Central Pennsylvania race summaries

Kauffman uses "the right stuff" en route to second win of the weekend at Williams Grove Mechanicsburg, PA - 3/24/02 - Simply doing the right stuff can lead to wins. That's how veteran sprint car driver Keith Kauffman puts it. Kauffman drove...

Kauffman uses "the right stuff" en route to second win of the weekend at Williams Grove

Mechanicsburg, PA - 3/24/02 - Simply doing the right stuff can lead to wins. That's how veteran sprint car driver Keith Kauffman puts it.

Kauffman drove from his distant ninth starting position on a tricky dry-slick daytime racing surface to track down Upperco, MD racer Jeff Shepard in lapped traffic and pass the former Outlaw racer with a low-side move in the third and fourth turns of the 14th lap to take the lead, and then did all the right stuff to pick up his second win of the weekend in the 25 lap super sprint feature at Williams Grove Speedway Sunday afternoon.

And he did this all in just under nine minutes in non-stop fashion in heavy lapped traffic.

"When it's dry-slick like this it's more of a mental thing and concentration," said the veteran racer from Mifflintown. "You've got to concentrate on your line and your spots and follow the cars and do the right stuff."

"We really have a good team," Kauffman was quick to point out. "We were good here last year but we just never got to the front...we'll be good this year."

Polesitter Tim Kuhn grabbed the lead over outside frontrow starter Chris Knopp at the drop of the green to the final Sunday afternoon race of the season at Williams Grove and led the first circuit. But the Outlaw experienced Shepard quickly drove from his third starting spot to take over the top spot on the second lap, bringing eighth-starting Lance Dewease with him as well.

But Kauffman was on the move as well as he was up to fifth by the third lap. The 51 year young driver then slipped by Knopp into fourth on the fourth lap, then around Kuhn into third on the sixth. Then after chasing down Dewease in lapped traffic he slipped under the Fayetteville speedster in the third and fourth turns to move into second on the 13th.

"We figured Lance (Dewease) would be tough starting up front," said Kauffman. "Then he wiggled a little bit and missed his line getting into the corner and then I got under him...that helps a lot when somebody makes a little mistake."

Kauffman then wasted no time as the hectic non-stop laps clicked off and shot past Shepard into the lead heading up the backstretch of the 15th lap.

"The track got a little bit of rubber on it later on there in the race and if you got out of that you really couldn't do anything," said Kauffman. "You just had to stay in the rubber...you knew that if I could pass them (the lapped cars) I know they couldn't pass me."

Dewease then moved around Shepard into second place on the 17th lap and quickly began to chip away Kauffman's 1.89 second lead as they continued to dice through lapped traffic. But just as quickly as Dewease had narrowed the margin to less than a second, Kauffman kicked it into another gear over the final five laps to take the checkered driving away from the defending Williams Grove track champ.

Kauffman took the checkered 1.60 seconds ahead of Dewease for his 46th career win at the historical Mechanicsburg half-mile, and pocketed a "cool" $3,000 for his non-stop effort in eight minutes 54.61 seconds. The win was also Kauffman's area-leading third win of the year.

"I would just as soon take may chances getting by them (under green) because everybody else has to get by them," said Kauffman on navigating lapped traffic under green flag conditions. "Sometimes it helps, sometimes it don't."

Shepard hung tough to finish third. Sean Michael came from his 10th starting spot to finish fourth, and 12th starting Greg Hodnett finished fifth.

Completing the top-10 were Len Thompson, Kuhn, Knopp, Mark Smith, and Fred Rahmer.

Heats for the 28 Super sprinters on hand were won by Knopp, Dewease, and Kauffman, with Todd Hestor winning the consolation.

Harrisburg's Chad Layton started on the pole, waited one lap to pass first lap leader Mike Miller on the second lap, and then simply dominated the rest of the way to pick up his first win of the year in the season-opening 358 sprint feature.

Layton, the defending Selinsgrove Speedway track champion, out-raced Dallastown's Cory Haas from the fourth lap on, through a pair of caution restarts, and took the checkered 3.13 seconds ahead when the checkered waved.

Haas settled for a well-deserved second place finish, with Miller hanging on to third, Jake Raudabaugh fourth, and defending Williams Grove 358 sprint champ Dale Hammaker fifth.

Completing the top-10 were Blaine Heimbach, Carmen Perigo Jr., Billy Dietrich, Jimmy Layton, and Darren Eash.

Heats for the 46 "358" sprinters on hand were won by Brian Leppo, Haas, Nate Snyder, and Layton. Twin consolations were won by Darren Eash and Billy Johns.

