Mechanicsburg ARDC Season Opener 97-04-05

For more information: Linda Mansfield, Heydenreich Hospitalized in Stable Condition: Stimely Wins ARDC CARQUEST Midget Series Opener at Silver Spring MECHANICSBURG, Pa., April 6 - Last year's top rookie, Ed ...

For more information: Linda Mansfield,

Heydenreich Hospitalized in Stable Condition:

Stimely Wins ARDC CARQUEST Midget Series Opener at Silver Spring

MECHANICSBURG, Pa., April 6 - Last year's top rookie, Ed Stimely Jr. of McVeytown, Pa., recorded his second career American Racing Drivers Club (ARDC) CARQUEST Midget Series feature victory Saturday night at Silver Spring Speedway as the organization opened its 58th season.

As memorable as Stimely's victory was, most fans will remember a violent four-car, high-speed crash on the frontstretch on lap 20 which saw both Mark Freeland of Ickesburg, Pa., and John Heydenreich of Bloomsburg, Pa., flip. Heydenreich was airlifted by helicopter to the Milton S. Hershey Medical Center in Hershey, Pa., where he was admitted Saturday night with a head injury. He was listed in stable condition at 6:30 a.m. Sunday morning. Freeland and the other two drivers involved - Tim Dietz of Hanover, Pa., and Bob Cicconi of Prospect Park, Pa. - escaped unhurt.

Heydenreich was unconscious for 3 to 5 minutes at the crash scene, and great care was taken to extricate him from the Stewart Fontana No. 33 owned by his brother, Fred. Preliminary X-rays and CAT scans Saturday night had shown no broken bones, according to his father.

Heydenreich was able to recognize and speak a few words to a few family members, team members and ARDC officials in the hospital's trauma center Saturday night around midnight. The popular driver was moved to the hospital's intermediate care section after midnight, and he is expected to be hospitalized for several days.

At the time of the crash Stimely was leading in Harold and Ruthanne Yetter's Creek Gaerte, which is sponsored by Cabinet Connection, Creek Chassis, Pennzoil and the Main Street Bar. He had just retaken the lead from Freeland on the frontstretch on lap 19 after a torrid battle in which Stimely primarily ran the high groove and Freeland the low. Brian Seidel of Allentown, Pa., driving the car usually campaigned by Walt Stearly of Trappe, Pa., was third. Fourth was being duked out between Tom Fraschetta of Oaks, Pa., driving Lou Cicconi Jr.'s usual mount; Heydenreich and Tim Dietz of Hanover, Pa.

But as good as this battle was, it came to a violent stop on the frontstretch on lap 20. Tom Martocci of Brodheadsville, Pa., who led from three to five, stopped in turn two due to a problem with his distributor cap. (He was later disqualified for working on his car under the red flag.) Dan Shelbo Jr. of Bethlehem, Pa., had rolled to a stop in turn one, too.

As starter Ron Grater was reaching for his yellow flags for these mishaps, the second-place car of Freeland got hit from behind and spun out on the frontstretch, sprawled right in the path of the rest of the on-coming field. Dietz, with no where to go, drilled both Freeland and Heydenreich, while Bob Cicconi got tangled up in the crash too. Freeland ended up upside down near the inner guardrail and Heydenreich flipped into the outer crash fence, with Cicconi half-way between them in the middle of the track and Dietz coming to a halt a few yards ahead.

On the restart Stimely used the high groove to hold off Seidel and went on to post the victory. Following Stimely and Seidel at the checkered was Fraschetta and Michael Roselli Jr. of Broadheadsville, Pa. Bob Cicconi crossed the line in fifth but was later penalized two positions for jumping a restart, which pushed him back to seventh and advanced Randy Mausteller and Shannon Mausteller, a father and son duo from Bloomsburg, Pa., into fifth and sixth. Gary Mondschein of Stewartsville, N.J., was eighth and Gary Halteman of Gilbertsville, Pa., finished ninth. Monnie Wonder III of Lititz, Pa., led the first two laps and rounded out the top 10.

