Sites recovers to win Speedway feature
Marvin Winters looked unbeatable heading into the final 13 laps of the 26th annual Ronnie McBee/Speedy Hayes Championship.
Luckily for Rusty Sites, Winters beat himself.
Sites, who lost the lead to Winters in the 14th lap, move back in front when Winters slowed with a broken rear axle coming out of the fourth turn to notch his first career Late Model victory on Saturday in the special 44-lap feature at Hagerstown Speedway.
“This is one of the hardest things there is to do, period; Win a Late Model feature at Hagerstown,” said Sites, of St. Thomas, Pa. “It is so hard. It’s a tough thing to do.
“(Winters) was better than me; he was faster. But I was catching him it seemed a little by little. I’ve lost races that way and I’ve won races that way, and I feel bad for Marvin, but that’s racing.”
Roy Deese Jr. clinched the 2011 Late Model track championship, his eighth title since winning his first in 1999, with by finishing fourth in the feature.
Deese bested Kyle Lear by seven points and Jim Bernheisel by 50. Lear finished second behind Sites after using a red-flag crash involving numerous cars on the race’s opening lap to get back in the race. Bernheisel was sixth.
“I knew Jim has been good. Kyle’s been good. I knew they’d be back and racing with me,” Deese said. “I was all out; that was about all I had under it. We got a flat tire last point race that we were here with two to go and that set us back.
Sometimes things just come around full circle.”
Defending track champ Frankie Plessinger finished third and Jerry Bard was fifth, while Alan Sagi, Kenny Pettyjohn, Bryan Bernheisel and Al Shawver Jr. made up the top 10.
Tim Murphy, Winters and Matt Murphy were heat winners.
Andy Fries of Mercersburg, Pa., led from flag-to-flag to earn his third win of the season in the 20-lap Late Model Sportsman feature, while Pete Weaver limped into his second consecutive track championship.
Weaver failed to finish the race, but owned a big enough lead to hold off Cody Lear, who finished eighth, by 87 points.
Glenn Elliott was second, followed by Donnie Farlling, Charlie Shaffer and Paul Cursey in the top 5. Justin Weaver, Wayne Walls Jr., Lear, Scott Palmer and Chaz Walls rounded out the Top 10. Mike Walls, Ronnie Dennis and Fries were heat winners.
Hagerstown’s Rick Stouffer led from the drop of the green flag to win the 15-lap Pure Stock feature, outlasting the hard-charging Kenny Dillon, who nearly spun out exiting the fourth turn on the last lap.
Billy Ecton Jr. was second, while Wayne Hawbaker, Kevin Koontz and Steve Lowery made up the top five. Dillon finished seventh.
Drew Fitzsimmons finished ninth and clinched his first career Pure Stock track championship.
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