Williams Grove report 96-03-31

Well I finally made it to a dirt track! For the first 4R (Roaming Russ's Racing Report) I traveled to Williams Grove located in Mechanicsburg, PA. I plan to make as many William Grove shows as I can while still traveing about seeing action...

Well I finally made it to a dirt track! For the first 4R (Roaming Russ's Racing Report) I traveled to Williams Grove located in Mechanicsburg, PA. I plan to make as many William Grove shows as I can while still traveing about seeing action at other tracks. 1996 finds Williams Grove Speedway entering its 57th season providing some of the best sprint car action in Central Pennsylvania. The racing program on March 31, 1996, was the Jack Gunn Memorial, 30 lap feature with $5,000 to win. Jack Gunn is credited by many for making sprint car racing what it today in Central PA. Long before Ted Johnson and the Wold of Outlaws came along Jack Gunn had his KARS racers on the road.

41 sprints were signed into the pits. Among them was Dale Blanney who ran on Friday night in the AllStar Circuit of Champions show in Georgia and won the feature. The Saturday night show was rained out and the team traveled to Williams Grove to race Sunday.

The format for the Jack Gunn is as follows. All car took time trials and the fastest 24 cars were inverted into their respective heat. Each heat was 10 laps in length with the top four qualifiers getting their times back. The consi's would qualify four cars with the top two drivers getting their time back. Quickest qualifier pulled a pill to determine how many of the top qualifiers would be inverted, choices being two pills for 6 cars, one for 4cars and one for 8 cars.

Notes from the HOT laps. Session 1 The 1J of Steve Siegel had the wing collapse on the car. Siegel was unable to repair the car and scratched from the event. The 10 of Len Thompson lot it exiting turn 4 but was able to recover Session 3 The 55x of Tim Shaffer completely lost his wing as he entered turn one. He did a fantastic job of controlling the car and everyone else managed to avoid his wing.

TIME TRIALS, Top Ten Car# Driver 1st Lap 2nd Lap 1 Billy Pauch 18.164 17.993 92 Kevin Gobrecht* 18.184 18.340 77 Dave Calaman 18.380 18.254 94 Dale Blaney 18.371 18.289 461 Lance Dewease 18.338 19.492** 17e Cris Eash 18.342 18.366 12 Fred Rahmer 18.476 18.394 5 Craig Esenaur 18.686 18.405 69K Don Kreitz Jr. 18.419 18.428 88 Todd Shaffer 18.432 18.424 * Last weeks winner at the Grove ** Lost it in turn four and last years Jack Gunn Memorial Winner The Williams Grove one lap record is held by ,Mark Kinser on September 30, 1994 and he timed 17.479 which was a night race.

Of Interest in the Time Trials The 16c of Cliff Brian timed his first lap at 18.780 and shut it off going down the back stretch on lap two. Cliff blew an engine and scratched for the event. The 1A of Bobby Allen shut it down coming out of turn three prior to taking the green and hit the inside gaurd rail and scratched from the event. Bobby obviously lost steering capability.

HEAT 1 Row Car Driver Car# Driver 1 39 Dan Dietrich 55 Mike Wagner 2 17 Alan Cole 69K Don Kreitz Jr. 3 461 Lance Dewease 1 Billy Pauch 4 25 Todd Gracey 77T Jess Thomas 5 08 Jason Clauss 119 Gregg Lieby

HEAT 1 Qualifiers 69K, 1, 461, 39

HEAT TWO Row Car Driver Car# Driver 1 1X Rick Hench 55x Tim Shaffer 2 59 K. Kauffman 88 Todd Shaffer 3 17e Chris Eash 92 K. Goberecht 4 07 Dave Haight 3 Bob Bennett 5 117 Mike Erdley 6F Bill Fannasy

HEAT 2 Qualifiers 55x, 17e, 59, 92

Heat 2 Notes On a restart on lap 4 leader 55X gets passed by the field. Caution is brought back out and the cars realigned with the 55x back in front. Turns out it was Tim Shaffer's first trip to the Grove and he was unfamiliar with the restart location. Last lap pass by the 92 of Goberecht on the backstretch of 88 Todd Shaffer. The 92 beat him across the finish line by only six inches.

