By Shawn Wood
For The Daily Item
PORT ROYAL -- Lance Dewease decided to go where no other driver was on the half-mile Port Royal Speedway on Monday afternoon.
The move paid off as the Fayettville driver scored his fourth Sprint Car Labor Day Classic win, holding off Logan Schuchart in lapped traffic late in the race.
In the 20-lap ARDC midget feature, Kyle Lick took advantage of a late-race restart and won for the second time this season.
The win for Dewease was his fourth in the Sprint Car Labor Day Classic and the 96th of his career at the speedway. It was just the third overall win of the season for Dewease.
"We've been pretty darn good since Knoxville, we just haven't had much luck," he said. "This is probably my worst season in 15 to 20 years. At the beginning of the season, we couldn't take advantage of good starting spots and then, we went through a dry spell for a while."
Dewease, who started sixth, moved into the third on lap 1 and then closed in on runner-up Blane Heimbach and leader Logan Schuchart as they entered Turns 1 on lap 2.
Dewease then drove to the high side of the speedway used the run to move around Heimbach down the backstretch. He kept that momentum going as he dove under Schuchart for the lead entering Turn 3.
Schuchart would cut into Dewease's lead as they entered lapped traffic on lap 6.
The first of two cautions came out on lap 9 for Brock Zearfoss who spun in Turn 1.
Chad Layton, who is second in the point standings, slowed coming out of Turn 4 on the following lap. Layton would be credited with 22nd place, thus losing more ground to points leader Heimbach who won for the fifth time this season at the track last Saturday night.
On the lap 10 restart, Dewease again protected the high side while Schuchart went to the bottom.
"It is one of the downfalls in starting out on the front row, I screwed up," Schuchart said. "I knew there wasn't going to be a top, but there's a lot of times when it is close to be rubbered up like this and they water the top and that doesn't do anything. I know I was good through the middle (of the corners), that was going to be my best shot."
Schuchart would pursue Dewease over the remaining 15 laps as they raced nose-to-tail as the weaved in and out of lapped traffic.
"Lance is a legend and does a great job," Schuchart said. "He never even showed me his nose, he just went right around me. If I had saw his nose, I could have moved up, but he surprised me and I had to follow and try to catch him from there."
The win was the first for Dewease at the track this year and his first classic win since 2000. His other wins this season have come at Roaring Knob on May 3 at Fulton Speedway (N.Y.) on July 17 in an all-star race.
Schuchart held on for second with Danny Dietrich, who had the fastest car on the track late in the race, finished third, after starting ninth. Heimbach and Dylan Cisney rounded out the top five.
Sixth through 10th were Mike Wager, Rodney Westhafer, Mike Erdly, Brent Marks and Rick Lafferty, respectively.
Heats for the 22-car field were won by Dietrich, Heimbach and Marks.
In the ARDC midget feature, Ryan Gerth took over the top spot on the first lap from pole sitter Lick and then preceded to check out on the field as he opened a half-track lead by lap 17.
On lap 17, the cation came for a single-car spin and that bunched up the field.
Gerth sailed off into Turn 1 on the restart and then drifted high in Turn 2 which allowed Lick to get by him for the lead on the low side of the track.
Lick, a rookie with ARDC this season, led the final three laps to score his second win of the year.
"I thought we were going backwards," he said of the start. "We got to the bottom and made it work. We were kind of lucky as Ryan (Gerth) was gone from our view."
Bruce Buckwalter Jr. finished second while Billy Pauch Jr., who started 11th, finished third. Pauch was driving his third different type of race car in three days.
Steve Drevicki finished fourth while Greth fell back to finish fifth.
Sixth through 10th were Nick Wean, Alex Bright, Tony DiMattia, Jim Radney and Tim Buckwalter, respectively.
Heats for the 27-car field went to Brett Arndt, Drevicki and Pauch.