Knaub comes from 11th to claim season opener for 358 late models; Watson wins thundercar “Spring Thaw 20”

ABBOTTSTOWN, PA , 3/23/13 – “This ranks up there with all the wins of my whole career,” said a jubilant Cole Duncan after claiming his first career Lincoln win in the 25-lap “410” sprint car feature Saturday evening.

“I want to thank all you fans for coming out,” said Duncan after exiting his Bobby Labonte Racing #22 in victory lane, “The only place in the country that would pack a place when it’s 35 degrees is Central Pennsylvania. That’s why it’s so fun to come out here and race. The promoters that put this race on…everywhere else cancelled, we had plenty of options to go to, but we decided to come here because it’s’ the only place racing.”
The win came one day after the Lockbourne, Ohio racer’s 21st birthday, and Duncan became the 200th different winner in sprint car competition in Lincoln history.

Points handicapping placed Duncan on the pole for the feature event, and he led every lap, despite heavy late-race pressure from opening day winner and four-time track champ Brian Montieth as the two raced through heavy lapped traffic.
Montieth, who started tenth, advanced to fourth by the end of the first lap and caught Greg Hodnett for the runner-up spot on lap seven. At the time, Duncan hit lapped traffic for the first time.

A red flag for the flipping cars of Billy Pauch, Jr. and then Jason Leffler put Montieth on Duncan’s back bumper for the ensuing eighth-lap restart.

Duncan pulled away over the next seven laps until lapped traffic again became a factor. Montieth closed and pulled alongside Duncan in nearly every turn just before the final caution of the race came out on lap 18 for Logan Schuchart, who came to a stop on the back stretch.

“He (Montieth) kept poking his nose under there, and I kept telling myself that I don’t care what he does, I’m not lifting. He raced me clean. That was awesome. If he wouldn’t have raced me clean, we probably would have both been hanging in the catch fence, because I wasn’t gonna lift to win at this place.”

On the final restart, third-place Brent Marks (who started 12th), attempted a slider on Montieth, giving Duncan the space he needed to pull off the upset win. Montieth closed again on the final lap, but couldn’t pull off the pass in the final turns to the checkered.

Duncan’s win was worth $3,300, thanks to a $100 contribution from John Gleim, Jr. Restart Raffle winner Kevin Strausbaugh, who gave his winnings to Duncan in memory of his father Thomas, who passed away Sunday after attending Lincoln races weekly for 40 years.

Marks crossed, followed by Fred Rahmer and Hodnett. Sixth through tenth were Danny Dietrich, Cory Haas (racing the car he crashed opening day), J.J. Grasso, Jim Siegel, and Lance Dewease.

“There’s no better local competition than Central PA,” said Duncan, “To come beat these guys, I don’t care if I started on the pole or not, that was a lot of fun. I just respect all these guys so much. To win here is awesome!”

Heats for the 27 “410” Sprinters were won by Alan Krimes, Jim Siegel, and Brent Marks.

Gene Knaub came from 11th starting spot to claim the season opening win in the 358 late model division.

The Superior Homes #1 came on late to track down Jake Jones and become the event’s fourth different leader in turns three and four of lap 15.

Outside front row starter Brad Shank led the first two laps before spinning in turn two. That handed the lead over to polesitter Bernie Beard, who paced the field until Jones caught the “X” car on lap five. Jones led the next laps before Knaub drove under the Miller Auto Parts #43 to take the lead for good.

Knaub moved into fourth on lap seven, caught Paul Cursey for third on lap 11, and then drove by Beard for the runner-up spot on lap 11, all under green flag racing conditions.

Jones settled for second, with Cursey crossing third, and Beard and Chase Billet rounding out the top five. Kyle Lear, 22nd starting Grant Adams (who was unable to start his heat), Cam Zeigler, Travis Mease, and Ron Coleman completed the top ten.

Heats for the 25 “358” Late Models were won by Lear, Knaub, and Billet.

Defending track champ Duane Watson started on the pole by luck of the draw and led every lap, including a one-lap dash to the checkered, in the season-opening “Spring Thaw 20” for the thundercars.

It was Watson’s 38th career win in the Pigeon Hills, and was worth $500.

Brian Walls finished second, with Todd Miller, Jimmy Combs, and Danny Beard completing the top five.

Heats for the 14 Thundercars were won by Watson and Miller.

Lincoln swings back into action next Saturday, March 23rd (6 PM) with the annual 410 Sprint Spring Championship paying $4,000 to win. The 358 Sprints will return for their second event of 2013, and the Central PA Legends will join the card in their first Lincoln appearance of the year. Gates will open at 4 PM, with time trials for the 410 sprinters getting underway at 6 PM.

To get all the latest news, results, schedule changes and rule changes, visit Lincoln Speedway’s website at http://www.lincolnspeedway.com to stay up-to-date on all the action or pending weather conditions at Central Pennsylvania’s “Premier” Saturday night race track – The Fabulous Lincoln Speedway.

