FAYETTEVILLE, PA - Before the 2001 sprint car season, Lance Dewease made a goal to be a consistent runner every night he raced. As the season reaches the midpoint, Dewease's consistency has allowed him to lead the point standings at historic ...
FAYETTEVILLE, PA - Before the 2001 sprint car season, Lance Dewease made a goal to be a consistent runner every night he raced. As the season reaches the midpoint, Dewease's consistency has allowed him to lead the point standings at historic Williams Grove Speedway, be the front runner in the 8-race Carquest Pennsylvania Sprint Speedweek, and the odds on favorite to win Friday's Mitch Smith Memorial at Williams Grove.
"We're really happy with our season," said Dewease, who is in his 16th racing season. "We've basically been a top five car everywhere that we've raced and have been really consistent. We stared the year hoping to be consistent and have a chance to win the championship at the Grove. We feel fortunate to be leading the chase at Williams Grove, and we've had some good nights in the PA Speedweek so we're leading the points, which is an added bonus. We're pleased with the way things have been going for us."
Dewease pilots the Joe Harz-owned #88 J&J sprint car. He has won 10 races this season and those wins have come all across the map. He started the season by winning the opener in East Bay's (FL) 360 Nationals, has three wins at Williams Grove, two at Port Royal Speedway, two at Lincoln Speedway, and single wins at Bedford and Bridgeport. His win at Bedford and one at Lincoln were during the All-Stars/NCRA Eastern Challenge, and he won the WoO Gumout race at Port Royal. Although he's spread out his success against a variety of competitors, Dewease knows that he's racing in one of the toughest regions of sprint car racers.
"You've got to have the best equipment to be competitive here in Pennsylvania," said Dewease. "Everybody has good equipment, but the key is making it all come together and having the breaks go your way. We've got a great program with J&J Auto Racing and Don Ott Engines, and all of the other products that we've been using have really been solid. You have to have reliable equipment to win races."
Dewease has many accomplishments already included in his racing resume. He won the track championship at Williams Grove in 1994 and 1996, but he admits winning the crown in 2001 would carry a little more weight.
"With the level of competition we have now, this year has to rank right up there for me," said Dewease. "We're at the halfway point now and we're sitting here with 10 wins. We'd like to have more, but mother nature has taken more than her share, so I'm hopeful that our run up front continues. Consistency is the key and if we stay consistent more wins will come our way. We have a lot to do in the second half of the season, but we feel good about where we are today."
Winning Friday's Mitch Smith Memorial would be a good way to continue the team's 2001 success.
"The Mitch Smith Memorial ranks right up there for us every year," said Dewease, the 1995 & 1997 Mitch Smith winner. "It's always a prestigious event because of the way Mitch was in his day. We've been fortunate enough to win it before and we'd sure like to win it again."