Weekend race notes 2003-04-13

Kevin Drury holds off Cris Eash to claim first career 410 Sprint win. Sometimes it can take years before a driver can pick up his first career win in the highly-competitive Central Pennsylvania 410 sprint ranks. Sometimes it doesn't. New ...

Kevin Drury holds off Cris Eash to claim first career 410 Sprint win.

Sometimes it can take years before a driver can pick up his first career win in the highly-competitive Central Pennsylvania 410 sprint ranks. Sometimes it doesn't.

New Berlinville's Kevin Drury, a relative newcomer in the 410 sprint world, picked up his first career super sprint win against the best in Central Pennsylvania at Lincoln Speedway Saturday night.

Drury started fourth, moved into second following a caution restart on the second lap, and passed race-long leader Brian Leppo for the lead following another caution restart on the seventh lap. Drury then led the rest of the way to take the checkered .94 seconds ahead of last week's feature winner Cris Eash.

"This is only about our 15th or 16th race in a 410, and basically when you win that soon, it's pretty much luck," said the happy first-time winner in victory lane, "We started up front...we'll take it. I was just trying to hang onto that thing. My arms were getting pretty tired towards the end...I was driving it for everything I had."

And driving it for everything he had - he did.

After getting the lead from a relentless Leppo on the seventh lap, Drury had to survive another caution on the ninth lap, which allowed the big guns to start creeping into the picture.

Cris Eash, who started 12th, finally got around another young gun - Jim Siegel - for second by the 11th lap. At the time, Drury hung on to a seemingly comfortable two-second lead.

But a multi-car crash on the 13th lap brought out the red flag, erasing Drury's lead.

On the restart, Drury fought off Eash's initial challenges, and looked like a veteran in pulling away over the final non-stop laps.

"I don't know what to say," said an almost speechless Drury when asked to describe his feelings on winning his first career 410 sprint race, "I pulled it out of gear too early (to get into victory lane)!"

"We knew we were pretty decent in qualifying," said Drury, "That's probably the best I ever felt in a 410 (sprinter). During the feature, they told me Cris (Eash) was right behind me. We changed the shock because the car was getting a little bit loose, and it seemed to work pretty good."

"Basically me, my wife, my mom, and my dad, we own it," said Drury on his No. 31D sprint team, "My dad (Don) builds the motors and everything I've ever had. Basically, this is all credited to him...I wouldn't be up here if it were not for him, as well as Mike and Davey and Jeremy. They help me quite a bit during the week. They're a big help."

The win made Drury the 169th different sprint winner in the 51 year history of the Pigeon Hills oval.

Third through fifth behind Drury and Eash were Jim Siegel, Greg Hodnett (who started 10th), and Niki Young. Lance Dewease and Fred Rahmer, who both missed the handicapped positions in there respective heats, started next to each other on row seven, crossed sixth and seventh. Josh Wells, Chris Knopp, and Doug Esh completed the top ten.

Heats for the 29 "410" sprints were won by Drury, Hodnett, and Niki Young. Chappy Knaack was the original winner of the third heat, but failed to report to the scales immediately after the checkered and was then disqualified, handing the win to Young. Glenndon Forsythe won the consolation.

Defending champ Cory Haas drove from his ninth starting spot to grab the race lead from Randy Rhoads coming down the front stretch to complete lap seven, and ran to his first win of the year in the "358" sprint feature and the sixth of his career.

Former micro-sprint driver Jeff Young led from his front row starting spot until lap four, when he spun in turns three and four and collected Clair Wintermyer. Kenny Foor and Mark Freeland also got out of shape, with Freeland landing upside down, bringing out the red flag. Polesitter Rhoads assumed the lead for the restart, and led the next three laps before yielding to Haas.

Opening night winner and points leader Billy Dietrich started 13th and advanced through the field to finish second, with Chad Trout crossing third, 12th-starting Eric Stambaugh finishing fourth, and 11th-starting Shawn Weaver crossing fifth.

