Dale Hollidge Runs Race Of His Life To Score Upset Triumph In Raye Vest Memorial 50 At Winchester Speedway
Young Maryland Racer Reaches Victory Lane In First-Ever World of Outlaws Late Model Series A-Main Start
WINCHESTER, VA – Aug. 24, 2013 – Dale Hollidge lived a dream on Saturday night at Winchester Speedway.
Making the very first World of Outlaws Late Model Series A-Main start of his career, the 24-year-old driver from Mechanicsville, Md., drove to a stunning victory in the Raye Vest Memorial 50 Presented by Ernie D’s Enterprises.
Hollidge failed to grab the lead from the pole position at the initial green flag, but he relentlessly chased D.J. Myers of Greencastle, Pa., for more than half the caution-free race before finally grabbing the top spot on lap 39. He dominated the remainder of the distance, pulling away to score one of the biggest upsets in WoO LMS history.
The $10,550 triumph completed an amazing sweep of the racing program for Hollidge, who also set fast time and won a heat race. It was also his first-ever dirt Late Model win at the three-eighths-mile Winchester oval – which his mother, Denise, manages for track owner Greg Gunter – and just his fourth career victory overall in the full-fender division.
“I’ve been racing my whole life with my dad and everybody,” said Hollidge, who is in his fifth season of dirt Late Model racing. “But to win one of these races, you really don’t think about it, so when it happens it’s kind of a shock for you.”
Driving a Hershey’s Racing Engines-powered Rocket car – a machine that came from race sponsor Ernie Davis’s former racing stable – Hollidge crossed the finish line 2.512 seconds ahead of Littlestown, Pa.’s Jeremy Miller, who slipped by Myers on the white-flag lap to place second.
Myers settled for a third-place finish after starting on the outside pole and leading 37 of the race’s first 39 laps. He fell one spot short of matching his career-best WoO LMS finish, a runner-up placing he recorded in the tour’s only previous visit to Winchester on June 18, 2011.
Kenny Pettyjohn of Millsboro, Del., started and finished fourth, earning his best finish ever on the WoO LMS. Josh Richards of Shinnston, W.Va., completed the top five, slipping into fifth place on the final lap to cap a solid run forward from the 11th starting spot that extended his World of Outlaws points lead.
With his victory, Hollidge put his name on a select list of drivers to win on the WoO LMS in their career-first A-Main start since the circuit’s modern era began in 2004. He joined Steve Francis of Ashland, Ky., who won the inaugural WoO LMS under the World Racing Group banner on Feb. 3, 2004, at Volusia Speedway Park in Barberville, Fla., and Brian Birkhofer of Muscatine, Iowa (March 27, 2004, at Volunteer Speedway in Bulls Gap, Tenn.).
Prior to Saturday night’s breakthrough, Hollidge had entered just four WoO LMS events over the past three years: the Commonwealth 100 at Virginia Motor Speedway in 2010 and ’11 and the World Finals doubleheader in 2012 at The Dirt Track at Charlotte in Concord, N.C. He had never time-trialed better than 35 th-fastest or finished higher that ninth in a B-Main in his previous appearances.
But Hollidge looked like a savvy, experienced veteran at Winchester as he calmly ran behind Myers, waiting for the right opportunity to seize control of the race.
“I just didn’t want to slide the car too much and wear the tires out,” Hollidge said of his pursuit of Myers. “You just can’t make a mistake. That’s the hardest part of it. You want to overdrive yourself just to beat him, but you can’t do it. You gotta pace yourself enough to stay with him.
“I knew if I could stay with (Myers) eventually I could work on him and get around him.”
Hollidge nosed ahead of Myers to take the lead for the first time on lap 30, starting a frenetic stretch that saw the two young drivers swap the top spot five times. Myers was ahead at the start/finish line on lap 31 and Hollidge led lap 32. Myers regained command on lap 33 and actually put a couple car lengths on Hollidge over the ensuing circuits, but Hollidge gathered himself and surged off the inside of turn four to seize the lead for good on lap 39.
“I think I must have overheated the tires or something because the car got real free there for a couple laps,” said Hollidge, describing how Myers momentarily opened some space. “I kind of settled back down and it picked back up.
“It looked like the longer (Myers) went he was catching a little push in the middle and he couldn’t hug the bottom like I could. Finally, I just decided I was gonna try all the way down against the (inside) wall. I could sure catch a little mud down there and that’s what did it.”
