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Dewease Wins Weikert Memorial at Port Royal

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Chad Warner

PORT ROYAL, PA (May 31, 2021) – Lance Dewease carried $29,000 and two large bull’s head trophies out of the Juniata County Fairgrounds after winning the eighteenth annual Bob Weikert Memorial at Port Royal Speedway. Though Dewease triumphed in the race before, the bounty never included the unusual trophies commemorating the victories.

Dewease–who had one ride and one victory in the cattle baron’s potent sprint car early in his illustrious career–showed that experience often prevails over youth in the racing game. Dewease had a spirited battle with Anthony Macri in the middle stage of the race. The veteran and the youngster swapped positions on numerous occasions and the fans had to wonder whether Macri would have something in reserve for the final laps of the contest. However, Macri slapped the concrete wall hard in turn four and sheared off the right rear wheel, ending his bid for the win.

Dewease was careful to keep his car a safe distance off the wall as they fought for the lead and that proved to be the difference between victory and defeat.

“When I got by Macri I knew that he would have to knock the walls down to get me,” Dewease said to the adoring crowd. “I assume that he hit the wall and tore the right rear off of it.” Dewease explained that his crew, led by Hall of Famers Don Kreitz, Jr. and Davey Brown, tightened up his car during the fuel stop on lap 20 and that enabled him to change his line and race a bit closer to the wall on exit of the turns. And, perhaps as importantly, Dewease did not hit the wall like his younger opponent did a number of times in their battle for the lead.

The luck of the draw put Cory Eliason on the pole for the thirty lap feature, with Hunter Schuerenberg next to him. Mike Wagner and Brent Marks had row two for the local contingent, with All Stars points leader Tyler Courtney and track points leader Logan Wagner right behind them. Lucas Wolfe and Dewease were in the fourth row, with Rico Abreu and Macri in row five. Paul McMahan and Ian Madsen were in row six. Quick timer A.J. Flick and Zeb Wise started in row seven.

Schuerenberg and Mike Wagner ran out front with Marks, Dewease, and Logan Wagner following. Marks was the man on the move early, taking second just four laps into the race.Soon thereafter, however, he got into the wall in turn one and he flattened the right rear. He also dislodged some fittings, and left some moisture on the track requiring the attention of the clean-up crew.

That put Dewease in third for the restart behind Scherenberg and Mike Wagner. Dewease swooped into turn one and passed Wagner soon after the green flag waived. The charge was not over just yet. Dewease got a good run into three and carried his momentum through the corner. He drove the low line through the turn and slid up ahead of Schuerenberg coming off turn four to grab the lead.

Meanwhile, Macri was working his way to the front. He worked his way into fifth by the time that the next caution was displayed on t to grab a position. lap nine for a spin by Jared Esh. Like Dewease earlier, Macri dove low into one on the restart to pick up a position. He, too, got a good run off turn two to advance to second by the time that the field raced through turns three and four.

A caution on lap eleven put Macri on the leader’s tail and that got a buzz going through the crowd. But Dewease held his ground on the restart. Macri remained close for the next couple of rounds. He pulled the trigger on a slide job going into turn one to get ahead. He brushed the wall, and Dewease calmly turned under him coming through the second turn to retake the lead.

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Dewease and Macri swapped the lead several times before the caution came out again on lap 20. Macri was declared to be the leader for the restart because of the slim margin that he had when the duo crossed the line before the yellow came out.

Before racing would resume, however, All Stars officials called for an open red to enable the teams to refuel. Kreitz and Brown made the correct adjustments and Dewease was able to slide Macri for the lead in one when the race began again.

This time, Dewease was able to open a couple of car lengths on Macri. Macri continued to flog the cushion, brushing the walls with greater frequency as he desperately tried to keep pace with Dewease who was able to race a wheel width below the berm.

Macri’s spectacular drive came to an abrupt end five laps from the finish. Logan Wagner and his father, Mike, lined up behind Dewease, and fans began to wonder whether either of them could mount a challenge. When the green lights flashed on again, the answer was clear. Neither Wagner had the steam to keep up with Dewease.

