PORT ROYAL, Pa. — official track release — DB3 Imaging photo —
Greg Hodnett used a late race restart to make a two-car pass, sweeping into the lead and ultimately winning $10,000 in Sunday night’s second round of the Port Royal Speedway Bob Weikert Memorial Sprint Car Series.
The victory was the second for Hodnett at the speedplant in 24 hours after he took round on worth $5,000 on Saturday night to start the three-day show that ends on Memorial Day evening.
In the 25-lap URC sprint main, Sunbury’s Mark Smith powered to the victory worth $3,000.
Lucas Wolfe led the first lap of the 35-lap 410-sprint car main from the pole but couldn’t hold off second starter Steve Buckwalter who took command on the second tour as David Gravel, Lance Dewease and Hodnett raced in the top five.
Hodnett never advanced until the 12th lap when he worked by Dewease for fourth. He then overtook Gravel for third three laps later. And just as Hodnett took over third, Wolfe pulled off an inside third turn pass in traffic to take over the helm of the event from Buckwalter.
Dewease saw a burst of speed develop at the halfway point of the 35-lapper as he again got in front of Hodnett, this time for third but Hodnett returned the favor with 15 laps to go to again claim the spot.
Hodnett was doing his best to stay ahead of Dewease as the latter worked the inside with Hodnett on top.
Meanwhile, leader Wolfe was working hectic traffic that allowed the top four cars to gather within striking distance of one another as the pace became dizzying and the leaders darted inside and out to clear the backmarkers.
Dewease appeared to be surging late in the event when he suddenly came up lame, dropping off of the pace and stopping on the backstretch, setting up a restart after the lone event caution period on lap 27.
Not within reach of the lead before the yellow, the restart played into Hodnett’s hands as he ducked under Buckwalter for second as the field blasted into the first corner.
Hodnett then raced with Buckwalter through turn two before pulling ahead on the backstretch only to close up on Wolfe for the lead.
The Memphis native then darted underneath Wolfe as the pair set their cars into the third turn to drive up out of the fourth corner with a command he wouldn’t relinquish, after making a two-car pass during the lap to seal the deal.
Hodnett’s margin of victory was 1.420 seconds ahead of a surging Danny Dietrich, who had started 12th. Dietrich was up to fifth on the restart and drove by Gravel, Buckwalter and Wolfe during the closing circuits to finish a promising second.
Third went to Wolfe with Gravel taking fourth and 20th-starter Brent Marks blasting home in fifth. Marks earned the Hard Charger Award and a guaranteed starting spot in Monday’s finale.
Greg Hodnett leads the Weikert Memorial series points going into the final race on Monday with 350 points over Gravel, Wolfe, Dietrich and Esh.
Smith set fast time in qualifications with a lap of 16.639 seconds, but Josh Weller drove from fourth into the lead on the first lap of the URC sprint feature, with ninth starter Mark Smith already up to second on the third lap.
Smith wasted little time getting the lead, overtaking Weller on the fifth tour for the point. Doing double duty on the night as was several drivers, Greg Hodnett was up to third as the field worked through traffic when he blew a left rear tire on the 11th loop, slowing the pace.
Smith had Eric Tomecek in pursuit for the restart, but the rest of the field was no match for Smith’s racer as he took the victory going away, winning by 4.740 seconds over Tomecek.
Matt Campbell was third, followed by Adam Carberry and 17th starter Steve Buckwalter.