Stimely Wins ARDC CARQUEST Midget Feature Saturday Night at Lincoln NEW OXFORD, Pa., Aug. 22 - Defending ARDC CARQUEST Midget Series champion Ed Stimely Jr. of McVeytown, Pa., became only the second multiple winner in the series this...
Stimely Wins ARDC CARQUEST Midget Feature Saturday Night at Lincoln
NEW OXFORD, Pa., Aug. 22 - Defending ARDC CARQUEST Midget Series champion Ed Stimely Jr. of McVeytown, Pa., became only the second multiple winner in the series this season when he won the organization's 25-lap feature Saturday night at Lincoln Speedway. He was behind the wheel of the top car from the 1997 season, a Creek Gaerte owned by Harold and Ruthann Yetter of Sciota, Pa. The team is sponsored by PrimeVest Financial Services, Gaerte Engines and Pennzoil.
Stimely lined up in tenth spot as the field circled the short half-mile (four-tenths) clay oval. He took the lead from Don Trent II with a maneuver to the outside on a restart of lap seven, and he was never again headed.
Stimely's other victory this year came at Port Royal (Pa.) Speedway in April.
Ray Bull of New Oxford, Pa., who was coming off his first ARDC CARQUEST Midget Series feature victory ever, finished second in a Beast Gaerte owned by Spike Gillespie of Bloomsburg, Pa. He started 12th.
Mark Freeland of Ickesburg, Pa., passed the most cars. He was caught up in an accident in the first heat and his Exportise team worked hard all night just to make the call for the feature. He started 23rd but still finished third in a Stealth Scat V4 belonging to Roger McKeehan of Newville, Pa.
Bryan Kobylarz of Birdsboro, Pa. retained the point lead in the drivers' standings with a fourth-place finish. His Ellis Fontana belongs to Claudette Starrett of Yorktown, Va.
Phil DiMario of Piermont, N.Y. and his car owner, Ray McCabe of New Britain, Pa., recorded a fifth-place finish with their Stealth Gaerte. With three victories, DiMario is the only driver other than Stimely to have recorded more than one ARDC CARQUEST Midget Series feature victories so far this year.
Sixth through ninth place went to New Jersey drivers Mark Wakefoose (Hopatcong); Gary Mondschein (Stewartsville); Bill Ertel (Toms River); and Bill Courtwright (Hackettstown). Mike Piersig of Langhorne, Pa., rounded out the top 10.
There were three yellows. The first was for local favorite Tim Dietz of Hanover, Pa., whose midget rolled to a stop in turn one on lap two. The other two yellows were for Craig Rochelle of Hackettstown, N.J., who spun in turn four on lap six and again on lap seven.
"Everything went great for us," Stimely said. "It's always nice to win, and we gained some points."
The three eight-lap heats were won by Courtwright, Dietz and Kobylarz.
After a weekend to switch back to their pavement set-ups, the ARDC CARQUEST Midget Series drivers have a busy Labor Day weekend on tap. The series travels to the ultra-fast Oswego Speedway in Oswego, N.Y., for a program on Saturday night, Sept. 5. The following day it's the popular non-points "First Feature" program at another fast facility, Flemington (N.J.) Speedway. This show is open only to drivers who have never before won an ARDC feature, so there is bound to be a new winner in victory lane.
Another special show is set for Saturday, Sept. 12 at Lincoln. This is a point race but it's definitely going to be different, as it's ARDC's first non-wing show in several years. According to the ARDC records that are available, the organization's last wingless show was the Galen Halteman Memorial Classic on Sept. 4, 1994 at Grandview (Pa.) Speedway. That event was won by Lou Cicconi Jr. of Aston, Pa., followed by John Heydenreich of Bloomsburg, Pa. and Indianapolis; Dietz; Doug Craig of Flagler Beach, Fla.; and DiMario.
The use of wings is standard procedure in sprint and midget competition in the East, but with ARDC it remains a promoter's option. The teams will have to change the cars' bars, springs, shocks and in general the whole set-up to get ready to run without wings, but the biggest thing that'll have to change is the drivers' style. Driving without a wing into a turn is a lot different than driving with one, and the drivers who adapt best will likely be rewarded with better results.
The point battle has been tight all season long in the ARDC CARQUEST Midget Series and it'll probably come down to the final race of the year, which is set for Saturday, Sept. 19 at Langley Speedway in Hampton, Va. With the championship on the line and a long winter ahead to think about lost opportunities, the drivers will be sure to be pulling out all the stops at Langley.
First Heat (8 laps) - 1. Billy Courtwright, 2. Mark Wakefoose, 3. Ray Bull, 4. Bill Ertel, 5. Frank Fiore, 6. Jim Knickerbocker, 7. Fred Schell, 8. Duane Mausteller, 9. Monnie Wonder III, 10. Mark Freeland.
Second Heat (8 laps) - 1. Tim Dietz, 2. Ed Stimely Jr., 3. Don Trent II, 4. Mike Piersig, 5. Randy Mausteller, 6. Gary Halteman, 7. Fremont Dickerman.
Third Heat (8 laps) - 1. Bryan Kobylarz, 2. Phil DiMario, 3. Walt Stearly, 4. Craig Rochelle, 5. Shawn Burke, 6. Mike Lapp, 7. Gary Mondschein, 8. Jim Jackson, 9. Brian Suchy, 10. Doug Borger, 11. Dennis Schaeffer.
Feature (25 laps) - 1. Ed Stimely Jr., 2. Ray Bull, 3. Mark Freeland, 4. Bryan Kobylarz, 5. Phil DiMario, 6. Mark Wakefoose, 7. Gary Mondschein, 8. Bill Ertel, 9. Billy Courtwright, 10. Mike Piersig, 11. Randy Mausteller, 12. Shawn Burke, 13. Mike Lapp, 14. Fremont Dickerman, 15. Frank Fiore, 16. Jim Knickerbocker, 17. Brian Suchy, 18. Don Trent II, 19. Gary Halteman, 20. Jim Jackson, 21. Craig Rochelle, 22. Dennis Schaeffer, 23. Tim Dietz, 24. Duane Mausteller, 25. Walt Stearly (DNS). Feature Lap Leaders: Laps 1-6, Don Trent II; laps 7-25, Ed Stimely Jr.