Lincoln Speedway race report 2001-08-11

Saturday - August 11, 2001 Lincoln Speedway Abbottstown, PA Rahmer Notches 11th Win In Super Sprint Action At LincolN; Steve Clabaugh win first in Thundercars/Takes Over Point lead; Bill Laughman tops in Micro-Sprint Action ABBOTTSTOWN, PA, ...

Saturday - August 11, 2001
Lincoln Speedway
Abbottstown, PA

Rahmer Notches 11th Win In Super Sprint Action At LincolN; Steve Clabaugh win first in Thundercars/Takes Over Point lead; Bill Laughman tops in Micro-Sprint Action

ABBOTTSTOWN, PA, 8/11/01 - Salfordville's Fred Rahmer continued his comeback from a mid-season slump of sorts by picking up his second win in-a-row in the 25 lap super sprint feature at Lincoln Speedway Saturday night.

Rahmer drove from his 11th starting spot to move in behind race leader Cliff Brian on the 14th lap. The pair then ran side-by-side for the next four laps before Rahmer was able to slip by the Ephrata-speedster exiting the second turn of the 18th lap for the lead and then raced away to record his second win in-a-row, and the 11th of the year at the conclusion of the 25 lap event.

"We were good on the restart, but we can be a lot better," said Rahmer upon exiting his Al and Betty Hamilton-owned Manheim Auto Action No.77 in victory lane. "I'm just glad to win a race."

"We're playing it one week at a time. It's no sense getting too excited about anything, we're just going to keep plugging away."

After suffering through a mid-season slump which saw the Hamilton Motorsports Team go winless at the Pigeon Hills 3/8th-mile track for seven weeks, Rahmer has started to get back on track by recording three wins over the last five races as he continues his march towards a fifth consecutive track title at Lincoln.

"We've definitely been in a slump here, there no two ways about it," commented Al Hamilton afterwards. "Everybody goes through that...we've had a long haul of it here over the last six to eight weeks."

"We've been trying to get things ironed out and it would appear we're headed in the right direction.

Mechanicsburg's Mark Coldren shot out into the lead at the drop of the green to the 25 lap super sprint feature with outside frontrow starter Josh Wells of Thomasville falling in behind. Wells closed fast on the race-leading Coldren on the second lap with fourth-starting Niki Young, third-starting Billy Sims, and fifth-starting Cliff Brian in tow.

Wells made his bid for the lead exiting the fourth turn of the third lap, resulting in contact between the leaders. Coldren's right front suspension collapsed from the contact, sending him sliding towards the inside guardrail while the yellow flag waved. Coldren finally brought his sprinter to a stop just short of the guardrail, ending his night.

Wells, who would have inherited the lead at that point, then suffered the ill-effects from the contact as well as his right-rear tire slowly went flat under the caution - forcing him to the pits to make repairs.

This handed the lead over to third-place runner Young for the restart as Wells was able to make repairs and rejoin the rear of the field for the restart.

Third-place Brian shot around Sims to move into the runner-up spot as Young led the field following the third-lap restart with sixth-starting Chris Knopp and ninth-starting Steve Siegel running fourth and fifth respectively.

Knopp started to flex his muscles on the fifth lap as he moved around Sims into third place while Young and Brian began to pull away.

Meanwhile Rahmer was driving to the front as and had advanced from his 11th starting spot into fifth with a pass of Siegel on the eighth lap. Sims fought back to repass Knopp for third place on the eighth lap as well with Young and Brian beginning to race through lapped traffic.

The battle for third between Sims and Knopp ended on the 12th lap when Sims' car went sideways in the second turn, collecting Hanover's Chris Eash. Then with no where to go, Hellam's Bobby Weaver slid into the pair a rolled onto his side - bringing out the red flag. Also involved were Wells and York's Jeff Rohrbaugh as the melee almost completely blocked the track between turns one and two.

This allowed Brian to close onto Young's bumper on the restart with Knopp and Rahmer lurking right behind.

Young was able to hold off Brian on the 12th lap restart as Rahmer disposed of Knopp to move into third. On the next lap Brian made his bid for the lead and win as he slipped around Young to take over the top spot with the crossed flags waving.

