Watson and Burch ‘s wins come in extra purse ‘specials’.
Conneaut, OH, July 12, 2013: A beautiful evening greeted fans and racers when they came through the gates for racing tonight although the Raceway 7 community suffered the loss of one of it’s early pioneers Tursday night. Bud Watson the 1973 Late Model champion passed away at the age of 86. The E-Mod Special was fittingly won by Joel Watson, Bud’s Grandson. Bud Watson was the father of Jim Watson (7x), Ron Watson (1), and Bill Watson (2), also a track champion. His grandsons include Jay Watson (7x), a former champion, Joel Watson (92), the defending E-Mod champion, and Bud Watson (2). great grandchildren Joey Watson (17x), and Jeff Watson (1*) also are racers.
It was a night of threes as four of the winners won their third features of the season including Chad Wright in FASTRAK Late Models, Joel Watson in E-Mods, Chris Withers in Street Stocks, and Brian Hathaway in the Economods. Casey Burch got his first Raceway 7 feature win in the Mini-Stock finale. A huge and spectacular fireworks display was presented by Fireworks by Gibson.
Track promoter Dan McDonald, winless at his racetrack since 2009, started the Bonnell Collision Center E-Mod $800 to Win Special from the pole with reigning tack champion Joel Watson on the outside with Watson taking the early lead. On turn two of lap two Allen Dellinger got sideways, collecting Rjck Pratschler, taking both hard into the outside wall. Taking evasive action, Brian Douglas clipped one of the ‘yuke’ tires marking the boundary of the infield, ending his night. Watson quickly built a big lead over Gary Eicher and Dan McDonald. Watson had a near quarter lap lead at the checkers with Eicher second, and McDonald third. Greg Johnson and Mike Potosky filled out the top five. It was Watson’s third trip to Victory Lane. An emotional Watson remembered his Grandfather in Victory Lane, noting Bud was always a legend to to the young champion. The win was the third in the season for the defending champion.
George Kowatic led the Evergreen Lake Park Campground FASTRAK Lake Models for the first lap then spun in turn four of lap two. For the restart Chad Wright was the leader with Kyle Zimmerman and Dave Airgood lined up right behind. Defending champion Max Blair sat fourth for the restart after starting sixth. By eight laps in Airgood was second and at the halfway point Blair was challenging Zimmerman for third but was unable to get by. At the finish it was Wright for his third win of the season over Airgood, Zimmerman, Blair, and Mike Kinney, driving the car normally driven by Bob Pifer.
Brian Wagner and Dave Snyder brought the Western Reserve Animal Clinic Street Stock feature to the green flag with Snyder taking the early lead. Disaster struck for Snyder in turn two when he spun in front of the field, collecting Shawn Fawcett and several others. Snyder had to be towed from the raceway. Fawcett was also unable to continue. After green racing resumed Joe Rohrer surged to the lead with former champion Chris Withers right behind. Twice more caution had to be displayed in lap three before the field settled down and the real racing began. Last week’s winner Chris Withers got by Rohrer on lap six and began pulling away from the field. At the checkers it was Withers by four car-lengths over Rohrer, Darrin Hyde, former champion Ed Bolyard, and Art Gilchrist. For Withers it was win number three in his quest for another title.
Ty Rhodes was the early leader in the McDonalds Meats Economods feature. Rhodes came from row two to the lead by turn two of lap one. After a caution at lap two sixth-starting Brian Hathaway took over at the front by the time the pack got to turn two. After another yellow at lap two for a four-car pileup in turn one, Hathaway quickly established his dominance while eighth-starting Jake Eucher came to second. Another caution at lap seven again slowed the field, allowing the twelve-year old Eucher to close the gap on Hathaway, winner of two features this season. On the restart Rhodes went back to second but Hathaway was opening a substantial lead. Kyle Fellows looped his mount with two laps remaining and spun into the outside wall in turn two. Hathaway cruised to his third triumph of the season over Rhodes, Eicher, Atkinson, and Tony Hyde.
The final race of the evening was the $300 to win special for the Specialty Products Mini Stocks. Jason Johnson and Dale Fraschetti led the 23-car field to the green but the pack only made it to turn three before several cars piled up and thinned the field by four cars. Fraschetti and Bill Fuchs brought the field back to green with with Fraschetti taking the lead but Zack Downes came from fifth to the lead by completion of the next circuit. Eighth-starting Casey Burch was alongside Downes as they crossed the line at the end of four laps and had the lead at the end of five. Downes stayed with Burch going through lapped traffic but was unable to get the lead back. Cale Sousa lost power and came to a halt on lap eight in turn three, again slowing the race while he was removed. One lap past the redisplay of green Downes got back by coming out of turn two but Burch wasn’t done yet getting alongside using the high line at lap twelve. On lap thirteen Burch slid high in turn two, losing valuable ground. With the white flag flying Burch was back to two car lengths behind the leader, and, using lapped traffic, got the lead back on the final turns, winning by half a car-length. It was Burch’s first visit and first win of the season at Raceway 7. Downes settled for second. Fuchs was third with Fraschetti and Brad Cole completing the top five.
Evergreen Lake Park Campground FASTRAK Late Models:
Feature: Chad Wright, Dave Wright, Kyle Zimmerman, Max Blair, Mike Kinney, Jamie Brown, Alex Anderson, Kevin Decker, Kevin Santee, George Kowatic, Khole Wanzer, Justin Kreider
Bonnell Collision Center E-Mods:
Feature: Joel Watson, Gary Eicher, Dan McDonald, Greg Johnson, Mike Potosky, Bud Watson, Percy McDonald, Chuck Steinle Jr, Bill Taylor, Kevin Miller, Ed Miller, Ed Wilson, Aan Dellinger, Rick Pratschler, Josh McDonald, Brian Douglas, Gary Murphy
McDonald Meats Econo Mods:
Feature: Brian Hathaway, Ty Rhodes, Jake Eucher, Alan Atkinson, Tony Hyde, Todd Canter, Chuck Steinle Sr, Bobby Wright, Kyle Fellows, Josh Ferry, Gene Crouch, Kevin Sergeff, Jace Ferringer (DNS), Russ Kaplan (DNS)
Western Reserve Animal Clinic Street Stocks:
Feature: Chris Withers, Joe Rohrer, Darren Hyde, Ed Bolyard, Art Gilchrist, Bryan Wagner, Kyle Reinwald, Jonny Boyd, David Snyder, Shawn Fawcett, John Bailey (DNS)
Specialty Products Mini-Stocks:
Feature: Casey Burch, Zach Downes, Bill Fuchs, Dale Fraschetti, Brad Cole, Dylan Goodman, Bud Sergeff, Hoyt Mihalac, John Boyd, Mitch Stokes, Ryan White, Jason Easler, Patrick Drennan, Chris Forbes, Joe Longenecker, Alex Forbes, Cale Sousa, Scott Gill, Bo Martin, Jason Johnson, Carlos Aponte, Tim McAnich, Logan Keney