Hess pockets $5,500 at Fritz Seamens Memorial
BUSTI, N.Y. (July 2) — Making a dramatic rally from the tail, Dave Hess Jr. of Waterford, Pa., made his 10th Late Model victory of the season a big one, collecting $5,500 on Saturday at Stateline Speedway in the inaugural Fritz Seamens Memorial.
Hess ended up against the first-turn wall after one of the first attempts to start the 55-lapper, forcing him into the pits before a single lap was scored.
He worked his way into the top 10 of the 20-car field after 12 laps, was sixth after 26 laps and grabbed a lead he'd never give up on lap 33.
Hess pulled away from the field, building nearly a five-second lead at one point, and completed the unsanctioned victory that honored the former track owner who died last September.
Chad Valone of Warren, Pa., was second followed by Greg Oakes of Franklinville, N.Y., Andy Boozel of Clymer, N.Y., and Rod Maloy of Panama, N.Y.
Scott Gurdak and Chris Hackett started on the front row, but it took a while to get the race rolling. First, Dennis Lunger and Ryan Scott spun together in turn one; then Hess ended up against the turn-one wall; and finally Jim Mason spun in turn one before the fourth attempt to start the race stuck.
The low-running Gurdak jumped into the lead over the high-running Hackett, who nosed ahead on the fourth lap and began edging away from Gurdak.
But by lap 15, Gurdak tracked down Hackett and regained the lead on lap 17 while third-running Doug Eck gained on the leaders. Eck took second from Hackett on lap 20, and a yellow flag fell five laps later when Dutch Davies slowed in turn three with steering issues.
Eck went side-by-side with Gurdak for the lead on the restart, taking over on lap 26 as Hess headed for the top five.
But on lap 31, Eck slowed with front suspension problems, handing the lead back to Gurdak with Hess restarting right behind him. Hess overtook Gurdak two laps later and built a big lead before a spin by Lunger slowed the race with 15 laps remaining.
Randy Lobb pulled out on lap 46 and the second-running Gurdak retired two laps later, leaving Valone a quarter-track behind in the runner-up spot.
Notes: Hess drives a Rocket Chassis sponsored by Hess Garage & Salvage, Linda's Notary Service and Plyler Overhead Door. ... The night's racing was sponsored by Tobber Racing, Lias Tire, Roberts Trucking and Arthur R. Gren. ... Hess has 14 career Late Model victories at Stateline. ... A giant fireworks display preceded the race, which was 55 laps for the track's 55-year history. ... Ed Carley of Freedom, N.Y., won the night's Crate Late Model feature. ... The next Super Late Model special is scheduled for July 16 at Stateline with a $3,000-to-win event for the Northern Tier United Late Model Series sponsored by Jay's Auto Wrecking.
Fritz Seamens Memorial: (1) Dave Hess Jr., (2) Chad Valone, (3) Greg Oakes, (4) Andy Boozel, (5) Rod Maloy, (6) Andy Kania, (7) Darrell Bossard, (8) Scott Johnson, (9) Chris Hackett, (10) Matt Urban, (11) John Lacki, (12) Nathan Short, (13) Scott Gurdak, (14) Randy Lobb, (15) Dennis Lunger, (16) Doug Eck, (17) Dutch Davies, (18) Ryan Scott, (19) Doug Ricotta, (20) Jim Mason. Heat race winners (among 20 cars): Eck, Maloy, Davies.