ARDC Season Finale

For more information: Linda Mansfield, lindamansfield@CompuServe.com ARDC CARQUEST Midget Season Finale To Freeland Saturday Night at Lincoln; Stimely Is Crowned Champion By EARL KRAUSE NEW OXFORD, Pa., Sept. 13 - Mark Freeland of...

For more information: Linda Mansfield, lindamansfield@CompuServe.com

ARDC CARQUEST Midget Season Finale To Freeland Saturday Night at Lincoln; Stimely Is Crowned Champion

By EARL KRAUSE NEW OXFORD, Pa., Sept. 13 - Mark Freeland of Ickesburg, Pa., posted his second victory of the year while Ed Stimely Jr. of McVeytown, Pa., and his car owners, Harold and Ruth Anne Yetter of Sciota, Pa., were crowned champions of the American Racing Drivers Club (ARDC) CARQUEST Midget Series in the 25-lap season finale Saturday night at Lincoln Speedway.

There were three leaders in the feature: Ray Bull of New Oxford, Pa.; Doug Borger of Kunkletown, Pa.; and Freeland. Bull led the first lap in the Gillespie Ellis Gaerte but Borger took over the top spot on lap two with his D&G Scat V4. Freeland, behind the wheel of Roger McKeehan's Stealth Scat V4, had been charging up through the field from his 15th-place starting spot, however, and he passed Borger for the lead on lap 19. On the very next lap something broke in Borger's driveline and he was done for the night. Freeland went on to re-visit Lincoln's victory lane, where he had last appeared on July 5.

Walt Stearly of Trappe, Pa., used the outside groove to finish second, but not before he had a torrid fight during the last five laps with Bull, who recorded his best finish ever in an ARDC CARQUEST feature by placing third. Michael Roselli Jr. of Brodheadsville, Pa., finished fourth and Bryan Kobylarz of Birdsboro, Pa., rounded out the top five. The new champion, Stimely, was sixth in the Yetters' Creek Gaerte.

Tim Dietz challenged for fourth early in the race. He flipped violently in turn two earlier in the year and that spot got him again Saturday night, but this time it was only a spin. The Hanover, Pa.-based driver, who won here Aug. 23, regrouped to get a seventh-place finish at the end. Duane Mausteller of Bloomsburg, Pa., drove a steady race for eighth and Dennis Schaeffer of Conestoga, Pa., was ninth. Veteran Lew Blair of Hatboro, Pa., rounded out the top 10.

Freeland was ecstatic in victory lane.

"My car owner, Roger McKeehan, and our crew gave me a great car to drive tonight, as they do at every race, and my engine man, Terry Frymoyer, is the best there is," he said. "In fact, this entire crew is great!" He also thanked his sponsors, which include Exportise, Turnbaugh Oil Service, NTM, Clark's Auto Body, Bob's Outdoor Power Center and Lemoyne Sleeper.

The new series driving champion, Stimely, thanked his car owner, crew and sponsors. "Plugging away and getting top-10 finishes is how you win championships," he noted. "I never had to worry about the car, because it was always ready to race thanks to the Yetters; our crew chief, Bob Baker; our crew and our sponsors," he said, singling out Robert Sowden PrimeVest Investments, Cabinet Connection, Pennzoil, Creek Chassis and the Main Street Bar. Stimely was ARDC's Rookie of the Year in 1996.

The three eight-lap heats were won by Mausteller, Freeland and Borger.

This was the season finale, so the attention now shifts to off-season activities. Stimely and the Yetters will be among those honored at the club's banquet on Saturday night, Nov. 29 at the Lobitz Catering Hall in Hazleton, Pa. To order tickets, contact Krissy Lauer, 529 Old Mill Rd., Millersville, Md. 21108-1327, tel.: (410) 987-0284 between the hours of 5 p.m. and 9 p.m.

The summary:

First Heat (8 laps, 6 to qualify) - 1. Duane Mausteller, 2. Michael Roselli Jr., 3. Tom Martocci, 4. Ed Stimely Jr., 5. Gary Mondschein, 6. Mike Piersig, 7. Randy Mausteller, 8. Dave Suchy. 2:14.68

Second Heat (8 laps, 6 to qualify) - 1. Mark Freeland, 2. Ray Bull, 3. Tom Fraschetta, 4. Gary Halteman, 5. Dennis Schaeffer, 6. Lew Blair, 7. Fred Schell, 8. T.J. Halligan. No time.

Third Heat (8 laps, 6 to qualify) - 1. Doug Borger, 2. Bryan Kobylarz, 3. Tim Dietz, 4. Walt Stearly, 5. Phil DiMario, 6. Brian Suchy, 7. Darryl Bloom, 8. Fremont Dickerman, 9. Don Trent II. 2:13.54

Feature (25 laps) - 1. Mark Freeland, 2. Walt Stearly, 3. Ray Bull, 4. Michael Roselli Jr., 5. Bryan Kobylarz, 6. Ed Stimely Jr., 7. Tim Dietz, 8. Duane Mausteller, 9. Dennis Schaeffer, 10. Lew Blair, 11. Fred Schell, 12. Phil DiMario, 13. Gary Mondschein, 14. Brian Suchy, 15. Randy Mausteller, 16. Gary Halteman, 17. Don Trent II, 18. Doug Borger, 19. Tom Martocci, 20. Dave Suchy, 21. Mike Piersig, 22. T.J. Halligan, 23. Tom Fraschetta, 24. Dan Shelbo, 25. Darryl Bloom, 26. Fremont Dickerman. No time.

Feature Lap Leaders -- Laps 1, Ray Bull; laps 2-18, Doug Borger; laps 19-25 Mark Freeland.

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Series Midget
Drivers Michael Roselli , Bryan Kobylarz , Ray Bull