ABBOTTSTOWN, PA, 4/17/04 - 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. "It's hammer...
ABBOTTSTOWN, PA, 4/17/04 - 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.
"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.
Heats for the 23 "410" sprinters were won by Knaack, Dan Shetler and Glenndon Forsythe.
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.
Lehman, who started sixth, 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.
Last week's feature winner, T.J. Stutts, started ninth and finished sixth, 10th-starting Chad Trout finished seventh, 12th-starting Keith Prutzman finished eighth, 15th-starting Alan Krimes finished ninth, and 16th-starting Tim Hershey finished 10th.
Heats for the 36 "358" sprinters were won by Lehman, Billy Dietrich, Tim Long and Travis Keeney, with Hershey and Haas winning twin consolation events.
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.
Tuckey started eighth, entered the top five by the end of the first lap, advanced to third by the end of the third lap, grabbed the runner-up spot from Mike Slaybaugh on lap six, and drove around race-long leader Jim Martz, Jr. exiting the second turn on lap nine. >From there, he held off a charging Mike Zeigler Jr., who came from tenth to move past Martz on lap 13. The final margin of victory was .56-seconds. It was Tuckey's ninth career win in the Pigeon Hills, moving him into a tie with teammate Mike Walls and fellow competitor Ron Shultz on the all-time win list.
Martz held on for a best-ever Lincoln finish in third, with Dan Zechman and Jake Markey completing the top-five. Sixth through tenth were Slaybaugh, Howard Williams, Roy Warehime, Wayne Dutterer, and Craig Wagaman, who returned from the rear after spinning on the opening lap. It looked like Wagaman, driving Sam Gallagher's No.20 after losing an engine in his own car after his heat win, would be a factor. Originally slated for the last starting spot, he was actually running ninth after two aborted starts took several drivers out early.
Heats for the 28 thundercars were won by Markey, Wagaman and Zechman, with Schultz winning the consolation event.
Next Saturday night, April 24th, it will be Williams Grove Old Timers Night with the 410 Sprint and Thundercar regulars being joined by the 305 Sprints for the second time in 2004.
Feature (25 Laps) - 1. 30-Doug Esh ($2,500); 2. 88H-Fred Rahmer; 3. 4-Eric Stambaugh; 4. 21-Brian Montieth; 5. 31D-Kevin Drury; 6. 32-Brook Weibley; 7. 77-Lance Dewease; 8. 12-Greg Hodnett; 9. 70-Sam Schlosberg; 10. 10N-Niki Young; 11. 59-Jim Siegel; 12. 6K-Chris Knopp; 13. 22-Darren Eash; 14. 94-Glenndon Forsythe; 15. 71-Brian Leppo; 16. 47J-Jeff Busby; 17. 7K-Dan Shetler; 18. A18-Becca Anderson; 19. 10X-Doug Rohrbaugh; 20. 38-Chappy Knaack (DNF); 21. 17E-Cris Eash (DNF); 22. X-Bobby Weaver (DNF); 23. 6W-Josh Wells (DNF). No Time
Lap Leaders - Kevin Drury (1-14), Doug Esh (15-25)
1st Heat (10 Laps/6 to qualify) - 1. 38-Chappy Knaack; 2. 32-Brook Weibley; 3. 71-Brian Leppo; 4. 70-Sam Schlosberg; 5. 88H-Fred Rahmer; 6. 77-Lance Dewease; 7. 22-Darren Eash; 8. 10X-Doug Rohrbaugh. Time - 2:25.85
2nd Heat (10 Laps/6 to qualify) - 1. 7K-Dan Shetler; 2. 30-Doug Esh; 3. 17E-Cris Eash; 4. 21-Brian Montieth; 5. X-Bobby Weaver; 6. 59-Jim Siegel; 7. 6K-Chris Knopp (DNF); 8. 10N-Niki Young (DNF). No Time
3rd Heat (10 Laps/6 to qualify) - 1. 94-Glenndon Forsythe; 2. 12-Greg Hodnett; 3. 31D-Kevin Drury; 4. 4-Eric Stambaugh; 5. 6W-Josh Wells; 6. A18-Becca Anderson; 7. 47J-Jeff Busby. Time - 2:33.27
