Central Pennsylvania weekly report 2002-06-23

For the final 16 laps of the 25-lap feature, three of the world's best sprint car drivers put on a clinic, changing racing lines at will as they diced through lapped traffic in pursuit of each other. In the end, the nation's winningest driver ...

Central Pennsylvania weekly report 2002-06-23

For the final 16 laps of the 25-lap feature, three of the world's best sprint car drivers put on a clinic, changing racing lines at will as they diced through lapped traffic in pursuit of each other.

In the end, the nation's winningest driver scored his 13th win of the year.

Lance Dewease grabbed the lead with a slider on race-long leader Billy Sims in heavy lapped traffic in turn four of lap six and led the rest of the way. But the win was far from easy.

Dewease, driving with a bumper sticking in his radiator from a multi-car incident on the frontstretch of the original start, had to deal with both an overheating engine and a charging Greg Hodnett and Fred Rahmer.

"On the start, we knocked a hole in the radiator or something and I was worried to death that the motor wouldn't make it," said Dewease. "We were taking it easy there for a while...then I saw Hodnett's nose one time and stepped it up a little bit...those lapped cars were three abreast and there was nowhere to go. I had to wait, but got a couple of breaks and got by them."

Dewease (who started seventh after the first-lap incident), Hodnett (who started tenth), and Rahmer (who started 12th), were running in the top three by the end of the seventh lap. Rahmer slid under Hodnett in heavy traffic on turn four of lap nine and ran second for two laps, but Hodnett returned the favor two laps later.

Caution flags on lap 13 (for Johnny Mackison stopping on turn two) and lap 19 (for a Todd Gracey spin on turn four) gave Dewease some clear race track twice in the feature, both times during which he pulled away from his two closest challengers. But both times, multi-car battles for position at the back of the lead lap caused problems for the leader. Dewease's 2.06-second lead at the end of lap 20 evaporated to 63-hundredths of a second by the end of lap 22 as the three raced through heavy lapped traffic.

"On that last restart I didn't run as hard as I could," said Dewease. "I didn't want to catch them (the lapped traffic) that quick, but we still did...they were running three wide again and I had to get into the brakes and then I got a good run and got between them and got by them."

"I could see Greg, but I could hear somebody back there and I didn't know if it was him or Fred coming. I didn't know if Greg or somebody could sneak around the bottom and get by us. I knew it was pretty slick down there, but we were really fortunate to get the job done."

Dewease's final margin of victory was 38-hundredths of a second over Hodnett. It was his fourth win of the season and the 18th of his career in the Pigeon Hills.

Completing an outstanding run to cross fourth was Chris Knopp, with Billy Sims finishing fifth.

York's Mark Billet led wire-to-wire in the 20-lap limited late model feature. But his win wasn't easy, either. He withstood repeated challenges from two-time defending Silver Spring champ Jason Covert, actually losing the lead and literally driving under the backside of Covert's car on the backstretch of a 17th-lap restart. Covert had to back down and let his back wheels return to the race surface, giving way to Billet again by the end of the lap.

Billet's final margin of victory was .41-seconds over Covert, with Scott McCann coming from 12th to finish third, Carl Billet coming from 10th to cross fourth, and Jeff Leiphart coming from 18th to fifth at the end.

Abbottstown's Duane Watson passed Lincoln racing legend and race-long leader Kenny Slaybaugh on the eighth lap for the lead and then held off the challenges of all-time Lincoln thundercar win leader Bernie Beard in a one-lap dash to the checkered for his second win of the year in the 20 lap thundercar feature.



York's Rick Eckert held off two challenges for the lead to win the 4th Annual Masters 75 for the United Dirt Track Racing Association Pro DirtCar Series Saturday night at Cedar Lake Speedway in New Richmond, WI.

The Defending UDTRA Champion and current point leader picked up $15,000 for the victory, his second win of the season and his second win in the last three races, driving his Raye Vest/Cameron Car Center Rocket/Cornett Taurus. Eckert now leads 1999 UDTRA Champion Dale McDowell of Rossville, GA by 36 points.

McDowell finished second and actually took the lead from Eckert on lap 61, but a caution flag negated the pass, and he had to restart behind Eckert.

"My crew chief kept motioning me to run the high side, and it was pretty rough up there, but it was the fast way around," Eckert said. "I kept seeing Dale's nose inside of me coming off the corners, and I had to check up for a lapped car. Dale got by me, but luckily for me, the caution flag came out. We were having a heck of a race!"


Polesitter Marvin Winters lost the lead to Booper Bare on lap eight, but the Mercersburg driver battled right back to regain the lead on lap 20 to win the final round of the Winchester-Hagerstown Speedways Shootout at the Hagerstown Speedway Saturday night.

Winters became the fourth different winner in the four race series and pocketed $3,000 for his second win of the season.

"We have been struggling lately," said Winters. "We tried different things on the car this week and it finally came around. After those two guys (Bare and D J Myers) passed me early in the race, you don't normally get them back."

Second round winner Gary Stuhler of Greencastle, PA was the highest finisher in points for the series and received a $1,000 bonus check for being declared the series champion.

In other action, Pete Weaver of Williamsport inherited the lead on the 12th lap when Rusty Sites rolled to a stop with mechanical trouble and never looked back as he cruised to his second win of the year.


