The 1994 season was a great year in motor sports for several Carroll County drivers.
In oval track racing, Westminster's Gary Stuhler had another good year in late-model racing. In July, Stuhler traveled to the Pennsylvania Motor Speedway in Pittsburgh and won the biggest race of his career against the top late-model drivers in the country. Stuhler took the lead on the 12th lap and led the rest of the way to win the Penn National 100.
Stuhler finished the season with a win in the Winchester 200, a 100-lap championship event at the Winchester (Va.) Speedway. The nationally ranked driver finished the year with 13 feature wins.
Cliff Peddicord of Westminster made headlines in drag racing in 1994. The 17-year-old South Carroll High student won the high school race at the E.T. Racing Series at Maple Grove raceway in Reading, Pa., against the best high school students from 18 other tracks.
Peddicord did not start racing until August and won in his second race. By his winning at the Nationals in September, South Carroll High will receive a $1,000 check from the National Hot Rod Association and 75-80 Dragway.
In drag racing, Joe Mayne of Mount Airy won his second consecutive championship in the Class I Eliminator division at 75-80 Drag way in Monrovia. Mayne picked up eight wins and four seconds. He also traveled to Mason-Dixon Dragway in Hagerstown and won. Mayne will be going for his fourth title in five years in 1995.
Drag racing isn't just for cars. Many Carroll County residents wheel their motorcycles down the quarter-mile at more than 130 mph.
One of the best is Marvin Ford of Westminster. In addition to
winning the track title at 75-80, Ford went up against champions from 18 other tracks at the E.T. Racing Series Championship at Maple Grove in September and won it all.
Rick Jones of Westminster was on top of the late-model point standings most of the year at Winchester Speedway. But with two weeks remaining, Mike Clore of Madison, Va. edged him by 44 points. Jones' brother, Ernie, finished sixth in points.
In sprint car action, Cris Eash tried to make it two championships in a row at Selinsgrove Speedway. But the Woodbine native was edged out at the end by Jim Nace. Eash picked up feature wins at Williams Grove and Selinsgrove Speedways. Jeff Shepard of Upperco experienced a violent crash at Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio in July. He had just picked up a new ride vacated by Stevie Smith of New Oxford, Pa., on the World of
Outlaws circuit. He won the B main and was in third place in the feature on lap 18 when his car caught the second-turn wall. The car flipped violently down the backstretch.
Shepard, 23, suffered serious facial injuries, and it looked as if he would miss the rest of the year. But he returned to action in October.
Brad McClelland and Steve Owings of Westminster did well on the micro-sprint circuit. They traveled to Challenger Raceway in western Pennsylvania near Indiana, Pa., and picked up feature wins. Owings and McClelland placed second and third, respectively, at Trail-Way Speedway in Hanover, Pa.
Five-year-old Luke Dempsey of Westminster raced quarter-midgets weekly at the Hagerstown quarter-midget track and had back-to-back wins in July.