Jim Siegel Claims First Career 410 Sprint Win With Last-Lap Pass; Rod Ort Wins Season Opener for 305 Sprints; Wagaman Leads Wire-to-wire in Thundercar Main ABBOTTSTOWN, PA, 3/13/04 - Last year, Lincoln Speedway chose co-rookies of the year. Now...
Jim Siegel Claims First Career 410 Sprint Win With Last-Lap Pass; Rod Ort Wins Season Opener for 305 Sprints; Wagaman Leads Wire-to-wire in Thundercar Main
ABBOTTSTOWN, PA, 3/13/04 - Last year, Lincoln Speedway chose co-rookies of the year. Now the fans know why.
Sensational sophomores Brian Leppo and Jim Siegel were joined by Darren Eash in pulling away from the rest of the field in Saturday's 25-lap 410 sprint feature in the Pigeon Hills. As the laps dwindled down, Leppo and Siegel broke away from Eash'S Jim and Sandy Kline No.22 to battle wheel-to-wheel for the lead that nearly sent both cars over the outside wall over the final two laps.
On the final circuit, Jim Siegel pulled a slider through turns one and two to give him his first lead of the race and his first career win in a 410 sprinter.
"I was giving him everything I had," said a jubilant Siegel in victory lane, "When I saw it was only two (laps) to go, I knew I had to try some sliders or something because it wasn't working running the same line with him."
"I would have rather crashed than run second," said Siegel when reminded that he was on the edge. "I was giving him too much room and I kept getting in closer and closer and he wasn't giving in.:
"I just figured I had to give it just a little bit more and hang the tail out...I don't think I made contact with him because I didn't feel him touch."
Leppo grabbed the lead from polesitter Bobby Weaver on a fifth lap restart and led the next 20 laps. Siegel started third, passed Weaver for second on lap six, and chased Leppo over the remainder of the race. He pulled alongside the H&H Contractors No.71 at the flag stand with two to go. A Siegel slider went awry and the Scarpitta Racing No.59 nearly crashed in the first two turns of lap 24. But somehow the second generation driver gathered it back up and closed on Leppo again as the leaders drove under the track scoreboard. The winning slider came a half-lap later.
"We're real good buddies and I thought he had it in the bag...I couldn't catch him," said Siegel. "Those last three laps I really just tried to calm down."
"I moved up a bit because I saw he wasn't using the whole race track up there on the top. I was trying like hell to get by him. I threw some sliders on him. It's tough because we're friends, but there are no friends out here and I wanted to win this race. I'm sure he did, too. He raced me clean and I love him for it."
Leppo, also going for his first career 410 win, settled for second a car length behind, with Darren Eash third, Lance Dewease advancing from seventh starting spot to finish fourth, and 11th-starting Greg Hodnett fifth. Rounding out the top ten were Niki Young, Eric Stambaugh, Fred Rahmer, Cris Eash, and Donnie Kreitz, Jr.
"Brian is a good guy and he's going to get his (win) real soon," said Siegel, There are a lot of good cars here this year I don't know what it is but everyone is kind of leveling out."
Heats for the 27 410-Sprints were won by the Eash brothers and Brian Montieth, with Canadian invader Ryan Coniam winning the consolation event.
Gettysburg's Craig Wagaman ended the Zeigler stranglehold on victory lane in 2004 by picking up his first win of 2004 in the 20 lap thundercar feature.
Wagaman started alongside polesitter Gary Potts at the drop of the green and rode the high line around turns one and two to grab the lead down the backstretch. Potts, who had initially took the lead on the first attempt to start the feature, but was called back for a caution, stuck to Wagaman's bumper throughout the race. But Wagaman ran flawlessly and fought off several caution restart challenges from Potts to eventually take the checkered 1.1 seconds ahead for his 17th career Lincoln win. That ties Wagaman with former track champ Bobby Beard for sixth on the all time thundercar win list.
Hanover's Neil Smith and Biglerville's Nat Tuckey ran third and fourth the entire distance with two-time winner Mike Zeigler Sr. finishing fifth on the final lap when Mike Walls spun.
