Lunger holds off Blair for Raceway 7 victory
By Mike LeoneFastrak Northeast Series
CONNEAUT, Ohio (July 3) — Outside front-row starter Dennis Lunger Jr. of Albion, Pa., outran reigning series champion Max Blair in leading all 25 laps of a Fastrak Northeast Touring Series victory at Raceway 7. Lunger, who also won the previous Friday's regular season Crate Late Model feature at the northeastern Ohio track, earned $1,200 for his first series triumph.
"Finally," Lunger said after jumping off his car's roof in victory lane. "I had to hold my line the whole race. The track was so heavy. I really wanted to get into lapped traffic that first run because I knew Max was back there."
The ninth-starting Blair, of Centerville, Pa., got into second by the eighth lap and closed the gap on Lunger by lap 16, but the winner pulled away amid traffic to take the checkered flag nearly two seconds in front. Following Blair to the checkered flag was Garrett Mott of Smethport, Pa., a 20-year-old scoring his best Crate Late Model finish in his 12th start. Veteran Dick Barton of Ashville, N.Y., advanced six positions to finish fourth and John Watson of Rome, Ohio, rounded out the top five after starting 11th.
Carl McKinney of Cranberry Township, Pa., was running third when he slid high in turn one on the 23rd lap and ended up 12th.
Notes: Lunger's Reuben Schwartz-owned car is sponsored by Schwartz Construction, North East Heating & Cooling and J.R. Lumber. ... Lunger finished seventh in series points last season. ... Three cautions slowed the action, the first for a lap-six spin by Shane Bambarger. Two more cautions for Alex Anderson and Bill Thomas on the ensuing restarts were the last two yellows of the race. ... Dan Angelicchio entered the event as the seres points leader but failed to make the feature lineup. ... Only five yellow flags waved during the heats, consolation and feature forï¿½ the Fastrak Northeast drivers.
Fastrak Northeast @ Raceway 7: 1. Dennis Lunger Jr., (2) Max Blair, (3) Garrett Mott, (4) Dick Barton, (5) John Watson, (6) Jim Frank, (7) David Scott, (8) Butch Lambert, (9) Bobby Powell, (10) Mike Pegher Jr., (11) Keith Zimmerman, (12) Carl McKinney, (13) Bud Watson, (14) Bob Kish, (15) Gary Knollinger, (16) Bill Thomas, (17) Roger French, (18) Jason Stanke, (19) Jon Law, (20) Alex Anderson, (21) Dereck Frank, (22) Steve Hollabaugh, (23) Shane Bambarger, (24) Josh Double, (25) Bryan Salisbury. Disqualified: Tom Copeland. Heat race winners (among 32 cars): Blair, Lunger, Salisbury, Frank.