August 4, 2013 By: Mike Donald
(Markleysburg, PA)-A rain-out, Saturday, didn’t dampen the enthusiasm for Sunday’s second annual Ernie Jones Memorial as 28 Super Late Model teams signed in for action at Roaring Knob Motorsports Complex.
Greensburg, PA’s Davey Johnson led flag-to-flag and held off a late-race charge by Cody Hardesty to claim the 22-lap event, which paid homage to the late Ernie Jones, a former Late Model racer and brother to track owner, Rick Jones. “That’s a good one,” said Johnson when asked about his win. “We changed everything on the car tonight, and we were fortunate enough to come up with a win.”
Johnson pulled away from the field early, but he was challenged for the lead when he encountered heavy lapped traffic in the race’s final four laps. Hardesty weaved through the traffic, nicely, and was on Johnson’s heels for the final two circuits. As the checkered flag fell, it was Johnson by a car length over Hardesty. “It was pretty tough there,” Johnson said about the lapped traffic. “I went a little soft on tires, but it was a good test for us for the upcoming $20,000 to win (NDRL) show, here,” he added. Johnson, a former winner of the famed Hillbilly 100 and Pittsburgher, was elated to add the Ernie Jones Memorial triumph to his impressive resume. “I knew Ernie for years, from back at the Rock (Allegany County Speedway) and many other tracks. What Ernie did for this sport, and what Rick still does to help keep the sport going, I had to come here to support them,” Johnson said.
The Super Late race began with Johnson on the front row beside pole-sitter Tim Senic, who won the Dash earlier in the evening. Johnson quickly moved by Senic on the race’s initial start, and he never looked back. Hardesty, of Oakland, MD, started third and passed Senic for second on lap 13. Hardesty began his quest for the lead as he and Johnson encountered lapped traffic. Despite a valiant effort, Hardesty settled for second. Senic, of Elkins, WV, crossed the stripe in third. Chambersburg, PA’s Devin Friese, the 2011 UFO Super Late Model champion, enjoyed a strong run all evening to finish fourth. Somerset, PA’s Scott Rhodes, a former track champion at Roaring Knob, rounded out the top five.
Winners of the four Super Late Model heat races were Senic, Uniontown’s Mel Minnick, Jr., Hardesty and Friese. The B-Main winner was Buckhannon, WV’s Shane Hitt. Senic won the dash among the eight drivers, who transferred into the special six-lap race by virtue of finishing in the top two spots of their respective heat races.
The RUSH Crate Late Model event proved to be as much of a chess match as it did an auto race for two experienced drivers. The participants: Nolan Dalton and Chad McClellan.
McClellan, of Stoystown, PA, led the race in the high line for the event’s first nine laps. On the 10th circuit, McClellan went very high in the fourth turn, and this allowed Dalton to move underneath to take the lead. Dalton, who had been running the low side, moved up to the high side in an effort to take the preferred line away from McClellan. This forced McClellan to make a bid for the lead on the low side. Despite many efforts that put McClellan alongside Dalton, McClellan was unable to reclaim the top spot. Morgantown, WV’s Dalton, the defending track champion, moved away by a few car lengths to claim his second win of the season. McClellan took second while Oakland’s Mike Lewis finished third. Uniontown, PA’s Michael Lake took fourth, and Acme, PA’s Troy Shields took over the points lead with his fifth-place effort.
Dalton and McClellan were the heat race winners.
Mount Pleasant, PA’s Joe Kelley won several races in Street Stock competition late last season at Roaring Knob, but he changed things early in 2013 with a win in May. Kelley added his second win of the season in the 15-lap Street Stock race, Sunday. Mount Lake, MD’s Scott Bittinger led the first two circuits, but Kelley moved by him a restart. Kelley never looked back for the final 13 laps. At the line, Kelley took top honors in the Charles Trice-owned No. 100 machine. Bittinger settled for second. Cousins Marty and Scott Spade displayed a competitive battle for third for the majority of the race. In the end, it was Farmington, PA’s Scott Spade who claimed third. Marty Spade, also of Farmington, crossed the line fourth and Dunbar, PA’s Bob Nelson was fifth.
Kelley and Bittinger won the heat races.
The Charger drivers did not disappoint the Roaring Knob fans as they competed in one of the most exiting races of the evening. At times, as many as seven different drivers, racing three-wide multiple rows back, battled for the lead. Confluence, PA’s Eric Miller led the first four laps, but race fans could’ve thrown the proverbial blanket over the top seven competitors. On lap six, defending track champion, Ken Burkholder, emerged as the leader, after fighting his way forward from his sixth-starting spot. Burkholder, of Mill Run, PA, led the final seven laps to claim his third win of the season. Uniontown’s J.T. Baird also worked his way smartly through the field from his fifth-starting position. Baird followed in Burkholder’s tire tracks to take second at the line. Mill Run’s Kyle Burkholder finished third, and Smithfield, PA’s Justin Howell crossed fourth. Bittinger, MD’s Brad Nesline rounded out the top five.
