Central Pennsylvania weekend summary 2004-04-18

True to his nickname, Doug Esh dropped the "hammer" on 'em Saturday night at Lincoln Speedway, claiming his second win of the year in the Pigeon Hills and second win of the weekend in Central Pennsylvania. Esh passed race-long leader Kevin Drury...

True to his nickname, Doug Esh dropped the "hammer" on 'em Saturday night at Lincoln Speedway, claiming his second win of the year in the Pigeon Hills and second win of the weekend in Central Pennsylvania.

Esh passed race-long leader Kevin Drury on the 15th lap for the lead and then hung-on for the $2,500 win.

"It's hammer time!" exclaimed the happy Lancaster racer after completing his famous wing dance in victory lane, "We worked hard for this one...it just went our way this weekend."

"We had some motor problems at the Grove and we wanted to make it a clean sweep, but I didn't think we had the car to do it. It just doesn't happen that way with the competition we have here."

Slated for a 10th starting spot by virtue of Lincoln handicapping, Esh moved to eighth when Brian Leppo spun while hot-lapping into his sixth starting spot before the event began. He then moved up another row when seven drivers got together in turn four on the first lap. The crash took out points leader Cris Eash. Other cars involved included Greg Hodnett, Josh Wells, Chappy Knaack, Becca Anderson, Darren Eash, and Bobby Weaver.

Esh was fourth by the time a fifth-lap caution came out for a spinning Doug Rohrbaugh on turn two. At the time, Kevin Drury held a 2.21-second lead over second-place Sam Schlosberg. On the restart, Brook Weibley dove under Schlosberg to grab second, and Esh drove around Schlosberg for third one lap later. Esh then drove around Weibley after a tenth lap restart, and tracked down the leader over the next five laps.

He made the race-winning pass on the backstretch of lap 15, increasing his lead to 1.6-seconds over second-place Fred Rahmer by lap 19. As the two diced through lapped traffic, Lincoln's all-time winningest driver began his charge. Rahmer closed to within a car length as the two drove through heavy lapped traffic through the final two turns. Esh held on to score the .34-second win, the seventh of his career in the Pigeon Hills and his third overall win of the year in Central Pennsylvania.

"I saw the 31 (Drury) was in second for a while, and then I saw the 88 (Rahmer) got there," said Esh. "The lapped cars started giving me problems, but I figured if I just get by them and can use them to block Rahmer a little bit, we would come out on top."

"A clean sweep for the weekend...winning at the Grove and here, you can't ask for anything better. That's why I think it's hammer time!"

Eric Stambaugh raced wheel-to-wheel with Brian Montieth the entire race, and held off the one-time Phoenixville race-winner in 2004 for third, with Drury holding on for fifth. Sixth through tenth were Weibley, Lance Dewease, Hodnett (who came from the back after the first-lap crash), Schlosberg, and 23rd-starting Niki Young.

Manheim's Mike Lehman made his comeback complete Saturday night by picking up the win in convincing fashion in the 20 lap 358 Sprint feature. Lehman, one of the winningest drivers in 358 sprint history in Central Pennsylvania, returned to racing in 2004 after a self-imposed three-year hiatus.

Sixth-starting Lehman took the lead from outside frontrow starter and race-long leader Jon Keller on the third lap and led the rest of the way to record his eighth career win at the Pigeon Hill's oval.

A series of late-race cautions, one with only a lap to go, put third-starting Billy Johns and 17th-starting Cory Haas on his bumper each time. But Lehman was not to be denied this night as he easily pulled away to a 72-hundredth's of a second win over Johns.

Haas, who started 19th last week and finished third, came into the evening with a slim 10 point advantage in the battle to defend his track championship. By finishing third, Haas maintained his advantage in the point standings.

11th-starting Brad McClelland finished fourth and Keller fifth.

Biglerville's Nat Tuckey ended a long dry spell by claiming his first win of the year in the 20-lap thundercar feature. In doing so, he became the eighth different winner in nine thundercar races this year.

OTHER RACING ACTION

DOUG ESH SCORES FIRST GROVE WIN OF 2004

MECHANICSBURG, PA -- Doug Esh held off Lance Dewease to win the 25-lap 410 sprint feature Friday night at Williams Grove Speedway and Chad Layton claimed the 20-lap 358 sprint main.

