Abbottstown, PA, 6/28/03 - Most drivers will tell you it's better to be lucky than good, but leading Lincoln feature winner Cris Eash was both in claiming the wire-to-wire victory in the Pennsylvania Speedweek opener in the Pigeon Hills Saturday...
Abbottstown, PA, 6/28/03 - Most drivers will tell you it's better to be lucky than good, but leading Lincoln feature winner Cris Eash was both in claiming the wire-to-wire victory in the Pennsylvania Speedweek opener in the Pigeon Hills Saturday night.
Eash's first stroke of luck in the 4th Annual Kevin Gobrecht Memorial came when he started on the pole despite timing ninth quick in time trials. Fast time trialer Sean Michael pulled a "six" pill for the inversion, but three drivers who timed within the six fastest times-Mark Coldren, Niki Young, and Keith Kauffman-failed to qualify in their heats. (Coldren finished outside the top five in his heat, Young was collected by leader Mike Erdley in an altercation his qualifier, and Kauffman flipped on the backstretch of his event.)
And although he led every lap of the "A" Main, Eash was having a nightmare trying to get around Ron Kramer and Doug Esh in lapped traffic when the second and final caution of the race came out for a lap-24 spin by Chappy Knaack in turn three. At the time, Fred Rahmer and Lance Dewease were closing rapidly. Clearly the fastest car, Eash drove away from his two Lincoln rivals over the final seven laps, scoring the 1.64-second, $5,000 win.
"I had an awesome race car...that thing was on a string around the top," exclaimed the happy winner upon exiting his Advance Settlement Agency/Macri Concrete/E&G Classics No.17E in victory lane. "We got a little bunched up behind some lapped cars there, and was kinda' stuck...luckily, the yellow came out and cleared the way."
"If you learn one thing here, it's how to race in lapped traffic," Eash quickly added. "We had a lot of lucky breaks, we didn't qualify so great, but some other guys' misfortunes put us up on the front row."
"You can either be a hero or zero starting there, and luckily, things worked out for us tonight."
Six-time defending Lincoln champ Fred Rahmer, still looking for his first Lincoln win of the year, bested Dewease in a dual for second, with Michael and Todd Hestor completing the top five. Sixth through tenth were Chris Knopp, Donnie Kreitz Jr., Michael Markey, Johnny Mackison Jr., and Todd Shaffer.
Among those without luck on opening night of Pennsylvania Speedweek was 2003 Speedweek champ Greg Hodnett, who was collected by a spinning Adrian Shaffer while running second on turn three of lap 12.
Eash's win was his sixth career Speedweek win, and his fourth of the year in the Pigeon Hills.
Commenting on Kevin Gobrecht, for whom opening night of Pennsylvania Speedweek is named, Eash said, "We grew up racing together, and the Gobrechts are a great family...a nice bunch of people. Donna (Gobrecht) and I were talking last week, and she said 'Maybe you can't get lucky and win the race next week.' I guess God was looking down upon us, and gave us some speed."
The victory gave Eash the Pennsylvania Speedweek points lead after the first event with 166 points. With points awarded for every event (time trials, heats, and features), Rahmer (142), Michael (141), and Dewease (138) were second through fourth in points heading into night two of Pennsylvania Speedweek at Grandview Speedway. Tied for fifth with 120 points were Hestor and Knopp.
Sprint heats were won by Todd Shaffer, Doug Esh, Ron Kramer (in the Troy Whitesel No.17B), and Knopp. Knaack won the B-Main.
Fast time in time trials over the 41-car field was set by Sean Michael's with a one-lap time of 13.274 seconds (101.703 MPH).
Mike Zeigler Sr. drove with a heavy heart and was on a mission this night after crew member Robby Miller lost his life in a traffic accident earlier in the week.
Zeigler drove from his sixth starting position and into the lead when race-leader Mike Ciezobka slowed with mechanical problems on the eighth lap and held off a determined Mike Walls and Duane Hahn over the last half of the race to pick up his third Lincoln win of 2003 in the 20 lap thundercar feature.
Hahn, who started 21st, drove around Walls to grab second on lap 14 but couldn't mount a serious challenge as Zeigler took the checkered .41 seconds ahead for his 13th career win.
Walls settled for third, with 24th starting Craig Wagaman crossing fourth and 22nd starting Mike Zeigler Jr. Rounding out the top-five.
23rd-starting Steve Clabaugh dropped into the pits during the feature and returned to finish sixth. Robert Bopst started 17th and finished seventh, and Roy Warehime eighth.
Point leader Bernie Beard suffered through a dismal night and came from the pits once, and a spin-out, to finish ninth. Chet McCormick, who was running third when he spun on lap nine, ended up 10th.
