“Eckert Prevails in Winchester’s Paul Johnson Memorial”
“Elliott Snags Crate Feature”
By Doug Watson
Winchester, VA- York Pa.’s Rick Eckert scored his second feature win of the season in last Saturday night’s 35-lap Paul Johnson memorial at Winchester speedway. The win for Eckert, aboard his Paul Crowl owned Rocket no.7, was his 10th career win at the track and netted him a cool $3000 payday.
Three-time Winchester winner JT Spence and Stevie Long shared the front for the start of the event. Spence immediately shot into the race lead as the field roared into turn-one. As Spence lead, third-starting Rick Eckert had reached second by lap-11, and set his sights on Spence. Eckert discovered the top of the speedway and zipped by Spence to take the race lead on lap-21. Spence stayed close to Eckert over the final 14-laps, but would settle for runner-up honors. “This place was real racy tonight.” Eckert stated in his post-race interview. “I have to thank Paul for giving me the opportunity to drive his car and I’m glad to be able to get another win for him here tonight.” Eckert had nothing but praise for the superb track conditions. “The guys who prepare this track did an awesome job tonight.” Eckert stated. “I was able to move around a bit and found the car was working really good up top, and with all the good cars that race here weekly, I’ll try to get back here as often as I can.” CS Fitzgerald scored his second-consecutive top-three finish taking third, Stevie Long was fourth with Gary Stuhler rounding out the top-five. Spence set fast-time in time trials over the 22 car field with a one lap time of 15.157. Heats went to Spence and Long.
Glen Elliott became yet another new winner with his win in the 15-lap Crate Late Model main event. Elliott, who started fifth, chased race-long leader Jeff Sweeney for the first 7-laps before taking the top-spot for good on lap-8. Elliott would go on to lead the distance taking the win over Sweeney, who was making his season debut. Jonathon DeHaven came from eighth to finish third, Tyler Bare was fourth with John Imler completing the top-five. Bare was the heat winner.
Ryan Laye scored his first-career Winchester feature win in the 15-lap Four-Cylinder main. Laye and Gary Newell raced side-by-side for the first 7-laps, before Laye took the top-spot for good on lap-8. Laye would then cruise to the checker to score the popular win over 2-time winner Ed Gageby. Newell settled for third, Roger Whitlock was fourth with Allen Whitt Jr. filling the front-five. Gageby was the heat winner.
Defending track champion “Krazy” Kenny Thomas drove to his second win of the season in the 15-lap Enduro Stock feature. Ray Priest lead the first 8-laps before Thomas streaked by to take the race lead on lap-9. Priest stayed close over the final 6-laps, but Thomas would hang tough to score the win. Point-leader Mark Vegh was third, Dylan Rutherford took fourth with Jonsey Jones rounding out the top-five. Thomas was the heat winner.
Tom Paddock scored his first feature win of the season in the 15-lap U-Car contest. Paddock started third, and would lead every lap, in quite a dominating performance. Kevin Pollard came home second, point leader Brenda Alexander was third, Mark Pollard took fourth with defending champion Kevin Oates completing the top-five. Heats went to Oates, Alexander and Paddock.
Late Model feature finish
1. Rick Eckert 2. JT Spence 3. CS Fitzgerald 4. Stevie Long 5. Gary Stuhler 6. Tyler Hershey 7. Trever Feathers 8. Mark Pettyjohn 9. Dale Hollidge 10. Jason Miller 11. Devin Friese 12. Keith Jackson 13. Kyle Hardy 14. Wayne Johnson 15. Brad Omps 16. Tony Crim 17. Travis Roach 18. Roy Deese Jr. 19. Rusty Sites 20. Ernie Shirley 21. Jason Covert 22. Tommy Armel
Crate Late Model feature finish
1. Glen Elliott 2. Jeff Sweeney 3. Jonathon DeHaven 4. Tyler Bare 5. John Imler 6. Travis Carroll 7. Darrin Henderson 8. Jennae Piper
Four-Cylinder feature finish
1. Ryan Laye 2. Ed Gageby 3. Gary Newell 4. Roger Whitlock 5. Allen Whitt Jr. 6. Shane Koller 7. Darren Pingley 8. Justin Hottle
Enduro Stock feature finish
1. “Krazy” Kenny Thomas 2. Ray Priest 3. Mark Vegh 4. Dylan Rutherford 5. Jonsey Jones 6. Danny Holmes 7. Paul Jones 8. Gary Moreland Jr. 9. Robert Plaugher Jr. 10. Brian Wallace 11. Rodney Minor 12. Bill Hargett 13. Jamie Mills
U-Car feature finish
1. Tom Paddock 2. Kevin Pollard 3. Brenda Alexander 4. Mark Pollard 5. Kevin Oates 6. Alan Dice 7. Theo Funk 8. Jeff Wilkins 9. Justin Katz 10. Michael Pfaff 11. Ronnie Bolstridge 12. Gary Wilson 13. Jason Wilkins 14. Allen Jones 15. Randy Wilkins 16. Dwayne Pierson 17. Austin Nichols 18. Terry Leach 19. Steve Fadeley 20. Mickey Payne 21. Roger Grimmet 22. Bobby Perry 23. Brian Skelly 24. Joe Yablonski 25. Steve Katz DNS- Brian Lederhouse, Josh Walker, Larry Lamb, Geoff Coffey, Jacob Lewis, Gene Wilson