Billy Pauch led flag to flag in Saturday night's 30 lap feature event at Delaware International Speedway. Pauch won his heat race and started from the pole position in the feature. Pauch made a good start and was never seriously challenged for...
Billy Pauch led flag to flag in Saturday night's 30 lap feature event at Delaware International Speedway. Pauch won his heat race and started from the pole position in the feature. Pauch made a good start and was never seriously challenged for the lead.
Jesse Wentz started behind Pauch on the inside of the second row. Wentz dove into second at the start and tried to keep Pauch honest but the strong Davey Brown engine in the Zemco car allowed Pauch to pull away on the straights. Wentz drove a good race and held second place until two thirds distance when he was overtaken by the 461 Brickmobile of Lance Dewease. Wentz finished fourth.
The first yellow came early when Kevin Darling spun his e45 sprinter, collecting the 7s of Rick Schmelyun. Schmelyun ended up on his side but was unhurt. Judi Bates also spun her 121 in the vicinity of the incident.
Lance Dewease started tenth and made up a lot of ground early before facing fierce battles in the top five. Lance was eighth at the end of the first lap. On the second lap, Lance picked off Jeff Rohrbaugh, Becca Anderson and Mike Walter to take fifth place behind Fred Rahmer.
Mike Walter was aboard the #29 Weikert car while Bill Brian Jr. was away attending a wedding.
Early in the race, Pauch led comfortably with Wentz following in second. Tim Shaffer, in the Apple Chevrolet #12, held third place while under intense pressure from Fred Rahmer. Rahmer got by on lap ten and the yellow appeared one lap later.
Sean Michael spun in turn four, causing a short yellow while he was restarted.
Although Pauch had yet to cross the line completing lap eleven, the lap was scored by track officials.
When the cars were brought down to the green flag to resume racing another lap was scored. Even though Pauch led all 28 laps of the "30" lap feature, fans shouldn't be cheated by clicking off laps that were not run under green. More on this later.
When green replaced yellow, Dewease raced around Tim Shaffer to take fourth. Dewease held the position for two laps when Shaffer came back to return the favor. Shaffer managed to hold Lance off for two tours before Lance took the position on lap 15. Lance immediately went to work on Rahmer in third.
Rahmer gave Lance a good battle but Rahmer's car started to fade by lap twenty. Dewease passed Rahmer on lap nineteen and Tim Shaffer followed two laps later.
Dewease and Shaffer continued their march to the front. Jesse Wentz tried to hold off the pair but Lance took second on lap twenty four, four laps from the end. One lap later, Shaffer passed Wentz to finish third.
Becca Anderson ran a strong race finishing eighth. Becca started fifth, and ran sixth until Jeff Rohrbaugh passed her at half distance. Rohrbaugh, who was recently released from the Swope #45, put in a guest appearance behind the wheel of the Thompson #10 finishing sixth. Anderson finished eighth after being passed on the last lap by Sean Michael.
Delaware International Speedway is a wonderful place to race. The track is fast and wide. There is plenty of racing room and the surface provides plenty of traction for side by side racing. The track's lighting is good. The teams pit outside turns three and four allowing great sightlines for the fans. Even the food is is good at the concession stand.
But the officiating left something to be desired. As I pointed out earlier the 30 lap sprint feature actually only ran 28 laps. This wasn't the only incident of the evening.
In heat two, despite being the leader, Tim Shaffer was shown neither the white nor checkered flag upon completing the last two laps. Instead, the yellow flew for an incident in turn three. Shaffer got a good jump on the restart on lap nine of the eight lap race.
The modified race had the same lap counting procedures. Twice I saw the lap counter click off laps as the field came down to take a restart.
It doesn't get better.
One race was restarted with a safety truck still on the course. Another incident saw two marshalls waving yellow flags while the lights around the track stayed green. When the 7s of Rick Schmelyun got on its side, the red was not shown and safety crews approached the scene with cars still circulating on the track.
All the regular sprint car tracks are closed for the season. Even if you're the only show in town, there's still no excuse for running races the way they were last Saturday night at Delaware International.
Heat One Results (8 laps/8 qualify) Heat Two Results (8 laps/8 qualify)
1. 1 Billy Pauch 1. 12 Tim Shaffer 2. 2w Jesse Wentz 2. 77 Fred Rahmer 3. 18a Becca Anderson 3. 121 Judi Bates 4. 29 Mike Walter 4. 10 Jeff Rohrbaugh 5. 77e Dave Ely 5. 461 Lance Dewease 6. e45 Kevin Darling 6. 88 Sean Michael 7. 6 Curt Michael 7. 07 Dave Haight 8. 25e Jon Eldreth 8. 66h Dale Hammaker
1. 1 Billy Pauch ($3,000) 2. 461 Lance Dewease 3. 12 Tim Shaffer 4. 2w Jesse Wentz 5. 77 Fred Rahmer 6. 10 Jeff Rohrbaugh 7. 88 Sean Michael 8. 18a Becca Anderson 9. 6 Curt Michael 10. 25e Jon Eldreth 11. 3 Bob Bennett 12. 66 Dale Hammaker 13. 79 Brian Eichelberger 14. 07 Dave Haight 15. 29 Mike Walter 16. 77e Dave Ely 17. 54 Ted Baker 18. 34 Al DeAngelis Jr. 19. 54 Sammy Ross 20. 2 Kramer Williamson 21. 12b Brian Brittingham 22. 121 Judi Bates 23. e45 Kevin Darling 24. 7s Rick Schmelyun