ABBOTTSTOWN, PA, 9/4/04 - There's a reason why many sprint car fans call Central Pennsylvania sprint car racing the best in the world. It's called handicapping. And Saturday night every driver raced wheel-to-wheel for every spot in Lincoln's...
ABBOTTSTOWN, PA, 9/4/04 - There's a reason why many sprint car fans call Central Pennsylvania sprint car racing the best in the world. It's called handicapping.
And Saturday night every driver raced wheel-to-wheel for every spot in Lincoln's 10th Annual Bobby Abel Memorial for the 410 sprint cars at Lincoln Speedway. Many, including track announcer Wayne Harper, called it the best start-to-finish front-to-back sprint car race they've ever seen.
The eventual winner raced three-wide to grab the race lead, and the final margin of victory, according to track's electronic scoring system, was .141 seconds.
Somehow, 2004 points champion Fred Rahmer worked his way from 12th starting spot to pick up his 11th win in the Pigeon Hills this year. The win, Rahmer's 29th overall win of the year and 133rd of his career at Lincoln, was worth $3,000 plus lap money ($420) and the hard-charger award ($100) for a total of $3, 520 for his efforts.
"I wouldn't have wanted this race to be 31 laps," said a jubilant Rahmer in victory lane. "Lance (Dewease) had a harder tire and he was better at the end...I did what I had to do and lifted to get in there, did a flyer back on him, and he got into the fence off the curb and we get the win."
"That's 29 wins, and we're looking for 30."
How Rahmer got the lead was a story in itself. Outside frontrow starter Glenndon Forsythe got out of shape entering turn one of the original start, crossing up polesitter Becca Anderson, who spun and collected Cris Eash and Niki Young. Young was unable to continue, and received the $100 D&D Septic hard-luck award for the night.
That moved third-starting Jeff Busby, who was celebrating his 41st birthday, up to the pole position and promptly jumped out into the lead and would lead the first 15 laps of the 30-lap test.
That same caution moved Lance Dewease and Rahmer up to the outside of rows four and five for the restart, but Rahmer was still back in seventh when the second caution came out for Josh Wells, who stopped on turn four while running second on lap five.
Bobby Weaver assumed second for the restart and Brian Leppo was running third.
Though Rahmer assumed sixth, he battled wheel-to-wheel with Greg Hodnett on the restart and lost the spot on lap five. He reclaimed the spot a lap later, just before a caution came out for a spinning Doug Rohrbaugh on turn four. Busby continued to lead, with Leppo second and Weaver third.
Brian Montieth then entered the picture on lap seven, driving around Weaver for third on lap seven and then Leppo for the runner-up spot on lap eight before getting out of shape and dropping three spots on a ninth-lap restart.
Rahmer was still fifth at the time, the last car on the lead pack to squeeze by Montieth to complete lap nine. He drove under both Weaver and Dewease to move into third on turn two of lap 11, then drove under both race-long leader Busby and Leppo to take the lead as the drivers raced three-wide off turn two of lap 16.
"We got jammed through there on the bottom," said Rahmer of the winning pass. "The restarts helped me a lot...we're just glad to win."
Dewease caught Leppo for third a lap later, then passed Busby for second on lap 20. At the time, Rahmer's lead was over two seconds. The Manheim Auto Auction/Hank's Performance Products No.77 closed on the leader and cut the deficit to a half-second when the final caution came out for a spinning Montieth on turn four of lap 26.
Rahmer spent the next four laps blocking Dewease in every turn. Dewease made a bold move from the cushion of turns one and two to the bottom of the backstretch to pull alongside the Joe Harz Racing No.88H entering the final two turns. Dewease pulled the slider on Rahmer, but bounced off the cushion and then the outside guardrail exiting turn four. Rahmer moved low and crossed the finish line just a few feet in front of Lincoln's 2003 champion.
Heats for the 20 "410" sprints were won by Josh Wells and Eric Stambaugh.
Etter's TJ Stutts became the first two-time winner in 358 Sprint action at the Pigeon Hills in 2004 with an improbable run that saw him come from his distant 17th-starting spot to earn the win. A nine-car pile-up in turn two on the start of the 20-lap feature allowed Stutts, who had to qualify through the consolation (which he won), to move up to the seventh-starting spot for the restart.
Meanwhile outside frontrow-starter Scott Geesey took the lead and led the first half of the 20 lap feature. 13th-starting Dan Dietrich made his bid to become the first two-time winner by taking the lead on lap 11. Meanwhile Stutts was making his charge to the front and moved into second on the 15th lap and tried to close on the race leader. After running 15 non-stop laps, the caution waved for Rick Horn who came to a stop on the frontstretch with a flat tire, and allowed Stutts to close on Dietrich's bumper for the four-lap shoot-out. But before they took the green, Dietrich was forced to the pits with a right-rear flat tire, handing the top-spot to Stutts. Stutts then led the final four laps to cap off a two-win weekend for the Michael Barshinger-owned Trone Outdoor Advertising/Kane Hardwood Flooring No.39 sprinter.