HEAT THREE Row Car Driver Car# Driver 1 10N Jeff Thompson 16 Bill Brian Jr. 2 19 Steve Smith 5K Mark Richard 3 12 Fred Rahmer 77 Dave Calaman 4 75 Randy Wolfe U5 Trevor Ott 5 49 Bob Howard

HEAT 3 Qualifiers 19, 16, 77, 12

Heat 3 Notes Lap seven the right rear of the 5K blew as he entered turn one. The car flipped violently and was at least 15 feet of the ground with parts going higher. The car came to rest near the gaurd railbetween turn one and two. Luckily Mark Richard walked away from the wreck.

HEAT FOUR Row Car Driver Car# Driver 1 29 Tim Dietz 2C Will Cramer 2 2W Jesse Wentz 10 Len Thompson 3 5 Craig Eshenaur 94 Dale Blaney 4 13 Scott Jones 2L Ed Lynch Jr. 5 55S Bill Sims

HEAT 4 Qualifiers 2C, 2W, 94, 5

Heat 4 Notes The 29 driven by Tim Dietz brought out two cautions during the heat, lap one and two.

Consi One Row Car Driver Car# Driver 1 25 Todd Gracey 88 Todd Shaffer 2 17 Alan Cole 1X Rick Hench 3 77T Jess Thomas 07 Dave Haight 4 08 Jason Clauss 117 Mike Erdley 5 119 Greg Lieby 3 Bob Bennett 6 55 Mike Wagner 6F Bill Fannasy

Consi 1 Qualifiers 88 and 25 got their times back 1X and 17

Consi Two Row Car Driver Car# Driver 1 75 Randy Wolfe 2L Ed Lynch Jr. 2 10N Jeff Thompson 10 Len Thompson 3 U5 Trevor Ott 55S Bill Sims 4 49 Bob Howard 13 Scott Jones 5 29 Tim Dietz

Consi Two Qualifiers 2L and 10 got their time back 75 and 10N

30 Lap Feature, Jack Gunn Memorial Row Car Driver Car# Driver 1 17e Chris Eash 461 Lance Dewease 2 94 Dale Blanney 77 Dave Calaman 3 92 K. Gobrecht 1 Billy Pauch 4 12 Fred Rahmer 5 Craig Eshenaur 5 69K Don Kreitz Jr. 88 Todd Shaffer 6 10 Len Thompson 59 K. Kauffman 7 19 Steve Smith 2W Jesse Wentz 8 55x Tim Shaffer 16 Billy Brian 9 2c Will Cramer 39 Dan Dietrich 10 25 Todd Gracey 2L Ed Lynch Jr. 11 1X Rick Hench 75 Randy Wolfe 12 17 Alan Cole 10N Jeff Thompson

Feature Notes On lap 3 the 1 of Billy Pauch slows and stops on the back stretch. When he arrives in the pits the crew takes off the engine cowl and go to work. A lengthy yellow ensues while a injured person in the infield is loaded into the ambulance and finally leaves the track. This allowed Pauch to rejoin the field. As soon as green waves Pauch is back in the pits and exits the car. On lap 9 the 12 of Fred Rahmer slows on the backstretch as the 2C of Will Cramer and the 25 of Todd Gracey get together between turn one and two. On lap 12 the 94 of Dale Blanney comes to a stop in turn three. When racing resumes the leaders are the 461, 69K and the 17e. The 461 and 17e run the high side while the 69K runs low. On lap 16 the 17e of Eash passes the 69K of Kreitz. On lap 19 the 17e goes way high allowing the 69K of Kreitz back by.

The Top Eight 461, 69K, 77, 17e, 19, 92, 59, 88 The win was the second consecutive Jack Gunn Memorial race won by Lance Dewease.

Post Race Notes After the race I spoke with Billy Pauch and asked him what put him out and he said they broke a rocker arm. What a class drive to speak with the fans after turning the fast lap and then fallng out of the feature. I also spoke with Dale Blanney and he indicated a wheel packed with mud put him out. The track was wet at the bottom and had a narrow groove.

Next week the Grove returns to their normal Friday night show schedule and the 410 sprints will be joined by the NAPA Super Sportsman. As always any question or comments will reach me at : rgould@oehs.upenn.edu If you drop me a line, and I do like hearing from people since this does take a great deal of time and I am not paid, let me know where you read my report since it does seem to get around.

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About this article
Series Sprint
Drivers Steve Smith , Tim Shaffer , Mark Kinser , Billy Pauch
Teams Williams