Williams Grove report 96-06-21

SPRINTS: Williams Grove, PA 96-06-21 June 21, 1996 Mechanicsburg, PA Greetings sprint car fans as r4 and Mr. G. return to Williams Grove for the Friday night show. Joining the 410 sprints were the URC (United Racing Club) sprints. The 410 ...

SPRINTS: Williams Grove, PA 96-06-21 June 21, 1996 Mechanicsburg, PA

Greetings sprint car fans as r4 and Mr. G. return to Williams Grove for the Friday night show. Joining the 410 sprints were the URC (United Racing Club) sprints. The 410 feature was the Daryl Gohn Memorial who had been a regular at the Grove and was killed while racing at the Grove on April 22, 1988, in a qualifying heat.

Signed into the pits were 30 of the 410 Sprint cars and 30 of the URC sprints. Remember that highlights from the open wheel ranks, including Williams Grove, are shown on Wednesday evening on ESPN 2 on RPM 2 night.

The URC heats were eight laps in distance with six to qualify with the top four then being handicapped according to URC point standings. The 410 sprint heats were ten laps in distance with six to qualify with the top four being handicapped according to earnings.

Fred Rahmer had a Hamilton prepared #77 entered in the URC event. Len Thompson also had a URC entry while URC regular Tony Smolynak had a 410 sprint entry. The Dan Dietrich #8 was driven by Greg Leiby replacing Phil Walter. Bill Brian Jr. was back in his own #16 sprinter for awhile while the #59 regroups.

During the hot lap session for the URC sprints the #12 of Jimmy Stitzel experienced a violent flip as he entered turn one. His sprinter left the racing surface and cleared the guard rail and took down wire controlling the safety lights for turn one before coming to rest in the reserved parking are off of turn one. Luckily he did not hit any of the parked cars and was reported to be out of the car under his own power. Jimmy is a regular driver in the 358's at Williams Grove. It was reported that it would have taken at least an hour and a half to make repairs but then it turned out that repairs could not be made so a flagman was positioned at the end of pit row to replace the lights.

410 HEATS and CONSI The following is the heat information for the 410 sprints. Information given is finishing position, car number, driver and starting position is in brackets. HEAT ONE QUALIFIERS 1.) #1 Billy Pauch [8] 2.) #10 Len Thompson [5] 3.) #88 Todd Shaffer [7] 4.) #29 Dave Calaman [6] 5.) #5K Mark Richard [10] 6.) #3 Bob Bennett [3]

HEAT TWO QUALIFIERS 1.) #69K Don Kreitz Jr. [9] 2.) #12 Keith Kauffman [7] 3.) #17e Cris Eash [8] 4.) #5x Rod George [6] 5.) #07 Dave Haight [3] 6.) #7 Dave Cordier Jr. [2] Heat timed in 3 minutes 8.76 seconds.

HEAT THREE QUALIFIERS 1.) #92 Kevin Gobrecht [6] 2.) #77 Fred Rahmer [7] 3.) #461 Lance Dewease [8] 4.) #16 Bill Brian Jr. [4] 5.) #55 Mike Wagner [5] 6.) #10N Jeff Thompson [3] Heat timed in 3 minutes 9.88 seconds.

CONSOLATION QUALIFIERS 1.) #5 Craig Eshenaur [2] 2.) #25 Todd Gracey [12] 3.) #X Bobby Weaver [10] 4.) #12W Troy Fraker [1] 5.) #77T Jess Thomas [3] 6.) #8 Greg Leiby [8]

URC HEATS and CONSI The following is the heat information for the URC sprints. Information given is finishing position, car number, driver and starting position is in brackets. URC Heat One Qualifiers 1.) #4 Karl Freyer [2] 2.) #88 Matt Bruce [6] 3.) #77 Fred Rahmer [9] 4.) #39 Fran Hogue [3] 5.) #8K Craig Keel [7] 6.) #53 Tom Capie [1] Heat timed in 2 minutes 39.2 seconds.