Completing the top-10 were Bernie Beard, Sam Gallagher, Jeff Allen, Ron Shultz and Jake Markey.
Heats for the 22 Thundercars were won by Potts, Tuckey, and Wagaman.
Lewisberry's Rod Ort came from 14th starting spot to win the season opener for the Pennsylvania 305 sprint cars. Ort, who was still running seventh at the half-way point, found some traction on the cushion and was challenging polesitter and race-long leader Travis Keeney for the lead when Keeney's car lost power entering turn one of lap 19. Ort assumed the lead for the restart and was never challenged after that. It was Ort's second career 305 win.
Joey Hershey ran with the leaders all day and finished second, with 13th-starting Jim Wentz crossing third, Scott Ellerman fourth, and Brent Comp fifth.
Heats for the 24 305-Sprints on hand were won by Keeney, Ellerman, and Hershey.
Next Saturday, March 20th, Lincoln Speedway switches evening racing action with the green flag waving for the first of three consecutive 6 PM starts. Next Saturday's racing program also marks the return of the 358 Sprinters with two-time defending champ Cory Haas returning to defend his title. Gates will open 4 PM, and hot-laps getting underway at 5:30 PM.
Feature (25 Laps) - 1. 59-Jim Siegel ($2,500); 2. 71-Brian Leppo; 3. 22-Darren Eash; 4. 77-Lance Dewease; 5. 12-Greg Hodnett; 6. 10N-Niki Young; 7. 4-Eric Stambaugh; 8. 88H-Fred Rahmer; 9. 17E-Cris Eash; 10. 69K-Donnie Kreitz Jr.; 11. 30-Doug Esh; 12. 25-Adrian Shaffer; 13. 12H-Blane Heimbach; 14. 18W-Kevin Welsh; 15. 70C-Ryan Coniam; 16. 31D-Kevin Drury; 17. 47J-Jeff Busby; 18. 6W-Josh Wells; 19. X-Bobby Weaver (DNF); 20. 32-Brook Weibley (DNF); 21. 7-Keith Kauffman (DNF); 22. 21-Brian Montieth (DNF); 23. 70-Sam Schlosberg (DNF); 24. 52-Steve Clabaugh. No Time
Lap Leaders - Bobby Weaver (1-4), Brian Leppo (5-24), Jim Siegel (25)
1st Heat (10 Laps/6 to qualify) - 1. 17E-Cris Eash; 2. X-Bobby Weaver; 3. 59-Jim Siegel; 4. 25-Adrian Shaffer; 5. 6W-Josh Wells; 6. 69K-Donnie Kreitz Jr.; 7. 18W-Kevin Welsh; 8. 70-Sam Schlosberg; 9. 52-Steve Clabaugh. Time - 2:26.43
2nd Heat (10 Laps/6 to qualify) 1. 21-Brian Montieth; 2. 71-Brian Leppo; 3. 7-Keith Kauffman; 4. 12-Greg Hodnett; 5. 10N-Niki Young; 6. 30-Doug Esh; 7. 70-Ryan Coniam; 8. 7K-Dan Shetler; 9. 12H-Blane Heimbach (DNF). Time - 2:26.41
3rd Heat (10 Laps/6 to qualify) 1. 22-Darren Eash; 2. 77-Lance Dewease; 3. 32-Brook Weibley; 4. 4-Eric Stambaugh; 5. 88H-Fred Rahmer; 6 31D-Kevin Drury; 7. 47J-Jeff Busby; 8. 43-Larry Shive; 9. 38-Chappy Knaack (DNF). No Time
