ABBOTTSTOWN, Pa. – Kyle Larson and Lance Dewease traded slide jobs and delivered excitement in a Saturday night slugfest at Lincoln Speedway, but in the end it was Danny Dietrich’s zeal that ultimately prevailed.
Dietrich outdueled Larson and Dewease to win night two of Pennsylvania Speedweek, capturing the $9,200 Kevin Gobrecht Memorial and the attention span of attendees who soaked in another instant classic in the Pigeon Hills for 30 laps.
The Gettysburg, Pa., driver led the final three laps and scored a 1.013-second margin of victory over Larson, Dewease, Freddie Rahmer, and Rico Abreu.
“It feels good,” Dietrich said. “Kyle is so good everywhere. It’s like beating the best. The best. In the beginning, I didn’t think I had a chance. The longer it went on the better I got.”
Outside of a red flag for Kyle Reinhardt and Jeff Halligan on the opening lap, the 30-lap feature had no stoppages where Dietrich gained life little by little.
Rahmer started on the pole, but Larson quickly snatched the top spot with a well-executed slide job as the field barreled onto the back chute. Through seven laps, Larson opened up a 4.1-second lead on Lance Dewease.
Three laps later, Dewease cut Larson’s advantage to just 1.6 seconds by halfway that became just one second with Dietrich not far behind.
At that point it became clear that Dietrich had an upper hand navigating lapped traffic over Larson, who couldn’t do much outside the top.
“I just didn’t get through traffic quite like I needed to,” said Larson, who happened to rack up his 15th straight top-two finish along the way. “Once Danny got by me I realized he was running a lot harder than I was. That was a fun race, though. It was fun in my seat. I’m sure the fans enjoyed it, too.”
Dietrich challenged Larson for the lead on lap 19 when he threw his No. 48 sprint car hard into turn one. Larson crossed Dietrich over, setting up another slide-job exchange on the very next corner.
Larson landed the countering slide job, but that only gave Dietrich more time to strategize and size up the race-winning move. With four laps to go, Larson quickly sucked to the rear of Chase Dietz, a lapped car, and had no option but to duck under Dietz and take a shallow appraoch in turn late.
Dietrich meanwhile, hammered the top and turned an almost one-second deficit to a two car legnth deficit with three laps to go.
The race-winning move started in turns one and two and ended in three and four, when Dietrich used a closed-quarters slide job to take the top line away from Larson.
“We both know if we crash it’s going to be both of our faults,” Dietrich said. “But that’s what you do. You have to give 125, 150 percent when you race against [Larson] and Lance and little Freddie here. That was fun.”
1. 48-Danny Dietrich, 2. 57-Kyle Larson, 3. 69k-Lance Dewease, 4. 51-Freddie Rahmer, 5. 24r-Rico Abreu, 6. 3z-Brock Zearfoss, 7. 5m-Brent Marks, 8. 72-Ryan Smith, 9. 24-Lucas Wolfe, 10. 87-Alan Krimes, 11. 21-Brian Montieth, 12. 15w-Adam Wilt, 13. 1-Sammy Swindell, 14. 59-Jimmy Siegel, 15. 75c-Chase Dietz, 16. 1x-Chad Trout, 17. 99m-Kyle Moody, 18. 16c-Matt Campbell, 19. 39-Cale Thomas, 20. 19-Troy Wagaman, 21. 11t-TJ Stutts, 22. 19m-Landon Myers, 23. 91-Kyle Reinhardt, 24. 45-Jeff Halligan.
DNQ: Tyler Ross, Steve Buckwalter, Robert Ballou, Brandon Rahmer, Dylan Norris, Anthony Macri, Robbie Kendall, Logan Wagner, Tim Glatfelter, Mike Wagner, Jared Esh, Dylan Cisney, Glenndon Forsythe, Justin Whittall, Scott Fisher, Steve Wilbur, Billy Dietrich, Trey Hivner, Tyler Bear, Aaron Bollinger, Dalton Dietrich, Jay Galloway, Kurt Conklin, Tyler Walton, Dave Carlburg, Bradley Howard, Brett Michalski.
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