latemodelamerica.com - Oct. 31 - Hagerstown Speedway
LateModelAmerica.com by Sam Holbrooks

 
 

Gary Stuhler Rallies For Fifth "Octoberfest" Win at Hagerstown

Bob Vores

HAGERSTOWN, Md. - Oct. 31. Following Saturday’s qualifying, Sunday arrived as another sunny seasonable fall day at Hagerstown Speedway to finalize the last race weekend of the season with the 23rd annual "Octoberfest 350".

The inaugural event winner in 1988, Gary Stuhler of Greencastle, Pa. began from the 18th position in the late model 100 lapper and led the final five circuits to post that victory to make him a five time overall winner including the 1996, 1999 and 2003 events. The triumph was the overall leading feature winners career 128th.

Josh Richards sped around the outside of polesitter Dylan Yoder in the opening turns to lead while McCreadie quickly took second before the first lap was scored. Richards easily distanced McCreadie by more than two seconds by lap five and entered the rear of the field by lap 12.

Seventh starter Jason Covert took third from Yoder on the 17th circuit but four laps later, Stuhler arrived from 18th to pass Covert while McCreadie was more than four seconds ahead. Richards held the upper hand into the fuel stop with only a .44 second advantage over McCreadie at the halfway mark.

Just after the halfway restart, Richards suddenly slowed and pitted with and engine problems as McCreadie and Stuhler pulled away from Covert and Dan Stone.

Stuhler didn’t allow McCreadie any room for error with a lap 81 caution regrouping the field. Billy Decker who originally started fourth and dropped to 12th by halfway, was on the move around the outside and advanced to pick off Covert on lap 36 while 2.35 seconds behind Stuhler. Decker began to close the gap while Stuhler’s assault on McCreadie became more intense until he found the opportunity to charge around and take the lead on lap 46. He pulled ahead 1.38 seconds at the checkered. Decker trailed McCreadie by two seconds with Covert and 12th starting Dan Stone completing the top five. Vic Coffey, from 23rd was sixth with Marvin Winters, Russ King, (25th), Yoder and Frankie Plessinger (14th) next.

“Everything worked our way,” Stuhler said. “I think if Josh had stayed in there, he definitely would have won the race. Timmy is a class act to race with and it was a lot of fun. I don’t think either one of us would have had anything for Josh if he would have stayed in there. Whatever happened to him, we’ll take it. Sometimes you get those things. It’s a good way to end the year.”

 

Oct. 31 - Hagerstown Speedway Octoberfest
1) Gary Stuhler, 2) Tim McCreadie, 3) Billy Decker, 4) Jason Covert, 5) Dan Stone, 6) Vic Coffey, 7) Marvin Winters, 8) Russ King, 9) Dylan Yoder, 10) Frankie Plessinger, 11) Tim Wilson, 12) Wes Bonebrake, 13) Jonathan DeHaven, 14) Chad Hollenback, 15) Danny Kienitz, 16) Keith Jackson, 17) Kenny Pettyjohn, 18) Tom Decker, 19) Larry Wight, 20) Rick Eckert, 21) Josh Richards, 22) Jim Yoder, 23) Scott LeBarron, 24) Doug Eck, 25) Alan Sagi, 26) Jeremy Miller
Heat winners (32 entries): Yoder, Richards, McCreadie, Decker; Consolation winner: Wight

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