From Hagerstown Speedway, image courtesy of Rick Rarer
Hagerstown, MD — (June 29, 2011) — Greg Hodnett surveyed the situation for numerous laps before passing Jason Johnson on lap 19 of Hagerstown Speedway’s non-stop Pennsylvania Sprint Car Speedweek event, later speeding 4.72 seconds ahead of Johnson for the $5,000 triumph. Hodnett, of Thomasville, Pa, the 2009 and 2010 Speedweek champion, became the fourth different winner in the week long series as he earned his third overall win of the season and first at Hagerstown since the 2006 Octoberfest.
“In the open road he (Jason) was as good or better than we were,” Hodnett said. “I was just trying different lines, knowing eventually we’d get to traffic and try to know where I could and couldn’t go. Obviously you have a great advantage in second place before you get there because when you’re in the lead, you want to stay out front and keep running.”
Hodnett was third quick in times and pulled the number two for the 30-lap feature to line up alongside Johnson. Johnson quickly pulled to the front as Hodnett scrambled to grab the runner up spot over previous night winner, Tyler Walker, Alan Krimes, Fred Rahmer and Danny Dietrich, the top six qualifiers who pulled for the starting lineup. Krimes was past Walker by lap three with Dietrich getting past Rahmer the next lap.
Hodnett continued to size up the situation while Krimes followed and Walker trailed by nearly a straight stretch. Johnson caught the rear of the field on the ninth lap as two laps later, Hodnett was on his bumper and again on the 14th lap.
On the 18th, Johnson and Hodnett were again maneuvering traffic and Hodnett saw an opening and opportunity to exit the fourth turn with the lead.
In five laps, Hodnett had stretched his lead to more than two seconds and continued to go through more traffic. With three laps to go, three rear cars separated him from Johnson.
“We were really tight in the qualifying race but we just had to work on it, massage it a little bit,” Hodnett said. “The guys did a really nice job of getting this thing rolling around. I haven’t won here in a few years, so it feels really good to come here and get one done.”
Just like other facilities, the track changed but for the better even with sunny and windy conditions.
“The track got wide. It was a little unforgiving in qualifying but going out early helped us tremendously,” Hodnett said. “The track widened out to where it was excellent racing. We could go outside somebody off the right rear, run up top, run on the bottom and it made for a very exciting race, at least from where I was anyway.”
Dietrich passed Krimes with one to go to end third while Walker finished fifth. Rahmer held to sixth while Donnie Kreitz Jr., Adam Wilt, Lance Dewease and Daryn Pittman, from 15th, completed the top ten.
Heats went to Brad McClelland, Justin Henderson, Mark Smith and Pittman while Dewease was the consy winner. Johnson set the fast time of 16.665 seconds.
There were also 33 vintage restored racers from the Eastern Museum of Motor Racing on hand for a display and track time.
Next up is the July 4th holiday weekend special this Saturday, the 46th Annual Johnny Roberts Memorial, a 50-lap Late Model feature event plus the Late Model Sportsman, Pure Stocks & Fireworks display. Warm-ups are at 7:00 p.m. Sunday July 3rd is a rain date.
Hagerstown Speedway Results
21st Annual Pennsylvania Sprint Car Speedweek, Race #4 — 30 laps, 32 entries, (Lap Leaders –Jason Johnson 1-18, Greg Hodnett 19-30): 1.Greg Hodnett, 2.Jason Johnson, 3.Danny Dietrich, 4.Alan Krimes, 5.Tyler Walker, 6.Fred Rahmer, 7.Donnie Kreitz Jr., 8.Adam Wilt, 9.Lance Dewease, 10.Daryn Pittman, 11.Aaron Ott, 12.Justin Henderson, 13.Mike Wagner, 14.Brent Marks, 15.Mark Smith, 16.Stevie Smith, 17.Chad Layton, 18.Sam Hafertepe, Jr., 19.Frank Cozze, 20.Brad McClelland, 21.Jim Seigel, 22.Brian Montieth, 23.Chad Criswell, 24.Brian Leppo, DNQ – Phil Walter, Dan Shetler, Nichole Bower, Troy Fraker, Mark Zimmerman, Scott Lutz, Jay Reichard, Tim Glatfelter