ABBOTTSTOWN — Brian Montieth said he can’t wait for night racing. But the five-time defending track champion was near flawless in his flag-to-flag win in Sunday afternoon’s 25-lap 410 sprint car feature at Lincoln Speedway.
It was the second straight week that Lincoln Speedway officials utilized a Sunday rain date.
Most figured the race was won during the redraw for the feature.
“We won the lottery today, we started on the front row,” the Phoenixville driver said after earning the $3,200 payday for the Jerry Parrish-owned team. “That was pretty much the deal today. I’ll be glad when we go night racing, because the dirty air with these new wicker bills and stuff, it’s a mess. So I can’t wait for nights.”
Alan Krimes and Montieth led the field to the green flag. Montieth gained the edge exiting the fourth turn to lead the first lap.
Montieth’s Auto Locator No. 21 caught the rear of the field by the fifth lap, helping Krimes close the gap. The two were actually side by side at the line on both laps eight and nine.
Adam Wilt got by opening day winner Greg Hodnett for third with 10 laps complete but Hodnett put an outside move on Wilt a lap later to regain the spot.
Montieth caught a break on lap 12 when seventh-running Billy Dietrich spun in turn two. Hodnett got around Krimes for the runner-up spot on lap 17 and quickly ran down Montieth, who again, was working through traffic.
Hodnett was on Montieth’s bumper when the pair came down the front stretch to complete lap 22 when Cole Duncan’s car lost power directly in front of the leaders. Both drivers, along with two other cars running at the rear of the field, but just in front of the leaders, all took evasive action to miss Duncan.
“I shut my eyes and I came out of it,’ Montieth joked. “It was close. It was a lot closer than I wanted it to be.”
With an open track following the yellow, Montieth was home free. He drove away to capture his 51st career win in the Pigeon Hills and first of 2016.
“You can’t ever count Greg out,” Montieth said. “That’s why when I was back in lapped traffic, I figured I’ll just drive around and hope for a caution. Everything fell into place for us ... and that’s why we’re here.”
Hodnett settled for the runner-up spot, trailed by Krimes, Freddie Rahmer and Wilt, with Austin Hogue, Jim Siegel, Robbie Kendall, Danny Dietrich and Cory Haas completing the top 10.
Heats for the 26 410 sprints were won by Freddie Rahmer, Billy Dietrich and Glenndon Forsythe. Mark Smith won the consolation.
Lincoln Speedway returns to action next Saturday with another 410 sprints-only program beginning at 2 p.m. Gates open at noon. There will be an open practice for other divisions following the feature. As has been the case for the first two races of the season, Lincoln will use a rain date the following day Sunday, March 13, if needed.