LINCOLN SPEEDWAY ABBOTTSTOWN, PA, 3/18/00 - For those that thought the excitement was gone from Millerstown racer Todd Shaffer - think again. "Mr. Excitement" blew around Dave Ely in the first and second turns for the lead following a fifth...
ABBOTTSTOWN, PA, 3/18/00 - For those that thought the excitement was gone from Millerstown racer Todd Shaffer - think again.
"Mr. Excitement" blew around Dave Ely in the first and second turns for the lead following a fifth lap caution restart and then masterfully navigated through lapped traffic the rest of the way to pick up the $2,500 win in the 25-lap super sprint feature at Lincoln Speedway Saturday afternoon.
"I’m going to dedicate this win to (Area Auto Racing News columnist) Bev Thompson," said Shaffer with a smile in victory lane, "She wrote about me this week and said the excitement was gone from me. Maybe it’s not as exciting for her, but, it’s pretty exciting in my seat. She said Rahmer’s getting grey and the excitement’s gone out of me. Fred and I aren’t ready to roll over and die just yet."
At the drop of the green, outside frontrow starter Ely drove around polesitter Jeff Shepard (who was driving the Apple Motorsports No.12 sprinter for the weekend) for the lead. Shaffer, who started third, got around Shepard as well on the initial circuit.
Shaffer began to close on the race-leading Ely on the fourth lap and was just getting ready to battle for the top spot when Chris Knopp and Dan Dietrich tangled in the first and second turns to bring out the caution. Defending three-time track champion Rahmer also experienced problems in the form of a flat left front tire and ducked into the pits for a quick tire change.
On the restart, Shaffer took to the highside of the first and second turns to make his race-winning move and quickly pulled out to a 1.07-second lead over Ely by the seventh lap.
"I was just fortunate to get by on that restart and get the lead," said Shaffer. "Any time you run at Lincoln you know you have your hands full the whole 25 laps. I want to thank Jimmy Russell for coming back this year because my car’s been pretty darn good all year."
"Opening day I got the pole position and Keith (Kauffman) jumped me on the start and I knew that was it. Last week at the Grove, we were pretty fast and ended up fifth and we should have been a little further ahead. You just have to get some breaks, and today they went my way."
A caution for a spinning James Chesson in the third and fourth turn on the ninth lap allowed Ely, eighth-starting Lance Dewease, Shepard and 10th-starting Keith Kauffman to close on Shaffer’s bumper. But Shaffer easily pulled away on the restart and had opened up a 1.35-second lead as the leaders headed into lapped traffic on the 12th lap. Just as Shaffer was picking his way through heavy lapped traffic on the 15th lap the caution waved once again.
With a three-car cushion between himself and second place-Ely, Shaffer easily pulled away on the restart. Shaffer continued to pull away and had a 3.56-second cushion when the race’s final caution waved when Danny Jones and James Chesson spun in the first and second turns with two laps to go.
Shaffer used his two-car cushion on the restart to easily lead the final two laps and take the checkered 1.42 seconds ahead of Ely for his first win on 2000 - and the fourth of his career at the Pigeon Hills oval.
"There at the end, I didn’t know if it was Ely or Fred (Rahmer)," said Shaffer. "I know Fred started back pretty far...it was pretty much a one lane track. In lapped traffic I could even pull down off the top," remarked Shaffer on how well his car was handling, "I think there at the beginning with Shepard my car was a little better through the slick and it helped me. At the end mine really felt good."
Shepard, Dewease, and Kauffman finished third through fifth respectively. Completing the top 10 were Donnie Kreitz Jr., Chad Kemenah, Johnny Mackison Jr., Rahmer and Steve Siegel.
Heats for the 31 super sprints on hand were won by Kauffman, Kemenah, and Shaffer, with Skip Jackson winning the consolation.
Westminster, Maryland’s Brad McClelland came from the back of the field to win the 15-lap micro-sprint feature. McClelland was sent to the rear when he stopped on the track during an early race caution. He climbed to fifth by the eighth lap, and dove under leader Chad Trout for the top spot on the fourth turn of the 12th lap. Trout dropped from the field a half-lap later, handing second over to Terry Schaeffer, who finished 1.92 seconds behind McClelland. Nathan Gramley, Richie Hartman (who also came from the rear after a first-lap spin), and Jim Lender completed the top five. Scott Tritle, who led the first five laps, dropped off the pace on lap six, was scored second on that lap, and stopped on the backstretch of lap 8.
Heats for the 42 micros on hand were won by Tritle, Mike Bittinger, Schaeffer, and Frank Polimeda. Twin consolation events were won by Darrell Ginter and Colby Womer.
Like son like father in the thundercar division, where Mike Zeigler followed in the footsteps of his son two weeks ago in winning the 15-lap thundercar feature. Zeigler started on the outside front row, took the lead from polesitter Mike Lamont at the drop of the green, and led wire-to-wire to score a 1.39-second victory over defending track champ Bobby Beard. Third through fifth were Bryan Wagaman, Nat Tuckey, and Mike Zeigler, Jr. It was dad’s ninth career Lincoln win.
Heats for the 32 thundercars on hand were won by Wagaman, Bernie Beard, and Bobby Beard, with Mike Walls winning the consolation. Bobby Beard’s eight-lap heat-winning time of 2 minutes 41.56 seconds broke his own year-old record of 2 minutes 43.00 seconds (5/15/99).
Lincoln Speedway swings back into action next Saturday afternoon, March 25th, with it’s first evening show of the season starting at 6 PM. Joining the super sprint and thundercar regulars will be the 358 sprints in there first race of the season at the Pigeon Hills oval.