TOM HAGER ENDS SEASON ON HIGH NOTE WITH SECOND WIN New Egypt, NJ, September 26, 1998 - Tom Hager of Easton, PA captured his second win of the season at the New Egypt Speedway in the 30 lap Modified feature Saturday night. Hager started 3rd on...
TOM HAGER ENDS SEASON ON HIGH NOTE WITH SECOND WIN
New Egypt, NJ, September 26, 1998 - Tom Hager of Easton, PA captured his second win of the season at the New Egypt Speedway in the 30 lap Modified feature Saturday night. Hager started 3rd on the grid and drove into the lead on the second lap. “We hit the set-up just right,” stated an excited Hager, “We knew that with the track turning dry-slick we would have to run on the bottom, and that is just what we did.”
Mike Hendershot lead the 25 car field down to starter Frank Resta’s green flag. Hager wasted no time as he drove under Hendershot on lap #2 to take command. Two quick yellows appeared on lap #3 & 4 as first Gary Butler had the front end collapse on his #68, then Rich Polenz and Eddie Bohn tangled in turn #3. On the restart it was Hager again showing the way with Bob Drayton and Tim Tanner Jr. moving into the top three. Just when Hager began to open up a little breathing room, the third and final caution flag of the event appeared for a spinning Mark Bitner in turn #1, who was running fifth at the time.
The final restart saw hager still looking strong, however Hendershot was back in contention as he shot by both Tanner Jr, and Drayton. With the final 22 laps going non-stop, Hager ran the bottom groove to perfection as he increased his lead with every passing lap. Meanwhile a race long duel for second developed between Hendershot who was running the inside, and Tanner Jr. on the outside. These two talented chauffers raced side by side for the next fifteen laps trading second back on forth.
With just five laps to go, these two were joined by veterans Roger Laureno and Fritz Epright as it was now a four car battle for second. With Hager over a straightaway out front, the question was who would win the war for second as Hendershot saw all three of competitors pull up alongside of him, actually making it FOUR wide in turn three with three laps to go. In the end it was Tom Hager pocketing the $2500 first place prize in his Shocker Products sponsored #43.
Tim Tanner Jr. won the battle for second in the Tanner Bros. Dairy Store #18, with 1998 NES Modified champion Roger Laureno third in his #36. Holding on for fourth was Mike Hendershot in the Pizza Hut #80 with Fritz Epright bringing the Michael Bros. #51M across the line for fifth. Rounding out the top ten were Steve Moss, Tim Tanner Sr., Bob Drayton, Doug Manmiller, and Carmine Infante. The three heat winners were Moss, Scott Van Gorder, and Hager with Tanner Sr. taking the consolation.
In the Mid-State Communications 5 lap Cash Dash, which pits the nights heat winners against last weeks feature winner, Scott Van Gorder won his first Dash of the season picking up $456 for his efforts.
In the 25 lap URC Bar’s Leaks Sprint Car feature, Becca Anderson of Houston DE won her very FIRST career URC sprint car feature. Anderson took command from her outside pole starting spot and looked strong early. Current URC point leader Curt Michael quickly raced from his eighth starting spot to challange Anderson on lap four. The two talented drivers traded the lead back and forth for two laps before Michael gained command in the Mica Farms #6. Despite having the lead, Becca wouldn’t let him get away as she closed the gap again in lap traffic and dove back by Michael on lap #11. Then just three laps later, Michael developed a right rear flat, bringing out the caution.
Now Anderson had Greg Coverdale sitting in second, but she quickly pulled away on the restart. Anderson then withstood heavy lapped traffic and a last ditch challange by Coverdale over the final three laps which left him just one car length short of sweeping all three New Egypt URC shows this season. An excited Becca Anderson took her first career win in the Gangemi Racing Ford-Powered #84. Second was Greg Coverdale of Milford DE, driving a car borrowed from Stew Brown with his Weidel Realtors #63 wing bolted on top. Finishing third was Tim Dietz of York PA in the Hamm #19, followed by Todd Wise of Greenwood DE and Dave McGough of Sassamanville PA. Heats went to Curt Michael, Jimmy Stitzel and Wise with Tom Fraschetta winning the B-main.
In the 20 lap Sportsman feature event, Bob Worthington of Mt. Laurel NJ drove to his first win since May at the New Egypt Speedway. In victory lane, Worthington dedicated his second win of the season to his mom, who passed away this past week. George Gareis of Bordentown NJ finished second while Rick Grosso Jr. of Belle Mead NJ was third. Ron John Koczon of New Egypt NJ finished fourth in the #RJ7 followed by Mike David of Princton Jct. NJ in fifth. Sportsman heats were won by Matt Papiez, Gareis and Worthington while Jack Swain won the consolation. The Metal-Fab Sportsman Dash for Cash was won by Matt Papiez who received $345 for his efforts.
In the fifteen lap Street Stock feature, Ralph Gargiulo of Brick NJ grabbed his first feature win this year in his own #08. Garguilo, in his first season running on dirt, has looked like he would win on many occasions this season including last week when his car jumped out of gear on the final lap while leading. This time Gargiulo would not allow anything to stop him as he survived numerous restarts to win by three car lengths. Second was Jay Morrison also of Brick NJ, picking up his best finish of the year as well in his #X3. Third went to Al Cheney of Cranbury NJ followed by Bill Bauma of Bordentown NJ fourth and Carol Whitehouse of Hamilton NJ rounding out the top five.
The 50/50, which benefits the New Egypt Fire Dept., was $3573. 121 cars on hand for the final show of the 1998 season with 30 Street Stocks, 31 Sportsman, 31 Modifieds and 29 URC Sprints.
The New Egypt Speedway Awards Banquet will be held at Bally’s Park Place in Atlantic City NJ on Saturday January 23, 1999 at 7pm. Admission is $75.00 per person, and anyone (18 & older) wishing to attend may call the track office at 609-758-1900 for further information.
The potential of racing longer into the fall was not possible this season due to the planned expansion of the facilty. Construction will start ASAP in order to get ahead of the potential bad weather that winter can bring. This will allow everything to be completed so that the track may open on time in of 1999. Plans include additional grandstands being erected as well as the track surface being expanded to just under a half-mile along with numerous other renovations. Additional information about this and other items such as the1999 schedule will be released as soon as they are available. The Grosso family would like to thank all of the staff, competitors, sponsors and fans for a very successful inaugeral season.