Total posts: 3392
posted September 30, 2001 12:32 PM
DEWEASE BEST OF THE BEST IN NATIONAL OPEN ROMP
Beating the Pennzoil World of Outlaws, win a Williams Grove track
championship, and be added to the infamous Williams Grove National Open
winners list all in the same night can define a career.
Saturday night Fayetteville's Lance Dewease defined his career.
Dewease started on the pole and led all 40 laps to win the 39th running of
the Williams Grove National Open. And in the process, beat the best in the
business - the World of Outlaws, ended Salfordville's Fred Rahmer four-year
stint as the Williams Grove track champion, and gave car-owner Joe Harz his
first National Open title and Williams Grove track championship.
"I'm happy for him and Joe and Peggy (Harz)...this caps off a great year
for us winning the championship here and them getting their first National
Open win," said a jubilant Dewease to a the cheering packed grandstand from
victory lane. "We gave up a pretty good starting spot last night (in the
Preliminary Feature), but the main thing is that we got locked in and made
the car better for tonight."
"This car has about 77 races on it, and it just keeps trucking. I don't
think Joe (Harz) is going to sell it. We might just keep racing it."
"This is the best night I've ever had in racing, "said jubilant car owner
Joe Harz. I'll never sleep tonight...I'm just happy we killed the outlaws."
"I've been waiting for years for something like this. This sport costs a
lot of money, but tonight we got some of it back. I'm just so proud of
Lance, and Timmy, and my wife and everyone with this team."
Polesitter Dewease got the jump at the drop of the green over outside
frontrow starter Tim Shaffer opened up a 10 car-length lead as he headed
into lapped traffic on the eighth lap with third-starting Donny Schatz and
seventh-starting Mark Kinser trying to keep pace.
Dewease's lead was erased on the 12th lap as a spinning Skip Jackson
brought out the caution flag.
Dewease held onto the top spot on the restart and continued to lead through
the 17th lap when the caution flag waved once again - this time for debris
on the backstretch.
The caution quickly waved again on the 18th lap as P.J. Chesson stopped on
the backstretch with a flat left rear tire. On the restart, Andy Hillenburg
stopped on the frontstretch with a flat left rear tire, thus prompting a red
flag for fuel.
The stoppage of action was a big break for Kinser's crew as they make quick
repairs to his front brakes after a rock broke a brake line earlier in the
"We didn't touch the car after the dash," said Dewease. "I could run the
middle pretty good in the dash, and then we got caught out high in the
beginning, and then we tried the middle and it just took off from there."
"I was running pretty good, and getting a pretty good rhythm going there,
and then about lap 18 we started getting all those cautions, and I didn't
need to see that," Dewease commented. "We started getting a little too tight
at the end, and I was just trying to let the car push up and catch the curb
coming out of turn four."
Dewease continued to lead Schatz and Kinser on the restart when the caution
flag waved a New Oxford's Stevie Smith, who stopped on the frontstretch with
engine problems while running seventh.
On the restart Kinser found new life after repairing his brake and passed
Schatz for second with a low move in the third and fourth turns on the 21st
Dewease's lead was once again erased on the 23rd lap when former National
Open winner Donnie Kreitz Jr. stopped on the backstretch on the 23rd lap.
The race's final caution came on the 27th lap when Curt Michael spun in the
second turn setting up a 13-lap dash to the checkered.
Dewease ran flawlessly over the final laps through lapped traffic to pick
up his second National Open title by nearly a half a straightaway over
Kinser and in the process picked up his third Williams grove Track
"Mark and Karl (Kinser) are really good when the tracks start to get slick
like this, but Timmy Elwell's been doing a great job with this car, and he
works hard all the time," said Dewease from Victory Lane. "He (Elwell) works
all year long on this car and never takes a vacation."
Two-time National Open winner Kinser settled for second.
"We had some brake problems early, and we never did get it fixed, but we
didn't have anything for Lance tonight," said World of Outlaw point leader
Mark Kinser afterwards. "This racing thing is kind of like
prizefighting...the best man wins and tonight it was Lance Dewease."
Defending National Open Champion Schatz finished third.
"Lance was just a little bit better than us tonight," said defending
National Open Champion Donny Schatz after his third place finish. "We were
about even with Mark, and we gave up a spot to him, but Lance had the
fastest car tonight, and he was going to win no matter what we did."
11th starting James Chesson came on at the end to finish fourth, with
eighth-starting Sean Michael finishing fifth.
Completing the top-10 were Tim Shaffer, Jason Meyers, Danny Lasoski, Todd
Shaffer, and Craig Dollansky.
" I just got some kind of bad news...my wife's in the hospital," Dewease
suddenly added. "They think she's got kidney stones, so she's going to get
that taken care of. I can't really do anything for her right now. I love her
to death, and Hershey Medical Center's a great place, so for now I'll just
let them take care of it."
Heats for the 44-car National Open field were won by Todd Hestor, Cris
Eash, Danny Lasoski, and P.J. Chesson.
Brian Montieth won the C-Feature and then destroyed his car in a violent
backstretch crash in the B-Feature. Todd Shaffer led a stellar B-Feature to
the checkered while Dewease earned the right to start on the pole position
for the 39th Annual National Open by winning the Dash.
Donny Schatz led the 44-car field in qualifying with a one-lap time of
National Open Pit Notes:
Steve Kinser flipped hard in the first corner on his first qualifying lap.
Kinser brought out a back-up car, and tagged the back of the pack in his
heat race, then used a provisional to start the A-main
Greg Hodnett and Fred Rahmer tangled in turn two on the first lap of the
fourth heat race, braking Rahmer's frame and forcing him to use a back-up
car to start last in the C-main.
Jeff Shepard used provisional to start the A-main, as did Keith Kauffman
and Fred Rahmer as well.