MECHANCISBURG – Cory Haas drove by a fading Rodney Westhafer in turn three coming for the white flag and would lead the final lap to win the Billy Kimmel Memorial Sunday night at Williams Grove Speedway.
Haas, of Dallastown, earned $3,800, plus lap money, for his sixth career Grove win and first of the season in a car owned by Mike Barshinger.
Westhafer started second driving a replica Kimmel No. 47 and drove into the lead.
“Our program has been getting better, but we've been having some dumb stuff happen,” said Haas. “The car has been fast here the last month, but circumstances have kept us from winning. We built this car today and finished it up at 4 o'clock. I told Mike I was going to run the crap out of it and whatever happens, happens.”
The cars followed each other around a very fast outside groove. The first caution flag flew with nine laps completed when Danny Dietrich slowed to a stop.
Following the restart, Haas put a third turn slider on Tim Glatfelter to take second. Lance Dewease made the same move by Glatfelter to take third.
Lucas Wolfe drove by Pat Cannon and Glatfelter and was up to fourth as Westhafer maintained a comfortable lead over Haas with 14 laps completed. Point leader Greg Hodnett and Brian Montieth followed them.
Wolfe's good run came to an end when he blew a left rear tire exiting turn two with 16 laps completed.
Haas didn't get a good restart and Westhafer was able to get away, but Haas began to close the gap with five laps to go.
He tried to duck under Westhafer in turns one and two, but Westhafer's momentum off the top kept him out front.
The next time around, Westhafer tried to block the bottom and Haas stayed on the top. The leader was loose off turn two and Haas was there along with the third, fourth and fifth as well.
Haas squeezed under him entering turn three and emerged the leader under the white flag as a wild last lap scramble began.
Westhafer began to fade as Dewease would get by on the final lap along with Hodnett and Montieth. Westhafer ended up fifth.
“The engine starting cutting in and out with about five to go,” said Westhafer. “It was starting to get low on fuel. We checked and we have two or three gallons left in the tank. From running the top and it sloshing around in there, it kept missing the pick-up. We lost brakes on lap five and I drove around this place with no brakes. I can't thank the Kimmel Family enough for giving me the opportunity to run this car. I wish I could have parked it here for the family and for Billy tonight.”
Freddie Rahmer finished sixth after starting 13th. Pat Cannon, Glatfelter, Brent Marks and Doug Esh rounded out the top 10.
Hodnett, Montieth and Haas won heat races for the 22 cars.
Mechanicsburg's Kevin Nouse started 10th and drove by Matt Findley entering turn three to take the lead on lap eight of the finale of the Nouse Signs and Graphics Summer Series for the 358 sprints.
On a lap 15 restart, second place Matt Campbell tried a slider in the first turn and drilled Nouse sending him over the second turn fence and through a billboard. Both drivers were okay. Campbell was allowed to restart.
Findley led for one more lap before Chase Dietz drove by and began to pull away. Doug Hammaker moved into second, but couldn't challenge Dietz for the win. Adrian Shaffer, Findley, and Eric Parker completed the top five. Brie Hershey, Chandler Leiby, Campbell, Nyle Berkes and Amy Ott rounded out the top 10.
Heat races for the 25 cars in the 358 sprints were won by Cody Fairchok, Chase Dietz, and Kevin Nouse.
Sprint Car Feature (25 laps): 1. Cory Haas. 2. Lance Dewease. 3. Greg Hodnett. 4. Brian Montieth. 5. Rodney Westhafer. 6. Freddie Rahmer. 7. Pat Cannon. 8. Tim Glatfelter. 9. Brent Marks. 10. Doug Esh. 11. Austin Hogue. 12. Kyle Moody. 13. Jordan Givler. 14. Nicole Bower. 15. Troy Fraker. 16. Lucas Wolfe. 17. Glenndon Forsythe. 18. Danny Dietrich. 19. Dan Shetler. 20. Justin Barger. 21. Karl Baker. 22. Brandon Rahmer.
358 Sprints (25 laps) 1. Chase Dietz. 2. Doug Hammaker. 3. Adrian Shaffer. 4. Matt Findley. 5. Eric Parker. 6. Brie Hershey. 7. Chandler Leiby. 8. Matt Campbell. 9. Nyle Berkes. 10. Amy Ott. 11. DJ Montgomery. 12. Ryan Higgins. 13. Tyler Esh. 14. Lucas Montgomery. 15. Sammy Sebodra. 16. Jeff Halligan .17. Kevin Nouse. 18. Chad Trout. 19. Russell Hammaker. 20. Kyle Denmyer. 21. Cody Fairchok. 22. Rich Eichelberger. 23. Bill Stine. 24. Phil Walter. DNQ Brian Garland.