Sprints: Tuscarora 50 at Port Royal by Ken Plotkin - Motorsport News International After biding his time for 44 laps, Fred Rahmer took command of the 30th Tuscarora 50 at Port Royal Speedway. A near-sellout crowd saw him move from third to ...
Sprints: Tuscarora 50 at Port Royal by Ken Plotkin - Motorsport News International
After biding his time for 44 laps, Fred Rahmer took command of the 30th Tuscarora 50 at Port Royal Speedway. A near-sellout crowd saw him move from third to first on the final restart, then pull out a comfortable lead to take the victory on the half mile dirt oval.
Action built early as thirty eight Super Sprints competed for 24 spots in the 50 lap, two segment feature. The track was fast and dusty. Heat #1 winner Todd Shaffer set a new eight lap record of 2:16.825, lowering the previous record of 2:18.665 by nearly two seconds.
The starting field was comprised of five transfers from each of four heat races, plus two tranfers from each of two consolation races. Entrants drew for heat starting positions. The top three positions from each heat drew for the front twelve starting positions in the feature. The starting field was:
94 Dave Blaney 69K Don Kreitz, Jr. 17E Cris Eash 88 Todd Shaffer 17 Alan Cole 55 Mike Wagner 2$ Tim Kuhn 4J Jeff Shepard 5G Rod George 29 Bill Brian 461 Lance Dewease 77 Fred Rahmer 1 Billy Pauch 1A Joey Allen 14 Troy Camp 8 Dan Dietrich 7 Barry Camp 30 Daryl Stimeling 66Z Steve Kenanell 16C Cliff Brian 77E Dave Ely 19 Rick Koenig 66H Dale Hammaker 45 Jeff Rohrbaugh
The feature began with Don Kreitz taking the lead from the outside pole. Shepard, Dewease and Rahmer began moving up toward the front, as several others in the top dozen traded positions. By lap 4, the leaders began lapping backmarkers. On lap 6, Jeff Shepard, who had gotten ahead of Shaffer for fourth, tangled with a lapped car on the front stretch. Mike Wagner's #55 flipped, bringing out the red flag. On the restart, the top ten were Kreitz, Blaney, Eash, Shaffer, Shepard, Cole, Rahmer, Dewease, B.Brian, and Pauch. Rahmer continued to advance through the field, reaching fourth place by the end of the first 25 lap segment.
After a five minute break where crews could change anything except gears or tires, the restart order of lead-lap cars was:
69K Kreitz 94 Blaney 77 Rahmer 88 Shaffer 4J Shepard 1 Pauch 461 Dewease 29 B. Brian 1A Allen 17 Cole 19 Koenig 16C C. Brian 30 Stimeling 45 Rohrbaugh 17E Eash
Eash had been in fourth place at the break, but was moved to the rear when he had to change a tire. T. Camp (14) and Hammaker (66H) were still running, but one and two laps down, respectively.
On the start of the second 25 lap segment, Rahmer went under Blaney and the two ran down the backstretch side by side. Rahmer nosed ahead as they entered turn 3. They were side by side again coming out of four, and Blaney was firmly back in second as they accelerated down the front stretch.
Over the next dozen laps Joey Allen moved from ninth to fifth. There were few successful passes among the rest of the field, but many "almost" passes and good side by side action. At one point Blaney got beside Kreitz and nosed ahead, but Kreitz repassed and kept the lead by the end of the lap.
The red flag came out on lap 38 as Joey Allen got upside down in turn 2. Allen was not hurt, but his run to the front (he was fifth at the time) was over.
On the restart, Kreitz moved out well, pulling out about half a dozen lengths on second place Blaney, with Rahmer, Shaffer, Pauch, Shepard, Dewease, B. Brian and Cole following on the lead lap. During the next few laps the field strung out, and it looked as if Kreitz would walk away with the win and all the lap money. On lap 44, Shepard rolled to a stop on the back stretch with a flat left rear tire, setting up a final restart.
As the field approached the restart, Rahmer dropped back slightly to get a slight jump on the two cars ahead of him. When the green came out, Kreitz's car pushed up slightly, giving Rahmer the opening he was looking for. He moved around Blaney on the outside entering turn 1. He moved inside Kreitz along the back stretch, and took command by the end of the lap. Once in front, he pulled out a lead of nearly half a straightaway by the checkered flag.
After the race, Rahmer said that he felt fortunate to have won. Starting from twelfth, he wanted to save his tires until the opportunity came up. He said that his car was "absolutely perfect", and that he could run a lane and a half off the top.
Kreitz said that on the last restart his car pushed up. The track "started to get a little grippy there, and I just hit it wrong." Although disappointed at the final outcome, he said that he "just got beat; that's all we can say".
Blaney was pleased with his third place finish. He said that early in the race he just rode behind Kreitz, and tried to get it straight. He said that he just did not get a good restart on the last restart.
Heat and consolation results (transfers):
Heat 1: Heat 2:
88 Todd Shaffer 461 Lance Dewease 17 Alan Cole 55 Mike Wagner 77 Fred Rahmer 29 Bill Brian 1 Billy Pauch 1A Joey Allen 7 Barry Camp 30 Daryl Stimeling
Heat 3: Heat 4:
17E Cris Eash 69K Don Kreitz, Jr. 5G Rod George 2$ Tim Kuhn 4J Jeff Shepard 94 Dave Blaney 14 Troy Camp 8 Dan Dietrich 66Z Steve Kenanell 16C Cliff Brian
Consolation 1: Consolation 2:
77E Dave Ely 19 Rick Koenig 66H Dale Hammaker 45 Jeff Rohrbaugh
Feature Results (50 laps):
77 Fred Rahmer 69K Don Kreitz, Jr. 94 Dave Blaney 88 Todd Shaffer 1 Billy Pauch 461 Lance Dewease 19 Rick Koenig 29 Bill Brian 17 Alan Cole 4J Jeff Shepard 30 Daryl Stimeling 16C Cliff Brian 45 Jeff Rohrbaugh 66H Dale Hammaker 1A Joey Allen 17E Cris Eash 14 Troy Camp 66Z Steve Kenanell 5G Rod George 77E Dave Ely 2$ Tim Kuhn 55 Mike Wagner 8 Dan Dietrich 7 Barry Camp
Ken Plotkin - Motorsport News International