By Brett Rose
HAGERSTOWN, MD – Scott Ellerman wired the field, but had to hold off a fast-closing Ken Duke, Jr. over the second half of the 25 lapper to win the finale of the inaugural IMCA RaceSaver East Coast Sprint Nationals at Hagerstown Speedway.
The Landisburg, Pennsylvania driver picked up $1,000 for his win in a race that paid $500 to qualify.
Duke worked his way up to Ellerman from his 7th-place start, and put the sights of his No. 67 onto the tailtank of Ellerman’s No.8d on the sixteenth lap.
While Duke was working the bottom groove, he was able to pull even with Ellerman several times in the closing laps, but couldn’t quite edge ahead into the lead. Ellerman was ahead by a car length at the checkered flag.
“It felt really good there. Starting spot means a lot, especially on a dry-slick track. I figured Ken would be coming sooner or later. He’s been fast all year……I’m worn out! I saw him on the bottom and I knew I had to move down.”, stated Ellerman in Victory Lane.
Following Ellerman and Duke at the finish were Christian Rumsey, Stevie Kenawell, and Jonathon Jones.
Bryan Kerns led the final lap of the 15 lap Pure Stock feature marred by a controversial finish between front runners Joey Zambotti and Doug Hoffman.
Kerns started on the pole and led the first lap before 5-time winner Zambotti moved underneath in Turn 2 on the second lap. By the fourth lap, 2018 champion Hoffman moved around Kerns in the second spot, and began his assault on Zambotti’s lead.
Following a caution a lap later, the restart placed Zambotti’s No.948 machine alongside the No.Super7 of Hoffman on the double-file restart. The pair battled side-by-side for the next few laps, and Hoffman edged ahead for the lead on Lap 9.
A tenth lap caution placed Zambotti and Hoffman together again, and after another side-by-side battle, Zambotti reclaimed the lead on Lap 12.
Hoffman stayed on the rear bumper of Zambotti, and moved underneath to make a pass for the lead. Coming off of Turn 2, contact between the two drivers sent Zambotti into the outside guardrail and ending his night.
Officials made the call to disqualify Hoffman for unsportsmanlike conduct, and sent him to the pit area.
This gave Kerns the lead on a last lap shootout, and he was able to withhold the challenge of Tony Stoneberger to take his first feature win of 2019.
Dwayne Snyder debuted a new car to finish third, Joshua Bloom was fourth, and Danny Atherton finished fifth.
Brady Daniels scored his first career win in the 15 lap Hobby Stock feature event. The teenager from Harrisonville, PA in his No.76 Chevy Nova took the lead from Drew Fertig after an early race restart, and then held off the challenges of Billy Ecton, Sr. while surviving a couple more restarts along the way to the checkered flag.
Ecton, Fertig, James Speelman, and John Catlett trailed Daniels at the finish.
Notes: 69 cars were pit side with 38 Sprints, 16 Hobby Stocks, and 15 Pure Stocks. Drivers came from seven different states between New York and North Carolina to race over both nights.
Ken Duke, Jr. had a solid weekend at Hagerstown with two second place finishes in his 305 Sprint. In three career appearances at Hagerstown, he won his other track appearance in 2018.
Night one winner Zach Newlin had to work his way into the feature on night two through a B-main. He started 21st in the feature and finished 6th.
Hagerstown Speedway would like to thank all of the racers and fans that supported this inaugural event.
IMCA RaceSaver Sprints – 1. 8D-Scott Ellerman, ; 2. 67-Ken Duke Jr., ; 3. 1R-Christian Rumsey, ; 4. 17K-Stevie Kenawell, ; 5. 12J-Jonathon Jones, ; 6. 11Z-Zachary Newlin, ; 7. 77-Mike Leraas, ; 8. 33-Scott Lutz, ; 9. 4J-Jacob Gomola, ; 10. 5K-Jake Karklin, ; 11. 26-Ryan Lynn, ; 12. 20-Doug Dodson, ; 13. 6L-Tyler Denochick, ; 14. 6X-Brad Mellott, ; 15. 83-Lawrence McVay, ; 16. 69K-John Karklin, ; 17. 5-John Walp, ; 18. J9-Jerald Harris, ; 19. 88-Greg Dobrosky, ; 20. 36-Jaremi Hanson, ; 21. 55-Domenic Melair, ; 22. 31-Donnie Hendershot, ; 23. 88A-Fred Arnold, ; 24. 92-Dylan Proctor 
Pure Stock – 1. 83-Bryan Kerns, ; 2. 12S-Tony Stoneberger, ; 3. 69-Dwayne Snyder, ; 4. 00-Joshua Bloom, ; 5. 19-Danny Atherton, ; 6. 6-Wayne Hawbaker, ; 7. 2-Randy Zechman, ; 8. 19M-Bobby Meixsell, ; 9. 948-Joey Zambotti, ; 10. 65-Dillon Wilson, ; 11. 56-Gregory Laird, ; 12. 47-Tike Loizos, ; 13. 25-Jeremy Mills,  DNS-Brian Swiger, DQ-Doug Hoffman
Hobby Stock – 1. 76-Brady Daniels, ; 2. 67-Billy Ecton, ; 3. 10-Drew Fertig, ; 4. 11A-James Speelman, ; 5. 45-John Catlett, ; 6. 19-Mike Fuller, ; 7. 41-Sam Caravello, ; 8. 75-Courtney Deshong, ; 9. 43-Jason Sarver, ; 10. 7K-Michael Knight, ; 11. 28-Brad Umbrell, ; 12. 57-William Ecton Jr., ; 13. 64-William Crook, ; 14. 00-Charles Noblitt  DNS -Gary Breeden, Laura Chamberlain