MECHANICSBURG, PA, 6/27/03 - The "Red Rocket" is hot. Memphis, Tennessee driver Greg Hodnett left no doubt that he's the man to beat during Pennsylvania Speedweek. With eight big races looming ahead, Hodnett waged war with Fred Rahmer over the...
MECHANICSBURG, PA, 6/27/03 - The "Red Rocket" is hot.
Memphis, Tennessee driver Greg Hodnett left no doubt that he's the man to beat during Pennsylvania Speedweek.
With eight big races looming ahead, Hodnett waged war with Fred Rahmer over the last five laps and kept the car dubbed "The Red Rocket" in front when he needed to to pick up his third win of the season in the 25 lap 410 sprint feature at Williams Grove Speedway Friday night.
As the caution waved with one lap to go, Hodnett just beat Rahmer to the start-finish line by a mere foot or two to assume the lead for the one lap shoot-out.
Hodnett then picked his time and place to get on the gas and powered into turn one in the lane of his choosing and held off the Salfordville speedster to claim his third win over the last four races at the Mechanicsburg half-mile.
"Fred and I had a great race," said Hodnett upon exiting his Car-by-Dealers Magazine No.12 sprinter in victory lane. "It just so happened that where we came across the line right before that last caution...I was maybe a foot in front of him, maybe."
"If Fred would have been in the front on that last restart he would have won."
"I didn't want to pinch him there exiting the second turn and I left him enough room. And then I just blew my tires off going up the back straightaway and he drove right back around me. He moved down in three and four and we just switched lanes and I got a good run off the top of turn four and nipped him here at the line."
"We were very fortunate and got a lot of breaks."
Outside frontrow starter Rick Lafferty grabbed the lead at the outset of the final tune-up race before next week's big $10,000-to-win Mitch Smith Memorial.
Lafferty, whose car is sponsored by the "Beer Hill Gang" in turn three, held the point for the first 20 laps.
But while Lafferty was picking his way through traffic, 10th-starting Rahmer and 12th starting Hodnett were picking there way through the field.
Rahmer made a big move around second place Doug Esh and a lapped car following a 10th lap caution restart and set his sights on Lafferty.
Hodnett then followed Rahmer's lead and passed Esh for third on the 11th lap as Lafferty opened up a 1.70 second lead. But a caution on the 13th lap put Rahmer and Hodnett on Lafferty's bumper for the restart.
Lafferty was only able to hold on to the top spot until he entered lapped traffic on the 18th lap when Rahmer and Hodnett began to apply the pressure.
Rahmer got around Lafferty for the lead in the third and fourth turns of the 21st lap. But the race was far from over as Hodnett followed in Rahmer's tire tracks and slipped right in behind Rahmer into second on the same lap.
Then in a wild battle through lapped traffic Hodnett appeared to grab the lead coming off the second turn on the 24th lap. But Rahmer fought back on the outside and looked to take it back in the third and fourth turns. But Hodnett switched lanes and slipped around him in a drag-race to the white flag. Just as Hodnett took the one-to-go signal by a nose, the caution waved when Jason Hagenbuch stopped in the third and fourth turns.
With Hodnett in the lead for the final restart, he picked up the pace, closed the door in turn one, and out-raced Rahmer to the checkered by .94 seconds for his 17th career Williams Grove victory.
The win, worth $3,000 to Hodnett, was his area-leading ninth overall win in 2003. Lafferty settled for third, with Cris Eash fourth, and Len Thompson fifth. Completing the top-10 were Lance Dewease, Sean Michael, Doug Esh, Keith Kauffman, and Mike Erdley.
Heats for the 31 "410" sprints were won by Len Thompson, Donnie Kreitz Jr., and Lafferty, with Mark Smith winning the consolation.
Dallastown's Cory Haas picked up the win in the special $1,200-to-win 25 lap 358 sprint championship. Haas passed Shawn Weaver on the 22nd lap and led the rest of the way in the extra-distance, extra money championship event and took the checkered one second ahead of a fast-closing Chad Layton for his second 358 sprint feature win in-a-row at Williams grove.
Weaver settled for third, Blane Heimbach fourth, and T.J. Stutts was fifth. Completing the top-10 were Rick Hench, Dale Hammaker, Billy Johns, Wade Hendrickson and Kyle Purks.
Heats for the 34 "358" sprints on hand were won by Clair Wintermyer, Blane Heimbach, and Matt Boland, with Cory Haas winning the consolation.
