Patrick Emerling Captures George Decker Memorial 100

August 01, 2010 at 1:58 PM

Sophomore open-wheeled racer Patrick Emerling of Boston, NY overcame two major set-backs to roar back to the front and score the victory in the 11th annual George Decker Memorial 100 for the NASCAR Raginwolf.com Pro Modifieds at the Holland NASCAR Motorsports Complex on Saturday evening, July 31st. The race had been re-scheduled after rain forced a postponement from the original July 24th date.

In other Holland action, defending Late Models of Tomorrow champ Eldon King III of Freedom, NY captured his first feature win of the season, Rich Carnes of Cheektowaga, NY earned his first career main event victory of any sort in the Bank of Holland Charger run, and Dave Wollaber of North Tonawanda, NY took the win in a thrilling Casey’s TQ Midget Series main. Kevin Tarbox of Akron, NY took the honors in the race for the visiting Dunn Tire Raceway Park Street Stocks, George Quintana of Boston, NY earned win number four in an exciting 4-cylinder Hornet event, and Jason Adams of Glenwood, NY won his third of the season in the M&M U-Pull-It Figure 8 Car main.

The Decker 100 proved to be a rugged affair, with 12 caution periods slowing the action, but under green, the competition kept the fans’ attention. The 17-year-old Emerling worked his way forward from the eighth starting position to get around Justin Shepker on a lap 21 restart, after Shepker had raced by Amy Catalano for the top spot five laps earlier.

Emerling kept his Emerling Dealerships/Gauthier Blacktopping mount in front of Shepker over numerous restarts for the next 42 laps, until calamity struck on the 63rd circuit - as the leaders were entering turn three, the lapped car of Steve West, just ahead, had an engine let go, coating the track with fluid. Emerling could not avoid the slick, and his car slid sideways into the infield grass before he could straighten out. By track rules, since he did not hold his position, he had to line-up in the spot in which he fell back in line, which was eighth. This put Shepker back out in the lead, but all eyes were focusing on Mike Fielbelkorn, Jr. Fiebelkorn, the current Holland points leader, had been pacing himself over the first 60 laps, and decided it was time to put on the charge to the front. Fiebelkorn, who had restarted sixth at this point, was picking off spots with efficiency, and was in second by lap 75, putting the pressure on Shepker.

In the meantime, Emerling was trying to work back to the front, but ran into problem number two on lap 80 while racing with John Barber for third place - the race became a bit too intense, and contact was made, with Barber sliding into the infield, and Emerling receiving a stop-and-go penalty for his part in the incident.

However, the major race altering event would happen on a lap 84 restart, following a yellow flag for Sege Fidanza’s contact with the front chute wall. As the lead pack raced through turns three and four following the restart green, the leading Shepker mount suddenly pitched sideways, and collected six other cars, including Fiebelkorn. Somehow, Buck Catalano, who had been third at this juncture, avoided the fray, as did Emerling. On the restart following this incident, Catalano, who had moved up from the 20th starting spot, led the field, with Emerling lining up fourth behind John Barber and Sherri Hogan, both of whom had also avoided the incident. Emerling made quick work of Hogan and Barber, taking second in just a lap, and on the 86th circuit, powered under Catalano in turn four for a lead, that this time, he would not relinquish. At the checkers, Emerling enjoyed about a 1 ½ second margin of victory over Catalano.

The closing laps featured a great race for third as Barber, who had lost his power steering early in the race plus was essentially driving one-handed due to a recent hand injury, held off a fast closing Shepker, with Hogan, Jerry Gradl, Jr., and Jeff Hamman right there in a tight pack. Hogan, who had started 22nd on the field, had an impressive steady run to place fifth, while Gradl stayed in the top ten throughout to place sixth. Hamman, who had hovered in the top five most of the race before getting caught up in the lap 84 skirmish, recovered to finish seventh. Neil Hopkins, Tim Welshans, and Mike Fiebelkorn, Jr. rounded out the top ten.

Fifteen of the twenty-four starters were running at the checkers, with the top thirteen on the lead lap.

In the 25 lap Late Models of Tomorrow main, Eldon King III took advantage of a lap nine restart to motor his D&H Excavating mount around Mike Ticco, and keep a challenging T.J. Johnson at bay over the remaining laps to earn the win. Ticco, who had driven by Josh Hathaway for the lead on the third lap, held on for third.

