Knollinger goes flag-to-flag for Sharon victory
HARTFORD, Ohio (July 29) — Gary Knollinger of Wheeler, W.Va., led all the way Thursday at Sharon Speedway to capture a Fastrak Northeast event rained out the previous night. Knollinger earned $1,200 in becoming the eighth winner in 11 races on the Crate Late Model series this season.
"I've put in a lot of miles driving the last two days and it felt like I was driving for days on the track," the 38-year-old Knollinger said after the 25-lapper. "I was worried about the guys catching me, but I kept the car straight and held them off to the end."
Seventh-starting Jim Frank of Jamestown, N.Y., challenged Knollinger but settled for second for his best series finish of the season while 10th-starting Josh Holtgraver of Pittsburgh, Pa., finished third. Butch Lambert of Mars, Pa., and Mike Pegher Jr. of Wexford, Pa., rounded out the top five.
A few top contenders weren’t around at the finish. Mark Banal ran second early in a Bob Williams-owned car but got into the turn-two fence on the second lap and David Scott pulled to the pits during an early caution, giving up the third spot. Kyle Zimmerman lost the third spot with a lap-23 flat tire.
Series points leader Max Blair of Centerville, Pa., was seventh in the race on the undercard of Darrell Lanigan's World of Outlaws Late Model Series victory.
Fastrak Northeast @ Sharon: (1) Gary Knollinger, (2) Jim Frank, (3) Josh Holtgraver, (4) Butch Lambert, (5) Mike Pegher Jr., (6) Bryan Force, (7) Max Blair, (8) Mike Blose, (9) Shane Bambarger, (10) Steve Dixon, (11) Michael Mitchell, (12) Bud Watson, (13) Charles Daugherty, (14) Dan Karalagas, (15) Troy Shields, (16) Chad Wright, (17) Billy Henry, (18) Bob Cossell IV, (19) Tyler Barris, (20) Kyle Zimmerman, (21) Bill Cunningham Jr., (22) Tewt Tackett, (23) Mark Banal, (24) David Scott. Heat race winners (among 36 cars): Knollinger, Banal, Lambart, Holtgraver. Consolation winners: Barris, Daugherty. Non-qualifiers’ race winner: Jason Genco.