SHEPARD BLOWS AWAY THE FIELD IN LINCOLN 410 SPRINT MAIN Lehman "358" sprint winner; Wagaman wins second of weekend in thundercar thriller ABBOTTSTOWN, PA, 4/16/05 - He's back... Jeff "The Jet" Shepard broke into victory lane in a big ...
SHEPARD BLOWS AWAY THE FIELD IN LINCOLN 410 SPRINT MAIN
Lehman "358" sprint winner; Wagaman wins second of weekend in thundercar thriller
ABBOTTSTOWN, PA, 4/16/05 - He's back...
Jeff "The Jet" Shepard broke into victory lane in a big way Saturday night, as he demolished the 410 sprint field to pick up his first 2005 Central Pennsylvania win in the 25-lap feature at Lincoln Speedway.
Shepard grabbed the lead from polesitter Pat Cooper with a slider in the third and fourth turns of the fourth lap, then drove away to a three-quarter lap lead before a red flag prolonged the inevitable outcome on the final turn to the checkered. Shepard still scored an impressive 2.68-second win over last week's feature winner Doug Esh for his seventh career win at the Pigeon Hill's oval.
"I'll be back!" declared Shepard boldly in victory lane, "I don't want to run second. I don't want to run third. I'm tired of running in the back. I want to come up here, win, and be the new 'Fred Rahmer' in Central Pennsylvania."
"Two weeks ago we didn't even make the race at Williams Grove Speedway, that's how bad it was," Shepard revealed, "We had a meeting and we knew we couldn't do anything but get better. They (Lee Stauffer and crew) work on this thing every day, and this is where it pays off. And they're going to keep working, because I want to be here every week."
Shepard slid up one row to start third and Chris Meleason was unable to report out for the feature. He spotted the lead to Pat Cooper for the first three laps. After making the winning pass, Shepard pulled away to a seven and-a-half second lead by the time a red flag flew on the final lap for the cars of Josh Wells and Jason Johnson, who got together while racing for second on turn two. Shepard was within sight of the checkered when the red came out.
Three lapped cars lined up behind Shepard for the restart prevented Doug Esh from making a challenge over the final lap. Greg Hodnett crossed third, with Niki Young fourth and Chad Layton fifth. The other cars still running on the lead lap at the end were Bobby Weaver, Brian Montieth, Brian Leppo, and Eric Stambaugh. Johnson was credited with tenth despite his crash.
Points leader Fred Rahmer was uninjured in a 16th lap flip on turn two. He was running fifth and trying to hold off Greg Hodnett at the time.
The win was Shepard's second of the year (first was a World of Outlaw win in Florida in February), and Shepard became the third different winner in five Lincoln races in 2005.
"I used to run here years ago...but the tracks have changed, the tires have changed, everything's changed," explained Shepard, "These guys that run here on a week-to-week basis, they're tougher than going out on the road and racing."
"I'm on the hot seat, because this car wins all the time...they won 90-some races with Greg (Hodnett) and we're only up to two," said Shepard. "So I've got a lot more to do."
"Lee (Stauffer) and I are getting along great, contrary to everybody's belief. I think they didn't want us to get along," Shepard was quick to add, "He's got a lot of experience, I got a lot of experience, the team, the sponsor, everybody included...it's just really good."
Heats for the 23 "410" sprinters were won by Shepard, Esh and Wells.
Manheim's Mike Lehman moved back into a first-place tie with Chad Layton on the all-time Central Pennsylvania win list by finishing one spot in front of Layton in the crash-marred 20-lap "358" sprint feature. It was Lehman's ninth career "358" win at Lincoln, moving him into a fourth-place tie with Greg Leiby just two behind Doug Esh.
Lehman started 11th and avoided a six-car melee on the backstretch that took out the flipping cars of Billy Dietrich and Dale Hammaker, as well as the 358's of Jon Keller and John Barnett. Two packs of three cars each crashed after Barnett caught the outside guardrail on the backstretch.
Lehman, who was not in the top eight when the crash occurred, assumed fourth for the restart. He worked his way past Alan Krimes on lap six, assumed second when Travis Keeney flipped while running second on turns one and two of lap seven, and took the lead from Cory Haas on the restart. He led the rest of the way, with Layton moving into second and chasing him over the final eight laps. Haas settled for third, with Krimes fourth and Brad McClelland advancing from his 17th starting spot to finish fifth. Completing the top ten were Chad Trout, Howie Locke, Danny Dietrich, Rusty Pressley (who came back from a flip in his heat), and Chad Criswell.
Heats for the 39 "358" sprinters were won by Jan Opperman Jr., Haas, Billy Dietrich and Trout. Twin consolations were won by McClelland and Todd Rittenhouse Jr..
Gettysburg's Craig Wagaman finally got back to one that got away a few weeks ago in dramatic fashion by passing Neil Smith in the final turns to the checkered to pick up his first win of the year in the 20-lap thundercar feature.
