YORK, PA, 11/20/04 - Lincoln Speedway track champion and special year-end awards were handed out at the Holiday Inn Holidome in York Saturday night, November 20th. Close to 400 people were in attendance to watch the crowning of the 410 sprint, 358...
YORK, PA, 11/20/04 - Lincoln Speedway track champion and special year-end awards were handed out at the Holiday Inn Holidome in York Saturday night, November 20th. Close to 400 people were in attendance to watch the crowning of the 410 sprint, 358 sprint and thundercar champions for 2004. The top ten finishers in the season -long point series for all three divisions were honored as well as special awards for each division.
RAHMER CLAIMS EIGHTH CHAMPIONSHIP
For the eighth time in 11 years, Salfordville's Fred Rahmer, driving the Joe Harz-owned Miller Brothers/Media Camping Center/Material Handling Systems No.88H sprinter, was crowned the 2004 champion in the Cindy Rowe Auto Glass 410 Sprint Series.
Rahmer capped-off his championship season with wins in the September 4th Bobby Abel Memorial and the October 9th Kenny Weld Memorial. All told, Rahmer recorded 12 wins, 23 top-five and 27 top-10 finishes in 29 events at the Pigeon Hills oval
After going winless in 2003, Rahmer once again returned to double digit victories in the Pigeon Hills to up his all-time Lincoln win total to 134, moving him to within 16 wins of Steve Smith's record of 150 career wins.
1996 Lincoln champ Cris Eash completed his final season before retirement by capturing three wins, 14 top five, and 22 top ten finishes on route to runner-up honors in the season-ending point standings. Eash's wins upped his career total to 38, moving him past Johnny Mackison, Sr. for sole possession of sixth-place on the all-time Lincoln win list (38).
2003 champ Lance Dewease was the second-winningest driver of 2004 with four victories, 18 top five, and 23 top-ten finishes en route to a third place finish in the season-long point series in his final season driving for Al and Betty Hamilton. Dewease moved past Steve Siegel into ninth on the all-time Lincoln win list (26).
Doug Esh won twice and finished fourth in points, followed by 2004 rookie-of-the year Eric Stambaugh, who picked up his first Lincoln win in the Inaugural Weldon Sterner Memorial on August 7th.
Sixth through tenth in Cindy Rowe Auto Glass points were most improved driver Brian Leppo, two-time winner Brian Montieth (who ended the season with a win in the Hank Gentzler Memorial Manufacturers' Appreciation Race), Greg Hodnett (1 win), sportsmanship award winner Niki Young, and Jim Siegel (who scored his first career 410 sprint win a last-lap pass over co-2003 rookie-of-the year Leppo on March 13th).
Other accomplishments of note saw Dewease win the Annual Kevin Gobrecht Memorial (Pennsylvania Speedway Opener) on June 26th and Rahmer claim his 300th career sprint car win in the 52nd Anniversary show on May 26th.
In addition to Siegel and Stambaugh, Green Lane's Sam Schlosberg also became a first-time winner in 2004.
Rahmer, who claimed six different sprint titles during the season, easily outdistanced the rest of the Lincoln contingent by leading 213 laps during 2004. Dewease led 72 laps, followed by Brian Leppo (who led 47 laps without a win), Cris Eash (45), and Greg Hodnett (41).
An astounding 36 different drivers won qualifying events in 2004. Rahmer, Schlosberg, Bobby Weaver, and Brook Weibley led the way with six heat wins each.
410 SPRINT SPECIAL AWARDS WINNERS
Super Sprint Champion - Fred Rahmer
Mechanic of the Year - Tim Elwell
Rookie of the Year -Eric Stambaugh
Sportsmanship Award -Niki Young
Most Improved Driver - Brian Leppo
CHAD TROUT WINS FIRST 358 TITLE
In a season-long points battle that went down to the final race, Felton's Chad Trout went without a win but recorded top ten finishes in all 11 races to claim his first Lincoln 358 title. Five of those top tens were top five's, second only to Cory Haas' six. Haas settled for fourth in points after 2002 and 2003 track championships.
T.J. Stutts came on strong to win the final two races of the year and finish second in points. Stutts was the only driver to win multiple races in 2004 (three), closing to within 90 points of Trout at season's end with nine top ten finishes. Still looking for his first Lincoln win, 2003 rookie of-the-year Brad McClelland was consistent all season (four top fives and nine top tens) and finished third in the season-long point standings. Following Cory Haas in fifth place was Billy Dietrich, who picked up one win, four top fives, and nine top tens.
Overall, there were nine different winners in the 358 division. In addition to Stutts, Cliff Brian, Dan Dietrich, Alan Krimes, Mike Lehman, Aaron Long, Adrian Shaffer, and 2001 champ Eric Stambaugh won 358 features. Brian, Long, and Stutts were the drivers to pick up their first Lincoln wins in 2004. With their respective wins, Lehman and Stambaugh moved into a three-way tie with Brian Seidel for fifth place on the all-time Lincoln 358 win list with eight.
Sixth through tenth in season points were sportsmanship award winner Alan Krimes, Keith Prutzman, rookie of -the-year Danny Dietrich, most improved driver Randy Rhoads, and 2003 thundercar champ Steve Clabaugh.
Twenty-three different drivers picked up heat wins in 2004, led by Billy Dietrich and Aaron Long, who both scored four qualifying wins.
358 SPRINT SPECIAL AWARDS WINNERS
358 Sprint Champion - Chad Trout
Rookie of the Year - Danny Dietrich
Sportsmanship Award -Alan Krimes
Most Improved Driver -Randy Rhoads
MIKE ZEIGLER, SR. CLAIMS SECOND THUNDERCAR CHAMPIONSHIP, FOURTH OVERALL
Spring Grove's Mike Zeigler, Sr. outlasted his son in a season-long points battle for thundercars, claiming his second division title and fourth championship overall. Zeigler also has titles in the semi-late (1983) and late model (1985) divisions at Lincoln.
The points chase went down to the final race, with Mike Zeigler, Jr. settling for runner-up honors.
Zeigler's title came on the strength of two wins, 17 top five, and 22 top ten finishes in 29 events. Zeigler, Jr. won three races and held the point lead on several occasions during the season. Zeigler, Jr. scored 15 top five and 21 top ten finishes during the year, and trailed his dad by 195 points at the end.
Mike Walls, who finished third in points, was the leading feature winner with six, including the season finale on October 23rd. Neil Smith, who scored five wins in 2004, was fourth in points, followed by Nat Tuckey with two wins.
Rounding out the top ten in points were five-time track champ Bernie Beard (1 win), Mike Gladfelter, most improved driver Jim Martz, Jr. (1 win), sportsmanship award winner Mike Slaybaugh, and Duane Watson (1 win).
All told, 14 different drivers won races in 2004, including Walls (six), Smith (five), Craig Wagaman (three), Zeigler, Jr. (three), Tuckey (two), Zeigler, Sr. (two). Single-race winners included Beard, David Prunkl, Bobby Rudisill, Watson, and first-time winners Duane Hahn, Doug Devilbiss, Sam Gallagher, and Martz, Jr.
Walls and Smith, who combined for 11 wins, each led 73 laps during the course of the season.
David Prunkl was the leading heat winner in all Lincoln divisions with nine.
THUNDERCAR SPECIAL AWARDS WINNERS
Thundercar Champion - Mike Ziegler, Sr.
Rookie of the Year - Mike Gladfelter II
Sportsmanship Award - Mike Slaybaugh
Most Improved Driver -Jim Martz, Jr.