Lafferty wins at the Grove
MECHANICSBURG Rick Lafferty scored a dominating win in the 25-lap sprint car feature at Williams Grove Speedway on Friday night.
His first Grove win of the season, and second overall after winning at Port Royal Speedway a few weeks ago, was worth $3,600, plus lap money. His margin of victory over second place Steve Buckwalter was an impressive 6.586 seconds.
Buckwalter and Lafferty shared the front row of the main event and it was Buckwalter grabbing the early race lead. Lafferty hounded him for the top spot trying the middle groove and the cushion as Buckwalter worked the inside line.
They reached lapped traffic on lap 10 and that broke Buckwalter’s momentum. This allowed Lafferty a clean run down the front stretch and he would get under Buckwalter in the first turn and secure the lead as they raced off turn two and down the back stretch.
“I was moving around,” Lafferty said. “He runs good in any kind of car. He’s a good competitor and he raced me clean. It could have been his night or my night. I’ve run second to him before here. Everybody’s tough here, even when you’re coming up on the lappers. They won last week or were up front last week.”
From there, the Pennington, N.J., driver built a huge lead as he pulled away from Buckwalter. His lead was a straightaway with 10 laps to go and he maintained that over the final laps to get his fourth Williams Grove win since Labor Day weekend of 2012.
Lafferty came from last in his heat race to earn the fourth and final handicapped spot, which allowed him to start second.
“I got a lucky break in my heat,” Lafferty said. “I pulled a 73 and started last in the heat race. That’s not good when you come through the gate. I was kind of angry. It’s been that way all year long; I haven’t pulled anything better than 60-something.”
Buckwalter, Jim Siegel, Gerard McIntyre Jr. and Greg Hodnett completed the top five. Alan Krimes, Brent Marks, Lance Dewease, point leader Fred Rahmer and Ryan Smith rounded out the top 10.
The 10-lap heat races for the 24-car field were won by Don Kreitz Jr., Danny Dietrich and Krimes.
Mechanicsburg’s Kevin Nouse grabbed the lead from Ryan Greth on lap three and would go on to win the 20-lap main event for the 358 sprint cars. Austin Hogue, Rodney Westhafer, Mark Smith and Tim Berkheimer completed the top five.