MECHANISCBURG, Pa. — It looked to be another dominant performance for the hottest driver in sprint car competition on Friday night.
Brent Marks held the point and looked to be on cruise control after starting from the pole and pacing the field for the majority of the race.
That was until fellow PA Posse legend Lance Dewease dove to the bottom of the track with four laps to go, making the low line work where others couldn’t, to steal the victory in the $10,000-to-win Summer Nationals opener at Williams Grove Speedway.
The 56-year-old Fayetteville, Pa. native earned his 106th triumph at The Grove, in his 300th start with the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series.
“We were OK on the bottom, he wasn’t down there, he actually was pretty good down there earlier,” Dewease said. “I just didn’t want to show him my nose. I was fortunate enough to get a good run at him and get by him before he could get back down. We weren’t very good there at the end. We kind of snuck by him and probably caught him a bit off guard, but we got the win and that’s what matters.”
As the night went on, track conditions seemed to allow drivers to move around and test various grooves, with a great deal of success.
With his decades of experience at Williams Grove, Dewease felt the track progressed a tremendous amount.
“The last two weeks, tonight and last week, is a lot like the old Williams Grove where you can move around and race,” Dewease said. “So, the track crew’s done a wonderful job here the last month and to get this place where you can move around and race again. So, my hats off to them. We’ll try and get a little bit better for tomorrow night, and hopefully we’ll be back here.”
Marks would have to settle for second, less than a week removed from the richest single season week in World of Outlaws history at Eldora Speedway.
After a caution flag with nine laps to go bunched the field together, Marks worked his way back to the top of the track, before Dewease delivered the final blow on the low side.
“The bottom just really started to come in there,” Marks said. “The top got so far out of round, and the cushion got so big, it was just hard to be aggressive against it without the car wanting to get messed up. I went to the bottom for two laps after the restart, and I felt really good down there, and I just felt like I needed to get back to the top and build momentum. Because at the time, Brad (Sweet) was in second. I know he’s good around the top at places like this. (I) just felt like that’s what I needed to do, and the next thing you know, the 69K’s underneath me. I tried like hell to get back by him, and just kept making mistakes, and just couldn’t get it done. I made some bad choices there towards the end, and that’s OK. We’ll learn from that and move on to tomorrow.”
The PA Posse dominated across the board in the 25-lap feature, sweeping the podium with Anthony Macri finishing third.
The top three in the points standings were nose to tail as the checkered flag waved, with Brad Sweet taking home fourth, followed by David Gravel and Carson Macedo finishing fifth and sixth, respectively.
“I don’t think it was a total failure, I feel like we still executed, and did a decent job,” Macedo said. “Ultimately, to start on the pole in the dash and then run sixth in the feature is obviously not the goal for us. My guys still did an incredible job. I just felt like I made some really poor decisions in both the dash and the feature. Unfortunately here with the way the race track is, you just can’t give up track position. It’s so important to be on the ball and have track position, and make good decisions and be at the right spot at the right time.
“I felt like we had a pretty good race car, I know what we need to do to be better, both myself and I think Phil (Dietz) obviously is one of the best and he’ll improve on his end as well,” Macedo continued. “We got another night here tomorrow and something to look forward to. I think we’ll be in the hunt again, our car’s really close so I’m thankful for that.”
Night two of the Summer Nationals at Williams Grove Speedway is set for Saturday night, with a hefty $20,000-to-win prize at stake.
Feature (25 Laps): 1. Lance Dewease, 2. Brent Marks, 3. Anthony Macri, 4. Brad Sweet, 5. David Gravel, 6. Carson Macedo, 7. Donny Schatz, 8. Danny Dietrich, 9. Kyle Larson, 10. James McFadden, 11. Sheldon Haudenschild, 12. Logan Schuchart, 13. Dylan Norris, 14. Spencer Bayston, 15. Freddie Rahmer, 16. Jacob Allen, 17. Kyle Moody, 18. Chase Dietz, 19. Lucas Wolfe, 20. Daryn Pittman, 21. TJ Stutts, 22. Devon Borden, 23. Austin Bishop, 24. Robbie Kendall, 25. Jeff Halligan