Dewease notches 111th win at Port Royal

Sentinel photo by TIM SHUMAKER
Racing into turn two during the Ollie’s Bargain Outlets Circuit of Champions presented by Mobil 1 are George Hobaugh, 40, Arron Reutzel, 87, and feature winner Lance Dewease.

PORT ROYAL — Never count Lance Dewease out of a sprint car race at Port Royal Speedway.

Danny Dietrich appeared headed to victory Saturday night in the 30-lap Keith Kauffman Classic sanctioned by the Ollie’s Bargain Outlet Circuit of Champions presented by Mobil 1.

However, the yellow flag flew with two laps to go giving Dewease a shot at the win.

Dietrich was locked to the bottom lane, so Dewease went one lane higher and took the lead coming off turn four with the white flag in the air.

He led the final lap scoring the $6,000 win and his 111th career sprint car win at Port Royal Speedway. He’s won seven of the last eight All-Star races held at Port Royal.

“I was happy because I had a shot,” Dewease said. “I could run the middle for a couple laps, but the longer we ran, I couldn’t do it because it was getting dirty from everybody running around the bottom. For a while, I could run up in one and two and make gains on him, but after about five, six laps of doing that, I couldn’t keep up, so I just got in line and followed him and I was conserving my tires to see what happens at the end. We got a restart and was fortunate enough.”

Dewease, of Fayetteville, is one of the best to ever race at Port Royal.

“I grew up racing at this place,” Dewease said. “I’ve raced here 30-plus years now. It’s like home to me and I’ve always been pretty good here. We weren’t very good all night, but Davey (Brown) and Donald (Kreitz) kept plugging away and plugging away. This is only our second race out and I’m really happy to get a win.”

Dietrich, of Gettysburg, started on the pole driving into the lead over Anthony Macri. Dewease started eighth, but was quickly up to fourth.

While the leaders ran the bottom in turns three and four, Macri raced the top in turns one and two staying right with Dietrich.

Dietrich ducked low to lap a car in turn one. Macri got a great run again off the cushion driving by Dietrich for the lead on the backstretch.

Dietrich and Macri split Tony Fiore as they raced into turn one the next lap. They were side-by-side as they raced down the backstretch. Contact was made breaking the left front of Macri’s sprinter sending him across the track and hard into an unforgiving concrete barrier. He was okay.

The ensuing red flag stopped the race with eight laps completed.

Dietrich controlled the restart as Dewease took second from Dale Blaney.

Dewease moved around the racing surface, but couldn’t close on Dietrich, who had about a one-second lead at the half-way point.

They started lapping slower cars again with 10 laps to go. Dewease couldn’t get close enough to make a move.

Dietrich appeared headed for victory until the yellow flew for Brock Zearfoss with two laps left.

Then came Dewease’s slick move on the restart.

“Danny and I were wheel-to-wheel,” Dewease said. “I knew if I could get ahead of him through the middle of the corner, the way these cars are with the air, he wouldn’t be able to get off the corner if I was that close. It worked out.”

His final margin of victory was .336 seconds over Dietrich, who immediately addressed the contact with Macri.

“I didn’t try to crash Anthony,” Dietrich said. “We are pretty good buddies. They can boo all they want. I never knew he was there. If anything, I would have moved up on the 69K off of four. That’s not how I drive. I’m going to get booed and that’s fine. I thought I ran a heck of a race in lapped traffic. I really didn’t want to see that caution. I had just cleared some lapped cars. I know with the All Star deal they take the lapped cars away. I really wanted to win this.”

Defending track champion Logan Wagner raced from the 13th starting spot to third. Aaron Reutzel and Dale Blaney completed the top-five. Lucas Wolfe, Ryan Smith, 21st starter Dylan Cisney, 20th starter Freddie Rahmer and Stevie Buckwalter rounded out the top 10.

Paul McMahan set fast time over the 36-car field with a lap of 16.178. Blaney, Blane Heimbach, Reutzel and Macri won the heat races. Dietrich and Macri won the dashes. Cisney won the B-main.

Selinsgrove’s Andrew Yoder earned $1,000 winning the 20-lap Mason Dixon Series main event for the limited late models. Todd Snook, Kenny Yoder, Chad Myers and Dillan Stake completed the top five. Devin Hart crossed the line first, but was disqualified during post-race inspection.

The Rumble by the River scheduled for Sunday night at Port Royal featuring the Lucas Oil Dirt Late Model Series was rained out.