Feature (25 Laps) - 1. 12-Greg Hodnett ($3,000); 2. 88H-Fred Rahmer; 3. 0-Rick Lafferty; 4. 17E-Cris Eash; 5. CIII-Len Thompson; 6. 77-Lance Dewease; 7. 1-Sean Michael; 8. 30-Doug Esh; 9. 7-Keith Kauffman; 10. 11-Mike Erdley; 11. 69-Donnie Kreitz Jr.; 12. 7M-Todd Hestor; 13. 17B-Troy Whitesel; 14. 32-Brook Weibley; 15. 25-Adrian Shaffer; 16. 5W-Lucas Wolfe; 17. 49-Mike Walter; 18. 22-Darren Eash; 19. 17H-Jason Hagenbuch; 20. I07-Mark Coldren; 21. 10N-Niki Young; 22. 88-Todd Shaffer (DNF); 23. 71-Brian Leppo (Alt.) (DNF); 24. 4-Pete Green (DNF); DNS - 53-Mark Smith. No Time
Lap Leaders - Rick Lafferty (1-20), Fred Rahmer (21-23), Greg Hodnett (24-25)
1st Heat (10 Laps/6 to qualify) - 1. CIII-Len Thompson; 2. 7M-Todd Hestor; 3. 11-Mike Erdley; 4. 88H-Frad Rahmer; 5. 77-Lance Dewease; 6. 5W-Lucas Wolfe; 7. 53-Mark Smith; 8. 28-Chad Jumper; 9. 6K-Chris Knopp (DNF); DNS - 17C-Keith Anderson, 15-Jay Reichert. Time - 3:02.51
2nd Heat (10 Laps/6 to qualify) - 1. 69-Donnie Kreitz Jr.; 2. 7-Keith Kauffman; 3. 17E-Cris Eash; 4. 17B-Troy Whitesel; 5. 22-Darren Eash; 6. I07-Mark Coldren; 7. 49-Mike Walter; 8. 21K-Kyle Pruitt; 9. 25-Adrian Shaffer; 10. 17H-Jason Hagenbuch (DNF). No Time
3rd Heat (10 Laps/6 to qualify) - 1. 0-Rick Lafferty; 2. 30-Doug Esh; 3. 88-Todd Shaffer; 4. 12-Greg Hodnett; 5. 32-Brook Weibley; 6. 1-Sean Michael; 7. 10N-Niki Young; 8. 4-Pete Green; 9. 71-Brian Leppo; 10. 47-Jay Coates. Time - 3:07.57
Consolation (10 Laps/6 to qualify) - 1. 53-Mark Smith; 2. 10N-Niki Young; 3. 17H-Jason Hagenbuch; 4. 49-Mike Walter; 5. 25-Adrian Shaffer; 6. 4-Pete Green; 7. 71-Brian Leppo; 8. 21K-Kyle Pruitt; DNS - 28-Chad Jumper, 6K-Chris Knopp, 17C-Keith Anderson, 47-Jay Coates. No Time
358 Sprints Championship:
Feature (25 Laps) - 1. 11C-Cory Haas ($1,200); 2. U1-Chad Layton; 3. 7V-Shawn Weaver; 4. 12-Blane Heimbach; 5. 11T-T.J. Stutts; 6. 1-Rick Hench; 7. 66H-Dale Hammaker; 8. 2J-Billy Johns; 9. Z1-Wade Hendrickson; 10. 64K-Kyle Purks; 11. 56-Nate Snyder; 12. 4B-Jake Raudabaugh; 13. 3-Clair Wintermyer; 14. 8F-Stan Fleming; 15. 4R-Mark Freeland; 16. 18-Moon Mullen; 17. 7C-Chad Trout; 18. 8C-Troy Long; 19. 80R-Dan Richcreek; 20. 69R-Randy Rhoads; 21. 57J-Jeremy Gardner; 22. 87-Alan Krimes; 23. 22T-Matt Boland; 24. 2-Jason Schultz. No Time
Lap Leaders - Jeremy Gardner (1-7), Shawn Weaver (8-21), Cory Haas (22-25)
1st Heat (8 Laps/6 to qualify) - 1. 3-Clair Wintermyer; 2. 7V-Shawn Weaver; 3. 7C-Chad Trout; 4. 66-Dale Hammaker; 5. 8C-Troy Long; 6. 87-Alan Krimes; 7. 2-Jason Schultz; 8. 8F-Stan Fleming; 9. 10K-Mark Yinger; 10. 56-Nate Snyder (DNF); 11. 28F-Davie Franek (DNF); DNS - 27K-Ron Kramer. No Time
2nd Heat (8 Laps/6 to qualify) - 1. 12-Blane Heimbach; 2. 54-John Wagner (Disqualified - Light); 3. 11T-T.J. Stutts; 4. U1-Chad Layton; 5. 80R-Dan Richcreek; 6. Z1-Wade Hendrickson; 7. 4B-Jake Raudabaugh; 8. 5-Rusty Preslley; 9. 18-Moon Mullen; 10. 83-Michael Hammer; 11. 26-Frankie Herr (DNF); DNS - 6F-Bill Fanassy. No Time
3rd Heat (8 Laps/6 to qualify) - 1. 22T-Matt Boland; 2. Rick Hench; 3. 4R-Mark Freeland; 4. 57J-Jeremy Gardner; 5. 69R-Randy Rhoads; 6. 2J-Billy Johns; 7. 28-Keith Prutzman; 8. 64K-Kyle Purks; 9. 11C-Cory Haas; DNS - 27G-Jay Galloway, 39-Scott Ausherman. No Time
Consolation (10 Laps/7 to qualify) - 1. 11C-Cory Haas; 2. 2-Jason Schultz; 3. 4B-Jake Raudabaugh; 4. 64K-Kyle Purks; 5. 8F-Stan Fleming; 6. 56-Nate Snyder; 7. 18-Moon Mullen; 8. 10K-Mark Yinger; 9. 28-Keith Prutzman; 10. 83-Michael Hammer; 11. 54-John Wagner; 12. 5-Rusty Pressley; 13. 28F-Davie Franek; DNS - 26-Frankie Herr, 27K-Ron Kramer. No Time