Williams Grove race report 2001-4-01

MECHANICSBURG, PA, 4/1/01 - "We had an awesome race car". Cris Eash couldn't have said it any better. Eash charged from his 10th starting position to pass York's Jeff Rohrbaugh on the seventh lap for the lead. He then drove away from the field...

MECHANICSBURG, PA, 4/1/01 - "We had an awesome race car".

Cris Eash couldn't have said it any better. Eash charged from his 10th starting position to pass York's Jeff Rohrbaugh on the seventh lap for the lead. He then drove away from the field the rest of the way to pick up his first win of the season in the 25 lap super sprint feature at Williams Grove Speedway Sunday afternoon.

"Our goal is to come here every week to win the point championship," Eash said. "Rahmer's been tough here and Kreitz has been good...and Lance Dewease has been real strong."

"That's what we're shooting for. It's going to be a tough task."

Polesitter Rohrbaugh grabbed the lead at the drop of the green with outside frontrow starter Curt Michael, Todd Shaffer (who started fourth), Dave Ely (who started third) and Todd Gracey (who started sixth) in tow.

A spin by Greg Hodnett in the second turn on the second lap brought out the race's first caution. Rohrbaugh was able to maintain the lead on the restart as Shaffer and Michael battled for second. But a spin by Shaffer in the third and fourth turns of the third lap ended the battle and brought out caution once again.

Meanwhile, Eash had quietly moved up into fifth from his 10th starting position on the restart as Rohrbaugh began to fight off the challenges of Dave Ely for the lead. Eash quickly got around Gracey and then Michael to move into third by the fifth lap.

But the action came to a quick halt on the sixth lap when newcomer Jeremy Campbell tangled with Hodnett, Shaffer, Mike Erdley and Brook Weibley on the first and second turns. Campbell flipped wildly out over the second turn guardrail with Hodnett flipped as well. All drivers involved were not injured.

The stoppage of action proved gave Eash's crew a chance to work on his sprinter.

"It felt real good today," Eash said upon exiting his Garrett Motorsports/Miller Brother's Chevrolet No.17E sprinter in victory lane. "Had that red (flag) and changed a few shocks and the car got even better."

"I can't say enough about these guys (his crew). They do a heck of a good job. We've been real fast but we haven't won any races...but our time is coming."

On the restart Eash drove around Ely in the first and second turns to move into second place and set his sight's on the race-leading Rohrbaugh. Eash then wasted no time as he drove around the top of the first and second turns one more time to grab the lead on the seventh lap.

"I knew I was good because I passed a couple cars on the top going into turn one," Eash said. "I could pretty much flat-foot it all the way through the corner until you got to the exit and got to spinning a little bit."

The race's final caution came out on the eighth lap for Mark Smith who had spun in the fourth turn. Eash simply pulled away on the restart and drove through lapped traffic over the remaining non-stop laps to take the checkered over a charging Keith Kauffman by 2.08 seconds.

"I seen Kauffman was behind the number 29 (Ely) and then a little bit later he was in front of him," Eash said. "I Got into a little heavy lapped traffic and that held me up a little bit, but we had a really good car and I'm sure Keith (Kauffman) had a really good car to."

Eash's 17th career Williams Grove win was worth $3,000, and kept his streak intact of finishing every race at the historical Mechanicsburg half-mile in the top-10. Eash has also registered two top-five finishes as well as his win on Sunday.

"I'd really like to thank my sponsors," Eash added. "I've got to look at the car here to see them all...Miller Brothers, Battlefield Harley Davidson, G&G Promotions, Bricker French Fries, Budweiser, Newcomer's Sunoco."

If it wasn't for these guys I wouldn't be out here on the track."

Ely settled for third, with Donnie Kreitz Jr. fourth, and current Grove point leader Lance Dewease fifth. Completing the top-10 were Sean Michael, Fred Rahmer, Rohrbaugh, Shawn Keen, and Curt Michael.

Heats for the 29 super sprinters on hand were won by Dewease, Rohrbaugh, and Curt Michael, with Smith winning the consolation.

Landisburg's Mark Richard took a lesson from Eash's winning run on the cushion and used it to perfection in winning the 20 lap 358 sprint feature for his first win of the year. Richard, who started seventh, tracked down polesitter and race-long leader T.J. Stutts with two laps remaining to take the lead and then pulled away for the win.

Stutts, who won the night before at Selinsgrove, settled for second, with Eric Stambaugh finishing a solid third, Brian Eichelberger was fourth, and Cory Haas fifth. Completing the top-10 was Joe Whitcomb, Dale Hammaker, Rich Eichelberger, Billy Albright, and Jake Raudabaugh.

Heats for the 42 "358" Sprints were won by Whitcomb, Rusty Pressley, Tim Hershey, and Hammaker. Twin consolation events were won by Greg Leiby and Brian Marriott.


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Series Sprint
Teams Williams