Weekend race notes 2003-05-05

SEAN MICHAEL BESTS LINCOLN ALL-STARS ABBOTTSTOWN, PA, 5/3/03 - Allentown's Sean Michael needed a win. Saturday night the Allentown fireman finally got it as he beat the invading All Star regulars, along with his Pennsylvania Posse counterparts...

SEAN MICHAEL BESTS LINCOLN ALL-STARS

ABBOTTSTOWN, PA, 5/3/03 - Allentown's Sean Michael needed a win. Saturday night the Allentown fireman finally got it as he beat the invading All Star regulars, along with his Pennsylvania Posse counterparts at Lincoln Speedway.

Michael drove around polesitter Chris Knopp at the drop of the green and led wire-to-wire in the 30-lap, $5,000-to-win All-Star feature at the Pigeon Hills oval.

"Starting up front meant a lot," said a happy Michael upon exiting his Zemoco No.1 sprinter in victory lane. "We finished second in this race the past two years behind Lance, so I think we were due to win this thing...actually, we were probably due to win any race."

But it wasn't as easy. Michael had to withstand the challenges from both the local sprint regulars and the All-Stars best.

Michael, who started outside the frontrow, held off fourth-starting Jason Johnson at the drop of the green to lead the first lap.

Then following a fourth lap caution for a spinning Kevin Drury, Michael had to deal with fifth-starting Greg Hodnett who passed Johnson on the restart.

Greg Hodnett ran second to Michael through the 19th lap when the race's second caution flag waved for debris on the backstretch. On the restart 12th-starting Lance Dewease and third-starting Jeff Shepard got around Hodnett for second and third place respectively and immediately tried to close on the streaking Michael. Michael opened up a 1.35 second lead by the time they headed into lapped traffic with only four laps to go.

Then just as Dewease and Shepard began to close on the leader, a four-car tangle in the third and fourth turns involving Bobby Weaver, Drury, Jim Siegel, and Niki Young, gave Michael a clear track with only three laps to go.

But just as Dewease was setting up for a serious backstretch challenge on the 28th-lap restart, his right rear tire lost air pressure and came off the wheel, causing him to slow and collected Knopp, tipping the No.6K sprinter onto its side in turn three bringing out the red flag with two laps to go.

That allowed Hodnett, who had passed Shepard for second moments before the stoppage of action, another shot at the win. But Michael stayed in the preferred bottom groove over the final laps and raced away to a .81-second win the Tennessee driver.

Shepard had to settle for his second straight third place finish, with 14th-starting Cris Eash, and All-Star points leader Chad Kemenah finishing fourth and fifth respectively.

"We just weren't fast enough through three and four, and kinda got hung out to dry a couple times around the top just trying to make something happen," said Hodnett on his second runner-up finish in a row. "That last lap was kind of a last ditch effort on that last restart, but it didn't work out for us because we just weren't good enough through three and four."

"I knew Hodnett with two to go would have to make one last ditch effort," explained Michael. "But I knew as long as I kept in on the bottom and didn't break the wheels loose I would beat him coming off (turn) two."

In those final laps both Johnson and Shepard battled tire problems. While Shepard held on for third, Johnson fell from fourth to sixth over the final two laps.

"He (Johnson) pulled up beside me and I thought mine was going flat," said Shepard what went on during the late race caution. " I told him his was going flat, and I thought 'Awe (shoot), we're trying to get out there and keep our tires spinning' and they kept holding the yellows, and the yellows, and the yellows, and I was, like, 'Come on, I don't want to blow a tire.'"

The win, Michael's first since the July 3rd 2002 Pennsylvania Speedweek show at Silver Spring Speedway, was his second career All-Star victory and the fourth of his career at Lincoln.

Johnson, Donnie Kreitz, Jr. (who started 20th), Fred Rahmer, Glenndon Forsythe, and Steve Siegel (who started 21st) rounded out the top ten.

Stoverstown's Mike Zeigler Sr. Finally got a long awaited win Saturday night in the thrilling 20 lap thundercar feature.

