MECHANICSBURG, Pa. – Stevie Smith held off a determined Tyler Walker to win the season opener for sprint-cars at Williams Grove Speedway on Friday night.
Smith started on the pole, beat Brent Marks into the first turn, and began to build a big lead. His biggest challenge came from Walker following a lap 20 restart.
Walker ducked under Smith in turn three and was able to take the lead momentarily. Smith, of Broken Arrow, Okla., turned his sprinter back under Walker coming off turn four to maintain the lead.
Walker, a Los Angeles native, continued to look under Smith over the final four laps, but Smith kept the John and Pee Wee Zemaitis sprinter out front for his 22nd career Grove win and his first opening-day win since 1989. He earned $3,600.
Walker settled for second ahead of Doug Esh, Lance Dewease and Cory Haas.
“He was racing hard,” Smith said of Walker. “That’s the advantage of being in second. I’m trying to hold on and not foul up and win the race. We were fortunate enough to get back in front of him. His car was better than ours at the end.”
Pat Cannon led all 20 laps of the main event for the 358 sprints, defeating Scott Geesey and Billy Dietrich.
Stevie Smith, Tyler Walker, Doug Esh, Lance Dewease, Cory Haas, Aaron Ott, Adam Wilt, Greg Hodnett, Brian Leppo, Steve Buckwalter, Mike Erdley, Fred Rahmer, Rick Lafferty, Justin Henderson, Brad McClelland, Donnie Kreitz, Curt Michael, Brian Montieth, Mark Smith, Daryn Pittman, Danny Dietrich, Derek Sell, Brent Marks, Johnny Mackison, Jr.