Weekend racing summary 2003-05-18

ESH EIGHTH WINNER IN 10 RACES AT LINCOLN Lancaster's Doug Esh became the eighth winner in 10 races at Lincoln Speedway Saturday night, passing race-long leader Jeff Busby in the third and fourth turns following a 17th lap caution restart and...


Lancaster's Doug Esh became the eighth winner in 10 races at Lincoln Speedway Saturday night, passing race-long leader Jeff Busby in the third and fourth turns following a 17th lap caution restart and then racing away to a .97 second win over Lance Dewease for his first win of 2003.

In what appeared to be a slim field of 14 super sprinter to start the night, grew to 20 just before the feature as sprinters arrived from Hagerstown after the World of Outlaw race scheduled there was canceled due to rain.

"My brother told me before if I win this year that I would impress him because last year I started on the front row," said Esh following his traditional wing dance in victory lane. "We were really bad early, not getting around the corners...I started jacking on a couple of things and moving a couple knobs and got it pretty good."

Esh, who started sixth, passed Jim Siegel for third on the 15th lap while race-long leader Jeff Busby held a .91-second lead over Brian Leppo. A lap later, Esh drove under Leppo exiting the fourth turn to grab second. Then the second red flag of the race came out when Chris Knopp ran into the back of Josh Wells, tipping his sprinter onto its side.

Esh made the race-winning pass through turns three and four on the restart. Busby then turned over the runner-up spot to Lance Dewease (who was the second of the six cars to arrive from Hagerstown and started 16th) three laps later.

"I knew when I got into second I could probably get Jeff (Busby) and then I seen (Dewease) and I was a little worried. But I figured we were okay."

"Last year I had so much problems with lapped traffic and actually lost a lot of races in lapped traffic," added the winner Esh. "I talked with Lance (Dewease) a little bit and he told me how to get around them...you got to get around them right now!"

Busby and 11th-starting Fred Rahmer crossed third and fourth.

Greg Hodnett, who finished fifth, was the first car to arrive from Hagerstown and started 15th. All six cars that came from Hagerstown arrived after the sprint heats were run and tagged the rear of the 14-car field for the feature in the order they arrived from Hagerstown.

Siegel, Wells, Niki Young, Brook Weibley, and Johnny Mackison, Jr. completed the top ten. The win, Esh's third of his career at Lincoln, was worth $2,500.

2001 Lincoln champ Eric Stambaugh claimed his third straight win in the 20-lap "358" sprint feature. Stambaugh originally scheduled to start 15th moved up to 13th after Matt Boland went to the rear, and moving Stambaugh up one row for the start.

Stambaugh then threaded the needle to slip under second-place Randy Rhoads and drive around race-long leader Dan Dietrich in turns three and four of lap 16. It was Stambaugh's seventh career win at Lincoln, moving him into a fifth-place tie with Mike Lehman on the all-time win list just four behind Esh.

Dover's Scott Ausherman made an identical move in heavy lapped traffic two laps later to move into second, and chased the winner the rest of the way.

Shawn "Big Block" Weaver, Rhoads, and Dietrich completed the top five.

Stoverstown's Mike Zeigler Jr. upheld the family name and drove to his first win of 2003 in winning the 20 lap thundercar feature.

Zeigler Jr., whose father Zeigler Sr. had just won three days earlier, drove from his fifth starting position into third by the second lap and then inherited the lead on the 10th lap when both race leader David Prunkl and second place Allen Cullum were forced to pit with flat tires after colliding under caution.

From there Zeigler ran away from the field to take the checkered 1.10 seconds ahead of Duane Hahn for his eighth career win. Neil Smith finished third, points leader Bernie Beard fourth, and Chet McCormick fifth.



York's Rick Eckert became the newest member of the Xtreme DirtCar Series Millionaire's Club with his third win of the season Friday night at Black Hills Speedway in Rapid City, SD. Eckert's career earnings total is now at $1,002,990, with the bulk of that amount coming in the last four seasons.

Eckert reached the $1-million mark in career XDCS earnings faster than fellow Millionaire Club members Scott Bloomquist, Wendell Wallace, and 1999 champion Dale McDowell.

The defending and two-time XDCS Champion started the 50-lap main event in the 11th spot and with most of his competitors running the bottom groove, Eckert drove up on the cushion and he made it work. With ten laps to go Bloomquist led the fast closing Eckert. Eckert caught Bloomquist on lap 41 and the pair raced side-by-side until Eckert took the lead coming off the fourth turn to complete lap 42 and then raced away to the $10,900 victory.