Hollidge wasn’t going to be denied the rest of the way. He wasn’t challenged over the final 11 laps as he completed his storybook march into the World of Outlaws spotlight.
A winner of just three dirt Late Model features previously in his career – all at Potomac Speedway in Budds Creek, Md., where earlier this year he bagged a $2,500 triumph that represented his biggest payday prior to Saturday night – Hollidge was greeted in Victory Lane by loud cheers from the capacity crowd and his friends and family.
“We’ve been running good here all year and we’ve been working at it and getting closer,” said Hollidge. “We should’ve had a few, and lost a few. It’s sure nice to get the first one a big one.
“We ran second here two weeks ago and we knew we had a good car. We came here tonight and the track conditions were similar, and we thought we’d just work our notes and go with the same thing and it sure worked out.
“It’s great for us. We’re a low budget team, but we’ve really stepped our program up this year with everybody’s help – guys like Ernie Davis and Greg Gunter. We’ve raced a lot more this year too and it definitely showed. It feels great to get a big one like this.”
The drivers Hollidge beat to the checkered flag hailed his performance.
“It’s pretty amazing watching Dale mature,” said Miller, who won a WoO LMS A-Main in 2008 at Virginia Motor Speedway. “He’s got in some good equipment, a good car, and he drove an amazing race. He never made a mistake, and to beat these guys that’s what you gotta do.”
Myers, who is Miller’s brother-in-law (Miller is married to Myers’s sister), was disappointed to fall short in WoO LMS action at Winchester once again, but he was proud to be part of a quartet of local/regional racers who turned back the mighty Outlaws.
“I knew Dale was coming – the boys were telling me,” said Myers, who drove a PMP Chassis machine he debuted earlier this summer. “I started getting loose into the corner, and when you race these boys you can’t be missing anything.
“Dale was very good – and I’m just tickled the local boys run good this evening.”
Finishing in positions 6-10 was Dan Stone of Thompson, Pa., who lost a spot in the final laps after spending most of the distance dogging Pettyjohn for fourth; Shane Clanton of Zebulon, Ga., who reclaimed second place in the WoO LMS points standings; Steve Shaver of Vienna, W.Va.; Tyler Hershey of Mercersburg, Pa.; and Mark Pettyjohn of Milton, Del., who thought his night might be over after discovering frame damage to his car following time trials but was able to fix the problem.
Forty-five cars were signed in for the event, which was run under beautiful late-summer weather conditions.
Ohlins Shocks Time Trials were split into ‘A’ and ‘B’ groups, with the first half competing for starting positions in heats 1-2 and the second half racing against the clock to align heats 3-4.
Hollidge’s lap of 14.942 seconds in Group ‘A’ was the fastest overall. He was also the only driver to break into the 14-second bracket.
Heat winners were Hollidge, Kenny Pettyjohn, Stone and Miller. David Williams of Chaptico, Md., and Chub Frank of Bear Lake, Pa., captured the B-Mains.
The WoO LMS will return to action over Labor Day weekend, competing in the RaceFest on Fri., Aug. 30, at West Virginia Motor Speedway in Mineral Wells and a big doubleheader on Aug. 30 and Sept. 1 at Selinsgrove (Pa.) Speedway than will be topped by the track’s 50-lap Late Model National Open on Sunday evening.
For more information on the WoO LMS, visit www.worldofoutlaws.com.
Results of World of Outlaws Late Model Series ‘Raye Vest Memorial 50 Presented by Ernie D’s Enterprises at Winchester Speedway (Finishing Position/Start/Driver/Laps Completed/Money Won):
1. (1) Dale Hollidge/50 $10,550
2. (3) Jeremy Miller/50 $5,000
3. (2) D.J. Myers/50 $3,000
4. (4) Kenny Pettyjohn/50 $2,550
5. (11) Josh Richards/50 $2,700
6. (6) Dan Stone/50 $1,700
7. (5) Shane Clanton/50 $1,950
8. (8) Steve Shaver/50 $1,300
9. (10) Tyler Hershey/50 $1,250
10. (16) Mark Pettyjohn/50 $1,100
11. (12) Rick Eckert/50 $1,800
12. (7) Gregg Satterlee/50 $1,050
13. (24) Tim McCreadie/50 $1,650
14. (14) Jamie Lathroum/50 $900
15. (23) Darrell Lanigan/50 $1,500
16. (20) C.S. Fitzgerald/50 $900
17. (13) Keith Jackson/50 $820
18. (18) Chub Frank/50 $1,300
19. (17) David Williams/50 $730
20. (22) Jason Miller/50 $700
21. (26) Eric Wells/49 $910
22. (15) Brad Ritter/49 $700
23. (9) Stevie Long/49 $750
24. (25) Tim Fuller/49 $660
25. (21) Jason Covert/22 $700
26. (19) Jonathan Davenport/17 $700
* Earnings include Winners Circle program and cash contingency award bonuses
Time of Race: 14 Mins., 29.871 Secs.
