PORT ROYAL, Pa. — Lance Dewease scored the richest payday in the history of Port Royal Speedway on Saturday night, leading the final 44 laps of the 50th running of the Tuscarora 50 to bank the $50,000 winner’s share.
In earning his unprecedented sixth Tuscarora 50 title, Dewease started sixth on the Arctic Cat All Star Circuit of Champions grid, taking command on lap seven over Ryan Smith and Central Pennsylvania hotshot Danny Dietrich.
Despite a competition yellow flag during the midpoint of the 50-lapper, Dewease remained flawless during his time at the top of the running order, crossing under the final checkers nearly four seconds ahead of Smith, Brock Zearfoss, hard-charging Lucas Wolfe and Kerry Madsen.
“I know how to run this place for 50 laps,” Dewease said. “We didn’t push it real hard at the beginning just because I didn’t want to overheat my left rear. I probably could have ran a little faster, but I didn’t want to yet. This is all about this team right now. We have a 16-race-old motor in here. It’s the ‘little engine that can.’ My team works their butts off every time we show up to race. It’s definitely hard work that gets us here.”
Smith and Carl Bowser led the 27 starters to green, with Smith earning the early advantage, racing back to the flagstand for the first time with Dietrich, Dewease and Bowser in tow.
Utilizing the very topside of the speedway, Smith kept command for the first six circuits.
By lap three, Dewease had worked his way underneath Dietrich for second. Four laps later, Dewease was battling for the top spot, ultimately working underneath Smith with a textbook slide job at the entrance of turn one. Dietrich followed Dewease’s tracks and also worked by Smith, keeping pace with the familiar No. 69k until traffic spoiled Dietrich’s momentum on lap 10.
Working as an advantage for the race leader, traffic eventually intensified, which allowed Dewease to escape from the rest of the field. By the time the race was stopped for a competition yellow on lap 25, Dewease’s advantage was nearly four seconds.
During the closing laps before the yellow, Smith battled back to regain second over Dietrich on lap 17. Zearfoss, who started ninth on the main event grid, also raced around Dietrich to claim third on lap 19.
When green-flag conditions resumed on lap 26, Dewease was able to pick up right where he left off, returning to the bottom of the speedway. By lap 29, Dewease regrew his lead to 2.5 seconds, still flanked by Smith and Zearfoss.
Even when the trio raced into traffic once again, Dewease maintained his momentum, ultimately crossing under the checkered flag 3.948 seconds ahead of Smith and Zearfoss.
“We were fortunate enough to win our heat race which put us in a good starting position,” said Dewease. “We had to free ourselves up a little bit during that break. When I got into lapped cars, I started to get really tight. This car loves the clean air. This win is really special to all of us.”
Dewease earned $56,350 during his weekend visit to the Port Royal Speedway, scoring his 35th-career All Stars win Saturday.
Full race results can be viewed on the next page…