KAUFFMAN BECOMES FIRST REPEAT WINNER IN LINCOLN

The early season winning-streak of Central Pennsylvania sprint car veterans continued Saturday night, as Keith Kauffman became the first two-time winner of 2002 in claiming the 25-lap super sprint feature at Lincoln Speedway.

Kauffman, who started a distant 10th on the first night of handicapping, chased early-race leader Greg Hodnett for several laps before passing the Memphis, TN racer on the backstretch of the 17th lap. He then held off a hard-charging Todd Shaffer in a final three-lap dash to the checkered to register his 12th career win at the Pigeon Hills oval.

"It's taken a lot of work and we have a bunch of great guys," said Kauffman IN VICTORY LANE. "They just kept working and everybody believed in me and I believe in them. I think it's starting to show a little bit now."

Todd Shaffer came on strong in the final laps to pass Hodnett for second, with points leader Fred Rahmer coming from 12th starting spot to cross fourth, and Jeff Shepard fifth after advancing from 15th starting spot.

Completing the top ten were Brook Weibley, Johnny Mackison, Jr., 20th-starting Steve Siegel, Chris Knopp, and 21st-starting Bobby Weaver.

Felton's Chad Trout took to the top of the race track on the advice of his crew chief after an 8th-lap red flag and drove to the win in the season opener for the "358" sprinters. Trout passed race-long leader Alan Krimes exiting the second turn of the 10th lap and led the rest of the way, with Bill Dietrich coming on strong at the end to finish second, 69-hundredths of a second behind. Chad Layton moved through the field from his 17th starting spot to cross third, with defending 358 track champion Eric Stambaugh finishing fourth, and Krimes fifth.

Abbottstown's Duane Watson grabbed the lead from race-long leader Nat Tuckey on the fifth lap, raced-away to a huge lead, then held off yet another late-race charge by Bernie Beard in a final two-lap dash to the checkered to pick up the win in the 20 lap thundercar feature.

EICHELBERGER WINS SEASON OPENER AT SILVER SPRING

Veteran super sportsman racer Rich Eichelberger of York Springs passed three cars in final three laps to take the win in the season-opening 25-lap super sportsman feature at Silver Spring Speedway Saturday afternoon. The win was Eichelberger's first win in the super sportsman ranks since 1998.

Eichelberger had to work for this win as he was forced to come from his mid-pack starting position to register his 35th career sportsman win.

"It was a great race and to win it like that means a lot to us," said Eichelberger, who earned $1,400 for the win."When you get older, you keep wondering if you're still going to be able to do it and if you're going to get another win."

Eichelberger, who was sitting in fourth place with three laps to go, drove around the outside of Craig Morrow and Frankie Herr following a 23rd lap caution restart, while Bill Schoffstall maintained the lead with two laps to go.

Eichelberger then drove by Schoffstall down the backstretch on the 24th lap to take the lead . Herr then got around Schoffstall on the final lap to finish second. Morrow and Dave Neuman, who started 12th, completed the top five.

Heats for the 56 sportsman on hand were won by Carmen Perigo, Morrow, Larry Jackson, Dave Neuman and Steve Wilbur. Russ Mitten and rookie driver Richie Hartman won the consolations.

MARVIN WINTERS WINS FIRST OF THE YEAR AT HAGERSTOWN

Mercersburg's Marvin Winters grabbed the lead at the drop of the green and led the entire distence en route to his first win of the season in the 30-lap, $3,000-to-win ITSI Late Model feature at Hagerstown Speedway Sunday afternoon.

Gary Stuhler finished second, Charlie Scheaffer third, Frankie Plessinger fourth, and Kenny Pettyjohn fifth. Completing the top-10 were Rick Workman, Andy Fries, James Adkins, Dan Stone, and Keith Barbara.

Second-starting Keith Hirthler of Angel Park, NY took the lead on the ninth lap and led the rest of the way en route to the win in the 20 lap small-block modified Octoberfest Qualifier over Brett Hearn.

Eric Hay of Somerset won the 15 lap dwarf car feature.

SCHEAFFER PICKS UP FIRST MICRO-SPRINT WIN AT TRAIL-WAY

Fleetwood's Terry Schaeffer moved to the pole starting position when the original polesitter on the opening lap and then promptly went on to lead every lap to pick up his first 250cc micro-sprint win of the season at Trail-Way Speedway Saturday afternoon.

In other action, Lewisberry's Lyle Stroman won the 600cc micro-sprint feature, Tracy Fritter of Zanesville, Ohio, won the modified light feature, and Fredericksburg's Eric Hollenbach won the 4-cylinder stock main.

-bill meyer-

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About this article
Series Sprint , Stock car
Drivers Mike Miller , Brett Hearn
Teams Williams