Late Pass Gives Smith Hagerstown Victory By Richard Day HAGERSTOWN, MD (July 28) -- Stevie Smith's crew members -- his father, Steve, and Devin Deluzio -- have a knack of setting up his ...
Late Pass Gives Smith Hagerstown Victory
By Richard Day
HAGERSTOWN, MD (July 28) -- Stevie Smith's crew members -- his father, Steve, and Devin Deluzio -- have a knack of setting up his #19 Ingersoll-Rand Maxim to be strong at the end of a race.
Smith took advantage of that late-race power for the second time in two weeks Saturday, passing Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series points leader Mark Kinser with 2 1/2 laps remaining to win the "A" Feature at Hagerstown Speedway. Stevie passed Mark's cousin, Steve, late in the final lap to win a main event at I-55 Raceway July 14th.
"We've been pretty good late in the race, so we've been setting the car up for the end lately," Smith explained. "My crew did a great job and gave me a great car tonight. I had a car that could win the race last night (at Williams Grove Speedway), and I didn't get it done.
"We were committed to running the middle or the bottom here tonight. A lot of times at Hagerstown if you can get locked down on the bottom you can really make up some ground because it's so much shorter down there. I'm just glad to come back here and get a win so close to home."
The $10,000 victory was the third of Smith's career at Hagerstown Speedway. The New Oxford, PA, native has won four "A" Features this season.
Smith, the second-fastest qualifier in the 29-car field, finished third in the Second O'Reilly Heat Race. His sixth-place finish in the CHANNELLOCK Dash put him outside the third row in the "A" Feature lineup.
Mark Kinser, a four-time winner at Hagerstown, earned the privilege of starting the 30-lap main event on the pole by winning his sixth CHANNELLOCK Dash of the year. He drove the #5M Mopar Maxim into the lead as the green flag fell in the "A" Feature, and was eight car-lengths ahead of outside pole-sitter Donny Schatz when they entered lapped traffic during lap 10.
Smith passed Steve Kinser and First O'Reilly Heat Race winner Jason Meyers during the opening lap and challenged fast-qualifier Curt Michael for third place for the first 12 1/2 laps. Smith inherited the position late in lap 13 when Michael spun in the fourth corner.
James Chesson, who started inside the fifth row, won a back- straightaway drag race with Meyers to take over fifth place as the green flag replaced the yellow. Johnny Herrera took the low line through turns three and four to pass Meyers three laps later.
Brad Furr and Joey Saldana brought out the second caution flag late in the 20th lap when they spun in turn two. Dale Blaney started making his way toward the front when the race resumed, driving brother Dave's #10 U.S. Print/MBNA/Mopar Maxim past Chesson in the low groove between the third and fourth corners for fifth place.
Smith used a similar move to pass Schatz for second place the next time around. Blaney took fourth place from Steve Kinser with an inside move in turn four late in the 25th lap.
Smith battled Mark Kinser for the lead through the third and fourth corners one lap later, but was unable to surge ahead. He took the low line into the second corner and passed the series' two-time champion on the back straightaway for first place midway through lap 27.
The leaders were approaching lapped traffic when Billy Wilburn spun in turn three late in the 28th lap, setting up a three-lap dash to the checkered flag.
Schatz and Blaney passed Mark Kinser as Smith raced away from the field during the final three laps. Smith was 10 car-lengths ahead of Schatz when he crossed the finish line.
Blaney's third-place finish, his best since he won the "A" Feature at Tri-City Speedway on May 12th, pushed him past Randy Hannagan into 15th place in the point standings.
Mark Kinser held off cousin Steve for fourth place. Chesson finished sixth, ahead of Herrera, 18th-starting Lance Dewease, Danny Lasoski and Meyers.
Tim Shaffer lost the pole position in the Second O'Reilly Heat Race when the #11H Vivarin Maxim suffered a broken brake caliper just before the green flag fell. Shaffer won the "B" Feature and finished 13th in the main event.
The Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series will christen New Egypt Speedway in New Egypt, NJ, Monday, then sanction "The Night Before The Big One" race at Eldora Speedway Friday.