Dewease Cashes In On Late Port Royal Restart

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Lance Dewease (69k) leads Danny Dietrich Saturday at Port Royal Speedway. (Julia Johnson photo)

PORT ROYAL, Pa. — One can never count out Lance Dewease at Port Royal Speedway, especially when the Ollie’s Bargain Outlet All Star Circuit of Champions presented by Mobil 1 are in town.

With a little bit of luck in the form of a late-race caution, Dewease, driver of the familiar Schannauer Plumbing and Heating/Hess Iron/Kreitz Oval Track Parts/No. 69k, muscled his way around race long leader Danny Dietrich to earn a Series-leading 10th Port Royal Speedway victory during All Star action.

Dewease has won seven of the last eight All Star races at the half-mile oval, running his career All Star victory total to 38.

“I grew up racing at this place. I’ve raced here 30-plus years now,” said Dewease in Keith Kauffman Classic victory lane. “This is like a home to me and I’ve always had success here. This car just doubles all of that. I’m just excited to be here. To get a win during our second night out, I’m happy as heck.”

Wasting little time after the drop of the initial green, Dewease powered his way to fifth in one circuit, eventually taking the fourth position away from Steve Buckwalter by the completion of lap two.

In the meantime, it was all Dietrich at the front of the field, keeping a safe distance between himself and fellow front row starter, Anthony Macri, during the first five circuits.

By lap seven, Macri was all over the tailtank of the Gary Kauffman Racing entry, actually pulling even with Dietrich as the pair raced toward the flagstand to complete lap eight.

Lance Dewease shakes hands with sprint car racing legend Keith Kauffman (right) Saturday at Port Royal Speedway after winning the Keith Kauffman Classic. (Julia Johnson photo)

With traffic creating a momentum shift, Macri pulled even with Dietrich once again, this time as the pair battled through turns one and two on lap nine.

Unfortunately for Macri, contact between himself and Dietrich at the end of the backstretch caused the front-end to break sending Macri hard into the inside guardrail.

When action returned, Dewease pounced again, not only gaining a position due to Macri’s misfortune, but also passing six-time All Star champion Dale Blaney.

Traffic returned to the picture shortly after the field reached the halfway point of the 30-lap program. Although Dietrich was able to navigate slower traffic, Dewease eventually erased Dietrich’s advantage to less than a car length by lap 20. Despite Dewease’s ability to show speed in traffic, Dietrich escaped to a half-straightaway lead by lap 26.

The break that Dewease needed occurred on lap 28, as Brock Zearfoss pulled to a stop with a flat right-rear tire resulting in a caution flag.

On the restart, Dewease made his winning move, soon driving to the outside of Dietrich as the pair battled through turns one and two. Dewease did not take the lead, officially, until the exit of turn four, beating the recent Port Royal winner back to the flagstand to complete lap 29. From there, it was all Lance Dewease.

“I was happy because I had a shot,” Dewease said. “I had a line where I could run the middle for a couple laps, but the longer I ran, I couldn’t hold the line any longer. At one point, I was just trying to save my tires to see what would happen at the end. I knew if I got a run on Danny [Dietrich] and pulled even with him, he wouldn’t be able to get off the corner.”

Dietrich held on to finish second, a second consecutive runner-up finish during All Star competition, followed by a 13th-starting Logan Wagner, Aaron Reutzel and Blaney.

The finish:

Feature (30 Laps): 1. 69K-Lance Dewease [8]; 2. 48-Danny Dietrich [1]; 3. 1Z-Logan Wagner [13]; 4. 87-Aaron Reutzel [5]; 5. 11-Dale Blaney [3]; 6. 24-Lucas Wolfe [7]; 7. 72-Ryan Smith [12]; 8. 5-Dylan Cisney [21]; 9. 51-Freddie Rahmer [20]; 10. 17B-Steve Buckwalter [4]; 11. 55-Mike Wagner [15]; 12. 70X-Spencer Bayston [27]; 13. 13-Paul McMahan [6]; 14. 49X-Tim Shaffer [9]; 15. 12-Blane Heimbach [10]; 16. 98H-Dave Blaney [24]; 17. 11S-TJ Stutts [14]; 18. 33-Jared Esh [23]; 19. 35T-Tyler Reeser [16]; 20. 26-Cory Eliason [18]; 21. 2-AJ Flick [19]; 22. 20-Ryan Taylor [26]; 23. 7K-Cale Conley [25]; 24. 40-George Hobaugh [22]; 25. 70-Brock Zearfoss [11]; 26. 39-Cory Haas [17]; 27. 91-Anthony Fiore [28]; 28. 39M-Anthony Macri [2] Lap Leaders: Danny Dietrich (1-28), Lance Dewease (29-30)