Lincoln Speedway 50th Anniversary report

Wednesday - May 15, 2002 Lincoln Speedway Abbottstown, PA 50th Anniversary Show Two winningest active drivers claim victory in 50th Anniversary show. Rahmer edges out Dewease in Sprints; Bernie Beards wins 65th in Thundercars. ABBOTTSTOWN, PA,...

Wednesday - May 15, 2002
Lincoln Speedway
Abbottstown, PA
50th Anniversary Show

Two winningest active drivers claim victory in 50th Anniversary show.
Rahmer edges out Dewease in Sprints; Bernie Beards wins 65th in Thundercars.

ABBOTTSTOWN, PA, 5/15/02 -With some of sprint car racing's all-time greats looking on, the second-winningest driver in the history of Lincoln Speedway put his 115th notch on his belt in the 50th Anniversary 50-lap feature at Lincoln Speedway Wednesday night.

In the end, it came down to a wheel-to-wheel war between Fred Rahmer and Lance Dewease, the season's most talked-about duo who switched rides late last season. Rahmer and Dewease ran first and second the final ten laps, with Dewease pulling the slider on Rahmer to briefly lead on turn four of lap 46. But Rahmer recovered to lead by inches at the flagstand, and then powered away from Dewease as the two exited turn two of lap 47. Rahmer's final margin of victory was .22 seconds, and was worth $5,050.

"You gotta do what you gotta do," said Rahmer commenting on the wheel-to-wheel war with Dewease in victory lane, "I knew he was getting through three and four good and we were just medium all the way around. I saw his elbows up, so it was time for me to get mine up, too."

"We got lucky with the misfortune Keith and Donnie had. We've still got a lot of work to do, but I guess that's what all these people come out to see. What a great crowd. Fifty years of history, and one of the best improvements in years with that pit area in the back. What a great group of people that own this place."

Rahmer started eighth and was running fifth when leaders Keith Kauffman and Donnie Kreitz, Jr. were collected by the spinning cars of Jerry Parrish and Mike Erdley on the first and second turns of lap 23. Kauffman grabbed the lead from the outside of row one, and led every lap with Kreitz in tow. Kreitz challenged the leader repeatedly, and was making another move for the lead when the two encountered the spinning cars. Kreitz tipped over and was done for the night. Kauffman tagged the rear and advanced to seventh by the end.

Greg Hodnett, who started fourth, was running third and assumed the lead for the 23rd-lap restart. He led the next 13 laps before Rahmer drove under Hodnett for the lead in turn two of the 37th lap. Rahmer moved into the runner-up spot by pulling the same move on Brook Weibley five laps earlier.

Dewease, who started fifth, ran fourth until yielding to Rahmer on lap 11. He had faded to seventh by the lap 23 crash involving the leaders, assumed fifth for the restart, then drove around Steve Siegel for fourth on lap 25. He caught Weibley for third on lap 35, four laps before Siegel was collected by a spinning Michael Markey on turns three and four. A low move in turn four placed him into the runner-up spot on lap 40.

The final caution of the night for a spinning Siegel on turn one put Dewease on Rahmer's bumper for a 41st lap restart. The fans were on their feet for the final ten laps.

"Lance is one helluva good racer, and, being second, he could take more chances than I could. I couldn't't afford to give it away," said Rahmer, "It was a good race. It's a big night here at Lincoln, but this is the leading track in the area. It's putting out an effort every week to make the facility nicer, and I appreciate everybody coming out."

Greg Hodnett completed a solid run with a third-place finish, followed by Cris Eash (who came from 24th starting spot after pulling into the pits to fix brakes just before the start) and Billy Pauch. Completing the top ten were Chris Knopp, Kauffman, Weibley, Todd Shaffer, and Johnny Mackison, Jr.

"Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think I'd have the number of wins I have here," said Rahmer commenting on his current spot as second-winningest driver in Lincoln history, "Every week, there's a great group of racers here and a real good group of fans. I've been real fortunate in that I've always been in good race cars."

Heats for the super sprints were won by Shaffer, Pauch, and Eash, with Weibley winning the B-Main. Steve Siegel set fast time in time trials over the 29-car field with a one-lap time of 13.476 seconds.

All time win leader Bernie Beard did his Fred Rahmer impersonation, starting 12th and advancing through the field to claim his 65th career win in the Pigeon Hills in the 20 lap thundercar nightcap.

Beard was still running eighth on lap six, but advanced one position each lap from laps seven through nine to enter the top-five. Early race leader Nat Tuckey was docked four spots for jumping on the start during an 11th lap caution, and Beard slipped under Ken Berwager to move into third on the next lap. He then squeezed by Bobby Beard for second on lap 13 and drove under Steve Clabaugh for the front spot with five laps to go. Beard then raced away to a .34-second win over Tuckey, who got by Clabaugh for second on lap 18.

Clabaugh settled for third, Berwager fourth, and Saturday winner Chet McCormick completing the top-five. First alternate came through the field to finish sixth.

Heats for the 29 thundercars were won by Doug Devilbiss, Clabaugh, and Bernie Beard, with Mike Zeigler Jr. winning the consolation. Clabaugh won the five-lap Dash in a record time of one minute 43.64 seconds, besting the old record of one minute 46.93 seconds set by Tony Kuhn on March 25, 2000.

Lincoln Speedway will swing back into action this Saturday night, May 18th, with all three point divisions on YORK COUNTY RACING CLUB NIGHT featuring the Cindy Rowe Auto Glass Super Sprints, the Budweiser 358 Sprints, and the Miller Bothers Chevrolet Thundercars. Gates will open at 5 PM, with warm-up at 6:30 PM, and the first heat taking the green at 7 PM.

-ls-

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About this article
Series Sprint , Stock car
Drivers Billy Pauch