Central Pennsylvania weekend recap 2002-06-02

CAREER FIRST FOR DOUG ESH IN LINCOLN SPRINTS Lancaster's Doug Esh took the lead at the drop of the green and never looked back in claiming his first career super sprint win at Lincoln Speedway Saturday night. The win turned around what had been...

CAREER FIRST FOR DOUG ESH IN LINCOLN SPRINTS

Lancaster's Doug Esh took the lead at the drop of the green and never looked back in claiming his first career super sprint win at Lincoln Speedway Saturday night. The win turned around what had been a dismal 2002 season for the team.

"With car owners like Dick, Leslie and Tom (Leach)...this was a long time coming really," said a happy Esh in victory lane, "I thought the car, equipment and motor was good enough to win, the weak link was me."

"We struggled pretty bad this year. Moon and Lance and the whole No.77 team really got us going to the point where we could actually race and stay in the front."

The front row stayed there the first 16 laps. Esh led from the pole, with outside front row starter Niki Young running second until veteran Bobby Weaver squeezed by for the runner-up spot on lap 17. By that time, Esh had a 1.14-second lead. Esh had increased the lead to more than two seconds by the time a caution came out for Josh Wells and Mike Rabold on turn two of the 20th lap.

It wasn't until late in the race that Lance Dewease began to advance, moving from his 12th starting spot into the top five on lap 19, assuming fourth when Bobby Weaver dropped out on lap 20, and then taking third from Steve Siegel on lap 21. Dewease passed Young for the runner-up spot on lap 23, but Esh drove away from Dewease and the rest of the field over the last two laps to score a 2.15-second win.

Siegel caught Young for third on the next-to-last lap, and 15th-starting Donnie Kreitz, Jr. passed Young for fourth on the final lap. Young settled for fifth, with Cris Eash, Fred Rahmer, Chris Knopp, Brook Weibley, and Todd Gracey completing the top ten.

"We led for a while and got to lapped traffic, and I saw the 17 car was in second. I thought maybe it might be Cris Eash, because he knows how to get around here. The track actually started laying rubber down and we got going real good on the bottom in one and two. But I just couldn't get through three and four on the top, so I moved to the bottom. I told Dick tonight before I rolled out that 'We're going to be really good...or really bad.' We were really good."

Carlisle's Greg Leiby started on the pole and led every lap for his first Lincoln win of the year in the 20-lap "358" sprint feature. With the win, Leiby became the fifth different winner in five "358" races in the Pigeon Hills this year.

Craig Wagaman claimed his first win of the year in a thrilling thundercar feature that saw three-wide racing for the lead down the backstretch of the next-to-last lap. Wagaman, who led laps 11 through 14 and the final three laps, took control exiting the fourth turn of lap 24, and drove to a .59-second win over Steve Clabaugh and Mike Zeigler Jr..

OTHER AUTO RACING ACTION

HESTOR, CAMPBELL, BECOME FIRST REPEAT WINNERS AT PORT ROYAL

Todd Hestor became Port Royal's first repeat super sprint feature winner of the 2002 season in edging out teammate Keith Kauffman in the 25 lap feature.

Dave Hahn started on the outside pole and led the first six laps before Hestor took the lead. Hestor then survived several caution restarts the rest of the way to pick up the win over Kauffman, Tim Kuhn, last week's feature winner Mark Smith, and Alan Cole.

Steve Campbell of Danville started on the pole and led every lap to win the 25 lap Late Model Championship race for his second win of the 2002 season and John Heane won his first ever pro stock feature event to become the fifth different winner in as many races at the Juniata County racing facility.

NEUMAN BECOMES FIRST SILVER SPRING SPORTSMAN REPEAT WINNER

Eight different winners in as many races had driven to victory at Silver Spring Speedway so far this season. But Saturday night the streak ended as Dave Neuman became the first two-time winner in the 25-lap super sportsman feature

Neuman started ninth and drove by Scott Snyder on the backstretch of lap 14 to take the lead and then drove away over the final 11 circuits to record the win over Rich Eichelberger and Jim Shuttlesworth.

Mechanicsburg's Scott McCann kept the streak alive in limited late model action as he became the fifth different winner in as many races.

Gerry Stutting Jr. picked up his third win of the season and Gary Johnston his first in twin 20 street stock features.

LAYTON WINS FIVE IN A ROW IN SELINSGROVE 358 SPRINT ACTION

On a night when the bounty on his head mounted to $900, Harrisburg's Chad Layton picked up a little extra money of his own by winning his fifth straight 358 sprint feature at Selinsgrove Speedway Saturday night.

Layton passed race-long leader Jon Smith late in the race and claimed an extra $750 bonus secretly posted by his brother Jimmy Layton for win over Smith, Kyle Purks, TJ Stutts and Bob Camilli.

Danville's Jeff Rine picked up his first win of the year in the late model feature for his 13th career win over Tony and Jimmy Adams.

Defending track champion Jake Buck took the at the halfway point and drove to his first win of the season to become the fourth different winner of the season in pro stock action.

Billy McNeal won the roadrunner feature for his second win of the season and Stew Wenrich and Lloyd Hockenberry won features for the Penn Marr Vintage Racecar division.

RAIN STOPS WILLIAMS GROVE

Friday night's super sportsman and sprint car races at Williams Grove Speedway were rained out. With the sportsman cars about to take to the speedway for their first qualifying heat a thunderstorm brought an abrupt halt to the night's activities.

The sportsman teams are now 0-6 in attempting to open their 2002 tour and were rained out for the second time this season at Williams Grove. They will return for their third try on July 12. The sprint cars will be back next Friday, June 7, when the late model stock cars will also be on the card.

GREG COVERDALE LEADS WIRE-TO-WIRE TO WIN URC FEATURE

Greg Coverdale of Milford, DE started on the pole and led wire-to-wire for his second win of the season, and the 48th of his career, in the 25 lap United Racing Club event at Delaware International Speedway in Delmar, DE Saturday night.

-bill meyer-

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About this article
Series Sprint , Stock car
Drivers John Gary
Teams Williams