SELINSGROVE, Pa. — There’s a lot that goes into racing 10-straight days and then to come out on top with a Pa Speedweek bragging rights. Teams are dealing with little rest, consistency and a whole lot of lady luck to end in fireworks at the end of the week.
The 31st Annual Pennsylvania Speedweek brought some invaders into town looking to steal the posse thunder.
As Rico Abreu looked for his first win at the Williams Grove to kickoff the 10-day stretch. That hope didn’t last long.
Just six laps in, Lance Dewease stole the show on the night honoring Davey Brown. He wins back-to-back at the track and ties Fred Rahmer for Pa Speedweek wins win 30.
Forty-eight cars arrived in style at the Fabulous Lincoln Speedway. A night honoring the late Kevin Gobrecht. The car to beat, for the first time since 2013, Brent Marks completely dominated to capture the checkered at Lincoln.
Last Sunday was the first time in 15-years Pa Speedweek returned to BAPS.
A different track but the same result as the “Myerstown Missile” wins back-to-back nights and back-to-back races at BAPS.
“We’re just working hard,’ said Marks. ‘So, just trying to maintain that consistency, which is very hard to do in these cars and I feel like we’re doing a good job. So, just excited to get another win.“
The team is on a roll winning six races since jumping back to his family car two months ago.
Monday night back at Lincoln for night four of Pa Speedweek. The NASCAR boys, Kyle Larson and Christopher Bell invade Posseland; fresh off the doubleheader at Pocono Raceway.
Just as New Oxford’s Gerard McIntyre picked the pole and hoped to capture his first win since 2019. Unfortunate luck for McIntyre, two different times during the race. The “Candy Man,” Robbie Kendall held Larson to third. After blowing a tire on the final lap at BAPS the night before, All-Star Justin Peck checked off his first win at Lincoln.
“This is one of my favorite tracks to come to in Central Pa. It’s a tough crowd especially when you have guys like Larson, Robbie Kendall and Chris Bell coming in behind you. You don’t really know where to go,” said Peck.
The posse had another test at Grandview. It has been either Bell or Larson in victory lane.
The restart does Marks dirty with grabbing a little grass and allowing Larson to win back-to-back Speedweek races at “Thunder on the Hill” but it’s his fourth at Grandview in five years.
Halfway down and halfway to go. Night number six at the Speed Palace was sure luck with the weather but unlucky for the points leader as Marks pulled in after a lap.
Even more bad luck as the “Concrete Kid” couldn’t capitalize winning two races in one night, like he did in 2020. Although, he came back to win the 360 feature.
At the same time, it got a little hot for Mike Walter as the shock cover lights up.
Larson with the better tires passed Lucas Wolfe, as Dewease moved from 11th to battle “Double D” for second. They pressured Larson with a three car battle for the win.
“Paul Silva builds strong, fast race cars and we were able to keep all 4-wheels on it,” said Larson. Probably the most exciting win I’ve had here at Port but really, really fun.“
Larson wouldn’t have a chance to win three in a row as race number seven at Hagerstown was canceled because of weather.
Which then brings us back to the Grove for the biggest payday of Speedweek. No, not the candy bar but a $15,000 check.
The fastest car of the night, Dylan Cisney got swallowed up by the cushion and terrible luck, once again, for Marks. In total, passing 21-cars the entire race.
When it comes to the Grove, there’s a blue flash that’s always a force to be wrecking with. Danny Dietrich saw it first hand and tried but they we’re once again too strong. This time, setting more history. Dewease became the winningest Pa Speedweek driver with 31. They also picked off three races in a row, bringing Dewease’s total to 103 wins at the Grove.
“I’m just fortunate to be racing longer than he (Fred Rahmer) has and been fortunate to be in really fast race cars. We’re going to ride this wave as long as we can because you never know when it’s going to be your last one,” said Dewease.
Dietrich led by 50 points over Marks heading into Saturday night at Port Royal.
The vortex around the speedway didn’t work for night number nine, having about an hour and a half delay. One shower missed the track as the late models qualify, but just as the first sprint car hot laps group finishes. The rain came once again and put a damper on racing as teams pack up and head to the final night at Selinsgrove.
So naturally, the points and the race came down to Dietrich and Marks. Dietrich needing to finish at least six positions behind Marks. Lap 25, Marks made the move to take the lead. They split the prize, Marks back in victory lane while Dietrich won his second Pa Speedweek title.
“Really, we had a great week. Every time we hit the race track we were fast and felt like I could run top three every night. Just had a couple little things that kept us out of the points deal tonight but really wanted to race last night but the rain took care of the that one for me,” said Marks.
“Consistency good but wins are more important. That’s what our owners want to see. That’s what our sponsors want to see. That’s what I want. The difference in prize money from first to second is a big jump and you need them wins help your season get along and pay the bills,” said Dietrich