Rahmer began to close onto second place Young now and moved around the Spring Grove racer into second on the 14th lap. Rahmer quickly closed the gap on race-leading Brian and then over the next four laps both Brian and Rahmer race side-by-side for the lead with Rahmer taking the low groove and Brian the top groove.

Rahmer then was able to position himself to dive under Brian for the lead heading into the third tun of the 18th lap and emerged with the lead exiting turn four.

From there Rahmer drove away over the final eight non-stop laps to record his 110th career win at the Pigeon Hills oval and pocketed the $2,500 top prize that went with it. The win also upped Rahmer's overall season win count to 15.

Siegel was able to pass Brian for second place on the 24th lap, with Brian then settling for third, Young fourth, and York's Johnny Mackison Jr. fifth. Completing the top-10 were Montieth, Knopp, Lancaster's Doug Esh, Rohrbaugh, and Eash.

Heats for the 23 super sprinters on hand were won by Coldren, Eash, and Rahmer.

Bonneville's Steve Clabaugh jumped into a competitors back-up car after crashing in hot laps and recorded his first win of the season in the 20 lap thundercar feature. In the process Clabaugh took over the top spot in the season-long battle for the 2001 thundercar championship.

Clabaugh, who was trailing points leader Bernie Beard by only 10 points going into the evening's action, crashed hard in warm-ups and required medical assistance before exiting his badly damaged stock car. Clabaugh, shaken-up, but otherwise okay from the incident, then took up competitor Bobby Rudisill's offer to race his back-up car.

Polesitter Tim Murphy grabbed the lead at the outset with Randy Zechman initially giving chase. On the third lap disaster struck points leader Bernie Beard as he collided with Jake Markey on the backstretch, sending both cars into the outer guardrail.

Beard, who lost a right rear tire in the incident, wasn't able to make repairs and rejoin the field on the restart. But a lap later the caution flag waved one more time as Mike Ziegler Jr. spun in turn four with a flat tire after slamming the outside wall hard the previous lap. This allowed Beard to rejoin the field, but, a lap behind the rest of the field.

Meanwhile Clabaugh, who started 11th, worked his way up into third and had just passed Zechman for the runner-up spot on the eighth lap when the caution waved for Duane Watson who came to a stop on the frontstretch.

This allowed Clabaugh to restart right on race-long leader Murphy's bumper and on the 10th lap was able to move around the Fallston, Maryland racer for the lead just before the final caution flag waved for debris in the first turn.

Clabaugh then drove away from the field over the final 10 non-stop laps to record his first win of the year, the 21st of his career at Lincoln, and became the ninth different winner in 23 races. And by virtue of Bernie Beard's 19th place finish, vaulted Clabaugh into the top spot for the 2001 thundercar point champion.

Neil Smith came on strong over the final half of the race to advance from his 10th starting to pass Murphy for second on the 17th lap. Murphy then settled for third place in the end and was followed by Allen Cullum and Rand Zechman in fourth and fifth respectively.

Heats for the 28 thundercars were won by Craig Smith, Murphy, and Dave Highlands, with Ken Berwager winning the consolation.

New Oxford's Bill Laughman picked up a popular win in micro-sprint action by passing polesitter and race-long leader Jeff Young on the third lap and raced away to the victory in the 15 lap micro-sprint feature.

But the win didn't come easy for the Steve Siegel crew member as he had to hold of the challenges of two-time Lincoln winner Jimmy Brookens in the first half of the race, and then Randy West in the closing lap to register the win.

West had to settle for second, with Brad McClelland coming from his 12th starting position to finish third, Shawn Seifert fourth, and Young fifth.

Heats for the 36 micro-sprints were won by McClelland, Frank Eichelberger, Seifert, and West. Twin consolation events were won by Eddie Schlegel and Jim Wyers.

Next Saturday night, August 18th, Lincoln Speedway will host KIDS NIGHT with hundreds of special giveaways to the many children who are in attendance that night. A special drivers autograph session will also be made available to all the children who register for the evening's give-aways from 5:30 PM to 7 PM. The evening's racing card will have the ARDC Midgets on hand in a special WINGLESS racing program. Joining them will be the super sprint and thundercar regulars. Gates will open at 5:30 PM, with hot laps at 7 PM and racing action getting under way at 7:30 PM.

-LS-

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About this article
Series Sprint , Stock car
Drivers Neil Smith