Kreitz makes final-lap pass for first in Spring Car feature

MECHANICSBURG – Donnie Kreitz passed Danny Dietrich on the final lap to win the World of Outlaws sprint car feature at Williams Grove Speedway on Friday night to kick off National Open weekend.

Dietrich, who took the lead from Steve Buckwalter on lap 17, went to the inside on the final lap, but Kreitz went to the middle of turns one and two and drove by Dietrich to take the lead and the $8,000 win.

“I didn’t think I would get him,” Kreitz said. “It was just a lucky move at the end. It really stuck. You go where the other guy’s not going. He drove me real clean. He could have drove me right up the track. It was a great race. I hauled it in there harder than him. It stuck and drove off the corner. I held it into third wide open. I can’t believe we won this thing.”

Steve Buckwalter started on the pole and grabbed the lead from Kreitz on the start. Dietrich came from fourth and passed Kreitz to take over second.

He pulled even with Buckwalter down the backstretch and they were very close in turn three. Buckwalter held the inside line and maintained the lead with four laps completed.

Tim Shaffer spun and brought out the caution flag.

Buckwalter slid across the middle of turn one on the restart to keep the lead over Dietrich and Kreitz. Brian Montieth was up to fifth and Donny Schatz to sixth.

Dietrich drove by on the backstretch, but Buckwalter was up to the challenge and got back around Dietrich again. As they battled for the lead, Montieth passed Brian Leppo to fourth. The top four were very close at the half-way point.

Dietrich and Kreitz swapped second and Buckwalter held a narrow lead. They got to lapped traffic with 11 laps to go.

Dietrich finally made the move work and got by Buckwalter. He completed lap 17 as the leader. Kreitz and Montieth passed Buckwalter as well.

The caution flag slowed the incredible pace with six laps to go.

Dietrich was on top and Kreitz on the bottom following the restart. Schatz drove by Leppo and into fifth. Kreitz hounded Dietrich for the lead racing the bottom.

Kreitz was getting faster over the closing laps and Dietrich knew it. He went to the bottom to block Kreitz, but Kreitz went one lane higher and drove by Dietrich and into the lead.

He scored his 57th Grove win over Dietrich, Montieth, Schatz and Hodnett. Buckwalter, Fred Rahmer, Brian Leppo, Adam Wilt and Dale Blaney completed the top 10.

“I wish I could do it over again,” a disappointed Dietrich said.

World of Outlaws regular Joey Saldana set fast time over an impressive field of 63 sprint cars with a lap of 16.961 seconds. Hodnett, Kreitz, Rahmer and Cody Darrah were the top five qualifiers. Saldana earned an extra $300 for his fast lap.

The eight-lap heat races were won by Jason Sides, Buckwalter, Leppo, Schatz and Blaney.

Ryan Smith won the D-main. Chad Layton won the C-main. Outlaws point leader Daryn Pittman won the B-main over Danny Holtgraver, Trey Starks and Ryan Taylor.

Buckwalter won the six-lap dash over Kreitz, Leppo, Dietrich and Saldana. Sides, Montieth, Blaney, Brian Brown, Justin Barger, Schatz and Williams Grove point leader Hodnett completed the dash finish, which set the A-main line-up for the front 12 spots.

The 51st Annual National Open will be held tonight paying $50,000 to win.