Oct 6, 2007, 23:23

Watson closes to within 10 points of Smith in season points with thundercar win; Wagaman takes makeup feature

ABBOTTSTOWN, PA, 10/6/07 - It was a year ago that Fred Rahmer gave Al Hamilton his last win as a car owner in claiming the 10th Annual Kenny Weld Memorial.

On Saturday night, Rahmer gave car owners Chad and Jen Clemens their first Weld Memorial win at Lincoln Speedway.

Rahmer started on the pole, battled with Jeff Shepard and Lucas Wolfe for the race lead in the early going, and then used lapped traffic to drive away from the rest of the field to claim his eighth career Weld Memorial win in the Pigeon Hills. The win was Rahmer’s sixth of the year and all-time leading 154th career win at the Abbottstown oval.

Rahmer was seventh-fastest in time trials, but earned the pole for the 40-lap "A" main when fast time trialer Cody Darrah, who pulled pill #6 for the inversion, failed to qualify in his heat. Darrah, who received a $300 bonus from Don Ott Racing Engines for setting fast time, also received the $100 hard-luck award from D&D Septic Service of Carlisle after suffering a flat front left tire and spinning while leading the "B" main.

Though he started on the pole and led the first seven laps, Rahmer’s lead did not go unchallenged. Outside front row starter and two-time Weld Memorial winner Jeff Shepard raced wheel-to-wheel with fourth-starting Lucas Wolfe over the first seven laps, with Wolfe passing Shepard on a seventh-lap restart and closing quickly on Rahmer on lap eight. But he tapped the back of Rahmer’s C&S Lawn & Landscape/Miller Brothers Automotive #51 and spun out in turn four of lap eight, suffering a flat right front tire and rejoining the rear after the tire change. Wolfe was never a factor after that.

But Shepard was. "The Jet" drove around Rahmer on the restart, and was officially scored the leader of lap eight. Rahmer reclaimed the lead in turns one and two of lap nine. Shepard drove back around Rahmer in turns one and two of lap 12, and led the next five laps after that until Rahmer dove under Shepard and the lapped car of Todd Hestor to take the lead for good on the back stretch of lap 18.

"Jeff got by me there a few times, but I wasn’t racing hard enough, and I knew that I had to be patient because I had a great car," said Rahmer in victory lane, "It’s always an honor to win in a race named after the great Kenny Weld. It’s good to see his good-looking women (Kenny’s wife Mary Etta and daughters Debi and Tara) here with us tonight."

The final 32 laps of the race went non-stop, and Rahmer paced himself through lapped traffic to pull away to a 3.425-second win over Shepard, with Stevie Smith, Cris Eash, and Brian Leppo crossing third through fifth. Rounding out the top ten were Doug Esh, Greg Hodnett, Alan Krimes, Mark Smith, and Chad Layton (who picked up the D&D Septic hard-charger award for coming from 24th-starting spot).

Car owner Chad Clemens announced in victory lane that Rahmer will be back with the same team in 2008.

Counting $2,495 in lap money and his $50 heat win, Rahmer’s total take on the night was $7,545.

Sprint heats were won by Mark Smith, Hodnett, Rahmer, and Brian Leppo, while Brian Montieth won the B-Main. Fast time in time trials over the 34-car sprint field was set by 17-year old Cody Darrah with a one-lap time of 13.555-seconds (99.594 MPH).

Gettysburg’s Craig Wagaman and Abbottstown’s Duane Watson were both winners in thundercar action. Craig Wagaman battled Duane Watson down to the final lap of the 20-lap August 28th make-up feature earlier in the evening to earn his second win of the year and then Watson battled Neil Smith in a final one-lap dash to the checkered and picked up his sixth win of the year in the regularly scheduled 20-lap feature at night’s end.

Fourth-starting Wagaman got by early race leader Danny Beard on the seventh lap of the make-up feature, surrendered the lead to Watson on the 14th lap, only to take it back on the 15th lap and then held on to take the checkered .41-seconds for his 27th career win at the Pigeon Hills oval, moving him into a tie with Steve Clabaugh for fourth place on the all-time win list.

Jimmy Combs, Neil Smith and Beard finished third through fifth respectively. Completing the top-10 were Rick Weaver, Roy Warehime Jr., Gino Comi, Mike Slaybaugh and Ronnie Thomas.

In the regularly scheduled 20-lap feature polesitter Jimmy Comb led the first lap before giving way to outside frontrow starter Bob Bare laps two through four. Combs took over the top spot again on the fifth lap and led the next 11 laps before ninth-starting Duane Watson grabbed the top spot with five laps to go.

Meanwhile point leader Neil Smith advanced from his 24th starting spot to move into second with three laps to go. In a final one-lap dash to the checkered, Watson held off Smith by .38-seconds to earn his 16th career Lincoln Speedway win at moved to within 10 points of Neil Smith in the battle for the track championship.

