MECHANICSBURG, Pa. — It was the battle of the No. 19s at Williams Grove Speedway on Friday night as Stevie Smith and Brent Marks fought to the finish line for the 410 sprint car feature victory.
And in the end it was the No. 19m of Marks who stole Smiths win on the final corner.
In the 25-lap 358 sprint championship event a drastic turn of events midway through the race gave Kevin Nouse the chance he needed to record his second oval win of the year.
Smith started second in the 25-lap 410 sprint feature and took the lead on the first lap before driving off from the field.
Smith was chased by Bob Bennett, Greg Hodnett, Marks and Dewease during the first several laps but Marks was the man who advanced through the top-five the fastest, taking over third with three away before driving into second with six laps down.
Smith entered the backmarkers with 11 laps completed while holding nearly a straightaway lead over Marks but the Myerstown driver slowly and steadily chewed away at the leaders advantage during the ensuing circuits.
And by the time the race had six laps to go, Smith and Marks crossed the line nose to tail in their race for control.
Marks glued himself to Smiths bumper for that lap before making a swoop for the lead through the first and second corners with five laps to go only to see Smith zip off of the cushion still in control.
That swoop for the lead cost Marks numerous car lengths and it took him until the final lap to claw his way back up to leader Smith but he was left with just enough time to make one final try for the victory.
And Smith knew it was coming.
So he tried to fend off the high-flying third turn dive to his inside that he was betting on Marks making.
Smith tried and Marks did.
But Smith seemed to have missed his entry when he set the car into the third corner, leaving enough room for Marks to complete a pass and drive off of the fourth turn as the leader to the checkered flag.
That was a tough one, Marks said.
I kinda knew he (Smith) was gonna block my slide but I was gonna go for it anyways.
He (Smith) just didnt enter low enough and I got that lower lane. He went to block my slider and kinda lost momentum, Marks said.
Smith recovered for second followed by Hodnett, Dewease and Brian Montieth.
Austin Reed led the first two laps of the 358 sprint championship race before dropping off of the pace during a yellow flag for a spun Austin Hogue in the third corner.
Adrian Shaffer took control from D.J. Montgomery on the restart and was followed quickily into second by Mark Smith.
Smith dogged Shaffer for the next several laps before taking a failed swipe for the lead in the fourth turn with nine away.
The pair was working lapped traffic leaving little breathing room between each other when those close quarters proved disastrous for both with 10 laps to go.
As the pair ran up on a lapped car at the end of the backstretch, Shaffers car suddenly turned sideways and backed into the outside third turn wall with Smith getting caught up in the incident, taking them both out of contention.
Montgomery again restarted with the lead but again would not lead a lap as 12th starter Kevin Nouse instead took control with 16 down to cruise to his second win of the season at the track as the point leader.
Tim Berkheimer was second followed by Montgomery, Dale Hammaker and Matt Mountz.