Margin of Victory: 2.512 Secs.
Yellow Flags: None
Lap Leaders: Myers (1-29); Hollidge (30); Myers (31); Hollidge (32); Myers (33-38); Hollidge (39-50)
Provisional Starters: Lanigan, McCreadie (WoO points); Fuller, Wells (WoO emergency)
Rookie of the Race: Wells ($250)
WoO LMS ‘Bonus Bucks’ Winner: Hollidge ($500)
Ohlins Shocks Time Trial Results (Position/No./Driver/Hometown/Best Lap):
1. 0-Dale Hollidge/Mechanicsville, MD 14.942
2. 38-Kenny Pettyjohn/Millsboro, DE 15.067
3. 70J-D.J. Myers/Greencastle, PA 15.069
4. 74-Tyler Hershey/Mercersburg, PA 15.12
5. 44L-Stevie Long/Mechanicsville, MD 15.123
6. 6-Jamie Lathroum/Mechanicsville, MD 15.124
7. 14M-Morgan Bagley/Longview, TX 15.133
8. 22-Gregg Satterlee/Rochester Mills, PA 15.138
9. 41-Keith Jackson/Odenton, MD 15.189
10. 57J-Bub McCool/Vicksburg, MS 15.238
11. 43-Jason Covert/York Haven, PA 15.25
12. 72-David Williams/Chaptico, MD 15.294
13. 49-Jonathan Davenport/Blairsville, GA 15.315
14. 39-Tim McCreadie/Watertown, NY 15.32
15. 23-Gary Stuhler/Greencastle, PA 15.373
16. 41K-Tanner Kerr/Winchester, VA 15.432
17. 37-Brian Tavenner/Winchester, VA 15.598
18. 19-Tim Fuller/Watertown, NY 15.63
19. 04-David Watts/Buchanan, VA 15.658
20. 18H-Kyle Hardy/Stephens City, VA 15.938
21. 48-Tyler Castle/Boonsboro, MD 15.956
22. 59-Travis Roach/Ruckersville, VA 16.152
1. 21d-Dan Stone/Thompson, PA 15.107
2. 1M-Jeremy Miller/Littlestown, PA 15.128
3. 18W-Eric Wells/Hazard, KY 15.175
4. 24-Rick Eckert/York, PA 15.214
5. 25-Shane Clanton/Zebulon, GA 15.264
6. 24M-Kenny Moreland/Waldorf, MD 15.266
7. 91-J.T. Spence/Winchester, VA 15.275
8. 6-Steve Shaver/Vienna, WV 15.291
9. 27-Trever Feathers/Winchester, VA 15.303
10. 8-Mark Pettyjohn/Milton, MD 15.385
11. 15-Tommy Armel/Winchester, VA 15.394
12. 1*-Chub Frank/Bear Lake, PA 15.419
13. 29-Darrell Lanigan/Union, KY 15.454
14. 44-Clint Smith/Senoia, GA 15.554
15. 1-Josh Richards/Shinnston, WV 15.593
16. 1H-Ronnie DeHaven/Winchester, VA 15.599
17. 11-Brad Ritter/White Post, VA 15.674
18. 3s-Rusty Sites/Chambersburg, PA 15.676
19. 94-Jason Miller/Winchester, VA 15.781
20. 5-Brad Omps/Winchester, VA 15.835
21. 100-C.S. Fitzgerald/Raphine, VA 15.979
22. 91-Billy Decker/Unadilla, NY 16.001
23. 01-Joe Leavell/Waynesboro, VA 16.8
Heat No. 1 (10 laps – Top 4 Transfer): Hollidge, Myers, Long, Jackson, Davenport, Covert, Bagley, Stuhler, Watts, Tavenner, Roach
Heat No. 2 (10 laps – Top 4 Transfer): K. Pettyjohn, Satterlee, Hershey, Lathroum, Williams, McCool, McCreadie, Castle, Fuller, Kerr, Hardy
Heat No. 3 (10 laps – Top 4 Transfer): Stone, Clanton, Richards, Ritter, Armel, Jason Miller, Fitzgerald, Leavell, Lanigan, Spence, Wells, Feathers
Heat No. 4 (10 laps – Top 4 Transfer): Jeremy Miller, Shaver, Eckert, M. Pettyjohn, Moreland, Frank, Omps, R. DeHaven, C. Smith, Decker, Sites
B-Main No. 1 (12 laps – Top 3 Transfer): Williams, Davenport, Covert, McCreadie, Castle, Fuller, Watts, Kerr, Stuhler, Bagley, Tavenner, Hardy, McCool, Roach
