It looked like another night in an incredible season at Linda's Speedway for Richie Hitzler. Hitzler was the night's fast timer and also won his heat race. When the green flag dropped in the annual modified 50, Hitzler, drove away from the field.
Jon Josko, Jason Dunkleberger, and Kenny Harris all challenged Hitzler at the front of the field. But it was still the 9 car out front as the field work close to the halfway point. Lap traffic got really heavy for the race leaders as a long green flag run gave the driver out front a big disadvantage. Josko was all over Hitzler when a yellow flag gave the leader the open track.
As some restarts unfolded Jason Dunkleberger started to work into the fray at the front of the field. Dunkleberger working the inside of the speedway began to close in on the leaders.
It was on lap 35 when Dunkleberger finally worked past Hitzler for the top spot. Once Dunkleberger was out front he looked like the car to beat. Dunkleberger was able to drive away from the field to a comfortable advantage.
Some late race yellow flags brought the field back to Dunkelberger's rear bumper. on the final lap it seems like an open race to the checkered flag 1 Dunkelberger's car stumbled in 3 & 4 on the final corner.
Josko, and a hard charging Michael Burrows were in a spot to try to take advatage. Dunkleberger was able to get off the corner with enough momentum and speed to cross the line first. It was Dunkleberger’s first tour race win as well as his first win in the Modified 50.
Josko was second. Josko won the first 50 lap event of the year at the speedway. Burrows took third place by using the outside line in the closing laps while everybody else ran the bottom. It looked like he might have a shot at the win on the last lap. He settled for the final spot on the podium.
Nate Brinker was fourth followed by Josh Pepe. Pepe was involved in the second yellow of the race, but bounced back to finish in the tp five.
Sixth through tenth went to Hitzler, Harris, DJ Hunt, Dakota Kohler, and Sam Scicchitano.
Brett Bieber was not sure if he would be able to make the Saturday race because of prior commitments. He was in the catbirds seat when race leader Dave Carraghan slowed in the 20 lap Slingshot feature event.
With Carraghan behind the wall, Bieber was the car to beat. No one was able to do that as Bieber led the remaining eight laps of the feature event for the win. Dakota Kohler was second followed by Dave Labe. Ronnie Spitler and Chuck Whary rounded out the top five.
Mike Glass, Matt Miller, and Carraghan were the finishing cars.
There Is a tradition with the charger championship trophy that each year the winning driver gets to keep the trophy until the following year's championship race. The trophy carries the names of all the previous winners. Troy Hostetter’s name appears on that trophy multiple times and after this year's charger Championship race, it will appear on there again.
Hostetter lead every lap of the 25-lap feature event to claim the victory. It sounds a lot easier than it actually was. Hostetter was pressured the whole race by various drivers at the front of the field.
His teammate Ed Hollenbach was the first to give the leader some fits. Hollenbach and third place Aaron Updegraff got together in turn one. Hollenbach ended up restarting at the tail, while Updegraff was left in second, along with Eric Hollenbach, to try to take the win away.
It wasn’t long before Josh Demmy broke into the top five. Demmy is the defending winner of the Charger Championship race.
The top three continued to duel all the way down to the checkered flag where they came across the start Finish Line fanned Out 3 wide. Hostetter’s car was just infront of Updegraff. Updegraff edged out Hollenbach. Demmy and Chris Smith completed the top five.
In the nights point battle, Hostetter won the battle, but Updegraff won the war to claim his first ever Linda’s Speedway championship.
Sixth through tenth in the charger championship race went to Rob Pyle, Harold Smith, Ed Hollenbach, Paul Lambert, and John Snavely.
The Riegel’s Small Engine Repair & Services fast time award went to Troy Hostetter. Riegel’s also sponsored the hard luck award. That was given to Charles Wengard. Wegard was suppose to start second in the feature, but his car shut off in the staging area and would not refire before the field was the green flag.
Mike Co heat races winner were Hostetter and Wengard.
THe Jasen's Automotive Hard Charger was Rob Pyle from 16th to finish sixth.
The Norlebco Quarter Midgets, that run on the infield at Linda's Speedway were on hand with their cars on display for a some laps around the big track on Saturday.
Next Friday the speedway will return to its normal night of competition with the finale of the ARDC Midget season. The 270 Micro Sprints will also be in action in the final race of the Titan Wings Time Trial Series presented by Roadrunner Race Fuels. The 270 Micro Sprints will also be racing in the King of the Wing make up feature from May 12th. The Wingless 600 Micro Sprints will race in the annual Iron Cowboy race. It will be the final points race for both the 600 Micro Sprints and the Slingshots, who are also closing out their season.
Gates will open at 5 with racing at 7:30. Admission to the grandstands will be $8 and it admission will be $25.