straight in 358's; Beard claims career 71st in thundercars
ABBOTTSTOWN, PA, 5/10/03 - A huge week awaits the super sprint stars
of the Northeast. And Lance Dewease is ready.
The Fayetteville driver made up a two-second deficit over the final
five laps and ran down leader Cris Eash on the final two turns to claim his
second Lincoln win of the year Saturday night.
"Cris has been going real good all year," said Dewease upon exiting
his Al and Betty Hamilton-owned Manheim Auto Auction/Hank's Performance
Products No.77. " We had a couple bad starts there, but a couple guys had
Dewease started beside Fred Rahmer on row five and steered clear of
two third-lap crashes, including a seven-car melee on the first two turns
that took out Jason Hagenbuch and damaged the Apple Dealerships mount of
Greg Hodnett, and a restart crash that destroyed the car of six-time
defending track champ Rahmer.
"Fred wrecked awful hard there, and I'm glad to see he walked away
from that. But I think he was a little better than he's been the last
couple weeks. He'd have been pretty tough, and (Greg) Hodnett was going to
be pretty tough."
Chappy Knaack led the first lap, then yielded to Kevin Drury on the
third and fourth turns of lap two.
The first third-lap crash also involved the cars of Keith Kauffman,
Steve Siegel, Brook Weibley, Craig Smith, and Mike Dillman. Everyone but
Hagenbuch was able to rejoin the field, Hodnett after going to the pits to
repair damage and replace a left rear tire. On the restart, Rahmer ran up
over the right rear tire of Brian Leppo and slammed hard into the outside
wall. Though his car was heavily damaged, Rahmer escaped injury.
Doug Esh briefly grabbed the lead with a slider past Drury and
Knaack on lap five, but slipped over the cushion and lost three spots before
pulling it back in. Niki Young dove low and grabbed the lead as Esh was
regaining control. Young then led for eight laps before two-time winner
Cris Eash caught him in heavy lapped traffic entering turn three of lap 14.
It appeared Eash was headed for his third win of the season, but
Dewease, who caught Young at the start-finish line at the end of lap 17,
cleared lapped traffic over the next two laps and began his charge with five
laps to go. He pulled onto Eash's back bumper with two laps to go, made one
unsuccessful attempt to slide under Eash on lap 24, then rode the cushion to
drive alongside Eash exiting turn four. From there, he out-dragged Eash to
the checkered to win by 124-thousandths of-a-second (according to Lincoln
"I showed him a nose and made him move off that top,
and we just kept running as hard as I could, said Dewease. "He raced me
clean. He could've pinched me a number of times down the straight-aways,
but he didn't."
It was Dewease's sixth win of 2003 and 21st of his career in the
Pigeon Hills. In addition to the $2,500 top prize, Dewease received a $500
bonus from Dwayne Pope of Advance Settlement Agency and Predator Racecraft,
who, ironically, is the major sponsor for Cris Eash.
" The breaks just went our way, and we got up through there,"
Dewease added. "We're always better the longer we run, and we ran him down."
Young held on for third, with Esh fourth and Billy Sims fifth.
Completing the top ten were Josh Wells, Chris Knopp, Hodnett, and Bobby
Heats for the 28 "410" Sprints were won by Jeff Busby, Knaack and
Eash , with Glenndon Forsythe winning the consolation.
Points leader Eric Stambaugh claimed his second win in-a-row in the
20-lap "358" sprint feature. Stambaugh started 12th, passed race-long
leader Dan Dietrich entering the third turn of lap 17, and held off
defending champ Cory Haas for his sixth career win at the Abbottstown oval.
The win tied him for sixth on the all-time 358 win list with Haas, who
solidified second in the point standings with his runner-up finish.
Dietrich, Mark Freeland, and Rob Peters completed the top five.
Billy Dietrich, Judd Shepard, Shawn Weaver, Billy Johns, and Alan Krimes
rounded out the top ten.
Heats for the 39 "358 Sprints were won by Dan Dietrich, Stan
Fleming, Freeland and Rob Peters. Twin consolations were won by Weaver and
Points leader Bernie Beard and last week's feature winner Mike
Zeigler Jr. waged a late race battle for the lead with Beard getting the
upper hand on the final turns to the checkered to record his fourth win of
Fourth-starting Craig Wagaman grabbed the lead at the outset and led
the first 12 laps before mechanical problems side-lined the one-time 2003
That allowed Zeigler, who started ninth, to inherit the lead at that
point and looked strong enough to win his second race in-a-row. But
12th-starting Beard had other plans as he methodically followed Zeigler to
the front and hounded him for the lead by the 14th lap. Beard finally was
able to get around Zeigler for the lead on the 18th lap, but wasn't able to
shake him as they raced side-by-side over the final two laps.
Beard took the checkered 22-hundredths of second ahead of Zeigler
for his 71st career Lincoln win.
Bobby Rudisill charged from his 14th-starting position to finish
third, 10th-starting Nat Tuckey fourth, and Al Cramer fifth.
Heats for the 25 thundercars were won by Wagaman, Zeigler Jr., and
This Wednesday night, May 14th, Lincoln Speedway will celebrate 51
years continuous racing action at the Pigeon Hills lightning-quick
3/8th-mile oval. The 410 sprinters will race in a special 51-lap feature
event with $5,100 awaiting the winner. The Cindy Rowe Paintless Dent Removal
Sprinters will be joined by the thundercar regulars in the special mid-week
show which will get underway at 7 PM with time trials setting the line-up
for the 410 sprinters.
In addition to the racing action, several past drivers who helped
make Lincoln Speedway one of the most exciting tracks in Central
Pennsylvania will be on hand for a special pre-race autograph session as
well as the cars they drove over the many years.
Gates will open at 5 PM, with warm-ups taking to the track at 6:30
PM, and time trials getting underway at 7 PM.
To get all the latest news, results, schedule changes and rule
changes, visit Lincoln Speedway's website at http://www.lincolnspeedway.com
to stay up-to-date on all the action or pending weather conditions at
Central Pennsylvania's "Premier" Saturday night race track - The Fabulous
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