PORT ROYAL, Pa. — Lance Dewease returned to Port Royal Speedway on Friday evening and left as a winner, earning the Night Before The Tuscarora 50 victory over a field of 65 Arctic Cat All Star Circuit of Champions entries.
Dewease earned a $5,000 payday for his efforts.
The victory lane visit, the result of a battle with Midwest invader Brian Brown after starting third on the main event grid, bumps Dewease to 34 total All Star wins over the course of his storied career.
“We were pretty good here tonight for 30 laps, but I think we still need to get a little bit better for the 50-lap race tomorrow,” said Dewease. “We just had to keep our tires under us. This place was so fast here tonight.”
After withstanding a series of cautions during the first three circuits, once of which resulted in open red flag conditions while track crews cleaned up oil, Dewease was able to capitalize on a solid start and maintain third in the running order. He eventually took second from Mike Wagner, just as the lead pack was entering traffic for the first time near the end of lap eight.
Lapped traffic proved to be a benefactor for Dewease during large segments the 30-lap program. By lap nine, Dewease powered his way to second beyond Wagner, chasing Brown for the top spot. Despite Brown’s ability to roll the top side of the speedway through the slower cars, Dewease continued to find ways to keep up with Brown using the very bottom of the half-mile oval, eventually erasing all of Brown’s advantage.
Brown’s lead of nearly two seconds at the midpoint of the main event was cut down to less than a second by lap 23. Dewease ultimately worked his way to the back of Brown’s No. 21 on lap 24, which set up his first major bid for the top spot.
A successful slide job at the entrance of turn one on the following circuit allowed Dewease to take command of the field.
On lap 28, Brown set himself up for one last opportunity to regain the top spot back from Dewease, a desperate slide job at the entrance of turn one, but the attempt proved unsuccessful.
Brown ultimately settled for second, followed by T.J. Stutts, Greg Hodnett and Kerry Madsen.
“We knew Brian Brown was going to be fast here tonight,” said Dewease. “He’s got one heck of a motor builder, so we knew he was going to be a rocket ship. This is probably the hardest I’ve had to race this year, but I definitely didn’t keep the tires under me. We are going to have to get better before tomorrow night.”
“To finish second to Lance Dewease while racing against a field of 65 cars is nothing to hang our heads about,” Brown added. “We have some positive notes to review, so we’ll come back tomorrow and try to get one position better.”
Madsen was the night’s fast qualifier, with a lap of 15.443 seconds (116.558 mph) around the half-mile dirt oval.
Full race results can be viewed on the next page…