Central Pennsylvania weekend summary 2002-10-05

RAHMER WINS THIRD STRAIGHT KENNY WELD MEMORIAL ABBOTTSTOWN, PA, 10/5/02 - For the past six years, Lincoln Speedway has belonged to Fred Rahmer. And for those who thought Lance Dewease would sweep the season finales at all four Central ...

RAHMER WINS THIRD STRAIGHT KENNY WELD MEMORIAL

ABBOTTSTOWN, PA, 10/5/02 - For the past six years, Lincoln Speedway has belonged to Fred Rahmer.

And for those who thought Lance Dewease would sweep the season finales at all four Central Pennsylvania tracks or Greg Hodnett might win his 20th race of the year before heading to Charlotte to take on the World of Outlaws next weekend, he removed any doubt.

Driving the last 17 laps without brakes, Rahmer pulled the slider on Dewease in turn three of a 36th-lap restart to grab the lead and win his 10th feature of the year in the Pigeon Hills. It marked the sixth straight year that Rahmer's win total has reached double digits at Lincoln, and came exactly one year after Rahmer announced in victory lane that he was leaving the Hamilton Motorsports team in the same race - the Kenny Weld Memorial.

"Kenny Weld changed racing and we were very fortunate to have him in our area," said Rahmer on the race's namesake. "We've had a lot of great racers here, but I don't know whether there were any that was ever better."

"He was an unbelievably intelligent man and a great racer. It's nice to win a race in his honor."

"If you get going on that, it don't mean nothing until you almost don't get it," said Rahmer on getting his 10th Lincoln win. "It would be hard to start over on that streak so I wanted to keep that one going."

Dewease, who had already won the Selinsgrove National Open, the Port Royal Tuscarora 50, and the Williams Grove National Open, started on the outside of the front row and assumed the lead when polesitter and race-long leader Sean Michael was collected by a spinning Doug Esh on the third turn of the 18th lap.

Rahmer, who started eighth, passed fast time trialer Todd Hestor to enter the top five on lap four, and was running there when Greg Hodnett lost a rear end on the backstretch while running third on the 11th lap. During the caution, fourth place Cris Eash pulled into the pits, advancing Rahmer from fifth to third. Michael's misfortune on the 18th lap put Dewease and Rahmer first and second. Michael then tipped onto his side trying to avoid a spinning Johnny Mackison five laps later. That's when Rahmer lost his brakes. In fact, he had to drive into the guardrail after the red came out to stop for the fuel stop on the 23rd-lap red.

"We lost our brakes about 20 laps into the race and it tore the caliper off," said Rahmer on not having brakes through the second half of the race. "We were very fortunate Hodnett had trouble, Cris (Eash) had trouble and I guess it was just our night...and getting it there at the end made it all the better."

"I was ready to pull in under that one red. I had to run into the fence to stop."

Dewease looked unbeatable after pulling away from Rahmer on the 23rd and 24th-lap restarts, and held a 2.71-second lead over the Lincoln champ by the 33rd lap. But a 36th-lap caution for Josh Wells (who came a stop on the backstretch while running tenth), gave Rahmer another shot at the leader. Rahmer took to the top side of turns one and two, then dove to the inside of the backstretch, setting up his patented third turn Lincoln pass for the lead.

From there, things went from bad to worse for Dewease, who lost second spot to Keith Kauffman at the checkered flag. Brook Weibley and the Hard Charger Award winner Bobby Weaver completed the top five, with Chris Knopp, Steve Siegel, Hard Luck Award winner Michael, Jeff Rohrbaugh, and Darren Eash completed the top-10.

Rahmer's took the checkered 2.05 seconds over Kauffman for his third straight Kenny Weld Memorial win, and fifth Weld win overall.

The only person happier than Rahmer may have been car-owner Joe Harz, who was very animated in victory lane.

"What a season, it feels good to beat the red car...that's all I live for!" said Harz. "They may have everything they want to race, but this little team here can kick their ass when things are right at Lincoln Speedway!"

"We're having a ball, we're going to be here next Friday night, and we're going to kick the red car's ass, and all next year here at Lincoln too!!"

Hanover's Jeremy Brown ended years of frustration by capturing his first career thundercar victory in the 20-lap nightcap.

Brown, who started fifth, fell in behind early race leader Doug Devilbiss, Dave Highlands, and Mike Johnson and quickly moved into second after a second lap tangle eliminated Highlands and sent Johnson back through the pack. Brown and 14th-starting Steve Clabaugh then teamed up and took off after Devilbiss over the next 12 laps. Devilbiss then made one mistake entering the third and fourth turns on the 14th lap, slipped high, allowing Brown to slip under and into the lead. Clabaugh then got around Devilbiss as well on the next lap and quickly closed on the leader's bumper.