In a rare occurrence, the second-place finisher of the race scored more points, and Bloomquist actually moved around Eckert for the fifth spot in the XDCS point standings. Going into the race Eckert was in the fifth spot, and held a one-point advantage over Bloomquist.

Eckert earned 175 points for his race victory, but no bonus points. Bloomquist earned 170 points for second-place, five bonus points for leading the most laps, and five points for finishing second in the Action Performance Dash for a total of 185 points. Bloomquist is now in the fifth spot in the XDCS points chase, with a nine point advantage over Eckert.

Although it doesn't score any bonus points, Eckert also shared the Hard Charger Award with Jeff Smith who drove from the 24th starting spot to a 14th-place finish.

McDowell rallied in the closing laps of the race to take the third spot. Point leader Jimmy Mars finished fourth to extend his string of top ten finishes to all ten events run this season.

Darren Miller drove a steady race to finish fifth.


Millerstown's Todd Shaffer picked up his second win in-a-row in 410 sprint action at Port Royal Speedway Saturday night. Shaffer took the checkered over Mark Smith and Mike Wagner to become the first repeat winner in the headline division. It also marked Shaffer's 75th career win at the Juniata County oval and moved him to within six wins of second place Lance Dewease in the all time win column.

Travis Dillman also became the first two-time winner in the late model division by taking to checkered over Jim Yoder and Mike Hess.

Jim Palm scored his second win in-a-row in pro stock action.


Three weeks ago, 16-year-old Davie Franek of Lafayette, NJ, almost picked up his first career win in 358 sprint action at Selinsgrove Speedway, losing in the final turns to the checkered.

Franek didn't let it happen again as he held off Nate Snyder and Chad Layton to record his first career 358 sprint win in the 25 lap feature at Selinsgrove Saturday night and in the process became the sixth different winner in six races in 358 sprint action at the Snyder County oval.

In other action Dave Ely won the 25 lap United Racing Club feature over Brian Seidel and Dave McGough.

The pro stock feature was postponed until Saturday, May 24, while the roadrunner feature has been rescheduled for Saturday, May 31.


Mechanicsburg's Pat Cannon avoided a massive pile-up at the start of the 25 lap super sportsman feature at Silver Spring Speedway Saturday night and eventually took the lead from rookie driver Joey Biasi on the 20th lap and went on to become the first repeat sportsman feature winner at the Cumberland County oval this season. It was Cannon's third overall win of 2003.

York's Mark Billet took the lead from his brother, Carl, on the 15th lap and went on to win the 20-lap limited late model feature to become the third different winner in four races.

Craig Morgan held off a determined Stan Wanner over the final laps of the 20-lap street stock feature to win his first feature of the season and became the fourth different winner in as many races.


Brian Birkhofer picked up his second win in-a-row in Extreme DirtCar Series action last Wednesday night at Red River Valley Speedway in West Fargo, ND.

Birkhofer took the lead from defending two-time series Rick Eckert after a lap 20 restart, and was never challenged the rest of the way to earn the $10,600 top prize for the 50-lap main event.

Series point leader Jimmy Mars finished second, Steve Shaver third, and Eckert fourth.


Rain forced World of Outlaw action at Williams Grove Speedway to be canceled both Thursday and Friday night and will not be rescheduled.

And then on Saturday night rain forced Hagerstown Speedway to postpone the World of Outlaw and Late Model show until Monday night at 7 PM. Gates will open at 5 PM.


Rain once again altered Trail-Way Speedway's two days of racing action.

Friday night's 358 sprint, thundercar and street stock action was moved to Sunday night at 7 PM. Saturday night's 250cc & 600cc Micro-Sprint, 4-Cylinder Stock Car, Scramble Car & Figure 8 action was canceled all together and will not be rescheduled.

In other rain-related cancellations, Clinton County Speedway was forced to cancel there Friday night show of Sprints, Super Stocks, 4-Cylinder Pro Stocks, Daredevils and 4-Cylinder Enduros due to rain.


Saturday night's All Star Circuit of Champions event at K-C Raceway in Alma, OH was cancelled due to rain.

-bill meyer-

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About this article
Series Sprint , Stock car
Drivers Scott Bloomquist , Rick Eckert , Jimmy Mars , Brian Birkhofer , Jeff Smith , Neil Smith
Teams Williams