FIRST CAREER LINCOLN WINS FOR LEPPO IN 410'S AND LAYTON IN 358'S; Duane Hahn scores first of year and second of Lincoln career in thundercar feature ABBOTTSTOWN, PA, 5/14/05 - "It's definitely the best feeling ever!" What more could Spring ...
FIRST CAREER LINCOLN WINS FOR LEPPO IN 410'S AND LAYTON IN 358'S; Duane Hahn scores first of year and second of Lincoln career in thundercar feature
ABBOTTSTOWN, PA, 5/14/05 - "It's definitely the best feeling ever!"
What more could Spring Grove's Brian Leppo say after he earned his first career Lincoln Speedway win in the 25-lap 410 sprint feature Saturday night.
Leppo grabbed the lead from Chris Knopp on the fifth lap and then survived two critical caution restarts with Doug Esh hot on his tail to become the 174th different feature winner in the history of Lincoln Speedway.
"It definitely doesn't get any better than this," said an outwardly happy Leppo in victory lane, "We've been trying forever to win here...it feels awesome, this is what it is all about."
"Dave (Yingst) and the crew gave us a heck of a good car. We've been struggling. Rahmer said I just needed some confidence, and hopefully this will change things."
Three red flags marred the first nine laps of the feature, with the first on the opening lap involving polesitter Chris Meleason, who spun and collected Jeff Shepard, Todd Zinn, Eric Stambaugh, Brian Montieth, and a flipping Jeff Busby. That allowed Leppo to advance from his original eighth starting spot to fifth for the complete race restart.
Glenndon Forsythe, who assumed the pole for the restart, grabbed the lead on the complete restart with new fellow frontrow starter Chris Knopp in tow. Knopp passed Forsythe on the third lap for the lead, with Leppo following suit to move into second on the same lap.
Leppo then powered around Knopp in the third and fourth turns of lap five to take the lead.
The second red flag waved on the sixth lap, when Sam Schlosberg and Greg Hodnett got together in the fourth turn with Hodnett flipping his mount. That gave 10th-starting Esh the opportunity to pass Knopp on the restart for second place and set his sights on the leader.
The third red flag then waved on the 10th lap when Jim Siegel flipped in the first and second turns.
"The restart before that I left him get a slider on me because I didn't hit it hard enough," said Leppo on Esh's attempt to take the lead, "So I just drove in there a ton harder the next time...I figured he was going to have to give it his all to get by us."
The final 16 laps went non-stop, with Leppo crossing 1.04 seconds ahead of Esh.
Points leader Fred Rahmer, who started 20th after hitting the first turn wall and being towed from the scene in his heat, advanced through the field to finish third, with Niki Young fourth and Josh Wells fifth. Completing the top ten were Jason Johnson, Glenndon Forsythe, Bobby Weaver, Eric Stambaugh, and Lance Dewease (who started last in the feature after making the tow from the rained-out Port Royal Speedway).
Heats for the 21 "410" sprinters were won by Knopp and Forsythe.
The evening's racing program was delayed for over two hours for two rain showers which swept through the Central Pennsylvania.
Chad Layton, Central Pennsylvania's all-time winningest "358" sprint car driver, matched Leppo's feat by claiming his first career Lincoln win in the 25-lap, $1,500-to-win Trone Outdoor Advertising/York Flooring Mid-Season Championship.
Layton, who started fifth, grabbed the lead from Stewart Smith coming down the front stretch to complete lap four. Two turns later, Smith spun and brought out the caution, handing second over to Friday night Trail-Way winner Mike Bittinger. Bittinger ran second for the next ten laps before yielding to Chad Trout, who spent the next nine laps trying to track down Layton in heavy lapped traffic before hitting the wall and bringing out the caution on lap 24.
At the time, Brad McClelland, Steve Clabaugh, and Bittinger were battling for third. McClelland assumed second for the restart, but had to deal with four lapped cars between the B&D Truck Hoist/ Hartlaub and Son Used Auto Parts #6 and leader Layton.
Layton's final margin of victory was 1.54 seconds, with McClelland, Clabaugh, and Bittinger finishing second through fourth and Mike Carber completing the top five. Sixth through tenth Howie Locke, Travis Keeney, Brian Earnst, Cory Haas, and Jan Opperman, Jr.
