Wolfe dominates in Williams Grove Speedway opener

MECHANICSBURG — Lucas Wolfe took advantage of his third pole position in three races to dominate the Williams Grove Speedway season opener for the sprint cars Sunday afternoon.

Wolfe, of Mechanicsburg, earned $3,600 for his 18th career Grove win, but first on opening day. It was the first day time season opener since 2008.

“I have many, many memories of coming here for opening day races,” Wolfe said. “It’s great to be able to pick one of those up. It was a good thing for us as a team. We’ve had plenty of great opportunities so far this year to pick up wins and it’s good to finally take advantage of it.”

“Wins are very difficult to get; especially here,” Wolfe said. “It’s good to start the year with that kind of momentum. If you can be on a hot streak early it can do great things for your whole season.”

For the third time in as many races held in central Pennsylvania in 2018, Wolfe started on the pole of the 25-lap main event.

Brian Montieth took a wild series of flips in between turns one and two on the initial start. He walked away.

Wolfe, who had a DNF and a second in his previous pole starts, took control on the ensuing restart over Caleb Helms.

Wolfe began to lap slower cars, but they didn’t hold him up as he increased his lead to 4.061 with 10 laps completed.

Defending track champion Freddie Rahmer passed Cory Haas taking over fourth spot at the half-way point. Ninth starter Greg Hodnett also passed Haas moving into the top five. Hodnett ducked under Rahmer taking fourth on lap 19 and then third from Jason Shultz.

The caution flew with 22 laps completed when Haas spun in turn three erasing Wolfe’s huge lead.

On the restart, Anthony Macri flipped in turn one. He was okay.

“The track changed around quite a bit,” Wolfe said. “I thought I found a pretty good rhythm and was making good speed. I knew the laps were clicking off and I knew there couldn’t be too many left. To get a stoppage there when you feel like you have a good roll is not the best time. Then we had the restart and then a red. I had a difficult time getting going afterwards getting air back in the tires. I used the left rear pretty hard on the long green flag run. It was a bit of a struggle for me. Fortunately, it was enough to hang on.”

Wolfe pulled away as Hodnett passed Helms on the final lap.

“If the one before where Anthony had some trouble would have gone, we might have had at least an opportunity,” Hodnett said. “Catching’s one thing and passing is another. We did the best we could for our situation and circumstances.”

Helms, Rahmer and Brock Zearfoss completed the top five. Shultz, Danny Dietrich, TJ Stutts, Coleman Gulick and Gerard McIntyre Jr. rounded out the top 10.

Montieth and Zearfoss won heat races for the 19 cars.