Sat., March 23, 2013
Abbottstown, PA
Feature (25-Laps) – 1. 22-Cole Duncan ($3,200); 2. 21-Brian Montieth; 3. 19M-Brent Marks; 4. 20S-Fred Rahmer; 5. 39-Greg Hodnett; 6. 48-Danny Dietrich; 7. 11C-Cory Haas; 8. 25-JJ Grasso; 9. 59-Jim Siegel; 10. 27-Lance Dewease; 11. 87-Alan Krimes; 12. 15-Adam Wilt; 13. 50-Tim Glatfelter; 14. 8R-Michael Ruttkamp; 15. 14-Gerard McIntyre, Jr.; 16. 92-Ryan Smith; 17. 1S-Logan Schuchart (DNF); 18. 2W-Glenndon Forsythe (DNF); 19. 4-John Rudisill (DNF); 20. B52-Scott Geesey (DNF); 21. 21A-Will Rose (DNF); 22. 29-Ryan Wilson (DNF); 23. 56-Billy Pauch, Jr. (DNF); 24. 13-Jason Leffler (DNF). No Time

Lap Leaders – Cole Duncan (1-25)

1st Heat (10 Laps/6 to qualify) – 1. 87-Alan Krimes; 2. 12-Brian Montieth; 3. 48-Danny Dietrich; 4. 56-Billy Pauch, Jr.; 5. 50-Tim Glatfelter; 6. 14-Gerard McIntyre, Jr.; 7. 21A-Will Rose; 8. 55K-Robbie Kendall (DNF); 9. 8-Billy Dietrich (DNF). No Time

2nd Heat (10 Laps/6 to qualify) – 1. 59-Jim Siegel; 2. 29-Ryan Wilson; 3. 27-Lance Dewease; 4. 22-Cole Duncan; 5. 11C-Cory Haas; 6. 13-Jason Leffler; 7. 1S-Logan Schuchart; 8. 15-Adam Wilt; 9. 4-John Rudisill. Time – 2:17.329

3rd Heat (10 Laps/6 to qualify) – 1. 19M-Brent Marks; 2. 20S-Fred Rahmer; 3. 25-J.J. Grasso; 4. 39-Greg Hodnett; 5. 8R-Michael Ruttkamp; 6. 2W-Glenndon Forsythe; 7. 92-Ryan Smith; 8. B52-Scott Geesey (DNF); 9. 1A-Jacob Allen (DNS). No time.

Feature (20-Laps) – 1. 1-Gene Knaub ($700); 2. 43-Jake Jones; 3. 37-Paul Cursey; 4. X-Bernie Beard; 5. 22-Chase Billet; 6. 151-Kyle Lear; 7. 64-Grant Adams; 8. 21Z-Cam Zeigler; 9. 116-Travis Mease; 10. 72-Ron Coleman; 11. 62-Devin Frey; 12. 9-Matt Adams; 13. 14-Tyler Horst; 14. 121-Larry Neiderer; 15. 57-Brad Shank; 16. 5-Jed Latshaw; 17. 5-John Moser; 18. 68-Caar Leach; 19. 7-Pat Beard (DNF); 20. 18-Tommy Slanker (DNF); 21. 4S-Danny Snyder (DNF); 22. 18-Travis McClelland (DNF); 23. 12-Charlie Schaeffer (DNS); 24. 29-Steve Clabaugh (DNS). No time.

Lap Leaders – Brad Shank (1-2), Bernie Beard (3-4), Jake Jones (5-14), Gene Knaub (15-20)

1st Heat (8 Laps/6 to qualify) – 1. 151-Kyle Lear; 2. 116-Travis Mease; 3. 121-Larry Niederer; 4. 14-Tyler Horst; 5. 12-Charlie Scheaffer (DNF); 6. 7-Pat Beard(DNF); DNS – 18-Travis McClelland, 64-Grant Adams. Time – 2:11.84

2nd Heat (8 Laps/6 to qualify) – 1. 1-Gene Knaub; 2. 37-Paul Cursey; 3. 43-Jake Jones; 4. 57-Brad Shank; 5. 29-Steve Clabaugh; 6. 5-Jed Latshaw; 7. 68-Carl Leech; 8. 18-Tommy Slanker *DNF). Time – 2:08.78 (New 8-Lap Track Record)

3rd Heat (8 Laps/6 to qualify) – 1. 22-Chase Billet; 2. 4S-Danny Snyder; 3. 21Z-Cam Zeigler; 4. X-Bernie Beard; 5. 72-Ron Coleman; 6. 5-John Moser; 7. 9-Matt Adams; 8. 62-Devin Frey. No Time

Feature (20-Laps) – 1. 3W-Duane Watson ($500); 2. 2W-Brian Walls; 3. 3-Todd Miller; 4. 54J-Jimmy Combs; 5. 60-Danny Beard; 6. 83-Mikey Guise; 7. 11-Bobby Beard; 8. 44-Tom Walls III; 9. 11S-John Stoll, Jr.; 10. 101-Dave Good, Sr.; 11. 39-Wayne Dutterer (DNF); 12. 72-Jason Townsend (DNF); 13. 23-Donnie Murphy (DNS); 14. 81J-Jamie Zentmyer (DNS). No Time

Lap Leaders – Duane Watson (1-20)

1st Heat (8 Laps) – 1. 3W-Duane Watson; 2. 23-Donnie Murphy; 3. 44-Tom Walls III; 4. 101-Dave Good, Sr.; 5. 81J-Jamie Zentmyer (DNF); 6. 72-Jason Townsend (DNS); 7. 11S-John Stoll, Jr. (DNS). Time – 2:35.68

2nd Heat (8 Laps) – 1. 3-Todd Miller; 2. 2W-Brian Walls; 3. 39-Wayne Dutterer; 4. 83-Mikey Guise; 5. 11-Bobby Beard; 6. 54J-Jimmy Combs; 7. 60-Danny Beard (DNF). Time – 2:36.84