Williams Grove race notes 2003-04-27

Defending champ Lance Dewease wins Sunday Williams Grove action. MECHANICSBURG, PA, 4/27/03 - Defending track champion Lance Dewease showed he is up to the challenge in 2003. Dewease relentlessly hounded race leader Sean Michael throughout ...

Defending champ Lance Dewease wins Sunday Williams Grove action.

MECHANICSBURG, PA, 4/27/03 - Defending track champion Lance Dewease showed he is up to the challenge in 2003.

Dewease relentlessly hounded race leader Sean Michael throughout the second half of the 25-lap 410 sprint feature at Williams Grove Sunday night. The Fayetteville speedster finally got the break he needed with a late-race caution to wrestle the lead away entering the first turn of the 23rd lap and went on to score his first win of 2003 at the historic Mechanicsburg half-mile.

"We were not very good up in turns one and two and I couldn't get off the corner," said a victorious Dewease upon exiting his Al & Betty Hamilton-own Manheim Auto Auction No.77 sprinter from victory lane. "I struggled there with Hestor and Sean (Michael)...(Michael) did what he had to do to try and keep me behind him."

"That caution helped me out there...that was the break we needed there to win the race."

Polesitter Jason Hagenbuch led the first three laps before outside frontrow starter Sean Michael took over the top spot on the backstretch of the fourth lap.

From there the Allentown fireman began to pull away and had opened up a near two-second lead by the time the caution waved on the 10th lap for Saturday night Lincoln winner Cris Eash who stopped in the fourth turn with a right rear flat tire.

By this time fourth-starting Todd Hestor and 10th starting Dewease had moved into second and third.

Dewease worked hard and finally got around Hestor following a 16th lap caution restart entering turn three and set his sights on the race-leading Michael.

Michael and Dewease waged a war over track position with Michael able to keep the low line away from Dewease. And as they fought for position, ninth-starting Greg Hodnett closed quickly and made it a three-car race for the lead with five laps to go.

Then Dewease got the break he needed just when it appeared Hodnett might get by for second as the caution waved on the 22nd lap when Lucas Wolfe stopped in the third and fourth turns.

On the restart Dewease mirrored Michael's every move and finally slid under him entering the first turn of the 23rd lap for the lead.

"I was getting real good runs off of four and I knew if I could get a run at him going down the straightaway I could flyer him going into one and hopefully hold him off."

"I wasn't getting off of two at all and I got in along side of Sean there and we got to racing each other and that let Greg (Hodnett) catch up to me there," said Dewease on Hodnett's charge to the front. "That's how that goes, when you start racing somebody else can catch you."

Dewease when on to take the checkered 1.39 seconds ahead of Michael for his track-leading 56th career sprint car win. The $3,000 win marked the third different winner in as many races and marked Dewease's fourth overall win of 2003.

Hodnett settled for third, Hestor fourth, and Fred Rahmer fifth. Completing the top-10 were Doug Esh, Rick Lafferty, Donnie Kreitz Jr., Keith Kauffman and Mark Smith.

Heats for the 30 "410" sprints were won by Todd Hestor, Jason Hagenbuch, and Sean Michael, with Keith Kauffman winning the consolation.

Defending 358 sprint champion Chad Layton made a dramatic last lap, last turn pass of Billy Johns to open up his 2003 title defense in the 20 lap 358 sprint feature. Layton followed Johns over the race's final six laps before making his dramatic pass for the win coming off the fourth turn to the checkers.

Cory Haas finished third, Darren Eash fourth, and Alan Krimes fifth.

Heats for the 36 "358" sprints on hand were won by Darren Eash, Davie Franek, Shawn Weaver, and TJ Stutts. Twin consolations were won by Mark Freeland and Chad Trout.

-wgs/bill meyers-

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Series Sprint
Teams Williams