B-Main No. 2 (12 laps – Top 3 Transfer): Frank, Fitzgerald, Jason Miller, DeHaven, Moreland, Spence, Leavell, Omps, Wells, Armel, C. Smith, Decker, Lanigan (DNS) Feathers, Sites
World of Outlaws Late Model Series Contingency Award Winners (awards presented to noted finisher/qualifier or next highest displaying decal:
Ohlins Shocks ($50 cash to fast qualifier): Stevie Long
Eibach Springs (one free spring to each B-Main winner): Jason Covert/C.S. Fitzgerald
VP Race Fuels ‘Nice Jugs’ Award: (One VP 5-gallon container to fastest qualifier who misses A-Main): Bub McCool
Wrisco Aluminum (3 sheets of aluminum to A-Main winner only): Dale Hollidge
Armor All (One case of product to highest-finishing non-WoO team in A-Main): Dale Hollidge
Comp Cams ($50 certificate to A-Main winner): Dale Hollidge
QuarterMaster ($100 certificate to A-Main winner): Dale Hollidge
MSD Ignition ($50 cash to A-Main winner): Dale Hollidge
STP ($50 cash to 2nd-place finisher in A-Main): Kenny Pettyjohn
XS Power ($50 cash to 3rd-place finisher in A-Main): Tim McCreadie
Roush Yates ($50 cash to 4th-place finisher in A-Main): Josh Richards
JE Pistons ($50 cash to 5th-place finisher in A-Main): Josh Richards
Dominator ($50 cash to 6th-place finisher in A-Main): Tim McCreadie
American Race Wheels ($50 cash to 7th-place finisher in A-Main): Rick Eckert
VP Race Fuels ($50 cash to 8th-place finisher in A-Main): Tyler Hershey
Edelbrock Manifolds ($50 cash to 9th-finisher in A-Main): Rick Eckert
Comp Cams ($50 cash to 10th-place finisher in A-Main): Rick Eckert
XS Power ($60 product certificate to 11th-place finisher in A-Main): Tim McCreadie
Cometic Gasket ($50 cash to 12th-place finisher in A-Main): Gregg Satterlee
JRI Shocks ($50 cash to 13th-place finisher in A-Main): C.S. Fitzgerald
Super Flow Dynos ($50 cash to 14th-place finisher in A-Main): C.S. Fitzgerald
QuarterMaster ($25 certificate to 15th-place finisher in A-Main): C.S. Fitzgerald
JE Pistons (one complete set of JE Pro Seal rings to 16th-place finisher in A-Main, redeemable w/next purchase of set): C.S. Fitzgerlad
Klotz Lubricants ($50 cash to 17th-place finisher in A-Main): Keith Jackson
Roush Yates ($50 gift card to 18th-place finisher in A-Main): Chub Frank
QuarterMaster ($50 certificate to 19th-place finisher in A-Main): Eric Wells
Arizona Sport Shirts ($100 certificate to 20th-place finisher in A-Main): Jason Miller
JE Pistons (one complete set of JE Pro Seal rings to 21st-place finisher in A-Main, redeemable w/next purchase of set): Eric Wells
Roush Yates ($50 gift card to 22nd-place finisher in A-Main): Brad Ritter
MSD Ignition ($25 cash to 24th-place finisher in A-Main): Tim Fuller
XS Power ‘Power Move of the Race’ ($60 product certificate): Dale Hollidge
Roush Yates ($25 gift card to driver who leads most laps in the A-Main): D.J. Myers
Reliable Painting Award (one free tire): Darrell Lanigan