Heats for the 27 "358" Sprints were won by Trout, Rhoads, and Stambaugh, with Mike Bittinger (who flipped in turn four in both his heat and the feature) winning the consolation. In winning the first heat, Felton's Trout set a new 10-lap track record with a winning time of two minutes, 28.86 seconds. He broke the four-year old record set by Greg Leiby of two minutes, 32.29 seconds back on September 13th, 1997.

Birthday boy Bobby Rudisill passed race-long leader Al Cramer on the 12th-lap and scored his sixth career Lincoln win in the 20-lap thundercar feature. Cramer grabbed the lead over polesitter Mike Walls at the outset and held the Gettysburg racer for the first nine laps, until Walls faded before dropping from the field on lap 14. Rudisill, who lost a last-lap shootout to Bernie Beard a week earlier, took second from Walls on the ninth lap and hounded Cramer until pulling the slider to take the lead on lap 12.

Cramer ran second until the final few feet, where he was edged by Nat Tuckey for the runner-up spot. Two-time winner and points leader Bernie Beard started 16th and finished fourth, with Steve Clabaugh completing the top five.

LANCE DEWEASE SCORES OPENING DAY PORT ROYAL WIN

Fayetteville's Lance Dewease led every lap en route to the win in Port Royal Speedway's season opening 410 sprint feature Saturday afternoon.

Dewease started second and dominated the event on the tough daylight racing surface with Memphis, Tennessee racer Greg Hodnett pressuring the leader in the waning laps through lapped traffic.

Hodnett caught Dewease entering turns one and two while racing through lapped traffic on the 22nd lap. But a slowing Sean Michael brought out the caution flag and ended Hodnett's challanges. That was the brake Dewease needed to stay out front and led the rest of the way score his third overall win of 2003.

For Dewease it was his 81st career win at the Juniata County oval.

Following Dewease and Hodnett at the checkered was Brook Weibley, Mike Wagner and Fred Rahmer (who came from his 17th starting position to finish fifth).

Mifflintown's Tim Gray picked up his first career late model win in there 20 lap feature over Scott Haus, Matt Parks, San Stone, and Eric Kauffman.

Todd Snook won the 15 lap pro stock battle event over Scott Spahr and Jim Palm which saw only seven of the starting 21 cars finishing the 15 lap event.

JEREMY MILLER ROMPS TO FIRST WIN AT HAGERSTOWN

Gettysburg's Jeremy Miller hadn't won at Hagerstown for three years, but it looks like things will be different this year with new car owner Charlie Buckler as Miller turned back the field in the 25-lap late model feature at the Hagerstown Speedway Saturday night. Miller started 10th and went to the high groove to make it to the front by the 10th lap, once in front, the young driver pulled away to his first win of the year.

"We just kept playing and playing with the car until this week we finally got the right set-up," said Miller with five career wins. "We made some changes because the car hasn't been right here and tonight I guess we made the right changes and it was great to drive. This is the best equipment I have had since I won here three years ago, definitely the most comfortable and the most fun I have had in long time racing and I just have been enjoying it."

In other action, Richard Walls of St. Thomas led every lap to win the late model sportsman feature and Kenny Dillon of Hanover came from the12th starting position to make it two in-a-row in the pure stock main event. Kevin Durst of Hancock, MD, led all 30 laps to win the enduro dash.

CRAIG ESHENAUR WINS FIRST SELINSGROVE SPRINT FEATURE SINCE 1996

Linglestown's Craig Eshenaur stormed to his first win at Selinsgrove Speedway since 1996 in Saturday night's 25-lap 358 sprint feature at Seilinsgrove Speedway.

Eshenaur led evey lap en route to his first career win in 358 sprint car competition at Selinsgrove. He is a former three-time winner in 410 sprint car action.

Jimmy Adams of Herndon held off Dale Kerstetter for the victory in the 25-lap late model main event. The win was the third of Adams' career at the track.

Peanut Heintzelman of Troxelville recorded his first win of the season in the 15-lap pro stock feature, while Matt Drum of Port Trevorton took the checkered flag in the 10-lap roadrunner main event.

