Cris Eash claims popular win in Lincoln Sprint Main; Zeigler, Sr. continues strong start with win in Thundercar feature ABBOTTSTOWN, PA, 2/28/04 - When a driver wins from the pole, the meat of the story is normally the racing from second on...
Cris Eash claims popular win in Lincoln Sprint Main; Zeigler, Sr. continues strong start with win in Thundercar feature
ABBOTTSTOWN, PA, 2/28/04 - When a driver wins from the pole, the meat of the story is normally the racing from second on back. That wasn't the case in Saturday afternoon's 25-lap 410 Sprint feature at Lincoln Speedway.
The racing was fast and furious throughout the stellar field, but it was just as good at the front.
Cris Eash started on the pole and won the race, but he didn't lead every lap.
Eash, who started on the pole for the feature, battled clogged nozzles to a second-place finish in his heat. Eash yielded to fellow front row starter Josh Wells at the outset and ran second to the Thomasville sprinter the first eight laps. Wells' lead was nearly a full second ahead when a ninth lap caution came out for a spinning Sam Schlosberg on turn two.
On the restart, Eash drove around Wells to grab the lead exiting the second turn. He led the rest of the way, with torrid multi-car racing for position in behind.
"Josh (Wells) was actually stretching me out on those restarts," said Eash in victory lane. "My only shot was to try to roll around the outside and keep my car good and straight...I came off the corner over there and got by him."
"He was doing a heck of-a-job today."
Before fading over the final three laps, Wells ran second to Eash while holding off three cars racing for third. Greg Hodnett and Doug Esh swapped the spot twice with Mark Smith just behind. Hodnett took third for the final time on lap 18, then caught Wells for the runner-up spot two laps later. Though he closed the gap significantly (3.63 seconds behind with two laps to go), he was never able to mount a challenge and crossed 2.33 seconds behind the winner. Esh passed Wells for third on lap 22, Smith and ninth-starting Brook Weibley then passed Wells for fourth and fifth respectively on the next-to-last lap.
Those drivers were among a group of racers who were involved in torrid racing the entire event, with Wells holding on for sixth just ahead of 18th-starting Keith Kauffman and Fred Rahmer. Adrian Shaffer and Donnie Kreitz, Jr. finished ninth and tenth.
"I had some motor problems in the heat," reflected the leader feature winner in 2003 at Lincoln. "Our nozzles were clogging up and that makes it a little lazy on the starts."
"We definitely got a little hot, but it did seem to clear up in the feature. My heat race was terrible. It just wouldn't go for about half-a-lap. It seemed to run okay in the feature, it just got really hot."
"We love racing here," said Eash, "This is definitely my favorite track. We seem to have a pretty decent set-up for here, and we just love to come here."
Kauffman lost a starting spot at the front of the feature field when he smacked into a spinning car at the tail end of the lead lap while leading his heat. Defending track champ Lance Dewease finished eighth in his heat, started 15th in the feature, and was never a factor in the race (13th).
Heats for the 23 410-Sprints were won by Smith and Kreitz.
For the second straight week, a Zeigler was in the thundercar victory lane. But this time, it was Mike Zeigler Sr.. Zeigler Sr. had to settle for second place last week behind his son Zeigler Jr., but led all 20-laps of Saturday's feature. Zeigler grabbed the lead from polesitter Chet McCormick at the start and held off his son for the first six laps. Zeigler Jr. appeared to take the lead from his dad on lap seven, but drifted high and hit the wall on turn four. After dropping to the pits to make repairs, Jr. came from the rear to finish seventh.
Zeigler then got pressure from McCormick over the next four laps, before Duane Watson took the runner-up spot on lap 11. Watson then closed on Zeigler and pressured the leader until an 18th-lap caution for Jim Yost and Tom Slusser, who spun on turn three. On the restart, Ron Shultz got around Watson for second, but that allowed Zeigler to pull away to his 15th career thundercar win in the Pigeon Hills.
Shultz finished second 1.51 seconds behind, with Watson third, McCormick fourth, and Bernie Beard fifth.
Completing the top-10 were 25th-starting (Alternate) Duane Hahn, Zeigler Jr., Yost, Jim Rost, and Slusser.
Heats for the 26 Thundercars were won by McCormick, Zeigler Sr., and Schultz.
Next Saturday afternoon, March 6th @ 2 PM, both the 410 Sprints and Thundercars will be back in action for the third straight weekend.
