Abbottstown, PA, 8/9/03 - Last Saturday night, Chris Knopp wasn't even fast enough to get to the hospital and join wife Michelle in witnessing the birth of his son Cole. This Saturday, he was faster than anyone...and claimed his second win of...
Abbottstown, PA, 8/9/03 - Last Saturday night, Chris Knopp wasn't even fast enough to get to the hospital and join wife Michelle in witnessing the birth of his son Cole.
This Saturday, he was faster than anyone...and claimed his second win of the year in the 25-lap super sprint feature at Lincoln Speedway.
"Last Saturday coming up here my wife wasn't feeling good and my mom and dad took her to the hospital...and he was early," said a happy Knopp in victory lane as he explained the birth of his new son just last Saturday night. "I called before the feature and she said go ahead and race...she said don't come down to the hospital because he isn't coming in the middle of the night."
"Well hell, I got down there and he was already here. This is for my wife, Michelle. She's been to every race but this one here. This is for my new boy Cole. They say when you have a kid it changes ya. To get to hold him was something special. I just more thankful for him being here fine than anything else."
Knopp came out on top in a race that saw two dramatic battles for the lead and six lead changes.
Front row starters Jeff Rohrbaugh and Brian Leppo battled wheel-to-wheel for the first ten laps, with Rohrbaugh scored the leader the first seven laps, Leppo the leader on lap eight, Rohrbaugh the leader on lap nine, and Leppo the leader of lap ten.
That's when the first yellow flag of the race came out for Kevin Drury, who spun on turns three and four. During the caution, fourth-place Glenndon Forsythe went pitside with a badly smoking race car, handing fourth over to Cris Eash. Knopp, who started ninth, assumed fifth for the restart.
Leppo paced the field for the next four laps before Bobby Weaver slid under the GGS Information Services No.71 to claim the lead exiting turn two of lap 15. One lap later, a Jeff Busby flip on turn four brought out the red flag. Busby was uninjured.
"They had that red flag on lap 15 and we couldn't wrench on the car (closed red) and I was like, 'this hurts me," Knopp pointed out. "I thought I was a little better than Cris (Eash)...but I didn't think we were going to win this thing, the car just got better."
"I have to be honest, the track tonight wasn't to our liking," Knopp quickly added. "This car likes being an inch off the wall...not a two or three lane track like this."
"It likes a four lane track and maybe I like that. Me and my mechanic Jimmy Travis work so hard on this car. We talked before the feature and I said to just let it free tonight, instead of going hog-wild. And he left it free."
When the race resumed, Weaver looked to be on his way to his first Lincoln win in seven years. But Knopp (fourth on the 16th-lap restart) had other ideas. He drove around Leppo for third on lap 17 and caught Eash (who had passed Leppo for second on lap 16) for the runner-up spot one lap later.
For the next four laps, Knopp ran the cushion as he closed on Weaver. A slider in the third and fourth turns of lap 22 was the race-winning pass.
"Bob (Weaver) and me are friends off the track, but on the track you don't have any friends," said Knopp. "And I knew that if I didn't get under him quick, and put it to him, he wasn't going to cut me no slack."
"I wouldn't expect him to and I don't think I'd cut him much either. I didn't know if I could get him, he was running really good tonight."
Knopp's final margin of victory was 97-hundredths of-a-second over Weaver, with Doug Esh coming on late from his 11th starting spot to finish third, Fred Rahmer fourth, and Lance Dewease fifth. Completing the top ten were Eash, Niki Young, Leppo, Johnny Mackison, Jr., and Billy Sims.
It's just a team effort. I just get the fun and drive the car," Knopp added. "I didn't know I could win this race, but I knew I couldn't lose it either."
"You can't do it without a team that stands behind you. I'll tell you, this feels great. I've got to thank the sponsors and the crew. Without them I would not be here. And that is the bottom line."
"You know, the weight rule...a lot of people have forgotten about it," Knopp then mentioned. "But look at how many different winners have been here. ..that's a tribute to evening this division out more and more guys deserve to win like me."
Heats for the 22 "410" sprints were won by Rohrbaugh and Busby.
Billy Wampler shrugged off a history of bad luck in the Pigeon Hills and raced from his tenth starting spot to win the 20-lap limited late model feature. Wampler entered the top five when he passed John Ebersole on lap seven, caught Fred Harden for fourth on lap 11, drove by Carl Graves for third on lap 12, and squeezed under Dave Sokoloski for the runner-up spot on lap 13. He then chased race-long leader Dave Graber over the next four laps before making the winning pass with a low move in turns three and four of lap 18.
Graber settled for second, with Colby Frye, Sokoloski, and Gary Potts completing the top five.
