Williams Grove report 96-04-19

SPRINTS: Williams Grove 96-04-19 Well once again r4 and Mr. G, my ten year old son Matt, traveled to Williams Grove Friday night. What a beautiful night for racing! Many of the teams had their new tee shirts designs on sale including Kevin...

SPRINTS: Williams Grove 96-04-19

Well once again r4 and Mr. G, my ten year old son Matt, traveled to Williams Grove Friday night. What a beautiful night for racing! Many of the teams had their new tee shirts designs on sale including Kevin Gobrecht and Todd Shaffer. Gobrecht's tee shirts are the first done by the Arizona Sport Shirts company for a Central PA team. They looked very impressive with great graphics and bright colors along with a very catchy saying on the back. Good enough for my son to spend his own allowance money to buy one, which is definitely quite a seal of approval.

On the racing card Friday night were the 410 Super Sprints and the STARS (Short Track Auto Racing Stars)Late Models. Signed into the pits were twenty nine 410 sprints, this included the 10K and the 2 which are regulars on the KARS circuit, and forty eight STARS Late Models. Prior to any of the sprint car heats the U5 of Trevor Utt left the track due to a motor problem. I will only cover the 410 sprints since a problem at home curtailed my presence at the Grove Friday night. I often wonder what we used to do before the likes of pagers?

For the sprint cars the heat races were ten laps with six cars qualifying, the first four being handicapped into the top twelve starting spots by their drivers earning average. Remember that highlights from the open wheel ranks, including Williams Grove, are shown on Wednesday evening on ESPN 2 on the nightly show RPM 2 night.

HEAT ONE Row Car Driver Car# Driver 1 13 Scott Jones 49 Bob Howard 2 25 Todd Gracey 5 Craig Eshenaur 3 10 Len Thompson 5K Mark Richard 4 55 Mike Wagner 77 Dave Calaman 5 88 Todd Shaffer 10K Mark Yinger

The car on the move from the drop of the green flag was the #5 of Craig Eshenaur who by the end of lap one was second. The yellow waved on lap one for the #5K who had jumped out of gear and slowed to a stop exiting turn four. The field aligned for a restart in the following order: #49, #5, #13, #25, #10, #88, #55, #77 and 10K.

On the restart the #5 of Eshenaur passed the #45 of Howard to take the lead. On lap three the #25 of Gracey passed the #49 to take second while the #88 of Shaffer passed the #10 of Thompson for fourth. On lap four the #88 passed the #49 to take third. At the half way sign the #88 and the #25 were fighting for second. They exchanged the second position several times before the #88 finally got past the #25 to take second. On lap nine the #10 of Thompson and the #77 of Calaman were fighting for the all important fourth qualifying spot with the #77 passing the #10 at the start finish line. HEAT ONE QUALIFIERS #5, #88, #25, #77, #10 and the #55

HEAT TWO Row Car Driver Car# Driver 1 07 Dave Haight 85 Glen Clarke 2 U5 Trevor Utt 29 Tim Dietz 3 16 Bill Brian Jr. 17E Cris Eash 4 59 Keith Kauffman 92 Kevin Gobrecht 5 461 Lance Dewease 2 Denny Gross

The #U5 of Utt had scratched which changed the starting order just a bit. The field took the green but the yellow immediately came out because the start definitely was not a clean one. Once the green flag dropped the #16 of Brian was on the move and by the end of the first lap he had the lead. By the end of lap two the #92 of Gobrecht was up to third place and looked like he was a man on a mission after last weeks bad luck at the Grove. At the completion of lap three the running order was: #16, #17E, #92, #85, #461, #59.

On lap four the #461 of Dewease got by the #85 of Clarke in turn two to take fourth spot. On lap six the #92 of Gobrecht slowed in turn three and entered the pits on the front stretch with reported engine problems. The event officially timed in 3 minutes and 9.86 seconds. HEAT TWO QUALIFIERS #16, #17E, #461, #59, #85 and #07

HEAT THREE Row Car Driver Car# Driver 1 121 Judi Bates 77T Jess Thompson 2 10N Jeff Thompson 45 Jeff Rohrbaugh 3 3 Bob Bennett 1 Billy Pauch 4 12 Fred Rahmer 69K Don Kreitz Jr. 5 21 Rod Stroup Once again the green waved and the action on track was quick with the #1 of Pauch taking the lead from the #77T of Thompson. The #12 of Rahmer was also on the move and by lap three he was third. On lap three the 10N slowed and stopped on the front stretch bring out the yellow. The field aligned for the restart in the following order: #1, #77T, #12, #121, #69K, #21, #45.

