Tuesday - July 3, 2001 LINCOLN SPEEDWAY Abbottstown, PA
Dan Dietrich Claims Holiday "358" Show;
Prutzman ends win drought in super sportsman
Rice comes from 12th to take VSS 305 feature
ABBOTTSTOWN, PA, 7/3/01 - Luck plays an important role in racing. But you've got to be in a position to take advantage of good luck when it comes your way. Just ask Dan Dietrich.
The veteran trailed race leader Chad Trout for 15 laps and appeared destined for a solid runner-up finish in Tuesday night's 20-lap 358 sprint feature at Lincoln Speedway. But Trout's motor suddenly began to sputter and lose power on the 18th lap with Dietrich closing fast on the backstretch. Before Dietrich knew what was happening, he was forced to dive under the Felton racer and grabbed the lead with the white flag waving.
"We hung around and got lucky at the end," said a happy Dietrich in victory lane. "It's a shame he was heating up there, and I guess he probably burnt it into the ground."
"I knew it from about half way on. I could smell his anti-freeze. He was pushing a lot of water. So I knew he was heating up. It's a shame for him it didn't go two more laps, but, it was good for me."
"I didn't realize he was going as slow as he was," Dietrich added with his patented laugh. "I don't think we hit, but I think I scared the heck out of him."
Dietrich went on to lead the final lap and easily to claim his first 358 sprint win of the year.
"I've been struggling this year, and it just didn't seem like anything was going to go right. But maybe it will turn around now."
Trout, who started third, trailed polesitter Mark Zellers and outside frontrow starter Jim Siegel at the completion of the first lap. Following a caution for a Cory Haas spin in the second turn, runner-up Siegel spun in the third and fourth turns while trying to hold back Trout. This allowed Trout to move into second, and on the ensuing restart, he blasted around the top of the first and second turns to grab the lead on the exit. Dietrich, who started fifth, followed Trout into second by the end of that third lap and tried to race down the leader.
But Trout began to pull away with Dietrich falling back. A caution on the 10th lap for an Adrian Shaffer spin in the third turn, and a collision on the backstretch involving Jake Raudabaugh and Eric Stambaugh on the 15th lap, allowed Dietrich to close on Trout's bumper each time. But Trout would simply drive away on the restarts.
On the 17th lap, Trout's motor began to sound weak and on the 18th lap began to noticeably slow, giving Dietrich the opportunity he was waiting for.
"I got a new crew member this year, my son Danny," Dietrich said. "I couldn't even dream of doing this without my family's support...my wife (Wanda) has hung through hell with me and I couldn't ask for a better wife. I thank God for it."
After making the pass for the lead on the 18th lap, Dietrich went on to take the checkered for his second career 358 sprint win at the Pigeon Hills oval.
Tim Hershey came from his 10th starting spot to finish second, with Gary Gollub third. Joe Ilg came from his distant 19th starting spot to finish fourth, with Mike Miller fifth.
Completing the top-10 were Greg Leiby, Judd Shepard, Chad Layton, Alan Krimes, and T.J. Stutts.
Heats for the 32 "358" sprinters on hand were won by Dietrich, Leiby, and Siegel, with Ilg winning the consolation.
Hamburg's Keith Prutzman came from his seventh starting position to chase down race-long leader Glenn Keller on the 18th lap for the lead and raced away to his first win in three years in the 20-lap super sportsman feature. Keller hung on for second, with Rusty Rupp, Ken Carberry, and Carmen Perigo, Jr. completing the top five. Perigo came from a distant handicapped 16th starting spot, and Carberry advanced through the field from 13th at the start. Prutzman crossed .94-seconds ahead of Keller at the end of a one-lap dash to the checkered.
Heats for the 40 Super Sportsman on hand were won by John Garman (who set a new 8-lap track record of 2:13.76) , Chris Reed, Matt Ondek, and Keller. Twin consolations were won by Rodney Adams and Rich Eichelberger.
Bill Rice of Schuyler, VA, claimed the 20-lap Virginia Sprint Series feature. Rick started 12th and took the lead from polesitter Pete Kingrea on the ninth lap. He raced away to a 1.14-second win over Kevin Zirk, with Tim Hamlet (who started 16th), Jerrold Harris (who started 14th), and Tom Worrick (who started 17th) finishing third through fifth.
Heats for the 26 VSS 305 sprints were won by Pete Kingrea and Bobby Mazingo.
This Saturday night, July 7, it will be PEPSI Night with the super sprint and thundercar regulars being joined by the micro-sprints, plus KIDS BIG WHEEL RACES as well. Gates will open at 5:30 PM, hot laps at 7 PM and racing action gets under way at 7:30 PM.