Heats for the 23 limited late models were won by Bobby Beard, Frye and Wampler.
Gettysburg's Craig Wagaman got back the one that got away the week before by holding off Mike Zeigler Sr. To win his second 20 lap thundercar feature of 2003.
In what appeared to be a rematch of the race the week before where Zeigler Sr. grabbed the lead with three laps to go for the win. This time Wagaman held off Zeigler's challenges for 15 straight laps to earn his 15th career thundercar win. That broke Wagaman's tie with Zeigler for seventh on Lincoln Speedway's all-time win list.
Third-starting Greg Messersmith grabbed the lead on the opening lap before fourth-starting wagaman took over on the second lap. Fifth-starting Zeigler moved into second on the fifth lap and chased Wagaman the rest of the way. Wagaman took the checkered .53 seconds ahead of Zeigler for the win. Nat Tuckey finished third, Mike Walls fourth, and Mike Ciezobka fifth.
Completing the top-10 were Doug Devilbiss, Bernie Beard, Steve Clabaugh, Chet McCormick and Jake Markey.
Heats for the 32 thundercars were won by Zeigler Sr., Neil Smith and Zeigler Jr., with Doug Devilbiss winning the consolation.
It will be KIDS NIGHT at Lincoln Speedway next Saturday night, August 16th, the 410 sprints and thundercars in action.
Kids activities, along with hundreds of prizes will be given away during the course of the evening. Registration for prizes and Kids activities will run from 5:30 until the start of racing action at 7:30 PM. The first 500 kids to register will get a free "goodie" bag. Bikes, televisions, boom boxes and much more will then be given away during the evening to those kids that register earlier that day. Also, several race drivers will be on hand for autographs as well. Gates will open at 5:30 PM, with racing action getting underway at 7:30 PM.
To get all the latest news, results, schedule changes and rule changes, visit Lincoln Speedway's website at http://www.lincolnspeedway.com to stay up-to-date on all the action or pending weather conditions at Central Pennsylvania's "Premier" Saturday night race track - The Fabulous Lincoln Speedway.
RACE RESULTS Saturday - August 9, 2003
Feature (25 Laps) - 1. 6K-Chris Knopp ($2,500); 2. X-Bobby Weaver; 3. 30-Doug Esh; 4. 88H-Fred Rahmer; 5. 77-Lance Dewease; 6. 17E-Cris Eash; 7. 10N-Niki Young; 8. 71-Brian Leppo; 9. 65-Johnny Mackison Jr.; 10. 55S-Billy Sims; 11. 32-Brook Weibley; 12. 66-Jim Siegel; 13. 21P-Brian Montieth; 14. 31D-Kevin Drury; 15. 8D-Billy Dietrich; 16. 49-Bobby Howard; 17. 38-Jeff Rohrbaugh (DNF); 18. 47J-Jeff Busby (DNF); 19. 21-Glenndon Forsythe (DNF); 20. 25-Nik Gower (DNF). DNS: 6W-Josh Wells, 22-Darren Eash. No Time
Lap Leaders - Jeff Rohrbaugh (1-7), Brian Leppo (8), Jeff Rohrbaugh (9), Brian Leppo (10-14), Bobby Weaver (15-21), Chris Knopp (22-25)
1st Heat (10 Laps) - 1. 38-Jeff Rohrbaugh; 2. 55S-Billy Sims; 3. 21P-Glenndon Forsythe; 4. 30-Doug Esh; 5. 6K-Chris Knopp; 6. 66-Jim Siegel; 7. 32-Brook Weibley; 8. 77-Lance Dewease; 9. 10N-Niki Young; 10. 25-Nik Gower (DNF); 11. 8D-Billy Dietrich (DNF). No Time
2nd Heat (10 Laps) - 1. 47J-Jeff Busby; 2. 88H-Fred Rahmer; 3. 71-Brian Leppo; 4. X-Bobby Weaver; 5. 17E-Cris Eash; 6. 65-Johnny Mackison, Jr.; 7. 6W-Josh Wells; 8. 31D-Kevin Drury; 9. 21P-Brian Montieth; 10. 49-Bob Howard; 11. 22-Darren Eash (DNF). Time - 2:25.61
Limited Late Models:
Feature (20 Laps) - 1. U10-Billy Wampler; 2. 51-Dave Graber; 3. F1-Colby Frye; 4. 11-Dave Sokoloski; 5. 33-Gary Potts; 6. 10-Fred Harden; 7. NINE-Carl Graves; 8. 78-John Ebersole; 9. X-Bernie Beard; 10. S16-Gerry Stutting, Jr.; 11. 91-Chuck Yingling; 12. 28-Mike Spangler; 13. 17-Jake Lettich; 14. 43-Jake Jones; 15. 4-John Rudy; 16. 78G-Mark Grey; 17. 2M-Carl Billet (DNF); 18. 16-Bud Barton (DNF); 19. 21-Derrick Zirkle (DNF); 20. 41F-Scott McCann (DNF); 21. 94M-Corry Gingerich (DNF); 22. 23-Bobby Beard (DNF); 23. 23M-Brad Boone (DNF). No time.
