"Eckert Two for Two in 2014, Scores in Winchester Season-Opener"
"McClellan Tops Strong Crate Late Model Field"
By Doug Watson
Winchester, VA- "All the guy's back there do all the work, I just get the fun part of driving it." Were the words from York Pa.'s Rick Eckert as he stood in the Winchester Speedway victory lane last Saturday night. Eckert authored a dominating performance to collect his 12th career Winchester Late Model feature win in last Saturday nights "Chiller Thriller" that netted the former WoO series champion a cool $2500. The win for Eckert, aboard his Paul Crowl owned Rocket no.7, was his second win in as many weeks as he steered Crowl's machine to the win in Hagerstown's opener the week prior.
JT Spence and Rick Eckert shared the front-row for the start of the event with Eckert surging into the race lead as the field roared into turn-one. From that point on, it would be a race for second, as Eckert would eventually lead all 35-circuits to post the win. As Eckert lead JT Spence and Gregg Satterlee waged their own battle for second with Spence prevailing at the finish. "This racetrack was in great shape tonight." Eckert stated during his post-race interview. "Hats off to Mr. Gunter and the track prep crew, they gave us a great track to race on tonight." Tire choice, which is always critical in Late Model races these day, didn't seem to worry Eckert. "I think everyone had the same tire on tonight." Said Eckert. "I know JT (Spence) had the same tire on that we did, but we were just able to get to the front first, and I think that made the difference tonight." Satterlee held on for third, Greg Roberson was fourth with Kenny Pettyjohn rounding out the top-five. Heats went to Spence and Eckert.
Stoystown Pa.'s Chad McClellan drove to his first-career Winchester feature win in the 20-lap Crate Late Model feature. McClellan drove from his ninth-starting spot to grab the race lead from Ryan Montgomery mid-way through the event and would lead the distance to score the win. "This is a great way to start the season." McClellan stated. "I didn't think we had a car to win tonight, but we kept plugging away at the top, and we were able to pass Ryan (Montgomery) for the win." Montgomery held on for second, Ralph Morgan was third, John Imler took fourth with 14th starting John Over rounding out the top-five. Heats were won by Montgomery, Imler and George Kowatic.
Former track champion Mike Franklin wired the field to win the 15-lap Pure Stock main. Franklin started on the pole and would lead every lap to secure the win. Buddy Wilson was second, Eric Johnson took third, Josh Wilkins was fourth with Keith Koontz filling the front five.
Defending track champion Ed Gageby took top-honors in the 15-lap Four-Cylinder feature. Gageby, who started on the pole, would post the win over Roger Whitlock, Cody Kershner, Lester Riley and Allen Whitt Jr.
Michael Pfaff snared the race lead from Jason Wilkins mid-way through the 15-lap U-Car feature to post his second-career feature win at Winchester. Wilkins held on for second, Robert Wilson was third, Jacob Lewis collected fourth with Steve Fadeley completing the top-five.
In the nightcap 15-lap Enduro stock feature Dustin Proctor prevailed for the win. Proctor blasted into the race lead on lap-one and would lead to the checkers over "Krazy" Kenny Thomas, Dylan Rutheford, Ray Priest and Brian Wallace.
Late Model feature finish
1. Rick Eckert 2. JT Spence 3. Gregg Satterlee 4. Greg Roberson 5. Kenny Pettyjohn 6. Dale Hollidge 7. Tony Crim 8. Brad Omps 9. Ross Robinson 10. Billy Beachler 11. Tom Decker Jr. 12. Jimmy Richards 13. Jacob Burdette 14. Tom Decker III
Crate Late Model feature finish
1. Chad McClellan 2. Ryan Montgomery 3. Ralph Morgan Jr. 4. John Imler 5. John Over 6. Michael Lake 7. Rob Nichols 8. Scott Merryman 9. Ben Bowie 10. Timmy Booth 11. Jennae Piper 12. Dylan Lewis 13. David Renaldi 14. Austin Stover 15. Kevin Palmer 16. Sam Archer 17. George Kowatic 18. Brian Lederhouse 19. Transton Stoner 20. Darren Henderson 21. Travis Carroll 22. Reese Masiello 23. Matt Gladden 24. Scott Tessman (DNS) 25. Scott Sweeney (DNS)
Pure Stock feature finish
1. Mike Franklin 2. Buddy Wilson 3. Eric Johnson 4. Josh Wilkins 5. Keith Koontz 6. Craig Parrill 7. Sean Dawson 8. Wes Branner 9. Jeffrey Budwash 10. Terry Staton 11. Reese Alley 12. Michael Carter 13. Randy Adkins
Four-Cylinder feature finish
1. Ed Gageby 2. Roger Whitlock 3. Cody Kershner 4. Lester Riley 5. Allen Whitt Jr. 6. Jesse Boyce 7. Melvin Ours 8. William Riley 9. Ethan Ours 10. Justin Hottle 11. Richard Gwizdale
U-Car feature finish
1. Michael Pfaff 2. Jason Wilkins 3. Robert Wilson 4. Jacob Lewis 5. Steve Fadeley 6. Terry Leach 7. Gene Wilson 8. Jeff Wilkins 9. Billy Smith 10. Alan Dice 11. Randy Wilkins 12. Travis Clark 13. Taylor Holden 14. Austin Nichols 15. Theo Funk 16. Jacob Whitt
Enduro Stock feature finish
1. Dustin Proctor 2. "Krazy" Kenny Thomas 3. Dylan Rutheford 4. Ray Priest 5. Brian Wallace 6. Paul Jones 7. Bill Hargett 8. Gary Moreland Jr. 9. Mark Vegh 10. Dalton Dillman