WILLIAMS GROVE, PA (October 3, 2020): Donny Schatz captured his sixth win in the National Open held at Williams Grove Speedway. The win, which was worth $75,000, was his fifth of the season on the World of Outlaws Sprint tour and his twenty-first career win at the venerable track.
Schatz drove the only Ford-powered car in the field. “When you’re building something from scratch, it takes some time,” he said. He gave props to his team. “People have been working hard,” he noted. The experimental engine seems to work quite well on big tracks, but he acknowledged that they still have some work to do to make it work as effectively on the smaller tracks which make up most of the series schedule.
Schatz had some good luck through the evening. After logging the ninth fastest time in his qualifying group, he was racing second in his heat when the leader, Shane Stewart, suffered a mechanical failure. That got him into the dash, where he finished third. A good pill draw ensured a font row starting spot in the dash and his third place finish in that event got him near the front of the A Main line-up. Thus, he could conserve his equipment through the first half of the feature while keeping the leaders in sight. When it was time to make his move to the front, his car was still fresh.
When his car reached Victory Lane, however, it was a bit worse for wear. On his cool down lap, Schatz was waiving to the fans in on Beer Hill when he clobbered the third turn fence. Despite the bent right front wheel and damaged steering arm, he was able to bring the car around to the front stretch for the customary photo op.
Schatz was not the only racer to overcome a poor qualification time. LoganSchuchart raced from seventh to second in his heat and he snagged a second spot in the dash. Anthony Macri and Brent Marks earned transfers from heat one despite starting eighth and ninth, respectively. Danny Dietrich raced into the A Main from a tenth place start in his heat. Lance Dewease passed seven cars in the B Main to get his spot on the grid and, he passed twelve cars en route to an eleventh place finish in the A Main.
David Gravel and Schuchart were on the front row for the A Main. Jacob Allen and Schatz were in row two. Kyle Larson and Sheldon Haudenschild were in row three. James McFadden and Daryn Pittman occupied row four. Brock Zearfoss and Cory Eliason were in row five, and row six consisted of Kyle Reinhart and Brad Sweet.
At the drop of the green , Schuchart assumed command. He was able to pinch Gravel down to gain the advantage coming off turn four. That strategy worked for him several more times in the early going, as cautions on laps four, eight, and twelve paired them up on the front row three more times. “I tried to hold David down in three and four, but he kept getting better and better,” Schuchart said. “He had too many shots at me and then he got a run on me into turn one.”
Indeed, after running second, Gravel was able to pull off a slider to take the lead with eleven laps in the books. He would lead ten laps before Schatz took control just a few laps before the mandatory fuel stop. Allen and Larson ran in the top five through the break, which came on lap 25.
After the break, Larson had one of the fastest cars on the track. He climbed into third on lap 26 and second one round later. He began to chop into Schatz’ advantage and, with five to go, the tension began to build. With two to go, Larson was within striking distance and Schatz was beginning to have some difficulty getting past the lapped cars. Larson explained, “I was just hoping to be close enough to him when he went to the top in one and two (to try to pass some lapped cars) but we weren’t close enough. Then, I had to go to the top in three and four and I needed a miracle.” Much to the dismay of the huge crowd, though, Larson slapped the wall coming through turn four on the final lap, ending his bid for the win. “I think we had a car capable of winning, but we fell a little short,” he added.
Schuchart followed Schatz and Larson across the line. Gravel held on for fourth. Haudenschild worked up to fifth after falling back in the early going. Pittman took sixth, with Allen, Macri, Marks, and Sweet completing the top ten.
Heat victories were scored by Larson, Allen, Schatz, and Gravel. The B Main winner was Stewart. Tops in the C and D were Spencer Bayston and Troy Wagaman, respectively. The non-qualifiers race went to Chad Trout. Haudenschild was the evening’s fastest qualifier in Group A with a time of 16.685. Stewart was best in Group B with a mark of 17.103.
Williams Grove will be dark until the season opener in 2021. The World of Outlaws will be back in the area next week for the Nittany Showdown to be held at Port Royal Speedway on Friday and Saturday nights.
Dewease and Locke Dominate at Williams Grove Speedway
WILLIAMS GROVE, PA (May 20, 2022): Lance Dewease scored his first feature win of the season and 104th of his career at Williams Grove Speedway. Dewease held off a number of younger challengers, each of whom had late race chances to overtake the Hall of Fame driver on restarts. Also getting into victory lane was Derek Locke in the 358 Sprint Car undercard.
Normally, the leader is not happy to see a rash of late-race cautions, but this time Dewease was relieved to get them. “I could run really hard on the bottom for about two laps before the (tire) pressures built up.” When asked if he was worried about having Anthony Macri on his tail for the last restart, with two to go, Dewease responded in the negative. “I got good runs in one and two and again in three and four, and I knew that I didn’t have to change my line.”
