Watson wins first Lincoln track title with seventh win of season in thundercars
ABBOTTSTOWN, PA, 10/20/07 -Lancaster’s Doug Esh found Lincoln Speedway’s experimental "passing points" system to his liking in claiming his second win of the year on Saturday night.
Esh, who along with Brian Montieth earned the most points in qualifying, received the honor of selecting the inversion pill because he passed more cars in his heat (5) than Montieth (3). The formula placed points values on each of the finishing positions, and added (two points) or removed (five points) scores based on where the drivers started.
Esh started eighth and finished third in his heat, earning 64 points in qualifying. But his most important move was selecting the "0" pill from a bag which contained the numbers 0, 4, 6, and 8.
"I was just a little grouchy coming into the night," said Esh upon exiting his Leach family Kinard Trucking/I Lend Mortgage #30 in victory lane, "We’re trying to work this deal (for next year) out, and it’s not going as well as I’d like it to. You know, there’s no better way to seal a deal than to win the race. I wanted to come out here and chew up some blood and spit it out, and I had nothing else in mind but winning. It’s just great to be here."
"I’ve never had such a tough road trying to put a team together and seal everything up," he added, "We’re just hoping all of our sponsors can join in and be a part and we can keep this deal together."
Eash acknowledged that the Leach team is negotiating with Pancho Lawler in an effort to combine forces for 2008.
"One thing for sure, without Dick (Leach) and the family, there wouldn’t be a Doug Esh."
"The Hammer" took the lead in the first two turns and was never headed, though second-starting Montieth stayed close the whole way. A fast, tacky racing surface helped the leaders reach lapped traffic within four laps of each of four restarts, and the leaders were sorting their way through lapped traffic most of the way.
Following a 13th-lap red flag for Greg Hodnett (who bicycled and nearly flipped on turn three and made repairs in time to rejoin the field), the second half of the race went non-stop, with Esh crossing 1.10-seconds ahead of Montieth. Fourth-starting Cris eash finished third, with 15th-starting Fred Rahmer fourth and eighth-starting Alan Krimes fifth.
Rahmer’s fourth-place finish was good enough to secure his second straight Speed Dog Central Pennsylvania Point Series title and the $2,000 that goes with it.
Sixth through tenth were Lucas Wolfe, 19th-starting Chad Layton, 22nd-starting Lance Dewease, Cody Darrah, and Jim Siegel.
"I love racing down here," said owner Dick Leach, "They have great fans and great people who run it. My hat’s off to all the people here that have tried this new handicap system. We’re all complaining about the exiting one, and for you guys to step up and try to make a change...whether it’s for the better or not...at least you’re trying to do something to make racing better for everybody. I think Lincoln should be commended."
Heats for the 25 "410" Sprinters on hand were won by Eash, Darrah and Montieth. Darrah set a new 10-lap track record in winning the second heat with a 10-lap time of two minutes, 14.825 seconds, beating the old mark of two minutes 15.31 seconds set by Lance Dewease on March 3rd of 2001. Other than an extremely old five-lap track record broken last year by Doug Esh, it was the first track record broken at Lincoln Speedway since the 1,375-pound weight rule was implemented in 2002.
Abbottstown’s Duane Watson made the come-back complete Saturday night as he won the 20-lap thundercar feature and in the process claimed the 2007 Thundercar track championship.
Heading into the season finale, Watson trailed defending track champion Neil Smith by 10 points. After missing a race earlier in the year, Watson chipped away at Neil Smith’s season-long point lead and was within striking distance in the final event.
Polesitter Brian Walls grabbed the lead at the outset as Watson and Smith started side-by-side in row six. Smith got the opening he needed early and slipped into third place by lap six with Watson trailing in seventh.
But a sudden spin by the race-leading Walls on the seventh lap saw Smith make slight contact and suffered a flat tire and ducked to the pits to make repairs.
On the restart, with Smith at the rear, a multi-car accident in the third and fourth turns ended Smith’s title hopes with hard contact with other cars and was towed to the pits.
For the restart, Watson was now the leader and he led the rest of the way to pick up his seventh win of 2007 and 17th of his career en route to his first-ever track title.
Jimmy Combs finished 1.7-seconds behind in second, with Mike Slaybaugh third, Bob Stough fourth and Ronnie Thomas.
Completing the top-10 were Scott Fisher, Nate Topper, Bob Bare, Daryl Groft and David Prunkl.
Heats for the 29 Thundercars on hand were won by Stough, Watson and Bobby Beard, with Ronnie Thomas winning the consolation.
Though the racing season is now over, Lincoln Speedway will hold its annual racers flea market on Saturday, November 10th from 7 AM until 2 PM.
Then the following Saturday night, November 17th, Lincoln Speedway will honor the newly-crowned 2007 track champions, as well as the entire top ten in points, at the Annual Lincoln Speedway Awards Banquet at the Holiday Inn Holidome in York, PA from 6 PM until 1 AM.
For more information regarding the November 10th Flea Market or the November 17th Awards Banquet, please call the speedway office at (717) 624-2755 or (717) 624-3975.
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 Lincoln Speedway.