Race-long leader Mike Ciezobka was going after his first career Lincoln thundercar win with five laps to go when Zeigler finally got around his son Zeigler Jr. to move into second. Zeigler saw point leader Bernie Beard take a look to his inside with three laps to go and decided to do the same to the leader. Zeigler stuck his nose under Ciezobka exiting the fourth turn with the two lap to go sign and edged Ciezobka for the lead at the line. Ciezobka tried to drive back around Zeigler in the first and second turns of the final lap and pulled along side heading into the final turns to the checkered. Both drove off the fourth turn side-by-side with Zeigler beating Ciezobka by a fender for his first win since the Kenny Weld Memorial in 2000.

OTHER RACING ACTION

DEWEASE BEATS GROVE ALL STARS

Fayetteville's Lance Dewease made it back-to-back wins in sprint car competition at Williams Grove Speedway as he topped the invading All Star Circuit of Champions in the special $6,000-to-win Early Bird Championship Friday night.

Dewease passed All Star point leader Chad Kemenah with a high side move off of turn four to lead the second lap and then simply out-classed the 24-car feature field to take the checkered 3.69 seconds ahead of Greg Hodnett at the end of 30 laps.

Dewease's second win of the year at Williams Grove was also his 57th career win at the historic Mechanicsburg half-mile. The win also marked Dewease's second in All Star competition in 2003 and upped his All Star win total to 20 victories.

Shepard came from his 20th starting position to finish third, Chad Layton fourth, and All Star Greg Wilson fifth.

TODD SHAFFER WINS PORT ROYAL SPRINTS

Millerstown's Todd Shaffer finally changed his luck at Port Royal Speedway by leading every lap from his outside frontrow-starting position to become the fourth different winner in as many races at the Juniata County racing facility.

Shaffer's 74th Port Royal win came over former track champ Mike Wagner and was his second overall win of 2003. All time Port win leader Keith Kauffman had to come from deep in the field after being forced to qualify through the consolation to finish third.

Scott Haus also became the fourth winner in four races in late model competition by taking the checkered over Wayne Walls and Travis Dillman.

Jim Palm led every lap to win his first the pro stock feature of the season and the 31st of his career while Nancy Burdge won in ladies powder puff competition.

DOVER'S SCOTT AUSHERMAN WINS TRAIL-WAY 358 SPRINT SEASON OPENER

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 Trail-Way Speedway Friday night.

"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."

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.

Langhorne's Kyle Purks advanced from his 15th starting spot to finish second with Billy Dietrich, Mike Bittinger and Shawn Floyd completed the top five.

Hanover's Bryan Wagaman started on the outside of the front row and led every lap to pick up the win special 25-lap thundercar championship. Don Owens of Rocky Ridge, MD, claimed his first career Trail-Way win in the 20-lap street stock championship.

BLANE HEIMBACH WINS 358 SPRINT THRILLER AT SELINSGROVE

Blane Heimbach of Selinsgrove pulled off a thrilling last lap pass coming off the final turn to the checkered for his second win in as many night in the 25 lap 358 sprint feature at Selinsgrove Speedway Saturday night.

On the final lap, coming off the final turn, Heimbach powered around the outside of Davie Franek and took the checkered flag for his second career Selinsgrove win.

Joe Whitcomb, Donnie Beaver and 12th-place starter Chad Layton rounded out the top five.

Jeff Rine of Danville picked up his first late model victory of the season while Kyle Bachman scored his second in pro stock action. Matt Drum continued his domination in roadrunner action with his fourth win in-a-row.

BILL BROWN WINS SECOND CAREER SPORTSMAN FEATURE AT SILVER SPRING

Bill Brown picked up his first win of 2003 Saturday night at Silver Spring Speedway after a side-by-side, three-wide race with Paul Miller and Steve Cannon over the final 10 laps of 25-lap super sportsman feature.

Dave Gable of Reading recorded his first win since 1999 in the KARS 358-sprint feature. Gable started on the pole and would lead all 25-laps surviving numerous yellow and red flags.

Gable picked up the win over Billy Dietrich and 20th-starting Cory Haas.

