When Tony Stewart announced he was retiring from NASCAR last year, the former series champ didn’t say he was retiring from racing.
In fact, Stewart planned an aggressive schedule of sprint car events, including many with the All Star Circuit of Champions, a race series he rescued from racing’s scrap bin a few years back.
This week marked the All Stars’ first trip to Pennsylvania, an area of the country where their drivers have usually played second fiddle to the Pa. Posse racers. With Stewart in tow they hoped for better luck this time around.
Lance Dewease, who won Friday night’s race at Williams Grove, destroyed the field Saturday night at Port Royal Speedway, winning by a half a lap.
Saturday also marked the opening race of the Moonshine Camo Route 35 late model series between the cars of Port Royal and Selinsgrove, with Dylan Yoder picking up the win.
After setting the fast time, winning his heat and dash, Dewease started the sprint car feature on the pole next to Blane Heimbach. Dewease quickly drove into the lead at the drop of the green flag and was followed by Ryan Smith, from the second row, Heimbach, Steve Buckwalter and Dylan Cisney.
As Dewease drove away from the field, Dale Blaney moved into fourth position and made the race on the track for second, along with Smith and Buckwalter.
Usually lapped traffic works to the advantage of the second-place car, but Dewease was in cruise control and ended with a dominating 6.748-seconds win over Smith, Blaney, Cisney and Heimbach.
“I hit the inside fence trying to keep it in tight.” Dewease said of his damaged left front rim. He also sustained damage to the right front rim midway through the race when he got together with defending track champion Doug Esh while lapping him, he said. “Sometimes guys like to race with the leader like they are racing for the lead. I won’t forget that.”
“I have an 83-year-old mechanic and he works on this all night long. The race track was great; you could move from the bottom to the top.”
Dewease’s mechanic, Davey Brown, has wrenched on winning race cars for 60 consecutive years. When asked what he did after the heat races, Brown’s reply was. “A little of this and a little of that. I didn’t have to do much because the track was so smooth. This is probably the best our car has ever been here.”
Sprint car heats were won by Cisney, Blaney, Buckwalter and Chad Kemenah. B-Mains were won by Brandon Spithaler and Aaron Ott. Dewease and Heimbach won the dashes.
Matt Parks, who won a 358 late model feature at the speedway Sunday night, started on the pole of the late model feature next to Chad Hollenbeck. Parks spun in turn two at the start of the race. Incredibly, the entire field missed him as he sat helpless in the middle of the track.
Tim Smith slid up to the pole and took the early lead, but, by lap two, he…