ABBOTTSTOWN, PA, 9/25/04 - Cris Eash's 38th career Lincoln win in the Annual Hank Gentzler Memorial Manufacturers' Appreciation Race for sprint cars Saturday night surprised no one. But what he had to say in victory lane surprised...
ABBOTTSTOWN, PA, 9/25/04 - Cris Eash's 38th career Lincoln win in the Annual Hank Gentzler Memorial Manufacturers' Appreciation Race for sprint cars Saturday night surprised no one.
But what he had to say in victory lane surprised everyone.
Eash held off a charging Mark Smith to claim his third win of the year at Lincoln, then promptly announced his retirement from sprint car racing at season's end. It will mark the end of a sensational career which has included Rookie of the Year honors with the World of Outlaws and a 1996 Lincoln track title.
"We have fast race cars here every Saturday night, some of the best in the country, so it feels really good to beat them," said the emotional Eash. "It's kind of a bitter sweet deal tonight, because I'm going to retire at the end of this year, so we were hoping to pick off as many (wins) as we can at the end of the year and end up with a successful season."
"I'm going to miss all these great fans here at Lincoln Speedway. They're second to none in the country, and there have been a lot of people along the way who have helped me out. I've had a pretty good career. It's just time to move on and do other things. I'll probably go help my brother a little bit on his drag car, and do some other things."
"I want to thank my dad (David), because he's put me in some good equipment all through my career, and he's always been 100 percent behind me," Eash continued. "I know it's breaking his heart to see this happen, but we have to move on"
"I've also had some great sponsors and great crew members. Shawn Norris and Wayne Bull have been with me through a lot of crazy stuff over the last five or six years, and they've always hung in there. Moon Byers got me going in the beginning of my career. He helped me out a lot, taught me how to weld, and taught me how to do a lot of things, and I owe a lot to him, Denny Kohler, and Davey Brown, who has helped me out a lot through the years, too."
Eash's seventh quick time coupled with Eric Stambaugh's failure to qualify in his heat placed Eash third for the start. He ran there for the first six laps before catching front row starter Niki Young for the runner-up spot in lapped traffic on lap seven. At the time, polesitter Josh Wells had a three-quarters of-a-second lead.
Two laps later, Greg Hodnett slid across the frontstretch with front end damage, bringing out the caution. That put Eash on Wells' back bumper, but he continued to trail the leader over the next seven laps until a caution came out for Glenndon Forsythe, who spun in turn four.
Eash drove the cushion around the top of turns one and two to grab the race lead on the 16th-lap restart, and paced the field the rest of the way.
"Wells was trying to block me with slide jobs, and I knew I was a little better on the top," said Eash. "I saw on the restart earlier that he pulled down and slid up across and I thought 'Well, if I can get up beside him, he won't be able to slid the whole way across'...that's what he did, and it worked out for us. Once I took the lead, my motor went sour and it was only running on seven cylinders. It didn't seem to hurt too bad. It actually made the car drive a little straighter without all that power."
Sixth-starting Mark Smith disposed of Wells to move into the runner-up spot on lap 17. Over the next eight laps, Smith cut the lead in half, but he was still 44-hundredths of-a-second behind at the finish.
Wells hung on for third, with Lance Dewease fourth and Fred Rahmer fifth. Rounding out the top ten were Young, Brian Leppo, Kenny Jacobs, Brook Weibley, and Todd Shaffer.
Lincoln won the Port Royal vs. Lincoln challenge by a final score of 107-74. The challenge, an annual event included as part of Hank Gentzler Memorial Manufacturers' Appreciation Night, pits the top five drivers in points from each of the speedways who qualify for the feature against each other. Lincoln was represented by Eash, Dewease, Leppo, Eric Stambaugh, and Rahmer, who will split the $1,500 posted by Lincoln to the winning challenge team. Port Royal was represented by Smith, Shaffer, Keith Kauffman, Alan Cole, and Kevin Nouse.
Winning the Media Camping Center Heat was Josh Wells, the Apple Automotive Group Heat was Todd Shaffer, York Excavating Company Heat was Rahmer, and In Memory of Hank Gentzler Heat was Jim Siegel. Eric Stambaugh won the B-Main after losing brake calipers on his heat.
Setting fast time in the Al Hamilton Used Truck Sales Time Trials over the 36-car field was Brian Leppo, with a one-lap time of 13.508-seconds (99.941 MPH).
Biglerville's Nat Tuckey held off teammate Mike Walls in a wild last lap scramble to pick up his second win of the year in the 20 lap thundercar feature.
