Eash first repeat winner in Lincoln Sprint Main. Bull wins 2003 ARDC Midget season opener; Wagaman best of thundercars. ABBOTTSTOWN, PA, 4/26/03 - It was a big night for the Bulls Saturday at Lincoln Speedway. Hanover's Cris Eash stormed to...
Eash first repeat winner in Lincoln Sprint Main.
Bull wins 2003 ARDC Midget season opener; Wagaman best of thundercars.
ABBOTTSTOWN, PA, 4/26/03 - It was a big night for the Bulls Saturday at Lincoln Speedway.
Hanover's Cris Eash stormed to his second win of the year in the non-stop 25-lap sprint car feature. Then Eash mechanic D. Wayne Bull moved to his brother's pit stall, and later joined brother Ray Bull in victory lane of the 2003 season opener for the ARDC midgets.
Sitting third in points behind Lance Dewease and Greg Hodnett after five races, Eash started 10th in the super sprint feature. Wild non-stop racing saw Eash slide low through turns three and four and slip under Steve Siegel for fifth on lap three. As Craig Smith was driving under early-race leader Jeff Busby for the top spot in the first two turns of lap four, Eash was slipping under Brian Leppo for fourth. Eash drove around polesitter Dan Shetler for third on lap five, as Smith was extending his lead to 78-hundredths of-a-second over Busby. Eash then closed on Busby for two laps before making the pass for the runner-up spot in the third and fourth turns of lap seven. At the time, Smith's lead was 59-hundredths of-a-second.
Smith's lead evaporated quickly. Eash pulled the slider on Smith for the lead exiting turn four of lap nine, and pulled away from the rest of the field. His final margin of victory was 4.337 seconds over points leader Lance Dewease, who came from 12th starting spot.
"I can't ever remember coming out of the blocks this good," said Eash on his early season success, "It's usually halfway through the season when we start getting our act together, and we're usually pretty good towards the end. Hopefully we can keep this deal rolling. The car's been real good. We've been struggling a little bit at Williams Grove, but we're going to make some changes and get better there, too."
The official elapsed time for the 25-lap feature was 6:27.03 in the first non-stop feature since the new 1,375-pound weight rule took effect at Lincoln.
Six-time defending track champ Fred Rahmer came from ninth to finish third, with Doug Esh and 11th-starting Greg Hodnett completing the top five. Sixth through tenth were Smith, Brook Weibley, Siegel, Chris Knopp, and Billy Sims.
"I'll tell you what, this car was on a rail tonight," said a happy Eash in victory lane. "I could pretty much drive it anywhere I wanted to go...it stuck really nice. We've been pretty good here all year long. We've just found a good set-up. I've got to thank my guys, Shawn, Wayne, Donnie, Todd...my dad has been putting a lot of input into this deal now and things are working real good for us right now."
Eash had kind words for some of Lincoln's young sprint car drivers, who have been winning races and showed the way in the early-going Saturday.
"You used to be able to look up through the heat lineups, and say 'This guy's gonna go back, and this guy's gonna go back...but you look at them now, and you're hoping and praying that you going to get some openings to pass some cars in the heat race and transfer, because everybody has good engines out here these days, and these (young) guys are doing a heck-of-a job."
Heats for the 25 "410" sprints were won by Busby, Brian Leppo, and Smith, with Sims winning the consolation.
Two-time defending ARDC champ Ray Bull started fifth, had the lead by turn two of the first lap, and stormed to victory in the season opener for the Ray's Yamaha/Polaris Victory ARDC Midgets. Bull's final margin of victory was 1.1 seconds over runner-up Bryan Kobylarz, who returned from a crash in his heat and advanced 13 spots in the feature. Bull teammate Marc Daily of Brownsburg, IN finished third, with Don Trent and Steve Lenig completing the top five.
Heats for the 22 ARDC Midgets were won by Trent and Daily.
Abbottstown's Craig Wagaman became the fourth different winner in six events in claiming his 14th career win in the 20-lap thundercar feature. Wagaman started inside row two and grabbed the lead from polesitter Greg Feltch by the end of the first lap. Although he ran uncontested the rest of the way, 21st-starting Bobby Rudisill closed fast at the finish, crossing 94-hundredths of a second behind the winner.
Eighth-starting Steve Clabaugh, 11th-starting and points leader Bernie Beard, and 16th-starting Chet McCormick completed the top five.
Heats for the 24 thundercars were won by Mike Zeigler Jr., Neil Smith and Craig Wagaman.
Next Saturday night, May 3rd, Lincoln Speedway will play host to the traveling All Star Circuit of Champion sprinters. The All Stars and Pennsylvania Posse have staged some great races over the years at the Pigeon Hills oval and the anticipation is high this season as the Cindy Rowe Paintless Dent Removal 410 sprinters have seen five different winners in as many races, with three of them being first-time winners in the 410 sprint ranks. The ultra-competitive Thundercars will be on hand to round out the evening's racing program. Time trials will start the evening's racing action at 7 PM, with gates opening at 5 PM (two hours prior to green flag action), and warm-ups taking to the track at 6:30 PM.
To get all the latest news, results, schedule changes and rule changes, visit Lincoln Speedway's website at http://www.lincolnspeedway.com to stay up-to-date on all the action or pending weather conditions at Central Pennsylvania's "Premier" Saturday night race track - The Fabulous Lincoln Speedway.