Dewease explained that he has been fighting a tight race car of late. “Davey (Brown) wasn’t happy with the car last week, so we came out to get some track time to get ready for next week.” Brown, his Hall of Fame chief wrench, wanted to get the car right for the invasion by the All Stars Circuit of Champions. The touring series will compete against the Possee in the Randy Wolfe Tribute race at the Grove, paying $10,000 to win, before heading north to Port Royal Speedway for the Bob Weikert Memorial weekend. Those races will pay $10,000 and $29,000 respectively.
Williams Grove Speedway experimented with a new race format for this round of the Diamond Series. Time turned in hot laps were used to set the starting lineups for the heats. A pill draw determined the number of cars to be inverted, but Dewease pulled a 0, so the heats had the fastest car on the pole. The first two finishers from each heat were handicapped to the front of the feature field, with the racers being inverted based upon their average earnings per race entered.
So, after winning the opening heat, Dewease was scheduled to start in fourth. He got moved to the inside of row two when his dancing partner, T.J. Stutts, was unable to make the call to stage for the feature event because his crew was feverishly making repairs after his heat race win. Stutts was able to make the race, but he was relegated to the tail of the field.
The pole belonged to the winner of the second heat, Robbie Kendall. On his flank was Brett Shearer. Then came Dewease and his new mate, Devon Borden. Row three had Dylan Norris matched with Chase Dietz. Behind them were Danny Dietrich and Matt Campbell. Freddie Rahmer, Jr. and Steve Buckwalter were in row five, and Dylan Cisney and Justin Whittal were in row six. After a poor heat race finish, Anthony Macri rolled away in position seventeen.
Kendall took the early lead with a hole shot on Shearer. Dewease followed Kendall into second. Norris, Borden, and Dietz all charged past Shearer, who became the first racer to cause the caution to be displayed. Before that happened, though, Dewease surged ahead of Kendall for the lead.
When the race resumed, Kendall was under attack from Norris and Borden. Borden rolled the cushion to take over the second spot, and Kendall got cross-wise between turns one and two, collecting Norris in the process. Rahmer and Whittal were also involved in the skirmish.
Dewease held off Borden on the restart and he was able to open a significant lead on the youngster. Dietz was on the charge after that restart, and he worked his way past Borden for second on lap twelve.
Dietz got his shot at Dewease on a restart held six laps later. With Dewease leading Dietz, Dietrich went to work on Borden, but he could not take the position from him. Meanwhile, Macri was into the top five.
Dietz got another chance to overtake Dewease on lap twenty-one, after Borden stopped his car halfway down the backstretch. Dietz could not make a move on the wily veteran, and he was struggling to keep Macri at bay.
The night ended for Dietz on lap 23, when he checked up in turn four. Macri reacted quickly and did not run over Dietz as he slowed to a halt. While he was being removed from the speedway, the officials called for a fuel stop.
Now it was Macri’s turn to come after Dewease. But the nation’s leading race winner was no match for Dewease. Dewease got the strong run on lap 24 to give himself some breathing room for the final trip around the venerable half mile.
At the checkers, it was Dewease ahead of Macri by just over two-tenths of a second. Taking third was Dietrich. Cisney made the most out of the final restarts, picking off Lucas Wolfe on lap 21 and getting a good run on Dietrich on lap 23. Although Cisney pulled ahead slightly entering turn three, Dietrich stormed bay on the inside of turn four to hold onto the final podium spot. Wolfe trailed Cisney across teh finish line.
Rahmer Jr., came back through the field to get sixth. Campbell, Mark Smith, Norris, and Kyle Moody rounded out the top ten.
There was no B Main.
The 358 Sprint Cars provided the support this night. Getting the win was Derek Locke for the tenth time in a row! Locke’s remarkable winning streak dates back to September of 2020.
Locke started in the fifth spot and he wasted no time getting to the front. Using the middle groove, Locke passed veteran Frankie Herr for the lead just five laps into the contest.
Young Jayden Wolf charged into second, but he was no match for the speedy Locke. Tyler Brehm and Steve Owing also got by Herr in the final stage of the race.
Doug Hammaker, Zach Newlin, Nash Ely, Justin Foster, and Kody Hartlaub were the next five finishers.
The heat victories belonged to Ely, Herr, and Foster. There was no B Main.
