McKENZIE, TN -- The J&J Auto Racing teams flexed their power last weekend in sprint car action across the country claiming victories throughout the weekend. Doug Esh led the party by sweeping Central Pennsylvania's toughest weekly programs on...
McKENZIE, TN -- The J&J Auto Racing teams flexed their power last weekend in sprint car action across the country claiming victories throughout the weekend. Doug Esh led the party by sweeping Central Pennsylvania's toughest weekly programs on Friday and Saturday night while a handful of other J&J teams also came home first.
WILLIAMS GROVE SPEEDWAY
Doug Esh held off Lance Dewease to win the 25-lap sprint car feature Friday night at Williams Grove Speedway driving the Leach Motorsports #30 J&J.
Esh started third and got into third position during the early stages before using a spectacular move on the low side to take the lead on lap 16. While Esh was working his way to the lead, Dewease was racing the Hamilton Motorsports #77 J&J from the 12th starting position. Dewease took third place on lap 20, then two laps later was in second. By this time Esh had opened what appeared to be a comfortable lead, but Dewease was cutting into it on every turn.
With Esh using the high side and Dewease on the bottom, the finish was close with Esh collecting $3000 for his first victory of the season at "The Grove" and his third career win at the legendary half-mile oval.
Ed Lynch, Jr. made it three-in-a row to win the Spring Sprint Spectacular 20-lap feature event at Lernerville Speedway. The win, which was the 67th career win for the Apollo, PA native, came aboard his famous #2L Indy Recycling/Commercial Truck & Trailer J&J. Lynch had to get by fellow J&J racer, Chad Hill, on lap eight before driving away for the win. Hill finished second driving his #44 J&J.
Barry Martinez drove his #66 J&J sprinter to victory in the Budweiser 360 Series feature event on Friday night at Skagit Speedway in Alger, WA.
True to his nickname, Doug Esh dropped the "hammer" on 'em Saturday night at Lincoln Speedway, claiming his second win of the season at Lincoln driving the Leach Motorsports #30 J&J and second win of the weekend in Central Pennsylvania.
"It's hammer time!" exclaimed Esh in victory lane. "We worked hard for this one...it just went our way this weekend. We had some motor problems at the Grove and we wanted to make it a clean sweep. It just doesn't happen that way with the competition we have here."
Esh started tenth and was in fourth when a lap five caution flag flew and moved into second following a restart on lap ten. He chased down early leader Kevin Drury, who was driving his #31 J&J, and made the winning pass on the backstretch of lap 15, but the final ten laps were anything from easy. Esh had Lincoln's all-time feature leader, Fred Rahmer, in the Joe Harz Racing #88h J&J, to deal with. Rahmer closed to within a car length as the two drove through heavy lapped traffic through the final two turns. Esh held on to score the .34-second win, the seventh of his career in the Pigeon Hills and his third overall win of the year in Central Pennsylvania.
"I saw the 31 (Drury) was in second for a while, and then I saw the 88 (Rahmer) got there," said Esh. "The lapped cars started giving me problems, but I figured if I'd just get by them and could use them to block Rahmer a little bit, we would come out on top."
"A clean sweep for the weekend...winning at the Grove and here, you can't ask for anything better. That's why I think it's hammer time!"
Eric Stambaugh made it a podium sweep for J&J as he came home third in the #4 J&J.
URC -- NEW EGYPT SPEEDWAY
Curt Michael of Ocean View, Delaware won the twenty-five lap URC Advance Auto Parts sprint car feature event on Saturday night at the New Egypt Speedway. Michael drove Frank Davis-owned #2 J&J sprinter in the 25-lap feature and chased early leader Chris Coyle, who was driving the #56 J&J owned by Bill Turpin and Fred Kennedy.
After a slight brush with the wall by Coyle, Michael seized the moment with an inside move for the lead just before the halfway point of the race. Michael held the lead until the end of the race, but Coyle made several charges and he ended up finishing third. The victory was Michael's first of the season and nineteenth career URC win.
Sean Michael, winner of the 2004 URC season opener at the Bridgeport Speedway, was involved in a tangle in his heat race and was forced to qualify through the "B" Main. Michael was on charge driving from the back of the field to a strong seventh in the Palladino #99 J&J.
Blane Heimbach powered to his first win of the season at Selinsgrove Speedway in the 25-lap sprint car feature on Saturday night piloting the #12 Goff Racing Beavertown Block/Creasy Signs/Salem RV Center/ Doncin Trucking J&J. For Heimbach, who recorded a win earlier this season at Williams Grove Speedway, the victory marked the sixth of his career at the Snyder County track. Heimbach started sixth and by lap four was in the lead and racing away from the competition.
PORT ROYAL SPEEDWAY
Craig Keel picked up his first win of the season on Saturday night at Port Royal Speedway taking the 410 division 25-lap sprint car feature in the #9 Pearl J&J. Keel started second and led the first seven laps of the race before chasing Mark Smith for the next fifteen laps. Keel took over the lead when Smith crashed and had to fend off Jeff Shepard on lap 23 before racing away to the victory on the final two laps.
Keith Kauffman drove the Middleswarth #7 J&J to a third place finish.
DELTA BOWL SPEEDWAY
Mike Ward, one of the winningest sprint car drivers from the midsouth area, added another page to his victory journal on Saturday night at Delta Bowl Speedway in Tunica, MS. He picked up the victory in his #88 J&J by beating Jan Howard at the drop of the flag and never looking back en route to the victory.
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. piloted the #15 J&J of Shorty Chambliss to a fourth place finish.
CAJUN SPRINTERS ASSOCIATION
Lane Whittington claimed Saturday's Cajun Sprinter Association feature event driving his #9 J&J at Queen City Speedway in Meridian, MS. Whittington raced into the lead after an early restart and held off a hard-charging Tracy Brown in the #R14 J&J to claim the victory.
Lincoln Gatwood finished sixth driving the #38 Gatwood & Sons J&J.
MERCER RACEWAY PARK
Jamie Smith took the feature event at Mercer Raceway Park in Mercer, PA, on Saturday night. Smith was leading the event through 12 laps driving the #5 J&J when a red flag stopped the race. Before the race could be restarted a thick fog engulfed the track and the remainder of the race was canceled.
Lance Dewease raced to victory in the season opening Sprint Car race at the Susquehanna Speedway Park on Sunday evening driving the Hamilton Motorsports #77 J&J. Dewease started third and tracked early leader Darren Eash before taking the lead on lap six. From there it was all Dewease as he raced away to claim the win in the 25-lap race.
Other Solid J&J Auto Racing Performances:
USAC Sprint Cars
Brian Tyler debuted the #6 Bowman/Davis J&J at Anderson Speedway on Sunday afternoon in the Glen Niebel Classic. He qualified the J&J tuned by legendary mechanic Jack French in ninth position in the field of 38 pavement sprinters. Tyler finished third in his heat race and sixth in the 50-lap feature event.
O'Reilly SUPR Sprint Car
Harold Henderson followed up last weeks victory in his #11h J&J by coming home third in the O'Reilly SUPR Sprint Car feature at Simpson County Motorsports Park in Mendenhall, Mississippi on Friday night. Henderson was joined in the top six by fellow J&J runners Cassidy Lejeune (#5 J&J), who finished fifth and Terry Vidrine (#68 J&J), who finished sixth.
SPRINT INVADERS ASSOCIATION
John Schulz drove the #2 Deuce Motorsports J&J to a second place finish on Saturday night in the Sprint Invaders sprint car event at 34 Raceway in Burlington, IA. Schulz led the first 23 laps of the feature event before ultimately finishing second.