HOFFMAN, STRICKLER AND RAHE, JR. SCORE LIDLIFTER WINS
Hoffman Has Luck in Late Models, Strickler Tops Modifieds and Rahe Reminds Stocks Who’s Champ
ROSSBURG, Ohio (April 29, 2018) – Nick Hoffman of Mooresville, North Carolina won Eldora Speedway’s Late Model LidLifter Saturday while fellow tar heel resident Kyle Strickler won the Modified feature and Cincinnati’s Gary Rahe, Jr. took the Stock Car victory.
Hoffman’s win was his second consecutive win in the $5,000-to-win Sunoco American Late Model Series season opener, however, it came at the expense of Lawrenceburg, Indiana’s Jason Jameson who was light at the post-race scales.
“It kind of sucks to win to win them like that but it’s pretty cool to come here and repeat this deal,” said Hoffman, a two-time winner of the UMP Modified Nationals at Eldora.
Devin Gilpin from Columbus, Indiana, and Jameson led the field to the green flag with Gilpin emerging from turn four to lead the first nine laps. Jameson started to challenge in traffic when the race’s first yellow flag waved for Ionia, Michigan’s Travis Stemler who had made contact with the outside retaining wall.
Jameson took the lead from Gilpin on the restart with an aggressive move to the outside. Meanwhile, 10th-starting Hoffman had worked his way to sixth.
Gilpin jumped back in front of Jameson in turn one on a lap 14 restart with Jameson returning the favor in turn three. Hoffman continued his march passing Jimmy Mars of Menomine, Wisconsin and swept by Gilpin on the 17th circuit.
The final restart setup a duel between Jameson and Hoffman. Hoffman took the point into the third turn but Jameson re-took it coming off turn four. Jameson fended off Hoffman’s challenges to lead to the checkered flag but the mandatory trip to the post-race scales between the flagstand and the victory stage handed the win to Hoffman.
“We had a great hot rod there to come from 10th to second. We had a really good race there the last few laps. The biggest thing here is not getting into somebody’s air and that’s happened there in (turn) three when he came across,” explained Hoffman, who is also an accomplished chassis builder and fabricator. “I got in his air and I just shot across and had to stay in the gas and try and beat him to the line. It’s a little bit tough racing around other cars but the race track was phenomenal. It had grip spots and slick spots and you just had to hit them right.
Jameson was the fastest qualifier at 116.054 mph. Heat race winners were Gilpin, Jameson and Kody Evans of Camden.
Pardo looked to be on his way to two-in-a-row until Donnie Jeschke, Dayton, tracked him down with four laps to go. They were soon joined by Rahe, Jr. who made his move to the outside as the trio worked lap 14.
“If that didn’t put on a show for you these past two weeks, I don’t know what will,” Rahe told the crowd in victory lane. “My heart is pumping!”
Pardo and Jeschke were the heat race winners.
Mooresville, North Carolina’s David Stremme and Joel Dick of Leamington, Ontario led a stout field of DIRTcar UMP Modifieds with Stremme quickly taking command while the field raced top to bottom on a wide racy surface behind him.
With Stremme circling the mud ring in the lower lane, fifth starting Strickler was living up to his “Highside Tickler” nickname in Eldora’s famed high line roaring by for the lead on lap eight. Stremme, too, moved to the top and the two rivals set a blistering pace eventually lapping all but the top-10.
Strickler was slowed by traffic a few times but never seriously challenged for the win.
“A lot of guys want to cry and whine but sometimes you just gotta get up on the wheel and do your job and when the track is like that tonight, it puts it in my hands and I feel like I can give my crew guys back their hard work they put into this car,” stated Strickler, who earned $3,000 for the win. “We do this for a living and we’re in the shop for long, long hours and there is nothing sweeter than being up on the top at Eldora and passing for the win.”
Heat race winners were Warsaw, Indiana’s Dylan Woodling, Josh Rice of Verona, Kentucky, Strickler and Taylor Cook of Stanly, North Carolina. The B-Features were won by Tony Anderson of Lima and Hanover, Indiana’s Joey Kramer.
Eldora’s next event is the #LetsRaceTwo Doubleheader Weekend featuring both the World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series and the United States Auto Club National Sprint Cars on Friday, May 11 and Saturday, May 12. Tickets and campsites are available now via www.eldoraspeedway.com or by calling (937) 338-3815.
About Eldora Speedway:
Since carved from a cornfield in the natural amphitheater that existed between the Eldora Ballroom and the Wabash River by bandleader Earl Baltes in 1954, Eldora Speedway has grown to be a frontrunner in motorsports growth and stability. Baltes chose to sell the legendary high-banked clay oval to motorsports entrepreneur and NASCAR, IndyCar and USAC champion Tony Stewart in 2004. Eldora celebrates its 65th consecutive season of racing in 2018 featuring the biggest events in short-track racing, including: the 24th running of the $100,000-to-win Dirt Late Model Dream Weekend on June 7th-8th-9th; the 35th Annual $50,000-to-win Kings Royal Weekend on July 12th-13th-14th; the Camping World Truck Series’ Eldora Dirt Derby – NASCAR’s only race on dirt on Wednesday, July 18th; the 48th Annual World 100 Weekend on September 6th-7th-8th; and the historic 4-Crown Nationals on September 21st and 22nd. The complete schedule for Eldora’s 2018, including ticket and campsite information, is available at www.EldoraSpeedway.com. Fans can get behind-the-scenes access by following @EldoraSpeedway on social media channels Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat. Exclusive video content posted on www.youtube.com/EldoraSpeedway has been viewed over 4.2-million times.