Sunday - March 3, 2002 Williams Grove Speedway Mechanicsburg, PA Kreitz Masters Tacky Track en Route to 47th Career Grove Win Mechanicsburg, PA - 3/3/02 - Sinking Spring's Donnie Kreitz Jr. is known as the best dry-slick track racer in the ...
Sunday - March 3, 2002
Williams Grove Speedway
Kreitz Masters Tacky Track en Route to 47th Career Grove Win
Mechanicsburg, PA - 3/3/02 - Sinking Spring's Donnie Kreitz Jr. is known as the best dry-slick track racer in the business. Sunday afternoon at Williams Grove Speedway Kreitz showed he can run on a heavy-wet track as well.
Kreitz motored past Jeff Shepard on the backstretch of the fourth lap for the lead and then drove masterfully around the heavy wet half-mile Mechanicsburg oval to his first win of the season in the 25 lap super sprint feature Sunday afternoon.
"I'm not going to do any bragging, them guys that were behind me run a lot better in this stuff than I do," said Kreitz on his surprisingly great run on a tacky track. "Davey (Brown) and the guys had the car so good that anyone could drive it."
"The thing was on a rail all day from the time we unloaded it. I told them in warm-ups it was perfect. They just did a great job with the car and made it real easy for me to drive it. This track was really a handful. You needed to be on top of it at all times, especially going through the lapped cars."
The opening lap saw polesitter Shepard burst out in the lead over third-starting Mike Erdley, Kreitz, Trevor Lewis, and Cris Eash at the end of the first lap.
Fred Rahmer, who started fifth, caught the cushion in the first and second turns on the opening lap and almost flipped his sprinter before bringing it under control and fell to seventh place.
Lewis, who started outside the frontrow and was running fourth, came to a stop in the second turn, bringing out the caution on the second lap. The yellow quickly was replaced with the red flag when Craig Smith lost the handle while trying to slow down for Lewis in the second turn and rolled his sprinter.
On the restart Kreitz had almost fallen a full second behind Shepard with Eash holding down third, Shaffer fourth, and Rahmer fifth.
Kreitz quickly closed on the Upperco, MD, speedster and shot past for the lead heading up the backstretch on the third lap. Just as Kreitz completed the third lap, Len Thompson lost the handle in the second turn and flipped, bringing out the red flag once again.
On the restart fourth-running Shaffer slipped up over the heavy cushion and surrender the third spot to Rahmer. Meanwhile Kreitz quickly began to pull away from second-running Eash and had open up a 2.36 second lead.
The heavy track then tricked second-running Eash on the 10th lap and slipped high, allowing Rahmer to move into the runner-up spot as the leader began to thread his way through lapped traffic.
The caution waved on the 12th lap for last week's Grove season opener winner Greg Hodnett as he brought his sprinter to a stop exiting the fourth turn, erasing Kreitz's lead over Rahmer.
Kreitz resumed his leader role on the restart and had quickly opened up a 1.85 second lead by the halfway point. Kreitz enjoyed nearly a two and a half second lead by the time he headed into lapped traffic on the 16th lap. Rahmer used the opportunity to close the gap and had worked it down to about one second when the race's final caution waved on the 19th lap when Billy Dietrich brought his sprinter to a stop on the backstretch.
With a clear track ahead of him, Kreitz pulled away from Rahmer on the restart and motored away to a 2.90 second win over Rahmer at the end of 25 laps to pick up the $3,000 winners check.
"Those are probably the best two guys that we have in Pennsylvania, not to take anything away from the other guys, there probably the best two guys when the track is like this," Kreitz added following his 47th career Grove win which tied him with Rahmer for second on the all-time Grove win list. "We were just lucky enough to have the car locked down and a new Avenger chassis we're trying something new this year...supposedly David (Brown) is messing around with a new motor combination this year and everything worked out great."
Shaffer settled for third, Dewease fourth, and Keith Kauffman fifth. Completing the top-10 were Sean Michael, Eash, Mark Smith, Brook Weibley, and Doug Esh.
Heats for the 25 sprinters on hand were won by Fred Rahmer, Todd Shaffer, and Donnie Kreitz Jr., with Doug Esh winning the consolation.
Shaffer had set a new 10 lap track record in winning the second heat race in two minutes 53.00 seconds, besting the old mark of two minutes 54.45 seconds set by Mark Smith last year (4/20/01). But Lancaster's Doug Esh shattered that same 10 lap record just minutes later in winning the consolation event in a time of two minutes 52.18 seconds.