Millertown's Todd Shaffer registered his second win of the season in the crash-marred 25-lap super sprint feature Friday night at Williams Grove Speedway. A crash between the first and second place cars of Doug Esh and Keith Kauffman following a ninth lap caution restart, followed by a shredding tire on new race-leader Greg Hodnett, allowed Shaffer take over the lead on the 13th lap and race away to his 29th career win at the Mechanicsburg half-mile which was worth $3,000.

Sean Michael matched his best finish of the season with a runner-up effort as Len Thompson came from 13th to finish third. Fred Rahmer, who was involved in the Kauffman/Esh wreck, came from the rear of the field to finish fourth.

Rick Hench won the crash-marred limited sprint main.

Rick Hench started sixth and took the lead from Michael Creaghan on the seventh lap in the 20 lap limited feature, and then off defending 358 sprint track champion Dale Hammaker for the win. Adrian Shaffer, Judd Shepard and Rich Eichelberger completed the top five.


Keith Kauffman picked up his second win of the week in the regularly scheduled Saturday night show at Port Royal Speedway. Kauffman, who won Thursday night's special mid-week show, passed Todd Shaffer exiting the fourth turn of the eighth lap and led the rest of the way for his third super sprint win of the season at the Juniata County racing facility.

Strodes Mills' Kenny Dickson picked up his second win of the season in late model action while Terry Naugle picked up his first of the year in pro stocks.


Orefield's Chris Shuey led flag-to-flag for his first career Susquehanna Speedway win in the 30 lap late model feature over Les Hare and Mike Christopher and Quakertown's Rick Laubach held off Jamie Mills for his first win in the 30-lap modified feature. Ronnie Buck won his second race in-a-row in four-cylinder pure stock action while Butch Brough won the legends race. Matt Frye and Karl Windish were winners in twin enduro features.


Point leader Mike Walls continued his winning ways at Trail-Way Speedway Friday night by winning the make-up thundercar championship race and the regularly scheduled thundercar features for his fourth and fifth wins of the season.

Brad McClelland was victorious in the 250cc micro-sprints while Charles Brittain took the win in the street stocks.


In only his 2nd. start of the season, Nathan Houck, held off the challenges of opening day winner Dusty Heistand to earn his first career win at Trail-Way Speedway in Saturday night 600cc micro-sprint racing action

Bill Brown, Sr. won the Classic Car feature race, Lloyd Hockenberry was the Modified Vintage race winner, and Stew Wenrich earned the victory in the Sportsman Vintage race.

Wesley Kellison won his second. race of the year in figure 8 racing by winning the 112 inch class feature race. In 111 inch figure 8 action, Tom Caravello earned his third win of the year. Wayne Kopp and Jerry Hobbs were Scramble Car winners.


Mifflintown's Keith Kauffman passed race-long leader Fred Rahmer for the lead on the 20th lap and then raced away to his second Port Royal win of the season in the special 30-lap super sprint feature Thursday night.

Dewease (who started sixth) and moved past Rahmer for second place on the 27th lap and chased Kauffman to the checkered flag. Rahmer settled for third place with Todd Hestor fourth and Todd Shaffer fifth.

Lewistown's Jason Schmidt led flag-to-flag to register his second win of the season in the 15-lap in pro stock feature.


Race officials announced an update on injured driver Kyle Ganoe prior to the nights racing action at Port Royal Speedway. Ganoe continues to improve and may be removed from his ventilator early next week. Doctors had him setting up in bed Friday this past Friday and he is trying to speak which is difficult due to the ventilator. He is moving all injured fingers under his own power and responding well to physical therapy. Doctors hope to completely remove Ganoe from his drug induced coma this coming week. Therapy will continue and all injured areas are healing nicely. Doctors believe the only permanent scar tissue may be on Ganoe's hands.

Tim Dietz was also injured during the Thursday night June 20 show where Dietz flipped and rode the guardrail upside down in turn four. He was immediately knocked unconscious. He was released from Lewistown Hospital Friday night. Dietz suffered a concussion and actually had his helmet crack during the accident. Speedway officials wish both injured drivers the best in their time of recovery.


Myerstown's Dave Neuman became the first three-time winner in super sportsman action at Silver Spring Speedway Saturday night. Neuman came out on top on the 19th lap after a thrilling three-car duel with Steve Miller and Paul Miller. Neuman picked up the win in the end over series point leader Frankie Herr.

Dillsburg's Art Schwarz picked up his first win of the season in street stock action while Carlisle's Mark Zimmerman won the 12-lap sportsman B-main.

Ricky Harper passed race-long leader Arlin Brougher in the final turns to the checkered to win the 4-cylinder pure stock feature.


Millersburg's Joe Whitcomb scored his second win of the year in winning the 25 lap 358 sprint feature in dominating fashion at Selinsgrove Speedway Saturday night.

Liverpool's Dale Kerstetter raced to his 27th career win in the late model feature while Kyle Bachman picked up his fifth pro stock win of the season. Matt Drum won the roadrunner feature.


Former United Racing Club champion Gary Gollub of Mohnton pulled out all the stops Saturday night to score his first URC win of the season and his nineteenth career victory at Bridgeport Speedway in Bridgeport, NJ.

For car owner Elmer and Rose Stoltzfus, it was their first career victory as owners. Gollub started on the front row of the twenty-five car starting field and took the lead on the 10th lap.

Slower traffic and a late race caution flag moved the competition to the rear bumper of the Gollub sprinter, but he was not to be denied of this victory. In the final three laps, Gollub did put some distance between himself and runner-up Greg Coverdale

-bill meyer-

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Series Sprint
Drivers Rick Eckert , Bill Brown , Paul Miller , Steve Miller
Teams Williams