Dewease wins Keith Kauffman Classic
Racer is 2nd winningest at Port Royal
PORT ROYAL — On the night honoring Port Royal Speedway’s most prolific Sprint car winner, the man second on that list added to his own legacy.
Lance Dewease’s 108th career Sprint car win at Port Royal came in the third annual Keith Kauffman Classic earning him $5,000 and his fifth straight win against the All Stars at the track. Kauffman had 129 career wins at the track.
The race appeared to belong to All Star series regular Aaron Reutzel, but a red flag to refuel allowed mechanic Davey Brown to make some adjustments to the Donnie Kreitz-owned 69K.
“If it wasn’t for the red, Aaron was going to win this race,” Dewease said. “He had the best racecar at that stage. Keith is a legend in this area. He was a great racer and a great guy, too. It’s nice that he gets to be around and see a tribute to him. He accomplished a lot and helped the racers that came after him like me flourish in this sport.”
The red flag stopped the race on the initial start as Dave Blaney got sideways in turn three and collected TJ Stutts, who flipped, but was okay.
On the second attempt, Macri got the jump on Steve Buckwalter grabbing the race lead. Dewease started fifth and was part of a three-wide race for position off turn two in the early laps.
Reutzel grabbed third from Greg Hodnett and then second from Buckwalter setting his sights on the leader.
At Reutzel pressured Macri, Dewease passed Hodnett and Buckwalter taking third.
The leaders were side-by-side down the front stretch with Reutzel nipping Macri at the line by .02 completing lap 12 as the leader. Dewease was set to take second, but the caution flag flew when Trey Starks stopped on the backstretch.
Reutzel pulled away on the restart and led by 1.618 at the half-way point, but that lead was erased when Blaney spun in turn one. The fuel stop ensued allowing Dewease’s Hall of Fame crew to go to work.
Dewease went to the middle groove on the restart driving by Macri into second.
“He made a couple little changes and for about five or six laps, it was really good again,” Dewease said. “I knew it when we lined back up it was going to be better. I knew I had to get by Macri pretty quick so Aaron couldn’t get too far out on me. We were fortunate enough to do that.”
Reutzel did build roughly a one-second lead, but Dewease slowly chipped away at that and his inside charge off turn four put him out front with nine laps to go.
From there, Dewease, of Fayetteville, controlled the pace scoring the win by 2.149 over Reutzel.
“I don’t know if it’s heartbreak or more pumped up to run with Lance like that,” Reutzel said. “He’s a guy I really look up to and have a ton of respect for. He’s so humble and races everyone so clean. He’s one of the smoothest drivers I’ve ever seen.”
Macri, Buckwalter and Hodnett completed the top five. Mike Wagner, Dylan Cisney, 20th starter Ryan Smith, World of Outlaws regular Daryn Pittman and Ryan Taylor rounded out the top 10.
Danville’s Jeff Rine started second in the Moon Shine Camo Rt. 35 Series main event for the late models and would lead all 25 laps of the event.
Only one caution, on lap 10, slowed Rine’s pace.
Polesitter Gene Knaub chased Rine until lap 12 when Andy Haus got by for second.
Haus was unable to close on the leader, however, as Rine went on to post a 3.978 second victory earning $2,200.
Knaub rode home third followed by Dylan Yoder and Alex Feree. Jason Schmidt, Colton Flinner, Matt Lux, Trent Brenneman and Mike Lupfer rounded out the top 10.