Drury holds off Cris Eash to claim first career 410 Sprint win; Defending champ Cory Haas wins first of year in 358's; Bobby Rudisill wins sixth of career in thundercars. ABBOTTSTOWN, PA, 4/12/03 - Sometimes it can take years before a driver can...
Drury holds off Cris Eash to claim first career 410 Sprint win; Defending champ Cory Haas wins first of year in 358's; Bobby Rudisill wins sixth of career in thundercars.
ABBOTTSTOWN, PA, 4/12/03 - Sometimes it can take years before a driver can pick up his first career win in the highly-competitive Central Pennsylvania 410 sprint ranks. Sometimes it doesn't.
New Berlinville's Kevin Drury, a relative newcomer in the 410 sprint world, picked up his first career super sprint win against the best in Central Pennsylvania at Lincoln Speedway Saturday night.
Drury started fourth, moved into second following a caution restart on the second lap, and passed race-long leader Brian Leppo for the lead following another caution restart on the seventh lap. Drury then led the rest of the way to take the checkered .94 seconds ahead of last week's feature winner Cris Eash.
"This is only about our 15th or 16th race in a 410, and basically when you win that soon, it's pretty much luck," said the happy first-time winner in victory lane, "We started up front...we'll take it. I was just trying to hang onto that thing. My arms were getting pretty tired towards the end...I was driving it for everything I had."
And driving it for everything he had - he did.
After getting the lead from a relentless Leppo on the seventh lap, Drury had to survive another caution on the ninth lap, which allowed the big guns to start creeping into the picture.
Cris Eash, who started 12th, finally got around another young gun - Jim Siegel - for second by the 11th lap. At the time, Drury hung on to a seemingly comfortable two-second lead.
But a multi-car crash on the 13th lap brought out the red flag, erasing Drury's lead.
On the restart, Drury fought off Eash's initial challenges, and looked like a veteran in pulling away over the final non-stop laps.
"I don't know what to say," said an almost speechless Drury when asked to describe his feelings on winning his first career 410 sprint race, "I pulled it out of gear too early (to get into victory lane)!"
"We knew we were pretty decent in qualifying," said Drury, "That's probably the best I ever felt in a 410 (sprinter). During the feature, they told me Cris (Eash) was right behind me. We changed the shock because the car was getting a little bit loose, and it seemed to work pretty good."
"Basically me, my wife, my mom, and my dad, we own it," said Drury on his No. 31D sprint team, "My dad (Don) builds the motors and everything I've ever had. Basically, this is all credited to him...I wouldn't be up here if it were not for him, as well as Mike and Davey and Jeremy. They help me quite a bit during the week. They're a big help."
Third through fifth behind Drury and Eash were Jim Siegel, Greg Hodnett (who started 10th), and Niki Young. Lance Dewease and Fred Rahmer, who both missed the handicapping and started next to each other on row seven, crossed sixth and seventh. Josh Wells, Chris Knopp, and Doug Esh completed the top ten.
Heats for the 29 "410" sprints were won by Drury, Hodnett, and Chappy Knaack, but Knaack failed to report to the scales after his heat win and was disqualified, handing the third heat win to Niki Young. Glenndon Forsythe won the consolation.
Defending champ Cory Haas drove from his ninth starting spot to grab the race lead from Randy Rhoads coming down the front stretch to complete lap seven, and ran to his first win of the year in the "358" sprint feature.
Former micro-sprint driver Jeff Young led from his front row starting spot until lap four, when he spun in turns three and four and collected Clair Wintermyer. Kenny Foor and Mark Freeland also got out of shape, with Freeland landing upside down, bringing out the red flag. Polesitter Rhoads assumed the lead for the restart, and led the next three laps before yielding to Haas. Rhoads was later involved in a first-turn crash, changed a flat tire, and finished 15th.
Opening night winner and points leader Billy Dietrich started 13th and advanced through the field to finish second, with Chad Trout crossing third, 12th-starting Eric Stambaugh finishing fourth, and 11th-starting Shawn Weaver crossing fifth. Completing the top ten were Scott Ausherman (who started 20th), Keith Prutzman, Alan Krimes, Billy Johns, and Judd Shepard.
Heats for the 27 "358" Sprints were won by Trout, Rhoads, and Stambaugh, with Mike Bittinger (who flipped in turn four in both his heat and the feature) winning the consolation. In winning the first heat, Felton's Trout set a new 10-lap track record with a winning time of two minutes, 28.86 seconds. He broke the four-year old record set by Greg Leiby of two minutes, 32.29 seconds back on September 13th, 1997.
Birthday boy Bobby Rudisill passed race-long leader Al Cramer on the 12th-lap and scored his sixth career Lincoln win in the 20-lap thundercar feature. Cramer grabbed the lead over polesitter Mike Walls at the outset and held the Gettysburg racer for the first nine laps, until Walls faded before dropping from the field on lap 14. Rudisill, who lost a last-lap shootout to Bernie Beard a week earlier, took second from Walls on the ninth lap and hounded Cramer until pulling the slider to take the lead on lap 12.
Cramer ran second until the final few feet, where he was edged by Nat Tuckey for the runner-up spot. Two-time winner and points leader Bernie Beard started 16th and finished fourth, with Steve Clabaugh completing the top five.
Heat for the 27 thundercars were won by Rudisill, Mike Zeigler Jr., and Cramer.
Next Saturday night, April 19th, Lincoln Speedway will once again feature all three point divisions at the Pigeon Hills oval - the 410 Sprints, 358 Sprints & Thundercars. Racing action is slated to get underway at 7 PM, with gates opening at 5 PM (two hours prior to green flag action), and warm-ups taking the track at 6:30 PM. Kids nine and under will participate in an Easter egg hunt just inside the west gate at 6:00 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.