Hodnett continues banner year with third of season at Lincoln; Chris Coyle goes wire-to-wire in URC feature; Walls wins second of year in Thundercars. ABBOTTSTOWN, PA, 6/15/02 - Proud Pennsylvania Posse racer Greg Hodnett completed his third ...
Hodnett continues banner year with third of season at Lincoln; Chris Coyle goes wire-to-wire in URC feature; Walls wins second of year in Thundercars.
ABBOTTSTOWN, PA, 6/15/02 - Proud Pennsylvania Posse racer Greg Hodnett completed his third two-win weekend of the season in impressive style Saturday night in winning the 25-lap super sprint feature at Lincoln Speedway.
Hodnett, who started seventh, passed a determined Bobby Weaver on the 18th lap and then drove away from the best Central Pennsylvania has to offer for a second night in-a-row to earn his third win of the season at the Pigeon Hill's oval.
"Bobby (Weaver) has been running good," said Hodnett on his battle for the lead with the former Lincoln champ, "He did a great job, we just happen to get by him there right before the yellow came out...I could still hear him there towards the end. I was just trying to be careful and not do anything stupid."
"The Apple Chevrolet/Cars by Dealers Team has been working hard all week. We were struggling there a little bit about a month ago, and kind of came onto some things with the VRP Shocks, Hoosier Tires, Don Ott Engines, and Maxim Chassis, a good combination that's worked out really well for us lately."
Weaver, who started fifth, passed rookie polesitter and race-long leader Chappy Knaack for the lead in the third and forth turns following a ninth lap caution restart, and looked good enough to pick up his first Lincoln win since 1996.
But Hodnett was on a mission following his win the night before at Williams Grove Speedway. The Memphis, Tennessee commuter moved into the top five by the second lap, passed fourth-starting Niki Young for fourth on the third lap, and then got by outside polesitter Glenndon Forsythe on the fifth lap to move into third behind race-leading Chappy Knaack and Weaver.
Weaver erased Knaack's 1.10-second lead as they headed into lapped traffic on the sixth lap, and took the lead following a caution restart on the ninth lap for a spinning Pat Cooper.
Hodnett then drove around Knaack into second following a 10th-lap restart, and tried his best to get around the Hellam speedster.
Weaver was able to use his many years of Lincoln experience to hold off the former Outlaw through the middle stages of the race, which saw several cautions and red flags slow the racing action.
Hodnett was able to finally mount his charge two laps after a 16th-lap restart to pass Weaver for the lead on the backstretch of the 18th lap. After that, he ran away from the field, as Weaver held off both Fred Rahmer and Lance Dewease for second over the closing laps. Johnny Mackison, Jr. completed the top five, with Glenndon Forsythe, Niki Young, Steve Siegel, Chris Knopp, and Brook Weibley rounding out the top ten.
The 2.9-second win was Hodnett's career fourth at Lincoln, and his eighth overall win of 2002.
"It sure helps pay the mortgage, I can tell you that much!" said a happy Hodnett when asked about his three two-win weekends this year. And he had kind words for the Lincoln regulars.
"These guys here can win anywhere in the country," said Hodnett referring to the competition here in Central Pennsylvania.
When asked about the cover of the recent Sprint Car and Midget magazine which included the teaser "Outlaw or Posse?", Hodnett stated matter-of-factly, "For those listening to SCN Radio on the Internet from Charlotte, you know we're 'Posse,' of course."
"We made a lot of changes," said Hodnett on the team's success this season from last. "The guys have just worked really hard...it starts from the top and Bob (Stewart) our car owner wanted results and he made some changes in the program that's kind of trickled down. So we've just been very fortunate to be on a pretty decent roll here and have a good combination and hopefully we can keep it up throughout the summer."
Doug Esh was uninjured in a scary crash on turn three of the ninth lap when Cris Eash lost a rear end while running fifth and Esh hit the pieces and flipped entering the turn. Both drivers were done for the night.
Heats for the 24 super sprints were won by Forsythe, Eash, and Hodnett.
Wilmington, Delaware's Chris Coyle started on the pole and led every lap to claim his first win of the year in the 25-lap URC sprint car feature. Two-time 410 Lincoln winner Dave Ely came from 11th starting spot to edge defending champ Mike Haggenbottom for second at the end, with Dave McGough and Steve Siegel completing the top five. URC points leader and former Lincoln champ Billy Brian, Jr. came from his 21st starting spot to cross sixth at the finish.
The race was marred by several crashes, including a seven-car pileup which eliminated Tim Hogue and Scott Pursell on lap two.
Heats for the 40 URC Sprinters on hand were won by Brett Romano, George Suprick, Gary Gollub, and Tim Hogue. Todd Rittenhouse Jr. won the C-Feature while Lance Dewease won the B-Feature, but was unable to report out for the feature.
Fred Rahmer flipped in his heat and was unable to report out for the C Main.
Mike Walls grabbed the lead from Doug Devilbiss on lap four and led the rest of the way to score his second win of the year in the 20-lap thundercar feature. Walls was running away from the field when a caution flag with two laps to go bunched up the field. He then survived heavy pressure and some contact with last week's feature winner Neil Smith on the backstretch of the final lap to pull out the win, with Craig Wagaman crossing second and Smith rebounding to finish third. Completing the top five were Steve Clabaugh and Duane Watson.
Clabaugh's fourth place finish, combined with Bernie Beard's 22nd place finish, catapulted Clabaugh into the points lead for the first time this year, erasing a 90-point deficit and emerging with a 50-point advantage.
Heats for the 26 thundercars were won by Devilbiss, Randy Zechman, and Walls, with Ken Berwager winning the consolation.
Next Saturday night, June 22nd, the super sprint and thundercar regulars will be joined by the Silver Spring Limited Late Models for the second time this season. Gates will open at 5:30 PM, with warm-ups at 7 PM, and the first heat taking the green at 7:30 PM.