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Sharon Speedway

Martin cruises to capture Knollinger Jr. Memorial

June 24, 2012, 3:32 pm
By Mike Leone
Fastrak Northeast
Feature winner Joe Martin gets rolling at Sharon Speedway on June 23. (jmsprophoto.com)
Feature winner Joe Martin gets rolling at Sharon Speedway on June 23. (jmsprophoto.com)

HARTFORD, Ohio (June 23) — Joe Martin led all 30 laps of Saturday’s Gary Knollinger Jr. Memorial at Sharon Speedway for a $2,000 payday on the Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC Pace Performance Fastrak Northeast tour for Crate Late Models. | Slideshow

"It's an honor to win this race," said the 27-year-old Mayport, Pa., driver, who rebounded from a hard crash a week earlier in a season with one previous top-five series finish. "I think Gary (Knollinger) and I have something going on here and he's looking down on me.

"We won the award this winter and this is a special night to be in victory lane. I'm glad the Knollinger Family is here for Gary. Our right front strap broke that supports the nosepiece. It got under my tire in that dash. I was nervous; I thought we were going to have a junk race car instead of a winning one.”

Polesitter Andrew Satterlee, who briefly pulled alongside Martin on the 10th lap, finished two seconds behind as the runner-up followed by Mike Pegher Jr., John Over and Dennis Lunger Jr. Series points leader Max Blair was ninth.

The most serious caution appeared on a lap-12 restart when seven cars piled up, handing Butch Lambert his first DNF of the season.

The race paid tribute to Knollinger, a former series standout who died after being struck being struck by an automobile in December 2010. The Knollinger family chose Sharon as the host track because it was among his favorite tracks and the site of his lone series victory July 29, 2010. Knollinger's parents Gary Sr. and Bev were on hand as well as lontime friend and crew chief John Seyler.

Notes: Martin’s Wylie Race Car is sponsored by Allegheny Crane Rental, Neese Trucking, Martin Farms, Spartan Thru Tubing, Zero Wraps and JNJ Motorsports Media. ... Joel Prosser, rebounding from a recent crash, won the non-qualifiers’ race carrying a tribute body panel to Knollinger's No. 38K. ... Next up for Fastrak Northeast competitors is a July 4 event at Expo Speedway in Cartland, Ohio.

Gary Knollinger Jr. Memorial: (1) Joe Martin, (2) Andrew Satterlee, (3) Mike Pegher, Jr., (4) John Over, (5) Dennis Lunger Jr., (6) Chad Ruhlman, (7) Will Thomas III, (8) Dan Angelicchio, (9) Max Blair, (10) Bill Cunningham, (11) Matt Latta, (12) Ryan Montgomery, (13) Josh Holtgraver, (14) Shane Weaver, (15) Ricky Meglaye, (16) Ben Black, (17) Lauren Longbrake, (18) Eric Wilson, (19) Bobby Rohrer, (20) Bobby Whitling, (21) Randy Wyant, (22) Josh Double, (23) Butch Lambert, (24) Brad Kling, (25) Brian Booher, (26) Andrew Wylie. Heat race winners (among 35 cars): Rohrer, Satterlee, Weaver, Martin. Consolation winners: Montgomery, Wylie. Dash winner: Satterlee. Provisional starters: Longbrake, Whitling. Non-qualifers’ race winner: Joel Prosser.