LOCAL DRIVERS STYMIED BY PROBLEMS LATE IN THE LAPS

THE BALTIMORE SUN

Two county auto drivers found themselves knocked out of contention by mechanical problems in Sunday races.

Another county driver, though, took advantage of an injury to a fellow Carroll driver to win a feature race.

Jeff Shepard of Finksburg had led from the start of the 25-lap sprint car feature at Susquehanna Speedway in Newberrytown, Pa., but ran out of gas on the 24th lap and did not finish in the top 10 in the race.

Meanwhile, at Hagerstown Speedway in Washington County, GaryStuhler of Westminster was in second on the 22nd lap of a 25-lap late model feature when he suffered a flat tire. Stuhler recovered and still finished second.

The Sunday performances were disappointing ends to what had been promising weekends.

Stuhler won his third consecutive late model race Friday night at Williams Grove Speedway in Mechanicsburg, Pa., taking the lead on the first lap and holding it for the entire race. He also had won one of the preliminary heats.

On Sunday, Stuhler started in eighth but moved to the top spot on the fourth lap and began to pull away from the field. Nathan Durboraw caught and passed the Westminster driver on the ninth lap, though Stuller stayed close by for three more laps.

But Stuhler had started to fade by the time his flat tire brought out the caution flag on lap 22. Ironically, the win by Durboraw was his 11th of the year, tying thetrack record for most wins in a season previously held by Stuhler and Denny Bonebreak.

Shepard, meanwhile, started the weekend by placing 10th in the 20-lap sprint feature Friday at Williams Grove, then took ninth in the 25 lap feature race Saturday night at Lincoln Speedway in Hanover, Pa. He also won a preliminary race at Susquehanna..

Westminster's Don Zechman, though, took advantage of an injury to Rick Jones, also from Westminster, to notch his first win of the year in the 12-lap semi-late model feature Saturday.

In other motorsports action:

* Charlie Schaffer of Hampstead finished fourth in the late model feature at Williams Grove and was ninth in the race at Hagerstown.

* Mike Harrison of Mount Airy was in second during the early going and wound up sixth in the 100-lap Ernie's Salvage Yard 100 for limited late model cars in the main event at Hagerstown Sunday. Harrison won a heat.

* Dave Green of Taneytown was fourth in the 12-lap thunder car feature Saturday at Lincoln.

* Former Woodbine resident Cris Eash, now of Hanover, was third in the sprint feature at Susquehanna and ninth in the feature Williams Grove race Friday, but he still dropped from fifth to sixth in the weekly WSBA Busch Cup Racing Series sprint standings.

* Mike Stull of Westminster was second in the micro sprint feature Friday at Trail-Way Speedway in Hanover, Pa., Friday night in an unusually light Carroll turnout at the track. Stull also won a preliminary heat.

In the eight cylinder stock feature at Trail-Way, Mark Shorb of Westminster was fifth and won a heat, while Gregg Messersmith of Hampstead placed ninth.

* Jamie Talbert of Taneytown led a field of more than 100 cars Saturday to win the Class II competition at 75-80 Dragway in Monrovia, Frederick County. Talbert also raced agains the Class I winner, Wil Martlock, in the Top-Dog race and was runner-up Top Dog for August.

Elizabeth Dorsett of Mount Airy also won the ETK class for street cars and Marion Ford of Hampstead won the motorcycle class while brother Malcolm of Westminster was a semifinalist.

Other top county performers included Mike Stambaugh of Union Bridge, Harris Levin of Westminster and Roger Jorss of Sykesville, all quarterfinalists in Class II, and Mike Creaghin of Mount Airy, a Class I quarterfinalist.

* Four county drivers were among the top finishers in the super-pro division Sunday atMason-Dixon Dragway in Washington County.

Robert Wilson of Westminster was a fourth-round winner, Bobby Spielman of Taneytown was a third-round champ and Earl Bitzel of Finksburg and Dave Smith of Mount Airy were second-round victors. Ed Talbert of Westminster was semifinalist in the heavy class.

* Eric Ohler of Taneytown won the four-cycle senior modified class at Hunterstown (Pa.) Speedway in go-kart action Sunday. Richard Schwaab of Smallwood was second in the four-cycle box stock senior heavy class and Chris Wainwright of Westminster took second in the two-cycle junior division.

* Wayne Karcher of Finksburg placed second in the superstocklight go kart class Friday at Cumberland Valley (Pa.) Speedway.

UPCOMING SCHEDULE

Friday

*Trail-Way Speedway, Hanover, Pa.: Four and eight cylinders, semi late models and micro sprints; gates open at 5, racing starts at 8. (717) 359-4310.

* Williams Grove Speedway, Mechanicsburg, Pa.: Twin sprint car features; gates open at 6 p.m., racing starts at 8 p.m. (717) 766-4778.

* 75-80 Dragway, Monrovia: Big Buck Night with $5,000 ET race; pits open at 5 p.m. and eliminations start at 9 p.m. (301) 865-5102.

Saturday

* Lincoln Speedway, Hanover, Pa.: Joey Chitwood Thrill Show plus sprint, semi-late models and thundercars; gates open at 5 p.m., racing starts at 7:30 p.m. (717) 624-2755.

* Trail-Way Speedway: Supercross cycles and four-wheel drives; gates open at 3 p.m., racing starts at 7 p.m.

* 75-80 Dragway: National Hot Rod Association Meet, third high school race, $2,000 high roller race; pits open at 1 p.m. and eliminations start at 7 p.m. (301) 865-5102.

* Mason-Dixon Dragway, Hagerstown: Wild Bunch points race plus regular Saturday card; gates open at 1 p.m., time trials at 2 p.m. and eliminations at 5:30 p.m. (301) 791-5193.

Sunday

* Hagerstown Speedway: Twin 20 late model features, plus limited late models, modifiedstock, daredevils, four-cylinder stocks; gates open at 5 p.m., racing starts at 7 p.m. (301) 582-0640.

* Susquehanna Speedway, Newberrytown, Pa.: Sprint cars, limited late models and thundercars; racing starts at 7 p.m. (717) 938-9170.

* Mason-Dixon Dragway: Third round of Maryland National Hot Rod Association Motorcycle nationals; gates open at 1 p.m., time trials at 2 p.m. and eliminations at 5:30 p.m.

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