Indeed, in the final laps, Mike Wagner began to slow a bit and his motor began to sputter. Tyler Courtney was able to close in and he took third with tome running out.

At the checkers, it was Dewease taking the popular win over Logan Wagner, Courtney, and Danny Dietrich, who charged up from seventeenth on the grid. Mike Wagner was fifth. Schuerenberg, Abreu, Blane Heimbach, Eliason, Madsen, and Wolfe completed the top ten.

Heat victories went to Macri, Halligan, Mike Walter, and Dietrich. Halligan and Walter failed to transfer to the A Main, though, because their sub-par qualifying times did not garner enough points to complement their heat race performances. They were able to make the show through the B Main, which was won by Gerard McIntyre, Jr. Flick’s top time was 16.824 seconds.

In the wingless Sportsmen undercard, Kevin Guttshall chased down Billy Brian, Jr. for the win in the non-stop twenty lapper. Steve Wilbur emerged from a pair of spirited battles to take the third position. The first was a five-car tussle for fifth followed by a four-car battle for third. Craig Perigo was fourth and early leader Gene Epley was fifth. Bret Perigo slipped back to sixth after racing as high as fourth midway through the race. Derek Sheafer, Cliff Brian, Tony Jackson, and Mike Markey completed the top ten. The pair of heat victories went to Markey and Guttshall.

Port Royal Speedway will be back in action Saturday with a three-division program consisting of 410 Sprints, Super Late Models, and Limited Late Models. The following week, June 12, will have the 305 Sprints swapped in for the Limited Late Models with $10 general admission for those age 62 and over. All fans will be able to partake in the dollar dog special at the concession stands. Then, on June 19, there will be a Sprint Car double header, with the USAC Eastern Storm joining the track’s 410 Sprints.

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Dirt Racing

Carl Bowser, Michael Norris, Rex King Jr. and Chris Schneider Friday winners at Lernerville

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Lernerville Speedway

SARVER, PA (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – Carl Bowser picked up his first win of the season by holding off a challenge by defending track Champion AJ Flick to win Friday night’s Chad McCutcheon Memorial People’s Natural Gas 410 Sprint feature at Lernerville Speedway.  Sye Lynch rounded out the podium.

Michael Norris took home the victory in the Precise Racing Products Late Model feature.  Norris took advantage of a mid-race restart to get past Mark Whitener to take the lead, which he would never relinquish.  Whitener brought it home in second place and Colton Flinner finished third.

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It was a battle of the Kings for the Diehl Automotive Big Block Modified feature with Rex King Jr. holding off Rex King Sr. to capture the checkered flag.  Jeremiah Shingledecker finished third.

Chris Schneider was hooked up in the Millerstown Pic-A-Part Pro Stocks feature.  Schneider took the lead from Nick Kocuba and cruised to an over 7-second victory.

Next weekend at Lernerville it’s the Firecracker 100 for the World of Outlaws Late Model Series and the Bill Emig Memorial for the RUSH Late Model Series.  Prelim and qualifiers take place Thursday and Friday night with the feature events Saturday night.  For more information visit www.lernerville.com.

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Dirt Racing

Dewease and Cockrum Share Williams Grove Spotlight

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WILLIAMS GROVE, PA (June 18, 2021): When Lance Dewease notched win number 100 at Williams Grove Speedway, he said that they were only just beginning. Well, it did not take him very long to build upon his stellar achievement and he did so in supreme fashion. And, he warned his competitors that he’s looking for win 102 next week when his 87-year-old crew chief, Davey Brown, gets his accolades.

Taking the top honors in USAC Silver Crown competition was Shane Cockrum.

“The car was free, I would have liked it a little tighter,” Dewease said. “I usually slow down once I have the lead, but I wanted to show how fast we could be.” Dewease, who is not known to talk smack, added, “we got 100 out of the way and next week I want to win for him.” Dewease was referring, of course, to Brown, who will be honored with a tribute night. The original ceremony was rained out, so speedway management moved it to the first night of PA Speedweek for the 410 Sprint Cars.

