MECHANICSBURG, Pa. -- track release — WGS photo — Greg Hodnett wrestled the lead away from invader Shane Stewart to win Friday night’s 410 sprint car feature at Williams Grove Speedway, worth $4,000 to the winner of the tune up race meant to prepare the Williams Grove regulars for next week’s World of Outlaws invasion.
In the 358 sprint car feature, for the second week in a row Phil Walter led more than half of the race and also just like last week, it was Kevin Nouse who ended up winning the race.
Hodnett started third in the 25-lap 410 sprint main with Stewart flanking polesitter Don Kreitz Jr. for the start. The first five laps found Stewart firmly in control with Kreitz and Hodnett in tow when the races first yellow flag unfurled for a stopped Brian Montieth.
Hodnett had just blistered around Kreitz for the second spot when the red flag appeared with eight laps recorded for a two-car tangle between Rick Lafferty and Gerard McIntyre Jr. Hodnett began directly applying pressure for the lead on the restart but it took until the 14th lap for him to take his first real swipe at the lead.
The Thomasville flyer drove deep into the first corner to pull a massive slider for the lead but Stewart promptly turned the car off of the cushion and reclaimed control as the pair raced onto the backstretch. Hodnett then regrouped and was nose to tail with Stewart for the lead as they raced across the stripe with 10 laps to go.
The next time by the order would be reversed at the line as Hodnett was able to drive around Stewart as the pair raced off of the fourth corner. And once out front he began pulling away for the win while Stewart seemed left to battle an ill handling racer.
With seven laps to go he jumped the cushion in the first turn allowing both Doug Esh and Kreitz to race by and then with four laps to go he nearly pounded the outside rail in the third turn only to again regain control of his white racer.
The victory was the first of the year for Hodnett at Williams Grove and the 54th of his oval career. Esh was second at the finish followed by Kreitz, Ryan Smith and Lance Dewease.
Walter started on the pole of the 358 sprint main and was leading over Matt Campbell and Kody Lehman when the races first caution flag fell with four laps away. Nouse, who started 11th in the field, was racing fifth for the restart and found himself up to second at the halfway point when another yellow flag unfurled.
Walter withstood the challenges of Nouse until lap 14 when the Lewisberry driver finally was able to make his bottom groove work and drive into the lead over the cushion running Walter.
A final caution with five laps to go again regrouped the field and although Walter was able to stay close enough that Nouse could hear him over the final stages he was never able to push back into the lead.
Walter rode home second followed by Campbell, Adrian Shaffer and Kody Lehman.