The meaning of Dewease’s 7th Grove track


Brent Marks (19M) looks away from Lance Dewease during Friday night’s All Star Circuit of Champions Sprint Car Series at Williams Grove Speedway in Mechanicsburg, Pa. (Julia Johnson Photo).

MECHANICSBURG, Pa .– In the five decades he has raced, of the 11 car owners he competed for, and anyone’s rise to the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame, Lance Dewease’s graceful clock continues to turn.

“I hope the success I’ve had hasn’t really changed me,” Dewease said in an interview with SPEED SPORT during the summer months. “I don’t see much difference other than [being] a little older.

So, as he accepted the No. 7 title at Williams Grove Speedway in Mechanicsburg, Pa. On Friday night, of course, he sported his signature smile. He also didn’t get his hands on the spotlight.

The meaning of his first championship since 2011 at Williams Grove, a place so dear to Dewease, is beyond statistics. He won the Williams Grove titles with five car owners over four decades, making up 16 track titles in central Pennsylvania.

“It’s a welcome addition to get it for Donald [Kreitz Jr.] and Davey [Brown]”Said Dewease.” With the Mechanic of the Year now honoring Davey, he should get this award. So that’s just cool for it all.

“Actually, you know, what’s going on with five different owners kind of tells you how successful we’ve been with a lot of different owners,” Dewease said.

“Doing it in four decades means I’m old,” he added.

The feat was not on Kreitz Racing’s radar to start the year.

Dewease got rid of the weekly runner tag ten years ago. He has raced in a more specialized way, more at home, since his forties and his last track title in 2011. For Kreitz, he had not organized a victorious campaign since 1993.

As this year developed and the No.69K team inadvertently took the lead in the Williams Grove points race, they couldn’t avoid the weekly chase.

The purses going from $ 4,000 up for grabs to $ 5,000 plus an additional $ 500 for the occasional Diamond Series races were pretty enticing.

“It turned into ‘We have to give it a go,'” Kreitz said.

Dewease and his team showed up at Williams Grove four times between March and April. They scratched two of those events and defending champion Freddie Rahmer picked up where he left off.

They didn’t win their first race of the year until May 21, building on the back-to-back podium finishes with the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Sprint Car Series on the track.

“We made the decision [in May] go through the Pennsylvania Speedweek to work on some stuff, ”Dewease said. “Why not go for [the title]? “

Dewease had four wins in five races and it was over from there. Post-PA Speedweek, he has eight consecutive top five. Over the year, the team did not finish worse than sixth in main events.

This is Williams Grove’s No.10 title for Brown, the 87-year-old mechanic, and his first since 1991. Brown’s first championship was held in 1961 with his high school friend Johnny Mackison Sr.

“I’m happy for Davey,” Kreitz said. “It’s week to week. He loves to go to the races, but you never know with his health. It is a miracle that he has lasted so long.

The title went pretty much automatic once the # 69K team raced each week, but Dewease isn’t taking anything for granted.

His appreciation for Brown, Kreitz and the origin of it all is too deep.

“You know, everything about the Grove, I only started running the Grove when I started to [Walter] Dyer, ”Dewease said.

“It was then that I was able to show my talent, the ability to win races,” he added. “Until then, we had difficulty presenting 25 to 30 shows per year. We started in 1985 and until 1991 I didn’t run a lot of races.

“I mean, I maybe raced at the Grove five times in five years before I started driving for Walter Dyer,” Dewease said. “For me, what I accomplished at The Grove is significant because I didn’t race there at the start.”


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