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Daily Dirt 03/09/2021 01:11:58

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May 31
Hagerstown Speedway,
Hagerstown, MD
Sanction: Ernie D's Appalachian Mountain Speedweek - $4,000
Information provided by: Dustin Jarrett and series reports (last updated June 1, 8:36 am)
Eckert glides to $4,000 Hagerstown AMS victory
  1. Rick Eckert
  2. Mason Zeigler
  3. Jason Covert
  4. Trever Feathers
  5. Jeff Rine
  6. Austin Hubbard
  7. Walker Arthur
  8. Kenny Pettyjohn
  9. Marvin Winters
  10. Tyler Hershey
  11. Roy Deese Jr.
  12. Bryan Bernheisel
  13. Matt Cosner
  14. Gary Stuhler
  15. Gene Knaub
  16. Kyle Hardy
  17. Kyle Lee
  18. Jared Miley
  19. Waylon Wagner
  20. Mike Lupfer
  21. Nick Dickson
  22. Chad Hollenbeck
  23. Dylan Yoder
  24. Dan Stone
  25. Andy Fries
presented by
Paul Wilson/wrtspeedwerx.com
Rick Eckert notched his series-leading fifth career AMS victory.
What won the race: Kicking off Ernie D's Appalachian Mountain Speedweek in dominant fashion, third-starting Rick Eckert of York, Pa., overtook Trever Feathers of Winchester, Va., for the lead on lap 25 and glided away to a $4,000 victory in the 40-lap feature at Hagerstown Speedway. The World of Outlaws Craftsman Late Model Series regular deftly handled lapped traffic in the closing laps to cross the finish line comfortably ahead of Chalk Hill, Pa.'s Mason Zeigler.
Key notes: Eckert registered his fifth career AMS triumph. ... The miniseries continues with four nights of action through Sunday.
On the move: Tyler Hershey of Mercersburg, Pa., advanced from the 21st starting spot to finish 10th.
Winner's sponsors: Eckert’s Longhorn Chassis is powered by Cornett Racing Engines and sponsored by Priority Construction, P&J Contracting Company, National Concrete, American Paving Fabrics, Viper Risk Management Group, S&L Trucking, S.L. Shenberger Dump Truck Service and T.E. Jeff Incorporated.
Points chase: Kenny Pettyjohn won the 2016 championship by 127 points over Jeff Rine of Danville, Pa. Matt Cosner was third, 160 markers behind the winner.
Car count: 55
Fast qualifier: Rick Eckert
Time: 17.961 seconds
Polesitter: Walker Arthur
Heat race winners: Jason Covert, Marvin Winters, Austin Hubbard, Rick Eckert, Jeff Rine
Consolation race winners: Kyle Hardy, Tyler Hershey
Provisional starters: Kyle Lee
Next series race: June 1, Susquehanna Speedway (Newberrytown, PA) $4,000
Editor's note: Results and race details are unofficial.
From staff and contributor reports

HAGERSTOWN, Md. — Rick Eckert of York, Pa., set fast time, won a heat race and captured Wednesday’s main event at Hagerstown Speedway, but winning the opening 40-lapper on Ernie D’s Appalachian Mountain Speedweek was anything but easy.

Battling early with polesitter Walker Arthur and then having to regain the lead from Trever Feathers, Eckert eventually dispensed with the competition to earn $4,000 and become the winningest career driver in the miniseries with his fifth victory.

“It wasn’t near that easy,” the third-starting Eckert said, adding that he overcame two poor draws to put himself in position to win. And even when he got out front, he was eager to see the checkers.

“This is one of them places where clean air means a lot, and when you get within about a half-straightaway of lapped cars, your car just totally changes again, you know what I mean?” the 2010 miniseries champion said. “I got close to those lapped cars, and I got to reading the scoreboard, and I’m like, ‘Damn, I hope this thing soon ends.’ ”

Eckert wrapped up the victory over Mason Zeigler of Chalk Hill, Pa., who steered the Bryan Klinedinst-owned No. 43A to a runner-up finish while Jason Covert of York Haven, Pa., gained seven spots to finish third. Feathers, the Winchester, Va., driver who led laps 15-21, was fourth and Jeff Rine of Danville, Pa., fifth after losing a couple of spots on the race’s lone restart. Arthur, of Forest, Va., slipped back to finish seventh.

Eckert’s winning move came shortly after the race’s lone caution at the midpoint when Dylan Yoder rolled to a stop exiting turn two.

“Me and Walker had a heckuva race for the lead. I don’t even know if he knew we were having race. I couldn’t get close enough up to his door; I could get to his quarterpanel,” Eckert said. “And Trever drove by us there. That kid was rolling. He was in that bottom, and I couldn’t run his line. I could get down there, but I couldn’t leave the corner. I had to use momentum. I finally cleared Walker and we got in that traffic, and (Feathers) was mowing ‘em right down and I was having a little trouble.

“Then that caution came out and he got running and pinching way down, and got to just using a lot of the top, you know, and got some momentum going and rolled back around him there. But, yeah, it was a heckuva race. It was fun there for a while. We were about three-wide going into (turn) one there a couple of times. It was fun.”

Praising Klinedinst’s car, Zeigler said he “lacked a little in the seat and maybe a little in tire” in trying to chase down Eckert.

“We tried to snooker ‘em. We went with a little harder tire than (Eckert) did. That caution just killed us,” said Zeigler, who was a half-straightaway behind at the finish. “I thought we had something for ‘em. I was reeling Rick in and I could see (Feathers) out ahead of him …. I was just sort of biding my time waiting.

“And that freaking caution just came out and killed us. That’s how it goes. If we had stayed green, I think we had a car to win. But we made that (tire) decision, and we had to live with it. But we’ll take second.”

Covert, who missed part of May’s action recouping his equipment after three wrecks, couldn’t overcome his fifth-row starting spot.

“Once we got to where we could get out in the clear air, once we got spread out, I started making up some time on that one long run,” Covert said. “I really felt like we were coming pretty good — they were coming back to me. Then we had that yellow and it took a little bit to get fired off again, and we were able to get by a few of the guys.

“But Rick was out there gone, and Zeigler was pretty good. For us, for what we’ve went through the last month, it was a good month. It’s a credit to all the guys. They’re working so hard and giving me this opportunity.”

Notes: Eckert’s previous AMS victory came in the 2013 finale at Lincoln Speedway in Abbotstown, Pa. … His other miniseries victories came at Port Royal Speedway (2013), Winchester Speedway (2010) and Lincoln (2009). … The top two finishers in each heat redrew for the top 10 starting spots in the 40-lap feature. ... Joining Rick Eckert as group fast qualifiers were Gene Knaub, Walker Arthur, Chad Hollenbeck and Jared Miley. They each started from the outside second row in their heats with a four-car invert. ... Wednesday's 55 entrants were the most on the miniseries since Winchester (Va.) Speedway drew 58 on June 3, 2012.

Feature lineup

Row 1: Arthur, Winters
Row 2: Eckert, Zeigler
Row 3: T. Feathers, Dickson
Row 4: Hubbard, Rine
Row 5: D. Yoder, Covert
Row 6: Deese, Wagner
Row 7: Lupfer, K. Pettyjohn
Row 8: B. Bernheisel, Knaub
Row 9: Stone, Hollenbeck
Row 10: Cosner, Miley
Row 11: Hardy, Hershey
Row 12: Fries, Stuhler
Row 13: Lee
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