Calling the race official after the big crash was contemplated but not done, a move Stimely praised later. "I'm glad they finished the race that way, because you don't want any questions later," said Stimely, winner of the series' "Dutch Schaefer/Jiggs Peters Rookie of the Year Award" in 1996. Stimely had started 13th in the 24-car field, and initially took the lead on the backstretch on lap six from Martocci. After a see-saw battle with Freeland he lost the lead for four circuits from laps 15-18 before prevailing on lap 19.

Get-well cards can reach Heydenreich in care of the Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, Route 322, Hershey, Pa. 17033.

Jim Jackson of Sweet Valley, Pa., also flipped, bringing out the red with seven laps down in the feature when he tumbled between turns three and four. He wasn't hurt.

The three heats went to Duane Mausteller of Bloomsburg, Pa. (another Mausteller son); 17-year-old Michael Roselli Jr. of Brodheadsville, Pa.; and Stimely, while Shannon Mausteller won the B-main.

The next ARDC CARQUEST Midget Series race is scheduled for Saturday night, April 19 at Lincoln Speedway in New Oxford, Pa. The series travels to Williams Grove Speedway in Mechanicsburg, Pa., on Friday night, April 25 before appearing at Hagerstown (Md.) Speedway on Saturday night, April 26.

The summary:

Hunt Magnetos Heat 1 (10 laps, 6 to qualify) - 1. Duane Mausteller, 2. John Heydenreich, 3. Tim Dietz, 4. Phil DiMario, 5. Jim Jackson, 6. Ted Schmid, 7. Bill Ertel. Lap Leaders: Laps 1-10, Mausteller. Time of Heat: 2:52.56.

Hank's Performance Products Heat 2 - (10 laps, 6 to qualify) - 1. Michael Roselli Jr., 2. Mark Freeland, 3. Gary Halteman, 4. Mike Lapp, 5. Monnie Wonder III, 6. Don Trent, 7. Shannon Mausteller, 8. Bob Cicconi, 9. Fremont Dickerman.. Lap Leaders: Lap 1, Wonder; laps 2-10, Roselli. No time.

Mechanic Wear Heat 3 (10 laps, 6 to qualify) - 1. Ed Stimely Jr., 2. Brian Seidel, 3. Tom Fraschetta, 4. Tom Martocci, 5. Doug Borger, 6. Randy Mausteller, 7. Gary Mondschein, 8. Dennis Schaeffer, 9. Dan Shelbo Jr., 10. Bryan Kobylarz. Lap Leaders: Laps 1-2, Seidel; Lap 3, Fraschetta; Lap 4, Seidel; Laps 5-10, Stimely. Time of Heat: 2:55.0

B Main (6 laps, 6 to qualify) - 1. Shannon Mausteller, 2. Bob Cicconi, 3. Gary Mondschein, 4. Dennis Schaeffer, 5. Dan Shelbo Jr., 6. Brian Suchy, 7. Fremont Dickerman, 8. Bill Ertel. Lap Leaders: Lap 1, Cicconi; Laps 2-6, Mausteller.

Feature (25 laps) - 1. Ed Stimely Jr., 2. Brian Seidel, 3. Tom Fraschetta, 4. Michael Roselli Jr., 5. Randy Mausteller, 6. Shannon Mausteller, 7. Bob Cicconi, 8. Gary Mondschein, 9. Gary Halteman, 10. Monnie Wonder III, 11. Mike Lapp, 12. Don Treat, 14. Tom Martocci, 15. Phil drama, 16. Mark Freeland, 17. John Heydenreich, 18. Tim Dietz, 19. Brian Sushi, 20. Doug Borer, 21. Ted Schemed, 22. Jim Jackson, 23. Dan Shelbo Jr., 25. Ferment Dickerman.

Feature Lap Leaders - Laps 1-2, Wonder; laps 3-5, Martocci; laps 6-14, Stimely; laps 15-18, Freeland; Laps 19-25, Stimely. No Time.

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About this article
Series Midget
Drivers John Heydenreich , Michael Roselli , Bryan Kobylarz
Teams Williams