Dewease cruises to Port victory

Sentinel photo by TIM SHUMAKER
Lance Dewease, left, takes the inside past Dale Blaney and scored the 103rd sprint car victory of his career at Port Royal Speedway on Saturday night, taking $7,000 in the 27th annual Pennsylvania Speedweek 30-lap event for 410 sprint cars.

PORT ROYAL — Lance Dewease probably could have started much further back than fourth and still won the Pennsylvania Sprint Car Speedweek race Saturday night at Port Royal Speedway.

Dewease, of Fayetteville, drove by Lucas Wolfe and then Dale Blaney for the lead on lap three and then cruised to his second win of Speedweek.

“Lucas has been really good here around the top and he can run this place around the top when no one else can and I didn’t know if he could run up there or not and we got by him quickly,” Dewease said.

The $7,000 win was the 103rd of Dewease’s career at Port Royal.

The racing was close on the back stretch on the opening lap between front row starters Blaney and Wolfe.

Blaney led Wolfe into the third turn as Dewease drove by Wolfe and into second.

The first caution flag flew with one lap completed for Matt Campbell on the front stretch.

After the restart, Dewease was all over Blaney for the lead. Blaney kept him at bay for one more lap before an inside second turn pass got Dewease the top spot.

By lap five, Dewease already increased his lead to nearly two seconds.

Wolfe drove by Blaney in turns one and two for second with eight laps completed.

At the half-way point, Dewease led by 4 seconds and had five lapped cars between himself and second place Wolfe.

Danny Dietrich, who went into the night as the Speedweek point leader, hit the outside second turn fence and then slowed to a stop with 18 laps completed. Dietrich had a flat right rear. This erased Dewease’s six second lead. Dietrich rejoined the field.

“I was a little worried because I knew all the lapped cars would be gone,” Dewease said. “I was getting through lapped cars really good. None of them really held me up. I didn’t know if Lucas was up top running and if he could make speed like he did the other week here.”

Wolfe blasted the top on the restart in turns one and two while Dewease stayed low. Wolfe stayed close, but Dewease took the top in three and four and began to pull away again.

With five laps to go, Dewease was back up by 1.837 seconds. Rico Abreu slowed to a stop with two laps to go giving Wolfe another shot.

Dewease got a great restart and pulled away as Wolfe fended off Dale Blaney. He scored the win by 1.856 seconds.

Wolfe’s runner-up finish got him the Speedweek point lead by 52 over Dietrich.

“Unfortunately, we lost out on the start and that allowed Lance to get by,” Wolfe said. “I was struggling quite a bit in traffic. The restart gave me a break and I stayed close a little bit on that first one, but then the second one I was hanging on a little too much. I just wasn’t able to get my speed going in one and two tonight.”

Blaney, Mitch Smith Memorial winner Trey Starks and Greg Hodnett completed the top five. Blane Heimbach, Freddie Rahmer, Brock Zearfoss, Mike Wagner and Port Royal point leader Dylan Cisney rounded out the top 10.

In the Route 35 Challenge Series for the late models, Chad Hollenbeck started on the pole and led the first seven laps before fourth starter Coleby Frye powered around the outside and into control.

After a three-car battle for the win late in the race, Danville’s Jeff Rine ended up scoring the win. Dylan Yoder came from the 20th starting spot to take second from Frye on the final lap. Andy Haus and Nick Dickson completed the top five.