Lincoln Speedway race summary 2002-09-07

Titlist Cory Haas wins fourth of year in Lincoln 358 Championship; Points leader Beard wins fourth in thundercars; Carl Billet fourth winner in 4 races in LLM's ABBOTTSTOWN, PA, 9/7/02 - Dallastown's Cory Haas added an exclamation point to a ...

Titlist Cory Haas wins fourth of year in Lincoln 358 Championship;
Points leader Beard wins fourth in thundercars; Carl Billet fourth winner in 4 races in LLM's

ABBOTTSTOWN, PA, 9/7/02 - Dallastown's Cory Haas added an exclamation point to a championship season by claiming his fourth win of the year in Saturday' s 25-lap "358" Championship event at Lincoln Speedway.

"We came in here and just wanted to have a good night," said the 2002 champ in victory lane, "Last week, we were patient and just tried to wrap the point title up. Tonight, the track came right to my style. The cushion was way up, and you couldn't get around the top that well at all."

About the only thing that went wrong for the York P.B. Truss #11c on the night was when new one-lap track record holder Eric Stambaugh drew a "six" pill for the inversion, forcing Haas to start seventh in the "A" main. But that was still five positions further to the front than Haas would've started in a normal handicapped race.

Haas was running sixth when the first caution flew for Joe Ilg on the backstretch of lap number two. By the end of the third lap, Haas was up to fourth, where he ran until getting under Brian Leppo for third on lap seven. He closed quickly on runner-up Dan Dietrich and raced with the former Lincoln 410 champ for the next nine laps before driving under Dietrich for second on lap 16. He then closed quickly on leader Adrian Shaffer, who drove around polesitter Dietrich for the lead on lap three and held as much as a two and-a-half second lead when he entered lapped traffic on lap 14.

Haas and Shaffer raced wheel-to-wheel through lapped traffic on laps 17 and 18. Shaffer was scored the leader of lap 17, and Haas took the top spot by inches on lap 18. Haas had moved out to about a two-carlength lead when Shaffer looped it in turns three and four of lap 19, bringing out the final caution of the race.

Shaffer went to the rear, and finished 19th out of the 21 cars running at the end. The caution gave Dietrich one final shot at Haas, but he could never mount a challenge, with Haas pulling away to a 2.08-second win at the finish. The "358" Championship event was worth $1,000.

"It's a shame for Adrian. I don't know what happened to him there. Adrian and I have been battling a lot this year, and I enjoy racing with him. He's a good racer. I wish he'd have stayed in it to see who was better."

Third through fifth were Eric Stambaugh, Jim Siegel, and Scott Ausherman, with Leppo, Alan Krimes, Darren Eash, Billy Johns, and Billy Dietrich completing the top ten.

Heats for the "358" sprinters were won by Michael Creaghan, Dale Hammaker, Greg Leiby, and Shawn Weaver. Dan Dietrich won the B-Main while Dave Gable won the C-Main.

Time Trials saw three of the 45 drivers break the five-year old track record of 14.566 seconds (set by Mike Lehman in the 358 Sprint Championship on September 19th, 1997).

In the end, 2001 358 Sprint Champ Eric Stambaugh set the new record with a 1-lap time of 14.533 seconds (92.892 MPH). The two other drivers to eclipse the old mark were T.J. Stutts (14.555 seconds) and Brian Leppo (14.556 seconds).

York Haven's Carl Billet became the fourth different winner in four races in the 20-lap limited late model feature. Harrisburg veteran Charlie Kope led the first six laps from the pole before yielding to fourth-starting Jeff Leiphart on lap seven. Billet, who started eighth, nudged under Leiphart for the race lead seven laps later, just before the first of two race cautions came out for Sterling Kinard, who came to a stop on the frontstretch but was able to restart. Billet survived several challenges from Leiphart over the final six laps, with Leiphart tapping his rear end twice exiting turn number two on two additional restarts. His final margin of victory was four carlengths, with Bernie Beard piloting the Pat Beard X car to third, Jake Lettich fourth, and Rusty Sites crossing fifth. Heats for the 30 Silver Spring Limited Late Models were won by Sites, Carl Billet, and Gary Potts. Scot McCann was credited with the consolation win when Bob Spahr was disqualified.

Abbottstown's Bernie Beard took one step closer to securing his fifth track championship by winning the 20-lap thundercar feature for his fourth win of the season at Lincoln. Beard drove his usual methodical race on the dry-slick late-evening track as he advanced from his 11th starting spot to move into the top-five by the fourth lap, fourth by the fifth, third by the sixth, second by the eighth, and then into the lead around Bobby Rudisill on the 10th lap. From there Beard held off Rudisill the remainder of the race to take the checkered 1.42 seconds ahead for his all-time leading 67th career win at the Pigeon Hills oval. Third thru fifth behind Rudisill were Duane Hahn, Neil Smith, and Chet McCormick. Heats for the 31 Thundercars were won by Ken Berwager, Hahn, and Rudisill, with Mike Johnson winning the consolation.

Next Saturday night, September 14th, starting times will now move back from 7:30 PM to 7 PM for the remainder of the 2002 season as the Thundercars take center stage with their running of the Annual Thundercar Championship. The Thundercars will continue to slug it out in search of the 2002 Miller Brother Chevrolet/Cadillac/Oldsmobile track championship up until the season finale on Oct. 5th. They will be joined by the 250cc Micro-Sprints and the INEX Legends, who will be also running their make-up feature from the rained-out August 31st show in addition to a complete evening of qualifying and feature racing afterwards. Gates will open at 5 PM, with hot-laps getting underway at 6:30 PM, and the first heat taking the green flag at 7 PM.

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About this article
Series Sprint , Stock car
Drivers Mike Johnson , Neil Smith