Heats for the 28 thundercars were won by Dan Zechman, Beard, and Nat Tuckey.
Next Saturday night, July 5th, the 410 sprinters will have the night off to compete in Pennsylvania Speedweek action elsewhere. That will give the popular 358 sprints a night to shine as they will headline the special Fourth of July weekend show. Joining them will be the Pennsylvania-based 305 sprinters and the thundercar regulars. The night will be capped-off with a gigantic fireworks display. Gates will open at 5:30 PM, with hotlaps getting underway at 7 PM, and the first heat taking the green at 7:30 PM.
To get all the latest news, results, schedule changes and rule changes, visit Lincoln Speedway's website at http://www.lincolnspeedway.com to stay up-to-date on all the action or pending weather conditions at Central Pennsylvania's "Premier" Saturday night race track - The Fabulous Lincoln Speedway.
13TH ANNUAL PENNSYLVANIA SPEEDWEEK OPENER (Race 1 of 8)
4th Annual Kevin Gobrecht Memorial
Feature (30 Laps) - 1. 17E-Cris Eash ($5,000); 2. 88H-Fred Rahmer; 3. 77-Lance Dewease; 4. 1-Sean Michael; 5. 7M-Todd Hestor; 6. 6K-Chris Knopp; 7. 69K-Donnie Kreitz Jr.; 8. 5-Michael Markey; 9. 65-Johnny Mackison Jr.; 10. 88-Todd Shaffer; 11. 30-Doug Esh; 12. 32-Brook Weibley; 13. 17B-Ron Kramer; 14. 22-Darren Eash; 15. CIII-Len Thompson; 16. X-Bobby Weaver; 17. 59-Jim Siegel; 18. 17-Alan Cole; 19. 51-Chappy Knaack; 20. 33-Craig Smith (DNF); 21. 12-Greg Hodnett (DNF); 22. 25-Adrian Shaffer (DNF); 23. 31D-Kevin Drury (DNF); 24. 38-Jeff Rohrbaugh (DNF). No Time
Lap Leaders - Cris Eash (1-30)
1st Heat (10 Laps/5 to qualify) - 1. 88-Todd Shaffer; 2. 17E-Cris Eash; 3. 1-Sean Michael; 4. 65-Johnny Mackison Jr.; 5. X-Bobby Weaver; 6. 5W-Lucas Wolfe; 7. 21P-Glenndon Forsythe; 8. 7K-Dan Shetler; 9. I07-Mike Coldren; 10. 49-Bobby Howard; 11. 38-Jeff Rohrbaugh. No Time
2nd Heat (10 Laps/5 to qualify) - 1. 30-Doug Esh; 2. 69K-Donnie Kreitz Jr.; 3. 32-Brook Weibley; 4. 5-Michael Markey; 5. 59-Jim Siegel; 6. 6W-Josh Wells; 7. 17H-Jason Hagenbuch; 8. 11-Mike Erdley (DNF); 9. 10N-Niki Young (DNF); 10. 00-Mike Miller (DNF). No Time
3rd Heat (10 Laps/5 to qualify) - 1. 17B-Ron Kramer; 2. 77-Lance Dewease; 3. 33-Craig Smith; 4. 7M-Todd Hestor; 5. CIII-Len Thompson; 6. 53-Mark Smith; 7. 25-Adrian Shaffer; 8. 93-Pancho Lawler (DNF); 9. 7-Keith Kauffman (DNF); 10. 55S-Billy Sims (DNF). Time - 2:31.91
4th Heat (10 Laps/5 to qualify) - 1. 6K-Chris Knopp; 2. 88H-Fred Rahmer; 3. 12-Greg Hodnett; 4. 22-Darren Eash; 5. 31D-Kevin Drury; 6. 71-Brian Leppo; 7. 47J-Jeff Busby; 8. 17-Alan Cole; 9. 51-Chappy Knaack; 10. 25-Nik Gower (DNS). No Time
