Wagner prevails at Tuscarora 50
Dewease leaks oil, slips out of first place
PORT ROYAL — For most of the 54th Annual Tuscarora 50, it appeared Lance Dewease was going to add to his own win record of seven in the historic sprint car race at Port Royal Speedway Saturday night.
However, four-time track champion Logan Wagner had other ideas.
Dewease, and his Kreitz Racing 69K sprinter, were covered in oil from a leaking oil pressure line. He was struggling with slower traffic over the final laps and Wagner was charging around the top as Dewease tried to get by using the middle and lower lines.
Wagner got a huge run down the backstretch while Dewease missed his entry into turn three behind Kyle Reinhardt.
Wagner had a huge head of steam entering turn three. With Dewease off the bottom, Wagner raced by on the inside.
Dewease turned back under him as they raced off turn four and led at the line with two to go.
He went low into turn one as Wagner blasted the top. His momentum off the second turn got him by Dewease down the backstretch.
Without hesitation, Wagner shot under Reinhardt entering turn three.
Not only did he lap Reinhardt, but he lapped Devon Borden as well coming off turn four taking the white flag as the leader with two lapped cars between himself and Dewease.
“I got a good run and got right up to him,” Wagner said. “I seen he chose the wrong line with Reinhardt. I stuffed it into the bottom and tried to boot Reinhardt out of the way and drive it in and stick it, and I did.”
“From then on, I was trying not to get too worked up, ride off guy’s right rears catching the air off their side panel on my top wing and doing everything I needed to do to win that race. I didn’t even know it was the last lap.”
In control now, Wagner raced the bottom line into turn one, got another great run down the backstretch and raced the middle through three and four winning the 54th Annual Tuscarora 50 by 1.439.
The 30-year-old from Harrisonville earned $54,000 in the John and Pee Wee Zemaitis-owned Zemco No. 1 with crew chief Tommy Carl. It was the second career car owner win in the 50. Stevie Smith won it for them in 2011.
The disappointment and frustration was obvious for Dewease, who earned $15,000 for second.
“I drove 40 laps and couldn’t see in front of me,” Dewease said. “I ran out of tear-offs 10 laps into the race with the amount of oil we had leaking. I couldn’t hold onto the steering wheel, couldn’t hit the pedal. I knew I was a sitting duck, especially once we got to lapped cars. Logan’s been pretty good all year, especially this weekend. He deserved to win it and I didn’t.”
Dewease grabbed the lead from Rico Abreu on lap 12 and appeared headed to his eighth Tuscarora 50 win, but it wasn’t meant to be.
“We’re not here for second,” Dewease said.
After starting eighth, four-time Port Royal feature winner Anthony Macri completed the podium earning $7,000.
“We had a really good car the first 25 and I was just trying to save tires,” Macri said. “My tires looked good under the red and I knew it was time to get up on the wheel and try to make something happen. We had that one restart when I got by Logan and it got called back right away, so I was swearing in my helmet there, but that’s the way the cookie crumbles. We had a third place car. What are you going to do? Congrats to Logan. Those guys have been really good all year and all weekend. We’ll move onto next year.”
Macri passed Wagner for second following a restart with 15 to go, but the pass was negated as the yellow flew again before another lap was completed.
“It was definitely irritating, but I had to think about what Logan was going to do on the next restart and that’s what I was doing,” Macri said. “I was playing out where Lance was going to go and where Logan was going to go. Luckily it played out the same, but I didn’t get as good of a run off two. We’ll take third.”
Sixth starter Dylan Cisney ($5,000) and 11th starter Brent Marks ($4,000) completed the top five.
Spencer Bayston ($3,500), Mike Wagner ($3,250), 23rd starting Bill Balog ($3,000) early leader Rico Abreu ($2,750), and Gerard McIntyre Jr. ($2,500) rounded out the top 10.
Selinsgrove’s Blane Heimbach finished 12th after starting 29th. He never got a qualifying lap as the team struggled to get his car to start.
The J&S Fabrication Warrior Award presented by former Tuscarora 50 winner car owners Jim and Sandy Kline was worth $6,000 and went to 23rd finishing Reinhardt.
Bayston set quick time in Flight 1 with a lap of 17.797, while Wagner was the quickest in Flight 2 and overall at 17.648. He earned an extra $1,200 for that.
Heat races for the 57-car field went to: Dewease, Tyler Courtney, Abreu, L. Wagner, Cisney and Pittman. Those drivers all earned $200.
Tuscarora 50 Sprint Car Feature (50 laps): 1. Logan Wagner. 2. Lance Dewease. 3. Anthony Macri. 4. Dylan Cisney. 5. Brent Marks. 6. Spencer Bayston 7. Mike Wagner. 8. Bill Balog. 9. Rico Abreu. 10. Gerard McIntyre Jr. 11. Gio Scelzi. 12. Blane Heimbach. 13. TJ Stutts. 14. Danny Dietrich. 15. Daryn Pittman. 16. Sye Lynch. 17. Cory Eliason. 18. Ian Madsen. 19. Justin Peck. 20. Tyler Bear. 21. Justin Whittall. 22. Devon Borden. 23. Kyle Reinhardt. 24. AJ Flick. 25. Tyler Courtney. 26. Zeb Wise. 27. Hunter Schuerenberg. 28. Lucas Wolfe. 29. Freddie Rahmer.
Tuscarora 50 Non-Qualifiers Race (20 laps): 1. Kyle Moody. 2. Lynton Jeffrey. 3. Michael Walter II. 4. Landon Myers. 5. Skylar Gee. 6. Steve Buckwalter. 7. Pat Cannon. 8. Trenton Sheaffer. 9. Zach Newlin. 10. Cap Henry. 11. Tyler Reeser. 12. Brie Hershey. 13. Troy Fraker. 14. Greg Plank. 15. Drew Ritchey.
Tuscarora 50 C-main (10 laps): 1. Michael Walter II. 2. Tyler Walton. 3. Zach Newlin. 4. Justin Whittall. 5. Trenton Sheaffer. 6. Brie Hershey. 7. Pat Cannon. 8. Drew Ritchey. 9. Troy Fraker. 10. Greg Plank. 11. Lucas Wolfe. 12. Tyler Reeser. 13. Cory Thornton. 14. Kody Lehman. 15. Dustin Baney. 16. Michael Bower. 17. Jon Stewart. DNS: Ryan Smith, Tanner Brown, Matt Campbell, Dave Brown.
Tuscarora 50 B-main (12 laps): 1. Danny Dietrich. 2. Zeb Wise. 3. Freddie Rahmer. 4. Skylar Gee. 5. TJ Stutts. 6. Bill Balog. 7. AJ Flick. 8. Justin Peck. 9. Blane Heimbach. 10. Aaron Reutzel. 11. Hunter Schuerenberg. 12. Lynton Jeffrey. 13. Cap Henry. 14. Landon Myers. 15. Michael Walter II 16. Kyle Moody. 17. Brian Brown. 18. Jared Esh. 19. Steve Buckwalter. 20. Tyler Walton.