Emotional Blair wins Knollinger Memorial
HARTFORD, Ohio (June 25) — Max Blair of Centerville, Pa., overtook Andrew Wylie after a lap-eight restart at Sharon Speedway on Saturday and led the rest of the way in the inaugural Gary Knollinger Memorial. The series points leader earned $2,825 for the Fastrak Northeast victory that honored the memory of the series driver who died Christmas day an accident.
Driving a car with graphics that served as a tribute to Knollinger's No. 38k, Blair raced to his third series victory. His purse included several bonuses and awards and he also took home a trophy that featured a bronze racer standing on an engraved platform base plate.
"Winning the Gary Knollinger Memorial was all that mattered," the emotional 21-year-old said in victory lane, surrounded by Knollinger's family and friends of the late Knollinger. "I wanted this race more than anyone else since Christmas day, and I did it. ... We were lucky enough to become very good friends with Gary. I'll never win another race that means anything more than this one right here."
Pole-starting Butch Lambert finished second followed by Dan Angelicchio, Wylie and Kyle Lukon. Russ Dunn was sixth in his series debut.
More than $3,500 was added to the purse and many drivers received bonus money. Contributors included HP Excavating, Gumby's, Darla's Cafe, Good Times Cafe, Gary and Ben Knollinger, Woodrow and Kay Knollinger, Bernard an Constance Knollinger, Douglas and Willa Knollinger, Edward Stifel III, Sheleigh Parziale, Robin and Saun Capehart, and Vicki Thalman.
Fastrak Northeast competitors begin five straight nights of racing Wednesday at Expo Speedway in Cortland, Ohio, for the first round of the Bully Dog Cross the Borders Speedweek. Races follow at McKean County Raceway in East Smethport, Pa.; Raceway 7 in Conneat, Ohio; Pittsburgh's Pennsylvania Motor Speedway in Imperial, Pa.; and Eriez Speedway in Hammett, Pa.
Gary Knollinger Memorial: (1) Max Blair, (2) Butch Lambert, (3) Dan Angelicchio, (4) Andrew Wylie, (5) Kyle Lukon, (6) Russ Dunn, (7) Mike Pegher Jr., (8) Mike Blose, (9) Joe Martin, (10) Josh Double, (11) Brian Lessley, (12) Bobby Whitling, (13) George Kowatic, (14) John Volpe, (15) Joel Prosser, (16) Josh Holtgraver, (17) Tony Tatgenhorst, (18) Justin Tatlow, (19) Damian Bidwell, (20) Steve Dixon, (21) Matt Latta, (22) Rocky Kugel, (23) Ben Black, (24) Alan Dellinger. Heat race winners (among 35 cars): Blair, Dunn, Wylie, Lambert. Consolation winners: Holtgraver, Prosser. Dash winner: Bidwell. Non-qualifers' race winner: Lauren Longbrake.