The 30 lap Bank of Holland Charger race featured the two top points drivers each finding mechanical misfortune while leading. Points leader Zach Myers slipped under Rich Carnes for the lead on lap 14, but two laps later, the rotor on the right front broke, taking the wheel with it. On the restart, points runner-up Dave Krawczyk took the lead, but that was short-lived, as three laps later, he limped to the infield with right front suspension problems. Carnes resumed command, and kept his Competition101.net/AAAWraps.com Monte Carlo in front over a fast closing John Hewson for a very popular first ever win. Hewson, in his first Holland visit of the season, had a great run from the 15th starting spot to the runner-up slot, while Mark Harsch, who led the early going, equaled a career best third place finish.

The Casey’s TQ Midget 20 lap race was highlighted by a scintillating duel over the last eleven laps, with Dave Wollaber and Camden Barber wheel-to-wheel for a good portion of the distance before Wollaber was able to nose his Englewood Collision mount out in front over the final laps for the win. Defending Series champ Justin Mapes placed third in a competitive and fast paced 22 car race.

In a guest appearance by the Dunn Tire Raceway Park Street Stocks, Kevin Tarbox took advantage of a lap 11 restart to challenge Jim Stein for the lead, and a lap later, had his Jim & Bob’s Service/U&S Services machine out in front to stay through the lap 20 checkers. Stein crossed the line in second, but lost the spot after the post-race tech inspection. This put Matt Druar in second and Gary Denea in third in the official finishing order.

Jason Adams, Ben Russo, and Eric Brown were putting on the show for the lead at the mid-point of the 30 lap 4-cylinder Hornet race, while points leader George Qunitana was maneuvering through heavy traffic from his 20th starting spot. Quitnana’s Boston Deli/Klispie Motorsports Nissan caught the leaders on lap 20, and edged by Adams for the lead the next circuit. Adams was not done, though, as he came back to motor around Quintana on a lap 28 restart. However, Quintana returned the favor a lap later and would drive on for the win. Adams placed second, with Sylvia Miszczak, who started 19th in the 27 car field, taking third overall and earning Queen Bee honors as the first female driver across the line for the fourth time this season.

Jason Adams would visit victory lane later in the evening, as he moved by Bob Marzec for the lead on the eighth lap of the 12 lap M&M U-Pull-it Figure 8 go and drove on for the victory. Dave Reese, Jr. edged Joe Merlino in a tight battle for second.

News and Notes

Twenty-seven cars signed in for the George Decker Memorial 100, with three unable to make the call - Dick Kluth blew an engine in pre-race practice, mechanical gremlins kept the John Julicher, Jr. mount in the pits, and the Andy Jankowiak ride suffered terminal damage after a heat race wall-banger ... only one entry who had been present on July 24th was unable to return, as Rusty Smith had other racing commitments on his schedule for the weekend ... Past Limited Modified and Late Model champ Dave Heitzhaus made a surprise start in the Hoddick racing entry, and was running in the top ten late until getting caught up in the lap 84 shuffle ... Amy Catalano was forced to park after 39 laps with engine woes after leading the first 15 circuits ... a jammed packed pit area with nearly 120 total cars on hand, making finding a pit parking area a challenge for late arrivals ... similarly, a large grandstand turn-out enjoyed the evening, the largest crowd of the season thus far for Holland’s NASCAR racing action ... concern for weather prompted Holland officials to move the start of the Decker 100 to the mid-point of the evening’s schedule, shortly after 8:00 - a very light and very brief sprinkle passed over the grounds shortly after the completion of the 100, but the full program was run off without weather delays ... get well wishes are extended to Casey’s TQ Midget Series driver Jamie Collard, who suffered back injuries in a Sprint Car incident at Ohsweken Speedway over the weekend.

Results Summary - Saturday, July 31, 2010

NASCAR Raginwolf.com PRO MODIFIEDS – George Decker Memorial 100: 1. (started 8th) PATRICK EMERLING, 2. (20) Buck Catalano, 3. (10) John Barber, 4. (4) Justin Shepker, 5. (22) Sherri Hogan, 6. (12) Jerry Gradl, Jr., 7. (7) Jeff Hamman, 8. (14) Neil Hopkins, 9. (21) Tim Welshans, 10. (6) Mike Fiebelkorn, Jr., 11. (24) Don King, 12. (5) Dave Heitzhaus, 13. (9) Kevin Miller, 14. (2) Kirk Totten, 15. (13) Jeff Ruddy, 16. (15) Joe Evans, 17. (18) Sege Fidanza, 18. (19) Steve West, 19. (16) Jeff Patton, 20. (1) Amy Catalano, 21. (3) Chuck Anderson, 22. (23) Fred Taylor, 23. (11) Kevin Lewis, 24. (17) Rob Bulger.

