“On opening day, you bring all your best stuff. You even wear your new underwear.”
So quipped Adam Wilt after claiming his second opening day win in three years at Lincoln Speedway Saturday afternoon.”
His underwear wasn’t the only thing new in the Wide Open Motorsports team. Well-known mechanic Lee Stauffer joined the team during the winter months, and he used some hand signals Adam didn’t quite understand during a mid-race caution.
“I knew I had a good car from the beginning and I knew I had to power around those guys or they would have held me up,” said Wilt upon exiting his Credit Connection/North York AutoMenders #15, “But, as soon as I got in front in clean air, I saw my new crew chief Lee (Stauffer) come out under the caution doing hand signals. I didn’t know what they meant. I don’t know if I’m going too crazy on the top and I need to slow myself down or what. I figured I did the right thing.”
Wilt started fourth and grabbed the lead from outside front row starter Glenndon Forsythe on the second lap. After a caution for Cory Haas, who hit the outside wall and came to a stop in turn two on lap four, Wilt paced the field until seventh-starting Brian Montieth took the lead away on lap eight.
Billy Dietrich and Robbie Kendall brought out the caution flag with a joint spin on turns one and two of lap 11, at which time fifth-place Danny Dietrich went to the pits with a flat right rear.
Wilt reclaimed the lead from Montieth on the restart, and was doing his best to hold off Montieth when the Premier Auto Works/Auto Locator #21 hit the wall in turn one of lap 14. Montieth only suffered a flat tire and returned to action.
The race went non-stop the rest of the way, with Wilt holding off Alan Krimes and J.J. Grasso through heavy lapped traffic over the final stages of the race. Ironically, two of the cars at the rear of the field at the end were the two track champs in the field. Wilt’s final margin of victory in his fourth career Lincoln win was 1.29 seconds over Krimes, with Grasso, polesitter Kyle Moody, and Forsythe completing the top five.
Sixth through tenth were 20th-starting Greg Hodnett, invader Cole Duncan, 410 sprint rookie Austin Hogue, 22nd-starting Gerard McIntyre, Jr., and 410 sprint rookie Shane Hoff.
“This is a great win for a new team. But we don’t want to set expectations too high right now, said Wilt, “We just want to go as we go and do what we can do. Starting position was a key factor, but I’ll take a win any day.
It’s tough at this deal You’ve got 90 per cent of your cars here are just tough to beat.”
Heats for the 30 sprinters on hand were won by Grasso, Montieth, and Krimes, with Scott Fisher winning the consolation.
Next Saturday, March 22, Lincoln Speedway moves to its first night race of the season with a 6 p.m. start for the 410 Sprints, 358 Sprint, and 358 Late Models. Gates open at 4 p.m.