By winning his heat race, Dewease locked up a front row starting position. On the pole was Robbie Kendall and behind him was the third heat winner, Devon Borden, who was making his first start for Mike Heffner. Next to Borden was Chad Trout. Jeff Halligan and Dylan Norris were in row three, followed by Doug Hammaker and Steve Buckwalter. Row five had Alan Krimes paired up with Lucas Wolfe. Anthony Macri and Kyle Moody were next in line.

Kendall got the jump on Dewease, with Borden settling into third. Trout, Halligan, Krimes, Hammaker and Norris followed. With three laps completed, Dewease dipped inside of Kendall coming through turn four and easily drove past to take the lead. On the next circuit, rookie Gordon Smith, III spun in turn four and gave Kendall a chance to see if he could overtake the leading feature winner in speedway history.

However, Dewease would have none of that. He pulled away from Kendall, who was being hounded by the upstart Borden. Borden swept into second on lap seven and the fans began to ponder whether the teenager from Washington could chase down Dewease.

A caution on lap twelve for the disabled car of B Main winner Ricky Dieva put the youngster on Dewease’s rear nerf bar for the final restart of the race. Once again, Dewease powered into the lead, but Borden stayed within shooting distance for several laps.
Soon thereafter, another 27, this time the Smith entry driven by Alan Krimes, slipped into second. Borden then began slipping down the running order.

Dewease led the remaining 18 laps and stretched his lead over Krimes. Anthony Macri made progress over the last ten laps of the race cracking into the top five. He wound up third at the finish. Kendall held on for fourth, followed by Borden. Freddie Rahmer, Jr. was sixth, with Buckwalter, Hammaker, Brandon Rahmer, and Trout completing the top ten.

In the century grind for the USAC Silver Crown division, Jason McDougal had the pole as a result of his new track record in qualifications. Next to him was Kyle Robbins. Shane Cottle and Chris Windom were in the second row, with defending race champion Brady Bacon and defending series champion Justin Grant in the third row. Shane Cocrum and Logan Seavy were next. Robert Ballou and Matt Westfall had row five and Casey Buckman and Austin Nemire were in the sixth row.

McDougal and Robbins led the field into turn one, with Cottle, Grant, and Windom following. Grant picked off Robbins within the first several laps, and Seavy was into third by lap five. Cottle and Bacon were fighting for fourth.

By lap ten, Seavy was into second and he set his sights on McDougal, who had built up a nice lead. Seavy narrowed the margin as the laps clicked away. He made his move to the front on lap 22, and he began to separate himself from McDougal and the rest of the thundering herd.

As Seavy built up his advantage, McDougal ran in second. Grant, Cottle, and Bacon were running in a tight pack for the third position.

Three Rivers Karting

Seavy’s domination ended on lap 42. He broke a steering arm and brought his car to a stop in turn two. That gave the lead back to McDougal for the restart.

But, when the green light came on again, Grant seized the opportunity to challenge the leader. He managed to work inside of him in turn one and he powered off turn two with the lead. Bacon soon followed him into second. Cottle then moved ahead of McDougal, who seemed to be struggling a bit.

Cockrum then began to move forward. On lap 53, he took over second. Later on that lap, he dove into turn three to take the lead, but he could not hold the line. He slid up out of the groove, giving the lead back to Grant.

Cockrum stalked Grant for almost twenty laps. He slipped under Grant in turn one tio take the lead on lap 72 and Bacon followed him into the second position.

Cockrum had a scare on lap 81 when he locked wheels with a lapped car going through turns three and four. Both cars slid high before separating. Both cars were able to keep moving. Fortunately for Cockrum, his lead was still intact when he came off turn four.

Meanwhile, Bacon and Cottle were fighting for second.

The lead pack tightened up and it looked as though there would be a real dogfight over the final twenty laps. However, the caution came out on lap 85 and the field had to go single file.

