MECHANICSBURG, Pa. — Lance Dewease’s World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series victory in the Champion Racing Oil Summer Nationals finale at Williams Grove Speedway on Saturday night took a lot of hard work and a little good luck.
Dewease, who spent much of the first two-thirds of the feature looking for a line around Joey Saldana, battled to the lead on one restart, had do it again after the caution flew before a lap was completed and then, after the caution flag waved on the final lap for Aaron Ott, who spun near the start/finish line, ran out of fuel as the open red was called.
“I was out (of fuel) about six laps before that,” Dewease said. “It kept shutting off going down the straightaway. I just slowed way out of the throttle so I could try to make it to the end, took the white, it sputtered a little going up the backstretch, I thought I was good and we come of four for the checkered and the yellow comes out. I thought, man, we’re done… Everything went our way tonight.”
In addition to claiming $25,000, Dewease also kept the Morgan Cup at Williams Grove for the local, Pennsylvania Posse fans. The win is the second of the season for Dewease who stood in victory lane at Williams Grove on May 20.
Notably, the win was the 10th series victory of Dewease’s career which tied him with Johnny Herrera and his car owner Don Kreitz Jr. for 33rd on the all-time wins list.
Joey Saldana jumped out to the early lead in his No. 83 Roth Motorsports car. Dewease, who started in fourth got around Greg Hodnett for third on lap seven and then, on a restart, powered his No. 69k Kreitz Oval Track Parts/Sharman Builders car around the No. 9 Great Clips car of Daryn Pittman to take over second.
Through multiple restarts, Saldana held off Dewease. With 11 laps remaining, the No. 48 of Danny Dietrich brought out the caution after spinning on the front straight. When the field returned to green Dewease battled to the lead but before a lap could be completed, the caution again flew after a large piece of a nose wing ended up in the middle of the racing groove in turn two.
Saldana took the lead back but was not able to hold off Dewease. As Saldana fell off Pittman took over the second and David Gravel took over third.
Dewease cruised through the final laps, building a large lead on Pittman in second. As Dewease rounded the final corner, the caution again flew for Ott who had spun and stopped at the start/finish line.
Just as series officials called the open red after hitting the maximum number of laps on a fuel load, Dewease ran out of fuel. After refueling for the final start, the field restacked single file with Dewease leading Pittman, and by that point, the No. 51s of Stevie Smith.
Lance Dewease in victory lane at Williams Grove Speedway. (Dennis Bicksler photo)
Dewease easily retained the top spot on the green-white-checkered. As he crossed the finish line much of the front grandstand rose to their feet to cheer for the No. 69K. Pittman, a former regular in Central Pennsylvania, finished second with Smith third.
With Kreitz and Hall-of-Fame mechanic Davey Brown at his side, Dewease celebrated the win.
“Everything is about (Don Kreitz) and (Davey Brown) on this deal,” Dewease said. “I’m just the guy driving it and I’m just having so much fun this year. It’s just a pleasure.”
For their part, Brown and Kreitz were jubilant in victory lane.
“I just couldn’t ask for a better driver,” Brown said. “He’s just so good, I can’t believe it.”
“I can hardly talk,” Kreitz said. “I’ve got tears in my eyes. Lance did a hell of a job driving the car and the moves he made in it.”
The win ties the Outlaws vs. Pennsylvania Posse battle at two wins to two wins. The two sides will pick up the battle again at the end of September for the National Open at Williams Grove.
Pittman, who closed out the weekend with a win and second place, said he just was not quite quick enough to start the feature, but commended his Kasey Kahne Racing with Mike Curb team for a solid weekend.
“We got beat by a better car and that car has been hard to beat all year,” Pittman said of Dewease. “We got one on him last night by starting in front of him. I finally found a decent line there at the end and felt like I could at least maintain with him and sort of keep his pace but at the end of the day he was just quicker than us.”