J&J Auto Racing weekly news 2003-10-01

McKENZIE, TN -- J&J Auto Racing teams continue to score wins late in the sprint car season. Last weekend, teams using J&J sprint cars defeated the All-Stars, the Sprint Invaders and also claimed a top three sweep in the Kenny Weld Memorial. J&J ...

McKENZIE, TN -- J&J Auto Racing teams continue to score wins late in the sprint car season. Last weekend, teams using J&J sprint cars defeated the All-Stars, the Sprint Invaders and also claimed a top three sweep in the Kenny Weld Memorial. J&J teams also continue to claim championships including Trevor Lewis in the "New Jersey State Sprint Series title" driving the Palladino #99 J&J and Lane Whittington in the CAJUN Sprinters Association.


Paul May captured his first career Haulmark All Star sprint car series win at Auto and Tire Parts Racepark in the 40-lap feature Saturday night. With the win, the Terre Haute, IN resident became the 22nd different All Star feature winner of 2003 in 46 races. May's #71 J&J with Gaerte power passed Randy Hannagan with only three laps remaining and held off Joey Montgomery for the win. The turning point of the race was lap 37 as leader Hannagan was trying to lap a car in turns one and two and caught a bit of a rut and May, who was running second, got a run on the leader. May went from top to bottom crossing over and shooting by Hannagan down the backstretch and taking the lead into turns three and four. Once in the lead, May drove away to his first career All Star win. Mike Ward drove his #88 J&J to a fourth place finish.


"When I was a kid, I used to dream about races like this. I beat my hero tonight." Those were the first words from a jubilant Doug Esh after scoring the biggest win of his career in the 40-lap Kenny Weld Memorial for sprint cars at Lincoln Speedway Saturday night. Esh started the Leach Motorsports #30 J&J fourth after setting third quick time in time trials, grabbed second behind outside front row starter Fred Rahmer in the first two turns, chased Rahmer's #88h J&J for the first 27 laps, and squeezed under the Joe Harz Racing machine coming down the front stretch to complete lap 28. From there, Esh held off repeated challenges from Rahmer as the two battled through lapped traffic over the final quarter of the race. Though Rahmer attempted to slide under Esh on the final restart, "The Hammer" Esh was able to drive back around Rahmer and race to the .53-second win.

It was his third win of the year and fifth career win Lincoln Speedway. Rahmer settled for his fourth straight second-place finish, ahead of Keith Kauffman, who made a last-lap pass of Mark Smith driving the Middleswarth Potato Chips #7 J&J.

"I am so honored to have raced my hero tonight," said Esh. "This is truly amazing, I am still in disbelief. To win the Kenny Weld Memorial Race in this J&J Chassis, Rider powered, Hoosier tires, DMI Sponsored house car is a real milestone for our team. I am really proud that Fred and I could put on such a good show for the fans that are here to honor him tonight."

"I nearly wore a new path in the top of the trailer pacing tonight," commented Leslie Leach, co-owner of the victorious #30J&J. "This race was unbelievable. Doug has really matured as a driver, the crew is so dedicated and our sponsors provide us with the means to race like we did tonight. This is a great boost going into the Outlaw weekend at the Grove and I can't be happier!"


John Schulz concluded a solid season of action at Lee County Speedway in Burlington, IA, by winning the Season Championship feature event. He drove the #2 Deuce Racing J&J to victory and was joined in the top five by fellow Deuce Racing runner, Matt Rogerson, in the #22 J&J.


The Gatwood Motorsports team concluded a dominant season with the CAJUN Sprinters Association on September 20th. Gatwood Motorsports fielded a two-car J&J team that competed in all 11 races winning nine. They were joined in all of those races by the Gatwood & Son raceteam with driver Lincoln Gatwood.

Lincoln Gatwood won the race in the #38 Briggs & Stratton/ Big Buck Sports/ Kim's Toyota/ H & M Contractors J&J from his outside front row starting position. He led all 25 laps of the feature event with a motor tuned by Paul Monroe and was named Rookie of the Year following the event. He finished fifth in the final point standings in his first year racing any kind of racecar.

Lane Whittington, winner of five races including his 50th career win, drove the #12 Porter Cable/ Tim's Engine/ J&J to a second place finish in the finale and earned the season championship. The third member of the Gatwood Motorsports team was Rusty Sanford, who won four races driving the #24 Porter Cable/ Dale's Used Cars/ J&J. He came home third to give J&J and Gatwood Motorsports a podium sweep and also finished second in the final point standings.

Other solid J&J finishes:


Chris Coyle drove the Turpin/Kennedy owned #3 J&J to a second place finish at Bridgeport Speedway. Coyle charged to the front and led laps 12 through 23 in the 25-lap feature. Trevor Lewis finished fifth driving the Pat and Kathy Palladino #99 J&J and wrapped up the Fred's Trailer Parts Center NJ State Sprint Series title.


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Series Sprint
Drivers Paul May