Hodnett scores first-ever two-win weekend in central PA; Gary Potts edges out Mike Zeigler Jr. for Thundercar win. ABBOTTSTOWN, PA, 3/30/02 - Add Greg Hodnett to the list of sprint car superstars from Central Pennsylvania. The Memphis driver...
Hodnett scores first-ever two-win weekend in central PA;
Gary Potts edges out Mike Zeigler Jr. for Thundercar win.
ABBOTTSTOWN, PA, 3/30/02 - Add Greg Hodnett to the list of sprint car superstars from Central Pennsylvania.
The Memphis driver claimed his second win of the weekend by besting a stellar field of sprint car stars in Saturday's 25-lap feature at Lincoln Speedway. The quality of the field did not go unnoticed in victory lane.
"You guys are so fortunate here," Hodnett said. "I would say there are 12 or so winning Outlaw drivers here in the pit area, and it's hard to beat them...I mean out on the Outlaw trail there might not even be 12 Outlaw winning guys out there."
"After seeing Keith (Kauffman) carry so much speed into the corners at Williams Grove last week we changed a few things to make it better," Hodnett said. "Last week it was a total domination by Keith, and today he was awesome...we're just very fortunate to be standing up here with guys like him and all the other guys we race against every week."
It's a very tough circuit here in Pennsylvania and I'm very blessed to be here with a the team I'm with. I know you guys are getting your monies worth I can tell you that."
Handicapping started Hodnett fourth in a feature lineup that saw points leader Fred Rahmer starting 18th, Lance Dewease starting 15th, and two-time Lincoln winner Keith Kauffman starting 12th. Other headliners starting behind row six included James Chesson (19th), Kasey Kahne (20th), and Sean Michael (21st).
Hodnett raced around Mark Smith for third on the first lap, squeezed by polesitter Doug Esh on lap three, and pulled the slider on leader Todd Gracey exiting the fourth turn of lap four to take the race lead. Despite two caution flags and a red for a flipping Fred Rahmer on lap 17, Hodnett had little pressure the rest of the way. Rahmer's crash occurred when he and Todd Shaffer made contact with the lapped car of Michael Markey in turn two. Rahmer was uninjured. Shaffer lost his front wing, but was able to continue.
While Hodnett was clearly the class of the field, Mark Smith was running the race of his Lincoln career to nail down a second-place finish, with Steve Siegel scored third the final 14 laps. Lance Dewease advanced 11 spots to finish fourth, with Jeff Shepard crossing fifth in his final race in the Tanger #07. Completing the top ten were Johnny Mackison, Jr., Kauffman, Cris Eash, Kahne, and Shaffer.
"We had a great weekend," said Hodnett upon exiting his Apple Motorsports/Cars By Dealers No.12 sprinter in victory lane. "It's unfortunate about this afternoon (at Port Royal) we broke on the first lap."
"We'll take this, it's been a long time since I've won here, almost two years," Hodnett added after his second career Lincoln win. "We were very fortunate to start towards the front and took advantage of it."
"It wasn't pretty, but we'll take it."
"We changed a lot of things on the car this past winter," Hodnett said. "We just found a few different combinations that seemed to work well for us. The guys did a great job on the car, Don Ott Engines, VLP Shocks, Hoosier Tire, Maxim Chassis, all the guys, they did a great job."
"We've been pretty decent. Hopefully we can keep it up, stay away from the mishaps, and be up in front as much as possible."
"Normally I pretty much stink this place up, I'll be honest with you," Hodnett said on his lack of wins at the Pigeon Hills oval. "We've just changed some stuff on the car and made my job a little easier."
The $2,500 victory was Hodnett's third overall this season after claiming two wins at Williams Grove, including Friday night's Early Bird Championship.
Heats for the 34 super sprints on hand were won by Brook Weibley, Kauffman, and Mackison, with James Chesson winning the consolation.
Strinestown's Gary Potts became the fifth different winner in as many races in the thundercar division. Potts swapped the lead with Mike Zeigler, Jr. through the mid-stages of the race and survived a three-lap dash to the checkered (after a caution flag brought out by his brother Mike) to win the 18th Lincoln race of his career. The final margin of victory was 1.26 seconds over Zeigler, Jr., with Steve Clabaugh, early race leader Nat Tuckey, and points leader Bernie Beard completing the top five.
Zeigler, Jr. started seventh, advanced five spots on the first lap, and grabbed the lead from race-long leader Tuckey on lap 10. Two laps later, Potts (who was one of the cars passed by Zeigler on the first lap) came on to claim the lead. Zeigler led lap 13, but Potts was scored the leader the rest of the way.
Heats for the 28 thundercars on hand were won by Bobby Rudisill, Duane Watson, and Tuckey, with Mike Potts winning the consolation.
The vintage cars ran 12-lap features in two divisions. Sinking Springs' Stew Wenrich ran away from the field in his 1965 Mustang to win the sportsman feature, and James Creek's Lloyd Hockenberry won the modified feature in his 1970 Gremlin powered by a 350 cubic-inch Chevy engine.
Lincoln Speedway welcomes the Silver Spring limited late model division next Saturday night, April 6th as the ever-popular late model division shares the limelight with Lincoln's super sprint and thundercar regulars. Gates will open at 4 PM, with hot laps at 5:30 PM, and the first heat getting underway at 6 PM.
The following weekend, Saturday, April 13th, Lincoln Speedway will shift from it's 6 PM starts to 7 PM as the traveling ARDC Midgets open there 2002 season with the super sprint and thundercar regulars.