MARKLEYSBURG, Pa. – History was made on Sunday evening when sprint cars invaded the scenic Roaring Knob Motorsports Complex for the first time, with Lance Dewease winning the inaugural 410 Showdown in the Laurel Highlands.
Dewease and Tim Shaffer put on a driving clinic using every inch of the racy three-eighths-mile oval, trading the lead back and forth. In the end, Dewease made a last lap move to steal the win away from the defending four-time UNOH All Star Circuit of Champions champion to earn the $4,000 payday. The victory was the first of the season for Dewease, who has gotten off to a slow start with his new team.
“That was a hell of a race going on there,” said Dewease. “I wished it was a little easier than we made it, but Tim (Shaffer) and those guys are a bunch of good racers. This is their ballgame here. My motor didn’t take off on that last restart- we might have detuned it a little bit too much. It got me out of my rhythm in turn one.
“My guys were telling me they were coming for me on the top, but I was hitting my marks good on the bottom. We fell back there, but was fortunate enough to get back by them. This is a neat little place. I really enjoyed it. Once they watered the top, it really balanced everything out. You could move around and do slide jobs. It was a fun place to race tonight.”
An invert six put Dewease and Shaffer on the front row. Dewease took charge with Shaffer in tow. After caution-free preliminary events and the first feature four laps going green, four stoppages occurred between laps four and seven. A caution for a spin by Ohio racer Wes McGlumphy slowed action for the first time with four laps scored. When racing resumed, Shaffer showed his frontend racing alongside Dewease on laps five and six before a spin by up and coming racer Ryan Smith slowed the action.
It was a rough night for opening night Mercer Raceway Park winner Brandon Spithaler. Following a solid run with the BOSS non-wing Sprints on Saturday night at Fremont Speedway, Spithaler spun in turn four to bring out the caution with seven laps scored. The,n on the ensuing restart, Spithaler got high in turn two and flipped. He was OK, but done from the event.
The last 23 laps would go green-to-checkered. Back under green flag conditions, Shaffer again got alongside of Dewease and this time made the pass stick in turn four. Dewease then would lose runner-up to Schuchart in turn four on lap nine. Shaffer caught lapped traffic on lap 12 and Schuchart faced a half-straightaway deficit.