After the Wolfe Tribute All Stars event next week, Williams Grove will open the month of June with the 410 Sprints joined by the USAC East Coast Wingless Sprints. Fan appreciation night will be held June 10, with all fans allowed to visit the pit area before the 410 and 358 Sprints fire off. The USAC National Sprint Tour will join the 410s on June 17. Then Williams Grove will host the first night of Pennsylvania Sprint Car Speed Week on June 24.
Marks Surprise Winner of Morgan Cup at Williams Grove
WILLIAMS GROVE, PA (May 14, 2022): Brent Marks has a knack for winning big money races. But he needed a little luck to get the job done at Williams Grove Speedway. He inherited the lead when Jacob Allen’s mount ran out of fuel following a lap 28 restart. The victory in the Morgan Cup was Marks’ second of the season with the World of Outlaws and they happened to be the two highest paying events to date on the 2022 tour. “The high paying races are very meaningful, especially for a team like mine,” Marks said. He will bank $17,500 for this one.
Marks, of Myerstown, made sure that the perpetual trophy would return to the track office at Williams Grove Speedway for the next year.
He now has scored wins in the three big races staged at Williams Grove, the National Open, the Summer Nationals, and the Morgan Cup.
“We just got lucky there,” he said. Marks commented that he tried to conserve fuel because the cooler temperatures and tacky surface meant that the cars burned off an excessive amount of fuel. “We tried to save as much fuel as we could, we leaned it out under the caution.” But fuel management was not his only concern. He also lost the brakes in his machine. “We lost our brakes with three to go. The car had a vibration.” He explained that, at first, he thought that he had a driveline problem, but then he realized that part of the rear inboard brake came loose.
With those difficulties, Marks explained that he wanted the lapped traffic. “I didn’t want to race the car too hard and get caught up on the cushion.” Instead, he got a late race caution that may have clinched the win for him.
Jacob Allen had the pole and he was gunning for his second victory of the week. He was paired up with Sheldon Haudenschild for the start of the thirty lapper. Rico Abreu and Marks had row two, with Carson Macedo and Matt Campbell in row three. The other two dash competitors, David Gravel and Donny Schatz, made up row five. Logan Schuchart and Brad Sweet made up the rest of first half of the starting field. Track favorites were further back in the line-up. Anthony Macri rolled away in fifteenth, Lance Dewease in seventeenth, and Danny Dietrich in twenty-fourth.
Allen seized control at the drop of the green, with Haudeschild following. Macedo was up to third, then came Marks, Gravel, and Abreu. Allen, racing mostly in the middle and the low groove, maintained the advantage despite cautions on laps eight and nine. A second caution on the lap nine restart gave him a single file restart that allowed him to pull away slightly from Haudenschild.
By lap seventeen, the leader caught the rear of the field and he had to switch lines to put some of the slower cars a lap down. That enabled Haudenschild to close in. Unfortunately, the lapped traffic also cost Haudenschild second place.
“I made one mistake racing behind Jacob,” he said. “He threw a slider on a lapped car and boxed me in and Brent (Marks) got by.” Marks did dip inside of Haudenschild in turns one and two to grab the position.
Nonetheless, Jacob Allen was firmly in control and it appeared as though he would take his first career win at another track where his famous father, Bobby, enjoyed much success. However, things changed after Campbell’s car slowed to a stop off turn two.
The field realigned with Allen on the point, Marks in second, Haudenschild third, Macedo fourth, and Abreu fifth. When the green flag was displayed, Allen’s car sputtered and Marks had to swerve to the outside to avoid running over him. Allen picked up some speed when his car reached turn one and he was able to hold Marks off. But coming off turn two, Allen faltered again and Marks drove by to take the lead. Other divers had to take evasive maneuvers this time. Allen limped along and slid his car into the pit exit at turn one.
Meanwhile Marks completed his rounds and sailed under the checkers.
Macedo was second, but he lost the position at the scales, as his car came up light due no doubt to fuel consumption. Macedo’s misfortune also stripped him of points that would have moved him ahead of Sweet in the current Outlaws championship standings.
Macedo’s disqualification moved Haudenschild up to second in the final rundown. Abreu was credited with third. Fourtha and fifth were Schatz and Schuchart.
Gravel, Sweet, Spencer Bayston, James McFadden, and Giovanni Scelzi completed the top ten.
The heat winners were Allen, Haudenschild, Abreu, and Schatz. McFadden captured the B Main. Allen was victorious in the Dash. Track provisionals were claimed by Dylan Norris and Devon Borden. Borden advanced from twenty-sixth on the grid to twelfth to earn the hard charger award. Macedo was the evening’s fastest qualifier, topping Group B with a lap of 16.517 seconds. Allen led Group A with a lap of 16.673 seconds. There were 41 cars on hand.
