J.J. Grasso Wins Lincoln Speedway 2017 Season Finale
Chase Dietz Wins 358 Sprint Finale, Adrian Shaffer Locks up 2017 358 Sprint Track Title
Travis McClelland Closes Out 2017 Season with All American Outlaw Win
ABBOTTSTOWN, PA, 10/7/2017 – JJ Grasso of Middletown, DE, drove his family-owned No.37 sprinter flawlessly through lapped traffic and held off 7-time 2017 winner Danny Dietrich and 2017 track champ Brian Montieth to pick up the win in the 30-lap $4,000-to-win 410 sprint season finale.
York’s Chase Dietz picked up the win in the 358 Sprint finale, while York’s Adrian Shaffer secured the 2017 track title with his fourth-place finish. Travis McClelland symbolically closed out the 2017 racing season at Lincoln Speedway with the win in the 20-lap All American Outlaw feature at the end of the night.
The 2017 finale was also a celebration of the lives of two special people involved in racing at the historic Pigeon Hills oval. Promotor and car-owner Bob Leiby was honored with the first annual memorial race in his honor after being rained out on September 2nd. This was coupled with the 29th running of the traditional Manufacturers Appreciation Night in honor of Hank Gentzler. 10’s of thousands of dollars in manufacturers goods were awarded in individual prize packages to the 410 sprint drivers starting the feature event. All this was made possible by the efforts of Pancho’s Racing Products.
Grasso, who started outside the front row, hooked onto the bumper of polesitter Eric Tomecek at the drop of the green and followed the Abbottstown racer into lapped traffic with Dietrich, Montieth, and Lucas Wolfe right behind through 10 laps.
At the beginning of lap 11, Grasso dove inside the leader entering turn 1 and slid up trying to secure the lead. Tomecek tried to hang onto the cushion and his lead, but slipped up off the cushion and into the outer wall, rolling his sprinter onto it’s side.
Grasso now had the lead. But right behind were Dietrich, Montieth, Wolfe and Greg Hodnett with 20 laps remaining. A daunting task for any driver.
Grasso went to work on the restart and used the clear track to his advantage, building a slight advantage as they entered lapped traffic once again on lap 17.
Both Dietrich and Montieth closed to gap on the leader and with 10 laps remaining the race was on through lapped traffic.
Then with five laps remaining Cole Young crashed on the frontstretch, bringing race’s final caution and set up a five-lap race to the checkered.
On the restart Grasso got up to speed flawlessly and never wavered as he took the checkered five laps later for the win over Dietrich, Montieth, Wolfe and Hodnett.
Completing the top-10 were 19th-starting Freddie Rahmer, Anthony Macri, 12th-starting Alan Krimes, 16th-starting Cory Haas, and 13th-starting Brandon Rahmer.
Heats for the 25 410 Sprinters were won by Matt Campbell, Hodnett, and Macri, with Freddie Rahmer winning the consolation.
8th-starting Chase Dietz passed race long leader Steve Drevicki on the sixth lap and raced away to his first 358 sprint win of the year at Lincoln in the finale.
Two cautions, both involving spin-outs by Brie Hershey on the eighth and 14th laps, allowed Drevicki to remain close to the leader throughout.
But Dietz was clearly the class of the field this night and easily took the checkered 1.93-seconds ahead of Drevicki for the win.
Cody Fletcher came out on top of a race-long battle with Adrian Shaffer for the third spot. Even though Shaffer had to settle for a fourth-place finish, it was enough to clinch the 2017 358 Sprint track title for the York racer.
12th-starting Brent Shearer completed the top-five.
Rounding out the top-10 were 13th-starting Troy Wagaman, Jr., 17th-starting Matt Findley, 18th-starting Tyler Ross, 20th-starting Chris Frank, and polesitter Jon Stewart.
Heats for the 33 358 Sprinters were won by Stewart, Shearer, Drevicki, and Kyle Denmyer with Chandler Leiby winning the consolation.
6th-starting Travis McClelland of Littlestown and polesitter Jim Minter of Sharpsburg, MD, waged a race-long battle in the 20-lap All American Outlaw feature with McClelland coming out on top by a mere .69-seconds in the 2017 finale at the Pigeon Hills oval.
Gary Moreland, Sr., Joe Davis, and Brad Alexander rounded out the top-five.
Heats for the All American Outlaws were won by Minter and McClelland.
This race closed out the 2017 racing season at Lincoln Speedway. The 2017 Lincoln Speedway Awards Banquet on Saturday, November 18th (6 PM-12:30 AM) will cap off the the season to honor the champions, top-10 in points, and give away the annual special awards in celebration of another successful season.
Promoters Don Leiby and Alan Kreitzer have announced that opening day for the 2018 season will be on Saturday, February 24th. Gates will open at noon with 410 sprint car racing to begin at 2:00 p.m.
So the countdown begins, 140 days, to the begin the 66th chapter of racing at the historic “Fabulous Lincoln Speedway”!