Cory Haas cruises to Grove win
MECHANICSBURG – Cory Haas returned to Williams Grove Speedway sprint car victory lane Friday night leading all 25 laps of the main event.
It was his first win at the historic speedway this season. He earned $3,800 in a car owned by long-time owner John Trone.
Haas, of York, started on the pole after winning the first heat race, shot into the lead and never looked back en route to his ninth career Grove triumph.
“It sets the tone for the feature,” Haas said referring to his heat win. “You start heads-up, so you’ve got to get to the front of the heat somehow, especially with the track like this tonight. It was tough to pass. We were fortunate to have the car really good. Everybody was kind of tight in the heat, but I was really nice on the bottom and got around them all.”
“In the feature, I just drove around the lip,” Haas said. “I didn’t know where to be. I was going to move my wing and move down in three and four, but I didn’t do that until I saw Ryan (Smith’s) nose there. I didn’t know how good he was. I was getting a little free at the end, but good enough to hang on.”
Haas and Robbie Kendall won the heat races and shared the front row to start the sprint car feature. Haas got the jump shooting into the lead over Kendall and Ryan Smith.
The yellow flew with six laps completed when Troy Fraker stopped. This erased his 2.199-second lead.
Smith passed Kendall in turns three and four following the restart taking second. Brian Montieth, who started 11th, moved into fourth and 12th starter Freddie Rahmer into sixth.
The yellow flew again with nine laps completed when Adrian Shaffer stopped. Haas had built a comfortable lead again.
Haas controlled the restart as Rahmer moved into fourth. Montieth slowed and pitted.
At the half-way point, Haas led by .875. Kendall got back to Smith’s bumper, but got a little high allowing Smith to get away again. Point leader Danny Dietrich was up into fifth. Rahmer had a good run at Kendall, but he blocked the pass attempt.
After that, the leaders were all around the top side of the speedway racing on a very fast cushion. Smith closed on the leader momentarily, but lost ground again in turn four.
The yellow flew for Rodney Westhafer in turn two with three laps to go.
“I would have liked to see it go non-stop the whole race when you’re leading out there on a track like this,” Haas said. “It didn’t and it gave some guys an opportunity to get up through there. I’m just real thankful. My guys did a great job all night. The car was really good.”
Smith ducked under Haas following the restart at each end of the speedway. Haas stayed on top and raced off a fast cushion to stay ahead of Smith.
His final margin of victory was .420 over Smith. Kendall, Rahmer and Dietrich completed the top five. Anthony Macri, Kyle Moody, Chad Trout, Kody Lehman and Rick Lafferty rounded out the top 10.
The World of Outlaws Late Model made their return to Williams Grove for the first time in 31 years.
Point leader Brandon Sheppard put a beat-down on the field scoring his 16th win of the year. He set quick time, won his heat, started on the pole of the feature and dominated the 40-lap race earning $10,000.
Shane Clanton, Ricky Weiss, Gregg Satterlee and Brian Birkhofer completed the top five. Chase Junghans, Jason Covert, Rick Eckert, Darrell Lanigan and Cade Dillard rounded out the top 10.