ABBOTTSTOWN, PA, 4/3/04 - Hanover's Cris Eash became the first repeat winner at Lincoln Speedway in 2004 with a thrilling victory in the 25 lap 410 sprint feature Saturday night. After going the first six weeks of the 2004 racing season without...
ABBOTTSTOWN, PA, 4/3/04 - Hanover's Cris Eash became the first repeat winner at Lincoln Speedway in 2004 with a thrilling victory in the 25 lap 410 sprint feature Saturday night.
After going the first six weeks of the 2004 racing season without a repeat winner, Eash ended the streak. But it didn't come easy, as he held off opening-day winner Fred Rahmer in wild three-lap finish which saw both veteran drivers dice their way through lapped traffic in a desperate race to the checkered.
In the end, Eash was victorious by a mere .78-hundredths of a second to record his 37th career win at the Pigeon Hills oval.
At the outset, polesitter Dan Shetler grabbed the lead over outside frontrow starter Glenndon Forsythe and pulled out to a commanding 2.18-second lead by the time he hit lapped traffic on the fifth lap.
Meanwhile, current Cindy Rowe Auto Glass point leader Eash, who started 12th, had charged into sixth place. Eash continued his surge to the front by passing early-season winner Brian Montieth to move into the top five on the sixth lap, then shot past both Becca Anderson and Jeff Busby on the eighth lap to move into third. A lap later, the1996 Lincoln champ worked his way around Forsythe into second as Shetler continued to stretch his lead out to 2.71 seconds.
"I actually thought I had the lead when I passed the second-place car, and then I glanced up at the board and saw the '7' there," said Eash. "I thought...'Where's he at, I don't even seen him!', fortunately, we reeled him in and he got stuck behind a couple cars."
But Eash narrowed the gap quickly and was on Shetler's bumper by the 11th lap. He made his move in the third and fourth turns while negotiating lapped traffic to take the lead as they completed the 12th lap.
The race's first of two cautions on the 14th lap, occured when Niki Young lost control in the third and fourth turns and did a 360 degree spin without stopping. The resultant yellow flag still forced Young to the rear. At the time, Eash had Shetler, third-starting Jeff Busby, 11th-starting Rahmer and Anderson in tow.
The final caution waved on the subsequant restart when Glenndon Forsythe came to a stop on the backstretch.
On the restart, Rahmer shot around Busby into third and then around Shetler into second a lap later as Eash pulled away to a .78-second lead.
But Rahmer stalked Eash and pulled onto his bumper with three laps to go.
"I looked up on the (score)board and saw the 88, and I thought 'Oh-uh. Here he comes,' said Eash. "The last lap I could see him out of the corner of my eye, but we were good enough to hold on to it.
"I was just trying to get through 'em (the final laps), and didn't want to get boxed in behind anybody and let him go around the outside of me. They (lapped traffic) were running two-wide, so I wasn't really sure what to do. I was waiting for them to single-out."
Rahmer rode the cushion around every turn, but was never able to get by the E&G Classics/Macri Concrete No.17E. A bobble by Rahmer as he approached a lapped car on the final turns allowed Eash to pull away to the .78-second win.
"This Saturday night deal is tough," Eash said. "You look at that lineup... and any of the cars starting in the top 12 spots can win the race."
"The first six races were won by six different drivers. That just tells you how tough it's going to be. Double-digit wins are probably pretty much out of the question for any of us as tough as the competition is here this year."
Heats for the 24 sprinters were won by Forsythe, Busby and Doug Esh, with Brian Leppo winning the consolation event.
Jeff Leiphart began his final season with yet another win at Lincoln Speedway in the season-opening 20 lap feature for the limited late models from Silver Spring. He started the race ninth and entered the top five by the end of lap three. After dropping a spot on a fourth-lap restart, Leiphart began another charge to the front and was setting up to make it a three-car race for the lead when Bud Witmer and leader Carl Billet got together exiting turn four, forcing Billet into the outside guardrail and ending his night on lap 12.
On the restart, Leiphart used the outside cushion to drive around Witmer for the race lead. From there, he drove away to a 2.9-second win over Witmer, with 13th-starting Bobby Beard crossing third, Mark Billet fourth, and Lear fifth.
Polesitter Witmer grabbed the lead at the start and led until yielding to Carl Billet on lap six. Billet and Witmer raced one-two until the 12th-lap incident.
Heats for the 24 Limited late models were won Dave Graber, and both Carl and Mark Billet.
