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Pittsburgh Pa. Motor Speedway

Baker, Atallah nab UFO victories at Pittsburgh

June 2, 2008, 9:04 am
From track and series reports
Al Atallah won the second twin feature. (Frank Wilson)
Al Atallah won the second twin feature. (Frank Wilson)

IMPERIAL, Pa. (June 1) — Former track champions Steve Baker of Fairmont, W.Va., and Al Atallah of Bridgeville, Pa., shared twin feature victories in Unified Race Force Championship action at Pittsburgh's Pennsylvania Motor Speedway. The 30-lappers paid $2,550-to-win apiece. | Slideshow

In the first feature, the fourth-starting Baker became the race's third leader on the third lap after Lynn Geisler and Lou Bradich took turns leading the first two laps. Baker took control and began marching through lapped traffic while Atallah, Geisler and Alex Ferree gave chase. Half the field was a lap down after 15 laps, but Atallah cut into Baker's lead by the 20th lap and was still in contention despite bumping the outside wall amid traffic on lap 25. Gregg Satterlee's lap-28 spin brought out a caution, and Atallah outdueled Baker on the restart to go out front and lead lap 29. But Baker answered the move by diving under Atallah in turn one on the final lap, and Atallah got too high and into brushed the outside wall. Atallah's miscue allowed Geisler to nip him for second while Jared Miley and Ferree rounded out the top five.

With a 14-car inversion drawn for the second feature, polesitter Keith Barbara led five of the first six laps until Mike Johnson, who slipped ahead to lead the second lap, took control on the seventh lap, just before his brother Davey Johnson got into the frontstretch wall. Baker ran into trouble in the first few laps when he caught a piece of a spin by Michael Davis and had to pit to replace a flat left-rear tire.

After a red-flag period on lap 12 when Rodney Sweitzer got into the first-turn wall, Mike Johnson led the field back to green for the race's final restart with Baker back up to eighth. Ferree got rolling on the outside to edge ahead and lead lap 14, and a high-running Atallah followed suit to take control on lap 14. Baker kept picking his way toward the front and took third from Ferree with three� laps remaining, but he didn't have a chance to catch the winning Atallah, who crossed the finish line ahead of Miley, Baker, Ferree and John Flinner.

Notes: Steve Baker's Rocket Chassis is sponsored by Bland's Towing and Richard Construction. ... Al Atallah's entry is sponsored by Todd's Auto Body and Dean's Auto Service. ... Alex Ferree, Al Atallah, Steve Baker and Lynn Geisler won heat races; Doug Drown won the consolation race. ... The event drew 37 cars. ... Alex Ferree's top-five finishes keep him atop the UFO points lead with 269 points. He's ahead of Jared Miley (256), Keith Barbara (236) and Gregg Satterlee (235). ... Hard chargers were Mike Johnson (23rd-to-11th in the first feature) and John Mollick (26th-to-11th in the second feature). ... The next UFO event is scheduled for July 3 at Central Pennsylvania Speedway in Clearfield. The Yankee Doodle will pay $7,000 to the winner.

First feature: (1) Steve Baker, (2) Lynn Geisler, (3) Al Atallah, (4) Jared Miley, (5) Alex Ferree, (6) Davey Johnson, (7) John Flinner, (8) Lou Bradich, (9) Dave Wade, (10) Kyle Lukon, (11) Brandon Burgoon, (12) Mike Johnson, (13) Jim Stephans, (14) Keith Barbara, (15) Michael Davis, (16) Ben Miley, (17) Doug Drown, (18) Gregg Satterlee, (19) Keith Rodriguez, (20) D J Miller, (21) Mel Minnick, (22) Rodney Sweitzer, (23) Jim Lepro, (24) Tony Musolino, (25) Mark Moats Sr, (26) Shawn McGarvey, (27) John Mollick, (28) Kari Gasser, (29) Brent Rhebergen, (30) Matt Dobnak, (31) Larry Marks, (32) Nick Duratz.

Second feature: (1) Al Atallah, (2) Jared Miley, (3) Steve Baker, (4) Alex Ferree, (5) John Flinner, (6) Mike Johnson, (7) Lynn Geisler, (8) Kyle Lukon, (9) Keith Barbara, (10) Brandon Burgoon, (11) John Mollick, (12) Jim Stephans, (13) D J Miller, (14) Brent Rhebergen, (15) Gregg Satterlee, (16) Lou Bradich, (17) Kari Gasser, (18) Jim Lepro, (19) C.A. Medved, (20) Nick Duratz, (21) Matt Dobnak, (22) Shawn McGarvey, (23) Doug Drown, (24) Mel Minnick, (25) Rodney Sweitzer, (26) Davey Johnson, (27) Ben Miley, (28) Mark Moats Sr., (29) Steve Banal, (30) Keith Rodriguez, (31) Dave Wade, (32) Michael Davis.

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