Mechanicsburg, PA – “I thought we might end up fifth or sixth.”
Those were the words of Denver’s Alan Krimes as he stood in Lawrence Chevrolet sprint car victory lane at Williams Grove Speedway on Friday night after taking a well-deserved victory in a come from behind performance.
In the Tool Shed of America 358 sprint main, Grantville’s Nate Hammaker led 17 of 20 laps to secure his third career Grove 358 checkers.
Krimes started the 25-lap sprint car feature in sixth and watched from fourth as Daryn Pittman took the lead on the second circuit.
The red flag was displayed with three away when Mark Smith got out of shape on the backstretch while racing hard with Fred Rahmer to break into the top five.
With Mark Smith out of control and heading for the inside rail, also piling in was Greg Hodnett, Frank Cozze, Adam Wilt, Ryan Smith and Lance Dewease.
It was hard for fans to decide which race to watch on the track on the restart ast Curt Michael advanced toward the lead up front while Doug Esh, Rahmer, Brian Montieth and Krimes dueled for third, fourth, fifth and sixth.
But it was the lanky Krimes aboard his No. 87 that began busting through the pack first, taking fourth with nine to go from Esh before following Montieth around Michael to move into third a lap later.
And with five to go, Krimes had marched by Montieth for second while running his locked-down inside line to be biting into Pittman’s advantage.
It only took one circuit for Krimes to motor by Pittman for the lead after thrusting his silver racer deep into the third corner to come up off of the fourth turn in front of Pittman and in control.
His pace with the lead was soon slowed however for a stopped Steve Buckwalter with three to go and then the caution turned red on the restart when the good runs of Montieth, Michael and Esh came to an abrupt end when the trio crashed high in the first turn.
Krimes motored away on the restart, uncontested for the second Williams Grove win of his career, having taken his first in the Mitch Smith Memorial last July.
Pittman finished second followed by Rahmer, Rick Lafferty and Logan Schuchart.
Sixth through 10th went to Brian Leppo, Aaron Ott, Frank Cozze, Lance Dewease and Brent Marks.
Heats for the 31-car field went to Davey Sammons, Krimes and Michael. Cozze copped the consolation race.