Mechanicsburg – Don Kreitz Jr. of Sinking Spring scored a last lap sprint car victory in what was a Pennsylvaia Posse trouncing of the World of Outlaws in Friday night’s 25-lap National Open Preliminary event at Williams Grove Speedway.
Kreitz won a dogfight of an event from start to finish, at first between Steve Buckwalter and Danny Dietrich with Brian Montieth in the mix before Dietrich and Kreitz fought to the finish.
The $8,000 victory was the 57th of Kreitz’s career at Williams Grove and his eighth in Grove World of Outlaws competition however it was his very first in the 29-year history of the National Open Preliminary.
Kreitz started second in the main event but Dietrich drove into the spot with Buckwalter leading on the first lap.
And the pair began immediately what would turn out to be a 16-lap duel for the lead throughout with Buckwalter always holding off Dietrich for the lead at the line, sometimes by less than a half car length.
Dietrich made repeated bids for the lead in the top groove while Buckwalter ran to his inside and on the ninth tour he was able to take the front spot only to see Buckwalter return the favor before they would cross the stripe.
Montieth started seventh in the field and took fourth on the 11th loop and by that time the front four cars of Buckwalter, Dietrich, Kreitz and Montieth were racing under a blanket within one turn, which they would continue to do for the next four laps.
By that time Dietrich would finally be able to muster enough of a run to take control with 17 laps down and Kreitz followed suit into second a lap later along with Montieth.
A caution flag brought a double-file restart into the race with six laps to go with Dietrich choosing to start on the inside.
And for the next five circuits Kreitz raced closer than a shadow to Dietrich, breathing down his neck while never quite able to complete a push into the lead.
Until the fourth turn headed for the one to go sign that is, when Kreitz made a bid across the inside lane with Dietrich edging him out at the line.
Dietrich took strategic action as the pair headed in the first turn and took Kreitz’z bottom lane away.
And that’s when Kreitz raced just off of Dietrich’s right rear tire through the middle of the first and second turns to throttle into the lead heading down the backchute and collect the win with fans jumping up and down in the stands over the last lap action and rout of the outlaws drivers.
Eight of the top 10 finishers were Williams Grove and Pennsylvania Posse regulars with outlaw Donny Schatz in fourth and All Stars point leader Dale Blaney finishing 10th.
“I was runnin’ out of real estate. Donnie had a charge and I knew if I went to the top Id’a give it to him,” Dietrich said.
“I got to conservative and to gentle and he rode my right rear.”
Kreitz reflected on his run throughout the electric event.
“I didn’t think we’d get’em,” Kreitz said.
“It was great racin’ there in the beginning. It was just a lucky move there at the end. You just go where the other guy’s not goin’,” Kreitz said.
Montieth rode home third followed by Schatz and Greg Hodnett.
Sixth through 10th went to Buckwalter, Fred Rahmer, Brian Leppo, Adam Wilt and Dale Blaney.
If not a record, a near modern-day sprint car record of 63 cars competed in the event with Indiana’s Joey Saldana setting fast time with a lap of 16.961 seconds.
Heats went to Jason Sides, Bucwalter, Leppo, Schatz and Blaney. Buckwalter won the dash.
Ryan Smith won the D Main while Chad Layton took the C Main and Daryn Pittman took the B Main.
October 4, 2013 Feature Finish:
410 sprint cars, 25 laps: 1. Don Kreitz Jr., 2. Danny Dietrich, 3. Brian Montieth, 4. Donny Schatz, 5. Greg Hodnett, 6. Steve Buckwalter, 7. Fred Rahmer, 8. Brian Leppo, 9. Adam Wilt, 10. Dale Blaney, 11. Daryn Pittman, 12. Joey Saldana, 13. Paul McMahan, 14. Ryan Taylor, 15. Jason Sides, 16. Brian Brown, 17. Alan Krimes, 18. Craig Dollansky, 19. Brent Marks, 20. Danny Holtgraver, 21. Steve Kinser, 22. Justin Barger, 23. Sammy Swindell, 24. Tim Shaffer, 25. Trey Starks, 26. Cody Darrah, 27. Logan Schuchart, 28. Sam Hafertepe Jr.
DNQ: Brock Zearfoss, Gerard McIntyre Jr., Lucas Wolfe, Justin Henderson, Ryan Bohlke, Kraig Kinser, Kerry Madsen, Mark Smith, Brian Paulus, TJ Stutts, David Gravel, Jac Haudenschild, Chad Layton, Aaron Ott, Lance Dewease, Sheldon Haudenschild, Davey Sammons, Bill Rose, Pat Cannon, Chad Kemenah, Tyler Ross, Jimmy Seger, Rodney Westhafer, Kyle Moody, Stevie Smith, Neal Williams, Cory Haas, Ryan Smith, Dylan Cisney, Curt Michael, Nicole Bower, Robbie Kendall, Mark Bitner, Rick Lafferty, Troy Fraker