Lincoln Sprints Hit Their Marks

Eventual winner Brent Marks leads Danny Dietrich during Saturday's sprint car feature at Pennsylvania's Lincoln Speedway. (Julia Johnson photo)
Eventual winner Brent Marks leads Billy Dietrich during Saturday’s sprint car feature at Pennsylvania’s Lincoln Speedway. (Julia Johnson photo)

ABBOTTSTOWN, Pa. — One week after setting the all-time Lincoln 10-lap track record, Brent Marks came from eight starting spot to claim his eighth career win in the Pigeon Hills in the final afternoon race of the season Saturday afternoon.

“The track was awesome today,” said Marks upon exiting his BAPS Auto Paints & Supply/Fredericksburg Eagle Hotel/ TJ’s Body Shop No. 19m. “This is a great race track and we had a lot of passing here, and it’s perfect for sliders. This was cool. I really enjoyed this race.”

The first handicapped show of the year put Marks on the outside of row four for the start. Polesitter Billy Dietrich grabbed the lead from fellow front row starter Cory Haas and led the first 16 laps. Marks was already in fifth by the end of the first lap and caught Gerard McIntyre, Jr. for third on lap four.

He was still running there when John Rudisill got together with Ryan Smith in turns three and four of lap seven. Both opening day winner Brian Montieth and J.J. Grasso sustained tire and suspension damage after hitting the wall while trying to take evasive action. They went to the pits and never returned.

Two laps later, Marks caught Haas for second, and was closing Dietrich when the caution came out for oil dropped onto the end of the front stretch by Greg Hodnett with 16 laps complete.

On the restart, Marks pulled a pair of sliders in each of the turns to make the race-winning pass.

“I knew I had to set him up on that restart,” said Marks, “I got maybe a half car length behind him there, and really couldn’t do anything with him. We both carried the same speed there. Once we got in lapped traffic, there was nowhere for me to peel off…so I just had to kinda’ sit there and wait for an opportunity. Luckily, we got that last yellow and I got a restart. I got down as soon as I could to get some bite, and he spun the tires a little bit. I just sailed it on in there, and it was awesome!”

His final margin of victory was .64 seconds over Lance Dewease, who passed both Haas and then Dietrich on the backstretch of lap 18.

“Fred (Putney) does an awesome job preparing this place,” continued Marks, “With all the snow they had here this week (5”), and to have a racetrack like this where it’s slick from the bottom to top…I love these types of race tracks. It really brings the driver out in you.”

Haas, who destroyed cars in each of the first two weeks, held on for third, with Dietrich and Logan Schuchart completing the top five. Sixth through tenth were Alan Krimes, Danny Dietrich, last week’s winner Jim Siegel, Hodnett, and Fred Rahmer.

Two-time Lincoln champ Jeff Rohrbaugh claimed his second straight opening day win in the 358 sprints. The leaders entered lapped traffic near the end, reducing Rohrbaugh’s final margin of victory over second-starting Shane Hoff to .91 seconds. It was also Rohrbaugh’s eighth career win in the Pigeon Hills. Hoff started second after Niki Young experienced motors problems while winning his heat, switching cars, and going to the rear for the start.

Crossing third was Eric Tomecek, with Ryan Wilson and Tyler Ross completing the top five.