The Post-Journal

Barton Crowned Stateline Champ For Ninth Time

FINDLEY LAKE – Dick Barton captured a record-breaking ninth late model championship at Stateline Speedway, eclipsing the former mark of legendary racer, Bob Schnars.

Barton, a 22-year veteran of the late model ranks, was awarded the 2006 Stateline Speedway Late Model Championship by Fritz Seamens, owner of the Busti racetrack, at the speedway’s annual awards banquet held Saturday at Peak ‘n Peek Resort.

Barton secured his record setting title with four wins, 12 top-five finishes and 16 top-10 results in 18 starts. The biggest win came on July 1, when the Ashville driver captured the World of Outlaws-sanctioned Roberts Trucking 50 and the $10,000 first prize money.

In reflecting upon his latest championship, Barton stated, “not only was Bob Schnars my hero when I was a boy, he is also my friend today. It is an honor for me to be mentioned in the same sentence with him.”

In addition to the nine Late Model championships he has won at Stateline Speedway, Barton has earned six track titles at Eriez Speedway (Hammett, Pa.), four at Raceway 7 (Conneaut, Ohio), three at McKean County Raceway (Smethport, Pa.), two at Sharon Speedway (Hartford, Ohio) and one at Little Valley Speedway (Little Valley, N.Y.).

“Any success that I have been able to achieve should be attributed to my entire race team,” Barton said. “I’m just the guy that turns the wheel. I’ve been blessed to have a talented and experienced bunch of guys who have made it their life’s work to give me a fast race car.”

Crewing the 28B machine in 2006 were John Lamb, Jim Seely, Warren McDonald, Del Seekings, Randy Anderson, Greg Farrar, Tim Whitacre and Bill Hanson. “Most of us have been together well over 20 years,” Barton noted.

Barton is also quick to credit his car owners, Ron and Thelma Nielson and their daughter Melody Fitch, all from Meadville, Pa., for their role in his success.

“I’ve been very lucky to have been able to drive for the Nielson family for the last 14 years,” he remarked. “I am appreciative of the confidence they have shown in me and for their financial support of my racing efforts.”

Stateline Speedway marked its 50th year anniversary in 2006, making it one of the longest, consecutively operating racetracks in America. During that time, just 25 men have had the glory of joining the elite hierarchy known as Stateline Late Model Champion.

Barton is leader of the pack.

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