Baird and Ken Burkholder won the heat races.
The Roadrunner division served as the evening’s night cap as West Leisenring, PA’s Paul Koffler, Jr., turned in a dominating performance on the field. Koffler, the points leader, moved to a comfortable advantage early, as he led every lap for his fifth win of the season. Connellsville, PA’s David Friend claimed the runner-up spot and Windber, PA’s Path Brehm finished third. New Windsor, MD’s Coty Marsh finished fourth in a retro paint scheme of Ernie Jones. Marsh was driving a car adorned with No. 22, and sporting the same color scheme that Jones used on his 1966 Chevelle in 1980. Hopwood, PA’s Todd Detrick finished fifth.
Koffler and Friend were the heat race winners.
The E-Mods will return next week as all six divisions will be in action, Saturday, at Roaring Knob. Additionally, race fans will be treated to the Grease Gun Mechanics Race. Pit gates open at 4:30 p.m., and spectator gates open at 5 p.m. Hot laps are slated to start at 6:45 p.m.
Hoosier Tire Mid-Atlantic Super Late Models Ernie Jones Memorial: 1. Davey Johnson, 2. Cody Hardesty, 3. Tim Senic, 4. Devin Friese, 5. Scott Rhodes, 6. Dale Hollidge, 7. Mason Zeigler, 8. Billy Holbert, 9. Bob Gordon, 10. Ron Delano, Jr., 11. Jason Miller, 12. Matt Cosner, 13. Justin Kann, 14. Danny Mitchell, 15. Bob Hershman, 16. Sammy Stile, 17. Quintin Wyandt, 18. Greg Gellner, 19. Mark Booth, 20. Chris Rhodes, 21. Danny Pugh, 22. Shane Hitt, 23. Mel Minnick, Jr., 24. Kyle Hardy
Dash: 1. Tim Senic, 2. Davey Johnson, 3. Cody Hardesty, 4. Dale Hollidge, 5. Devin Friese, 6. Ron Delano, Jr., 7. Scott Rhodes, 8. Mel Minnick, Jr.
Heat No. 1 (Top five transfer) 1. Tim Senic, 2. Dale Hollidge, 3. Sammy Stile, 4. Bob Gordon, 5. Jason Miller, 6. Shane Hitt, 7. Chris Rhodes
Heat No. 2 (Top five transfer) 1. Mel Minnick, Jr., 2. Ron Delano, Jr., 3. Justin Kann, 4. Bob Hershman, 5. Danny Mitchell, 6. Danny Pugh, 7. Mike Steck
Heat No. 3 (Top five transfer) 1. Cody Hardesty, 2. Davey Johsnon, 3. Matt Cosner, 4. Billy Holbert, 5. Greg Gellner, 6. Kyle Hardy, 7. Jim Pyles
Heat No. 4 (Top five transfer) 1. Devin Friese, 2. Scott Rhodes, 3. Mason Zeigler, 4. Quintin Wyandt, 5. Mark Booth, 6. Chad McClellan, 7. Stanley Spooner
B-Main (Top four transfer) 1. Shane Hitt, 2. Kyle Hardy, 3. Chris Rhodes, 4. Danny Pugh, 5. Mike Steck, 6. Jim Pyles, 7. Stanley Spooner, 8. Chad McClellan
High Gear Speed Shop Rush Crate Late Models: 1. Nolan Dalton, 2. Chad McClellan, 3. Mike Lewis, 4. Michael Lake, 5. Troy Shields, 6. Jeff Compton, 7. Ken Herman, 8. Nico Dabecco, 9. Jennae Piper, 10. Vince Masi, Jr., 11. Dylan Lewis, 12. Louie Krushansky, 13. Russell Baird, Jr. DNS: Jonathan Sines
Penn Summitt Insurance Agency Street Stocks: 1. Joe Kelley, 2. Scott Bittinger, 3. Scott Spade, 4. Marty Spade, 5. Bob Nelson, 6. Jim Byers, 7.Pat Weldon, 8. Michael Duritsky, Jr., 9. Barry Farris, 10. Jamie Kohan, 11. Steve Settle, 12. John Monteparte, 13. Herb Karlinsey, 14. Ryan Newman, 15. Jason Gibbs DNS: Mike Duritsky
Fort Necessity Garage Chargers: 1. Ken Burkholder, 2. J.T. Baird, 3. Kyle Burkholder, 4. Justin Howell, 5. Brad Nesline, 6. Ed Vogel, 7. Eric Miller, 8. Brad Jenkins, 9. Cody Colflesh, 10. Todd Weldon, 11. Allen Fortney
Newt’s York Bar 4-Cylinder Roadrunners: 1. Paul Koffler, Jr., 2. David Friend, 3. Pat Brehm, 4. Coty Marsh, 5. Todd Detrick, 6. Ronald Marsh, 7. Ed Detrick, 8. Cindy Rhodes, 9. Steve Riggleman, 10. Neil Bauer DNS: Erica Bailey, Donald Wilson