STARS results 97-06-30

DirtNews Digest Your Online News Source for Late Model Dirt Track Racing "Get Some Dirt On Your Computer!" Todd Turner, editor Email address: Web site: ...

STARS results 97-06-30

DirtNews Digest Your Online News Source for Late Model Dirt Track Racing "Get Some Dirt On Your Computer!" Todd Turner, editor

Email address: Web site: =================================== CONTENTS: June 26-28 STARS results (published June 30) PENNZOIL 75: Hartman dominates again at WVMS BECKLEY USA 100: Balzano gets first series win of year =================================== SHORT TRACK AUTO RACING STARS (STARS) Pennzoil 75

MINERAL WELLS, W.Va. (Saturday) Different car, same result for Bart Hartman.

Hartman maintained his dominance at West Virginia Motor Speedway, leading all but 10 laps of the STARS Pennzoil 75 for a victory worth $10,000 at the 5/8-mile oval just south of Parkersburg. Series points leader Steve Francis was second, followed by Steve Shaver, Mike Balzano and Tim Hitt. Rick Eckert, Todd Andrews, Delmas Conley, Jeff Wood and Kennie Compton Jr. finished sixth through 10th.

Hartman has won three major sanctioned events at WVMS in the past 13 months, and has been first, second or third in the last five races he's completed at the monster oval.

"We came down here with a different car than we usually run," said Hartman, who drove a MasterSbilt with a Pontiac Grand Prix body style. "We done a few things different and I was real happy with the car tonight."

Hartman started fifth, and took just 10 laps to run down polesitter Delmas Conley and grab the lead. By the 40-lap fuel stop, Hartman led by nearly half a lap. For the remaining 35 laps, Hartman felt no pressure and cruised to victory, about 12 car lengths ahead of Francis.

CAR COUNT: 40 late models

FAST QUALIFIER: Todd Andrews, 21.973 seconds (5/8-mile oval).

FAST DASH: Delmas Conley, Todd Andrews, Steve Lucas, Mike Balzano, Bart Hartman, C.S. Fitzgerald.

HEAT WINNERS: Steve Shaver, Steve Francis, Tim Hitt.


FEATURE (Pos., driver, car no., laps, winnings, reason out) 1. Bart Hartman (75), 75, $10,000 2. Steve Francis (15), 75, $5,000 3. Steve Shaver (30), 75, $3,000 4. Mike Balzano (E1), 75, $2,000 5. Tim Hitt (68), 75, $1,500 6. Rick Eckert (24), 75, $1,400 7. Todd Andrews (42), 75, $1,300 8. Delmas Conley (71), 75, $1,200 9. Jeff Wood (34), 75, $1,100 10. Kennie Compton Jr. (10c), 75, $1,000 11. Joe Meadows (11), 75, $900 12. Steve Lucas (2), 75, $800 13. Randy Boggs (17), 74, $750 14. Larry Bond (10B), 73, $700 15. Jason Minnite (21m), 73, $600 16. Cortney Clewell (12), 72, $600 17. Mike Benedum (25), 71, $550 18. Mike Johnson (2j), 49, $500 handling 19. Barry Bragdon (77), 37, $550, engine 20. Andy Bond (A10), 32, $55, handling 21. Rod Conley (71r), 17, $500, ignition 22. Jeff Burdette (44), $500, handling 23. C.S. Fitzgerald (100), 3, $500, engine

NOTES: The feature was slowed by five cautions and took about an hour to run .... Mike Benedum got a provisional starting spot .... Steve Lucas won the NASCAR Winston Racing Series late model feature .... check out the WVMS web site at <>.

STARS POINT STANDINGS (through June 28): Steve Francis 4,900; Tim Hitt 3,970; Mike Balzano 3,790; Rick Eckert 3,480; Rod Conley 2,980; Steve Shaver 2,870; Bart Hartman 2,330; Delmas Conley 2,330; Barry Bragdon 2,230; Mike Benedum 1,830

NEXT STARS WEEKEND: July 3, Muskingum County Speedway, Zanesville, Ohio, $5,000 to win; July 4, Portsmouth (Ohio) Raceway Park, $6,000 to win; July 5, Pittsburgh's Pennsylvania Motor Speedway, $10,000 to win.

