Meadville Tribune

Sports

August 20, 2013

The Pit Pass:

CONNEAUT, Ohio — Jim Clinger of Waterford started a memorial race several years ago in memory of his son Chris. Chris passed away at the young age of 29. The elder Clinger is a well respected car owner and car builder known around the tri-state area. Over the years, Jim has personally invited E-Mod racers from around the tri-state area to come to Raceway 7 with a great race format including time trails, heat races, a B-main feature and the 29-lap feature — 29 laps in memory of Chris’ age when he passed away.  

However, for Friday night’s running of the Chris Clinger Memorial, Jim could not attend because of a stroke he suffered earlier this year. But that didn’t mean he couldn’t watch the race. His family set Jim up with a Skype account and he watched the race from the hospital. Jim even called his daughter in victory lane to congratulate the winner as the track announcer held the microphone close the phone so everyone could hear the conversation. There wasn’t a dry eye at the track.

Jim owns two cars, one is driven regularly by Russ Dunn.

The Clinger family asked a close family friend to drive the other car. Dave Hess,  of Waterford, jumped on the offer, even though Hess drives his own Super Late Model at Lernerville on Fridays.

However, the winner of this year’s Chris Clinger Memorial Race was Rich Michael of Ishua, N.Y.

Michael has won a number of races this season. But this win, he said, was special. It was a hard fought race with a field of great E-Mod drivers.

However, Michaels was hot. During the time trials for the race, he set a new E-Mod track record with a lap of 18.767 seconds. He later won his heat and then went on to grab the big feature.

In other action at Raceway 7, Bob Bland won the Econo Mods, Chris Withers won another feature in the Street Stocks, Zach Downs was the winner in the Mini Stocks and Dennis Lunger claimed his second feature of the year at Raceway 7 in the FASTRAK Late Models.

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The latest proposed expansion plan for the Crawford County Courthouse potentially would eliminate the former Tarr Mansion on Diamond Park to make room for a county administrative building. Should the 1860 mansion be demolished?

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It’s too far gone to save, but it’s memory may be preserved with an artifacts and photo display within the proposed courthouse complex.
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