Weekend race summary 2003-09-21

Lincoln's leading 2003 feature winner added another notch to his belt in claiming the 15th Annual Manufacturers Appreciation Race Saturday night at the Pigeon Hills oval. Eash, who started fourth in the inversion at the front of the feature...

Lincoln's leading 2003 feature winner added another notch to his belt in claiming the 15th Annual Manufacturers Appreciation Race Saturday night at the Pigeon Hills oval.

Eash, who started fourth in the inversion at the front of the feature field, grabbed the lead from outside front row starter and race-long leader Fred Rahmer at the start-finish line to end lap six, yielded to Rahmer on laps seven through nine, then took the lead for good with a low move in turns three and four of lap 10. From there, he held off all challengers for his sixth 410 sprint win of the year in the Pigeon Hills.

The first challenger was Greg Hodnett, who set fast time in a unique time trial format that saw nine different groups of cars run laps for time at the beginning of the racing program. Hodnett, who started sixth, caught Rahmer for second on lap 11 and was closing on Eash when he broke a nozzle and came to a stop on turn four of lap 16, ending his night.

The second challenger was Doug Esh, who assumed second for the restart after passing Rahmer for third on lap 13. Esh closed on the leader from laps 17 through 20 and was clearly the fastest car on the track when he spun behind a flipping Chris Knopp on turn two of lap 22.

Knopp made hard contact with the second turn wall and flipped violently end-over-end, and was complaining of chest and back pains and was transported to York Hospital for a check-up after the crash.

Esh rejoined the rear of the field for the restart and finished ninth. The third and fourth challengers were Rahmer and fifth-starting Lance Dewease, who assumed second and third for the 22nd-lap restart. But neither driver had anything for the former Lincoln champ, as Eash cruised to a 2.4-second win. The victory was Eash's 35th at Lincoln, moving him into a sixth-place tie with Johnny Mackison, Sr. on the all-time Lincoln win list.

Rahmer and 2003 champ Dewease crossed second and third, with Todd Shaffer and polesitter Todd Hestor completing the top five.

Rounding out the top ten were Keith Kauffman, Brook Weibley, Bobby Weaver, Esh, and Niki Young.

The Lincoln team of Dewease, Eash, Rahmer, Esh, and Young easily bested the Port Royal team of Shaffer, Kauffman, Hestor, Mike Erdley, and Adrian Shaffer in the Port Royal vs. Lincoln challenge. Based in feature finishes, the Lincoln drivers scored the challenge win for a second straight year by a score of 114-86 and split the $1,500 prize equally.

Hank and Denise Gentzler from Hank's Performance Products lined up more than $79,500 in manufacturers prizes and services which were awarded to the drivers who qualified for the feature event.

"Hank and Denise (Gentzler) do a really good job on this race. They work hard all year long making phone calls and getting all these companies to put up all these prizes," said Eash, who was one of four Central PA drivers featured in the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board's new poster focusing on the Pennsylvania Posse. Eash, Keith Kauffman, Greg Hodnett, and Lance Dewease are the drivers featured in a new poster unveiled at Lincoln Saturday. The poster says "The best drivers in the world don't drive after drinking."

"The fans just about wore my arm out signing all those posters, but it's all for a great cause and I just ask everyone to be careful and safe going home tonight. If you've been drinking, let somebody else drive."

Heats were won by Darren Eash, Adrian Shaffer, Lucas Wolfe and Weibley, with Kauffman returning from a flat tire while leading his heat to win the consolation.

Hodnett's fast time over the 37-car field was 13.079-seconds (103.219 MPH).

Gettysburg's Craig Wagaman simply out-classed the field by leading all 20 laps of the thundercar feature for his third win of 2003 at the Pigeon Hills oval.

Wagaman, who started fifth, passed six-starting Mike Zeigler Jr. exiting the fourth turn of the opening lap for the lead. Zeigler battled Wagaman the entire distance, and was pushing the newly-crowned Trail-Way Speedway Thundercar Champion through the turns on occasion in the first half of the race. But Wagaman was superior this night and raced away to his 16th career thundercar win at Lincoln.

Zeigler got above the cushion in the first and second turns on the 17th lap, losing several positions by the time he gathered his racer back under him. 12th-starting Steve Clabaugh took over the runner-up spot at that point and tried to close on the speedy Wagaman to no avail.

Wagaman took the checkered 2.21 seconds ahead for the win over Clabaugh, 10th-starting Neil Smith, Zeigler Jr., and then Mike Zeigler Sr.

OTHER WEEKEND RACING ACTION

DAVE NEUMAN BESTS CARMEN PERIGO JR. IN THRILLING LAST LAP PASS FOR SPORTSMAN 100 VICTORY

Carmen Perigo Jr. and Dave Neuman battled down to the wire in the 29th Annual Sportsman 100 Saturday night at Silver Spring Speedway. Neuman, the defending 2002 Sportsman 100 champion, made a dramatic last-lap pass in lapped traffic to score the $5,000 win.