Heats for the 34 "358" sprinters were won by Billy Dietrich, Layton and Trout, with Todd Rittenhouse Jr. winning the consolation.
Abbottstown's Duane Hahn picked up his second career Lincoln Speedway thundercar win in there 20-lap feature. Hahn, who started fourth, raced in outside frontrow starter and race-long leader Howard Williams's shadow over the race's first 14 lap. A patient Hahn finally got his opportunity on the 15th lap when Williams slipped up into the outside guardrail exiting the second turn, allowing him to slip by in the third and fourth turns. From there Hahn drove flawlessly over the final five laps to register the win and became the fifth different winner in seven races at the Pigeon Hills oval in 2005 thundercar action.
Mike Walls came on strong in the closing laps to finish second, with Williams settling for third, Craig Wagaman fourth and Duane Watson fifth. Completing the top-10 were Ron Shultz, Neil Smith, Nat Tuckey, Dan Zechman and Mike Slaybaugh.
Heats for the 21 thundercars were won by Mike Zeigler Jr. and Williams.
Next Saturday night, May 21st, for the third week in-a-row, all three point divisions will be in action at the high-banked lightning-quick 3/8th mile oval - the Cindy Rowe Auto Glass 410 Sprints, the 358 Sprints and Thundercars.
Gates will open at 5:30 PM, with racing action getting underway at 7:30 PM.
Saturday - May 14, 2005
Feature (25 Laps) - 1. 71-Brian Leppo ($3,000); 2. 30-Doug Esh; 3. 88H-Fred Rahmer; 4. 10N-Niki Young; 5. 6W-Josh Wells; 6. 22-Jason Johnson; 7. 93-Glenndon Forsythe; 8. X-Bobby Weaver; 9. 4-Eric Stambaugh; 10. 25-Lance Dewease; 11. 6K-Chris Knopp (DNF); 12. 70-Sam Schlosberg; 13. 23-Todd Zinn; 14. 21-Brian Montieth (DNF); 15. 43-Larry Shive (DNF); 16. 12-Jeff Shepard (DNF); 17. U1-Chad Layton (DNF); 18. 59-Jim Siegel (DNF); 19. 77-Greg Hodnett (DNF); 20. 8M-Chris Meleason (DNF); 21. 47J-Jeff Busby (DNF). No Time
Lap Leaders - Glenndon Forsythe (1-2), Chris Knopp (3-4), Brian Leppo (5-25)
1st Heat (10 Laps) - 1. 6K-Chris Knopp; 2. 8M-Chris Meleason; 3. 10N-Niki Young; 4. 6W-Josh Wells; 5. 21-Brian Montieth; 6. 12-Jeff Shepard; 7. 4-Eric Stambaugh; 8. 77-Greg Hodnett; 9. 23-Todd Zinn; 10. 43-Lary Shive. No Time
2nd Heat (10 Laps) 1. 93-Glenndon Forsythe; 2. 70-Sam Schlosberg; 3. 59-Jim Siegel; 4. 71-Brian Leppo; 5. 47J-Jeff Busby; 6. U1-Chad Layton; 7. X-Bobby Weaver; 8. 30-Doug Esh; 9. 22-Jason Johnson; 10. 88H-Fred Rahmer (DNF). Time - 2:27.41
Trone Outdoor Advertising/York Flooring Mid-Season Championship Feature (25 Laps) - 1. 55-Chad Layton ($1,500); 2. 6-Brad McClelland; 3. 30-Steve Clabaugh; 4. 12-Mike Bittinger; 5. 9C-Mike Carber; 6. 77-Howie Locke; 7. 88K-Travis Keeney; 8. 53-Brian Earnst; 9. 39-Cory Haas; 10. 24B-Jan Opperman, Jr.; 11. 66N-Nate Hammaker; 12. 23-Todd Rittenhouse, Jr.; 13. 15-Jim Siegel; 14. 5-Rusty Pressley; 15. 56M-Mark Zellers; 16. 28H-Billy Heltzel, Jr.; 17. 7C-Chad Trout (DNF); 18. 27S-Stewart Smith; 19. 64-Randy Whisler (DNF); 20. 22T-Matt Boland (DNF); 21. 84C-Chad Criswell (DNF); 22. 8D-Billy Dietrich (DNF); 23. 84-Dale Hammaker (DNF); 24. 41-Scott Geesey (DNF). No time.
