Paine and Bolland Claim Eckerd 100 Victories
Paine, who was shut out of victory lane last season, started fifth in the first of the twin 50-lap features and methodically worked his way to the front. The Waterloo, N.Y., resident took the lead from Bolland on lap 17 and was never seriously challenged.
¿It¿s just great to run well here with the amount of people we have in the stands¿ said Paine who collected $5,000 for his work. ¿We had a good car tonight. We called home for some advice, changed the car today and what a car it was. I just had to drive it, that¿s all.¿
Eighth-starting Billy Decker charged through the pack to finish second with Doug Hoffman third. Bolland slipped to fourth at the checkered flag with Tim Fuller rounding out the top-five in the 32-car field.
Bolland, who admitted a driving mistake cost him the first race, was not to be denied in the second, which was extended to 53 laps due to a late-race caution flag. The Brighton, Pa., jumped to the lead from the pole and never looked back, leading the entire distance. He too collected $5,000.
¿These are the best dirt racers in the country and this feels great,¿ Bolland said. ¿That first race was my mistake. I had mud in my face. I have to hand it to my crew. They did a good job of keeping us focused.¿
Decker ran second the entire distance and had to settle for the runner-up pay once again as a last-lap effort to dive under Bolland fell short. Hoffman ended up third for the second-straight race with Fuller and Brett Hearn next under the checkered flag.
The race was red flagged on lap four for a spectacular crash involving Bobby Varin and Gary Tomkins. The two tangled on the front straightaway with the impact launching Tompkins¿ car high into the air. Both drivers walked away uninjured.
The eight-lap heat races were won by Vic Coffey, Hearn, Ron Smoker, Tomkins, Paine and Tom Sears Jr. The last chance races, also eight-laps, saw Lee Gill, Mike Adderle and Pierre Dagenais claim the victories while Chris Shultz topped the 15-lap non-qualifiers event.
Tim McCreadie paced the 63-car field in qualifying Friday night, posting a record lap of 15.745 seconds at an average speed of 91.458 mph.
Bob McGannon, who failed to make the feature field at this event last year, started from the pole and drove his Chevrolet Monte Carlo to victory in the 20-lap feature for the Empire Sports Network Pro Stock Super DIRT Series.
The Garnerville, N.Y., driver led wire-to-wire in beating Giles Godard, Dave Bissonnette, Jip Ortiz and Steve Miller.
The Dirt Track @ Lowe¿s Motor Speedway returns to action Friday and Saturday nights, May 23-24, when the O¿Reilly World of Outlaws sprint cars visit for the Charlotte Outlaw Showdown. Run in conjunction with the Coca-Cola 600 NASCAR Winston Cup race, the sprint car event features two complete nights of racing. Call 1-800-455-FANS for tickets or information.
Eckerd 100 Results:
First Feature (50 laps): 1. Steve Paine; 2. Billy Decker; 3. Doug Hoffman; 4. Kevin Bolland; 5. Tim Fuller; 6. Ron Smoker; 7. Brett Hearn; 8. Vic Coffey; 9. Matt Sheppard; 10. Tom Sears Jr.; 11. Lee Gill; 12. Brian Swartzlander; 13. Pat Ward; 14. Alan Johnson; 15. Mike Perrotte; 16. Steve Poirier; 17. Gary Tomkins; 18. Bobby Varin; 19. Tim McCreadie; 20. Danny Johnson; 21. Scott Prentice; 22. Butch Tittle; 23. Kenny Tremont; 24. Ronnie Johnson; 25. Pierre Dagenais; 26. Kyle Strickler; 27. Deron Rust; 28. Chuck Bower; 29. Jerry Higbie; 30. Mike Adderley; 31. Jeff Heotzler; 32. Bob McCreadie.
Second Feature (53 laps): 1. Kevin Bolland; 2. Billy Decker; 3. Doug Hoffman; 4. Tim Fuller; 5. Brett Hearn; 6. Steve Paine; 7. Alan Johnson; 8. Ron Smoker; 9. Matt Sheppard; 10. Danny Johnson; 11. Steve Poirier; 12. Kenny Tremont; 13. Lee Gill; 14. Pierre Dagenais; 15. Tim McCreadie; 16. Deron Rust; 17. Butch Tittle; 18. Kyle Strickler; 19. Pat Ward; 20. Jerry Higbie; 21. Jeff Heotzler; 22. Tom Sears Jr.; 23. Vic Coffey; 24. Chuck Bower; 25. Bob McCreadie; 26. Brian Swartzlander; 27. Bobby Varin; 28. Scott Prentice; 29. Gary Tomkins; 30. Mike Perrotte.