Lance Dewease will have a new ride in 2013.

The standout driver has joined the Michael Heffner Racing Team for the new season.

Dewease's longtime car owner, Donny Owens, announced a few weeks ago that he was no longer fielding a race car, instead focusing more time on his varied business interests.

That move left Dewease without a ride for the upcoming racing season.

Dewease didn't stay unemployed for long.

He takes over the ride in the Heffner machine that was vacated at season's end when Daryn Pittman joined the Kasey Kahne sprint-car team for a ride on the World of Outlaws circuit.

Dewease has been a fixture on the local circuit for many years, and ranks third in career wins among all local sprint-car drivers. Over his career, Dewease has won 293 sprint-car races and numerous track titles.

Dewease will bring along mechanic Matt Cramer when he makes the move to the Heffner team.

Plans call for the team to make a trip south to begin the season while racing with the All Stars and World of Outlaws in Georgia and Florida before the local season begins.

PIT STOPS

AUSHERMAN BENEFIT: A group of local race drivers and owners have come together to help a former racer in need.

A benefit auction will be held at the upcoming Dirt Trackin' show at the York Expo Center for former driver Scott Ausherman, of Dover.

Ausherman has been in poor health for several years now, suffering from frontal lobe dementia. His wife, Candy, has been forced to leave her work to care for Scott, and the family has come upon hard times.

A group, spearheaded by drivers Rick Horn and Sterling Kinard, former driver Steve Villella and car owner Clair Wintermyer, is organizing a benefit auction to be held at the Dirt Trackin' show, with all proceeds to go to the Aushermans.

New Dirt Trackin' promoter Larry Miller has come on board to allow the function at the show.

The group is looking for items to be auctioned for Ausherman's benefit. Any item will be accepted. Several fine pieces of memorabilia, household items, etc., have already been promised.

To donate items, contact Horn at 887-5145. Monetary donations will also be accepted, and should be sent to the York County Racing Club in Ausherman's name.

Ausherman began his racing career as a crew member for longtime racing mechanic and owner Jim Strausbaugh when he was just a teenager. At the time, Strausbaugh was fielding a super-sportsman racer for Bobby Brymesser. A few years later, Strausbaugh went to work on the sprint car of Ed Zirkle, and Ausherman went with him. After a year of helping on Zirkle's car, Ausherman decided to build a sprint car of his own, and launch his own driving career. That was in 1973.

Ausherman spent a number of years driving the sprint car, picking up two wins at Williams Grove along the way. When the cost of sprint-car racing outpaced his budget, Ausherman moved into the super-sportsman class, where he picked up several good rides and won 10 races along the way. Eventually he moved to the 358 sprint class, and at one time drove for his mentor, Strausbaugh. Ausherman was also a three-time winner in the 358 sprint class.

His driving career ended a few years ago with the onset of his illness.

DIRT TRACKIN' SHOW: As mentioned above, the Ausherman Benefit Auction will be held at the Dirt Trackin' Show at the York Expo Center.

That show has a new promoter. Former racer, and current parts distributor, Larry Miller has taken over the duties from Kirk Wise.

The show will be held on the final weekend in January and cover both buildings of Memorial Hall. The dates are Jan. 25, 26 and 27.

Miller hopes to bring back the popular driver-autograph sessions, and is also planning several race-oriented seminars.

YCRC BANQUET: The York County Racing Club's Hall of Fame Banquet is nearly here.

The banquet will be held at the Holiday Inn in West York on Jan. 5. Steve Post of MRN Radio will be the guest speaker.

As always, six new members will be inducted into the Hall of Fame, and several special awards will be presented.

Also, Greg Hodnett will pick up his hardware as the 2012 Speedway Motors Central Pennsylvania Sprint Car champion.

Bryan Householder writes about dirt-track racing for The York Dispatch. He can be reached at sports@yorkdis patch.com.