Hagerstown, Md. — The crowd erupted with cheers when Keith Kauffman sped past Hagerstown Speedway’s flag stand on Wednesday in the 22nd Annual PA Sprint Speedweek $5,000 event. At age 62, Kauffman dubbed ‘The Man from Mifflintown, (PA)’ proved he still knows how to wheel a sprint car around the track.
“This is what it’s all about, winning these races,” Kauffman said. “That’s why I’m still doing it.at this age. I knew I had a couple more left, but you don’t know how many so every one has to count.”
“You can’t say enough about “The Man from Mifflintown,” said car owner Gary Heckman of Chambersburg, PA ,” I was a fan in the stands and just a kid and watching him my whole life and it’s an honor to have him sitting in the seat of the sprint car. We work hard at this, we’re not a big budget team, but it was a great victory for us. We needed this.”
The victory was Kauffman’s first at Hagerstown since the 1992 season opener. It was a night with no humidity and a temperature nearing 100 degrees with lightening flashing through the skies to the west as a severe thunderstorm passed by.
After Fred Rahmer set the fast time of 19.090 in time trials, with Mike Wagner, Greg Hodnett and Danny Dietrich winning the heats plus Alan Krimes taking the B main, the redraw was for an inversion of six cars which placed Cody Darrah and Kauffman on the front row.
Kauffman sped off when the green waved and by the third lap was more than 3.5 seconds ahead of Darrah and fourth starter Lance Dewease and still pulling away as the race continued under green. He was more than seven seconds ahead when he caught the rear of the field on lap ten and got past the first back marker two laps later.
Darrah and Dewease were slowly making up the distance while Kauffman was being cautious. Dewease used the backstretch to power past Darrah and take second on the 19th lap while Danny Dietrich got past Fred Rahmer for fourth the next circuit.
Dewease closed to a few lengths and was nearly on Kauffman’s bumper with five to go, but Kauffman still was able to hold him to a few lengths for the next laps with the final winning margin being .44 seconds.
“I knew there wasn’t going to be much left of that right rear, it was a soft one,” Kauffman said. “I knew I had to baby it there at the end. Hopefully if I stayed in line I’d be all right, but you never know. I knew somebody would be right there when you have rubber down racing like this. I took off pretty good and the car was nice. I thought ‘I gotta finish this thing.’ I just made it.”
Darrah, Dietrich and Rahmer completed the front five with Stevie Smith ending sixth. Mike Wagner was seventh followed by Grandview’s winner, Greg Hodnett and then Brent Marks and Alan Krimes.
The latest news, results, photos, schedule or rule changes can be on the speedway’s website: www.hagerstownspeedway.com. Follow the speedway on Twitter and Facebook. Also check the website for any changes in weather conditions that may delay or cancel the program or contact the speedway office at 301-582-0640.
Hagerstown Speedway Results
22nd Annual PA Sprint Car Speedweek— 30 Laps, 29 Entries, (Lap Leaders – Keith Kauffman 1-30) 1.Keith Kauffman, 2.Lance Dewease, 3.Cody Darrah, 4.Danny Dietrich, 5.Fred Rahmer, 6.Stevie Smith, 7.Mike Wagner, 8.Greg Hodnett, 9.Brent Marks, 10.Alan Krimes, 11.Paul McMahon, 12.Daryn Pittman, 13.Tyler Walker, 14.Kyle Larson, 15.Chad Criswell, 16.Logan Schuchart, 17.Dan Shetler, 18.Sheldon Haudenschild, 19.Darren Mollenoyux, 20.Tim Glatfelter, 21.Brian Montieth, 22.Shane Stewart, 23.Joey Hershey, 24.Danny Lasoski DNQ- Jay Reichart, Chad Layton, Luke Bowey, Frank Cozze, Troy Fraker