HANOVER, Pa. — For the final six laps of Friday’s 25-lap 358 sprint feature at Trail-Way Speedway, it was a return to the past.
In a duel of the top two feature winners in the track’s 358 sprint history, Jeff Rohrbaugh and Brad McClelland held the top two positions over the final six laps before Rohrbaugh edged McClelland by 75-hundredths of a second at the checkered flag for his first victory of the 2013 season.
“That’s what the fans pay to see. Brad and I had a pretty good rivalry there a couple of years ago and it’s good to see him in a good car. A hell of a competitor, him and Cris (Eash, who placed third) both,” Rohrbaugh said, adding, “I started in front of them both, so I had the benefit.”
Rohrbaugh began his drive to victory in sixth place, but had driven to second place behind polesitter Shane Hoff by the end of the first lap. Rohrbaugh chased Hoff for the first three laps before passing the New Oxford driver in the second turn of the fourth lap.
From there, Rohrbaugh was never headed, but it has hardly a smooth Friday night drive. While Rohrbaugh drove his customary low line around the third-mile oval, he endured one caution flag for the spinning car of Cody Fletcher in turn four before something much bigger happened.
Brad Gleason, who made a quick trip to the pits before the green flag fell, exited turn four low on the 19th lap, drifted into the frontstretch wall and rolled two times at the flagstand before leaping into the catch fence and to a sudden stop. The Walkersville, Md., driver was unhurt, but the contact ended his night, broke two fence posts and a public address speaker and forced a delay of more than 10 minutes while track personnel made repairs. Fans sitting in the vicinity of the broken fence were asked to leave that area for the rest of the program.
When the cars were given the OK to move after the red flag, Hoff, who was running second, went to the infield instead to end his race. That put McClelland, who had started 10th, behind Rohrbaugh, but he could not catch him
Grant Adams won the late model feature and Cory Weisharr bested the limited stock field.