Tuckey, who started eighth, moved into the top-five by the third lap while outside frontrow starter Tom Slusser Jr. paced the field. Tuckey moved around Jim Martz Jr. on the fifth lap to move into second and chased Slusser for the next two laps.
Mechanical problems for the race-leading Slusser slowed his car abruptly on the eighth lap allowing Tuckey to take over the lead. Tuckey then held a comfortable margin over second place Mike Ciezobka as the laps wound down.
But a late race caution gave Tuckey's teammate new life as the five-time 2004 winner moved into second with two laps to go.
A final caution allowed Walls to make a run for the win over the final lap as Tuckey nursed an ailing motor home for his 10th career Lincoln Speedway win by a mere .34-seconds.
Ciezobka held on for third, with Jim Martz Jr. and Neil Smith completing the top-five. Rounding out the top-10 were Duane Watson, Mike Zeigler Sr., Mike Gladfelter, Wayne Dutterer and Jake Markey.
Heats for the 27 thundercars were won by Slusser, David Prunkl and Tuckey.
Lincoln Speedway will take next weekend off before presenting the 8th Annual Kenny Weld Memorial on Saturday evening, October 9th. The 410 sprinters will be joined by the thundercars who are still going after precious points towards the crowning of the 2004 Lincoln Speedway Thundercar track champion. Also, the Silver Spring Street Stocks will be on hand to run in a make-up feature form earlier in the year.
Gates will open at 5 PM with time trials getting underway at 7 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.
Saturday - September 25, 2004
16TH ANNUAL MANUFACTURERS NIGHT
INAUGURAL HANK GENTZLER MEMORIAL
Feature (25 Laps) - 1. 17E-Cris Eash ($2,500); 2. 1-Mark Smith; 3. 6W-Josh Wells; 4. 77-Lance Dewease; 5. 88H-Fred Rahmer; 6. 10N-Niki Young; 7. 71-Brian Leppo; 8. 22-Kenny Jacobs; 9. 32-Brook Weibley; 10. 88-Todd Shaffer; 11. 4-Eric Stambaugh; 12. 59-Jim Siegel; 13. 7-Keith Kauffman; 14. 25-Kevin Nouse; 15. 47J-Jeff Busby; 16. 65-Johnny Mackison Jr.; 17. 30-Lee Jacobs; 18. 35-Alan Cole; 19. 66-Glenndon Forsythe; 20. 9-Kevin Scheaffer; 21. 7K-Dan Shetler (DNF); 22. 21-Brian Montieth (DNF); 23. 12-Greg Hodnett (DNF); 24. 70-Sam Schlosberg (DNF). No Time
Lap Leaders - Josh Wells (1-15), Cris Eash (16-25)
Media Camping Center Heat (10 Laps/5 to qualify) - 1. 6W-Josh Wells; 2. 77-Lance Dewease; 3. 71-Brian Leppo; 4. 9-Kevin Scheaffer; 5. 35-Alan Cole; 6. 65-Johnny Mackison Jr.; 7. 58-Aaron Long; 8. F1-French Grimes; 9. 11-Mike Erdley (DNF). No Time
Apple Automotive Group Heat (10 Laps/5 to qualify) - 1. 88-Todd Shaffer; 2. 47J-Jeff Busby; 3. 22-Kenny Jacobs; 4. 12-Greg Hodnett; 5. 21-Brian Montieth; 6. 2H-Dave Hahn; 7. 30-Lee Jacobs; 8. 26-Pat Cooper; 9. C4-Dave Cook. Time - 2:27.27
York Excavating Company Heat (10 Laps/5 to qualify) - 1. 88H-Fred Rahmer; 2. 7-Keith Kauffman; 3. 17E-Cris Eash; 4. 70-Sam Schlosberg; 5. 25-Kevin Nouse; 6. 84-Greg Coverdale; 7. 21K-Kyle Pruitt; 8. 4-Eric Stambaugh. No Time