Wagaman, who lost in similar fashion to two-time winner Mike Walls, trailed race-leader Neil Smith and Mike Zeigler Sr. in the final stages of the feature with Mike Zeigler Jr. behind. Smith and Zeigler Sr. Drove the bottom groove while Wagaman and Zeigler Jr. rode the high line lap-after-lap.
Wagaman finally got the bite he needed and pulled along side of Smith on the final turns and out-raced Smith to the checkered to earn his 20th career Lincoln win.
Defending thundercar champ Zeigler Sr. had to settle for third, with his son Zeigler Jr. fourth and Ron Shultz fifth.
Rounding out the top-10 were Sam Gallagher, Nat Tuckey, Jim Rost, Doug Devilbiss and Al Cramer.
Heats for the 27 thundercars were won by Doug Devilbiss, Wagaman and Duane Watson.
Next Saturday, April 23rd, the Cindy Rowe Auto Glass 410 Sprints and Thundercars will be joined by the mighty ARDC Midgets. It will be the season opener for the ARDC midgets, featuring Twin 20-Lap Features, no qualifying, with one feature with wings and the other without wings.
To celebrate ARDC's season opener, Ed Stimely Jr. in the Yetter Racing No.6 and Scott Zipp in the Zipp Racing No.99 are expected to be on display on the front stretch for the fans to see, as well as get autographs from Stimely and Zipp.
Gates will open at 5 PM, with racing action 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 - April 16, 2005
Feature (25 Laps) - 1. 12-Jeff Shepard ($3,000); 2. 30-Doug Esh; 3. 77-Greg Hodnett; 4. 10N-Niki Young; 5. U1-Chad Layton; 6. X-Bobby Weaver; 7. 21-Brian Montieth; 8. 71-Brian Leppo; 9. 4-Eric Stambaugh; 10. 22-Jason Johnson (DNF); 11. 6W-Josh Wells (DNF); 12. 21K-Kyle Pruitt; 13. 70-Sam Schlosberg; 14. 26-Pat Cooper; 15. 47J-Jeff Busby; 16. 59-Jim Siegel; 17. 6K-Chris Knopp (DNF); 18. 43-Larry Shive; 19. 88H-Fred Rahmer (DNF); 20. 7K-Dan Shetler (DNF); 21. 40-Mike Kostic (DNF); 22. 93-Glenndon Forsythe (DNF); DNS - 8M-Chris Meleason.
Lap Leaders - Pat Cooper (1-3), Jeff Shepard (4-25)
1st Heat (10 Laps/6 to qualify) - 1. 12-Jeff Shepard; 2. 77-Greg Hodnett; 3. 26-Pat Cooper; 4. 4-Eric Stambaugh; 5. 71-Brian Leppo; 6. 70-Sam Schlosberg; 7. 93-Glenndon Forsythe (DNF); 8. 40-Mike Kostic. Time - 2:28.00
2nd Heat (10 Laps/6 to qualify) 1. 30-Doug Esh; 2. 88H-Fred Rahmer; 3. 8M-Chris Meleason; 4. 22-Jason Johnson; 5. 7K-Dan Shetler; 6. 47J-Jeff Busby; 7. 43-Larry Shive; 8. X-Bobby Weaver (DNF). Time - 2:28.17
3rd Heat (10 Laps/6 to qualify) 1. 6W-Josh Wells; 2. 10N-Niki Young; 3. 21-Brian Montieth; 4. 21K-Kyle Pruitt; 5. 59-Jim Siegel; 6. 6K-Chris Knopp; 7. U1-Chad Layton. Time - 2:35.83
Feature (20 Laps) - 1. 7V-Mike Lehman; 2. 55-Chad Layton; 3. 39-Cory Haas; 4. 87-Alan Krimes; 5. 6-Brad McClelland; 6. 7C-Chad Trout; 7. 77-Howie Locke; 8. 88-Danny Dietrich; 9. 5-Rusty Pressley; 10. 84C-Chad Criswell; 11. 35-Steve Owings; 12. 9C-Mike Carber; 13. 66N-Nate Hammaker; 14. 30-Steve Clabaugh; 15. 24B-Jan Opperman, Jr.; 16. 56M-Mark Zellers (DNF); 17. 28-Keith Prutzman (DNF); 18. 88K-Travis Keeney (DNF); 19. 15B-John Barnett (DNF); 20. 20-Jon Keller (DNF); 21. 8D-Billy Dietrich (DNF); 22. 84-Dale Hammaker (DNF); 23. 8-Dan Dietrich (DNF); 24. 23-Todd Rittenhouse, Jr. No Time