Wade Hendrickson took the lead at the start of the sprint feature and set the pace until lap 12 when Cris Eash took over. Esh followed Eash past Hendrickson and the race for the lead was on. Esh used a spectacular move on the low side to take the lead on lap 16. Meanwhile Dewease, who started 12th, was on the move. He took third place on lap 20, then two laps later drove by Eash. By this time Esh had opened what appeared to be a comfortable lead, but Dewease was cutting into it on every turn.

With Esh using the high side and Dewease on the bottom, the finish was close with The Hammer collecting $3000 for his first victory of the season. Esh, who started sixth, scored his third career win.

Dewease settled for second, which matched his best effort of the season. Donnie Kreitz Jr. mounted a late race charge to finish third after starting 17th. Eash and Niki Young completed the top five.

Greg Hodnett, who had won five of the first six features this season, started dead last in 24th position. Although he was never in contention for the victory his sixth place finish was impressive.

Todd Shaffer, Lucas Wolfe, Mark Smith and Jeff Shepard completed the top ten.

Cliff Brian led the first eight laps of the 358 sprint feature after starting on the pole. Chad Layton came from his eighth starting spot to take the lead on lap eight. Once in front he cruised to his tenth career victory at Williams Grove in the 358 sprint division. Kevin Nouse, Alan Krimes, Rich Eichelberger and Brian completed the top five.

CRAIG KEEL BECOMES THIRD DIFFERENT WINNER IN PORT SPRINT ACTION

Weedsport New York's Craig "the Cricket" Keel became the third different winner in as many races at Port Royal Speedway by picking up the win in the 25 lap 410 sprint feature Saturday night.

It appeared Mark Smith was going to record his second Port win of the season, but contact with a lapped car on the 22nd lap sent the ZEMCO No.1 sprinter flipping, ending his night. From there, Keel took over the top spot once again and led the remaining laps to pick up the win over Upperco Maryland's Jeff Shepard and Mifflintown's Keith Kauffman.

Tim Gray led all 20 laps to pick up his first win in late model action.

Corey Kepner ended Todd Snook's two-race win streak in Pro Stock action, then buckled up his wife, Teresa, into her car and watched her win the Ladies Powder puff feature.

Brett Knable picked up the win in 305 Sprint action.

HEIMBACH POWERS TO FIRST SELINSGROVE SPRINT WIN OF SEASON

Blane Heimbach of Selinsgrove powered to his first win of the season at Selinsgrove Speedway in the 25-lap 358 sprint feature Saturday. The win made Heimbach the fourth different in as many races at the Snyder County half-mile in 358 sprint competition.

Heimbach took the checkered 1.18 seconds ahead of Nate Snyder and Jim Nace for his sixth career Selinsgrove win.

Jeff Rine of Danville drove to his second win of the season in the 25-lap late model feature, while Jake Buck of Port Trevorton ended A.J. Stroup's two-race win streak with his first win of the year in pro stocks.

Runner-up Brad Mitch of McClure was awarded the win in the roadrunner feature after Chris Eckert, who led all 12 laps, failed a post-race inspection.

PERIGO SCORES THIRD STRAIGHT IN SILVER SPRING SPORTSMAN ACTION

Stoystown's Carmen Perigo Jr. drove from 15th starting spot in a non-stop feature to win his third straight in super sportsman action Saturday night at Silver Spring Speedway.

Perigo drove around Bob Fannasy on the 20th lap and pulled away over the final laps to register his 23rd career win after seven minutes 29.03 seconds of non-stop sportsman action at the Cumberland County oval. Fannasy settled for second and Raymond Myers finished third.

It was Perigo's 23rd career win and the first time in many seasons that a driver has won three straight.

Kory Sites of Hamburg became the second different winner in as many races in Street Stock action.

DEESE WINS ROUND ONE OF TRI-TRACK SHOOTOUT AT HAGERSTOWN

Roy Deese Jr. of Odenton, MD, tracked down and passed Gary Stuhler at the half-way mark of the Tri-Track Late Model Shootout at Hagerstown Speedway Friday night and went on to become the eighth different winner in late model competition.