Randy Rhoads, Billy Dietrich, Jeff Young and Geesey finished second through fifth respectively. Rounding out the top-10 were Chad Layton, Keith Prutzman, Steve Clabaugh, Cory Haas and Chad Trout.
Heats for the 41 "358" sprints were won by Rick Horn, Scott Geesey, Danny and Billy Dietrich. Twin consolations were won by TJ Stutts and Chad Layton.
Reisterstown, MD's Jim Crocker also came from 17th starting spot to claim the win in the 15-lap feature for the Classic Race Cars. Crocker assumed the lead when Jim Snodgrass, trying to hold off Crocker, did a "360" while leading on turn four of the next-to-last lap. Crocker was the fourth different leader of the race. Polesitter Ron Ritenour led the first lap before Tim Stem took over on laps two and three. Snodgrass took the lead from Stem exiting turn two of lap four, and led until spinning on lap 14.
Before Crocker, his biggest challenge came from Kurt Welsh, who advanced from ninth and was racing for the lead when he spun on turn four of lap 11.
Crocker was followed across the line by Joe Snodgrass, with Allen Cullum, Fred Cullum, and Pete Neal rounding out the top five.
Heats for the Classic Race Cars were won by Ritenour, Joe Brown and Welsh.
Next Saturday night, September 11th, Lincoln Speedway will give the 410 sprinters the night off to compete elsewhere, putting the 358 sprints in the spotlight. The 358 sprints will run in a special Championship race in conjunction with it's final point race of 2004 at the Pigeon Hills oval. Joining them will be the invading Silver Spring Limited Late Models and the highly competitive thundercars. Gates will open at 5 PM with green flag racing getting underway at 7 PM.
To get all the latest news, results, schedule changes and rule changes, visit Lincoln Speedway's website at http://www.lincolnspeedway.com to stay up-to-date on all the action or pending weather conditions at Central Pennsylvania's "Premier" Saturday night race track - The Fabulous Lincoln Speedway.
Saturday - September 4, 2004
10TH ANNUAL BOBBY ABEL MEMORIAL
Feature (30 Laps) - 1. 88H-Fred Rahmer ($3,000); 2. 77-Lance Dewease; 3. 71-Brian Leppo; 4. 12-Greg Hodnett; 5. 17E-Cris Eash; 6. 30-Doug Esh; 7. 47J-Jeff Busby; 8. 4-Eric Stambaugh; 9. X-Bobby Weaver; 10. 59-Jim Siegel; 11. A18-Becca Anderson; 12. 31D-Kevin Drury; 13. 23-Todd Zinn; 14. 43-Larry Shive; 15. 21-Brian Montieth (DNF); 16. 10X-Doug Rohrbaugh (DNF); 17. 70-Sam Schlosberg (DNF); 18. 66-Glenndon Forsythe (DNF); 19. 6W-Josh Wells (DNF); 20. 10N-Niki Young (DNF). No Time
Lap Leaders - Jeff Busby (1-15), Brian Leppo (16), Fred Rahmer (17-30)
1st Heat (10 Laps) - 1. 6W-Josh Wells; 2. 47J-Jeff Busby; 3. 10N-Niki Young; 4. 71-Brian Leppo; 5. 88H-Fred Rahmer; 6. A18-Becca Anderson; 7. 12-Greg Hodnett; 8. 30-Doug Esh; 9. 31D-Kevin Drury; 10. 43-Larry Shive. No Time
2nd Heat (10 Laps - 1. 4-Eric Stambaugh; 2. X-Bobby Weaver; 3. 17E-Cris Eash; 4. 66-Glenndon Forsythe; 5. 77-Lance Dewease; 6. 21-Brian Montieth; 7. 59-Jim Siegel; 8. 23-Todd Zinn; 9. 70-Sam Schlosberg (DNF); 10. 10X-Doug Rohrbaugh. No Time
Feature (20 Laps) - 1. 39-T.J. Stutts; 2. 69R-Randy Rhoads; 3. 8D-Billy Dietrich; 4. 22D-Jeff Young; 5. 41-Scott Geesey; 6. 55L-Chad Layton; 7. 28-Keith Prutzman; 8. 52-Steve Clabaugh; 9. 11C-Cory Haas; 10. 7C-Chad Trout; 11. 88-Danny Dietrich; 12. 17M-Michael Creaghan; 13. 7V-Mike Lehman; 14. 8-Dan Dietrich (DNF); 15. 22T-Matt Boland (DNF); 16. 01-Rick Horn (DNF); 17. 3J-Judd Shepard (DNF); 18. 15-Adam Wilt (DNF); 19. 14-Will Urkuski (DNF); 20. 09-Brandon Grandstaff (DNF); 21. 55-Brian Eichelberger (DNF); 22. 11-Dave Neuman (DNF); 23. 85-Ken Berwager (DNF); 24. 5-Rusty Pressley (Disqualified - failed to report to scales). No Time
