Mechanicsburg – For the second week in a row a last lap pass netted the sprint car feature win at Williams Grove Speedway and this week it also kicked off the 23rd annual Pennsylvania Speedweek series for sprint cars when Greg Hodnett got the victory on Friday night.
The win was Hodnett’s first of the season at Williams Grove to begin the speedweek series, worth $5,000.
Danny Dietrich and Chad Layton shared the front row for the start of the main event and two-time 2013 winner Dietrich took the lead at the start but could only set the pace for a pair of laps before the caution flag unfurled.
Fourth starter Hodnett was up to second for the restart but seemingly had no chance at Dietrich on open track until the leaders got to traffic with 13 laps away.
That allowed Thomasville’s Hodnett to reel in the leader and stick with him as the pair worked heavy traffic and with 10 laps to go Dietrich could see Hodnett to his inside as they raced through the first corner.
But Dietrich was holding on with the lead, outlasting Hodnett when a final caution flag unfurled with eight laps to go.
And on open track again Dietrich pulled away on the restart although Hodnett did keep pace as the pair got away from the rest of the field.
As the race wore on, many eyes turned to a torrid contest that was being waged between Layton and Brent Marks for fifth as the pair see-sawed and swapped the spot several times during laps 19, 20 and 21.
And while all of that was going on, Hodnett ran down the leader and was leaving Dietrich no room for error with just over a lap to go when an error was just what Dietrich made.
Heading for the white flag, he jumped the cushion in the third and fourth turns and that was all Hodnett needed to make a run for the win.
He drove to Dietrich’s inside as the pair headed out of the second turn and onto the backstretch with the lead.
Dietrich tried to reclaim control with a run that saw him slap the outside backstretch wall as he shot his car into the third corner but to no avail as Hodnett went on to take his 52nd career checkers at Williams Grove, giving himself sole possession of fourth on the oval’s all time win list. .
The win was also the 23rd of Hodnett’s career in speedweek action.
“Danny was having a little problem getting off of four,” Hodnett said of Dietrich.
“He hit the wall a couple laps before that.”
“I thought it was pretty much a gimme’ with him starting on the front row,” he said of his chances at getting a win when the race began with Dietrich starting on the pole.
Dietrich settled for second followed by Danny Lasoski, Marks and Sam Hafertepe Jr.
Sixth through 10th went to Layton, Lance Dewease, Fred Rahmer, Alan Krimes and Brian Montieth.
Heats for the 34-car field went to Dietrich, Dewease, Rodney Westhafer and Gerard McIntyre Jr. Adam Wilt took the B Main.
Hafertepe set fast time in qualifications with a lap of 16.892 seconds.
John Kovatch won the 15-lap SpeedSTR feature event over Brian Montieth, Nick Pecko, Brad Brightbill and Freddie Rahmer.
Twin heats went to Kovatch and Branden Rahmer.
June 28, 2013 Feature Finishes:
410 sprint cars, 25 laps: 1. Greg Hodnett, 2. Danny Dietrich, 3. Danny Lasoski, 4. Brent Marks, 5. Sam Hafertepe Jr., 6. Chad Layton, 7. Lance Dewease, 8. Fred Rahmer, 9. Alan Krimes, 10. Brian Montieth, 11. Jim Siegel, 12. Stevie Smith, 13. Gerard McIntyre Jr., 14. Adam Wilt, 15. Ryan Taylor, 16. Davey Sammons, 17. Cory Haas, 18. Ryan Wilson, 19. Darren Mollenoux, 20. Nicole Bower, 21. Rodney Westhafer, 22. Logan Schuchart, 23. Eric Riggins Jr., 24. TJ Stutts