J&J Auto Racing weekly news 2004-10-12

McKENZIE, TN -- The sprint car racing season continues to wind down and the victories continue to rack up for J&J Auto Racing teams and the championships are following. The nation's leading sprint car winner Fred Rahmer picked up another this past...

McKENZIE, TN -- The sprint car racing season continues to wind down and the victories continue to rack up for J&J Auto Racing teams and the championships are following. The nation's leading sprint car winner Fred Rahmer picked up another this past weekend while Trevor Lewis was victorious in the URC/ESS event. Curt Michael clinched the 2004 Advance Auto Parts URC Sprint Series championship driving the Frank Davis owned #2 J&J sprinter.

LINCOLN SPEEDWAY

Fred Rahmer added another jewel to his 2004 six-title crown by claiming the 40-lap Kenny Weld Memorial for sprint cars at Lincoln Speedway Saturday night. And he did it in dramatic fashion with a bent side panel on his top wing damaged after contact with Brian Leppo while the two battled for the lead under the flagstand on the 35th lap.

"We were pretty good and Greg (Hodnett) was running awful good, but he blew a tire and I saw that Cris (Eash) was blowing up when I went by him," said Rahmer in victory lane, "I could smell his motor going away. We weren't the fastest car, but we won."

Rahmer set third quick time and started third, but ran fourth the first 11 laps. He battled Brian Leppo for third the next 15 laps before the first caution of the event came out for Greg Hodnett, who dropped off the pace while leading after suffering a flat tire on turn four.

Cris Eash passed Hodnett for the lead with his E&G Classics/Macri Concrete #17E J&J just before the caution waved. Rahmer took the lead passing Eash on the backstretch of lap 30, and Leppo moved into the runner-up spot on turns one and two of lap 31.

Leppo reeled in the leader over the next three laps, and set up for the pass exiting turn four of lap 34. But Leppo hit the outside guardrail coming off the turn and veered into the Miller Brothers Chevrolet #88H J&J damaging both his own front wing and the right side panel on Rahmer's mount in the process.

Leppo did a 360-degree spin, but drove out of it and kept going.

"I didn't see him (Leppo) coming up the outside there," said Rahmer, "I obviously got into him, but I didn't see him coming up the outside there. I went to the bottom and saw a car there and pushed out across, and I'm glad he didn't get too torn up."

Even with the damage, Rahmer was able to get his 134th career win in the Pigeon Hills, his 12th of the year at Lincoln and his 33rd overall win of 2004, tying his best win total for one season. In addition to his 33 wins, Rahmer has 82 top-five finishes and 99 top-ten finishes in 106 races this year. To go along with his Lincoln track crown, Rahmer also won titles at Williams Grove, Selinsgrove, Susquehanna Speedway Park, Thunder on the Hill at Grandview and Pennsylvania Speedweek.

"Any time you can win a race that's named after Kenny Weld, it's quite an honor. He was a heck-of-a great racer," said Rahmer.

Lance Dewease came home third in the Hamilton Motorsports #77 J&J and 2003 Weld Memorial winner Doug Esh finished fifth in the Leach Motorsports #30 J&J.

URC/ESS CHALLENGE

Trevor Lewis was the class of the field on Saturday night at the Rolling Wheels Raceway in Elbridge, NY, winning the twenty-five lap Sprint Shoot Out at the Wheels, a co-sanctioned event between URC and ESS. For Lewis, it was his eighth career URC victory and second win of the season since moving into the Bill Turpin/Fred Kennedy owned #56 J&J sprint car. In early September, Lewis also won the prestigious Bully Hill Nationals at the Black Rock Speedway.

At the start of the Sprint Challenge at the Wheels, Jon Eldreth was the early race leader while Lewis passed Dave Ely to take over the second spot. Eldreth did a masterful job of holding off Lewis, until lap eight when Lewis raced the Turpin/Kennedy J&J past Eldreth with an outside move.

Once in front Lewis ran away from the rest of the field and by lap twelve, Lewis reached lapped traffic.

Lewis was on the point with just two lapped cars between the leader and runner-up Jon Eldreth when a caution slowed the action. When the green fell, Lewis took off like a bullet and quickly established a commanding lead. At the checker flag, Lewis had the field covered to pocket the $3,000 payday.

URC CHAMPIONSHIP

Curt Michael officially clinched the 2004 Advance Auto Parts URC Sprint Series championship this past weekend, earning his second URC title (he also won the crown in 1998).

Michael established himself as a threat for the URC title earning in the season by winning the New Egypt URC event on April 17. Michael raced #2 Frank Davis owned J&J sprint car to his second win of the season at the Bridgeport Speedway on May 1 and followed with a victory at the Big Diamond Raceway on May 21. On July 10, the Michael/Davis Team won the URC feature at the Delaware International Speedway then scored an international victory by winning the URC feature at the Granby Speedway in Quebec, Canada.

Michael won five of the regular season 25 lap feature events. On September 10, Curt was a winner of one of the three Sweet 16 preliminary events that take place during qualifying for the prestigious Bully Hill Vineyards Sprint Nationals at the Black Rock Speedway.

In the Fred's Trailer Parts Center New Jersey State Sprint Series, it was Sean Michael (brother to Curt and also a J&J racer) who won the series title with Curt Michael finishing a strong second and just two points shy of the title. Sean raced the Palladino #99 J&J to the crown.

The 23-time URC feature winner Curt Michael, will be honored at the Annual URC Awards Banquet to take place at the Sheraton Hotel in Dover, DE on Saturday night, December 18.

OTHER J&J WINNERS:

Last week, J&J Auto Racing teams showed their dominance in the prestigious Williams Grove National Open. Donny Schatz dominated the Saturday night finale winning aboard his #15 ParkerStore J&J. Schatz finished third in Friday night's preliminary feature. Fred Rahmer finished second and third in the two-night program and Todd Hestor set fast-time both nights in the Middleswarth #7m J&J.

Tim Norman closed the Sprints On Dirt 25th Anniversary Tour with a victory on October 2nd at Ionia Raceway Park in Lake Odessa, MI. Norman collected his 4th SOD win of the season in the Joe Gaerte owned, Mopar powered #3 J&J. It took three starts to get the 20-lap feature event started as Norman began on the front row. He took the lead on the opening lap and kept the position throughout the race. Norman's #3 J&J was only slowed by caution flags as he led the race from beginning to end.

-j&j-

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About this article
Series Sprint
Drivers Donny Schatz
Teams Williams