The thundercars capped off a quick evening of racing action with yet another thrilling feature. This time it was Neil Smith who hung on for his first win of 2004 in a non-stop 20-lap feature.
Smith, who started outside the frontrow, grabbed the lead over polesitter Gary Potts at the drop of the green. Third-starting Craig Wagaman got around Potts to move into second on the seventh lap with sixth-starting Mike Walls moving into third on the ninth.
From there the top-three literally raced bumper-to-bumper through lapped traffic over the final 10 non-stop laps. Wagaman was momentarily scored the leader on the 10th lap as they dodged the slower cars. But Smith got back by him on the very next lap.
Smith held on to take the checkered after six minutes 57.56 seconds of wild non-stop action with Wagaman and Walls nose-to-tail on his bumper at the end. For Smith, the second winningest driver in thundercar history at Lincoln, it was his 30th career win at the Pigeon Hills oval.
Duane Hahn and Bernie Beard completed the top-five. Rounding out the top-10 were Duane Watson, Sam Gallagher, Mike Zeigler Jr., Mike Zeigler Sr. and Potts.
Heats for the 26 Thundercars were won Walls, Wagaman and Beard.
Next Saturday night, April 10th, Lincoln Speedway switches to 7 PM starts with gates opening at 5 PM. It marks the second time in 2004 that all three point division - the Cindy Rowe Paintless Dent Removal 410 Sprints, 358 Sprints & Thundercars - race together. It will be the seventh point show for both the 410 sprints and thundercars while the 358 sprints compete for the second time 2004 on the on the high-banked lightning-quick 3/8th mile Pigeon Hills oval.
To get all the latest news, results, schedule changes and rule changes, visit Lincoln Speedway's website at 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.
Saturday - April 3, 2004
Feature (25 Laps) - 1. 17E-Cris Eash ($2,500); 2. 88H-Fred Rahmer; 3. 77-Lance Dewease; 4. 7K-Dan Shetler; 5. 12-Greg Hodnett; 6. 47J-Jeff Busby; 7. 4-Eric Stambaugh; 8. 30-Doug Esh; 9. 32-Brook Weibley; 10. A18-Becca Anderson; 11. 71-Brian Leppo; 12. 21-Brian Montieth; 13. 59-Jim Siegel; 14. 10N-Niki Young; 15. 22-Darren Eash; 16. 97-Billy Dietrich; 17. 18W-Kevin Welsh; 18. 31D-Kevin Drury; 19. 55-Phil Weinsteiger Jr.; 20. 70-Sam Schlosberg (DNF); 21. 94-Glenndon Forsythe (DNF); 22. X-Bobby Weaver (DNF); 23. 23-Todd Zinn (DNF); 24. X1-Scott Groves (DNF). No Time
Lap Leaders - Dan Shetler (1-11), Cris Eash (12-25)
1st Heat (10 Laps/6 to qualify) - 1. 94-Glenndon Forsythe; 2. 18W-Kevin Welsh; 3. X-Bobby Weaver; 4. 17E-Cris Eash; 5. 4-Eric Stambaugh; 6. 77-Lance Dewease; 7. 71-Brian Leppo; 8. X1-Scott Groves; 9. 10X-Doug Rohrbaugh (DNF). Time - 2:23.64
2nd Heat (10 Laps/6 to qualify) 1. 47J-Jeff Busby; 2. 12-Greg Hodnett; 3. 70-Sam Schlosberg; 4. 7K-Dan Shetler; 5. 59-Jim Siegel; 6. 10N-Niki Young; 7. 32-Brook Weibley; 8. 97-Billy Dietrich; 9. 23-Todd Zinn. Time - 2:23.77