Lap Leaders - Stewart Smith (1-3), Chad Layton (4-25)
1st Heat (10 Laps/6 to qualify) - 1. 8D-Billy Dietrich; 2. 24B-Jan Opperman Jr.; 3. 41-Scott Geesey; 4. 30-Steve Clabaugh; 5. 5-Rusty Pressley; 6. 28H-Billy Heltzel Jr.; 7. 22T-Matt Boland; 8. 15-Jim Siegel; 9. 29-Tony Strine; 10. 84C-Chad Criswell; 11. 51N-Nick Palmerino; DNS - 87-Alan Krimes. Time - 2:37.39
2nd Heat (10 Laps/6 to qualify) - 1. 55-Chad Layton; 2. 53-Brian Earnst; 3. 12-Mike Bittinger; 4. 9C-Mike Carber; 5. 6-Brad McClelland; 6. 39-Cory Haas; 7. 23-Todd Rittenhouse Jr.; 8. 88K-Travis Keeney; 9. 3J-Judd Shepard (DNF); 10. 8-Danny Dietrich (DNF); DNS - 98-Troy Becker. No Time
3rd Heat (10 Laps/6 to qualify) - 1. 7C-Chad Trout; 2. 27S-Stewart Smith; 3. 66N-Nate Hammaker; 4. 64W-Randy Whisler; 5. 56M-Mark Zellers; 6. 77-Howie Locke; 7. 09-Brandon Grandstaff; 8. 84-Dale Hammaker; 9. 20-Jon Keller; 10. 35-Steve Owings; 11. 28-Keith Prutzman. No Time
Consolation (10 Laps/6 to qualify) - 1. 23-Todd Rittenhouse Jr.; 2. 22T-Matt Boland; 3. 84Dale Hammaker; 4. 88K-Travis Keeney; 5. 15-Jim Siegel; 6. 84C-Chad Criswell; 7. 28-Keith Prutzman; 8. 09-Brandon Grandstaff; 9. 35-Steve Owings; 10. 51N-Nick Palmerino; 11. 8-Danny Dietrich (DNF); DNS - 29-Tony Strine, 3J-Judd Shepard, 20-Jon Keller. Time - 2:39.20
Feature (20 Laps) - 1. 70-Duane Hahn; 2. 52-Mike Walls; 3. 41-Howard Williams; 4. 30-Craig Wagaman; 5. 3W-Duane Watson; 6. 31-Ron Shultz; 7. 1-Neil Smith; 8. 22-Nat Tuckey; 9. 2-Dan Zechman; 10. 61M-Mike Slaybaugh; 11. 3-Mike Gladfelter; 12. 81-Mike Zeigler Sr.; 13. 21A-Mike Zeigler Jr. (DNF); 14. 18-Bob Johnson (DNF); 15. 07-Bob Stough (DNF); 16. 0-Eric McClane (DNF); 17. 91-Tom Slusser Jr. (DNF); DNS - 1E-Greg Emlet, 9-Al Cramer, 70X-Rick Weaver, 20-Sam Gallagher. No Time
Lap Leaders - Howard Williams (1-14), Duane Hahn (15-20)
1st Heat (8 Laps) - 1. 21Z-Mike Zeigler, Jr.; 2. 30-Craig Wagaman; 3. 3W-Duane Watson; 4. 2-Dan Zechman; 5. 22-Nat Tuckey; 6. 07-Bob Stough; 7. 0-Eric McClane; 8. 18-Bob Johnson; 9. 1E-Greg Emlet (DNF); 10. 70X-Rick Weaver (DNS); 11. 20-Sam Gallagher (DNS). No Time
2nd Heat (8 Laps) - 1. 41-Howard Williams; 2. 61M-Mike Slaybaugh; 3. 70-Duane Hahn; 4. 91-Tom Slusser, Jr.; 5. 81-Mike Zeigler, Sr.; 6. 52-Mike Walls; 7. 3-Mike Gladefelter; 8. 1-Neil Smith; 9. 31-Ron Shultz (DNF); DNS - 9-Al Cramer. Time - 3:01.46