CLEARFIELD, Pa. – The United Late Model Series made its maiden voyage to America’s Motorsports Park in Clearfield for the Ninth Annual Stephanie Eckl Memorial and Mike Blose of Dayton bested a field of 28 Late Models to take home the $3,000 prize.
Dan Smeal of Ramey won the Harter and Sons Street Stocks, Jason Beichner of Shippenville won the Quigley’s Pub Pure Stock main while Josh Frantz of DuBois won the Clearfield County Metals Four Cylinders.
The ULMS Late Models made a parade lap with the Missing Man formation in respect for the late Stephanie Eckl, for whom the race is named for. When the field realigned it was Mike Blose and Boom Briggs on the front row, with Blose taking the lead and never looking back. While he was setting a torrid pace, the field was red flagged on lap three when Duane Stiner caught the front stretch wall and bounced off the wall and into traffic. He collected sever cars which brought Hyde Fire Co and Mountain Top EMS onto the speedway to check on all drivers. Thankfully no one was hurt.
When the race resumed, it was still more exciting to watch the battle from second back rather than for the lead. Jason Dupont moved into second and Briggs fell to third as Shawn Claar, Mike Knight, Robbie Blair, Gabe Shaffer, Rich Gardner and Luke Hoffner were all jockeying for position.
Blose was working lapped traffic after a long run when the caution waved on lap 20, tightening the field. This allowed for some close racing, as Blair put it in high gear and started to move into the top five by lap 23. As Blose was still setting the pace, Blair was on the move, by lap 26 he was in fourth, then a lap later he was third, before muscling his way past Dupont on the final lap. At the waving of Allan Luzier’s double checkered flags it was Blose winning Dupont, Briggs and Knight.
Heat race wins went to Briggs, Claar, Knight and Dupont while Justin Kanouff won the B-main.
The Street Stock feature saw Colton Gearhart and Emory Rinehart Jr. on the front row with Gearhart taking the lead and setting the pace. Dan Smeal was running second with Matt Hugill in third, when Hugill lost power on the back stretch and as Rick Tripodi and JR Toner tried to squeeze past the slowing Hugill, but they made contact which sent Toner into the back stretch wall head-on, which then sent him flipping onto his roof. He was not hurt, but the car suffered extensive damage.
The restart saw Gearhart still leading, as Dan Smeal was trying various grooves to see what would work, and as the race was drawing to a close, with lapped traffic coming into play, Smeal went low and passed Gearhart going through turns three and four and he took the win. Gearhart was second, Bob Vogt was third, Brian Rhed and Tony Brown completed the top five. Rinehart and Gearhart won the heats.
Jason Beichner and Dustin Challingsworth brought the Pure Stocks to the start with Beichner leading from start to finish. Challingsworth was a close second until he dropped out, giving second over to Chad Ramsey. At the conclusion of the race it was Beichner taking the win, Ramsey was second with Nick Erskine, Jon Lee and Jim Challingsworth rounding out the top five. Beichner and Dustin Challingsworth split heat wins.
The final event of the night was the Four Cylinder feature as Jim Kleitches and Bryan Warren taking the lead, as Kleitches took the lead and Paul Ivory was in second, but Josh Frantz was coming from eighth and moved into the lead on lap 10 when Kleitches lost power and dropped out. Frantz took the win with Eric Boozel, Warren, Mike Luzier and Stephanie Ivory in fifth. Frantz and S. Ivory split the heats.