URC Heat Two Qualifiers 1.) #25e Jon Eldreth [4] 2.) #28 Glenn Fitzcharles [6] 3.) #669 Dave McGough [5] 4.) #85G Glen Clarke [1] 5.) #84 Cliff Brian [2] 6.) #27 Billy Ellis [3] Heat Timed in 2 minutes 37.4 seconds.

URC Heat Three Qualifiers 1.) #8J Danny Jones [5] 2.) #8 Midge Miller [3] 3.) #10 Len Thompson [10] 4.) #7 Jimmy Martin [1] 5.) #24 Mike Haggenbottom [7] 6.) #71 Paul Molz [4] Heat timed in 2 minutes 42.0 seconds.

URC Consi 1.) #88s Ross [1] 2.) #33 Frank Lieto 3.) #9 Kevin Darling [6] 4.) #85c Scott Cahil [4] 5.) #5T Tom Hoy [3]

FEATURES 410 Sprint Daryl Gohn Memorial Feature 25 Laps Row 1: #16 Bill Brian Jr. #10 Len Thompson Row 2: #5x Rod George #29 Dave Calaman Row 3: #12 Keith Kauffman #92 Kevin Gobrecht Row 4: #88 Todd Shaffer #17e Cris Eash Row 5: #77 Fred Rahmer #1 Billy Pauch Row 6: #461 Lance Dewease #69K Don Kreitz Jr. Row 7: #5K Mark Richard #07 Dave Haight Row 8: #55 Mike Wagner #3 Bob Bennett Row 9: #7 Dave Cordier Jr. #10N Jeff Thompson Row 10: #5 Craig Eshenaur #25 Todd Gracey Row 11: #X Bobby Weaver #12W Troy Fraker Row 12: #77t Jess Thomas #8 Greg Leiby #6F Bill Fannasy was first alternate.

As the green waved the #16 of Bill Brian Jr. grabbed the lead followed by the #10 of Thompson and the #5x of George. While working the second lap the #1 of Billy Pauch slid up the track in turn one and the #77 of Rahmer hit the wall to avoid t-boning Pauch. Also involved in the incident was the #3 of Bob Bennett, #5 of Craig Eshenaur, and the #5K of Mark Richard. The #1, #77 and the #5K retired for the evening. Top ten running order: #16, #10, #29, #12, #17e, #92, #69K, #88 and #461.

On the restart the #29 of Calaman passed the #5X of Rod George while the #69K of Kreitz passed the #92 of Kevin Gobrecht in turn two. While working lap three Kreitz got by George on the front stretch while the yellow waved for the #25 of Todd Gracey who had come to a stop in turn two. Amazingly the officials put George back in front of Calaman for the restart which brought out a hand gesture from Calaman to the flag stand.

On the restart Calaman cleared George while Kreitz cleared Gobrecht on the back stretch while on the next lap Gobrecht repassed Kreitz while both got by the #17e of Cris Eash on the front stretch. On lap five the #12 of Kauffman passed Calaman in turn two. While all this was happening the #461 of Dewease and the #88 of Shaffer had been swapping positions back and forth. The #12 of Kauffman passed the #10 of Thompson for second while on lap six Dewease passed Shaffer in turn four but the caution waved for the #12W of Troy Fraker who had spun in turn two so the position did not change. Top ten running order: #16, #12, #10, #29, #5X, #92, #17e, #69K, #88, #461.

On the restart things shuffled a little bit and Calaman and George got by Thompson. The battle for fourth shaped up between George and Thompson and on lap eight Thompson got by on the back stretch. By lap nine things started to happen quickly with Gobrecht passing both Thompson and George in turn two while Thompson passed Gobrecht back in turn three with Gobrecht passing Thompson back in turn four. Meanwhile back up front the lead had changed with Kauffman in front followed by Brian. The caution flew on lap thirteen for Thompson who had gotten his #10 sprinter spun and had contacted the turn two inside guard rail. Top nine running order: #12, #16, #29, #92, #5X, #69L, #17e, #461, #88.

On the restart Kreitz got past Gobrecht and immediately started pressuring Calaman for the third position. On the next lap Kreitz passed Calaman in turn one and Brian in turn two putting him in second. Kauffman was running high and Kreitz stated to refine his low grove and began to reel in Kauffman.

