Central Pennsylvania weekend report 2002-04-29

Todd Shaffer stops Gumout series regulars at Williams Grove. Todd Shaffer rode the rim to perfection en route to a $5000 victory in the 30-lap World of Outlaws sanctioned Gumout Series event Friday night at Williams Grove Speedway. Shaffer ...

Todd Shaffer stops Gumout series regulars at Williams Grove.

Todd Shaffer rode the rim to perfection en route to a $5000 victory in the 30-lap World of Outlaws sanctioned Gumout Series event Friday night at Williams Grove Speedway.

Shaffer passed race-long leader Sean Michael on the 12th lap and never was seriously challenged the rest of the way en rout to his first win of 2002.

"We drew the last pill in the bag tonight and we were the last ones to go out for time trials," said Shaffer upon exiting his Gary and Patty Beam Leiby's Mobile Homes Sales No.88 sprinter in victory lane. "But a lot of guys had motor troubles and stuff and through a turn of events we started on the front row of the heat race and ended up here."

"I've got to thank Don Ott for the engine...we were fighting an over-heating problem all night and found it right before the feature and he got right down in the mud with our guys and helped change the water pump and made it possible. I'm really glad to get this first one under our belt this year."

Sean Michael took the lead at the drop of the green with Keith Kauffman and Shaffer in tow. Kauffman's night ended with mechanical problems on the fifth lap putting Shaffer, who started fourth, into a challenging position.

Michael was glued to the bottom of the race track and clearly had the fastest groove during the early laps. Shaffer never came off the cushion and began to reel in the leader. Michael never saw him coming until it was too late. Shaffer drove by on the 12th lap. Before Michael could change his line to chase the new leader, Shaffer had checked out.

"I was just saving my car early," said Shaffer. "It was a 30 lap race and when we had the first closed red I told my guys I was ok...I needed about 10 laps and the guys in front of us were going to be in trouble."

"Michael was already hazing his right rear tire eight laps in of the 30 lapper and I knew he was going to be in trouble. He was at a disadvantage. It's always easier to be sitting there in second. The leader has to try to guess where to go. Both our cars were good early and I got a break there and he didn't move up against the curb. It would have been different if he had moved up against the curb. My car was pretty locked down there at the end and it was 30 laps and we led when it was important."

Meanwhile a tremendous battle for third was raging between Shane Stewart, Dave Ely, Fred Rahmer, P. J. Chesson, Tyler Walker, who started 18th and Lance Dewease, who started 24th.

Ely finally got by Stewart one lap before Michael dropped out, but the four-car battle for third continued all the way to the finish.

With Ely closing on Shaffer at the end, Stewart, the Gumout Series point leader from Bixby, Oklahoma, managed to hold off Rahmer for third. Chesson completed the top five ahead of Dewease and Walker. Mike Erdley, Cris Eash and Todd Hestor rounded out the top ten.

Heats for the 36 cars were won by Erdley, Kauffman, Michael and Shaffer, Michael and Kauffman won the dashes and Brook Weibley won the B-main.

Brian Paulus shattered the one-lap track record in qualifications with a lap of 16.140.

Sean Michael was the first driver to break the old record of 16.510 set four weeks ago by the trio of Kasey Kahne, James Chesson and Greg Hodnett. But Paulus shaved more than three tenths of a second from Michael's lap of 16.481.

Michael set a new five-lap record in winning the dash with a time of 1:25.41. The old record of 1:28.62 was set by Fred Rahmer on May 5, 2000.

SATURDAY NIGHT RAIN-OUTS

Port Royal Speedway

Time trials, heats and the B-Main were completed in the World of Outlaw Gumout Series race at Port Royal Saturday night before rains forced officials to postpone the evenings' action.

The Gumout feature will now be run as part of a giant show Thursday night August 22. Two features will be presented with the feature line up already set for the first event from Saturday night's rained-out show.

Tyler Walker dominated the nights action by first breaking the 1-lap track record with a time of 15.652 seconds. Walker also set a new 8-lap record during his heat race at 2:07.620.

Walker set one more record breaking the five lap mark during the first dash with a time of 1:19.553.

Heats for the 31-car field were won by Walker, Shane Stewart, Todd Shaffer and Alan Cole. Dashes went to Walker and Stewart. The B Main was won by Cliff Brian.

Hagerstown Speedway

There were 49 late model signed in for the 50-lap Stanley Schetrompf Memorial, sanctioned by Renegade Dirt Car Racing Series, at Hagerstown Speedway Saturday night before the rains came. The Stanley Schetrompf Memorial will now be part of the 55th Anniversary Race on Friday night, July 12th.

Lincoln Speedway

Just after all four 358 sprint heats had been completed the rains came, forcing Lincoln Speedway officials to cancel the entire program of super sprints, 358 sprints and thundercars, which also included the Williams Grove Old Timers. Over 100 cars were pitside for the canceled evening's activities. Rain checks from the canceled April 27th show will be honored for face value for the next three races.

Heats for the 48 "358" sprints on hand were won by Mike Bittinger, Dan Dietrich, Greg Leiby, and Tony Strine. Next weekend Lincoln Speedway kicks off the special month of May with the invasion of the All Star Circuit of Champion Sprinters on Saturday, May 4th.

Silver Spring Speedway

Saturday night rains forced Silver Spring Speedway to postpone there super sportsman and ARDC Midget features on Saturday night.

The sportsman feature will now be run on Wednesday night, July 3, as part of the Pennsylvania sprint car speedweek program. Any fans holding a rain check from the postponed program will receive $5 off general admission for speedweek.

The ARDC feature will be run on May 18.

Heat races for the 64 sportsman were won by Dave Neuman, Larry Jackson, Frankie Herr, Chad Jumper and Paul Miller. Craig Morrow and Pat Cannon won the consolations.

Heat races for the 20 ARDC Midgets were won by Bryan Kobylarz and Ray Bull.

Selinsgrove Speedway

Early and mid-week rains combined with efforts to re-condition the speedway surface forced officials to postpone this weekend's Pack The Track II and Jan Opperman Memorial events at Selinsgrove Speedway.

Pack The Track II, featuring free general admission for race fans, has been rescheduled for Saturday, May 4 at 7 p.m. The Jan Opperman Memorial for 410 Sprint Cars and Super Sportsman will be presented on Sunday, June 2.

-bill meyer-

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About this article
Series Sprint , Stock car
Drivers Kasey Kahne , James Chesson , Tyler Walker , Brian Paulus , Shane Stewart , Paul Miller , Bryan Kobylarz , Ray Bull
Teams Williams