Buckwalter, Macri pick up wins at Williams Grove
MECHANICSBURG–Williams Grove Speedway has had very little luck beating Mother Nature the last few seasons.
But they did Friday night as rain from Tropical Storm Fay stayed to their east allowing Steve Buckwalter to score the sprint car win holding off a fast-closing Matt Campbell at the line. His first Grove win of the season was worth $4,080.
Buckwalter, Kyle Reinhardt and Adrian Shaffer won the heat races earning the front three starting spots for the 25-lap main event.
Buckwalter grabbed the lead over Reinhardt and Shaffer. The first yellow flew with three laps completed erasing Buckwalter’s nice lead over Reinhardt. Campbell, Brian Montieth, and Ryan Smith were top five for the restart.
“The Royersford Rocket” controlled the restart as Campbell challenged Reinhardt for second.
The leader caught slower traffic with a 1.3-second advantage and immediately had a close call on the front stretch. Everybody was racing around a very fast outside lane of the speedway.
“We got into traffic pretty quick,” Buckwalter said. “Being the leader, you don’t know how hard to pace yourself. Being in second when you get to traffic is the better spot to be. I think it was the 25 car I got up to and I thought he was going to lose it in front of me and I checked-up and lost a bunch of momentum and I couldn’t seem to get it back up. I was probably being too cautious not to get into one of them lapped cars, but we’re sitting here on the front stretch.”
Buckwalter got around traffic well from there extending his lead over Reinhardt by the half-way point. With eight to go, Buckwalter reached a big pack of cars at the back of the field. He really had to choose his lines carefully as he tried to stay out front.
Campbell took second from Reinhardt off turn two and was on Buckwalter’s bumper at the line. Campbell slipped up a little off turn two allowing Reinhardt to drive back by. Buckwalter cleared the traffic and had some clear track in front of him.
Campbell was fast taking second back from Reinhardt with four to go. He was gaining on the leader, but lost ground after a close call with a lapped car in turn two.
He made that ground back up over the final laps driving inside of Buckwalter in the final turns making for a close finish with Buckwalter scoring his 11th Williams Grove win in the Clair and Jan Ritter 17B. Campbell was only 0.223 back at the line.
“I saw him on the inside,” Buckwalter said. “I could hear somebody back there, but I couldn’t tell if it was a lapped car or the second place car. Being out in the lead that early, you don’t know how hard to pace yourself. The cushion started to get real choppy. Early on, I was into it pretty good and on the throttle, you don’t want to make a mistake out in the lead, and then I was being a little cautious. Maybe a little too cautious. Next time, I’ll just go for it now that we got the first win out of the way.”
Reinhardt, Smith and 13th starter Brent Marks completed the top five. Montieth, Danny Dietrich, Freddie Rahmer, Anthony Macri and 19th starter Lance Dewease rounded out the top 10.
Macri took the lead from Josh Weller and went on to win the 25-lap main event for the United Racing Club 360 sprint cars. It was his first career Grove win.
Buckwalter finished second in his attempt to sweep the night. Weller, Tyler Ross and Jason Shultz completed the top five. Derek Locke, Lucas Wolfe, Paulie Colagiovanni, Adam Carberry and Justin Barger rounded out the top 10.
The URC heats were won by Barger, Curt Michael and Jonathan Preston. Shultz won the B-main.
Sprint Car Feature (25 laps): 1. Steve Buckwalter. 2. Matt Campbell. 3. Kyle Reinhardt. 4. Ryan Smith. 5. Brent Marks. 6. Brian Montieth. 7. Danny Dietrich. 8. Freddie Rahmer. 9. Anthony Macri. 10. Lance Dewease. 11. Adrian Shaffer. 12. Chad Trout. 13. TJ Stutts. 14. Brett Michalski. 15. Tyler Bear. 16. Rick Lafferty. 17. Dwight Leppo. 18. Brent Shearer. 19. Steven Downs. 20. Trenton Sheaffer. 21. Steve Wilbur. 22. Troy Fraker. 23. Landon Myers. 24. Lucas Wolfe.