Feature (20 Laps) - 1. 7V-Mike Lehman ($1,000); 2. 2J-Billy Johns; 3. 11C-Cory Haas; 4. 6-Brad McClelland; 5. 20-Jon Keller; 6. 39-T.J. Stutts; 7. 7C-Chad Trout; 8. 28-Keith Prutzman; 9. 87-Alan Krimes; 10. 97-Tim Hershey; 11. 12-Mike Bittinger; 12. 88-Danny Dietrich; 13. 55-Brian Eichelberger; 14. 49-Bobby Howard; 15. 4R-Mark Freeland; 16. 73-Rusty Rupp; 17. 14-Will Urkuski; 18. 09-Brandon Grandstaff; 19. 85-Ken Berwager (DNF); 20. 52-Steve Clabaugh (DNF); 21. 22D-Jeff Young (DNF); 22. 8D-Billy Dietrich (DNF); 23. 12L-Tim Long (DNF); 24. 23-Todd Rittenhouse Jr. (DNF). No Time
Lap Leaders - Jon Keller (1-2), Mike Lehman (3-20)
1st Heat (8 Laps/4 to qualify) - 1. 7V-Mike Lehman; 2. 7C-Chad Trout; 3. 2J-Billy Johns; 4. 28-Keith Prutzman; 5. 58-Aaron Long; 6. 12-Mike Bittinger; 7. 1B=David Bull; 8. 52-Steve Clabaugh; 9. 98-Troy Becker. Time - 2:03.15
2nd Heat (8 Laps/4 to qualify) 1. 8D-Billy Dietrich; 2. 20-Jon Keller; 3. 6-Brad McClelland; 4. 88-Danny Dietrich; 5. 85-Ken Berwager; 6. 97-Tim Hershey; 7. 27-Jay Galloway; 8. 15-Adam Wilt; 9. 69G-Kevin Drury (DNF). Time - 2:06.18
3rd Heat (8 Laps/4 to qualify) 1. 12-Tim Long; 2. 22D-Jeff Young; 3. 39-T.J. Stutts; 4. 49-Bob Howard; 5. 11C-Cory Haas; 6. 73-Rusty Rupp; 7. 14-Will Urkuski; 8. 23-Todd Rittenhouse, Jr.; 9. 28H-Billy Heltzel, Jr.. Time - 2:05.85
4th Heat (8 Laps/4 to qualify) - 1. 88-Travis Keeney; 2. 09-Brandon Grandstaff; 3. 4R-Mark Freeland; 4. 87-Alan Krimes; 5. 55-Brian Eichelberger; 6. 22L-Sam Leonard; 7. 3D-Ronnie Orwig; 8. 31J-Joey Palmerino; 9. 41-Scott Geesey. Time - 2:05.99
1st Consolation (8 Laps/4 to qualify) - 1. 97-Tim Hershey; 2. 12-Mike Bittinger; 3. 52-Steve Clabaugh; 4. 85-Ken Berwager; 5. 15-Adam Wilt; 6. 1B-David Bull; 7. 58-Aaron Long; 8. 98-Troy Becker; 9. 27-Jay Galloway; 10. 69G-Kevin Drury (DNS). No time.
2nd Consolation (8 Laps/4 to qualify) - 1. 11C-Cory Haas; 2. 55-Brian Eichelberger; 3. 73-Rusty Rupp; 4. 14-Will Urkuski; 5. 23-Todd Rittenhouse Jr.; 6. 28H-Bill Heltzel Jr.; 7. 41-Scott Geesey; 8. 3D-Ronnie Orwig; 9. 31J-Joey Palmerino; 10. 22L-Sam Leonard. No Time
Feature (20 Laps) - 1. 52-Nat Tuckey ($250); 2. 21A-Mike Zeigler Jr.; 3. 34M-Jim Martz Jr.; 4. 2-Dan Zechman; 5. 12-Jake Markey; 6. 61S-Mike Slaybaugh; 7. 41-Howard Williams; 8. 54-Roy Warehime; 9. 39-Wayne Dutterer; 10. 20-Craig Wagaman; 11. 81-Mike Zeigler Sr.; 12. 3-Mike Gladfelter; 13. 33-Jeff Allen; 14. X-Bernie Beard; 15. 1-Neil Smith; 16. 3R-Duane Watson; 17. 70-Duane Hahn; 18. 14-Chet McCormick; 19. 31-Ron Schultz; 20. 8B-Doug Brown; 21. 72-Wayne Esbenshade; 22. 61-Mike Ciezobka; 23. 8-Mike Gladfelter II; 24. 76-Bob Bare. No Time
Lap Leaders - Jim Martz Jr. (1-8), Nat Tuckey (9-20)
1st Heat (8 Laps/6 to qualify) - 1. 12-Jake Markey; 2. 70-Duane Hahn; 3. 52-Nat Tuckey; 4. 61S-Mike Slaybaugh; 5. 41-Howard Williams; 6. 54-Roy Warehime; 7. 8-Mike Gladfelter II; 8. 37-Frankie Dee (DNF); 9. 8B-Doug Brown (DNF); DNS - X-Bernie Beard. No Time
2nd Heat (8 Laps/6 to qualify) - 1. 30-Craig Wagaman; 2. 21A-Mike Zeigler Jr.; 3. 76-Bob Bare; 4. 34M-Jim Martz Jr.; 5. 3R-Duane Watson; 6. 72-Wayne Esbenshade; 7. 11-Jim Rost (DNF); 8. 33-Jeff Allen (DNF); 9. B52-Mike Walls (DNF). No Time
3rd Heat (8 Laps/6 to qualify) - 1. 2-Dan Zechman; 2. 39-Wayne Dutterer; 3. 81-Mike Zeigler, Sr.; 4. 1-Neil Smith; 5. 61-Mike Ciezobka; 6. 14-Chet McCormick; 7. 31-Ron Shultz; 8. 20-Sam Gallagher; 9. 3-Mike Gladfelter (DNF). Time - 2:49.04
Consolation (6 Laps/6 to qualify) - 1. 31-Ron Schultz; 2. 20-Craig Wagaman (Re-qualified in Sam Gallagher's car after mechanical problems sidelined his No.30 thundercar); 3. X-Bernie Beard; 4. 3-Mike Gladfelter; 5. 8-Mike Gladfelter II; 6. 33-Jeff Allen; 7. 8B-Doug Brown; 8. 37-Frankie Dee; 9. B52-Mike Walls (DNF); 10. 11-Jim Rost (DNF). No Time