Ronnie Thomas finished third, Combs fourth and David Prunkl fifth.

Completing the top-10 were Danny Beard, Larry Neiderer, Rick Weaver, Justin Mong and Jerry Pownall.

So the thundercar championship come down to the final race in two weeks with defending track champion Neil Smith holding a slim 10-point leader over Duane Watson.

Heats for the 30 Thundercars on hand were won by Bobby Beard, Craig Wagaman and Duane Watson.

Lincoln Speedway will take next Saturday night, Oct. 13th off, before running the final race of the 2007 season at the Pigeon Hills oval on Saturday, Oct. 20th.

The final race of the season will feature the Cindy Rowe Auto Glass 410 Sprinters and Thundercars. The Thundercars will be battling in there final point race of the season as well as the 2007 Thundercar track championship will come down to this final race. A rain-date of Sunday, Oct. 21st has been set if needed.

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 6, 2007
Abbottstown, PA
410 Sprints:
(40 Laps) - 1. 51-Fred Rahmer ($5,000); 2. 1-Jeff Shepard; 3. 19-Stevie Smith; 4. 7E-Cris Eash; 5. 71-Brian Leppo; 6. 30-Doug Esh; 7. 22-Greg Hodnett; 8. 87-Alan Krimes; 9. 7B-Mark Smith; 10. 25-Chad Layton; 11. 30C-Lance Dewease; 12. 11C-Cory Haas; 13. 39-TJ Stutts; 14. 21-Brian Montieth; 15. 47J-Jeff Busby; 16. 20-Ryan Taylor; 17. 7-Keith Kauffman; 18. 17B-Steve Buckwalter; 19. 5W-Lucas Wolfe; 20. 6K-Chris Knopp; 21. 26-Pat Cooper; 22. 10N-Todd Hestor; 23. 67-Todd Gracey; 24. X-Bobby Weaver (DNF). No Time

Lap Leaders - Fred Rahmer (1-7), Jeff Shepard (8), Fred Rahmer (9-11), Jeff Shepard (12-17), Fred Rahmer (18-40)

1st Heat (10 Laps/5 to qualify) - 1. 7B-Mark Smith; 2. 20-Ryan Taylor; 3. 19-Stevie Smith; 4. 30-Doug Esh; 5. 7-Keith Kauffman; 6. 89-Cody Darrah; 7. 5-Mike Bittinger; 8. 39-TJ Stutts; 9. 38N-Nick Schlauch Jr.. No Time

2nd Heat (10 Laps/5 to qualify) - 1. 22-Greg Hodnett; 2. 1-Jeff Shepard; 3. X-Bobby Weaver; 4. 67-Todd Gracey; 5. 11C-Cory Haas; 6. 17B-Steve Buckwalter; 7. 47J-Jeff Busby; 8. 2-Todd Rittenhouse Jr.. Time - 2:29.710

3rd Heat (10 Laps/5 to qualify) - 1. 51-Fred Rahmer; 2. 25-Chad Layton; 3. 7E-Cris Eash; 4. 10N-Todd Hestor; 5. 6K-Chris Knopp; 6. 45-AJ Michael; 7. 25O-Aaron Ott (DNF); 8. 21-Brian Montieth (DNF). No Time

4th Heat (10 Laps/5 to qualify) - 1. 71-Brian Leppo; 2 30C-Lance Dewease; 3. 87-Alan Krimes; 4. 5W-Lucas Wolfe; 5. 26-Pat Cooper; 6. 49-Bob Howard; 7. 59-Jim Siegel; 8. 4-John Rudisill; 9. 461-Tommy Beavers (DNS). No Time

B-Main (10 Laps/4 to qualify) - 1. 21-Brian Montieth; 2. 17B-Steve Buckwalter; 3. 39-T.J. Stutts; 4. 47J-Jeff Busby; 5. 59-Jim Siegel; 6. 49-Bob Howard; 7. 38N-Nick Schlauch, Jr.; 8. 25-Aaron Ott; 9. 45-A.J. Michael; 10. 2-Todd Rittenhouse, Jr.; 11. 4-John Rudisill; 12. 89-Cody Darrah (DNF); 13. 5-Mike Bittinger (DNS). No time.

