2012.04.23 // DOUG SEEGER: Wide Open Weekly
4-23-12 I didn’t get the chance to write a column last week so this week I am going to cover the last two races that I attended. For the past two Friday night events, I made the trip to Williams Grove Speedway. On Friday night April 13th Alan Krimes drove to victory for only the second time in his career at the Grove. This past Friday night was the first really big event on the docket at Williams Grove with the $6,000 to win Spring Classic where Chad Layton took home the victory.
Let’s start off with the Friday April 13th program. The 25-lap feature event went green with Daryn Pittman rocketing past front row starters Curt Michael and Davey Sammons to grab the lead. Pittman set a torrid pace as the racing throughout the field was intense. A pair of multi car crashes slowed the field. Pittman looked to be almost impossible to beat on this night but to the surprise of many, Alan Krimes stole the show when it was all said and done.
Krimes started in the sixth position made it up third at one point and then faded back to fifth before making a late race surge. Krimes worked the low line around the Grove to perfection as he rocketed past Brian Montieth to grab the second spot. Krimes then set his sights on leader Pittman and made the pass one lap later to grab the lead. Krimes began to drive away from Pittman before a late race red for a multiple car wreck that included several top five runners brought the action to a halt.
Krimes did a masterful job to hold off Pittman and ninth starting Fred Rahmer when racing resumed over the final few circuits. The win was only the second times Krimes parked the family owned No. 87 in victory lane. His other Williams Grove victory came in the Mitch Smith Memorial during Pennsylvania Speedweek last year. Rick Lafferty and Logan Schuchart rounded out the top five. Heat race victories for the 30-car field went to Sammons, Krimes and Michael. In the companion 358 Sprint Car feature, Nate Hammaker raced home to the victory.
This past Friday night the Grove was back in action with the first of many time trial races on the season at the historic ½-mile. This was annual Spring Classic run in honor of the late great Tommy Hinnershitz and paid $6,000 to the winner. The 30-lap feature event went green with Chad Layton keeping fellow front row starter Daryn Pittman at bay. Layton looked very strong aboard the Dave Middleswarth owned No. 7 as he pulled away from the field. Disaster struck Fred Rahmer on lap four when Aaron Ott slid the Chad and Jenn Clemens owned No. 51 into the turn four wall as the pair race for third. Rahmer tried to save his mount but Doug Esh had no place to go and got into the back of the 51 machine sending Rahmer into a light flip. Rahmer was towed to the pits and would not rejoin the field which resulted in him losing his point lead at the end of the night.
Layton continued to maintain a healthy lead throughout the early part of the race as Greg Hodnett moved into the second spot after starting in sixth. A red flag for fuel with just eight laps to go would set the stage for late race dash to the cash. With the current hot streak Hodnett has been on, it seemed that another win was right around the corner. The feature went green for the final time with Layton pulling away from Hodnett and maintaining a healthy lead to score his second career Spring Classic victory. Pittman, Esh and Ott completed the top five.
Rounding out the top ten were Brian Montieth, Danny Dietrich, Logan Schuchart, Alan Krimes and Sam Hafertepe Jr who was making his first start of the season at the Grove in the Zemco No. 1 machine. Schuchart paced the 37-car field in time trials with a lap of 17.051. Heat race victories went to Esh, Dietrich, Pittman and Layton. Jac Haudenschild claimed the consolation race victory aboard the Vern Wasson No. 5 entry. Williams Grove will be back in action this Friday night as the All Star Circuit of Champions will make the first of two appearances this season. For more information on the Grove be sure to visit http://www.williamsgrove.com
Other Regional Winners from this past weekend from Pennsylvania and Ohio:
Wayne County Speedway in Orrville Ohio opened for the 2012 season on Friday night. Andrew Palker took home the win in the 410 Sprint feature. Attica Raceway Park in Attica Ohio would fall victim to rain last Friday night after the heat races were completed. Limaland Speedway was also able to complete the heat races before getting washed out on Friday night. Lernerville Speedway in Sarver Pennsylvania opened for 2012 season with former track champion Kevin Schaeffer taking the victory. Port Royal Speedway, Lincoln Speedway and Mercer Raceway Park were all washed out on Saturday night. The weather cleared in time for Fremont Speedway to open last Saturday night. Shane Stewart came from 13th starting spot to grab the win.