Total posts: 3279
posted August 19, 2001 03:34 PM
KEEL STICKS AROUND TO CLAIM SECOND LINCOLN WIN
ABBOTTSTOWN, PA, 8/18/01 - After years of racing on the road, Weedsport,
New York's Craig Keel has now found how to win in Central Pennsylvania. Keel
grabbed the lead at the drop of the green and held off a hard-charging Brian
Montieth and Cris Eash over the last half of the race to register his second
win of the season in the 25-lap super sprint feature at Lincoln Speedway
"I'm just glad to be here in the winner's circle again," said a happy Keel
in victory lane.
But the race to the checkered was a rocky path, as Keel was forced to
withstand challenges on numerous restarts. And after opening up a
comfortable lead heading into the final lap, Keel appeared to bobble in the
final turns to the checkered, allowing Montieth to close in. But Keel held
on to take the checkered by 1.45 seconds ahead of the Phoenixville racer.
"I was going to try and do a wheelie, but I figured I better not ***** up,"
Keel added jokingly on a last turn bobble. "I figured I better just get up
there and finish the race."
"I was beginning to wonder if we were ever going to finish this deal," Keel
added after the crash-marred event. "I'm glad I didn't see the rest of it,
because I saw enough."
Keel grabbed the lead from his outside front row starting position over
polesitter Pat Cooper at the outset, with Glenndon Forsythe (who started
3rd), Josh Wells (who started 4th), and Jeff Rohrbaugh (who started 8th) in
tow before the first of several cautions came out.
The race's final caution waved on the 19th lap when Mark Coldren and Chris
Knopp both stopped exiting the fourth turn, forcing Keel to weather the
storm one last time.
"With Montieth and those other guys back there you try not to do the same
thing," Keel said in regards to the varied lines he drove on the numerous
restarts. "You try not to do everything the same, or otherwise they'll drive
on by you in the first turn. I was running way up toward the top, and that
pretty much leaves you wide open for a slider. So I was kind of running in
the middle on the restarts and they had to stick on the bottom if they
wanted to get by me. Chris (Eash) is normally pretty good down there...but
tonight he wasn't good enough."
"My dad and I have always done our own deal, and we got hooked up with Earl
(Potroff) from Pearl Technologies," Keel said on his racing deal this
season. "And he gave us enough money to go play for a little while."
Keel then added, "Mom always told me to never to play in the rain, so we
left a couple of weeks ago," in regards to giving up his front row starting
spot a few weeks ago during a three-hour rain delay.
Montieth and Eash finished second and third respectively, with Fred Rahmer
fourth, and Bobby Weaver fifth. Completing the top 10 were Rohrbaugh, Johnny
Mackison Jr., James Chesson, Wells, and Forsythe.
Mike Walls took the lead from outside front row starter Butch Harvey on the
second lap and led the rest of the way to score his second career Lincoln
win in the 20-lap thundercar feature. Also getting by Harvey early were
Duane Watson, Bobby Rudisill and Bobby Beard who raced nose-to-tail the
Ickesburg's Mark Freeland grabbed the lead from polesitter Gary Halteman
entering the first and second turns of lap eight and held off the challenges
of Bryan Kobylarz and then Ray Bull to claim the 25-lap ARDC wingless midget