B-Main (10 Laps/4 to qualify) - 1. 51-Chappy Knaack; 2. 25-Adrian Shaffer; 3. 38-Jeff Rohrbaugh; 4. 17-Alan Cole; 5. 55S-Billy Sims; 6. 6W-Josh Wells; 7. I07-Mark Coldren; 8. 5W-Lucas Wolfe; 9. 47J-Jeff Busby; 10. 49-Bob Howard; 11. 7K-Dan Shetler; 12. 11-Mike Erdley (DNF); 13. 10N-Niki Young (DNF); 14. 53-Mark Smith (DNF); 15. 21P-Glenndon Forsythe (DNF); 16. 71-Brian Leppo (DNF); 17. 17H-Jason Hagenbuch (DNF); DNS - 7-Keith Kauffman, 00-Mike Miller, 93-Pancho Lawler, 25-Nik Gower. No Time
Time Trials - 1. 1-Sean Michael, 13.274 seconds (101.703 MPH); 2. 5-Michael Markey, 13.298; 3. 7-Keith Kauffman, 13.385; 4. 12-Greg Hodnett, 13.406; 5. I07-Mark Coldren, 13.450; 6. 10N-Niki Young, 13.520; 7. 77-Lance Dewease, 13.571; 8. 88H-Fred Rahmer, 13.572; 9. 17E-Cris Eash, 13.584; 10. 69K-Donnie Kreitz Jr., 13.591; 11. 7M-Todd Hestor, 13.611; 12. 6K-Chris Knopp, 13.671; 13. X-Bobby Weaver, 13.685; 14. 32-Brook Weibley, 13.725; 15. 53-Mark Smith, 13.734; 16. 22-Darren Eash, 13.747; 17. 65-Johnny Mackison Jr., 13.755; 18. 11-Mike Erdley, 13.776; 19. 17B-Ron Kramer, 13.812; 20. 47J-Jeff Busby, 13.854; 21. 88-Todd Shaffer, 13.872; 22. 30-Doug Esh, 13.889; 23. 33-Craig Smith, 13.893; 24. 51-Chappy Knaack, 13.896; 25. 21P-Glenndon Forsythe, 13.925; 26. 17H-Jason Hagenbuch, 13.945; 27. 25-Adrian Shaffer, 13.956; 28. 71-Brian Leppo, 14.057; 29. 5W-Lucas Wolfe, 14.062; 30. 59-Jim Siegel, 14.101; 31. CIII-Len Thompson, 14.139; 32. 31D-Kevin Drury, 14.206; 33. 7K-Dan Shetler, 14.289; 34. 6W-Josh Wells, 14.352; 35. 55S-Billy Sims, 14.543; 36. 17-Alan Cole, 14.673; 37. 49-Bobby Howard, 15.169; 38. 00-Mike Miller, 15.486; 39. 93-Pancho Lawler, 21.476; 40. 25-Nik Gower, NT; 41. 38-Jeff Rohrbaugh, Disqualified.
Feature (20 Laps) - 1. 81-Mike Zeigler, Sr.; 2. 70-Duane Hahn; 3. 1W-Mike Walls; 4. 30-Craig Wagaman; 5. 21A-Mike Zeigler, Jr.; 6. 10-Steve Clabaugh; 7. 8-Robert Bopst; 8. 38-Roy Warehime; 9. X-Bernie Beard; 10. 14-Chet McCormick; 11. 39-Wayne Dutterer; 12. 63-William Knauss; 13. 61-Mike Ciezobka (DNF); 14. 4-Neil Smith (DNF); 15. 34M-Jim Martz Jr. (DNF); 16. 52-Nat Tuckey (DNF); 17. 00-Barry Williams (DNF); 18. 25-Sean Herrick (DNF); 19. 98-Dan Zechman (DNF); 20. 88-Tim Hahn (DNF); 21. 3-Mike Gladfelter (DNF); DNS - 8B-Doug Brown, B52-Ben Beshore, 11-Jim Rost. No Time
Lap Leaders - Sean Herrick (1-4), Mike Ciezobka (5-7), Mike Ziegler Sr. (8-20)
1st Heat (8 Laps/6 to qualify) - 1. 98-Dan Zechman; 2. 61-Mike Ciezobka; 3. 38-Roy Warehime; 4. 4-Neil Smith; 5. 00-Barry Williams; 6 63-William Knaus; 7. B52-Ben Beshore (DNF); 8. 88-Tim Hahn (DNF); 9. 10-Steve Clabaugh (DNF). No Time
2nd Heat (8 Laps/6 to qualify) - 1. X-Bernie Beard; 2. 8MD-David Prunkl; 3. 14-Chet McCormick; 4. 3-Mike Gladfelter; 5. 8B-Doug Brown; 6. 39-Wayne Dutterer; 7. 11-Jim Rost (DNF); 8. 70-Duane Hahn (DNF); 9. 30-Craig Wagaman (DNS). No Time
3rd Heat (8 Laps/6 to qualify) - 1. 52-Nat Tuckey; 2. 81-Mike Zeigler Sr.; 3. 25-Sean Herrick; 4. 1W-Mike Walls; 5. 34M-Jim Martz Jr.; 6. 8-Robert Bopst; 7. 9-Al Cramer (DNF); DNS - 21A-Mike Zeigler Jr., 61S-Mike Slaybaugh. No Time