All Star Sprint Putnam Co. Speedway Wednesday, February 6, 2002 PALATKA, FL (2/6/02) -The All Star Circuit of Champions sprint cars opened their season at the freshly renovated Putnam Co. Speedway Wednesday night. After having a difficult time...
All Star Sprint
Putnam Co. Speedway
Wednesday, February 6, 2002
PALATKA, FL (2/6/02) -The All Star Circuit of Champions sprint cars opened their season at the freshly renovated Putnam Co. Speedway Wednesday night. After having a difficult time in his heat, Central Pa. driver Lance Dewease once again turned adversity into a victory. When a red flag set up a three lap sprint to the finish, it was just what he needed to get out of traffic and into a clear track, winning yet another race in Florida.
"We got in a little trouble in the heat race," he said, "and we changed the car all around and got it running. We had trouble keeping the front end on the ground."
On the front row of the 30-lap A-Main for the first race of the 2002 season was Dewease and on the outside of Dewease was Tim Shaffer. When the green flag flew Shaffer saw a clear track ahead of him as he took the lead going down the backstretch. Racing behind Shaffer for second through fifth were Dewease, Chad Kemenah, Jason Johnson and Greg Hodnett. On lap two, the first yellow of the A-Main came out for the fifth place running car of Hodnett. He spun in turn two and then Gary Wright who had no place to go, hit him. Wright was able to restart but Hodnett's night was over. Wright began working his way back through the field but left the track on lap eleven. On the restart, Shaffer checked out on the rest of the field letting Dewease, Kemenah and Johnson battle for the runner up position. When Shaffer got into lapped traffic, Dewease and Kemenah where able to close up on the rear of the leader. On lap 13, Jason Johnson spun in turn two. He was able to restart at the tail of the field. On that restart, Dewease dove down underneath Shaffer going into turn one to take over the lead.
On lap 27, a yellow came out for a spin by Bill Rose and, when the race was restarted, Shane Stewart and Kenny Adams touched wheels setting off a spectacular set of flips. Stewart's car was as high as the catch fence on the backstretch and Adams' car, almost as high, made at least one complete roll without touching the ground. Both drivers walked away from their cars. Dewease was untouchable after that and went on to take the first checkered flag of the 2002 racing season for the All Star Circuit of Champions. Second was Tim Shaffer, third was Chad Kemenah, fourth was Dean Jacobs, fifth was Kenny Jacobs, sixth was Phil Gressman, seventh was Joey Saldana, eighth was Fred Rahmer, ninth was Kelly Kinser and rounding out the top ten was Zach Chappell.
The B&B Products heat went to Chappell, the TP Wings heat to Travis Rilat, the third heat to Craig Dollansky and the final heat fell to Phil Gressman. Chad Kemenah won the B Main and Hodnett captured the Haulmark Dash. A total of 39 cars signed into the pits.