Hannagan leads flag-to-flag in Run for the Rabbit

From Bob Fricke, Mike Campbell Photo

The precipitation, that had twice this season forced postponement of the Run for the Rabbit sprint car feature, attempted to make it a third time with a heavy downpour late in the afternoon. It nearly washed away the evening racing program, but Limaland Motorsports Park officials were not going to be denied, especially with the evening also celebrating the 76th Anniversary of racing on the same site in Allen County, Ohio.

A concerted effort with track preparation resulted in a delay to the start of the night’s program, but the full agenda of racing ensued and California native Randy Hannagan became the eighth different winner of the Engine Pro NRA Sprint Invader’s Run for the Rabbit. The event honors the late Limaland Motorsports Park racer Travis “Rabbit” Miller.

Hannagan entered the 25-lap feature as the NRA point’s leader with two wins including last Saturday night at Eldora Speedway. His front row starting position, alongside JR Stewart, didn’t hurt his chances and also served to produce a stirring battle for most of the event with Stewart, the 2010 NRA champion.

Randy Hannagan’s red colored 22DH entry blasted to the front at the start and even though he never surrendered the lead, gave the fans some genuine excitement as he battled with Stewart side-by-side for the first twenty laps. The veteran Stewart had raced in go-karts against Travis Miller years ago and was intent on winning his second Rabbit feature.

With Hannagan ruling the middle groove on the track, Stewart decided the best way around was on the bottom as the track was moist and dangerously fast on the cushion at the topside. “JR (Stewart) is a lot of fun to race with as we ran wheel-to-wheel for quite sometime,” said Hannagan. “It’s a pleasure to race with guys like that.”

Stewart was never able to secure the lead finished in the runner-up position. Mike Miller took third in posting his best result of the current campaign. “I can’t say enough about my team and (car owner) Dennis Yoakam giving me this opportunity to run one of his cars,” said Hannagan. 2010 Run for the Rabbit winner Butch Schroeder finished eleventh.

Actions resumes on Friday, June 29, as Limaland Motorsports Park will host the Fricke Memorial Thunderstock Select, a special format event following the features. Also the Elwer Fence Sprints, K & N UMP Modifieds and the Budweiser Thunderstocks will compete. Gates open at 5:00 p.m. with hot laps beginning at 6:30 p.m. Racing starts promptly at 7:30 p.m.

All the latest news and information about America’s premier quarter-mile dirt track, can be found at www.limaland.com. You can also find Limaland Motorsports Park on Facebook and Twitter.

Limaland Motorsports Park – 7/22/2011

Engine Pro NRA Sprints

Heat 1 – (8 Laps – Top 4 Transfer)
1. 10J-Jarrod Delong; 2. 82-Mike Miller; 3. 2M-Matt Westfall; 4. 5M-Max Stambaugh; 5. 21-Justin Grant; 6. 17-Jared Horstman; 7. 31M-Tom Rhoades;

8. 22D-Dennis Yoakam

Heat 2 – (8 Laps – Top 4 Transfer)
1. 22DH-Randy Hannagan; 2. 40-Caleb Helms; 3. 3T-Tony Beaber; 4. 2H-Dallas Hewitt; 5. 56R-Ryan Myers; 6. 18-Todd Heuerman; 7. 11-Tim Allison; 8. 28H-Hud Horton

Heat 3 – (8 Laps – Top 4 Transfer)
1. 6S-Jr Stewart; 2. 35-Ron Blair; 3. 57-Kyle Sauder; 4. 77-Tim Viles; 5. 4U-Rick Boughan; 6. 34-Luke Hall; 7. 2-Brent Gehr

Heat 4 – (8 Laps – Top 4 Transfer)
1. 49T-Gregg Dalman; 2. 27-Beau Stewart; 3. 20B-Butch Schroeder; 4. 49-Shawn Dancer; 5. 7C-Tim Hunter; 6. 32M-Derek Hastings; 7. 4J-Bob Gehr

B-Main – (10 Laps – Top 4 Transfer)
1. 56R-Ryan Myers; 2. 7C-Tim Hunter; 3. 18-Todd Heuerman; 4. 17-Jared Horstman; 5. 21-Justin Grant; 6. 11-Tim Allison; 7. 4U-Rick Boughan; 8. 31M-Tom Rhoades; 9. 28H-Hud Horton; 10. 4J-Bob Gehr; 11. 2-Brent Gehr; 12. 34-Luke Hall; 13. 32M-Derek Hastings; 14. 22D-Dennis Yoakam

A-Main – (25 Laps) [#]-Starting Position
1. 22DH-Randy Hannagan[2]; 2. 6S-Jr Stewart[1]; 3. 82-Mike Miller[5]; 4. 49T-Gregg Dalman[4]; 5. 57-Kyle Sauder[11]; 6. 3T-Tony Beaber[10]; 7. 2M-Matt Westfall[9];

8. 40-Caleb Helms[6]; 9. 35-Ron Blair[7]; 10. 7C-Tim Hunter[18]; 11. 20B-Butch Schroeder[12]; 12. 18-Todd Heuerman[19]; 13. 10J-Jarrod Delong[3]; 14. 2H-Dallas Hewitt[14]; 15. 5M-Max Stambaugh[13]; 16. 49-Shawn Dancer[16]; 17. 56R-Ryan Myers[17]; 18. 77-Tim Viles[15]; 19. 27-Beau Stewart[8]; 20. 17-Jared Horstman[20]