Deese took the checkered in Round one of the special multi-track challenge over Stuhler and Jason Covert for his first win since the end of 2001.

In the 15-lap pure stock feature, Mike Warrenfeltz of Hagerstown started on the pole and led all 15 laps to record his second win of 2004.

STEVE CLABAUGH PICKS UP FIRST WIN IN 358 SPRING SPRINT CHAMPIONSHIP

Bonneville's Steve Clabaugh inherited the lead on the 13th lap when race-long leader Brad McClelland suffered a flat tire and went on to pick up the win in the special 30-lap $1,000-to-win 358 Sprint Championship at Trail-Way Speedway Friday night.

Clabaugh took the checkered over Mike Bittinger and Dan Dietrich.

Gettysburg's Craig Wagaman remained perfect in thundercar action as he picked up his second win of the 2004 season in as many events. Mike Walls, polesitter Jerry Bingaman, Bryan Wagaman, and John McDonough Jr. completed the top five.

Jody Holston picked up his first career win in the street stock feature.

KEVIN BASTIAN GETS FIRST CAREER 600 MICRO WIN

Kevin Bastian passed outside polesitter Brandon Little on the seventh lap and pulled away from the field to go on and pick up his first career 600cc micro-sprint win at Trail-Way Speedway Saturday night. Bob Laughman also grabbed his first career win at Trail-Way in the 250cc micro-sprint feature.

Former track champion Ed Hollenbach won the first points race of the year for the 4-cylinder stock car division.

Daryl Hanson picked up the 4-cylinder starlite stock feature win and Buddie Jeffers won the 6-cylinder starlite stock feature.

Brad Kress picked up the scramble car win in a controversial finish. Brian Racine came across the line first but was penalized one position for rough riding Kress.

KINSER WINS SEDALIA FEATURE AFTER DOLLANSKY CRASHES

Steve Kinser inherited first place when Craig Dollansky crashed and held off early leader Shane Stewart to win Friday's World of Outlaws Sprint Series "A" Feature at Sedalia's State Fair Speedway in Sedalia, MO, over Shane Stewart and Jason Myers.

DOLLANKSY BOUNCES BACK TO WIN FLAG-TO-FLAG AT I-55

Craig Dollansky picked up his first A-feature win of the season Saturday night, leading all 40 laps of the World of Outlaws event at I-55 Raceway in Pevely, MO.

After crashing out while leading the night before, Dollansky led all 40 laps for the win over Daryn Pittman and Tim Shaffer.

KEMENAH WINS ALL STAR SPRING NATIONALS OPENER

All Star racer Chad Kemenah used lapped traffic to pass Mark Keegan for the lead in the closing laps and went on to score the win in the opening night of the Coors Light Spring Nationals action at Attica Raceway Park in Attica, OH, Friday night.

It was Kemenah's second consecutive win for the 2004 season.

Saturday night's Nationals finale was canceled due to heavy rain and hailstorm Saturday night and will be rescheduled at a later date.

DALE MCDOWELL WINS PRELIMINARY OUTLAW LATE MODEL FEATURE

World of Outlaw Late Model series point leader Dale McDowell picked up the win Friday night in preliminary night racing action at Lone Star Speedway in Kilgore, Texas for his second win of 2004. McDowell took the lead coming off of turn four at the start of the race and led every lap to pick up the win over Ronny Adams and Steve Francis.

York's Rick Eckert set fast time earlier in the evening and finished eighth.

Bart Hartman won Saturday night's 50-lap $12,000-to-win finale over Chub Frank and Scott Bloomquist.

CURT MICHAEL WINS NEW EGYPT URC SPRINT ACTION

Curt Michael of Ocean View, Delaware won the 25-LAP URC sprint car feature Saturday night at New Egypt Speedway IN New Jersey over Dave McGough and Chris Coyle.

-bill meyer-

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About this article
Series Sprint
Drivers Tim Shaffer , Scott Bloomquist , Rick Eckert , Steve Kinser , Craig Dollansky , Daryn Pittman , Shane Stewart , Lucas Wolf , Chappy Knaack , Jason Myers , Steve Francis , Chad Kemenah , Tim Gray
Teams Williams