PORT ROYAL, Pa. — A.J. Flick became an official member of the Pennsylvania Posse on Saturday night at Port Royal Speedway, taking his first Port Royal Speedway and Central Pennsylvania sprint car victory worth $3,600 in the 164th annual Juniata County Fair Opener.
To get the win, Flick had to pass Joey Hershey and Steve Buckwalter for the lead and then outrun and hold off Lance Dewease.
“We beat Lance Dewease, oh my God,” Flick said upon exiting his No. 2.
Flick started second in the 25-lap feature but allowed polesitter Tyler Hershey to take control at the start with Steve Buckwalter in third.
Flick lost second to Buckwalter on the second tour but then regrouped for his run at the front, passing Buckwalter back for the spot with four away.
The first caution flag of the race unfurled on the sixth tour and Flick pounced on the restart to get command and go to work on the cushion.
Dewease started ninth in the field and was up to fifth by the fourth lap.
On the same restart that Flick took the lead, Dewease drove into third and then took second on the eighth lap.
Flick meanwhile was working traffic by the halfway point with Dewease in tow but he held a .634 second lead at the stripe on lap 13.
However, Dewease was making good time on the bottom and Flick was not and when the leader went to the inside of a backmarker to put him a lap down in the second turn on lap 15, Dewease drove by for control as Flick slid up across the track to catch the cushion.
At that point, the race could have been considered over, now in the hands of Dewease but Flick got a reprieve when the caution appeared for a stopped Justin Whittal before the lap could be completed.
So Flick went back to the point and it would not be an opportunity he would waste as he took the new green, using the high line in the first turn to get away from Dewease.
Dewease too stuck to the cushion for the duration of the event and with less than three laps to go, Flick again was in traffic but everything went his way, with Dewease unable to mount a challenge to the finish.
Flick became the 192nd driver to win a sprint car event at Port Royal.
Dewease rode home second by a .445 second disadvantage, followed by Danny Dietrich, Buckwalter and Lucas Wolfe.
Sixth through 10th went to Greg Hodnett, Blane Heimbach, Tyler Reeser, T.J. Stutts and Jason Shultz.
In the 33-lap Butch Renninger Memorial for ULMS super late models, Tyler Bare took the victory worth $4,861 including lap money.
The econo late model Renninger Memorial was taken by Derrick Garman while Will Brunson scored the Renninger event for the xtreme stocks.
A total of 108 race cars packed the pits for the opening race of the 2018 fair.