Mechanicsburg – Greg Hodnett wrestled the lead away from invader Shane Stewart to win Friday night’s 410 sprint car feature at Williams Grove Speedway, worth $4,000 to the winner of the tune up race meant to prepare the Williams Grove regulars for next week’s World of Outlaws invasion.
In the 358 sprint car feature, for the second week in a row Phil Walter led over half of the race and also just like last week, it was Kevin Nouse who ended up winning the race.
Hodnett started third in the 25-lap 410 sprint main with Stewart flanking polesitter Don Kreitz Jr. for the start.
The first five laps found Stewart firmly in control with Kreitz and Hodnett in tow when the races first yellow flag unfurled for a stopped Brian Montieth.
Hodnett had just blistered around Kreitz for the second spot when the red flag appeared next with eight laps recorded for a two-car tangle between Rick Lafferty and Gerard McIntyre Jr.
Hodnett began directly applying pressure for the lead on the restart but it took until the 14th lap for him to take his first real swipe at the lead.
The Thomasville flyer drove deep into the first corner to pull a massive slider for the lead but Stewart promptly turned the car off of the cushion and reclaimed control as the pair raced onto the backstretch.
Hodnett then regrouped and was nose to tail with Stewart for the lead as they raced across the stripe with 10 laps to go.
The next time by the order would be reversed at the line as Hodnett was able to drive around Stewart as the pair raced off of the fourth corner.
And once out front he began pulling away for the win while Stewart seemed left to battle an ill handling racer.
With seven laps to go he jumped the cushion in the first turn allowing both Doug Esh and Kreitz to race by and then with four laps to go he nearly pounded the outside rail in the third turn only to again regain control of his white racer.
The victory was the first of the year for Hodnett at Williams Grove and the 54th of his oval career.
Esh was second at the finish followed by Kreitz, Ryan Smith and Lance Dewease.
Sixth through 10th went to Danny Dietrich, Stewart, Mark Smith, Adam Wilt and Lucas Wolfe.
Heats for the 31-car field went to Kreitz, Dewease and Rodney Westhafer.
Kreitz won the dash and Rick Lafferty took the B Main.
Fast time was set by Lucas Wolfe with a lap of 16.728 seconds.
Phil Walter started on the pole of the 358 sprint main and was leading over Matt Campbell and Kody Lehman when the races first caution flag fell with four laps away.
Nouse, who started 11th in the field, was racing fifth for the restart and found himself up to second at the halfway point when another yellow flag unfurled.
Walter withstood the challenges of Nouse until lap 14 when the Lewisberry driver finally was able to make his bottom groove work and drive into the lead over the cushion running Walter.
A final caution with five laps to go again regrouped the field and although Walter was able to stay close enough that Nouse could hear him over the final stages he was never able to push back into the lead.
Walter rode home second followed by Campbell, Adrian Shaffer and Kody Lehman.
Sixth through 10th went to Tyler Esh, Jay Galloway, Brie Hershey, Scott Fisher and DJ Montgomery.
Heats for the 22-car field went to Nouse, Doug Hammaker and Campbell.
May 9, 2014 Feature Finishes:
410 sprints, 25 laps: 1. Greg Hodnett, 2. Doug Esh, 3. Don Kreitz Jr., 4. Ryan Smith, 5. Lance Dewease, 6. Danny Dietrich, 7. Shane Stewart, 8. Mark Smith, 9. Adam Wilt, 10. Lucas Wolfe, 11. Stevie Smith, 12. Brent Marks, 13. Ryan Wilson, 14. Steve Buckwalter, 15. Curt Michael, 16. Justin Barger, 17. Cory Haas, 18. Alan Krimes, 19. Trey Starks, 20. Tyler Ross, 21. Glenndon Forsythe, 22. Gerard McIntyre Jr., 23. Rick Lafferty, 24. Brian Montieth
DNS: Rodney Westhafer
DNQ: Chad Layton, Dave Ely, Brock Zearfoss, Nicole Bowers, Kyle Reinhardt, Pat Cannon
358 sprints, 20 laps: 1. Kevin Nouse, 2. Phil Walter, 3. Matt Campbell, 4. Adrian Shaffer, 5. Kody Lehman, 6. Tyler Esh, 7. Jay Galloway, 8. Brie Hershey, 9. Scott Fisher, 10. DJ Montgomery, 11. Denny Gross, 12. Zach Eucalano, 13. Doug Hammaker, 14. Chandler Leiby, 15. Duane Watson, 16. Nyle Berkes, 17. Tony Smolenyak, 18. Leah Starner, 19. Tommy Martocci
DNS: Kyle Purks, Brock Zearfoss, Tyler Buchenauer