Lincoln Speedway report 2001-07-07

ABBOTTSTOWN, PA, 7/7/01 - Score one for the small dogs Saturday night at Lincoln Speedway. Three of the little guys made lots of noise in the 25-lap super sprint feature. Craig "Cricket" Keel, who builds his own race cars and motors and ...

ABBOTTSTOWN, PA, 7/7/01 - Score one for the small dogs Saturday night at Lincoln Speedway.

Three of the little guys made lots of noise in the 25-lap super sprint feature.

Craig "Cricket" Keel, who builds his own race cars and motors and travels 300 miles weekly from his Weedsport, NY, home, flirted with disaster around the top of turns one and two to wrestle the lead from Shawn "Big Block" Weaver on lap eight, and drove away to his first career win in the Pigeon Hills.

"If you can't get dressed up to go to the party there is no sense going," said Keel. "We had to wait a little while to get back out here...if you're going to play with the big boys, you've got to come where they live."

"We've been pretty close, but we just haven't gotten the cigar," said a happy Keel in victory lane. "Now we got a cigar."

Keel started on the outside of the front row, followed Weaver until making the eighth-lap pass, and paced the field the rest of the way. His final margin of victory was 1.95 seconds over hard-charger Brian Montieth, who started 13th and blasted through the field to finish second.

Keel tried to bring a jack onto the track during a red flag on lap three. But track officials reminded him that a jack wasn't permitted, and he and his dad lifted the car so a spacer could be taken out on the right rear tire. The red flag was for Mark Coldren and Darren Eash, who hooked together on the frontstretch, puncturing Coldren's fuel tank and causing a spill.

"We had to kick the wheel out a little," said Keel on his red flag adjustments. "Last week, even if they would have run 100 laps, we still would have been tight...we took the spacer out and slid the wheel in."

"I had to get by Big Block (Shawn Weaver) there," said Keel. "I had a lot of fun racing him...we're both in the same deal, I think this is my 13th race, and Freddy and them guys got 12 wins already. It's been so much fun coming down here."

A wild three-car battle for third saw Steve Siegel pass Weaver, but both drivers lost out to points leader Fred Rahmer, on the final turns. Siegel and Weaver were fourth and fifth, with Bobby Weaver, Johnny Mackison, Jr., Niki Young, Glenndon Forsythe, and Cliff Brian completing the top ten.

Cris Eash finished 11th after coming from the rear following a three-car crash that also involved Billy Sims and Jeff Rohrbaugh. Rohrbaugh tipped onto his side, and neither the Tanger #07 nor the Timbertall Tree Stands #55s were able to continue.

Heats for the 22 super sprinters on hand were won by Shawn Weaver and Keel.

Fayetteville's Jimmy Brookens had to pass Shawn Siefert twice to win the 15-lap micro-sprint feature. Brookens' dove under polesitter Siefert to grab the lead on lap seven, but the pass was negated when the caution came out before the end of the lap. He proceeded to make the same move on the restart , and drove away to his second straight Lincoln feature win of the year.

Randy West came from his ninth starting spot to catch Siefert on the 10th lap and finish second. Siefert hung on for third, with 12th starting Terry Schaeffer crossing fourth and 11th starting Richie Hartman finishing fifth.

Heats for the 38 micro-sprints on hand were won by Schaeffer, Hartman, Aaron Eichelberger, and West. Twin consolations were won by Brian Leppo II and Jim Still.

Craig Wagaman led wire-to-wire and claimed his second straight win in the 20-lap thundercar feature. Wagaman started third and took the lead when polesitter Pete Lawrence dropped to the inside with mechanical woes on the first lap. Though he led the rest of the way, he had to hold off Pat McClane early (before he was sidelined with mechanical trouble on the 10th lap), Allen Cullum through the middle stages, and then the four-car train of Neil Smith, Steve Clabaugh, Cullum, and Bobby Beard over the final laps. His margin of victory was .22 seconds (less than half a carlength) over Smith, who pushed Wagaman to the outside wall on the final turns.

Heats for the 28 thundercars were won by Greg Messersmith, Randy Doty, and Wagaman, with Chet McCormick winning the consolation.

Next Saturday night, July 14th, all three point divisions will be on hand - the Cindy Rowe Auto Glass Super Sprints, the Budweiser/Motorsports Monthly 358 Sprints, and the Miller Brother's Chevrolet Thundercars. Gates will open at 5:30 PM, hot laps at 7 PM and racing action gets under way at 7:30 PM.

-DR

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About this article
Series Sprint , Stock car
Drivers Neil Smith