On the restart the #12 of Rahmer slid past the #77T to take over the second position. On lap four the #69K of Kreitz passed the #77T on the back stretch for third. HEAT THREE QUALIFIERS #1, #12, #69K, #77T, #121 and the #45

CONSOLATION RACE Management shortened the consi to eight laps in an attempt to move the nights racing program along. Row Car Driver Car# Driver 1 49 Bob Howard 92 Kevin Gobrecht 2 21 Rod Stroup 13 Scott Jones 3 29 Tim Dietz 3 Bob Howard 4 5K Mark Richard 10N Jeff Thompson 5 2 Denny Gross 10K Mark Yinger

The crew of the #92 changed an engine during the STARS heats.

Not much to report on this shortened heat except that the #92 of Gobrecht pulled out in front and was never challenged for the lead. CONSOLATION RACE QUALIFIERS #92, #5K, #49, #13, #21 and the #2

25 LAP FEATURE Row Car Driver Car# Driver 1 77T Jess Thomas 25 Todd Gracey 2 5 Craig Eshenaur 16 Bill Brian Jr. 3 17E Cris Eash 1 Billy Pauch 4 59 Keith Kauffman 12 Fred Rahmer 5 77 Dave Callaman 69K Don Kreitz Jr. 6 88 Todd Shaffer 461 Lance Dewease 7 10 Len Thompson 85 Glen Clarke 8 121 Judi Bates 55 Mike Wagner 9 07 Dave Haight 45 Jeff Rohrbaugh 10 92 K. Gobrecht 5K Mark Richard 11 49 Bob Howard 13 Scott Jones 12 21 Rod Stroup 2 Denny Gross

First Alternate, actually the only alternate, was the #10K of Mark Yinger.

As the green flag waved the #25 of Gracey took the point. By the completion of lap two the #1 of Pauch was already up to second while the #12 of Rahmer was sixth. On lap three the #1 passed the #77T of Thomas in turn four to take second. On lap four the #1 of Pauch passed the #25 of Gracey in turn two to take the lead. Meanwhile at the completion of lap six the #59 of Kauffman was up to third while the #12 of Rahmer was up to fourth. The #461 and the #5 of Eshenaur were fighting for position on lap nine when the #1 of Pauch slowed and pulled into the pits while leading. The #59 of Kauffman was all over the #25 of Gracey and it was apparent it was just a matter of time before the #59 would get by. On lap twelve the #59 took the lead from the #25 in turn two. At this point the top three were the #59, #25 and the #12. On lap sixteen the #461 finally managed to get past the #5 of Eshenaur. On lap nineteen the #12 of Rahmer was closing in on the leader #59 of Kauffman with lapped traffic almost playing into the hands of Rahmer. By lap twenty two the #59 had pulled out in front of the second place #12 of Rahmer. THE TOP FIVE #59, #12, #17E, #461, #88


Kauffman told the crowd that it was great to beat the high dollar teams in a car that is two years old. The victory was Kauffman's 40th career feature win at the Grove which has him in third place on the feature win list in the modern era. Kauffman only needs three more feature wins to tie Lynn Paxton for first place, at 43 feature wins. Second place on the list is Smokey Snellbaker with 41 career feature wins at the Grove.

Kauffman's owner, Sal Scarpita, was overjoyed to be in victory lane. He told the crowd that at this moment that Williams Grove is the capital of the world. He also said that he knew that Kauffman was a good driver and that he had a lot left in him. He also said that he plans to keep Kauffman around until he wins 60 features at the Grove.

TRIVIA QUESTION Last week my question was "Who was the first driver to win a race at Williams Grove Speedway?"

I did receive one correct answer to this weeks question from David Reininger. The answer is: The first winner was Oley, Pennsylvania's, own Tommy Hinnershitz in May of 1939.

This weeks question: In what year did the sprint cars become a regular weekly attraction at Williams Grove?

Next Friday night the 410 Sprints and the ARDC Midgets are on the schedule. I am unsure if I will make it to the track since I will be out of town for a conference, but then again .....

As always I welcome any news, comments, suggestions or questions.  You can
reach me at:  rgould@oehs.upenn.edu  

If you drop me a line let me know where you read my report since it does seem to get around. Also please let me know what state you are in since my son is going to keep track of the information and use it in his computer class, my how times have changed. Until next time this is r4 wishing you a clear track.

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About this article
Series Sprint
Drivers Billy Pauch , Glen Clarke
Teams Williams