Time Trials - 1. 89-Cody Darrah, 13.555 seconds (99.594 MPH); 2. 22-Greg Hodnett, 13.628; 3. 7E-Cris Eash, 13.669; 4. 5W-Lucas Wolfe, 13.672; 5. 19-Stevie Smith, 13.701; 6. 1-Jeff Shepard, 13.710; 7. 51-Fred Rahmer, 13.731; 8. 71-Brian Leppo, 13.791; 9. 30-Doug Esh, 13.792; 10. 11C-Cory Haas, 13.803; 11. 10N-Todd Hestor, 13.814; 12. 30C-Lance Dewease, 13.820; 13. 7B-Mark Smith, 13.822; 14. X-Bobby Weaver, 13.867; 15. 21-Brian Montieth, 13.869; 16. 87-Alan Krimes, 13.873; 17. 20-Ryan Taylor, 13.907; 18. 67-Todd Gracey, 13.919; 19. 6K-Chris Knopp, 13.953; 20. 26-Pat Cooper, 14.004; 21. 7-Keith Kauffman, 14.009; 22. 17B-Steve Buckwalter, 14.018; 23. 25O-Aaron Ott, 14.030; 24. 59-Jim Siegel, 14.031; 25. 39-TJ Stutts, 14.046; 26. 47J-Jeff Busby, 14.055; 27. 25-Chad Layton, 14.078; 28. 49-Bobby Howard, 14.117; 29. 5-Mike Bittinger, 14.140; 30. 2-Todd Rittenhouse Jr., 14.328; 31. 45-AJ Michael, 14.350; 32. 4-John Rudisill, 14.367; 33. 38N-Nick Schlauch Jr., 14.600; 34. 461-Tommy Beavers, NT.

Regularly Scheduled Feature
(20 Laps) - 1. 3W-Duane Watson; 2. 1-Neil Smith; 3. 21-Ronnie Thomas; 4. 54J-Jimmy Combs; 5. 8MD-David Prunkl; 6. 60-Danny Beard; 7. 21N-Larry Neiderer; 8. 70-Rick Weaver; 9. 77-Justin Mong; 10. 51J-Jerry Pownall; 11. 11-Scott Geib; 12. 07-Rich Wonder; 13. 30-Craig Wagaman (DNF); 14. 61-Shaun Miller (DNF); 15. 93-Bob Stough (DNF); 16. 33-Gino Comi (DNF); 17. 6X-Daryl Groft (DNF); 18. 7X-Tony Rose (DNF); 19. 81S-Bobby Beard (DNF); 20. 35C-Dave Crone (DNF): 21. 76-Bob Bare (DNF); 22. 20-Scott Fisher (DNF); 23. 54W-Roy Warehime, Jr. (DNF); 24. 61M-Mike Slaybaugh (DNF). No Time

Lap Leaders - Jimmy Combs (1); Bob Bare (2-4); Combs (5-15); Duane Watson (16-20)

1st Heat (8 Laps/6 to qualify) - 1. 81S-Bobby Beard; 2. 61M-Mike Slaybaugh; 3. 54J-Jimmy Combs; 4. 20-Scott Fisher; 5. 51J-Jerry Pownall; 6. 70-Rick Weaver; 7. 2W-Brian Walls (DNF); 8. 35C-Dave Crone (DNF); DNS - 1E-Greg Emlet Jr., 22-Nat Tuckey. No Time

2nd Heat (8 Laps/6 to qualify) - 1. 30-Craig Wagaman; 2. 76-Bob Bare; 3. 54W-Roy Warehime, Jr.; 4. 21N-Larry Neiderer; 5. 7X-Tony Rose; 6. 61-Shaun Miller; 7. 77-Justin Mong; 8. 1-Greg Feltch; 9. 11-Scott Geib; 10. 1B-Neil Smith. Time - 2:45.91

3rd Heat (8 Laps/6 to qualify) - 1. 3W-Duane Watson; 2. 60-Danny Beard; 3. 33-Gino Comi; 4. 8MD-David Prunkl; 5. 21-Ronnie Thomas; 6. 93-Bob Stough; 7. 6X-Daryl Groft; 8. 07-Rich Wonder; DNS - 1X-Greg Emlet Sr., 129K-Pete Lawrence. 2:45.38

Make-up 8/28 Feature (20 Laps) - 1. 30-Craig Wagaman; 2. 3W-Duane Watson; 3. 54J-Jimmy Combs; 4. 1B-Neil Smith; 5. 60-Danny Beard; 6. 70-Rick Weaver; 7. 54W-Roy Warehime Jr.; 8. 33-Gino Comi; 9. 61M-Mike Slaybaugh; 10. 21-Ronnie Thomas; 11. 6X-Daryl Groft; 12. 20-Scott Fisher (DNF); 13. 61-Hurricane Menges (DNF); 14. 1-Greg Feltch (DNF); 15. 1E-Greg Emlet Jr. (DNF); 16. 1X-Greg Emlet Sr. (DNF); DNS - 81S-Sam Gallagher, 22-Nat Tuckey. No Time

Lap Leaders - Danny Beard (1-6), Craig Wagaman (7-13), Duane Watson (14), Craig Wagaman (15), Duane Watson (16), Craig Wagaman (17-20)

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