Lap Leaders - Scott Geesey (1-10), Dan Dietrich (11-16), TJ Stutts (17-20)
1st Heat (8 Laps/4 to qualify) - 1. 01-Rick Horn; 2. 09-Brandon Grandstaff; 3. 14-Will Urkuski; 4. 8-Dan Dietrich; 5. 7C-Chad Trout; 6. 28-Keith Prutzman; 7. 28H-Billy Heltzel, Jr.; 8. 87-Alan Krimes; 9. 69G-Kevin Drury; 10. 84-Chad Criswell; 11. 28F-Davie Franek (DNF). Time - 2:04.39
2nd Heat (8 Laps/4 to qualify) - 1. 41-Scott Geesey; 2. 22D-Jeff Young; 3. 55-Brian Eichelberger; 4. 11-Dave Neuman; 5. 39-T.J. Stutts; 6. 22L-Sam Leonard; 7. 5-Rusty Pressley; 8. 32-Donny Smith; 9. 56M-Mark Zellers (DNF); 10. 23-Todd Rittenhouse, Jr. (DNS). Time - 2:05.13
3rd Heat (8 Laps/4 to qualify) - 1. 88-Danny Dietrich; 2. 15-Adam Wilt; 3. 22T-Matt Boland; 4. 7V-Mike Lehman; 5. 49-Bobby Howard; 6. 6-Brad McClelland; 7. 3J-Judd Shepard; 8. 65-Bob Gutshall; 9. 6S-Bill Sherman; 10. 58-Aaron Long (DNF). Time - 2:09.32
4th Heat (8 Laps/4 to qualify) - 1. 8D-Billy Dietrich; 2. 52-Steve Clabaugh; 3. 69R-Randy Rhoads; 4. 85-Ken Berwager; 5. 55L-Chad Layton; 6. 17M-Michael Creaghan; 7. 11C-Cory Haas; 8. 1B-David Bull; 9. 88K-Travis Keeney; 10. 27S-Stewart Smith. Time - 2:09.47
1st Consolation (8 Laps/4 to qualify) - 1. 39-T.J. Stutts; 2. 28-Keith Prutzman; 3. 7C-Chad Trout; 4. 5-Rusty Pressley; 5. 23-Todd Rittenhouse, Jr.; 6. 87-Alan Krimes; 7. 22L-Sam Leonard; 8. 69G-Kevin Drury; 9. 28H-Billy Heltzel, Jr.; 10. 84-Chad Criswell; 11. 32-Donny Smith (DNF); DNS: 56M-Mark Zellers; 28F-Davie Franek. No Time
2nd Consolation (8 Laps/4 to qualify) - 1. 55-Chad Layton; 2. 17M-Michael Creaghan; 3. 3J-Judd Shepard; 4. 11C-Cory Haas; 5. 6-Brad McClelland; 6. 88K-Travis Keeney; 7. 1B-David Bull; 8. 6S-Bill Sherman; 9. 27S-Stewart Smith; 10. 65-Bob Gutshall (DNF); 11. 49-Bob Howard (DNF); DNS - 58-Aaron Long. No Time
Classic Race Cars:
Feature (15 Laps) - 1. 12C-Jim Crocker; 2. 34-Joe Snodgrass; 3. 48-Allen Cullum; 4. 95-Fred Cullum; 5. 29-Pete Neal; 6. 6-Mike Schultz; 7. 7-Jamie Lloyd; 8. 89-Duane Fabrick; 9. 86-Joe Brown; 10. 77-Glenn Elliott; 11. 1-Daryl Winkler; 12. 21-Kurt Welsh; 13. 11-Al Daniels; 14. 76-Larry Leiphart; 15. 8-Bill Brown Jr.; 16. 38-Randy Smith; 17. 35-Jim Snodgrass (DNF); 18. 91-Mark Jago (DNF); 19. 4-Charlie Weaver (DNF); 20. 20-Tim Stem (DNF); 21. 9-Rob Bellew (DNF); 22. 07-John McGarvey (DNF); 23. 88-Bill Brown, Sr. (DNF); 24. 51-Jerry Pownall (DNF); 25. 12-Roland Brown (DNF); 26. 27-Ron Ritenour (DNF). No time
Lap Leaders - Ron Ritenour (1), Tim Stem (2-3), Jim Snodgrass (4-13), Jim Crocker (14-15)
1st Heat (6 Laps) - 1. 27-Ron Ritenour; 2. 20-Tim Stem; 3. 1-Daryl Winkler; 4. 76-Larry Leiphart; 5. 51-Jerry Pownall; 6. 11-Al Daniels; 7. 4-Charlie Weaver; 8. 35-Jim Snodgrass (DNF); 9. 07-John McGarvey (DNF). No Time
2nd Heat (6 Laps) - 1. 86-Joe Brown; 2. 48-Allen Cullum; 3. 29-Pete Neal; 4. 89-Duane Fabrick; 5. 8-Bill Brown Jr.; 6. 6-Mike Schultz; 7. 91-Mark Jago; 8. 9-Rob Bellew; 9. 38-Randy Smith. Time - 2:13.49
3 Heat (6 Laps) - 1. 21-Kurt Welsh; 2. 34-Joe Snodgrass; 3. 7-Jamie Lloyd; 4. 12-Roland Brown; 5. 95-Fred Cullum; 6. 12C-Jim Crocker; 7. 88-Bill Brown, Sr.; 8. 77-Glenn Elliott. No Time