A caution with two laps to go set up a dash to the checkered with Brown trying to keep three-time Lincoln winner Clabaugh behind. Clabaugh pulled alongside Brown in the final turns, but Brown was able to keep his car in front by .31 seconds to pick up his inaugural thundercar win.

Clabaugh settled for second, with Devilbiss third, Chet McCormick fourth, and Nat Tuckey fifth.

OTHER WEEKEND RACING ACTION

ECKERT WINS SECOND STRAIGHT UDTRA TITLE

Steve Shaver of Parkersburg, WV won his second straight "Big Kahuna" 75 Saturday night for the United Dirt Track Racing Association Pro DirtCar Series at The Rock Allegheny County Speedway in Cumberland, MD. But the big news was that York's Rick Eckert finished sixth, and in the process clinched his second straight UDTRA Championship with one race left.

Shaver led all 75 laps after starting from the pole position and was never seriously challenged to pick up the $15,000 top prize. Mike Balzano of Parkersburg, WV survived an early race tangle, and stayed close to the leader, but had to settle for second and Todd Andrews finished third.

Eckert's sixth-place finish in the Raye Vest Rocket/Cornett Taurus gave him enough points going into the season ending Hardee's Shootout at Dixie Speedway in Woodstock, GA on October 11-12 to clinch his second straight UDTRA Championship, only the second driver in series history to win back-to-back titles.

"It was great to wrap up the championship close to home," Eckert said. "A lot of friends and family are here tonight, and even a couple of guys that work in our shop, but don't travel with us, are here watching us race for the first time this year. I wasn't really trying to worry about the championship during the race and it really didn't sink in until we crossed the scales. I'm also glad we wrapped it up here because Dale (McDowell) is really tough at Dixie."

BROOKENS TAKES FIRST COORS NATIONAL OPEN/GOBRECHT MEMORIAL

Jimmy Brookens picked up his first win of the season, and it was a big one, as he led every lap en route to the win in the 13th Annual Coors National Open Kevin Gobrecht Memorial for 600cc micro-sprints at Trail-Way Speedway Saturday night.

Terry Schaeffer took his third win of the season in the 250cc micro-sprint portion of the 13th Annual Coors National Open Kevin Gobrecht Memorial.

Both 250 and 600cc races were in memory of the late Kevin Gobrecht whom was a big winner in micro-sprints before launching his storied super sprint career.

FRY HOLDS OFF LOCKE FOR SECOND SPORTSMAN WIN OF THE SEASON

J.R. Fry survived a two-lap shootout with six-time track champion Howie Locke to win his second feature of the season, and eighth of his career, in the final super sportsman race of the season at Silver Spring Speedway Saturday night.

Fry took the checkered over Locke and 2002 track champion Frankie Herr.

Pat Cannon took the lead from Jim Shuttlesworth with an inside move in turn two to win the five-lap $500-to-win Cash Dash.

York's Carl Billet came from his 13th starting position to take the lead on the sixth lap and went on to score his third win of the season in the limited late model finale.

Scott McCann and Jeff Leiphart battled for positions and for the late model championship with Leiphart gaining 25 points by race end. But McCann still ended up 45 points ahead to record his first ever limited late model championship.

George Eash took the lead from Jeff Haag on the final lap to win his first street stock feature of the season at Silver Spring.

BOB BENNETT PICKS UP 410 SPRINT WIN IN DELAWARE

Lewisberry's Bob Bennett picked up the win in 410 sprint action at Delaware International Speedway in Delmar, DE, Saturday night. Spring Grove's Niki Young appeared to be on his way to his first win of 2002, but relinquished the lead to Bennett in the final stages of the race. Young settled for second and was followed by Mechanicsburg's Kevin Frey in third.

CURT MICHAEL TAKES FOURTH URC WIN OF 2002

Curt Michael of Ocean View, DE picked up the win in the 25 lap United Racing Club at Delaware International Speedway in Delmar, De for his fourth win of the season and the 16th of his career for the 1998 URC Champion.

Dave Ely of West Lawn finished second in the feature event and further padded his point lead to win the Taylor & Messick Delaware State Sprint Championship Series. Bill Brian Jr. continues to lead the URC Advance Auto Parts season long point series with just three racing events still on the URC schedule.

-bill meyer-

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About this article
Series Sprint , Stock car
Drivers Rick Eckert , Mike Johnson
Teams Williams