Flat Rock: Race report

Flat Rock, Michigan (7-13-02) by Wendy Wellman Canton, Michigan driver Paul Hahn made a successful return to his home track of Flat Rock Speedway on Saturday night, earning the first Revenge Bodies Pole and Win award of the 2002 ARCA Lincoln ...

Flat Rock, Michigan (7-13-02) by Wendy Wellman Canton, Michigan driver Paul Hahn made a successful return to his home track of Flat Rock Speedway on Saturday night, earning the first Revenge Bodies Pole and Win award of the 2002 ARCA Lincoln Welders Truck Series season. Hahn led every lap of the exciting 100-lap event, successfully fending off any advances by 1999 series champion Bill Withers.

"When Withers got up to me a couple of times, my dad just told me he was gaining on me and I just stepped it up a notch," Hahn said. "I just had to work my way through all the lapped traffic as well as I could. From start to finish, the truck was awesome. I was able to keep it on the white line the whole race."

Hahn's father Rick is the crew chief for the Hahn's Collision-Certified First-Pate Mfg.-Fox Auto Parts Ford Ranger. The two have been racing together since Paul was just 11 years old. Flat Rock is the Hahns' home track, and they've shown they know their way around it.

"The truck was awesome all night," Rick Hahn said. "They way it started out was the way it finished. When Paul first started racing, he grew up at Flat Rock, driving street stocks here, then late models. He was the rookie of the year in the super late model series here in the late 90s. This is definitely a favorite track for him."

Veteran driver Jack Weethee of Grove City, Ohio, grabbed a strong second place finish in the Den's Automotive-Weethee Builders Ford, while another past Pro-4 racer, Bill Withers, took third in the Mannings USA-Hall Electronics-Wachholz Engines Ford. 2000-2001 series champ Robbin Slaughter of Columbus, Ohio brought home his best finish of the season at fourth place in the Carmen's Vacuum-NAPA Auto Parts Ford.

Pettisville, Ohio's Tully Esterline finally pulled the Rev Up-Rupp Seeds Chevy out of a slump this season, tallying a fifth place finish for his best performance of 2002. He was followed closely by the Pennzoil-National Auto Lube Ford of Piqua, Ohio's Jeff Speakman at sixth. The Preferred Painting & Roofing-Witwer Construction Chevy of Pete Wormcastle was the last truck on the lead lap at seventh place.

Darren Jones nabbed Ed & Company Hard Charger honors in the John Pierce Plumbing Ford for coming from 19th place on the starting grid all the way up to take eighth at the checkered. The Accurate Logistics Ford of Kevin Reeb, North Baltimore, Ohio, finished at ninth, while rookie Brandon Knupp grabbed 10th in the Sidney, Ohio-based Mark Knupp Muffler & Tire Ford.

This Saturday, the ARCA Lincoln Welders Truck Series packs their bags for a trip out east to Pennsylvania and the brand new Lake Erie Speedway 3/8-mile near Erie, Pennsylvania. To learn more about the speedway and see pictures of the track, check out www.lakeeriespeedway.com .

Post-race quotes:

Darren Jones: "It all started with last night when we finished sixth (at Dixie). I drove the last 13 laps one-handed because our fuel-pump switch went out and I had to hold it in the 'on' position and drive one-handed so I was glad to get sixth. We thought everything was good. We get here today and find out that the oil pump bracket was broken, so we had to take it off and drive it to Toledo to get it welded by Jerry Nemire today, so I missed all of practice and then qualified 19th. I just worked my way to the front, and got eighth. We were really happy with that, two top-10s on the weekend and the truck's in one piece."

Robbin Slaughter: "It was a good race, the main problem was just the lapped traffic. You don't want them to stay completely out of the way, but they need to keep along the bottom. Other than that, it was a fun race. It was fun to finally run up front. Two good finishes in one weekend, that was great for us. Now that we've got our feet back on the ground, now we're going to get back up front."

Marilyn Hahn (Paul's mom): "He did awesome tonight, he was passing like a trooper. He did great, this was so exciting!"

Brandon Knupp: "We didn't do too well tonight. We started off alright, but we got caught up in that early wreck and messed the front end up. That kind of hurt us- it gave us a vibration in the front end. Made the car start to push, and we went backwards. (Are you looking forward to going to Lake Erie next weekend?) Obviously, the bigger tracks are more of a strong suit for us, so we'll be ready to go next week."

Jeff Speakman: "We ended up sixth, and were running in third about halfway. The truck was really good in the beginning, it was too good. I knew it was going to get loose on us, and it did. About lap 50 or 60, it went really loose on us. If it would've been a 50-lap race, we may have had something for them, but about lap 60, it started going away on us. Tully (Esterline) had an awesome fast truck and if we would've got a caution flag there at the end, I think we would've had something for him."

Larry Guinn: "I guess it was about time for our good luck to run out. We had a problem with an O-ring that holds the oil filter onto the motor. We were oiling down the track, and we had to get off. Everybody has to have that one race."

Series Notes:

-Paul Hahn took his first win in ARCA Lincoln Welders Truck Series competition in 2001 at New Paris Speedway, a track the series is not revisiting this season. Active drivers included on the all-time series winners listing are Chad Guinn, with 13 (Dixie, Ona, Illiana 2002; Flat Rock, Kentucky, Lorain, LaSalle, 2001; Toledo, Plymouth, Flat Rock, Winchester, 2000; Owosso, Crystal, 1999); Robbin Slaughter, 8 (Chicago, Crystal, Toledo, 2001; Salem, Berlin, Toledo, Illiana, 2000; Toledo, 1999); Hahn, 2 (New Paris, 2001; Flat Rock, 2002); and with one each: Phil Bozell (Toledo, 2002), Tully Esterline (LaSalle, 1999), John Kasmierski (Thunderbird, 1999), Jeff Speakman (Shady Bowl, 1999), Jack Weethee (Illiana, 2001), Joe Wormcastle (Kentucky, 2002), Pete Wormcastle (I-75, 2002), Bill Withers (Shady Bowl, 2000).

- Unofficial rookie points standings: 1. Brandon Knupp (1440); 2. Kevin Reeb (1255).

Top-20 drivers in the ARCA Lincoln Welders Truck Series championship points race after Flat Rock are: 1. Chad Guinn (1660); 2. Pete Wormcastle (1515); 3. Brett Oakley (1495); 4. Darren Jones (1450); 5. Paul Hahn, Brandon Knupp, Jeff Speakman (1440); 8. Joe Wormcastle (1410); 9. Bill Withers, (1395); 10. Robbin Slaughter (1335); 11. Eddy Adams (1325); 12. Jack Weethee (1320); 13. Tully Esterline (1275); 14. Kevin Reeb (1255); 15. John Kasmierski (1215); 16. Mark Otting (1210); 17. Stan Maitlen (1035); 18. Kyle Witwer (725); 19. Steve Christman (660); 20. Phil Bozell (645).


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Series ARCA
Drivers Jerry Nemire , Brandon Knupp