MECHANICSBURG, PA, 7/4/03 - The "Red Rocket" landed in victory lane once again at Williams Grove Speedway. Memphis Tennessee racer Greg Hodnett drove his red and white number 12 sprinter, appropriately dubbed the "Red Rocket" to victory for the ...
MECHANICSBURG, PA, 7/4/03 - The "Red Rocket" landed in victory lane once again at Williams Grove Speedway. Memphis Tennessee racer Greg Hodnett drove his red and white number 12 sprinter, appropriately dubbed the "Red Rocket" to victory for the fourth time over the last five races at the historic Mechanicsburg half-mile. Hodnett slid under Fred Rahmer in the third and fourth turns of the 14th lap to take the lead, and ran unchallenged the rest of the way to pick up the win in the special 30-lap $10,000-to-win Mitch Smith Memorial. The win, Hodnett's third in Speedweek action, came in the fifth of the eight-race annual series.
"We've got a good combination that's taken several years to develop," said Hodnett upon exiting his Cars-By-Dealers Magazine No.12 sprinter in victory lane for the 12th time overall in 2003. "There was a time we came out here every week and spun out 11 or 12 times in 2001...and since that time we've tried a lot of things learned a lot of things."
"It seems to be paying off right now."
"After that year I was afraid my car-owner Bob Stewart was going to quit.` Outside frontrow starter Donnie Kreitz Jr. Led the first four laps of the 30 lap feature before sixth-starting Rahmer passed the Sinking Spring's racer in the first and second turns following a fifth-lap caution restart.
Rahmer then held-off third-starting Keith Kauffman through the 12th lap when pace was slowed for a tangle between Mark Coldren and Doug Esh in the third and fourth turns which eventually brought out the red flag for refueling. Hodnett, who started fifth, got around Kauffman for second place in the first and second turns on the restart and set his sights on Rahmer. Hodnett wasted no time and caught Rahmer heading into the third turn on the next lap, and slid under and up in front at the exit of turn for the lead.
"Fred was really good on the top and there was no way I was going to pass him," said Hodnett. "So on that red we got to make a few changes on the car and it made a huge huge difference to where I could float through the middle and on the bottom if I needed to."
"It was imperative that on that restart I get by Keith (Kauffman) and get a run on Fred. It just so happens that getting into turn three was getting really skinny. So I just blew across there and hope I made it to the other side before Fred did."
Hodnett then led the rest of the way, by almost a straightaway at times, to take the checkered 2.99 seconds ahead for his 18th career Williams Grove win, and the 12th overall in 2003. Rahmer settled for second, and solidified his top spot in the Speedweek point standings with two races to go. Kauffman finished, third Lance Dewease fourth, and Chad Layton fifth. Completing the top-10 were Todd Hestor, Kreitz, Len Thompson, Mike Erdley and Todd Shaffer.
Heats were won by Hodnett, Darren Eash, Mark Smith and Layton, with Erdley winning the B-Main.
Fast time in time trials over the 36-car field was set by Sean Michael with a one-lap time of 16.805 seconds (107.111 MPH).
Niki Young had set 10th quick time in time trials on his first timed lap, but, crashed hard on his second lap. Had Young been able to make repairs, he would have started on the pole for the $10,000-to-win feature if he would had qualified through his heat. But his crew scratched his car after the crash to end his night early.
Adrian Shaffer suffered steering box problems before time trials and scratched early as well.
