MECHANICSBURG — Steve Buckwalter and Cody Keller wired the sprint car fields for victories on Friday night at Williams Grove Speedway, in the 410 and 358 sprint car divisions, respectively. Buckwalter started second in the field to lead every lap of the 25-circuit main event for the 410 sprint cars. His pace was slowed only once, on the fifth lap when the red flag appeared for a fire on the machine of Eric Tomecek.
For the restart, Kody Lehman chased Buckwalter but fifth starter Cory Haas moved into the second spot on the 13th tour just as the leader entered the backmarkers. Eighth starter Brock Zearfoss followed Haas and took third one lap later. Although Zearfoss took his shots at Haas, it was Haas who tried to spoil Buckwalter’s party late in the race. Haas steadily drove down Buckwalter’s advantage, shaving a full second off of his lead from lap 17 to lap 20.
However during the final circuits, Buckwalter was again able to stretch out his advantage to 1.277 seconds at the finish. Haas shot low across the third and fourth turns repeatedly during the late going trying to stick with Buckwalter but instead rode home second. The victory was the eighth of Buckwalter’s career at Williams Grove Speedway.
Keller of Selinsgrove ran the ragged edge and sometimes over it to pick up his first career 358-sprint victory at the speedway. After starting second in the field, Keller would lead all 25 laps of the K1 RaceGear Summer Series main event to take home a $1,500 payday. However the Snyder County pilot nearly gave the win away on several occasions when he jumped the cushion at both ends of the speedway.
The initial lap of the 358 sprint main was halted for an eight-car melee in the third turn that saw at least two cars flip. No injuries were reported however.
Dietrich edges Montieth at Lincoln
ABBOTTSTOWN — It was another race for the ages at Lincoln Speedway Saturday night.
Danny Dietrich looked like he was on his way to a convincing win from his 11th starting spot after grabbing lead from polesitter and race-long leader Scott Fisher on the backstretch of lap 12 and dominating the next seven laps.
But enter 12th-starting and Lincoln points leader Brian Montieth.
A lap 19 red flag for a flipping Robbie Kendall, who turned over while trying to avoid a spinning Fisher in turns three and four Matt Campbell and Montieth in second and third for the restart and erased a three-second lead by Dietrich.
Montieth took the runner-up spot immediately after the restart, and set his sights on Dietrich with five laps to go.
He chased the seven-time Lincoln winner into lapped traffic with two laps to go, and actually drove around Dietrich for the lead in turns one and two of the last lap. Dietrich returned the favor the final turns for his 38th career Lincoln win and $3,769 top prize, which included a $200 bonus and a $200 hard-charger award from race sponsors McSherrystown Moose Lodge #720 and Lawrence’s Body Shop, and a $169 bonus in memory of Chris Glatfelter on the anniversary of his passing.
“I knew I wasn’t very good. It seemed like after the red…we ran a right rear that we ran 10 or 14 laps in the feature at the Grove last night,” said Dietrich in victory lane. “It just felt like it was going away. I kept getting tight in the left rear and was just overdriving the car. I reached for the wing trying to move it forward and there was no more ‘forward’ to go, so I knew I was going to be in trouble and it was a matter of hanging on.”