CANNON PASSES PERIGO IN LAPPED TRAFFIC FOR SILVER SPRING SPORTSMAN WIN

Mechanicsburg's Pat Cannon took the lead from Carmen Perigo Jr. in lapped traffic on the 18th lap went on to his first win of the season in the 25 lap super sportsman feature.

Cannon, a two-time winner last season, made his winning move by Perigo on the backstretch of the 18th laps with defending track champion Frankie Herr following right behind.

Cannon held off Herr through heavy traffic over the final laps for the win with Perigo third, Craig Morrow fourth, and Rich Eichelberger fifth.

Defending late model track champion Scott McCann Jr. Mechanicsburg passed race-long leader Carl Graves in a drag race off the final turns to the checkered to pick up the exciting win in the season-opening limited late model 20 lap feature. Graves settled for second, with Gene Wrightstone, Jake Lettich and Billy Wampler rounding out the top-five.

PEARSON SAVES TIRES FOR CHEROKEE XTREME DIRTCAR SERIES WIN AND POINT LEAD; ECKERT FINISHES 12TH

Tire maintenance was the key to victory Saturday night for Earl Pearson Jr. of Jacksonville, FL in the Xtreme DirtCar Series event at Cherokee Super Speedway in Gaffney, SC. Pearson took the lead after the early leader Jeremy Clements blew a tire with six laps to go.

Pearson then survived another restart and had just enough rubber left on his tires to drive to his first XDCS win of the season, and take over the series point lead.

"I think just about everyone in the race had the same tire compound, and when a lot of them started blowing them out from wear, I was starting to get worried," Pearson said. "Clements was buzzing his tires on the restarts, so I thought it just might be a matter of time before his went down."

Hanging tough with Pearson at the finish was Skip Arp in second spot and Terry English finished third.

Four-time XDCS Champion Scott Bloomquist started 18th and finished fourth and Dan Schlieper started 19th and finished fifth.

Tire wear played a major roll in the race's outcome for many in the final 10 laps of the 50 lap event and included two-time defending series champion Rick Eckert of York who brought out the caution for a flat tire while running fourth. Eckert was able to make the tire change and was able to salvage a 12th place finish. That dropped Eckert out of the point lead and now sits in third spot, 40 points behind new series point leader Pearson and only three point behind second place Jimmy Mars.

The Xtreme DirtCar Series returned to action on Sunday night with the originally scheduled Friday night 50-lap $10,000-to-win event at Carolina Speedway in Gastonia, NC. The event, originally scheduled for Friday night, was postponed until Sunday night due to wet grounds.

TREVOR LEWIS WINS URC BRIDGEPORT SERIES OPENER

Trevor Lewis of Upper Black Eddy picked up the win Saturday night in the season-opening United Racing Club Series event at Bridgeport Speedway in Bridgeport, NJ.

Lewis passed race-long leader Jon Eldreth on the fifth lap and drove on to his fourth career URC win, holding off the late-race charge of Curt Michael at the finish, with Chris Coyle finishing third. Mike Haggenbottom and Eldreth completed the top-five. . A point of interest, Tim Hogue made the field using his provisional spot and started last in the feature event. Hogue delivered a strong drive in the feature to finish a solid tenth place.

FRIDAY NIGHT WASHOUTS

All local Friday night racing action was canceled due to rain. Rain-outs included Williams Grove Speedway's 21st Annual Early Bird Championship Friday night. It is anticipated that the $6,000-to-win race will be rescheduled, but had not been determined as of yet.

Trail-Way Speedway not only canceled there Coors Light 358 Sprint Series opener on Friday night, but there entire Saturday and Sunday racing action due to extremely wet grounds.

Selinsgrove Speedway Park also forced to cancel there season opening go kart and micro-sprint action Friday night and will try again next Friday night to get there season underway.

-bill meyer-

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About this article
Series Sprint , Stock car
Drivers Scott Bloomquist , Rick Eckert , Jimmy Mars , Jeremy Clements , Chappy Knaack , Tim Gray
Teams Williams