Saturday - October 20, 2007
Feature (25 Laps) - 1. 30-Doug Esh ($3,000); 2. 21-Brian Montieth; 3. 7E-Cris Eash; 4. 51-Fred Rahmer; 5. 87-Alan Krimes; 6. 5W-Lucas Wolfe; 7. 25-Chad Layton; 8. 30C-Lance Dewease; 9. 89-Cody Darrah; 10. 59-Jim Siegel; 11. 71-Brian Leppo; 12. 47J-Jeff Busby; 13. 11C-Cory Haas; 14. 22-Greg Hodnett; 15. 10N-Todd Hestor; 16. 38N-Nick Schlauch, Jr.; 17. 26-Pat Cooper; 18. 25o-Aaron Ott; 19. 461-Tommy Beavers; 20. John Rudisill; 21. 4-AJ Michael; 22.13-Danny Holtgraver (DNF); 23. 49-Bobby Howard (DNF); 24. X-Bobby Weaver (DNF). No Time
Lap Leaders - Doug Esh (1-25)
1st Heat (10 Laps/6 to qualify) - 1. 7E-Cris Eash; 2. 11C-Cory Haas; 3. 87-Alan Krimes; 4. 38N-Nick Schlauch Jr.; 5. 25-Aaron Ott; 6. 45-AJ Michael; 7. 25-Chad Layton; 8. 4-John Rudisill; 9. 67-Todd Gracey (DNF). No Time
2nd Heat (10 Laps/6 to qualify) - 1. 89-Cody Darrah; 2. 5W-Lucas Wolfe; 3. 59-Jim Siegel; 4. X-Bobby Weaver; 5. 47J-Jeff Busby; 6. 51-Fred Rahmer; 7. 30C-Lance Dewease; 8. 71-Brian Leppo. Time - 2:14.825 (New 10-Lap Track Record, old record was 2:15.31 set by Lance Dewease on 3/3/01)
3rd Heat (10 Laps/5 to qualify) - 1. 21-Brian Montieth; 2. 22-Greg Hodnett; 3. 30-Doug Esh; 4. 49-Bobby Howard; 5. 461-Tommy Beavers; 6. 10N-Todd Hestor; 7. 26-Pat Cooper; 8. 13-Danny Holtgraver. Time - 2:20.202
Feature (20 Laps) - 1. 3W-Duane Watson (new track champ); 2. 54J-Jimmy Combs; 3. 61M-Mike Slaybaugh; 4. 07-Bob Stough; 5. 21-Ronnie Thomas; 6. 20-Scott Fisher; 7. 6-Nate Topper; 8. 76-Bob Bare; 9. 6X-Daryl Groft; 10. 8MD-David Prunkl; 11. 1E-Greg Emlet, Jr.(DNF); 12. 57-Brad Shank (DNF); 13. 9-Al Crammer (DNF); 14. 33-Gino Comi (DNF); 15. 1W-Will Walls (DNF); 16. 51J-Jerry Pownall (DNF); 17. 30-Craig Wagaman (DNF); 18. 77-Justin Mong (DNF); 19. 70-Rick Weaver (DNF); 20. 2W-Brian Walls (DNF); 21. 1-Neil Smith (DNF); 22. 71-Dan Furman (DNF); 23. 81S-Bobby Beard (DNF); 24. 60-Danny Beard (DNF). No Time
Lap Leaders - Brian Walls (1-7); Duane Watson (8-20)
1st Heat (8 Laps/6 to qualify) - 1. 07-Bob Stough; 2. 2W-Brian Walls; 3. 77-Justin Mong; 4. 1-Neil Smith; 5. 70-Rick Weaver; 6. 33-Gino Comi; 7. 21-Ronnie Thomas; 8. 6-Nate Topper; 9. 61-Kenny Slaybaugh; 10. 129-Pete Lawrence. Time - 2:45.47
2nd Heat (8 Laps/6 to qualify) - 1. 3W-Duane Watson; 2. 54J-Jimmy Combs; 3. 9-Al Crammer; 4. 1E-Greg Emlet, Jr.; 5. 6X-Daryl Groft; 6. 20-Scott Fisher; 7. 51J-Jerry Pownall; 8. 1W-Will Walls (DNF); 9. 35C-Dave Crone (DNF); 10. 21A-Mike Zeigler, Jr. (DNS). Time - 2:46.83
3rd Heat (8 Laps/6 to qualify) - 1. 81S-Bobby Beard; 2. 76-Bob Bare; 3. 30-Craig Wagaman; 4. 60-Danny Beard; 5. 8MD-David Prunkl; 6. 61M-Mike Slaybaugh; 7. 71-Dan Furman; 8. 21N-Larry Neiderer; 9. 57-Brad Shank; 10. 1B-Greg Feltch. Time - 2:45.47
Consolation (6 Laps/6 to qualify) - 1. 21-Ronnie Thomas; 2. 71-Dan Furman; 3. 51J-Jerry Pawnall; 4. 6-Nate Topper; 5. 57-Brad Shank; 6. 1W-Will Walls; 7. 61-Frankie Topper; 8. 1B-Greg Feltch; 9. 21N-Larry Niederer (DNF); 10. 35C-Dave Crone (DNF); DNS - 129-Randy Doty, 21A-Mike Zeigler Jr..No Time