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Lance Dewease Tops Arctic Cat All Star Sprint Car Action at Port Royal
By no surprise, Dewease's victory, a fifth consecutive against the All Star Circuit of Champions at the Port Royal Speedway “Speed Palace,” was attained in impressive fashion, managing to outrun Greg Hodnett, Steve Buckwalter, Anthony Macri, and race leader, Aaron Reutzel, from the fifth starting position to secure the $5,000 payday. Dewease took command for the first time on lap 21, ultimately pulling ahead and crossing under the final checkers 2.149 seconds ahead of second place finisher, Aaron Reutzel.
Anthony Macri, who led the first 11 circuits before surrendering the top spot to Aaron Reutzel, stayed strong to finish third, followed by Steve Buckwalter and Greg Hodnett.
“It was far from autopilot for us tonight,” Lance Dewease said in Port Royal Speedway victory lane. “It feels great to get this one in honor of Keith Kauffman. He is a true racing legend in this area and an even better person. It's really special that he gets to be around and witness a race that is a tribute to him. I also want to thank the fans for coming out and supporting this race tonight. Hopefully this nice weather sticks around for the rest of the summer.”
Although impressive, Dewease's march to the front did not go unchallenged. In fact, up until the midpoint of the 30-lapper, it was Clute, Texas, native Aaron Reutzel who was in charge, taking the top spot away from Anthony Macri on lap 12 with a textbook slider through turns three and four. The pair drag raced to the start/finish line, but it was Reutzel credited with the lap by a margin of .2 seconds.
In the meantime, Dewease already battled his way to third, now setting his aim on Macri and Reutzel. With caution flags appearing on lap 16, the field was forced to stop for an open red giving teams an opportunity to refuel to assure they would make the remaining distance. The open red proved to be a turning point for Lance Dewease, giving the Don Kreitz, Jr.-owed, Schannauer Plumbing and Heating-backed, No. 69K entry an opportunity to undergo some set-up changes.
The changes made under the open red proved successful as Dewease was able to track down Reutzel by lap 21, soon driving underneath the Texan at the exit of turn four to officially take command. Dewease then drove away to win by over two seconds.
“If it wasn't for the red, Aaron [Reutzel] was going to win this race,” Dewease explained. “He had the best race car of that stage of the race. Actually, I thought I was going to run third because Anthony Macri was running very well. He's turning into a talented young driver who is going to win a lot of races.”
“I don't know if it was a heartbreak, or if I should be pumped up to be able to run with Lance Dewease like that,” Aaron Reutzel explained, driver of the Baughman Reutzel Motorsports/No. 87 entry who will contend for an All Star Rookie of the Year title in 2018. “Lance is a guy I really look up to. He's a very humble guy and races everyone really clean. By far one of the smoothest drivers I have ever seen in my life. Just to be able to accomplish this much, especially against a guy like Lance Dewease, I'm beyond proud. That open red gave his guys an opportunity to make him better. I was already really good, so we didn't have much to modify. Regardless, I am beyond proud right now. This just goes to show what this team is capable of accomplishing.”
The Arctic Cat All Star Circuit of Champions presented by Mobil 1 will conclude their first sweep through the Keystone State with a visit to Bedford Speedway in Bedford, Pa., later today - Sunday, April 15. The first and only appearance by America's Series in 2018, the annual Roy Morral Classic will headline competition at the Bedford Fairgrounds half-mile on Sunday evening awarding a $5,000 top prize.
In six prior Bedford Speedway appearances, the All Stars have crowned six different winners including Bill Rose, Lance Dewease, Trey Starks, Chad Kemenah, Greg Hodnett, and most recently, “Blackjack” Brian Brown.
Bedford Speedway will open pit gates at 2 p.m. on Sunday, April 15. The All Star drivers meeting will be conducted at 5:30 p.m. with hot laps following at 6 p.m. Other information, such as general admission gate times and ticket prices, can be found at the official online home of Bedford Speedway: www.bedfordspeedway.com.
Contingency Awards/Results: Port Royal Speedway - Saturday, April 14, 2018:
Group ( C )
Heat #1 - Group (A) (8 Laps) - Top 4 Transfer
Heat #2 - Group (B) (8 Laps) - Top 4 Transfer
Heat #3 - Group (C) (8 Laps) - Top 4 Transfer
Heat #4 - Group (D) (8 Laps) - Top 4 Transfer
Heat #5 - Group (E) (8 Laps) - Top 4 Transfer
Dash #1 (4 Laps)
Dash #2 (4 Laps)
C-Main (10 Laps) - Top 2 Transfer
B-Main (12 Laps) - Top 4 Transfer
A-Main (30 Laps)