posted April 01, 2001 08:11 PM
CRIS EASH POWERS TO FIRST WIN OF THE SEASON AT WILLIAMS GROVE
MECHANICSBURG, PA, 4/1/01 - "We had an awesome race car".
Cris Eash couldn't have said it any better. Eash charged from his 10th
starting position to pass York's Jeff Rohrbaugh on the seventh lap for the
lead. He then drove away from the field the rest of the way to pick up his
first win of the season in the 25 lap super sprint feature at Williams Grove
Speedway Sunday afternoon.
"Our goal is to come here every week to win the point championship," Eash
said. "Rahmer's been tough here and Kreitz has been good...and Lance Dewease
has been real strong."
"That's what we're shooting for. It's going to be a tough task."
Polesitter Rohrbaugh grabbed the lead at the drop of the green with outside
frontrow starter Curt Michael, Todd Shaffer (who started fourth), Dave Ely
(who started third) and Todd Gracey (who started sixth) in tow.
A spin by Greg Hodnett in the second turn on the second lap brought out the
race's first caution. Rohrbaugh was able to maintain the lead on the restart
as Shaffer and Michael battled for second. But a spin by Shaffer in the
third and fourth turns of the third lap ended the battle and brought out
caution once again.
Meanwhile, Eash had quietly moved up into fifth from his 10th starting
position on the restart as Rohrbaugh began to fight off the challenges of
Dave Ely for the lead. Eash quickly got around Gracey and then Michael to
move into third by the fifth lap.
But the action came to a quick halt on the sixth lap when newcomer Jeremy
Campbell tangled with Hodnett, Shaffer, Mike Erdley and Brook Weibley on the
first and second turns. Campbell flipped wildly out over the second turn
guardrail with Hodnett flipped as well. All drivers involved were not
The stoppage of action proved gave Eash's crew a chance to work on his
"It felt real good today," Eash said upon exiting his Garrett
Motorsports/Miller Brother's Chevrolet No.17E sprinter in victory lane. "Had
that red (flag) and changed a few shocks and the car got even better."
"I can't say enough about these guys (his crew). They do a heck of a good
job. We've been real fast but we haven't won any races...but our time is
On the restart Eash drove around Ely in the first and second turns to move
into second place and set his sight's on the race-leading Rohrbaugh. Eash
then wasted no time as he drove around the top of the first and second turns
one more time to grab the lead on the seventh lap.
"I knew I was good because I passed a couple cars on the top going into
turn one," Eash said. "I could pretty much flat-foot it all the way through
the corner until you got to the exit and got to spinning a little bit."
The race's final caution came out on the eighth lap for Mark Smith who had
spun in the fourth turn. Eash simply pulled away on the restart and drove
through lapped traffic over the remaining non-stop laps to take the
checkered over a charging Keith Kauffman by 2.08 seconds.
"I seen Kauffman was behind the number 29 (Ely) and then a little bit later
he was in front of him," Eash said. "I Got into a little heavy lapped
traffic and that held me up a little bit, but we had a really good car and
I'm sure Keith (Kauffman) had a really good car to."
Eash's 17th career Williams Grove win was worth $3,000, and kept his streak
intact of finishing every race at the historical Mechanicsburg half-mile in
the top-10. Eash has also registered two top-five finishes as well as his
win on Sunday.
"I'd really like to thank my sponsors," Eash added. "I've got to look at
the car here to see them all...Miller Brothers, Battlefield Harley Davidson,
G&G Promotions, Bricker French Fries, Budweiser, Newcomer's Sunoco."
If it wasn't for these guys I wouldn't be out here on the track."
Ely settled for third, with Donnie Kreitz Jr. fourth, and current Grove
point leader Lance Dewease fifth. Completing the top-10 were Sean Michael,
Fred Rahmer, Rohrbaugh, Shawn Keen, and Curt Michael.
Heats for the 29 super sprinters on hand were won by Dewease, Rohrbaugh,
and Curt Michael, with Smith winning the consolation.
Landisburg's Mark Richard took a lesson from Eash's winning run on the
cushion and used it to perfection in winning the 20 lap 358 sprint feature
for his first win of the year. Richard, who started seventh, tracked down
polesitter and race-long leader T.J. Stutts with two laps remaining to take
the lead and then pulled away for the win.
Stutts, who won the night before at Selinsgrove, settled for second, with
Eric Stambaugh finishing a solid third, Brian Eichelberger was fourth, and
Cory Haas fifth. Completing the top-10 was Joe Whitcomb, Dale Hammaker, Rich
Eichelberger, Billy Albright, and Jake Raudabaugh.
Heats for the 42 "358" Sprints were won by Whitcomb, Rusty Pressley, Tim
Hershey, and Hammaker. Twin consolation events were won by Greg Leiby and
Sunday - April 1, 2001
WILLIAMS GROVE SPEEDWAY
Feature (25 Laps) - 1. Cris Eash ($3,000); 2. Keith Kauffman; 3. Dave Ely;
4. Donnie Kreitz Jr.; 5. Lance Dewease; 6. Sean Michael; 7. Fred Rahmer; 8.
Jeff Rohrbaugh; 9. Shawn Keen; 10. Curt Michael; 11. Len Thompson; 12. Todd
Hestor; 13. Todd Gracey; 14. Chris Knopp; 15. Brook Weibley; 16. George
Suprick; 17. Darren Eash; 18. Mark Smith; 19. Mike Erdley; 20. Rick
Lafferty; 21. Bob Bennett; 22. Greg Hodnett; 23. Jeremy Campbell; 24. Todd
Shaffer. No Time
Lap Leaders - Jeff Rohrbaugh (1-6), Cris Eash (7-25)
Heat Winners - Lance Dewease, Jeff Rohrbaugh, Curt Michael
Consolation Winner - Mark Smith
Feature (20 Laps) - 1. Mark Richard; 2. T.J. Stutts; 3. Eric Stambaugh; 4.
Brian Eichelberger; 5. Cory Haas; 6. Joe Whitcomb; 7. Dale Hammaker; 8. Rich
Eichelberger; 9. Billy Albright; 10. Jake Raudabaugh; 11. Joe Ilg; 12. Tim
Hershey; 13. Billy Johns; 14. Kevin Welsh; 15. Scott Ausherman; 16. Greg
Leiby; 17. Rusty Pressley; 18. Todd Reed; 19. Babe Mader; 20. Mike Creaghan;
21. Brian Marriott; 22. Adrian Shaffer; 23. Jeremy Gardner; 24. Matt Boland.
Lap Leaders - T.J. Stutts (1-18), Mark Richard (19-20)
Heat Winners - Joe Whitcomb, Rusty Pressley, Tim Hershey, Dale Hammaker
Connsolation Winners - Greg Leiby, Brian Marriott