HAGERSTOWN, Md. – Both Kenny Pettyjohn and Chad Criswell became first time winners at Hagerstown Speedway on Friday night.
Pettyjohn led all 35 laps of the Three State Flyers Super Late Model and Buchanan Auto Stores Late Model Championship Series while Criswell led all but the opening lap of the 20-lap feature for the Super Sportsman series in their first appearance since September 2010.
“I can’t believe this,” Pettyjohn said after exiting his car on the chilly and blustery evening. ” I’ve been trying to win here for so many years and been so close so many times. Tonight we really didn’t have a very good car, it didn’t feel like, but it all worked out.”
In time trials for the 32 entries, Nininger’s Tire and Auto point leader Jason Covert rounded the track in 20.397 seconds as Jeremy Miller, Dan Stone Trevor Feathers, and J.T. Spence were the heat winners while D.J. Myers took the consolation. Youngsters from the stands drew starting positions for the top two from each heat with Miller and Pettyjohn on the front row for the event.
Pettyjohn quickly lunged into the lead with fourth starting Stone getting tucked into second ahead of Miller and Spence.
Pettyjohn and Stone edged ahead of Miller as Stone was in Pettyjohn’s tire tracks as they approached rear traffic on the ninth lap just as the caution waved for Vic Coffey who coasted to a stop.
Pettyjohn had a clear track ahead of him for the restart as he pulled ahead but Stone was on his bumper again until the caution waved when defending track champion Nick Dickson slowed to a stop on the 16th lap.
Stone held tight to Pettyjohn another time as they again pulled ahead of Miller and Spence while Feathers, Covert and Mark Pettyjohn were battling for position.
With less than 10 laps remaining, Miller began closing on the front pair and with five to go, Spence was also closing while K. Pettyjohn and Stone got to the rear of the field again.
Miller threw two challenges at Stone in the final three laps but Stone battled back to hold the position as he trailed Pettyjohn across the finish by .388 seconds.