MECHANICSBURG, PA – Lance Dewease picked a good time to break a 14-month winless drought at Williams Grove Speedway.
Early Sunday morning, Dewease, of Fayetteville, would hold off Donny Schatz to win $20,000 in the World of Outlaws sanctioned Summer Nationals A-main for his first Grove win of the season and the 300th of his sprint car career. It was his first Grove win, also, in the Dietz Motorsports No. 14.
“I had to run the top,” said Dewease. “That was the only place I was any good. I was trying to time my lapped cars so I would get good runs going into one so I could fly them. I had to watch myself a little bit and I guess I backed off a little bit too much and let Donny try to slide me. I was really good in one and two and I knew it was going to take a really good racecar to beat me in the open. He knows how to get around this place as good as anybody, especially when it gets slick.”
Lucas Wolfe started second and grabbed the early race lead over Dewease and Shane Stewart. The red flag flew with two laps completed when Dave Blaney flipped in turn four.
Dewease, a six-time Grove champion, closed on Wolfe while Donny Schatz passed Stewart for second on the frontstretch. Just as Dewease was really pressuring Wolfe for the lead off turn two when the caution flag flew for the spinning cars of Brent Marks and Kraig Kinser in turn three.
Once again, Wolfe picked the outside for the restart.
Wolfe raced just below the cushion and Dewease tried to pass him on the outside, but couldn’t make the move. Schatz, meanwhile, was right there trying to make the bottom work.
Wolfe led lap seven with Dewease and Schatz breathing down his neck. Dewease drove under Wolfe in turn three and slid into the lead on lap nine. The next time around, Schatz drove under Wolfe to take second.
“I was trying to find a way to get by Lucas without showing him my nose and making him change his line,” said Dewease.
Dewease and Schatz would streak away from Wolfe, Stewart and Cody Darrah was up to fifth.
Kraig Kinser blew an engine on lap 18. The red flag was displayed because flames erupted from the car. Schatz spun in the fluid from Kinser’s car in turn four, but never stopped and would restart second behind Dewease, who picked the outside lane for the double-file restart.
“We tightened it back up a little bit,” said Dewease. “I didn’t want to get too crazy with it. It was a lot better for about five laps, but the longer we run, it gets a little looser. This place means a lot to me. I love winning here and beating the Outlaws makes it all the sweeter.”
Dewease drove through the middle of turn one and streaked away from Schatz on a very fast racing surface thanks to rain.
Schatz began to close with three laps to go as Dewease closed on traffic. Schatz was right there with two laps remaining.
He ducked under Dewease in turn three, but couldn’t clear the pass as they raced off turn four headed for the white flag.
Dewease would slide and clear Chad Layton in turns one and two to keep Schatz behind him. That gave him the advantage he needed as he would hold off Schatz for his 300th career sprint car win.
“This means everything to the Dietz Family and I’m having a blast driving for them.” said Dewease. “To get 300 this way is perfect. We were fortunate to have a good draw tonight and take advantage of it. My car was really good on starts.”
Schatz, Wolfe, Darrah and Alan Krimes completed the top five. Joey Saldana, Paul McMahan, Shane Stewart, Danny Dietrich, from last, and Kerry Madsen rounded out the top 10.
“He got a good start and I got in behind his dirty air,” said Schatz. “We ran him back down at the end, but needed traffic to win the race. I thought we were going to get another run on him on the last lap, but he cleared a lapped car and I didn’t so just the way it worked.”
A rain shower hit the speedway just as the B-main was lining up on the track. It delayed the show for over two hours. The B-main restarted at around 12:20 a.m. and the A-main took the green just before 1 a.m.
Donnie Kreitz set fast time over the 44-car field with a lap of 16.757 seconds. Joey Saldana, Rodney Westhafer, Lucas Wolfe and Donny Schatz were the top five qualifiers.
Lance Dewease, Alan Krimes, Cody Darrah and Shane Stewart won the eight-lap heat races. Ryan Taylor won the C-main. Dewease won the dash. Dave Blaney won the B-main.
Sprint Car Feature (30 laps): 1. Lance Dewease. 2. Donny Schatz. 3. Lucas Wolfe. 4. Cody Darrah. 5. Alan Krimes. 6. Joey Saldana. 7. Paul McMahan. 8. Shane Stewart. 9. Danny Dietrich. 10. Kerry Madsen. 11. Stevie Smith. 12. Daryn Pittman. 13. Doug Esh. 14. Brad Sweet. 15. Brent Marks. 16. Greg Hodnett. 17. David Gravel. 18. Donnie Kreitz. 19. Gerard McIntyre Jr. 20. Chad Layton. 21. Pat Cannon. 22. Kraig Kinser. 23. Dave Blaney. 24. Ryan Smith.
Did Not Qualify: Justin Barger, Rodney Westhafer, Adam Wilt, Brian Montieth, Ryan Taylor, Ryan Bohlke, Cory Haas, Steve Kinser, Curt Michael, Ryan Wilson, Aaron Ott, Jason Sides, Nicole Bower, Troy Fraker, Logan Schuchart, Glenndon Forsythe, Tim Shaffer, Jacob Allen, Steve Buckwalter, Austin Hogue.