|Date: 7/5/2007 3:00:55 AM|
SPRINT SPEEDWEEK NIGHT FOUR GOES TO DEWEASE
“My dad (Stuart) passed away two months and we’ve been trying like the devil to win one, so this one is for my dad,” Dewease said. “The last two months are probably the worst of my racing career. There’ve been a lot of issues. I had the birth of my son which was a lovely thing in my life, and lost my father which was the worst thing in my life, so in two months, I had the high and low of life. He loved racing. He ran late models here. I grew up playing in those stones right there. This place means a lot to me, and we enjoy winning here.”
It also was a night that was affected by several issues. With the forecasted storms, along came high humidity, which severely affected track preparation. Later when all qualifying was completed and sprints being pushed onto the track for feature line up, the lights went out on the backstretch, something that hasn’t happened for as long as anyone could remember. After that problem was corrected, the feature managed to get underway.
Brian Leppo was the 25th to take time trials and set quick time with a 15.278 second lap over Chad Layton, who was the first on the track to record in 15.350 seconds. Doug Esh was the only casualty of time trials when his left rear axle broke entering turn three on his first lap and the fence arrived much quicker than he wanted.
Despite the track delay, it was fast enough for two new track records in qualifying. Stevie Smith knocked more than 2 ½ seconds off Mark Kinser’s July 2001 record and now holds the ten lap record of 2.39.35 while in the 12-lap B main, Fred Rahmer blitzed the track with a newly installed engine and was just short of three seconds off the August 1992 record of Johnny Herrera. Rahmer’s new time is 3.22.06.
Dewease and Stevie Smith started from the front row when Rahmer and T.J. Stutts didn’t qualify from the heat races. When the green flag dropped, the red flag was waved when fourth row starters Mike Wagner and Kevin Nouse both took a tumble in turn one and were finished for the night.
Dewease got the drop on Smith as those two led the procession while Wolfe and Hodnett swapped the third spot a few times until Wolfe secured it on lap nine and began to close in on the front runners who were already in the back of the field.
Wolfe caught Smith and took advantage of a lapped car to get past him on the 21st circuit. Dewease held steady following a lap 26 incident involving Jonathen Ericksen and T.J.Winegarden off turn four and another when Todd Shaffer spun following contact from Alan Cole off turn two on lap 28.
Dewease sped away as Wolfe gave it his all, but settled for the runner up spot for the second night in a row.
“We had a real good starting spot,” Dewease said. “That seems like that’s how the whole year is going for everybody. You have to start up front to win these things. We timed good enough and a couple guys had some misfortune and we were able to take advantage of that. People have been writing us off, but we’re slowly picking the speed back up. Hopefully the rest of the week and year will be good.”
Smith held of for the third place effort over Rahmer, who took fourth from Hodnett following the 26th lap restart. Hodnett ended fifth with Stutts advancing from tenth to claim sixth over 13th starting Craig Keel, Leppo,
Points going into Thursday (night five) at Port Royal are: 1.Lucas Wolfe, 576; 2.Greg Hodnett, 568; 3.Stevie Smith, 538; 4.Lance Dewease, 483; 5.Todd Shaffer, 431; 6.Chad Layton, 430; 7.Brian Leppo, 429; 8.Keith Kauffman, 363; 9.Fred Rahmer, 318; 10.T.J.Stutts, 315.
The speedway returns to action on Saturday, July 7th, as the Ernie’s Auto Enterprises pure stocks will compete in the 20-lap double point 12th Annual Jimmy Cornett Tribute. The Cindy Rowe Auto Glass late models and HTMA late model sportsman are also on the program.
Pit gates open at 4 p.m., grandstands open at 5 p.m and warm ups begin at 7 p.m. Check the speedway website for any changes in weather at: www.hagerstownspeedway.com or contact the speedway office at 301-582-0640.
Time Trials – 1.Brian Leppo, 16.278; 2.Chad Layton, 15.350; 3.Fred Rahmer, 15.411; 4.Greg Hodnett, 15.419; 5.T.J. Stutts, 15.436; 6.Lucas Wolfe, 15.484; 7.Stevie Smith, 15.494; 8.Lance Dewease, 15.513; 9.Mike Wagner, 15.549; 10.Kevin Nouse, 15.632
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