HANOVER, Pa. — Trail-Way Speedway has a new track champion. And it isn’t who most thought it would be.
In a wild turn of events, Hanover’s Tim Wagaman claimed his first-ever “358” track championship by coming from seventh starting spot to blow away the field in Friday’s 25-lap feature event.
Wagaman entered the final point race 16 points behind season-long points leader Kyle Moody and 13 points behind second-pace Mike Bittinger. The talk among most race fans was which of those two was going to take the track title.
But Bittinger suffered a broken lifter and came to a stop in turn four of lap eight. He went to the pits, ending his night and chance at the title.
Meanwhile, Moody fought an ill-handling car to an eighth-place finish, losing 19 points to winner Wagaman.
“I wasn’t sure I could win this thing myself,” said a jubilant Wagaman upon exiting his Blue Ribbon Exteriors/Ryan’s Landscaping #1* in victory lane, “My goal was to come here and win the race, and this car sure was good tonight.”
Good it was. Wagaman was already fourth by the end of the first lap, assumed third when Mike Duncan, Jr. spun to a stop in turn two of lap six, caught polesitter Alex Spalding for second on lap nine, and drove by third-starting Cris Eash to take the lead on lap 16. From there, he checked out on the field, crossing 4.25 seconds ahead of Eash.
“That’s too bad for Mike (Bittinger),” said Wagaman, “I wanted to beat him on the track, but that’s the way it goes. I can’t thank the guys on the crew enough. I know they’re pumped and should be. Everybody but Jason was here tonight and got to see this.”
“It takes a lot of mental will power to race here,” continued Wagaman, “I’ll put these Trail-Way drivers up against any drivers at any track. I want to thank all the fans for coming to see all their favorite drivers here at Trail-Way this year.”
In victory lane to join Wagaman’s celebration was Uncle Jeff Rohrbaugh, a multi-time track champ himself.
Crossing third was hard-charger Brad McClelland, who replaced a rear end between his heat and the feature and started 12th. Completing the top five were Austin Hogue (who finished fourth in season points behind Wagaman, Moody, and Bittinger) and Zach Euculano.
Dan Furman raced to his sixth win of the year in the 20-lap Extreme Stock feature, doing everything he could to win the season-long point title.
But Timothy Hahn’s fifth-place finish kept him one point in front of Furman to claim his second straight Trail-Way title.
Second through fourth were Bob Stough, Patrick McClane, and Joe Racine.
Jason Chronister scored his second win of the year in the non-stop 15-lap limited stock feature.
Chronister started third and took the lead from polesitter Julio Perez on the second lap. He led the rest of the way, with fourth-starting Shane Miller, fifth-starting Matt Chronister, 12th-starting track champ Kyle Rohrbaugh, and Sarah Redmond rounding out the top five.