John "Snoop Losey" and Hackett won the heat races.

The Empire Super Sprints were at Eriez for their second and final visit in 1999. Tim Kelly scored his third ESS victory of 1999, besting Tom Taber, Gregg Pottorff, Scott Holcomb, and Dan Kaszubinski. Kelly started from the pole position and was never challenged over the twenty-lap distance. Holcomb, Kaszubinski, and Kelly won the qualifying heats for the twenty-nine sprinters on hand while John Karklin, Jr won the B-Main.

Matt Green and Dave Eades brought the fifteen Super Sportsman cars to Spanky Hall’s green flag with Green winning the drag race to turn one. Eades kept close to the leader until a caution in lap three returned the cars to a double file format for the restart. Going into turn one on the restart, the leaders made contact and both spun, bringing out another caution. After this yellow, Don McGuire was first on the grid and immediately pulled out to a large lead and was never challenged as he went on to his first win of the year at Eriez. Eades came back through the field to finish second with Don Stanley third, John Willow fourth, and Dan Nocero, Jr fifth. Stanley and Gary Foster won the heats.

Dewey Kinnear led the eighteen cars to the stripe for the first Cadet finale and led for the first lap, then looped his car in turn two, with several cars piling into him to bring out the first of seven yellow flags. On the restart Ken Drake took command and held it until point leader Wade Slaney got by on lap nine when the leader slipped up the racetrack in turn two and went on to record his second victory of the season. Drake continued to the finish in second with Herm Hilyer in third.

John Coughlin led the first six laps of the second cadet feature, then was displaced at the front by 1998 Champion Greg Fenno. Fenno went on to his third triumph of 1999 with Jeff Gunnell winding up second and current circuit points leader Steve Yokum third.

Kinnear, Chris Withers, and Andy Sweetland were victorious in the heats. Chad Carlson grabbed the win in the "Run for the Money" race for last week’s winners.

Justin Carlson led the entire 10 laps to record his first win of 1999 in the first Spectator feature. Following Carlson to the line were Scott Coon and Brad Pease.

Derrick Dickerson paced the field for the first two circuits in the second Spectator feature before surrendering the lead to Jim Kennerknecht, driving the car formerly driven by 1998 point champion Ed Hart. Kennerknecht steered his new mount to his first win of the season with Dickerson second and Mike Harmon third.

The final Spectator feature had Brian Guzowski leading through lap three, then Kelly Frederes up front in lap four. Rick Thompson then took over and held the lead until the white flag lap when young Dave Hess, Jr got by on the inside. Thompson wasn’t through, however, and got back by Hess in the final turn to capture his second win of 1999 and fifth overall on the circuit. Hess wound up second with point leader Chris Sutton coming home third.

Coon, Harmon, and Chuck Hart won the preliminaries.