The race went green again with ten laps to go. Several racers were in conservation mode at that point, as tire wear was a factor. One driver that had some extra rubber was Carmen Perigo, Jr., who picked up several positions in the final laps.

Cockrum took the checkers, his first victory in about six years. “It’s been too damn long,” Cockrum quipped. “We got there in in 2015 and started racking up some wins, and then we had a dry spell.” Cockrum said that a new fitness plan made him feel better in the car. “I am 39 years old, I got to bicycle, and lost 40 pounds.”

Cottle chased Cockrum across the finish line. Chris Windom moved up to third, followed by Bacon, Robbins, and McDougal. Perigo, Grant, and Ballou completed the top ten.

McDougal’s fast time was 20.354 seconds. Ronnie Wuerdeman had a spectacular crash, leaving the speedway between turns three and four on his first timed lap. He was not hurt, but the car was a total loss.

Williams Grove will return to action on June 25 for the opening night of PA Speedweek. The 358 Sprints will also be on hand. There will be fireworks and the Davey Brown tribute. The Mitch Smith Memorial will be the second show of Speedweek at Williams Grove, on July 2. The 410s and 358s will supply the speed and fireworks will fill the air. July 9 will be fan appreciation night, with the United Racing Club 360 Sprints joining the 410s.

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Danny Dietrich takes All Stars victory at Sharon Speedway

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HARTFORD, OH (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – Danny Dietrich led wire-to-wire to pick up his first Ohio Speedweek victory Tuesday night at Sharon Speedway after starting on the outside of the front row.

“This goes out to my buddy Derek (Snyder) of Sweeney and Pace Performance; this win is for him,” said Dietrich. “That was fun. We had one slip away from us at Fremont on Saturday, so we wanted to get this one pretty bad, especially at Derek’s home track. He does so much for this team and we wouldn’t be able to do any of this without him. We still have a lot of racing left this week. We’ll try to get a few more of these and hopefully a Speedweek title.”

Dietrich got the early jump on pole-sitter George Hobaugh and used the bottom lane to perfection to grab his first win in the ‘Buckeye State’.

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“I knew I needed to get the initial jump,” explained Dietrich. “That was on my mind from the start. I didn’t want to let that one slip by.  Once we got to the front, I just needed to stay patient and focus on maintaining the line through each corner. With a single groove like that, I knew it was going to be tough for anyone to drive around me, but you didn’t want to slip up in the corner and let someone show their nose.”

Tyler Courtney finished second followed by Justin Peck in third and Kyle Larson in fourth.  Hobaugh dropped back to finish fifth.

Ohio Sprint Speedweek will continue on Wednesday evening, June 16, at Waynesfield Raceway Park in Waynesfield, Ohio.

A-Main (35 Laps)
1. 48-Danny Dietrich [2]; 2. 7BC-Tyler Courtney [5]; 3. 13-Justin Peck [7]; 4. 57-Kyle Larson [8]; 5. 40-George Hobaugh [1]; 6. 55-Hunter Schuerenberg [6]; 7. 22C-Cole Duncan [18]; 8. 11-Ian Madsen [3]; 9. 2F-AJ Flick [11]; 10. 101-Lachlan McHugh [16]; 11. 5X-Buddy Kofoid [12]; 12. 17B-Bill Balog [4]; 13. 5-Paul McMahan [25]; 14. 28-Tim Shaffer [19]; 15. 3C-Cale Conley [17]; 16. 42-Sye Lynch [14]; 17. 26-Cory Eliason [21]; 18. 10-Zeb Wise [22]; 19. 18-Cole Macedo [9]; 20. 91-Kyle Reinhardt [13]; 21. 5K-Adam Kekich [20]; 22. 23P-Darren Pifer [15]; 23. 4-Cap Henry [10]; 24. 81-Lee Jacobs [24]; 25. W20-Greg Wilson [23] Lap Leaders: Danny Dietrich (1-35)

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