3rd Heat (10 Laps/6 to qualify) 1. 30-Doug Esh; 2. 88H-Fred Rahmer; 3. 21-Brian Montieth; 4. A18-Becca Anderson; 5. 22-Darren Eash; 6. 31D-Kevin Drury; 7. 55-Phil Weinsteiger Jr.; 8. 26-Pat Cooper. Time - 2:25.15
Consolation (10 Laps/6 to qualify) - 1. 71-Brian Leppo; 2. 32-Brook Weibley; 3. 97-Billy Dietrich; 4. 23-Todd Zinn; 5. X1-Scott Groves; 6. 55-Phil Weinsteiger Jr.; 7. 26-Pat Cooper; 8. 10X-Doug Rohrbaugh (DNF). No Time
Silver Spring Limited Late Models:
Feature (20 Laps) - 1. 8-Jeff Leiphart; 2. 5-Bud Witmer; 3. 23-Bobby Beard; 4. 22-Mark Billet; 5. 51L-Barry Lear Sr.; 6. 16S-Gerry Stutting; 7. 33-Harold Beinhower; 8. 51-Dave Graber; 9. 91-Chuck Yingling; 10. 69-Justin Ehrhart; 11. 777-Tom Lainhart; 12. 116-Travis Mease; 13. 21B-Arlin Brougher; 14. 43-Jake Jones (DNF); 15. 2M-Carl Billet (DNF); 16. X-Bernie Beard (DNF); 17. X1-Pat Beard (DNF); 18. 21-Derrick Zirkle (DNF); 19. 41F-Scott McCann (DNF); 20. 21A-Mike Zeigler, Jr. (DNF); 21. F1-Colby Frye (DNF); 22. 17-Jake Lettich (DNF). No Time
Lap Leaders - Bud Witmer (1-5), Carl Billet (6-11), Bud Witmer (12), Jeff Leiphart (13-20)
1st Heat (8 Laps/6 to qualify) - 1. 51-Dave Graber; 2. S16-Gerry Stutting Jr.; 3. 51L-Barry Lear Sr.; 4. 21-Derrike Zirkle; 5. 23-Bobby Beard; 6. 21A-Mike Zeigler Jr.; 7. 21B-Arlin Brougher (DNF); DNS - Dave Sokoloski. Time - 2:31.70
2nd Heat (8 Laps/6 to qualify) - 1. 2M-Carl Billet; 2. 41F-Scott McCann; 3. NINE-Carl Graves; 4. 43-Jake Jones; 5. 116-Travis Mease; 6. F1-Colby Frye; 7. X-Bernie Beard; 8. 77-Tom Lainhart. Time - 2:25.45
3rd Heat (8 Laps/6 to qualify) - 1. 22-Mark Billet; 2. 5-Bud Witmer; 3. 8-Jeff Leiphart; 4. 91-Chuck Yingling; 5. 33-Harold Beinhower; 6. 17-Jake Lettick; 7. 69-Justin Ehrhart; 8. X1-Pat Beard. Time - 2:24.76
Feature (20 Laps) - 1. 1-Neil Smith ($250); 2. 30-Craig Wagaman; 3. B52-Mike Walls; 4. 70-Duane Hahn; 5. X-Bernie Beard; 6. 3R-Duane Watson; 7. 20-Sam Gallagher; 8. 21A-Mike Zeigler Jr.; 9. 81-Mike Zeigler Sr.; 10. 5-Gary Potts; 11. 31-Ron Shultz; 12. 52-Nat Tuckey; 13. 41-Howard Williams; 14. 91-Tom Slusser Jr.; 15. 14-Chet McCormick; 16. 2-Dan Zechman; 17. 33-Jeff Allen; 18. 3-Mike Gladfelter; 19. 9J-Mike Johnson; 20. 34M-Jim Martz Jr.; 21. 12-Jake Markey (DNF); 22. 15-James Yost (DNF); 23. 11-Jim Rost (DNF); DNS - 1-Kyle Lear (DNS). Time - 6:57.56
Lap Leaders - Neil Smith (1-9), Craig Wagaman (10), Neil Smith (11-20)
1st Heat (8 Laps/6 to qualify) - 1. B52-Mike Walls; 2. 1-Neil Smith; 3. 21A-Mike Zeigler, Jr.; 4. 3R-Duane Watson; 5. 52-Nat Tuckey; 6. 91-Tom Slusser Jr.; 7. 9J-Mike Johnson; 8. 34M-Jim Martz Jr. (DNF). Time - 2:45.70
2nd Heat (8 Laps/6 to qualify) - 1. 30-Craig Wagaman; 2. 20-Sam Gallagher; 3. 31-Ron Shultz; 4. 41-Howard Williams; 5. 11-Jim Rost; 6. 33-Jeff Allen; 7. 2-Dan Zechman; 8. 15-James Yost. Time - 2:48.38
3rd Heat (8 Laps/6 to qualify) - 1. X-Bernie Beard; 2. 5-Gary Potts; 3. 81-Mike Zeigler, Jr.; 4. 70-Duane Hahn; 5. 14-Chet McCormick; 6. 3-Mike Gladfelter; 7. 12-Jake Markey; 8. 51-Kyle Lear (DNF). No Time