Williams Grove Early Bird Championships 98-04-03

Mechanicsburg, PA (April 3, 1998) - Stevie Smith took advantage of a break in the World of Outlaws schedule to visit Williams Grove Speedway and take home $5,000 in winning the 30 lap Early Bird Sprint Car Championships. The Early Bird...

Mechanicsburg, PA (April 3, 1998) - Stevie Smith took advantage of a break in the World of Outlaws schedule to visit Williams Grove Speedway and take home $5,000 in winning the 30 lap Early Bird Sprint Car Championships. The Early Bird attracted 43 sprint cars, including Frankie Kerr in the Shoff No. 23s. Both Kerr, now from Fremont, Ohio, and Smith are former local racers currently on national sprint circuits.

Stevie Smith started third but slipped to fifth by the second lap. "The crew did a great job on the race car. It was a little tight there at the beginning, we were just trying to hold our position," Smith said. Smith circulated in fifth place until the second yellow, for Bill Sims stopping on the back straight.

Smith lined up fourth for the restart with nine laps complete. Rahmer led, followed by Jeff Shepard and Lance Dewease. When the green appeared, Smith went to work on Dewease, looking low in one and two. Smith made the pass in three and four and pulled up behind Shepard as they completed lap ten.

Shepard slowed abruptly after passing the line, coming to a stop in turn two for no apparent reason. As Shepard rolled to a stop, the leaders completed lap eleven and the yellow was shown. After the ambulance was called to the scene, Shepard walked to the ambulance complaining of leg problems.

When the green appeared, Rahmer got a good jump on the restart, pulling out a six car length lead that lasted until he entered lapped traffic on lap nineteen. Two laps later, Smith dove low under Rahmer into turn one and slid high coming out of two. It looked like Rahmer would have enough to return the favor coming out of two but Smith's No. 19 continued to lead down the back straight.

Smith did a great job through traffic, crossing under the checkered flag while Rahmer exited turn four.

Rahmer started sixth but wasted no time in moving to the front. On the start, Fast Freddie was fourth by the time he got to the flagstand. He took third from Jeff Shepard in turn one on the first lap and then passed Cris Eash for second place, on the second lap. With seven laps complete, the yellow was shown for debris on the front straight, evaporating Dewease's huge lead.

Rahmer looked low on the restart taking Dewease for the lead. Dewease's No. 461 was slow to take off and Shepard dispatched the 461 to third.

Todd Shaffer, who was punted over the turn two wall by Brain Paulus in the first heat race, repaired the car with help from Fred Rahmer and then went on to win the B-Main. By winning the B-Main, Shaffer got his qualifying time back and started 12th in the feature. He finished eighth.

Time Trials (Top Ten): 1. 4j Jeff Shepard, 17.31; 2. 19 Stevie Smith, 17.51; 3. 461 Lance Dewease, 17.52; 4. 17e Cris Eash, 17.56; 5. 69 Don Kreitz, 17.67; 6. 77 Fred Rahmer, 17.69; 7. 1 Billy Pauch, 17.70; 8. 23s Frankie Kerr, 17.73; 9. 88m Sean Michael, 17.81; 10. 92 Kevin Gobrecht, 17.86

Heat One Results (10 laps/5 qualify)

1. 88m Sean Michael 2. 4j Jeff Shepard 3. 69 Don Kreitz 4. 10 Len Thompson 5. 28 Brian Paulus 6. 19x Rick Koenig 7. 30 Daryl Stimeling 8. 16 Bill Brian 9. 7 Barry Camp 10. 32g randy Glover 11. 88 Todd Shaffer (DNF)

Heat Two Results 1. 77 Fred Rahmer 2. 53 Shawn Keen 3. 92 Kevin Gobrecht 4. 19 Stevie Smith 5. 25 Todd Gracey 6. 87 George Suprick 7. 17 Alan Cole 8. 07 Dave Haight 9. 13k Rick Kaylor 10. i07 Mark Coldren 11. 10n Jeff Thompson Time: 3:03.47

Heat Three Results

1. 461 Lance Dewease 2. 1 Billy Pauch 3. 65 Johnny Mackison 4. 75w Randy Wolfe 5. 32w Brook Weibley 6. 77t Jess Thomas 7. 55s Bill Sims 8. 92a Jon Armstrong 9. 14jr Troy Camp (DNF) 10. 12 Tim shaffer (DNF)

Heat Four Results

1. 55 Mike Wagner 2. 17e Cris Eash 3. 23s Frankie Kerr 4. 16c Cliff Brian 5. 20 Brian Ellenberger 6. 77e Dave Ely 7. 33 Todd Hesstor 8. 117 Mike Erdley 9. 46 Chris Strait (DNF) 10. 3 Bob Bennett (DNF) Time:3:06.06

B-Main Results (12 laps/4 qualify)

1. 88 Todd Shaffer 2. 12 Tim Shaffer 3. 17 Alan Cole 4. 55s Bill Sims 5. 77e Dave Ely 6. 16 Bill Brian 7. 07 Dave Haight 8. 19x Rick Koenig 9. 14 Troy Camp 10. 33 Todd Hesstor 11. 77t Jess Thomas 12. 13k Rick Kaylor 13. 30 Daryl Stimeling 14. 92a Jon Armstrong 15. 117 Mike Erdley 16. 87 George Suprick 17. i07 Mark Coldren 18. 32g Randy Glover 19. 3 Bob Bennett 20. 7 Barry Camp 21. 10n Jeff Thompson (DNS) 22. 46 Chris Strait (DNS)

Early Bird Sprint Car Championships Results (30 laps)

1. 19 Stevie Smith ($5,000) 2. 77 Fred Rahmer 3. 461 Lance Dewease 4. 88m Sean Michael 5. 17e Cris Eash 6. 1 Billy Pauch 7. 69 Don Kreitz 8. 88 Todd Shaffer 9. 92 Kevin Gobrecht 10. 23s Frankie Kerr 11. 55 Mike Wagner 12. 12 Tim Shaffer 13. 10 Len Thompson 14. 32 Brook Weibley 15. 17 Alan Cole 16. 16c Cliff Brian 17. 55s Bill Sims 18. 53 Shawn Keen 19. 28 Brian Paulus 20. 4j Jeff Shepard 21. 25 Todd Gracey 22. 75w Randy Wolfe 23. 20 Brian Ellenberger 24. 65 Johnny Mackison

David Reininger - Motorsport News International

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About this article
Series Sprint
Drivers Tim Shaffer , Brian Paulus , Billy Pauch
Teams Williams