CREDIT: Bret Emrick of STARS and Randall Jett <> of WVMS. ------------------------------------------------------------- SHORT TRACK AUTO RACING STARS (STARS) 18th Annual Beckley USA 100

BECKLEY, W.Va. (Friday) Mike Balzano, taking the lead on lap 91 when polesitter Donnie Moran slowed with a deflating tire, held off Rod Conley over the final nine laps to win the 18th Annual Beckley USA 100, his first STARS victory in nearly 11 months.

Trailing Conley across the finish line at Beckley Motor Speedway were Steve Francis and Rick Eckert, who both worked their way from the tail after spins. Mike Johnson finished fifth from his 21st-starting spot while Tim Hitt, C.S. Fitzgerald, Barry Bragdon, Scott Hartley and Kennie Compton Jr. finished sixth through 10th on the 3/8-mile oval in southern West Virginia. Moran ended up 11th and defending race champion Henry Hornsby Jr. took a provisional starting spot but ended up 24th and last.

The $10,000 victory was Balzano's first STARS victory since Aug. 2 at Portsmouth (Ohio) Raceway Park. It was the first time in the 18-year history of Beckley's big race that it was sanctioned by STARS. Rain on Thursday compressed the planned two-day event into a single day.

When the race began, Hitt jumped into the lead followed by Moran, Steve Lucas, Eckert and Francis. Moran hounded Hitt 18 laps before grabbing the lead from the outside front-row starter.

Francis moved past Hitt into the second spot on the 33rd lap. But Balzano was beginning to make his move. By the 40th lap Balzano, who started outside the fourth row, busted into the top five, and he grabbed the second spot seven laps later when Francis slowed after bumping with Moran in a battle for the lead.

After the halfway fuel stop, Francis retook the second spot on lap 59, but spun on lap 62 while again battling with Moran for the lead.

Balzano then took his best shot at Moran as the two former STARS champions battled through the final stages of the race. Eckert stuck his nose into the battle, too, but he was forced to the tail on the 83rd lap after contact on a restart left him spinning.

Balzano stayed right with Moran, taking the lead on lap 91 and going on to beat Conley by two car lengths.

CAR COUNT: 44 late models.

FAST QUALIFIER: Donnie Moran, 13.597 seconds (3/8-mile oval).

FAST DASH: Donnie Moran, Tim Hitt, Rick Eckert, Steve Lucas, C.S. Fitzgerald, Steve Francis.

HEAT WINNERS: Delmas Conley, Mike Balzano, Scott Hartley, Denny Chamberlain.

CONSOLATION WINNERS: Paul Davis, Kennie Compton Jr.

FEATURE (Pos., driver, car no., laps, purse, reason out) 1. Mike Balzano (E1), 100, $10,000 2. Rod Conley (71r), 100, $5000 3. Steve Francis (15), 100, $3,100 4. Rick Eckert (24), 100, $2,200 5. Mike Johnson (2j), 100, $1,540 6. Tim Hitt (68), 100, $1,700 7. C.S. Fitzgerald (100), 100, $1,400 8. Barry Bragdon (77), 100, $1,240 9. Scott Hartley (32), 100, $1,100 10. Kennie Compton Jr. (10), 100, $1,040 11. Donnie Moran (99), 100, $1,000 12. Ernie Davis (90), 100, $800 13. Jeremy Pack (15), 100, $740 14. Denny Chamberlain (31), 100, $650 15. Keith Bills (36K), 100, $600 16. Delmas Conley (71), 98, $550 17. Steve Lucas (5L), 94, $600, handling 18. Bart Hartman (75), 83, $500, handling 19. Joe Meadows (11), 81, $540, handling 20. Paul Davis (16), 81, $540, handling 21. Chuck Harper (00H), 70, $500, handling 22. Wayne Hughes (1H), 52, $500, steering 23. Eslie Bills (36), 48, $500, handling 24. Henry Hornsby Jr. (39), $540, accident

NOTES: There were nine caution flags for a race that took 1 hour and 40 minutes to complete .... Barry Bragdon was a STARS provisional starter, while Henry Hornsby Jr. was the track's provisional starter .... Bart Hartman was running as high as third in the first half of the race, but he eventually dropped out.

CREDIT: Bret Emrick of STARS. -------------------------------------------------------------

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