HAGERSTOWN, Md. – In the first of three shows over the Memorial Day holiday weekend at Hagerstown Speedway, Keith Jackson recorded his first ever Hoosier Tire Mid Atlantic Late Model triumph at the facilitywhile Rich Eichelberger dominated the season’s first appearance for the Blazer’s Auto Body Super Sportsman.
For Jackson it was his second win in his second time out this season, having won last Saturday at Winchester. Starting fifth, he took the lead from Devin Friese following a seventh lap restart and relinquished two lengthy leads on Kenny Moreland to win a one lap shootout over Moreland by .703 seconds.
“I can’t believe it,” Jackson said. “This race means way more to me than any win I’ve ever had. Ernie meant a lot to me and I really know he was looking out for us tonight. He was a great friend. When he and Rick gave me the opportunity to drive their car it meant the world to me. I just can’t say enough. It’s two in a row and my first one here.”
Eichelberger started fourth but slid to the front row when Dave Socks jumped the initial start and was sent to the rear. Eichelberger took command and never looked back. He was into the rear of the field by the eighth lap and by the halfway mark, had more than a seven second lead and six lapped cars separating him from Rick Barr. Cautions on laps 15 and 17 closed the field and he went on to post a 1.16 second lead over Chad Criswell, who won on the previous visit of the Super Sportsman on May 25, 2013.
“I don’t really think about the lead. I just think about going fast,” Eichelberger said. “That was absolutely great. We love coming to Hagerstown. My crew knew we were good tonight. We have this new car figured out now. When it gets dry and slick, I think we have an advantage with it. When it’s wet and heavy, it’s just fair. We’re looking for dry slick race tracks.”
On the Late Model start, Devin Friese and D.J. Myers sat on the front row following first heat winner Kenny Moreland’s spin of the inversion wheel to get a three which is where he started. Friese and Myers made contact in the first turn and Myers retired to the pits when the caution was displayed on the third lap.
Jackson burst past Moreland following the restart and moved in to challenge Friese as they ran side by side until a lap seven caution.
Jackson passed Friese when the green waved as Moreland took second but Jackson was pulling away and had more than a three second lead by a lap 15 caution. He again left Moreland behind and was just over two seconds ahead when the yellow waved again on the 21st lap.