Perigo had led every lap from the second starting spot, until the defending Sportsman 100 champion drove by on lap 68.

Two-time track champion Perigo returned the favor on the 87th lap and again appeared headed to victory. But on the final lap Perigo got boxed in by a lapped car in the first and second turns, allowing Neuman to slip under for the lead.

Perigo took one last shot at Neuman in the final turns to the checkered, but had to back off the throttle allowing Neuman to race ahead out of turn four and take the checkered flag by .075 seconds for the spectacular win.

Perigo earned $2,500 for second, plus $1,770 in lap money. for his second place effort.

With the win, Neuman became only the fifth driver to win two straight Sportsman 100s.

Carl Billet of York Springs dominated the 28th Annual Paul Orendo Memorial Late Model 50 to register his third career win in the 50 lap affair (1992-1993).

Billet started fifth and took the lead from Sterling Kinard on the fifth lap and drove away from the field and was never seriously en route to the win.

ISABEL POSTPONES HAGERSTOWN HUB-CITY NATIONAL 150 TO SEPT 27-28

Hurricane Isabel left its mark on the Hagerstown Speedway last Thursday night and Friday morning, leaving the speedway without electricity for the start of the Hub-City National 150. With light showers, a rain-soaked infield, and the possibility of power not coming back until the next day, officials postponed the longest race of the year for the ITSI late models until next weekend, Saturday and Sunday afternoon, September 27th & September 28th.

The Hub-City National 150 will begin on Saturday afternoon, September 28th at 12 noon with warm-ups for the ITSI late models. The late models will have times trials and qualifying heats immediately following warm-ups with the pure stocks having a complete program of qualifying and feature events after the late models are done. Gates will open at 10 A.M.

On Sunday, September 28th, warm-ups begin at 1 P.M. followed by a B-Main for the late models and a complete program of qualifying and feature events for the late model sportsman. Rounding out the two day program will be the 150-lap Hub-City National 150 paying $10,000 to the winner.

TJ STUTTS WINS SELINSGROVE 360 SPRINT CAR NATIONAL

TJ Stutts prevailed in a race-long battle with Blane Heimbach to win the 30 Lap 360 Sprint National at Selinsgrove Speedway Saturday night.

Stutts was scored as the leader of all 30 laps, but on several occasions Heimbach drove by Stutts in attempt to score his fifth win of the season at the Snyder County oval. But at the checkered Stutts was victorious by a mere .31 of a second in the season finale.

The win was Stutt's eighth career win at Selinsgrove.

Nate Kerstetter drove to his fourth win of the season in the pro stock feature. main event.

SCHATZ POSTS WIRE-TO-WIRE SHORT TRACK NATIONALS VICTORY

Donny Schatz led all 40 laps en route to posting his career-first One-third Mile Short Track Nationals championship at Eagle Raceway in Eagle, NE Saturday night. Schatz started on the pole and led all 40 laps to take the checkered 3.9 ahead of Paul McMahan for his 11th A-Feature win of 2003.

Western Pennsylvania racer Tim Shaffer dominated preliminary One-third Mile Short Track Nationals action Friday night, leading all 30 laps for his second opening night win of 2003.

AREA RAIN-OUTS

Rain forced cancellation of the 410 sprint and super sportsman show Friday night at Williams Grove Speedway, marking the 18th time that weather-related problems have halted racing at the Mechanicsburg half-mile in 2003. The super sportsman will return on Saturday, October 11, as part of the Fall Fest, a features only invitational event including 410 sprints, 358 sprints and limited late models.

Trail-Way Speedway was forced to cancel it's Friday night racing program as well due to the lack of electricity following Hurricane Isabel's visit to Central Pennsylvania.

Clinton County Speedway was forced to cancel it's Friday night racing program as well due to the elements.

LYNCH WINS RACE; KEMENAH WINS ALL STAR TITLE

Dale Blaney's misfortune was Ed Lynch, Jr.'s gain Saturday night at Mercer Raceway Park in Mercer in the All Star sprint car 40 lap Chuck Marsh Memorial feature. Blaney had a tire going down under a late race caution, forcing him pitside while leading with only three laps remaining, handing the lead and win to Lynch. With his fourth place finish, Chad Kemenah clinched his second consecutive All Star points championship.

LERNERVILLE ALL STAR SHOWED POSTPONED UNTIL 2004

Lernerville Speedway's All Star Circuit of Champions event scheduled for Friday night was washed out by Mother Nature. The feature will be made up as a part of an All Star program at Lernerville next season.

-bill meyer-

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About this article
Series Sprint , Stock car
Drivers Tim Shaffer , Donny Schatz , Paul McMahan , Lucas Wolf , Chad Kemenah , Neil Smith
Teams Williams