By lap seventeen Calaman was being pressuring Gobrecht who was in turn being pressured by Eash. Eash got by Gobrecht in turn two but Gobrecht immediately came back at him and on lap nineteen Eash found himself in the guard rail while battling Gobrecht for position. The top eight running order was: #12, #69K, #16, #29, #92, #5X, #461, #88.

On the restart Kreitz went low while Kauffman went high and Kreitz managed to get by in tun two but his lead was erased when the yellow came back out for an accident in turn two involving the #77T of Jess Thomas and the #7 of Dave Cordier. The red then came out so that the cars could be fueled to ensure that they had enough gas to get to the end of the feature.

On the restart Kauffman went low forcing Kreitz to go high which kept Kauffman in the lead and then on lap twenty the yellow flew again for the #55 of Mike Wagner who had spun in turn four.

On the restart Kreitz held back and as the green waved he jumped low and shot past Kauffman and took the lead. Gobrecht also managed to get by Brian by lap twenty-one. On lap twenty-two the yellow waved again for the #77T of Thomas who had spun in turn two. The top nine running order: #69K, #12, #92, #16, #29, #5X, #461, #88, #10N.

On the restart Gobrecht was pressuring Kauffman for second which allowed Kreitz to pull away a little. On the last lap Dewease was pressuring Brian for position but at the line Brian just barely beat Dewease.

The race slowed for two red flags and seven yellow flags.

TOP FIVE FINISHERS #69K, #12, #92, #29, #16, #461


The victory made it three in a row at the Grove and tied Kreitz for fifth on the all time win list with Bobby Allen. Bruce Ellis, the announcer, alluded to the boo's that have started to come with Kreitz's name and Don said they do not bother him. Don said his Gambler chassis was working great and he had his favorite Davey Brown engine in the car. He said he was surprised that Kauffman stuck on the bottom went low. Kreitz in known for his ability to run low and said he could even pass high during the race since the car was working good. He also said he was pumped up with all the yellows and having cars that he had passed getting placed back in front of him. He also said that he talked to himself throughout the feature.


The #25e of Jon Eldrith who started fourth took the lead on lap one and held it until lap twelve. On lap twelve the #77 of Rahmer who started in twenty-sixth position took the lead from Eldrith and started to pull away from the field. Rahmer had moved up to the second position by lap nine by making it three wide at times and squeezing between cars when there appeared to be no room.

The only other up front battle for position was between the #25e of Eldrith and the #39 of Fran Hogue for the second position. Hogue was able to get by on lap sixteen after a restart. Meanwhile the #77 of Rahmer pulled away for the win.

The race was slowed for three caution flags.

TOP THREE FINISHERS 1.) #77 Fred Rahmer [26] 2.) #39 Fran Hogue [8] 3.) Jon Eldrith [4]


Fred said that he felt that his track time was a big help in his win over the URC regulars. Fred also thanked the URC team of Judi Bates, #121, who did not run this weekend and allowed Fred to use their smaller motor so Fred could drive in both races.

Fred also said he felt bad about the accident in the 410 sprint feature but that Billy Pauch was sitting sideways in the turn and Fred had the choice of t boning Billy or hitting the wall which is what he decided to do.

Late Breaking News Although Billy Pauch was standing by his hauler talking with Fred Rahmer after the accident it is my understanding that Billy was latter taken to the hospital as a precautionary measure due to pain and bruising of his arm that was broken last year.

Next week I will not be reporting on the sprint cars since I will be at Watkins Glen for the NASCAR BUSCH race weekend. I will be attending most of the PA Speedweek shows which will start on Sunday, June 30th so look for more sprint car news in the weeks to come.

As always I welcome any news, comments, suggestions or questions. I changed my reporting format again. Let me know what you think of it. You can reach me at: rgould@oehs.upenn.edu

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About this article
Series Sprint
Drivers Tom Capie , Billy Pauch , Danny Jones , Glen Clarke
Teams Williams