David Reininger - Motorsport News International Mechanicsburg, PA (September 4, 1998) - Cris Eash led 600 feet of tonight's 25 lap sprint car race at Williams Grove Speedway, but it was the last 600 of feet of the race. Polesitter Todd Hesstor...
David Reininger - Motorsport News International
Mechanicsburg, PA (September 4, 1998) - Cris Eash led 600 feet of tonight's 25 lap sprint car race at Williams Grove Speedway, but it was the last 600 of feet of the race. Polesitter Todd Hesstor led the first twenty four laps before Eash took the lead off the fourth turn of the last lap to capture his third victory of the season at the famed half mile oval.
"I've never got three wins in one season here, so we're real happy to be here," Eash said from victory lane.
Eash, who was feeling a bit under the weather, played down his role in what was one of the most exciting races of the season in Central Pennsylvania. "I wasn't really going anywhere. I was kind of sitting there, really wasn't making any ground on the guys in front of me," said Eash. "Sean Michaels kind of stuck his nose on the bottom and I could see that he was getting a pretty good drive off the corners. I thought I ought to go down there and try it. I knew I had to slide him to get him on the last corner and that's what we did."
What Eash didn't know was that Don Kreitz Jr. made a late charge to the front, catching the leading pair as they took the checkered flag side by side. The track came to the No. 69 car late in the race as Kreitz enjoys the hard slick tracks.
Todd Hesstor drove flawlessly at the start enjoying a comfortable lead after two laps. Eash started eighth and with two rows of big guns behind him, including Lance Dewease, Don Kreitz, Todd Shaffer and Fred Rahmer, the race promised to be a good one.
But the promise faded when three consecutive yellows stopped the race with two laps completed. First, Dave Haight stopped and was pushed to the pits. Then Todd Shaffer slipped out of gear, no start. On the second restart, Shawn Keen spun out of third place and nearly collecting the field. It was beginning to look like it might be a long night at the Grove.
But a promise is a promise, and when the green fell the next time, what ensued was some of the finest racing seen in these parts in a long time.
Great battles were being waged all through the field while Hesstor resumed his dominant position at the point. Rahmer, Kreitz and Johnny Mackison fought just outside the top five. By lap seventeen, Eash had moved into fourth behind Jamie Chesson.
With five laps to go, Hesstor started to slip coming off the turns. Dan Dietrich, running in second, was not able to capitalize as Hesstor still managed a good run down the straights. Two laps later, Eash took second with a move that made it clear that he was going to the front. But Hesstor held him off.
Into three and four on the last lap, Eash dove low putting the slide job on Hesstor to take the lead through turn four. Eash used all the track coming out of four and Hesstor tried to return the favor by diving under Eash as he slid up to the wall. It was Eash by half a car length over Hesstor at the checkered with Kreitz trying to get his nose for a chance at second.
Dan Dietrich finished fourth with seventeen year old Jamie Chesson taking fifth place. Rounding out the top ten were Rahmer, Mackison, Michael, Dewease and Mike Wagner.
The Sportsman cars were on the card with the sprint cars tonight. Sportsman heats were won by Frankie Herr, Bobby Weaver, Mark Smith and Steve Cannon. Dave Berkheimer and Bob Fannasy won the consolation race and Mark Smith won the 20-lap feature event for the Sportsman.
Sprint Heat One Results (10 laps/6 qualify): 1. 77-Fred Rahmer, 2. 8-Dan Dietrich, 3. 461-Lance Dewease, 4. 22-Jamie Chesson, 5. 2w-Jesse Wentz, 6. 51-Karl Baker, 7. 623-Todd Bertolini, 8. 3-Bob Bennett DNS, 9. 25-Todd Gracey DNS. Time: 3:08.84
Sprint Heat Two Results: 1. 88m-Sean Michael, 2. 65-Johnny Mackison Jr., 3. 69-Don Kreitz Jr., 4. 7m-Todd Hesstor, 5, 77t-Jimmy Burns, 6. 07-Jeff Rohrbaugh, 7. 10n-Dave Haight, 8. 12w-Troy Fraker DNF, 9. 60 Bernie Lemaster DNF. Time: 3:10.30
Sprint Heat Three Results: 1. 55-Mike Wagner, 2. 88-Todd Shaffer, 3. 17e-Cris Eash, 4. 53-Shawn Keen, 5. 10-Len Thompson, 6. 76-P.J. Chesson, 7. 92a-Jon Armstrong, 8. X-Bobby Weaver DNF, 9. i07-Mark Coldren DNS. No Time Sprint Consi (10 laps/6 qualify) 1. Haight, 2. Weaver, 3. Armstrong, 4. Lemaster, 5. Bertolini, 6. Coldren, 7. Fraker, 8. Gracey DNF, 9. Bennett DNF.
Sprint Feature (25 laps): 1. Eash ($3,000), 2. Hesstor, 3. Kreitz, 4. Dietrich, 5. Jamie Chesson, 6. Rahmer, 7. Mackison, 8. Michael, 9. Dewease 10. Wagner, 11. Thompson, 12. Rohrbaugh, 13. Shaffer, 14. P.J. Chesson, 15. Wentz, 16. Keen, 17. Weaver, 18. Coldren, 19. Armstrong, 20. Burns, 21. Bertolini, 22. Lemaster, 23. Baker, 24. Haight