HOUSEHOLDER: Despite weather hurdles, Lincoln Speedway manages successful opener
With snow very much evident on surrounding properties, Lincoln Speedway still managed to kick off the local racing season under sunny skies late Saturday afternoon.
With overnight rain and snow on Friday evening, Lincoln officials wisely elected to move back the starting time from 2 p.m. until 4 p.m. That allowed time for track crews to prepare the racing surface.
Yes, it was a February afternoon, and yes, things were still pretty wet, but the racing did go on. There were 26 410 sprint cars on hand. There was also a very good crowd of hardy race fans filling the stands and infield for the racing action.
Warm-ups went off without a hitch, and opening ceremonies started right on time at 4 p.m. The first of three heat races went off shortly thereafter. With 26 cars pit side, officials elected to forego a consolation race and start all the cars in the feature event. In place of a consy, Lincoln elected to do some extra track prep before the feature. The checkered flag dropped at 5:38 p.m.
Hanover’s Tim Wagaman drove to the victory in the Travis Esh No. 5e. It marked the second 410 sprint win for Wagaman, who last won at Lincoln in the 2014 Brandon Little Memorial Race. Wagaman was a close friend of Little’s, and the $5,000 opening-day Ice Breaker 30 win Saturday was perhaps the only thing that could top that Little Memorial win in his mind.
As noted, the track was still pretty wet, and passing was tough, although several drivers seemed able to do so. Lewisberry’s Kyle Moody got the lead at the start and looked to be in a good position to win. He admitted to being surprised that Wagaman was able to set up a pass on a sixth-lap restart. Moody felt his car was just as good as Wagaman’s, and that perhaps he was too complacent on that restart.
Poor pill draws for the heat races placed several notable drivers deep in the field, but several were able to move forward during the race.
Justin Peck, who is driving the Tom Buch No. 13 this year, came from 18th to finish ninth in the feature. At one point he was up to seventh, but a bid for sixth went awry and he dropped several positions.
Tyler Ross is back in Rick Lefevre’s No. 75, and smoothly and without much fanfare, drove from 19th to 10th.
Tim Shaffer in the Michael Heffner No. 72 came from 24th to 12th to actually pick up the most spots in the feature.
Defending race winner Danny Dietrich also had a deep-in-the-pack starting spot but dropped from the event early.
The opening lap of the first heat race was the undoing of two drivers. Defending track champ Freddie Rahmer and Steve Buckwalter touched wheels on the start of the heat race, with Rahmer spinning a complete 360 on the frontstretch, while Buckwalter then tangled with another car in the first turn and flipped. Both were able to start the feature, but dropped out on the first lap.
Fawn Grove’s Matt Campbell started his first full season with the newly repainted Jerry Parrish No. 21, and looked to be a good bet for the win. Campbell advanced to second at one point, and was challenging for the lead. His strongest bid for the lead met with woe when he got the car really sideways entering the first turn and bumped with Moody. Moody continued on, while Campbell dropped several spots before regaining his momentum.
Mackison brothers, Tyler Esh return: The Mackison brothers returned to what they hope will be a full season of racing this year on Saturday.
The third-generation racers from York sat out most of last season while building the family business. Now Hunter and Jordan are each back behind the wheel.
Hunter finished 13th in the feature, while Jordan was one of the early dropouts. Grandfather Johnny Mackison was one of this area’s top racers in the 1950s and early 1960s, while their father, Johnny Mackison Jr., also had a great sprint career later. Their grandfather from their mother’s side of the family was late-model star Larry Hare.
Tyler Esh returned to action Saturday as well.
The brother of the winning car owner, Travis Esh, Tyler was in a No. 35 that is owned by 358 sprint racer Jon Stewart. Tyler Esh finished 11th in the feature.
Hanover’s Dylan Norris plans to concentrate on the 410 sprints this year and has teamed with Scott Gobrecht for the season.
Norris also has a deep racing background. His father, Shawn Norris, is a noted sprint mechanic who is best known for his work with Cris Eash. Norris' grandfther, Dave, owned All Radiator Repair, which fielded sprint cars for a number of years.
This week: Lincoln returns to action this Saturday with another all-sprint show set for 2 p.m.
Port Royal is set to kick off its racing season on Sunday afternoon with the 410 sprints and late models on the racing slate.
Bryan Householder writes about dirt-track racing for The York Dispatch. He can be reached at email@example.com.
CHAMPION RACING OIL
CENTRAL PENNSYLVANIA SPRINT CAR SERIES
Presented by Hoseheads
(Wins in parenthesis)
1. Tim Wagaman Jr. (1) 50
2. Kyle Moody 35
3. Tim Glatfelter 30
4. Alan Krimes 25
5. Matt Campbell 20
6. Anthony Macri 18
7. Brandon Rahmer 16
8. Dylan Cisney 14
9. Justin Peck 12
10. Tyler Ross 10