Williams Grove Speedway will be back in action Friday night with a 410 and 358 Sprint Car doubleheader. It will close out the month of May with the All Stars Circuit of Champions paying $10,000 for the Randy Wolfe Tribute Race.
Allen Wins At Lincoln
ABBOTTSTOWN, PA (May 11, 2022): “Allen wins at Lincoln” is a headline that started more than seventy race reports written about the fabulous Lincoln Speedway. But, this story had a plot twist. The winner was JACOB Allen, son of legendary Bobby Allen.
“This is so amazing” exclaimed the second generation driver from nearby Hanover. “It’s great to look around and see all of these people cheering for me,” he added. Allen, who considered leaving the tough World of Outlaws tour during the off season, said, “‘Never give up,’ that’s the story of my racing career. I could have given up . . .” his voice trailing away. He added that he was encouraged to keep going by his “great family and great supporters” and he has been rewarded with two victories so far this season.
It was not an easy win for Allen, who started fifth in the feature event. Ahead of him were the winningest Sprint Car driver in the country, Anthony Macri, and Justin Peck, who has shown speed in his numerous Central PA outings so far this season. In row two were Spencer Bayston and fan favorite Rico Abreu. Next to Allen in the third row was another hot shoe, Carson Macedo. Behind him were David Gravel and three-time WoO champion Brad Sweet. Row five had Sheldon Haudenschild and Buddy Kofoid paired up. In row six were Allen’s teammate, Logan Schuchart, and Robbie Kendall. Lance Dewease and Freddie Rahmer, Jr. were in row seven. Sprinkled further back in the field were Brent Marks (seventeenth), four-time Lincoln winner Danny Dietrich (eighteenth), and ten-time WoO kingpin Donny Schatz (twenty-first).
At the drop of the green, Macri assumed control and Peck was giving chase. However, the start was waived off because Marks nosed his car into the inside guardrail on the backstretch. The damage was too severe for repairs to be made, so the field realigned without Marks.
Macri repeated his effort on the second try and Peck again raced along in second. Bayston slipped in front of Allen, and Abreu and Macedo followed.
Macri held control until lap nine. He began to have some difficulty picking his way through lapped traffic, but Peck had no such trouble running the high groove. He swept around the leader and a slower car.
Macri stayed close to the leader, but he could not find a way to get by. He lined up next to him for a restart with eleven in the books, but Macri got too wide coming through turn four and Bayston and Allen both got by him. Macri was able to regain a position before the next caution, which came on lap fifteen.
Peck and Allen led the way when the green light flashed on again. But Macri had trouble once again and lost several positions in the running order. Macedo and Bayston scooted by him and Abreu, Kofoid, and Haudenschild were challenging.
But the fans were intently watching the lead duo. While Peck flogged the cushion, Allen was working the inside line, much like his famed father would have done. He was closing in on the leader and he made his move in turns three and four to grab the lead on lap twenty-four.
Allen slowly began to build a lead, but a caution with five to go gave Peck one last chance to overtake him. Under series rules, this restart was single file, so Allen was able to get away from his adversary coming off turn four.
Allen led the final five rounds. The capacity crowd was standing as he took the white flag and there was a thunderous ovation when Allen took the checkers.
Fittingly, the car carried a throwback paint scheme resembling the car that Bobby Allen drove to victory in the Knoxville Nationals.
Behind Allen and Peck were Macedo, Bayston, and Macri. Abreu, Gravel, Danny Dietrich, Sweet, and Dewease completed the top ten.
“I thought that I could carry enough speed around the top,” Peck said. “I think that I should have moved around a little bit once we got into traffic.” Peck surmised that Macri had a similar problem, not knowing if there was a faster line available because he too did not search around when he encountered the lapped cars. But, Peck confided that Allen was running a line that he could not have done.
Third place finisher Macedo thought that he had a good car before the last restart. However, he got hooked up in a battle for position with Bayston after the final green flag and the leaders got away from them.
The four heat winners were Peck, Gravel, Abreu, and Macri. The B Main went to Schatz, and the C to Kyle Reinhardt. The non-qualifiers race belonged to NASCAR racer Alex Bowman. Peck was the fastest qualifier of the night, turning in a lap of 13.027 in Group A. Abreu topped Group B with a lap of 13.220. There were 55 cars on hand, the largest field so far this season for a World of Outlaws event.
Lincoln Speedway will not race on Saturday becasue of the World of Outlaws contest at Williams Grove Speedway. Instead, there will be a Jalopy exhibition held during the day for the Eastern Museum of Motor Racing. Action will resume on May 21 with the 410 and 358 Sprint Cars and Big Wheel races for the children. The Bob Leiby Memorial will close out the month with a Sprint Car doubleheader and the Central PA Legends Cars.