ABBOTTSTOWN, Pa. – Tim Wagaman stood on Lincoln Speedway’s front stretch Saturday evening, overcome by joy and emotion after finally having something go right.
After a frustrating six-year winless drought, where speed never quite translated to victories, Wagaman put it all together Saturday to win the Ice Breaker at Lincoln Speedway.
It’s the 39-year-old’s first win since Aug. 10, 2014 and his second win at Lincoln.
Wagaman took the lead during a lap-five restart when he powered around Kyle Moody and led the final 25 laps. Moody finished second, .257 seconds behind.
“It means a lot because you’re so close all the time and you’re fast but you’re just not there sometimes,” Wagaman said. “I’m proud to rely on our team rather than luck, or anything like that. It made us happy today. These guys bust their butts and I’m happy to do it for them.”
During those six years, Wagaman has shown up to the track with speed, but left most race weekends empty handed. On Saturday, he made sure to capitalize on his chances, starting with a good pill draw for the feature.
Recent snowfall and a light overnight rain made for a heavy, narrow race track. Wagaman knew starting second for the feature would give him the second best shot to win behind Moody, who drew the pole.
Moody raced out to a two-second lead five laps in, taking advantage of a slow start by Wagaman. Then a caution waved for a slowing Jordan Mackison and everything changed.
“We had a gameplan, and it didn’t work out for the first start,” Wagaman said. “The second start, I said, ‘I have to make this happen.’”
Wagaman maintained with Moody going into turn one, where he then made his move around Moody, who kept his car pinned on the bottom. Initially, Wagaman was setting up a crossover, sweeping from the middle of the track and to the inside of Moody as they exited turn two. Instead, Wagaman shook free on the top and cleared Moody off the exit of turn two.
“I just kind of let it float out,” Wagaman said. “That was the name of the game. Then, we got to lapped traffic and I just had to be patient, not take too much or give too much. I didn’t need to be the fastest car at that point because the track was so narrow.”
For Moody, that was the most logical line: protect the bottom and keep that position down the backstretc going into an even narrower turns three and four.
“We talked about it earlier in the day, that on a restart somebody could get up there,” Moody said. “But I just did not think it was possible. Clearly, Timmy showed it was. I’m just so upset at myself I shut it down and ran the inside line to protect. That’s what cost me the race. In lapped traffic I thought I was going to get him back. I threw everything I had and that was it.”
Another caution came out for Chase Dietz and Jordan Givler, both battling inside the top-10, forcing Wagaman to survive a restart with 12 laps to go.
Once Wagaman got a smooth jump on the race’s final restart, he just had to run clean laps and the rest took care of itself.
“I just said, ‘I’m going to be patient,’” Wagaman said. “It’s so good to get this win. … We built so much from last year, and I think we have the potential to win some races.”
Tim Glatfelter rounded out the podium in third. Alan Krimes and Matt Campbell, who at one point challenged Wagaman for the lead with seven laps to go before being knocked out of line, comprised the top five.
Anthony Macri, Brandon Rahmer, Dylan Cisney, Justin Peck, and Tyler Ross made up the top 10.
Tim Shaffer, in his first race for Heffner Racing Enterprises in central Pennsylvania after strong showings in Florida, finished 12th from 24th. Danny Dietrich, central Pennsylvania’s winningest driver from a year ago, placed 21st.
Reigning Lincoln track champion Freddie Rahmer didn’t start the feature and was credited with 26th.
Tim Wagaman, Kyle Moody, Tim Glatfelter, Alan Krimes, Matt Campbell, Anthony Macri, Brandon Rahmer, Dylan Cisney, Justin Peck, Tyler Ross, Tyler Esh, Tim Shaffer, Hunter Jackison, Billy Dietrich, Chad Trout, Dylan Norris, Rick Lafferty, Chase Dietz, Jordan Givler, Scott Fisher, Danny Dietrich, Glendon Forsythe, Jordan Mackison, Greg Plank, Steve Buckwalter, Freddie Rahmer.