Saturday - February 28, 2004
Feature (25 Laps) - 1. 17E-Cris Eash ($2,500); 2. 12-Greg Hodnett; 3. 30-Doug Esh; 4. 1-Mark Smith; 5. 32-Brook Weibley; 6. 6W-Josh Wells; 7. 7-Keith Kauffman; 8. 88H-Fred Rahmer; 9. 25-Adrian Shaffer; 10. 69K-Donnie Kreitz Jr.; 11. 4-Eric Stambaugh; 12. 12H-Blane Heimbach; 13. 77-Lance Dewease; 14. 00-Jim Nier; 15. 10N-Niki Young; 16. 22-Darren Eash; 17. 71-Brian Leppo; 18. 70-Sam Scholsberg; 19. X-Bobby Weaver (DNF); 20. 97-Billy Dietrch (DNF); 21. 58-Aaron Long (DNF); 22. 21-Brian Montieth (DNF); 23. 59-Jim Siegel (DNF). No Time
Lap Leaders - Josh Wells (1-8), Cris Eash (9-25)
1st Heat (10 Laps) - 1. 1-Mark Smith; 2. 88H-Fred Rahmer; 3. 25-Adrian Shaffer; 4. 30-Doug Esh; 5. 12-Greg Hodnett; 6. 32-Brook Weibley; 7. 21-Brian Montieth; 8. 77-Lance Dewease; 9. 22-Darren Eash; 10. 97-Billy Dietrich; 11. 70-Sam Schlosberg. Time - 2:21.64
2nd Heat (10 Laps) - 1. 69K-Donnie Kreitz Jr.; 2. 17E-Cris Eash; 3. 4-Eric Stambaugh; 4. 12H-Blane Heimbach; 5. 6W-Josh Wells; 6. 00-Jim Nier; 7. X-Bobby Weaver; 8 71-Brian Leppo; 9. 7-Keith Kauffman (DNF); 10. 58-Aaron Long (DNF); 11. 59-Jim Siegel (DNF); 12. 10N-Niki Young (DNF). No time.
Feature (20 Laps) -1. 81-Mike Zeigler Sr.; 2. 31-Ron Shultz; 3. 3R-Duane Watson; 4. 14-Chet McCormick; 5. X-Bernie Beard; 6. 70-Duane Hahn; 7. 21A-Mike Zeigler Jr.; 8. 15-James Yost; 9. 11R-Jim Rost; 10. 91-Tom Slusser; 11. 3-Mike Gladfelter; 12. 12-Jake Markey (DNF); 13. 37-Frankie Dee (DNF); 14. 61S-Mike Slaybaugh (DNF); 15. 7X-Tony Rose (DNF): 16. 9J-Mike Johnson (DNF); 17. 94-Ron Myers (DNF): 18. 4-Neil Smith (DNF); 19. 8-Robert Bopst (DNF); 20. 20-Sam Gallagher (DNF); 21. 5-Gary Potts (DNF); 22. 2-Dan Zechman (DNF); 23. B52-Mike Walls (DNF); DNS - 52-Nat Tuckey; 67D-Randy Doty. No Time
Lap Leaders - Mike Zeigler, Sr. (1-20)
1st Heat (8 Laps/6 to qualify) - 1. 14-Chet McCormick; 2. B52-Mike Walls; 3. 91-Tom Slusser Jr.; 4. 3R-Duane Watson; 5. 8-Robert Bopst; 6. 61S-Mike Slaybaugh; 7. 31-Ron Shultz; 8. 15-James Yost; 9. 70-Duane Hahn (DNF). No Time
2nd Heat (8 Laps/6 to qualify) - 1. 81-Mike Zeigler Sr.; 2. 21A-Mike Zeigler Jr.; 3. 91-Tom Slusser Jr.; 4. 3R-Duane Watson; 5. 8-Robert Bopst; 6. 61S-Mike Slaybaugh (DNF); 7. 37-Frankie Dee (DNF); 8. 15-James Yost (DNF);9. 70-Duane Hahn (DNF). No Time
3rd Heat (8 Laps/6 to qualify) - 1. 31-Ron Shultz; 2. 52-Nat Tuckey; 3. 12-Jake Markey; 4. X-Bernie Beard; 5. 9J-Mike Johnson; 6. 2-Dan Zechman; 7. 5-Gary Potts (DNF); 8. 94-Ron Myers (DNF). No Time