By MIKE MALLETT
Lance Dewease used his veteran experience to pick up Saturday’s Sprint Car Showdown win at the Susquehanna Speedway. The Fayetteville, Pa., driver kept former World of Outlaw regular Joey Saldana and Lucas Wolfe behind him without the aid of the nose wing.
“It’s about the win,” said Dewease afterwards. “That’s what it’s all about. That’s what this team is all about. Us old guys, we work hard at this and we get it done.”
Dewease didn’t have a very good car early in the night as his No. 69K went backwards in the dash. That forced the team to go to work to make changes to his car for the feature. They were spot on.
“We weren’t very good in the dash so Davey (Brown) and Donnie (Kreitz) got to work and made it better,” mentioned Dewease. “That’s what it’s all about. If we ran fifth, we would have been happy, went on to next year and kept on moving. We don’t get down. We all stick together. We win as a team, lose as a team. That’s what it’s all about.”
The changes were spot on as Dewease worked his way up from sixth starting spot to challenge for the lead just before halfway. He lost his nose wing in a hard fought battle with pole-sitter Logan Schuchart. They raced in traffic with Dewease getting the better of Schuchart on lap 14 in turns three and four. As they raced back around into turn three the pair made heavy contact. They nearly spun and the yellow flag was thrown. Dewease showed his displeasure with Schuchart under the caution. The contact had Dewease’s nose wing barely on the car and askew.
“We had a really good car,” cited Dewease. “I knew it was rubbered up in three and four and I could get really good runs on them guys. That one restart I dropped back to fifth. I made it back up to second, got the lead and I don’t know what he was thinking, but we are here in victory lane and that’s all that matters.”
On the restart everyone expected Dewease to drop back through the field. There was no way he was going to be able to hang on without the use of his front wing. Well he did so in impressive fashion.
“It was a tight son of a bitch there, but you just wheel it,” joked Dewease. “We’ve been in this long enough to know what happens when nose wings get knocked off, knocked down. I just moved the wing back forward on it. I knew I couldn’t run out getting into the corners so I just drove across. The things will drive down the straightaways like this, but they don’t like to turn too well. We were fortunate with the rubber down in three and four. It really helped us.”
It was Dewease’s 19th career win at Susquehanna and earned him a nice $5,000 paycheck as he heads into the off-season.
Saldana Needs More Youtube
Saldana made his first ever start at Susquehanna Speedway. The team elected to head to Susquehanna since they were in Pennsylvania picking up an engine at Rider Racing Engines for their trip to The Dirt Track at Charlotte for the World Finals. He admitted that he made some mistakes during the 30-lap affair that cost him a shot at the victory.
“This is my first time here and I really enjoyed it,” commented Saldana. “I need to get on Youtube and watch some more races here and learn this place a lot better because I learned that on the restarts you can’t run the top here. It was my mistake. I went from having a shot to win it all the way back to fifth or sixth. You have to get back in line, then get back to the top to get racing.”
The “Brownsburg Bullet” had nothing for Dewease over the second half of the race after rallying back to second. It was due to his right rear tire going down.
“I think we had a shot when we got back to second,” stated Saldana. “We had a good car, but didn’t have any air in our right rear. We’ll take it and move on. It could always be worse. We had a good run. Whenever the 69K is around you, I’d say you are doing pretty good. We just needed to get a little bit better.”
Wolfe Winds Up Third
Wolfe had one bad restart and that is all it took to cost him an opportunity at victory. Wolfe dropped from second to third on the final green flag of the race. He watched Dewease and Saldana drive away from him.
“All-in-all it was okay,” cited Wolfe. “I just wasn’t good enough on the final restart when it counted most. I came off the top and couldn’t get back down. I couldn’t challenge Lance, even with his situation. It was a good first season with Mike Barshinger racing and I look forward to more next year.”
29 Sprint Cars entered the final Northeast Sprint Car event. Schuchart set fast-time in time trials with a time of 15.655. Heat race wins were taken by Dewease, Ryan Smith and Dietrich. Schuchart won the dash while Brett Michalski won the B-Main…
BAPS Paint Products awarded Glendon Forsythe, Greg Hodnett and Wolfe a $1,000 bonus by virtue of perfect attendance in 2017 at all Susquehanna Speedway 410 Sprint Car events. The money was awarded by random draw…
Mark Smith picked up a bonus as the hard charger. Smith came from 18th to end up sixth. He had some help with attrition along with the way but he was in the mix at the end.
“We weren’t bad,” said Smith. “We got farther up because of attrition, but you still have to finish every lap. We still had a pretty decent car. If we had another double-file restart, with being on the inside, we could have gotten a few more. We’ll take what we can get. It was a good run for us.”…
Greg Hodnett and Danny Dietrich tangled while battling for a spot in the top five on lap three. Dietrich tried to go under Hodnett going into the third turn but couldn’t complete the pass. He caught the front-end of Hodnett which sent them both into the outside wall. Freddie Rahmer and Cory Haas were also collected in the incident…
Anthony Fiore had a tough day. Fiore wrecked hard during time trials in turn four. He then spun early on in the A-Main. Then, on a lap four restart in the feature, Fiore’s day came to an abrupt end as he flipped down the front straightaway. Thankfully he wasn’t injured.