Selinsgrove Open race notes 2002-09-14

Dewease wins first Selinsgrove Open; clinches 410 Series title; Shaffer wires field for 358 Sprint Open Victory. SELINSGROVE, Pa. - Lance Dewease of Fayetteville finally won the one sprint car race in Pennsylvania that has eluded him for so ...

Dewease wins first Selinsgrove Open; clinches 410 Series title; Shaffer wires field for 358 Sprint Open Victory.

SELINSGROVE, Pa. - Lance Dewease of Fayetteville finally won the one sprint car race in Pennsylvania that has eluded him for so long.

Dewease recorded his first victory in the 20th Anniversary Alexander Family Dealerships Sprint Car Open Saturday night at Selinsgrove Speedway following a string of seven top five finishes, including three seconds, since 1993.

The win marked the 18th overall of the season for Dewease and the ninth of his career at the Snyder County oval. He also clinched the first Middleswarth Potato Chips Susquehanna Valley 410 Sprint Car Series title, which consisted of four events at the track in 2002.

Dewease, driving the Hamilton Motorsports No. 77, earned $4,000 for the win in the 30-lap event and a $1,000 bonus from Middleswarth Potato Chips for winning the series point title.

Sean Michael of Allentown was the night's fast qualifier with a lap of 16.649 and the winner of the dash which placed him on the pole for the main event. When Michael declined the $20,000 Chip Challenge, Greg Hodnett of Memphis, Tenn., accepted the last-to-first challenge but came up short with a fourth-place finish.

Adrian Shaffer of York wired the field for his first win in the 30-lap 358 Open. The win, worth $2,000, was Shaffer's fourth of the season at Selinsgrove and the seventh overall in 2002.

Chad Layton of Harrisburg won the dash and accepted the $5,000 Chip Challenge for 358 sprint cars. Layton fell short of collecting the Challenge paycheck with a third-place finish.

The National Open concluded the 2002 racing at Selinsgrove Speedway. The track's annual awards banquet is slated for Saturday, November 2 at the Harrisburg-Hershey Marriott.

With Greg Hodnett relinquishing his second starting spot to accept the $20,000 Chip Challenge, fast qualifier Sean Michael and Lance Dewease shared the front row for the start of the 410 sprint car main event.

At the start of the race, polesitter Michael powered into the lead with Dewease in close pursuit. The event's first caution flag unfurled on lap three when Ron Kramer and Randy Baughman collided in turn two.

In just three laps, Hodnett, who started 24th, advanced to 13th in the restart lineup.

When the race resumed, Michael continued to lead Dewease around the fast half-mile oval. Meanwhile, Middleswarth Potato Chips teammates Todd Hestor and Keith Kauffman dueled for the third and fourth positions, respectively.

A war on wheels developed between Michael and Dewease as they navigated their way through lapped traffic. Dewease challenged Michael on several occasions, but didn't make a complete pass until lap 13, when Dewease horsepowered his way by Michael with an inside move on the frontstretch. By this time, Hodnett was racing eighth in his quest for the $20,000 Challenge paycheck.

At the halfway point, Hodnett advanced to fourth and raced with Keith Kauffman for third. Three subsequent caution flags regrouped the field and kept the large crowd in suspense as Hodnett, with 19 wins this season, appeared to be closing in on the leaders.

A fuel stop was needed following a lap 29 caution flag, setting up a one-lap chase to the checkered flag. Dewease posted a mere .31 of a second victory over Michael, Kauffman, Hodnett and Fred Rahmer.

In the 358 sprint car main event, Donnie Beaver and Adrian Shaffer started on the front row when Chad Layton opted to start last as part of the second Chip Challenge of the night.

Shaffer drove into the lead from the outside of the front row and opened up a marginal lead over polesitter Donnie Beaver. Fourth-place starter Blane Heimbach raced third, while fifth-place starter Jim Nace raced fourth.

The red flag stopped the race on lap 15 when Brian Powell and Shawn Weaver collided in turn four; no injuries were reported. When the race resumed, Shaffer stretched his lead over Beaver.

At this point, Layton was racing in the fifth position. With two laps remaining, he moved by Heimbach for the third position, but by this time, Shaffer had stretched his lead to nearly a straightaway.

At the finish, Shaffer was victorious over Beaver, Layton, Heimbach and Nace.

-ss-

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series Sprint