Ausherman wins season opener for Coors Light 358 Sprints at Trail-Way; Thundercar championship goes to Wagaman; Owens claims first-ever win in Auto Locator Street Stock championship. HANOVER, PA, 5/2/03 - It was a night for drivers with 25 ...
Ausherman wins season opener for Coors Light 358 Sprints at Trail-Way; Thundercar championship goes to Wagaman; Owens claims first-ever win in Auto Locator Street Stock championship.
HANOVER, PA, 5/2/03 - It was a night for drivers with 25 years' experience at Trail-Way Speedway Friday night.
Dover's Scott Ausherman survived 30 mile-per-hour winds and a tricky, slick race track to score the season-opening win for 358 sprinters at the Hanover third-mile oval.
"I didn't think this thing would get over," said a tired but happy Ausherman in victory lane, "We were good for a dry track."
That went without saying. Ausherman, celebrating his silver anniversary season, grabbed the lead from polesitter Jeff Young from his outside front row starting spot in the first two turns and led every lap.
The front was the place to be. Three caution flags and two red flags marred the action during the first eight laps. Most of the crashes occurred on a slick turns one and two, where Brian Eichelberger flipped on lap four and Nathan Hammaker turned it over on lap eight.
Billy Dietrich and Nathan Hammaker were collected in the Eichelberger crash, but were able to make repairs and continue. Hammaker's eighth-lap flip followed a Brian Allman spin which also collected Neil Amspacher and Darren Eash.
In between, a fifth-lap melee on the same turns took out the cars of Judd Shepard, Dale Hammaker, Jeff Young, and Brad McClelland despite the fact that none of the four cars turned over. The crash ended a fine run by McClelland, who had advanced to seventh from his 11th starting spot in his first competitive 358 event after numerous titles in the 250-cc micro-sprint division.
The most exciting driver of the night was Billy Dietrich, who joined Jon Keller and Shawn Floyd in a three-car spin on the first two turns of lap nine and climbed back through the field to cross third at the finish. Hard charger of the night was Langhorne's Kyle Purks, who stayed out of trouble all night to advance from his 15th starting spot to finish runner-up to Ausherman. Maryland driver Mike Bittinger and Shawn Floyd completed the top five.
Only eight cars were running at the end. The ninth and tenth-place cars, (Billy Heltzel, Jr. and Danny Dietrich) got together in turn two of the final lap. Ausherman's first career Trail-Way win came by 1.21 seconds over Purks.
"I can't say enough about my car owner Mike Barshinger and crew," said Ausherman, "They do a great job keeping this car ready to race, and it makes my job easy."
Heat winners for the 22 sprints on hand were won by Bittinger, Dale Hammaker, and Eash. Heltzel won the consolation.
Hanover's Bryan Wagaman matched Ausherman's performance by also starting on the outside of the front row and leading every lap in the 25-lap championship race for thundercars. His final margin of victory was 7-tenths of-a-second over brother Craig, with Bobby Rudisill starting and finishing third. Mark Shorb and John McDonough, Jr. completed the top five.
Heat winners for the 23 thundercars in competition were won by Bryan Wagaman, Bobby Rudisill, and Doug Devilbiss. Roy Warehime Jr. won the consolation.
Don Owens of Rocky Ridge, MD, claimed his first career Trail-Way win in the 20-lap Auto Locator championship event for street stocks. Owens used an outside move to drive around race-long leader Ted Forsythe entering the third turn of lap ten, and led the rest of the way. Forsythe crossed second, with Danny Beard third, Mike Herman fourth, and Doug King fifth.
Heat winners for the 26 street stocks present were won by Owens, Beard, and Forsythe. Tim Hahn won the consolation.
Trail-Way swings back into action tomorrow (Saturday) night, May 3rd, with AMA and AHRMA vintage motorcycle racing beginning at 6 PM. Gates open at 3 PM.
Next Friday, May 9th, Trail-Way hosts the Auto Locator Championship for Coors Light 358 Sprints ($1,200 to win), the Auto Locator Championship for Thundercars, and both 4- & 6-cylinder scramble cars. Race time is 7:30 PM, with gates opening at 5:30 PM.
Next Saturday, May 10th, Trail-Way hosts the traveling ARDC Midgets, Predator Racecraft 250cc & 600cc Micro-Sprints, 4-Cylinder Stocks 7 figure 8 cars. Gates for that show open at 4:45 PM, with racing to begin at 7 PM.