By Brett Rose
HAGERSTOWN, MD – Justin Weaver picked up the 30 Lap Ultimate Northeast Super Late Model Series opener at the 72nd season opening event at Hagerstown Speedway on Saturday night.
It was the 1st career SLM win for the former multi-time Late Model Sportsman champion out of Williamsport, Maryland behind the wheel of the Coleman Family No.72 Rocket XR-1.
The win for Weaver also guarantees him a spot in the upcoming Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series race on April 13.
Kyle Lee jumped out to the early lead on the outside past pole setter Scott Palmer. Weaver, coming from his sixth place start on the grid, raced side-by-side Palmer for a few laps before settling into second position as Lee stretched out to a six second advantage.
Lee’s advantage was erased as a caution waved for Jakob Piper on Lap 12. With a Delaware style restart, Lee was all alone up front as Weaver had to contend with Palmer and Gregg Satterlee. Weaver quickly disposed of Palmer and Satterlee as he chased Lee.
With ten laps to go, Weaver’s car began trailing smoke, but it wasn’t slowing. He closed up a ten car length gap on Lee as Lee encountered lapped traffic with only five laps to go.
Lee’s handling started to go away as the car began to push into the turns, allowing Weaver to pull even beside him. With two laps to go, Weaver nipped Lee at the flagstand, and pulled away at the end to take the checkered flag.
“We had something going south there, the motor sounded smooth but I started smelling a little bit of oil. It was right when I was going for the lead and I looked up at the scoreboard, I saw there was two laps to go and I was like, man, I think we can push this to the end. I didn’t know if it was going to make it. If it went too bad, I was going to pull in. But this is awesome.”, said a jubilant Weaver in victory lane.
Lee held onto finish second, followed by Mason Zeigler, Satterlee, and Jared Miley in the top five.
Kittaning, Pennsylvania invader Joey Zambotti drove to a convincing win over Craig Parrill in the 15 Lap Pure Stock feature event. Zambotti took the lead following a restart on Lap 5, and survived two more cautions to score his first win at Hagerstown on his first visit to the track.
Jeremy Tinsman finished third, followed by Michael Warrenfeltz and Bob Egley.
Robbie Carroll drove his newly-built Acura R7 to the 12 Lap U-Car feature for the nightcap. He battled and held off Matt Worley for his first checkered flag of 2019.
Chris Anderson, Ryan Peer, and Travis Semple rounded out the top five.
Notes: 22 Super Late Models, 13 Pure Stocks, and 17 U-Cars were pit side for the opening race of 2019. Last season’s UNSLMS and Hagerstown Speedway opening night winner Trever Feathers fell to engine woes during hot laps and was scratched for the night.
The track was fast as current SLM track record holder Gregg Satterlee had quick time with a 17.941 second lap. Satterlee set the record in October 2018 with a blistering 17.089 lap. In hot laps, Kyle Lee and Mason Zeigler were also in the 17 second zone along with Satterlee.
A violent, high-speed heat race crash claimed the cars of Andy Anderson, Kirk Baker, and Rodney Walls entering Turn 3. Fortunately, each driver walked away. Baker’s car got the worst of the accident with a series of rolls, and Walls was on his roof.
Incredibly, Walls was able to make enough repairs to his damaged racer good enough to take the green flag for the SLM feature.
SLM heats went to Satterlee, Zeigler, and Weaver.
UNSLMS – 1. 72-Justin Weaver, 2. 2T-Kyle Lee, 3. 25Z-Mason Zeigler, 4. 22-Gregg Satterlee, 5. 10-Jared Miley, 6. 44-Gary Stuhler, 7. 45-Jamie Lathroum, 8. 46-Marvin Winters, 9. 86-Scott Palmer, 10. 7-Darryl Hills, 11. 14-Tyler Horst, 12. 8-Matt Sponaugle, 13. 5-Glenn Elliott, 14. 32J-Shaun Jones, 15. 21-Jakob Piper, 16. 44S-Scott Sweeney, 17. 82-Andy Fries, 18. 85-Rodney Walls, 19. 12-Ryan Montgomery
DNS – Andy Anderson, Kirk Baker DNQ- Trever Feathers
Pure Stock – 1. 948-Joey Zambotti, 2. 3-Craig Parrill, 3. 8-Jeremy Tinsman, 4. 12-Michael Warrenfeltz, 5. 30-Bob Egley, 6. 55-Kevin Boyer, 7. 81F-Dylan Welsh, 8. 7-Brian Swiger, 9. 19M-Bobby Meixsell, 10. 19-Danny Atherton, 11. 81J-Jamie Zentmyer, 12. 47-Anastasios Loizos, 13. 65-Dillon Wilson
U-Cars – 1. 69-Robbie Carroll, 2. 6-Matt Worley, 3. 15-Chris Anderson, 4. 64-Ryan Peer, 5. 64F-Travis Semple, 6. 18-Kala Varner, 7. 3S-Steve Settle, 8. 757-Travis Heavner, 9. 00-Anthony Varner, 10. 27-Melvin McCartan, 11. 95D-Dustin Detrick, 12. 2SLOW-Kevin Banzhoff, 13. 65D-Todd Detrick, 14. 50-Colin Welsh, 15. 2FAST-Devin Iser, 16. 2-Robert Cutshall, 17. 80-Dale Varner Jr.