MECHANICSBURG, Pa. — official release — Chris Dolack photo — Danny Dietrich pulled out the opening night Pennsylvania Speedweek victory at Williams Grove Speedway on Friday night, holding off the furious charges of Brian Montieth to pick up the $5,000 sprint car payday.
Rick Lafferty led the opening laps from the second starting spot over polesitter Dietrich, Alan Krimes, Doug Esh and Montieth.
The race’s first caution flag unfurled on the fourth lap for a spin by Adrian Shaffer.
The restart turned to a red flag for Australian Darren Mollenoyux who barrel rolled onto the backstretch from the second corner, however escaping injury.
Montieth surely hated to see the start get called back by the red given the fact that he zoomed from fourth to second on the restart before the red unfurled.
Lafferty went back to work leading when action resumed following the red and held sway over the field until lap 14 when Dietrich went outside his black No. 0 in the third and fourth corner to take the lead with 11 laps to go in the 25 lapper.
Two laps later Montieth followed the Gettysburg driver into second and began driving down his advantage.
As the front duo began battling for control so to was there a battle for third between Lafferty and Esh.
But just as Esh was poised to take the spot on the 18th tour, he slipped over the cushion in the second turn, nearly looping his car while falling from a challenging fourth back to eighth, where he would finish.
In the meantime, Montieth was all over leader Dietrich and just after the pair crossed the stripe to record lap 24, Montieth put on a monstrous dive and slide job in the first corner that netted him the lead for the blink of an eye before Dietrich burst back around him on the cushion as the pair shot onto the backchute.
Montieth settled in for another run in the final corners but Dietrich rode into the turns in the middle groove before sliding up to the cushion to race to the checkers.
But just as Dietrich caught the turn four rough to drive off, his car twitched on the edge of the cushion allowing Montieth to drop underneath for a drag race to the checkers.
In the end Dietrich held on for the victory by .190 seconds.
“Now that’s exciting,” Dietrich said before exiting his sprinter.
“I knew Brian was there. I could hear him. I knew I was gonna get slid in one and two. You just drive in wide and high,” Dietrich said of knowing when there is a slide job coming like the kind Montieth attempted on the final lap.
Montieth was second followed by Krimes, Don Kreitz Jr. and Greg Hodnett.
Sixth through 10th went to Lafferty, Lucas Wolfe, Esh, Cory Haas and Brent Marks.
Wolfe set fast time with a quick lap of 16.687 seconds.