The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

Sports

July 8, 2012

PA Speedweek: Dewease wins Opperman, while Rahmer takes overall title

SELINSGROVE — There’s nothing like a win to end a bad week.

Lance Dewease captured his 14th career Selinsgrove Speedway win and his 19th Speedweek win, holding off hard-charging Greg Hodnett with two cautions over the final four laps in the 30-lap, $5,000-to-win Jan Opperman Memorial.

With his fourth-place finish Sunday night, Fred Rahmer captured his 13th overall Pa. Speedweek title.

In the 20-lap Super Sportsman feature Jim Shuster had the feature win.

Pole sitter Mike Erdley led the first six laps before Dewease, who set fast time for the 31-car field, took the lead at end of the backstretch on lap 7, passing Erdley on the inside as the two entered Turn 3.

Outside polesitter Danny Lasoski pulled off during the opening lap.

Once Dewease took the lead, he began to pull away from the field, while Hodnett, the eighth-place starter, gradually marched to the front. By lap 11, Dewease got into lapped traffic, and three laps later Hodnett moved into second.

On lap 20, Dewease’s lead had grown to 1.6 seconds over Hodnett. With five laps to go, Hodnett cut the lead to .888 seconds.

Erdley’s solid top-three run came to an end on lap 26 when he had a flat tire while running third which brought out the first caution.

On the restart, Dewease stayed to the low side and pulled away before fourth-place running Chad Layton brought out the second caution when he slowed in Turn 4, setting up a green-while-checker dash.

On the final restart, Dewease was able to maintain his lead over Hodnett.

“It was pretty slick and I was running the bottom as that was where I felt I had to be,” Dewease said. “I didn’t know where Greg was and he’s really good here. We missed our marks on the bottom on the last restart and I didn’t hear Greg behind me.”

Rahmer, who got pinched behind the lapped car of Michael Ruttkamp, allowed Blane Heimbach to race around the outside of both Rahmer and Hodnett and take the second spot.

Hodnett held on for third with Rahmer fourth and Rick Lafferty fifth. Sixth through 10th were Alan Krimes, T.J. Stutts, Aaron Ott, Stevie Smith and Brent Marks.

“We enjoy coming here,” said Dewease. “We have a nice little combination with the Goodyear tires here that works good for us. Jan Opperman, Mitch Smith, they were some of the best ever to strap into a sprint car and it’s an honor to win a race named after them.”

Heats for the 410s went to Rahmer, Lafferty, Hodnett. The B-Main was won by Krimes, and Dewease set the fast time with a laps of 17.220 seconds.

Selinsgove Speedway 358 sprint car points leader Pat Cannon suffered a broken rocker arm while leading the first heat and was done for the night. Australian driver Luke Bowey and female driver Jessica Zemken had engine issues, while Cody Keller of Selinsgrove had a broken brake caliper, which ended his night.

In the 20-lap Super Sportsman feature, Jim Shuster scored the 20-lap feature win by nearly four seconds over Scott Dellinger, Carmen Perigo Jr. and Mike Enders. Steve Fannasy was fifth. Sixth though 10th were Dave Berkheimer, Rich Eichelberger, Jay Fannasy, Scott Geesey and Tom Wyckoff.

The lone caution in the 20-lap feature fell on lap 6 when co-points leader Frankie Kerr slowed on the track.

Heats for the 30 Super Sportsman went to Berkheimer, Bob Hockenberry and Franie Herr. Scott Geesey won the B-Main.

The track will take its annual summer break on July 13-14 and will return to action on July 20-21.

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