Ona: Race report

Guinn steals thunder at rain-soaked Ona. Ona, WV (6-1-02) by Wendy Wellman - In an amazing late race move, Chad Guinn passed by polesitter Jeff Speakman and local racer Ryan Rowe to take the lead with a lap and a half to go in the exciting ARCA...

Guinn steals thunder at rain-soaked Ona.

Ona, WV (6-1-02) by Wendy Wellman - In an amazing late race move, Chad Guinn passed by polesitter Jeff Speakman and local racer Ryan Rowe to take the lead with a lap and a half to go in the exciting ARCA Lincoln Welders Truck Series event at scenic Ona Speedway.

The Erie, Michigan driver was running at third when the caution was called out on lap 72 of the 75-lap, rain-shortened race. After the green was thrown, leaders Speakman and Rowe ran into trouble, causing a huge cluster of trucks in turn two. Guinn pulled forward unscathed, easily piloting the BFI-Northland Collision Ford to the finish line and earning yet another trip to victory lane.

"When we came down into the turn, Jeff (Speakman) was going into the corner so hard and so fast that he got into the side of the #5 truck, and moved them both up the race track," Guinn said. "When they both moved, I just didn't even look at them any more. I just looked straight ahead and went. I didn't even look to see if anyone was coming down on me or anything. We just got lucky. We got very, very lucky."

The win places the 2000 series rookie of the year high atop the championship points' chart with a 90-point lead over second place and Old Milwaukee Pole award winner Speakman, the driver of the Pennzoil-National Auto Lube Ford.

Grove City, Ohio veteran racer Jack Weethee brought home a stellar third place finish in the Den's Automotive-Weethee Builders Ford. He was followed closely by Speakman's teammate and Sidney, Ohio high-schooler Brandon Knupp, proving once again the rookie has the skills needed to finish up front in the Mark Knupp Muffler & Tire Ford.

After experiencing engine trouble at Illiana last weekend, Middletown, Ohio's Brett Oakley came back strong at fifth in the MAR-FLEX Products-Bales Motorsports Ford. 1999 series champion Bill Withers, Columbus, Ohio, grabbed sixth place and the Ed & Company Hard Charger award after a disappointing qualifying run landed the Mannings USA-Hall Electronics-Wachholz Engines Ford at 14th on the starting grid. West Virginia's own Rowe took seventh in the Ramada Inn Limited Ford of A.J. Pate's after leading for much of the race.

Fort Wayne, Indiana's Witwer Racing drivers Kyle Witwer, Kentucky victor Joe Wormcastle and Pete Wormcastle proved there was strength in numbers as they finished all in a row at eighth, ninth and 10th respectively. All three Hoosier trucks are sponsored by Witwer Construction, with P. Wormcastle also sponsored by Preferred Painting & Roofing.

A rash of misfortunate engine problems plagued the 20-truck field at Ona, with several trucks malfunctioning during practice and not even qualifying. Robbin Slaughter, John Kasmierski and Mark Otting all had valve and belt troubles with their ARCA trucks. Circumstances during practice resulted in Tully Esterline and his crew having to hustle to remove the cylinder head off of the #10 truck before they could even qualify.

The ARCA Lincoln Welders Truck Series makes its second trip this season to the Bluegrass State this Saturday, June 8 as they head to the brand new 3/8-mile of I-75 Speedway in Mount Vernon, Kentucky. Check out all the venue has to offer at www.i-75speedway.com.

Series Notes:

-Unbelievable! With yet another win in the ARCA Lincoln Welders Truck Series, Chad Guinn and his team take an enormous lead over two-time series champ Robbin Slaughter on the All-Time Winners List. With his victory at Ona on Saturday, Guinn can now claim a cool dozen wins since the inception of the traveling truck series in 1999. Other active drivers included on the list are Slaughter (8), and seven drivers with one each: Tully Esterline, Paul Hahn, John Kasmierski, Jeff Speakman, Jack Weethee, Joe Wormcastle, Bill Withers.

-The unofficial points standings in the ARCA Lincoln Welders Truck Series championship points race are: 1. Chad Guinn (715); 2. Jeff Speakman (625); 3. ®Brandon Knupp (615); 4. Joe Wormcastle (585); 5. Darren Jones, Brett Oakley, Kyle Witwer (575, tie); 8. Eddy Adams, Jack Weethee (550, tie); 10. Paul Hahn (545); 11. Pete Wormcastle (540); 12. Mark Otting, Bill Withers, (525, tie); 14. Robbin Slaughter (510); 15. ®Kevin Reeb (500); 16. Tully Esterline (475); 17. John Kasmierski (470); 18. ®Steve Christman (385); 19. Stan Maitlen (300); 20. Jeff Quiet (275); 21. Phil Bozell, Ryan Rowe (220); 23. Jeff Wichmann (135).

-Young Brandon Knupp is running away with rookie points this season, sitting pretty at third place overall going into the ARCA Trucks fourth race of 2002 at I-75 . . . maybe it's that good-luck Barbie pillow the 16-year-old uses to sit on so he can see out the window of the #1 truck . . . unofficial rookie points standings are as follows: 1. Brandon Knupp (615); 2. Kevin Reeb (500); 3. Steve Christman (385).

-The evening before the race at Ona, two ARCA Lincoln Welders Truck Series competitors made an appearance at the Nitro Dodge dealership in nearby Nitro, West Virginia. John Kasmierski and his Pat & Dandy's Sports Pub-Mississippi Barbecue Sauce Ford Ranger and Tully Esterline and his Rev Up Racing-Rupp Seeds Chevy made the seven hour trek from the Toledo, Ohio-area on Friday to help promote opening day race festivities. They signed autographs and did live on-air interviews for a local radio station.

-It is a Ford-lovers dream in the ARCA Lincoln Welders Truck series, as the American make has claimed the top-spot in two of the first three races this season. (Joe Wormcastle won Kentucky Speedway in a Chevrolet.) A Ford truck won every single ARCA truck race during the 2001 season.


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Series ARCA
Drivers Brandon Knupp