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Saturday, April 14 – After spending the night at the Crowne Plaza in downtown Harrisburg Bruce and I woke up to hazy skies. The good news is the warm weather was back and the temperatures were in the 70’s. We left the hotel around 12:00 and went to our favorite Mexican restaurant, Fiesta Mexico, on Paxton Street right off of Interstate 83.
After eating a delicious meal we decided to go wash my car in Dillsburg south of Williams Grove. Little did I know there was an antique store across from the car wash and we just had to visit and I dropped a few dollars. It was called Herr’s Antiques and it was a great little store. If you like antique stores and are ever at William Grove you might want to check it out down in Dillsburg. The original plan was to stop by Latimore Valley Speedway, an old timer’s historical speedway that runs a few exhibitions throughout the year. Nothing was running today. The big fish fry event is on May 6. We just wanted to go back and check it out. But there was no time left so we headed straight to Lincoln Speedway.
We pulled into the parking lot at Lincoln at 4:45 and by now the skies were overcast with gray rain clouds. In looking at Lincoln Speedway and Port Royal Speedway we decided Lincoln had the best shot at getting in the entire show. The rain would hit Port Royal first but Lincoln would not be far behind. The skies worsened and we waited until the last minute to buy our tickets for the event. Once in we found the stands were full as usual and considering the weather conditions there was a great crowd on hand. The one thing the fans know about Lincoln is if they can possibly get a show in they will do everything to make it happen. Because of this they show up when the weather situation looks bleak.
Wayne Harper made the announcement that they were going to do everything possible to get the show in and there would be no intermission and the cars better be pre-staged for their races or they would be left behind. The first heat took the green at 6:59, one minute before the scheduled starting time. Tonight the 358 sprints, the 410 sprints and the 358 late models were on the schedule. Each week Lincoln runs a contest on how many cautions would be thrown during the qualifying events. You put your ticket in the canister with the number you believe will be correct and then a winning ticket is drawn from that canister after all the qualifying is complete. Many nights after three divisions the number of cautions in all three divisions is 4, 5, maybe 7, but not tonight when rain is on the way and you want to keep things moving. The caution waved 17 times and two of those 17 times turned into red flags. Isn’t that the way it usually goes when you try to hurry things along.
There were thirty-one 410’s in the pits. It appeared Fred Rahmer, Lance Dewease, Greg Hodnett and Darren Pittman were also looking at the weather map. These four drivers are running Port Royal this year but must have felt Lincoln had a better shot at getting in the race. Turns out they were right. Port Royal wound up canceling their show around 8:00 when they gave into the rain. Around the same time drops started to fall at Lincoln as the first of three late models heats was taking the green. Fortunately the rain stopped and as you will see did not come back until the final checkered fell.
At 9:10 the 25 lap 410 sprint feature paying $3,200 to win took the green. The track was fast and furious and on lap 7 the first caution flag waved. Aaron Ott and Bill Stine collided in turn one while battling for second. Not only did it end both of their nights they also collected fourth place runner Alan Krimes. This would be the only caution of the event. The racing was great with two of the best high riders at Lincoln running up front. In the end the battle for the lead was between Danny Dietrich and multi time track champion, Brian Montieth. The crowd on hand was divided as to who they wanted to see win but no matter who you were rooting for you appreciated the show. Dietrich won with Montieth second and Lance Dewease finishing third. Early leader Gerard McIntyre finished fourth. Cory Haas rounded out the top five. The top three finishers started 8th, 9th and 11th. Yes, World of Outlaws you do not need to start in the front two rows to win. Not to mention it makes for a much better race for the fans.
Victory lane was cut a bit shorter than usual because the rain was still lurking among us. The 358 sprint feature started at 9:36 and they too ran off a quick event with the caution waving only twice in the 20 lap event. The winner of this event did start on the front row but it was a very popular win nevertheless and a very emotional victory lane. Jacob Allen, the 17 year old son of the legendary Bobby Allen, won his first 358 sprint feature at Lincoln. It was a who’s who in victory lane with father Bobby Allen, Joey Allen, Richard Lupo and cousin Logan Schuchart. There were lots of smiles and some tears of joy. It was a good feeling. Isaac Sneeringer was second with Kyle Moody third.
The 358 late model event was the final race on the card and it appeared the rain was going to hold off. This race was marred with cautions and after the fourth caution I started the trek out to the parking lot. In total there were 7 cautions in the 20 lap race. Bruce watched until the end as Larry Baer took the win. Then just as if someone called and told Mother Nature the last race was checkered, it started to rain.
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