Scott McCann of Mechanicsburg took the lead from Coleby Frye following a lap 14 restart and drove away from the field to become the first two-time winner in limited late model action.

BLANE HEIMBACH WINS CLINTON COUNTY SEASON OPENER

Defending Clinton County Speedway sprint champion Blane Heimbach of Selinsgrove began defense of his title in winning fashion as he claimed the opening night sprint car victory at the Lock haven racing facility.

Chuck Colegrove of Trout Run won his first career super stock event and Donnie Mellinger won the pro stocks. Art Stephens won the Daredevils and Dennis Weisgarber won the 4-Cylinder Enduro feature.

STUHLER WINS ON LAST LAP PASS AT HAGERSTOWN

With three laps remaining, it looked like Gary Stuhler would have a good fourth place finish after starting 12th in the field. But misfortune struck race leader Andy Anderson and second place DJ Myers over the next two laps turning the lead over to Charlie Schaffer with two laps remaining. The Greencastle, PA driver kept the pressure on Schaffer and when the leader slipped a little coming off the fourth turn for the checker, it was all Stuhler needed as he beat Schaffer to the finish line by half-car length for his third win of the year at the Hagerstown Speedway on Saturday night.

In other action, Will Fair of Littlestown scored his first win of the year in the 20-lap late model sportsman feature, Bruce Leibowitz of Reisterstown, MD, ended a long winless dry spell dating back to October 2001 in the 15-lap pure stock main event and Jim Mullandore of Hagerstown, MD, won the 30-lap enduro dash.

LASOSKI SWEEPS GREAT PLAINS SHOOTOUT

World of Outlaw point leader Danny Lasoski continued his early-season hot streak by winning both nights of competition in the Annual Great Plains Shootout at Nebraska Raceway Park in Greenwood, NE.

Lasoski scored a half-lap victory in Friday night preliminary action in Nebraska over Steve Kinser and Joey Saldana.

Lasoski's flag-to-flag victory in Saturday night's Great Plains Shootout finale over Kinser and Daryn Pittman gave him his second consecutive weekend sweep and marked his fourth straight victory.

Three-time series champion Sammy Swindell set the World of Outlaws Series record with seven straight feature victories in 1997.

Both Tyler Walker and Mark Kinser were disqualified following Saturday night's A-Feature after a post-race inspection found them to be under the minimum required weight.

BLOOMQUIST DOMINATES XTREME DIRTCAR SERIES ACTION AT DELTA BOWL

Scott Bloomquist of Mooresburg, TN won the 75-lap Thunder in the Delta Xtreme DirtCar Series race Saturday night at Delta Bowl Speedway in Tunica, MS.

Bloomquist took the lead from Steve Francis on the 21st lap and never looked back enroute to his second win of 2003 over Francis and Jimmy Mars.

Mars's third place finish kept him on top of the series point standings ahead of Francis, Earl Pearson Jr. and Bloomquist.

Defending two-time Xtreme DirtCar Series champion Rick Eckert of York started second, but fell to ninth at the finish and subsequently dropped to fifth in the series point standings.

RANDY WEST WINS FIRST CAREER URC VICTORY AT ORANGE COUNTY

Randy West of Allentown, PA scored his first career United Racing Club victory Saturday night in dramatic fashion at Orange County Fair Speedway in Middletown, NY. West passed race-leader Curt Michael coming off the final turns after the leader had a tire go flat just two hundred feet from the checker flag.

For West, it was also an emotional victory, with his car owner Scats Anfuso Jr., currently in the hospital recovering from serious heart surgery earlier this week. Curt Michael managed a fourth place finish and was also one of the first to congratulate Randy West in victory lane.

Dave Ely and Brian Seidel were able to get by the failing Michael to finish second and third respectively.

-bill meyer-

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About this article
Series Sprint , Stock car
Drivers Mark Kinser , Scott Bloomquist , Rick Eckert , Danny Lasoski , Steve Kinser , Sammy Swindell , Tyler Walker , Bill Brown , Daryn Pittman , Joey Saldana , Paul Miller , Greg Wil , Steve Francis , Chad Kemenah , Chuck Cole , Jason Johnson
Teams Williams