Lincoln Speedway report 2002-05-18

Rahmer makes late-race pass to score fourth of the year at Lincoln; Ilg, Walls win "358" sprint, thundercar features. ABBOTTSTOWN, PA, 5/18/02 - For most of the race, it looked like Lincoln Speedway would get a new winner Saturday night, but the...

Rahmer makes late-race pass to score fourth of the year at Lincoln; Ilg, Walls win "358" sprint, thundercar features.

ABBOTTSTOWN, PA, 5/18/02 - For most of the race, it looked like Lincoln Speedway would get a new winner Saturday night, but the big guns flexed their muscles late, and in the end, points leader Fred Rahmer scored his fourth win of the year in the Pigeon Hills.

Polesitter Michael Markey of New Oxford moved his Garrett Racing Engines #3 to the point on the first two turns and led the first six laps. Lancaster's Doug Esh wrestled the lead away from Markey in the third and fourth turns of lap seven, but lost a rear end and dropped from the field at the first caution a lap later. Markey assumed the race lead for the restart, and led the next 13 laps as former track champs Bobby Weaver, Cris Eash, and Fred Rahmer duked it out for the runner-up spot. Brook Weibley entered the top five when Esh dropped from the field, and he and Johnny Mackison, Jr. staged a battle of their own right behind the pack racing for second.

Rahmer, who started 12th, was already into fourth by the seventh-lap caution, had to wait until Weaver and Eash settled their battle before getting by Eash for third on lap 15. Four laps later, he caught Weaver for second. It wasn't until lap 21 that Lincoln's five-time defending champ slipped under the Markey in lapped traffic on turn four.

"He ran real well," said Rahmer upon exiting his Joe Harz-owned No.88H sprinter. "He's been improving, and tonight, the way the track was, he was zipping right around there. With that little bit of rain, it was pretty moist, and it was pretty easy to run around here wide open."

The freight train of Eash (who passed Weaver on that same 21st lap), Weaver, and Mackison all drove around Markey over the final three laps, and Markey settled for a career best fifth.

"It was just a matter of who snuck through when," Rahmer added, "We were lucky to get through...I've got to thank Miller Brothers, Mr. T's, CnB Mushrooms, and all the guys that help us out. The crew did a good job tonight, but we can still be a lot better."

The win 1.35-second victory was Rahmer's second of the week, coming on the heals of his big win in Lincoln's 50th Anniversary show on Wednesday. It also padded his points lead as he seeks his sixth straight and seventh overall Lincoln championship.

Completing the top ten were Weibley, Chris Knopp, Josh Wells, Niki Young (who started 20th), and Troy "Buster" Whitesel.

Heats for the 20 super sprints were won by Eash and Rahmer.

Joe Ilg scored his first win of he year in the 20-lap "358" sprint feature. Ilg's battled with Tony Strine for second became a race for the lead when race-long leader Michael Creaghan blew a motor and dropped out on lap 15. Strine was scored the leader as the two crossed side-by-side to complete the lap, and Ilg grabbed the top spot a lap later.

Veterans Scott Ausherman and Eric Stambaugh (who started 11th and 12th respectively) advanced through the field to challenge over the final three laps, but Ilg held on for his second career win in the Pigeon Hills.

Strine settled for fourth, with Billy Johns fifth. Rounding out the top ten were Brian Leppo, Adrian Shaffer, Chad Trout, Billy Dietrich, and Bill Case, Jr.

Stambaugh's third-place finish vaulted him back into the Lincoln "358" points lead by a mere 10 points over Ausherman.

Heats for the 24 "358" sprints on hand were won by Strine, Dan Dietrich, and Creaghan.

Gettysburg's Mike Walls out-dueled Mike Zeigler, Jr. over the final 12 laps for his first win of the year in the 20-lap thundercar feature. Walls, who started fifth, advanced to second behind Ken Berwager by the end of the second lap, then pressured the leader for the next six laps before sliding under Berwager on turn four of lap 8. Zeigler, who started eighth, got by Berwager on the same lap and pulled onto Walls' bumper shortly thereafter. The final margin of victory was .25 seconds, and gave Walls his fifth career Lincoln win.

Nat Tuckey, Steve Clabaugh (who came from 14th), and Berwager completed the top five.

Heats for the 21 thundercars were won by Walls and David Prunkl.

Next weekend Lincoln Speedway will play host to two racing programs over the Memorial Day holiday weekend. On Saturday night, May 25th, the super sprints will be running after $3,000 over 30 laps in the ANNUAL MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND SUPER SPRINT CHAMPIONSHIP. The sprinters will be joined by the thundercar regulars, and the 250cc Micro-Sprints. Gates will open at 5:30 PM, with warm-ups at 6:30 PM, and the first heat taking the green at 7:30 PM.

Then Lincoln Speedway comes right back a day later for a special Memorial Day show on Monday evening, May 27th @ 6 PM. The super sprint regulars will be given the night off to run elsewhere, giving top billing to the 358 Sprint and thundercar regulars. Also joining them will be Silver Spring Limited Late Models and Street Stocks. Gates will open at 4 PM, with warm-ups at 5:30 PM, and the first heat taking the green at 6 PM.

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Series Sprint , Stock car