Consolation (10 laps/6 to qualify) 1. 70-Ryan Coniam; 2. 18W-Kevin Welsh; 3. 70-Sam Schlosberg; 4. 47J-Jeff Busby; 5. 12-Blane Heimbach; 6. 52-Steve Clabaugh; 7. 7K-Dan Shetler; 8. 43-Larry Shive; 9. 38-Chappy Knaack (DNF). No Time
Feature (20 Laps) -1. 30-Craig Wagaman; 2. 5-Gary Potts; 3. 4-Neil Smith; 4. 52-Nat Tuckey; 5. 81-Mike Zeigler, Sr.; 6. X-Bernie Beard; 7. 20-Sam Gallagher; 8. 33-Jeff Allen; 9. 31-Ron Shultz; 10. 12-Jake Markey; 11. 91-Tom Slusser, Jr.; 12. 37-Frankie Dee; 13. B52-Mike Walls (DNF); 14. 14-Chet McCormick (DNF); 15. 7X-Tony Rose (DNF); 16. 15-James Yost (DNF); 17. 76-Bob Bare (DNF); 18. 21A-Mike Zeigler Jr. (DNF); 19. 3R-Bobby Rudisill (DNF); 20. 70-Duane Hahn (DNF); 21. 3-Mike Gladfelter (DNF); 22. 11-Jim Rost (DNF); DNS - 61S-Mike Slaybaugh, 9J-Mike Johnson. No Time
Lap Leaders - Craig Wagaman (1-20)
1st Heat (8 Laps/6 to qualify) - 1. 5-Gary Potts; 2. 21A-Mike Zeigler Jr.; 3. X-Bernie Beard; 4. 15-James Yost; 5. 33-Jeff Allen; 6. 37-Frankie Dee; 7. 61S-Mike Slaybaugh (DNS); 8. 7X-Tony Rose (DNF); 9. 8-Mike Gladfelter II (DNF). No Time
2nd Heat (8 Laps/6 to qualify) - 1. 52-Nat Tuckey; 2. B52-Mike Walls; 3. 3-Ron Shultz; 4. 3-Mike Gladfelter; 5. 11-Jim Rost; 6. 76-Bob Bare; 7. 9J-Mike Johnson (DNF); 8. 70-Duane Hahn (DNF). No Time
3rd Heat (8 Laps/6 to qualify) - 1. 30-Craig Wagaman; 2. 81-Mike Zeigler, Sr.; 3. 4-Neil Smith; 4. 20-Sam Gallagher; 5. 3R-Bobby Rudisill; 6. 14-Chet McCormick; 7. 91-Tom Slusser Jr.; 8. 12-Jake Markey. No Time
Pennsylvania 305 Sprints:
Feature (20 Laps) - 1. 36-Rod Ort; 2. 44-Joey Hershey; 3. 88-Jim Wentz; 4. 115-Scott Elleman; 5. 5-Brent Comp; 6. 8M-Chris Meleson; 7. 75-Dusty Shatzer; 8. 31-Tommy Beaver; 9. 8-Randy Kaylor; 10. 33T-Todd Spangler; 11. 74-Greg Hammaker; 12. 46-Mike Alleman; 13. 16-Bryan Golden; 14. 68M-Jim Moffett, Jr.; 15. 9-Travis Keeney (DNF); 16. 65-Bob Gutshall (DNF); 17. ½- Von McGee (DNF); 18. 0-Mike Freet (DNF); 19. 67-Bob Fink, Jr. (DNF). DNS: 94-Ted Thomas, Jr.; 60K-Rob Mellott; 74S-Don Slack; 1A-Cale Reigel. No Time
Lap Leaders - Travis Keeney (1-18), Rod Ort (19-20)
1st Heat (8 Laps/6 to qualify) - 1. 9-Travis Keeney; 2. 5-Brent Comp; 3. 8M-Chris Meleason; 4. 33T-Todd Spangler; 5. 88-Jim Wentz; 6. 74-Greg Hammaker; 7. 65-Bob Gutshall; 8. 74S-Don Slack. Time - 2:08.49
2nd Heat (8 Laps/6 to qualify) - 1. 115-Scott Ellerman; 2. 75-Dusty Shatzer; 3. 46-Mike Alleman; 4. 8-Randy Kaylor; 5. 36-Rod Ort; 6. 67-Bob Fink; 7. 16-Bryan Golden; 8. 1A-Cole Reigle. Time - 2:08.49
3rd Heat (8 Laps/6 to qualify) - 1. 44-Joey Hershey; 2. 31-Tommy Beavers; 3. 0-Mike Freet; 4. 94-Ted Thomas Jr. (DNF); DNS - 60K-Rob Mellott, 8M-Jim Moffitt Jr, 1/2-Von McGee, 15-Vince Snyder. No Time