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Saturday, July 16 - The decision was made to make the trek to Abbottstown, PA, the home of the Lincoln Speedway, for the triple header of 410 sprints, URC sprints and thundercars. Since it was a 360/358 challenge race the URC cars with the few added 358’s (3) would run a one lap time trial to determine starting positions with the fastest four qualfiers inverting for the feature and starting up front. Ed Aiken was the last car out for time trials and stopped the clocks at 14.837 seconds around the 4/10 mile semi-banked dirt oval for the fast time of the night. Time trials ended at 7:45 and just 15 minutes later the first of three heats for the 25 URC sprinters was trackside. They were spun off quickly (20 minutes) followed immediately by the three heats for the 28 410 sprinters on hand. Finally two thundercar heats were run for their 17 car field and all heat racing was in the books by 9:05. Only the 410 sprints needed a consie with John Barnett winning that one. Intermission was next on the card with a short 20 minute stoppage taken before the 25 lap 410 sprint car feature was called to the post. This is one of the things we like at Lincoln and Williams Grove is that the top class runs their feature first thus having the best racing surface to perform on.
The 25 lap 410 feature was the strangest one we have witnessed in quite some time with three different drivers doing complete 360 degree spins and continuing without bringing out the caution and their spins were not at the back of the field but instead either in the front of the middle of the pack. In fact one of the spinners was second running Gerard McIntyre Jr. who looped it between turns one and two on lap 13 with third running Brent Marks caught up in the mishap. Meanwhile Alan Krimes took advantage of the situation and advanced from fourth to second while this unfolded. McIntyre did a complete 360 spin before continuing with both him and Marks only losing one position each. Meantime up front Kevin Nouse, the new driver of the John Pinter #92, was holding off all challenges looking for his first Lincoln triumph. Somehow young McIntyre righted the ship and charged back forward to pass Krimes for second late and coming off the fourth turn for the white flag he used the high side to blast by Nouse into the lead. One lap later he flashed under starter, Galen Koller’s checkered flag first scoring the unlikely spin and win victory, the first I have seen happen since Danny Sullivan pulled the trick at the Indianapolis 500 passing Mario Andretti after spinning earlier. It was truly bizarre!! The happy winner explained in victory lane he had no idea how he pulled this one off but was overjoyed that he won. McIntyre became the 10th different winner in 17 races run at the Pigeon Hills oval in 2011. Nouse hung on for second with Danny Dietrich, last week’s feature winner, making a late charge from 12th to finish third with Alan Krimes fourth and Brent Marks rounding out the top five. This one was over by 10:06.
The 25 lap URC sprint car feature was next up and took the green flag at 10:26. The track was worn out and the smaller cubic inch sprinters were having a difficult time getting the power to the ground. Therefore passing was at a premium and that was good for second starting Curt Michael who started in the top four after previous top four qualifier, Aaron Ott, blew his motor in the heat race and Michael moved up from fifth. This race went non-stop in 8 minutes with Rory Janney making up some serious ground over the last five laps to close on Michael but not enough to attempt a pass on the leader. It was Michael’s 45th career URC victory and his first of 2011. Chasing the top two across the line were Dave Ely, Kevin Nagy from 9th and Ed Aiken. Glenndon Forsythe, one of the regular Lincoln 358 runners, made the biggest charge advancing from 11th to finish 6th. This checker waved at 10:34 and we decided to forgo the thundercar feature to make the 2 1/2 hour tow back to eastern Pennsylvania.
Yes, it was a strange night and people will be talking about the spin and win 410 sprint feature won by Gerard McIntyre Jr. for some time to come.
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