By Brett Rose
HAGERSTOWN, MD – Zach Newlin found his way to victory after 25 laps at Hagerstown Speedway for the first time as he held off a hard-charging Ken Duke, Jr. in the closing laps during the first night of the inaugural IMCA RaceSaver East Coast Sprint Nationals.
The Millerstown, Pennsylvania driver drove his No.11z mount past pole sitter Dylan Proctor going into turn one from the outside, and pulled away from the field into lapped traffic by Lap 9 until a caution flag waved for the spun car of Jonathon Jones on the tenth circuit.
Duke had started the race from 13th, and quickly marched his way toward the front. He was up to 6th by Lap 5, 5th by Lap 7, and 4th when the first caution came out.
After the restart, Duke moved past Christian Rumsey a lap later, then around Brad Mellott for second position another lap after that.
Meanwhile, Newlin had pulled away and again was working through traffic before Duke was hot on his heels. Duke reeled in Newlin and pulled even with him on Lap 19, but Newlin was able to main the lead by a slim margin. The pair battled for the lead as two more cautions setup restarts; the last being a one lap shootout to the finish.
Duke’s slider off of turn two was close, but not enough to get by Newlin, as Newlin held Duke off the final half of a lap to the checkered flag.
“I was probably out of breath on like Lap 15 I think. I’ve been sick since Wednesday…….it’s been rough. I’m going to sleep good tonight, I know that. I saw Ken’s nose under me, and I knew I had to pick up the pace and get good restarts”, said Newlin.
Following Newlin and Duke at the finish were Rumsey, 19th starting Scott Lutz, and Jaremi Hanson.
Justin Weaver had to chase down Chad Myers over the first half of the 25 lap Mason Dixon Shootout Series feature event on A&C Racing Engines night, and then had to battle Myers for several laps side-by-side before securing the advantage for the lead with only a few laps remaining.
Weaver’s win was his second overall at Hagerstown in 2019 as he has a Super Late Model win to his credits. It was the 27th career Late Model Sportsman win for the Williamsport, Maryland driver.
Weaver said: “Chad had a good car. Man, that was a good race! That was all we had. With about 5 laps to go, I looked on the backstretch and saw Allen Rodgers standing on the back of the truck and I remembered it was A&C Racing Engines night and it was like time to get up on the wheel.”
Rounding out the top five were previous 2019 Late Model Sportsman winner James Lichliter and Scott Palmer, and Andrew Yoder.
Notes: 41 IMCA RaceSaver 305 Sprints and 34 MDSS cars were on hand for the rare Friday night race at Hagerstown Speedway.
Once again, racing throughout the field was competitive with drivers advancing from deep in the fields to top five finishes.
IMCA RaceSaver Sprints – 1. 11Z-Zachary Newlin, ; 2. 67-Ken Duke Jr., ; 3. 1R-Christian Rumsey, ; 4. 33-Scott Lutz, ; 5. 36-Jaremi Hanson, ; 6. 26-Ryan Lynn, ; 7. 83-Lawrence McVay, ; 8. 6X-Brad Mellott, ; 9. 8D-Scott Ellerman, ; 10. 20-Doug Dodson, ; 11. 12J-Jonathon Jones, ; 12. 44V-Daren Bolac, ; 13. 77-Mike Leraas, ; 14. R6-Reed Thompson, ; 15. 56-Jake Frye, ; 16. 5K-Jake Karklin, ; 17. 88-Greg Dobrosky, ; 18. 4J-Jacob Gomola, ; 19. 6L-Tyler Denochick, ; 20. 31-Donnie Hendershot, ; 21. 41Z-Jared Zionkowski, ; 22. 12-Roger Irvine, ; 23. 92-Dylan Proctor, ; 24. 69K-John Karklin, 
Mason Dixon Shootout Series – 1. 2J-Justin Weaver, ; 2. 21-Chad Myers, ; 3. 8-James Lichliter, ; 4. 86-Scott Palmer, ; 5. 2-Andrew Yoder, ; 6. 13-Brad McGinnis, ; 7. 43-Cody Kershner, ; 8. 44S-Shawn Shoemaker, ; 9. 48W-Greg Moore, ; 10. 48-Donnie Farlling, ; 11. 7-Kenneth Yoder, ; 12. 17K-Steve Kent, ; 13. 40-Tommy Slanker, ; 14. 33K-Devin Hart, ; 15. 16-Clinton Hersh, ; 16. 92-Frankie Gordon, ; 17. 5X-Brad Omps, ; 18. 62-Devin Frey, ; 19. 000-Paul Cursey Jr., ; 20. 53-Tyler Kirby, ; 21. 44-Dylan Lewis, ; 22. 77S-Elwood Sord, ; 23. 23-Todd Snook, ; 24. 5-Wes Bonebrake,