Cody Darrah returned to competitive sprint car competition this weekend at the Octoberfest 350 at Hagerstown Speedway, and what a big return it was!
The former Red Lion driver, now living in North Carolina, came out on top of the 50- lap 410 Sprint car portion of the season-ending event at the Maryland oval Sunday afternoon.
Darrah started on the outside of the front row and held back the challenges of Lance Dewease before capturing the big $10,000 payday.
It was the first race Darrah has competed in since breaking his leg in a highway crash in Florida back in February. Darrah was slated to race for the Kasey Kahneowned Sprint car team this season before the season ending injury. He will join the team for the 2011 World of Outlaws season.
Dewease finished second ahead of Fred Rahmer, Greg Hodnett and Don Kreitz Jr. Daryn Pittman, Mark Smith, Justin Henderson, Tim Glatfelter and Chad Layton were the top-10 finishers.
With his fourth-place finish, Hodnett clinched his second straight Central PA Speed Dawg Sprint Series point championship.
Greencastle racer Gary Stuhler used a late race move on Tim McCreadie to capture the popular win in the 100-lap Late Model main.
Even more impressively, Stuhler drove the Paul Crowl-owned machine from the 18th starting spot into contention and eventually took the big $10,000 payday for his fifth career Octoberfest win and 128th career track win.
McCreadie was second over Billy Decker, Jason Covert, Dan Stone, Vic Coffey, Marvin Winters, Russell King, Dylan Yoder and Frankie Plessinger. Josh Richards led the first 50 laps before dropping out with mechanical woes.
Brett Hearn dominated the 100-lap Big Block Modified feature to score his third straight win in the Octoberfest event. Hearn started second in the field. It was his sixth career Octoberfest win.
He defeated Billy Decker, Rick Laubach, Larry Wright and Tim McCreadie.
McCreadie came back to score the Small Block Modified 100-lap win over Hearn, Ryan Godown, Jimmy Horton and Wade Hendrickson.
One hundred twenty-four cars signed in for qualifying action on Saturday as heats for the 29 sprints were won by Greg Hodnett, Cody Darrah and Don Kreitz with Robbie Stillwaggon topping the consolation.
Thirty-two Late Models were in action with heats going to Dylan Yoder, Josh Richards, Tim McCreadie and Billy Deckert, with consolation going to Larry Wright.
Heats for the 33 Small Blocks were won by Mc- Creadie, Matt Sheppard, Meme Desantis and Billy Decker, with J.R. Heffner taking the consolation. The Big Block heats went to Sheppard, Hearn and Deck,er with Ryan Godown the consolation winner.
That’s it for the final weekend of October. Looking forward to the trip to the Dirt Track at Charlotte for the World Finals. E-mail me at Bvores@comcast.net.