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Frank's fast weekend continues; Win includes pole position honors for Eriez 100-lapper

By Jay Pees

ERIEZ, PA (July 4, 1999) - John Lobb and Pat McGuire brought the twenty-eight car Late Model field to Spanky Hall's green flag with Chub Frank sitting eighth on the grid. McGuire shot out to the early lead with Lobb in hot pursuit. After a caution in lap two for a minor spin, the scenario was repeated. Frank was moving forward and soon was right behind the two leaders. Lobb tried McGuire on the inside and the outside several times with Frank trying the same options to try to get around Lobb. On lap eighteen a four-car melee in the fourth turn brought out the second caution, just as Lobb had managed to get by McGuire on the front stretch.

Unfortunately, it was after the caution had fallen, relegating Lobb back to second on the restart. Another caution on lap sixteen again bunched the leaders. On the back straight of lap eighteen Lobb made his move to the outside of McGuire and Frank took the low side, gaining the lead going into turn three. Contact was made and Frank had to slow, again falling back to third behind McGuire and Lobb. Coming out of turn two on lap twenty, Rick Briggs spun, collecting the cars of Bill Cunningham, Mark Gilbert, and Moose Dunnewold. Briggs was the only car able to continue.

After the final caution on lap twenty-one, the showdown was set with McGuire leading the way to the fourth turn of lap twenty-four when Frank got the nose of his car in the inside lane and was able to take the lead at the white flag. Going down the back chute the final time, Lobb made his move, but McGuire was able to make the block and Lobb had to lift, allowing Rich Gardner to take the position at the checkers. Lobb wound up fourth with Chad Ruhlman in fifth. Bruce Hordusky, Rod Maloy, fresh off his 100-lap win the night before, Doug Eck, Dale Applebee, and Chris Brockway filled out the top ten.

The win was Frank's second of the weekend. He had won a 100-lap STARS feature at Portsmouth Raceway Park in Ohio Saturday. The STARS series will be visiting Stateline and Eriez Speedways the weekend of July 24th and 25th. Frank is currently holding third in the national traveling series behind Ohio's Donnie Moran and West Virginia's Mike Balzano. All three are previous STARS winners at Stateline.

Lobb, McGuire, and Matt Urban won the qualifying heats. The win will give Frank the pole position for next Sunday's Busch Beer 100-lapper at Eriez.

McGuire's night wasn't all bad, however, as he handily won the Limited Late Model feature, his third such victory of 1999 at the Eriez oval. The Northeast, PA driver started eighth on the grid, next to rookie Chris Hackett, also a two-time winner in 1999 at Eriez. Hackett took but five laps to catch early leader John Losey and gained the lead when Losey's mount suffered ignition problems in turn four. Hackett then led until lap thirteen when McGuire got by on the back straight. McGuire was never challenged after that. Five cautions marred the event, all for minor spins and crashes. Hackett held second the remainder of the race with Bryan Downes, Ron Olson and Charlie Robinson filling out the top five.

Olson and point leader Bobby Rohrer won the heats.

Northeast, PA's Randy Parmenter began his racing career over twenty-five years ago but never had won a feature event until tonight at Eriez in the Sportsman Division. Parmenter had taken several years off but came back after daughter, Mandy, began dating Limited Late Model driver Kevin Decker. The pull of racing was just too much for Parmenter and he built his Sportsman car in 1998. Every week he got stronger and tonight was the strongest in the sixteen car field. Parmenter also started eighth and also took eight laps to catch and get by early leader Norm Kloszewski. After that he pulled away from the field in a race that was not slowed for any caution periods over its twelve-lap distance. Kloszewski finished second with Don McGuire, '98 Champ Cris Dahlgren, and Robert J. Nocero rounding out the top five. Gary Foster and McGuire won the preliminaries.

After three early cautions Greg Fenno wrestled the lead from Mike Zemcik on lap six. The 1998 class champion then powered away for his second win of 1999 at Eriez. Zemcik followed Fenno to the finish in second with Jeff Gunnell, John Pencille, and Randy Shearer filling out the top five at the finish. Fenno was mired deep in the field at thirteenth at the start of the fifteen-lapper.

Kevin Heslop started from the outside front row and took off to the early lead in the second Cadet feature. The rookie driver led the first ten laps after two attempts to get the race started. Heslop was chased by twelfth starting Brian Emory, who got by on lap eleven and held on to win his fourth feature of 1999. In the closing laps, Greg Hoover and Andy Sweetland also got around Heslop for second and third. Heslop finished fourth with Travis Garske fifth.

Pat Fielding, Craig Kroll, and Brian Emory were victorious in their heat events with Ken Drake defeating Gary Eicher in the "Run for the Money" event for last week's winners.
In a race that was a "survival of the fittest", Dustin Eckman inherited the lead from Dan Larsen on the ninth of ten laps when Larsen's mount stalled while leading during a caution period. Larsen had led from the drop of the green flag. John Wayne got his second second of the weekend with Heather Tolan finishing third. Only five of the seventeen starters finished the event.

Vince Cole won his second feature of 1999 over Tom Perkins and Ray Churchill in the second Spectator finale.

Dave Hess, Jr powered away for his third victory of the season in the third Spectator feature. Hess defeated Rick Thompson and Aaron Jelley for the win.

Bill Baker, Jr, Carl Duryea, and Hess won the heats for the amateur drivers.