Esh Banks $12,200 In Weikert Memorial
PORT ROYAL, Pa. — Pennsylvania driver Doug Esh claimed the $12,200 top prize in Saturday night’s 10th annual Bob Weikert Memorial race sanctioned by the UNOH All Star Circuit of Champions.
Esh bested NASCAR Nationwide Series driver Brad Sweet in a Kasey Kahne Racing mount and three-time All Stars Champion Dale Blaney for the prestigious victory.
Brad Sweet earned the pole for the 30-lap All Stars Weikert main event and he was flanked by four time and defending All Stars titlist Tim Shaffer for the start while Cap Henry and Esh lined up in row two.
When the green flag dropped on the star-studded field, Sweet took the lead over Tim Shaffer and Esh.
Shaffer kept pace with Sweet until lap six when he drove into the lead, surprising many who had watched earlier as Sweet set a blistering pace in the dash.
After running the bottom early, Sweet had changed lanes abruptly to the cushion to try to stay ahead of Shaffer but ended up bobbling in the top groove instead of pulling away, allowing Shaffer to pass by before he could settle into the line.
Shaffer entered the backmarkers on the seventh circuit just after taking control while Sweet stayed close and Esh made it a three-car battle for the lead.
Esh, aboard the No. 98 sprinter, was high-flying around the top of the speedway and made impressive passes of both Sweet and Shaffer within the same lap on the ninth tour to take command.
Sweet drove by Shaffer for second a lap later and shortly after the races first yellow flag appeared for a lapped Ryan Taylor on the backstretch who had looped his car and in the process forced Tim Shaffer to spin out of third in an effort to avoid heavy contact.
The spin by Shaffer then advanced Dale Blaney to third for the restart however that was quickly called back when Californias Tim Kaeding rolled to a stop on the front chute.
Only one more lap could be completed before a yellow for defending event winner Greg Hodnett stopped the field for refueling.
At the stoppage, national pavement and dirt driving sensation Kyle Larson was already up to ninth after starting 22nd in the field.
Larson blasted by Lance Dewease and Mike Wagner when action resumed and was up to seventh and challenging Steve Buckwalter for sixth on the 16th lap when he looped the car in the fourth turn after having a piece of debris lodge in his brakes, rendering them inoperable.
Esh took off when action resumed with Sweet and Blaney in tow while Danny Lasoski drove by Cap Henry for fourth.
Esh entered traffic again with seven laps to go, allowing Sweet to begin closing in during the late stages.
Sweet really closed in during the last two laps when Esh slipped up over the cushion, first in the second corner and then again in turn four but time ran out for Sweet when the checkers unfurled over the field and a raucous crowd.
Blaney raced to the line third followed by Lasoski and Henry.
In the pro stock feature, Tim Krape pocketed his second win of the season while Jason Davis picked up the enduro dash.
Doug Esh, Brad Sweet, Dale Blaney, Danny Lasoski, Cap Henry, Mike Wagner, Lance Dewease, Jac Haudenschild, Steve Buckwalter, Blane Heimbach, Justin Henderson, Danny Holtgraver, Chad Layton, Tim Kaeding, Davey Sammons, Tim Shaffer, Kyle Larson, Dylan Cisney, Cliff Brian, Ryan Bohlke, Nate Snyder, Greg Hodnett, Ryan Taylor, Logan Schuchart.