Hodnett wins at Grove

MECHANICSBURG — Greg Hodnett tuned-up for next weekend’s National Open by winning his 70th career sprint car feature Friday night at Williams Grove Speedway.

Hodnett’s win was worth $4,000 in the Mike Heffner-owned No. 27, but it wasn’t easy as he had constant pressure from Lance Dewease over the final half of the 25-lap main event.

“I could hear him pushing us around,” Hodnett said. “I wasn’t very good off of two no matter what I was doing. In three and four, I couldn’t get stuck again to either go across or hit the bottom. He almost drove by me in three and four the one time. I figured I’d better get going and see if I could hold him off for a couple laps.”

Hodnett, of Spring Grove, started on the pole and beat Brian Brown into the first turn on the opening lap to take the lead. Dewease started fourth and passed Brown taking second on the second lap.

As Dewease stalked Hodnett, Brown and James McFadden traded the third spot and eighth starter Lucas Wolfe passed Matt Campbell taking fifth.

Hodnett’s lead was 1.903 when they reached slower traffic at the back of the field with seven laps completed.

The heavy lapped traffic helped Dewease cut Hodnett’s lead in half in only one lap. Dewease ducked low on Hodnett, but Hodnett maintained the lead by about a half-second.

Dewease took another shot at Hodnett, but wasn’t able to seal the deal as the drivers ranked second and third on the all-time Grove win list continued to battle for the win.

“If he could have beat me to the cushion it would have been his easily,” Hodnett said.

Hodnett stayed in front of Dewease as they both switched lanes working through lapped traffic. The last five laps saw Dewease challenge Hodnett again on the low side, but Hodnett switched to the bottom groove to take away Dewease’s preferred line.

Hodnett cleared one final lapped car off turn two on the last lap securing the win by 0.803 over Dewease.

Wolfe passed Brown to finish third. Point leader Freddie Rahmer raced from 10th to fifth.

T.J. Stutts set fast time over the 29-car field with a lap of 16.941. Stutts, Hodnett and James McFadden won the eight-lap heat races. Hodnett passed Brown on the final lap to win the dash. Anthony Macri won the B-main.

Scott Fisher led all 20 laps winning the 358 sprint feature.