  • Lap Leaders: 1-15: A. Catalano, 16-20: J. Shepker, 21-62: P. Emerling, 63-83: J. Shepker, 84-85: B. Catalano, 86-100: P. Emerling.
  • Heat Race Winners: John Barber, Kevin Miller, Patrick Emerling.
  • Did Not Start: Andy Jankowiak, John Julicher, Jr., Dick Kluth.

LATE MODELS OF TOMORROW– 25 laps: 1. (started 7th) ELDON KING III, 2. (8) T.J. Johnson, 3. (4) Mike Ticco, 4. (5) Nick Crassi, 5. (6) Brandon Glover, 6. (3) Sean Dolan, 7. (2) Josh Hathaway, 8. (9) Jasin Gwin, 9. (10) Vince Sands, 10. (1) J.D. Roberts.

Bank of Holland CHARGERS – 30 laps: 1. (started 4th) RICH CARNES, 2. (15) John Hewson, 3. (3) Mark Harsch, 4. (9) Rob Miszczak, 5. (8) Matt Hoctor, 6. (1) Rick Roth, 7. (7) Jim Loffredo, 8. (5) Nik Welshans, 9. (10) Dave Krawczyk, 10. (11) Zach Myers, 11. (2) John Carlson, 12. (6) Jerry Kosmowski, 13. (13) Tim Northem, 14. (14) Mike Flaig. DQ: Tom Northem (crossed line 4th - started 12th).

Casey’s TQ MIDGET Series – 20 laps: 1. (started 13th) DAVE WOLLABER, 2. (4) Camden Barber, 3. (4) Justin Mapes, 4. (11) Jim Fleischman, 5. (14) Timex Morgan, 6. (3) Kent Turnbull, 7. (8) Andy Jankowiak, 8. (12) Bobby Holmes, 9. (19) Wayne Turnbull, 10. (2) Jonathon Reid, 11. (16) Arik McGruder, 12. (7) Charlie DiRosa, 13. (15) Eric Musto, 14. (17) A.J. Hessler, 15. (1) Nelson Rung, 16. (18) Chad Heywood, 17. (21) Gordon Steffan, 18. (20) Kyle Hutchinson, 19. (22) Jim Laffler, 20. (6) Hayden Newcomb, 21. (9) Dean McConnaughey, 22. (5) Owen Bednasz. Heat Race Winners: Camden Barber, Timex Morgan.

Dunn Tire Raceway Park STREET STOCKS - 20 laps: 1. (started 6th) KEVIN TARBOX, 2. (8) Matt Druar, 3. (3) Gary Denea, 4. (4) Gary Bartella, 5. (5) Keith Flanigan, 6. (9) Rick Ortwein, 7. (11) Heather Weber, 8. (10) Cory Gallagher, 9. (2) Mike Weston, 10. (7) Scott Mutka. DQ: Jim Stein (crossed line 2nd - started 1st).

4-cyl. HORNETS – 30 laps: 1. (started 20th) GEORGE QUINTANA, 2. (17) Jason Adams, 3. (1st Queen Bee) (19) Sylvia Miszczak, 4. (14) Tony Carbone, 5. (18) Eric Brown, 6. (2nd Queen Bee) (12) Samantha Lutz, 7. (16) Waylon Price, 8. (11) Jeff Szafraniec, 9. (22) Kenny Hejna, 10. (3rd Queen Bee) (25) Ashley Kirchberger, 11. (2) Bill Lutz, 12. (6) Dylan Carbone, 13. (8) Ben Russo, 14. (21) Dean Siminski, 15. (10) Joe Mastrocicco III, 16. (15) Jammer Meuckl, 17. (27) Chris Foote, 18. (23) Derrick Brant, 19. (5) Jerry Toms, 20. (4th Queen Bee) (24) Elaine Pimpo, 21. (13) Dave Reese, Jr., 22. (26) Kyle Skoney, 23. (3) Bob Marzec, 24. (7) Butcher Palmer, 25. (4) John Blinston, 26. (9) Chris Powers, 27. (1) Eric Williams. Did Not Start: Tim Durfy.

M&M U-Pull-It FIGURE 8 CARS – 12 laps: 1. (started 6th) JASON ADAMS, 2. (3) Dave Reese, Jr., 3. (4) Joe Merlino, 4. (5) Scott Pastorius, 5. (2) Joe Mastrocicco III, 6. (7) Jerry Toms, 7. (1) Bob Marzec. Did Not Start: Butcher Palmer.