Friday - July 4, 2003
WILLIAMS GROVE SPEEDWAY
PENNSYLVANIA SPEEDWEEK (Race 6 of 8)
Feature (30 Laps) - 1. 12-Greg Hodnett ($10,000); 2. 88H-Fred Rahmer; 3. 7-Keith Kauffman; 4. 77-Lance Dewease; 5. U1-Chad Layton; 6. 7M-Todd Hestor; 7. 69K-Donnie Kreitz Jr.; 8. CIII-Len Thompson; 9. 11-Mike Erdley; 10. 88-Todd Shaffer; 11. 22-Darren Eash; 12. X-Bobby Weaver; 13. 30-Doug Esh; 14. 32-Brook Weibley; 15. 17-Alan Cole; 16. 55-Curt Michael; 17. 17H-Jason Hagenbuch; 18. 17E-Cris Eash (DNF); 19. 0-Rick Lafferty (DNF); 20. 53-Mark Smith (DNF); 21.. 17B-Ron Kramer (DNF); 22. I07-Mark Coldren (DNF); 23. 1-Sean Michael (DNF); 24. Z1-Wade Hendrickson (DNF). No Time
Lap Leaders - Donnie Kreitz Jr. (1-4), Fred Rahmer (5-13), Greg Hodnett (14-30)
1st Heat (10 Laps/5 to qualify) - 1. 12-Greg Hodnett; 2. X-Bobby Weaver; 3. CIII-Len Thompson; 4. 88-Todd Shaffer; 5. 1-Sean Michael; 6. 5W-Lucas Wolfe; 7. 6W-Josh Wells; 8. 28-Chad Jumper; 9. 28-Chad Jumper. No Time
2nd Heat (10 Laps/5 to qualify) - 1. 22-Darren Eash; 2. 17E-Cris Eash; 3. 17B-Ron Kramer; 4. 17H-Jason Hagenbuch; 5. 7M-Todd Hestor; 6. 0-Rick Lafferty; 7. I07-Mark Coldren; 8. 55S-Billy Sims; 9. 47J-Jay Coates. Time - 3:01.74
3rd Heat (10 Laps/5 to qualify) - 1. 53-Mark Smith; 2. 55-Curt Michael; 3. Z1-Wade Hendrickson; 4. 77-Lance Dewease; 5. 7-Keith Kauffman; 6. 11-Mike Erdley; 7. 32-Brook Weibley; 8. 49-Bob Howard. Time - 2:58.46
4th Heat (10 Laps/5 to qualify) - 1. U1-Chad Layton; 2. 30-Doug Esh; 3. 88H-Fred Rahmer; 4. 69K-Donnie Kreitz Jr.; 5. 17-Alan Cole; 6. 51-Chappy Knaack; 7. 21K-Kyle Pruitt; 8. 6K-Chris Knopp; DNS - 25-Adrian Shaffer. Time - 3:02.81
B-Main (10 Laps/4 to qualify) - 1. 11-Mike Erdley; 2. 32-Brook Weibley; 3. I07-Mark Coldren; 4. 0-Rick Lafferty; 5. 5W-Lucas Wolfe; 6. 6W-Josh Wells; 7. 55S-Billy Sims; 8. 28-Chad Jumper; 8. 47J-Jay Coates; DNS - 6K-Chris Knopp, 49-Bob Howard, 21K-Kyle Pruitt. No Time
Time Trials - 1. 1-Sean Michael, 16.805 (107.111 MPH); 2. 7M-Todd Hestor, 16.845; 3. 11-Mike Erdley, 16.863; 4. 88H-Fred Rahmer, 16.873; 5. 12-Greg Hodnett, 16.896; 6. 17H-Jason Hagenbuch, 16.912; 7. 7-Keith Kauffman, 16.953; 8. 69K-Donnie Kreitz Jr., 16.987; 9. 71-Brian Leppo, 17.035; 10. 10N-Niki Young, 17.052; 11. 17B-Ron Kramer, 17.055; 12. 77-Lance Dewease, 17.068; 13. U1-Chad Layton, 17.092; 14. 5W-Lucas Wolfe, 17.114; 15. 0-Rick Lafferty, 17.209; 16. 55-Curt Michael, 17.210; 17. 51-Chappy Knaack, 17.233; 18. X-Bobby Weaver, 17.235; 19. 17E-Cris Eash, 17.267; 20. Z1-Wade Hendrickson, 17.269; 21. 6K-Chris Knopp, 17.302; 22. CIII-Len Thompson, 17.315; 23. 22-Darren Eash, 17.319; 24. 53-Mark Smith, 17.326; 25. 30-Doug Esh, 17.355; 26. 88-Todd Shaffer, 17.362; 27. I07-Mark Coldren, 17.442; 28. 32-Brook Weibley, 17.443; 29. 17-Alan Cole, 17.447; 30. 6W-Josh Wells, 17.558; 31. 55S-Billy Sims, 17.653; 32. 49-Mike Walter, 17.689; 33. 21K-Kyle Pruitt, 18.044; 34. 28-Chad Jumper, 18.158; 35. 47-Jay Coates, 19.374; 36. 25-Adrian Shaffer, NT.