There’s a new track champion at Lincoln Speedway.
And the driver known as “the Edge” did it without a single win in 2008. Brian Montieth capped off his championship season with a fourth-place finish in Saturday night’s 25-lap 410 sprint car feature Saturday night.
Though he has not yet visited victory lane this season, Montieth’s fourth-place finish was his ninth top five finish and 19th top ten finish of ’08.
It was a rough night for the four drivers still in points contention for the Lincoln title. Montieth was the only driver who finished high enough in his heat to gain a handicapped spot at the front of the feature field, and he started tenth. Both 1996 champ Cris Eash and 10-time track champ Fred Rahmer qualified in their heats, but missed the handicapping and started 16th and 19th, respectively. Niki Young finished fifth in the consolation event and missed qualifying by one spot. But he made the field when Pat Cooper scratched from the feature.
A flip by sixth-starting Chad Jumper in turn two of the opening lap also took out the YTI Career Institute #25 of Chad Layton and damaged the sprinter of defending champ Rahmer. Several other cars went to the pits during the red, including Young. Rahmer was able to report out before the race re-started, and started in the exact same 19th starting spot.
Once the race got underway, Mechanicsburg’s Bill Stine took the lead and paced the field the first eight laps before doing a wheelie exiting turn four and collecting the Pearl Technologies #9 of Craig Keel, who was setting up for the pass and struck the inside front stretch guardrail. Keel was done for the night, and Alan Krimes, who started sixth after the initial red flag, assumed the runner-up spot.
Krimes made quick work of Unlimited Fencing #71X on the restart, grabbing the lead on the restart and leading the rest of the way. For Krimes, is was his second win of the year and the sixth of his Lincoln career.
Fifth-starting Cody Darrah crossed second .78 second behind, with Jim Siegel third, Montieth fourth, and Josh Wells fifth. Completing the top ten were 16th-starting Doug Esh, Greg Hodnett, Eash, Aaron Ott, and Scott Geesey.
“I hated to spoil the party for those guys in the top-four in points,” said Krimes with a big smile on his face in victory lane. “It was a rough night…the track was one groove, not my kind of track that’s for sure. Once I got out front there and I saw Cody on the outside I figured the top was the best place to be, but, my car just didn’t feel comfortable up there at all. It was loose and bouncing all around.”
“We were battling real hard there and came up on lapped traffic and I knew that was going to get interesting. Luckily I got under the #4 car there on the white flag lap and that sealed the deal, hung on, and got the win.”
The championship was largely determined on the ninth-lap restart, when Cris Eash tried to go high on turns one and two and was forced to the wall while Montieth drove under Eash into fifth. Until he recovered, Eash found himself in eighth-place, and that’s where he finished.
Young, who fought mechanical problems all night, dropped from the field on lap 13, and Rahmer pulled into the infield on lap 16.
Montieth’s point total at night’s end was 7,225, twenty-five points better than Eash (7,200). Rahmer was third with 7,135 points and Young’s final point total was 7,110.