By: Gary Jacob|
Where: Denver, CO
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Denver, CO --
Brett Hallmark from Grand Junction, Colorado continued his early season hot streak by racing to a 25 lap win as the Colorado Late Model Association visited Rocky Mountain National Speedway for the first time in 2002. Hallmark has now won two of the first 3 races on the season schedule as he holds a 10 point lead over defending series champion John Kuchar, who finished 3rd. Kuchar won the other point race in 2002. With all the series events on the eastern half of the state, Hallmark has to make the long tow from his Western Colorado home, but he was also racing all of the Arizona races before the Colorado action started. Hallmark wheels a GRT Chassis. Rick Lieser climbed into fourth in points with a second place run.
There were 19 late models on hand and Kuchar won the first heat race from the pole with Lieser second ahead of Dean Moore, who towed east from Grand Junction for the first time in 2002. Rod Glenn won heat 2 from the pole with 6th starter Mike Cox second over Scott Lewis. Scott Cimfl lost an engine to end his night. Hallmark won heat 3 from third starting. Ken Brack led early, but faded to a third behind Dave Garmann. Kelly Boen spun for the only yellow flag. Boen had run a big national event in Kansas City on Wednesday night, finishing 13th in a $5,000 to win race won by Terry Phillips.
Bill Smith joined Cimfl as a feature scratch leaving 17 cars to run the 25 lap feature. The front of the lineup had Hallmark and Lieser on the front row with Kuchar and Glenn in row 2 as Cox and Garmann shared row 3. Hallmark took a quick lead and was never headed. By lap 8, he was half lap in front and passing lapped cars. Lieser continued run with Hallmark, but still finished a strong second. Kuchar was able to fend off the challenges of Moore to finish third. Despite losing an engine on the final lap, Brack ran fifth over Glenn, Grand Junction's Butch Clark and Cox. Garmann was 9th over Jim Clifton. Don Post ran 11th in his first dirt late model feature. Aaron Loos was filling in for his father Terry Loos, who is still recovering from injuries suffered in Albuquerque in April. Boen was no factor, finishing 16th.
Hallmark is 10 points ahead of Kuchar, 35 ahead of Glenn, 36 ahead of Lieser and 38 ahead of Cox. The series returns to Rocky Mountain National Speedway on May 25 and then runs at I-76 Speedway on June 1.
Summary Heat 1-John Kuchar, Rick Lieser, Dean Moore, Don Post, J T Botts. Heat 2-Rod Glenn, Mike Cox, Scott Lewis, Jim Clifton, Chris Persichetti. Heat 3-Brett Hallmark, Dave Garmann, Ken Brack, Butch Clark, Kelly Boen. Main-Hallmark, Lieser, Kuchar, Moore, Brack, Glenn, Clark, Cox, Garmann, Clifton, Post, Persichetti, Curt Daniels, Botts, Lewis, Boen, Aaron Loos.