Philadelphia Daily News/NAPA Auto Parts Series Finale...... JEFF SHEPARD COLLECTS $7,000 IN KING OF THE HILL CHAMPIONSHIP AT GRANDVIEW BECHTELSVILLE, PA . . . . . . . . Jeff Shepard rallied home the winner of the Philadelphia Daily ...
Philadelphia Daily News/NAPA Auto Parts Series Finale...... JEFF SHEPARD COLLECTS $7,000 IN KING OF THE HILL CHAMPIONSHIP AT GRANDVIEW
BECHTELSVILLE, PA . . . . . . . . Jeff Shepard rallied home the winner of the Philadelphia Daily News/NAPA Auto Parts King of the Hill Sprint 40 lap Championship last Wednesday night at the Grandview Speedway. This event was the season finale for the 10th Annual Thunder on the Hill Racing Series. For Shepard, it was his first career Thunder Series victory and he collected $6,000 for the win, plus a $1,000 cash bonus presented by Jim Gallagher of GALCO Business Communications, for setting a new one lap track record at Grandview in 1999. Shepard established a new one lap time of 11.824 on May 5, 1999.
Lance Dewease won the overall Thunder on the Hill Series title, earning $14,860 in cash for the four race sprint series. Dewease, is a five time Thunder Series feature winner and the 1998 defending Thunder Series Champion.
A field of thirty-three open competition sprints took part in time trials with Joey Saldana setting fast time of the night with 12.095. Four heat events were presented with victories going to Randy Wolfe, Fred Rahmer, Billy Wilburn and Brian Paulus as Jeff Shepard won the consolation event.
In the King of the Hill Sprint 40 Championship, Shepard was the early race leader, setting the pace for the first eight laps. Keith Kauffman took the lead on lap nine and remained the leader until lap fifteen, when Shepard regained the top spot. Lance Dewease was in the hunt racing in third followed by Greg Hodnett and Kenny Jacobs.
On lap twenty, Dewease moved into second and set his sights on the leader. The first caution of the race was displayed on lap twenty-four, when Brian Paulus stopped in turn four. The restart saw Dewease take a run for the lead, but Shepard was the fastest, holding the top spot. With just ten laps remaining, Dewease again applied pressure on Shepard for the lap, but each time Shepard was up to the challenge.
With five laps remaining, Shepard and Dewease were in a dogfight for the win. With the white flag waiving, Dewease took the lead, dropping Shepard to second. On the final lap, Dewease drifted high, tapping the turn two wall and opening the door for Shepard to take the lead and the win.
Shepard was the winner followed by Dewease, Keith Kauffman, Paul McMahon and Joey Saldana. Making up the top ten were Fred Rahmer, Dean Jacobs, Kenny Jacobs, Dave Ely and Jesse Wentz.
The KARS 358 sprints were also the program with Brian Buckwalter and Ray Kozimore winning the two scheduled qaulifying events. In the feature, Rick Horn was the winner over Bob Beidleman.
In the twenty lap KARS feature, Mark Yinger set the pace for the first fifteen laps before turning the to spot off to ,