Lap Leaders - John Barnett (1), Travis Keeney (2-3), Cory Haas (4-6), Mike Lehman (7-20)
1st Heat (10 Laps/4 to qualify) - 1. 24B-Jan Opperman Jr.; 2. 15B-John Burnett; 3. 7V-Mike Lehman; 4. 28-Keith Prutzman; 5. 84-Dale Hammaker; 6. 5C-Dan Carroza; 7. 41-Scott Geesey; 8. 77-Howie Locke; 9. 15-Tracy Templin; 10. 1W-John Westbrook (DNF). Time - 2:39.24
2nd Heat (10 Laps/4 to qualify) - 1. 39-Cory Haas; .2. 88K-Travis Keeney; 3. 88-Danny Dietrich; 4. 35-Steve Owings; 5. 6-Brad McClelland; 6. 27-Jay Galloway; 7. 55-Chad Layton; 8. 2-Jimmy Seger; 9. 51N-Nick Palmerino; DNS - 53-Brian Earnst. Time - 2:33.69
3rd Heat (10 Laps/4 to qualify) - 1. 8D-Billy Dietrich; 2. 8-Dan Dietrich; 3. 20-Jon Keller; 4. 84C-Chad Criswell; 5. 85-Ken Berwager; 6. 48-Wes Irwin; 7. 64W-Randy Whisler; 8. 12J-Matt Beasley (DNF); 9. 5-Rusty Pressley (DNF); DNS - 12-Mike Bittinger. No Time
4th Heat (10 Laps/4 to qualify) - 1. 7C-Chad Trout; 2. 30-Steve Clabaugh; 3. 87-Alan Krimes; 4. 55M-Mark Zellers; 5. 66N-Nat Hammaker; 6. 23-Todd Rittenhouse Jr.; 7. 3J-Judd Shepard; 8. 09-Brandon Grandstaff; 9. 9C-Mike Carber; 10. 27S-Stewart Smith. No Time
1st Consolation (10 Laps/4 to qualify) - 1. 6-Brad McClelland; 2. 55-Chad Layton; 3. 84-Dale Hammaker; 4. 77-Howie Locke; 5. 2-Jimmy Seger; 6. 41-Scott Geesey; 7. 27-Jay Galloway; 8. 15-Tracy Templin; 9. 51N-Nik Palmerino; 10. 53-Brian Earnst; 11. 5C-Dan Carroza; DNS - 1W-John Westbrook. Time - 2:42.58
2nd Consolation (10 Laps/4 to qualify) - 1. 23-Todd Rittenhouse Jr.; 2. 5-Rusty Pressley; 3. 66N-Nate Hammaker; 4. 9C-Mike Carber; 5. 3J-Judd Shepard; 6. 09-Brandon Grandstaff; 7. 48-Wes Irwin; 8. 12J-Matt Beasley; 9. 27S-Stewart Smith; 10. 64W-Randy Whisler; DNS - 85-Ken Berwager. Time - 2:46.89
Feature (20 Laps) - 1. 30-Craig Wagaman; 2. 1-Neil Smith; 3. 81-Mike Zeigler Sr.; 4. 21A-Mike Zeigler Jr.; 5. 31-Ron Shultz; 6. 20-Sam Gallagher; 7. 22-Nat Tuckey; 8. 37-Jim Rost; 9. 15-Doug Devilbiss; 10. 9-Al Cramer; 11. 54-Roy Warehime Jr.; 12. 91-Tom Slusser Jr.; 13. 3W-Duane Watson; 14. 07-Bob Stough; 15. 3-Mike Gladfelter; 16. 70X-Rick Weaver; 17. 61M-Mike Slaybaugh; 18. Howard Williams (DNF); 19. 1E-Greg Emlet (DNF); 20. 70-Duane Hahn (DNF); 21. 71-Tom Walls Jr.; (DNF); 22. 34M-Jim Martz Jr. (DNF); 23. 52-Mike Walls (DNF); 24. 18-Bob Johnson (DNF). No Time
Lap Leaders - Mike Zeigler Jr. (1-2), Mike Zeigler Sr. (3-10), Neil Smith (11-19), Craig Wagaman (20)
1st Heat (8 Laps/6 to qualify) - 1. 15-Doug Devilbiss; 2. 81-Mike Zeigler, Sr.; 3. 22-Nat Tuckey; 4. 21Z-Mike Zeigler, Jr.; 5. 70X-Rick Weaver; 6. 70-Duane Hahn; 7. 18-Bob Johnson (DNF); 8. 41-Howard Williams (DNF); 9. 01-Tim Fake (DNS). No Time
2nd Heat (8 Laps/6 to qualify) - 1. 30-Craig Wagaman; 2. 52-Mike Walls; 3. 71-Tom Walls, Jr.; 4. 37-Jim Rost; 5. 9-Al Cramer; 6. 54-Roy Warehime, Jr. (DNF); 7. 2-Dan Zechman (DNF); 8. 20-Sam Gallagher (DNF); 9. 0-Eric McClane (DNF). No Time
3rd Heat (8 Laps/6 to qualify) - 1. 3W-Duane Watson; 2. 91-Tom Slusser, Jr.; 3. 1-Neil Smith; 4. 31-Ron Shultz; 5. 07-Robert Stough; 6. 3-Mike Gladfelter; 7. 34M-Jim Martz, Jr.; 8. 61M-Mike Slaybaugh; 9. 1E-Greg Emlet. No Time