Hodnett bests Rahmer, Dewease in Annual Bobby Abel Memorial; Krimes wins first career "358" feature on final lap; Cory Haas claims first Lincoln title. ABBOTTSTOWN, PA, 8/31/02 - Greg Hodnett has raced against the best in the world in a 17-win...
Hodnett bests Rahmer, Dewease in Annual Bobby Abel Memorial;
Krimes wins first career "358" feature on final lap; Cory Haas claims first Lincoln title.
ABBOTTSTOWN, PA, 8/31/02 - Greg Hodnett has raced against the best in the world in a 17-win storybook season that has included three wins over the famous World of Outlaws.
But he acknowledged in victory lane Saturday night that nobody is tougher than Pennsylvania's Fred Rahmer and Lance Dewease. Those two finished second and third behind Hodnett in the Eighth Annual Bobby Abel Memorial for sprint cars at Lincoln Speedway.
By luck of the draw, Hodnett started fifth in the 30-lap "A" main. He was up to second by the time the red came out for a flipping Kevin Drury on turn three of the second lap. Two laps later, he was challenging second-starting Keith Kauffman for the race lead. The two raced wheel-to-wheel for the next five laps until disaster struck for Kauffman on lap nine.
Michael Markey spun in turn two, collecting race leader Kauffman. Hodnett bounced twice off the wall in turns one and two, but kept going and assumed the race lead for the restart. Polesitter Brook Weibley, Rahmer, Cris Eash, and Doug Esh was second through fifth for the restart. Rahmer, who started third but got bottled up at the start, recovered to pass Weibley for second on lap ten, and raced with Hodnett for the lead from laps 12 through 17, when the final caution flag of the race came out for two incidents. Billy Sims stopped on the backstretch with a flat tire, and a spinning Jerry Parrish on turn two collected, among others, fourth place Cris Eash.
Hodnett and Rahmer staged their own little war over the remaining 13 laps, with Hodnett finally pulling away over the final three laps to score his fifth Lincoln win of the year by .84 seconds over the Lincoln champ.
"That was an excellent race," said Hodnett after exiting his winning Bob Stewart-own/Cars By Dealers No.12 sprinter in victory lane, "Fred was all over me there for a long time, and I kind of moved up into his lane. I thought he was running the top in (turns) one and two, so I moved up down there. Then I thought he was doing the same down in three and four, because I was running the bottom...so I moved up down there. Then he showed me his nose down on the bottom again! I thought 'Man, this guy is all over me!' I didn't know what to do!"
"We got a good start and got a good run down the straightaway," Hodnett added, "Fred went down here about a car-width off the pole, and left just enough room to squeeze under him. I actually thought we were going to crash there at one point. He did a great job, and we're just very fortunate to be standing up here. Down in three and four he got up beside us. He could have pretty much used us up if he wanted to, because he had a good run, but he's a great racer, and raced me clean. I'd do the same for him."
"Fred want this one bad," said Hodnett, "He actually mentioned that he wants to get his 10 wins here at Lincoln because he's done it every year. But we're going to do everything we can to keep him from it."
"We caught some lapped cars really good because he got up beside me on the bottom and I just happen to catch a couple lapped cars that were running on the bottom that blocked him out," said Hodnett. "He was going to have to slow down to deal with those guys, so we just tried to keep up our momentum and keep it moving. And fortunately for us it worked out for us."
Lance Dewease, who started tenth, made a late-race charge to finish a close third behind Rahmer, with Weibley and Esh crossing third through fifth. Completing the top ten were Bobby Weaver, Jeff Rohrbaugh, hard charger Chris Knopp, Steve Siegel, and Keith Kauffman, who received the race's "hard luck" award after coming from the rear.
Counting lap money, Hodnett's Abel Memorial win was worth $3,670.
Heats for the 31 super sprints were won by Esh, Hodnett, and Rahmer, with Niki Young winning the consolation.
The name Krimes has been in victory lane at Lincoln Speedway before. Saturday night, second-generation racer Alan Krimes added his name to that winners list by claiming his first career 358 sprint win in thrilling fashion by passing Danny Warrick in the final turns to the checkered for the inaugural win.
Krimes, who started seventh, moved into third place by the seventh lap behind race-leader Danny Warrick who took over the top spot on the third lap when early race leader Mike Ressler slowed after coming out of gear.
Warrick lead Scott Ausherman and Krimes through the 12th lap before a failed attempt for the lead by Ausherman cost him the second spot to Krimes. Krimes tried to close on Warrick as the laps wound down but was pressured by Ausherman for the second spot allowing Warrick to pull away. But a caution with four laps to go allowed Krimes and Ausherman one last shot at Warrick who was trying to score his first career win as well.
On the final lap Krimes pulled even with Warrick on the backstretch and dove under the Abbingdon, MD, racer in the final turns and out-raced him to the checkered to pick up the thrilling win.
Warrick finished .28-hundredth's of a second behind in second, Ausherman third, Cory Haas fourth, and Jim Siegel fifth.
Haas, by virtue of his fourth place finish, clinched his first-ever Lincoln Speedway Budweiser 358 Sprint Championship with one point-race remaining and was honored in victory lane.
Heats for the 32 "358" sprinters were won by Ausherman, Krimes, and Michael Creaghan, with Kenny Foor winning the consolation.
Intermittent rain-showers through-out the night finally caught up to Lincoln, forcing the INEX Legends racers to choose between battling the elements or make up the race in two weeks, when they are scheduled to return. After several hot-laps, the drivers voted to postpone the feature event until September 14th.
Heats for the INEX Legends were won by Rick Potts, Tim Tomson, and Alan Felix, with Rick Harring winning the consolation.
Next Saturday night, September 7th, Lincoln Speedway will give the supers sprinters the night off to compete elsewhere. In their place, the 358 Sprinters will take top billing as they compete in the Annual Championship, which will be the final night of points towards Lincoln Speedway's 2002 Budweiser 358 Sprint Series Championship. Joining them will be the Thundercar regulars, as they continue to slug it out in search of the 2002 Miller Brother Chevrolet/Cadillac/Oldsmobile Thundercar track championship. In addition, the Silver Spring Limited Late Models will make their final 2002 appearance in the Pigeon Hills. Gates will open at 5:30 PM, with hot-laps getting underway at 7 PM, with time trials getting underway for the 358 sprinters at 7:30 PM.