Lap Leaders - Dave Graber (1-17), Billy Wampler (18-20)
1st Heat (8 Laps/6 to qualify) - 1. 23-Bobby Beard; 2. X-Bernie Beard; 3. 43-Jake Jones; 4. 51-Dave Graber; 5. S16-Gerry Stutting; 6. 41F-Scott McCann; 7. 33-Gary Potts; 8. 4-John Rudy. No Time
2nd Heat (8 Laps/6 to qualify) - 1. F1-Colby Frye; 2. 91-Chuck Yingling; 3. 11-Dave Sokoloski; 4. NINE-Carl Graves; 5. 21-Derrick Zirkle; 6. 78G-Mark Gray; 7. 94M-Cory Gingerich; 8. 2M-Carl Billet (DNF). No Time
3rd Heat (8 Laps/6 to qualify) - 1. U10-Billy Wampler; 2. 10-Fred Harden; 3. 16-Bud Barton; 4. 78-John Ebersole; 5. 17-Jake Lettick; 6. 28-Mike Spangler; DNS - 23M-Brad Boone. Time - 2:24.90
Feature (20 Laps) -1. 30-Craig Wagaman; 2. 81-Mike Zeigler Sr.; 3. 52-Nat Tuckey; 4. 1W-Mike Walls; 5. 61-Mike Ciezobka; 6. 15-Doug Devilbiss; 7. X-Bernie Beard; 8. 10-Steve Clabaugh; 9. 14-Chet McCormick; 10. 12-Jake Markey; 11. 98-Dan Zechman; 12. 39-Wayne Dutterer; 13. 3-Mike Gladfelter; 14. 25-Sean Herrick; 15. 9-Al Cramer; 16. 70-Duane Hahn (DNF); 17. 34-Greg Messersmith (DNF); 18. 3R-Bobby Rudisill (DNF); 19. 61S-Mike Slaybaugh (DNF); 20. 1-Neil Smith (DNF); 21. 8MD-David Prunkl (DNF); 22. 95-Allen Cullum (DNF); 23. 9J-Mike Johnson (DNF); 24. 21A-Mike Zeigler Jr. (DNF). No Time
Lap Leaders - Greg Messersmith (1), Craig Wagaman (2-20)
1st Heat (8 Laps/6 to qualify) - 1. 81-Mike Zeigler, Sr.; 2. 8MD-David Prunkl; 3. 3R-Bobby Rudisill; 4. 10-Steve Clabaugh; 5. 98-Dan Zechman; 6. 9-Al Cramer; 7. 7X-Tony Rose 8. 34M-Gary Martz; 9. 63-William Knaus; 10. 11-Jim Rost; 11. 51-Chad Myers (DNS). No Time
2nd Heat (8 Laps/6 to qualify) - 1. 1-Neil Smith; 2. 14-Chet McCormick; 3. 61S-Mike Slaybaugh; 4. 12-Jake Markey; 5. 61-Mike Ciezobka; 6. 3-Mike Gladfelter; 7. 15-Doug Devilbiss; 8. 70-Duane Hahn; 9. 39-Wayne Dutterer; 10. 88-Tim Hahn; DNS - 17H-Dwain Toot. Time - 2:55.09
3rd Heat (8 Laps/6 to qualify) - 1. 21A-Mike Zeigler Jr.; 2. 52-Nat Tuckey; 3. 34-Greg Messersmith; 4. 30-Craig Wagaman; 5. 25-Sean Herrick; 6. 9J-Mike Johnson; 7. 95-Allan Cullum; 8. 4-Greg Feltch (DNF); 9. 1W-Mike Walls (DNF); 10. X-Bernie Beard (DNF). No Time
Consolation (6 Laps/6 to qualify) - 1. 15-Doug Devilbiss; 2. 1W-Mike Walls; 3. X-Bernie Beard; 4. 70-Duane Hahn; 5. 95-Allen Cullum; 6. 39-Wayne Dutterer; 7. 7X-Tony Rose; 8. 63-William Knauss; 9. 4-Greg Feltch; 10. 34M-Jim Martz; DNS - 11-Jim Rost, 88-Tim Hahn, 51-Chad Myers. No Time