In Memory of Hank Gentzler Heat (10 Laps/5 to qualify) - 1. 59-Jim Siegel; 2. 7K-Dan Shetler; 3. 32-Brook Weibley; 4. 1-Mark Smith; 5. 10N-Niki Young; 6. 66-Glenndon Forsythe; 7. 29K-Brent Kluge; 8. 8M-Chris Meleason; 9. 96-Larry Shive (DNF). No time
B-Main (10 Laps/4 to qualify) - 1. 4-Eric Stambaugh; 2. 30-Lee Jacobs; 3. 65-Johnny Mackison Jr.; 4. 66-Glenndon Forsythe; 5. 26-Pat Cooper; 6. 84-Greg Coverdale; 7. 21K-Kyle Pruitt; 8. F1-French Grimes; 9. 8M-Chris Meleason; 10. 2H-Dave Hahn; 11. 29K-Brent Kluge; 12. 58-Aaron Long; 13. 96-Larry Shive (DNF); DNS - C4-Dave Cook. No Time
Al Hamilton Used Truck Sales Time Trials - 1. 71-Brian Leppo, 13.508 seconds (99.941 MPH); 2. 12-Greg Hodnett, 13.573; 3. 4-Eric Stambaugh, 13.635; 4. 1-Mark Smith, 13.674; 5. 77-Lance Dewease, 13.712; 6. 21-Brian Montieth, 13.751; 7. 17E-Cris Eash, 13.765; 8. 10N-Niki Young, 13.834; 9. 6W-Josh Wells, 13.856; 10. 22-Kenny Jacobs, 13.898; 11. 88H-Fred Rahmer, 13.903; 12. 32-Brook Weibley, 13.978; 13. 65-Johnny Mackison Jr., 14.007; 14. 88-Todd Shaffer, 14.031; 15. 7-Keith Kauffman, 14.060; 16. 59-Jim Siegel, 14.068; 17. 35-Alan Cole, 14.070; 18. 47J-Jeff Busby, 14.072; 19. X-Bobby Weaver, 14.077; 20. 25-Kevin Nouse, 14.125; 21. 7K-Dan Shetler, 14.133; 22. 9-Kevin Scheaffer, 14.206; 23. 2H-Dave Hahn, 14.224; 24. 70-Sam Schlosberg, 14.224; 25. 66-Glenndon Forsythe, 14.257; 26. 11-Mike Erdley, 14.259; 27. 30-Lee Jacobs, 14.274; 28. 21K-Kyle Pruitt, 14.404; 29. 29K-Brent Kluge, 14.541; 30. 58-Aaron Long, 14.689; 31. 26-Pat Cooper, 14.714; 32. 84-Greg Coverdale, 14.732; 33. 8M-Chris Meleason, 15.027; 34. F1-French Grimes, 15.690; 35. C4-Dave Cook, 15.752; 36. 96-Larry Shive, NT.
Feature (20 Laps) - 1. 22-Nat Tuckey; 2. 52-Mike Walls; 3. 61-Mike Ciezobka; 4. 34M-Jim Martz, Jr.; 5. 1-Neil Smith; 6. 33-Duane Watson; 7. 81-Mike Zeigler, Sr.; 8. 8-Mike Gladfelter; 9. 39-Wayne Dutterer; 10. 12-Jake Markey; 11. 41-Howard Williams; 12. 9L-Bobby Kanwisher (DNF); 13. 61S-Mike Slaybaugh (DNF); 14. 1E-Greg Emlet; 15. 30-Craig Wagaman (DNF); 16. 2-Dan Zechman (DNF); 17. 91-Tom Slusser, Jr. (DNF); 18. 21A-Mike Zeigler, Jr. (DNF); 19. 18-Bob Johnson (DNF); 20. 51-Chad Myers (DNF); 21. 76-Bob Bare (DNF); 22. 37-Jim Rost (DNF); 23. 8MD-David Prunkl (DNF): 24. 93-Gary Warehime (DNF); DNS: 01-Tim Fake. No Time
Lap Leaders - Tom Slusser, Jr. (1-7); Nat Tuckey (8-20)
1st Heat (8 Laps/6 to qualify) - 1. 91-Tom Slusser, Jr.; 2. 21A-Mike Zeigler, Jr.; 3. 34M-Jim Martz, Jr.; 4. 2-Dan Zechman; 5. 61S-Mike Slaybaugh; 6. 1E-Greg Emlet; 7. 9L-Mike Kanwisher; 8. X-Bernie Beard (DNF); 9. 01-Tim Fake (DNF). No time
2nd Heat (8 Laps/6 to qualify) - 1. 8MD-David Prunkl; 2. 51-Chad Myers; 3. 81-Mike Zeigler, Sr.; 4. 30-Craig Wagaman; 5. 1-Neil Smith; 6. 33-Duane Watson; 7. 8-Mike Gladfelter; 8. 12-Jake Markey (DNF); 9. 39-Wayne Dutterer (DNF). No time
3rd Heat (8 Laps/6 to qualify) - 1. 22-Nat Tuckey; 2. 52-Mike Walls; 3. 18-Bob Johnson; 4. 41-Howard Williams; 5. 76-Bob Bare; 6. 93-Gary Warehime; 7. 61-Mike Ciezobka; 8. 37-Jim Rost (DNF); DNS - 54-Roy Warehime. No Time