HANOVER, Pa. – Travis Mease celebrated not only by winning the 358 Late Model portion of the 3rd Annual Mike Zeigler Memorial, but also a track championship at Trail-Way Speedway Saturday night.
“I’d like to dedicate this win to all our fallen drivers,” said Mease after exiting his #116 Late Model in victory lane, “to Mike Zeigler…. and Kramer Williamson.”
The starting line-up was determined by a “revenge redraw” in which the top 12 qualifiers drew a pill for the starting spot, but they had to give that number to another driver for the start of the feature. This put Sam Gallagher and Mease on the front row for the start of the feature event.
Mease took the lead over Gallagher on the initial start; however, the caution flew for several cars that came to a stop before the first lap was completed. On the restart, polesitter Gallagher grabbed the lead.
Gallagher maintained the top spot through several cautions and even pulled away from the rest of the field following a three-wide battle for the lead among Gallagher, Mease, and Jake Jones. Mease followed Gallagher until Mease got a run off turn two to take the lead down the backstretch with Gallagher’s car smoking. After the leaders passed the start finish line to complete lap 26, the caution came out again for a spinning Devin Frey which then turned into a fuel stop.
Gallagher took his machine into the pits during the fuel stop, reports from the pit area were that he dropped a valve in his machine and was unable to return.
On the restart, Mease had no problem holding off challenges from Jones even in lapped traffic. Mease put two lapped cars between himself and Jones with three laps remaining. With two to go, the caution was brought out for the lapped machine of Kevin Palmer who collected the third place runner Grant Adams.
Following that restart, Jim Bernheisel, who inherited third, dove under Jones to take away the runner-up spot. The caution came out again for Adams with one lap to go putting Bernheisel on Mease’s rear bumper for the final restart.
“I thought [Bernheisel] was going to treat me right,” explained Mease of his thoughts during that final restart, “as long as I didn’t mess up.”
And Mease did not mess up, but crossed the finish line to claim the $2,100 prize. Bernheisel crossed second with Jones, Kyle Lear, and Delco Signs hard charger Bobby Beard (who started 16th) completing the top five. Sixth through tenth were Coleby Frye, Pat Beard, Grant Adams, Jason Smith, and Devin Frye.
The heat winners for the 22 358 Late Models were Coleby Frye, Kyle Lear, and Jim Bernheisel.
Michael Kiehl picked up the win in the 30-lap Williams Grove/Susky Street Stock feature. But his win did not come easy.
Jason Geeseman took the lead on the start, but yielded to Kyle Martin on lap 16 after Martin made repeated attempts to get by Geeseman on both the high and low sides.
Once Martin made the pass, Kiehl followed him for 9 laps before Martin drove into turns three and four a little too hard, causing Martin to spin. Kiehl narrowly missed hitting Martin.
Martin rejoined the tail end of the field, and made a mad dash toward the front over the final six laps.
Kiehl came across the finish line 3.06 second ahead of Doug Bennett, who completed a last lap pass of Geeseman. Geeseman crossed third with Michelle Walls and Martin rounding out the top five. The Zeigler Service Center hard charger award went to Bob Scott who came from 12th to finish 6th.
Picking up the heat wins for the 13 Williams Grove and Susky Street Stocks were Jason Geeseman and Kyle Martin.
Chad Stine led all 25 laps to claim the win in the Trail-Way Street Stocks feature. Jeremy Stremmel challenged Stine over the second half of the race, but was not able to get his machine around Stine.
Bill Foster actually dove under Stremmel in turn two of lap 23 to claim the second spot. Foster set his sights on Stine, but settled for second at the line. Third through fifth were Michael Goodwin, Stremmel and Larry Landis. The Madison House East hard charger award was given to Jim Jacobs who started 16th and finished 7th.
Timothy Hahn and Dan Furman were the heat winners for the 16 Trail-Way Street Stocks.
Brian Walls battled with Shannon Weaver for the second half of the race but crossed the finish line only inches in front of Weaver to claim the 18-lap Limited Stock win.
Weaver, who started third, took the lead on the start but was unable to hold off the late race charges from Walls who drove to second by lap eight. Shannon Weaver was awarded second with Rutter’s Farm Store hard charger Chad Weaver(who came from 21st), Tom Senseney, and Cory Weishaar completing the top five.
Heat winners for the 31 Limited Stocks were Wes Kellison, Robert Wellman, Brian Walls, and Shannon Weaver. Chad Weaver picked up the consolation win.