Fans around the area are calling it the “Hall of Fame Team” or the “Dream Team.”
Saturday evening at Williams Grove, that team lived up to either name — again.
Over the winter months it was announced that Lance Dewease would join the Donnie Kreitz Jr. team. Kreitz had retired as a driver midseason last year, not long after being inducted into the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame.
Kreitz was suffering from concussion-like symptoms, perhaps dating back to a crash several years earlier. His lone win last year came at Williams Grove and marked the 200th sprint car win of his career. It was certainly a career that deserved to be included in the Hall of Fame.
Dewease had suffered through several lackluster seasons, but still his win count in sprint cars topped 300. That is second only to Fred Rahmer on the area’s all-time win list. Some were saying Dewease was washed up.
The Kreitz team’s mechanic had long been a member of the National Hall of Fame. Davey Brown Sr. won his first race as a mechanic with the jalopy stock cars at Bowling Green Speedway on May 23, 1954 with Johnny Mackison Sr. as the driver. Over the years, Brown served as the chief mechanic for so many drivers, and earned so many wins, that no one is sure just how many. Surely that number tops 1,000. There were really big years with Mackison, Dick Tobias, Bobby Gerhart, Lynn Paxton, Doug Wolfgang and Kreitz, to name a few. But Davey Brown is 82 years old.
So you put together an 82-year-old mechanic, a retired champion driver suffering from concussion-like symptoms and a “washed-up” 50-year-old driver, and what do you get?
Apparently, ”The Dream Team.”
The combo has raced 16 times this season. They have won eight races, including two against the World of Outlaws, and three during Pennsylvania Sprint Car Speedweek. Saturday’s victory vs. the Outlaws at Williams Grove Speedway paid $25,000 to the winner. The team's record stands at eight wins, three seconds, one third, one sixth, one seventh and two did-not-finish results.
The Kreitz team has some good sponsors, but mainly operates out of Kreitz’s pocket. They still tow to the races with the unique truck Kreitz began using in the 1980s. In a time when nearly every sprint car team uses “store-bought” engines, Davey Brown still builds the engines the team uses in its race cars.
The win Saturday was Dewease’s 85th career win at the Grove, just five behind Rahmer on the all-time win list there. For Kreitz, the win was his 65th at the Grove, 61 as a driver and now four more as an owner. For Brown, no one knows his true Grove win total, but it likely includes most of Kreitz’s 61 wins, all 31 of Mackison’s wins, many of Tobias’ 31 wins, close to half of Paxton’s 45 wins, probably three quarters of Wolfgang’s 20 wins, the four wins with Dewease this year and a handful of wins with numerous other drivers.
Weekend slate: Area racing actually starts Tuesday at Grandview Speedway with a program of sprints and the Grandview modifieds.
The sprint cars will complete the feature that was rained out at 15 laps and the modifieds also have a make-up feature. Both divisions will also have a complete full program of qualifying and racing.
Williams Grove plays host to the sprints and the URC 360 sprints on Friday evening, while Trailway hosts the 358 sprints, Legends, limited stocks and street stocks on Friday.
At Lincoln Saturday, the sprints, 358 sprints and limited late models compete, while Port Royal has the sprints, late models, econo late models and All American Outlaws.
Selinsgrove hosts the 360 sprint National Open Saturday, along with late models and pro stocks. The 360 sprint car race pays $10,000 to win.
Susquehanna has a two-day weekend for the York County Nationals. On Saturday, the super sportsmen, ARDC midgets, extreme stock cars and the Penn Mar vintage cars compete. On Sunday, the STSS Modifieds venture to Susky for a big event. Also on Sunday’s slate are the sportsman modifieds.
Fifty years ago: Only one driver was able to double up on this weekend in 1966, and it wasn’t Ray Tilley.
Tilley did score one win on the weekend when he won Friday’s feature at Williams Grove in Bud Grimm’s potent Ford No. 88. That win was Tilley’s 26th of the season.
The driver with double victories that weekend was Johnny Grum. As I noted last week, Grum and owner/mechanic Harry Fletcher had worked the bugs out of their sidewinder Ford No. 66. Grum won at Bedford on Friday and Port Royal on Saturday to bring his season win total up to four.
Other winners on Friday night were Kenny Weld, who parked the family-owned No. 94 in Dorsey’s victory lane for his fourth local win of the season, and Ray Dovel, who scored his 14th win of the season with Lee Stultz’s No. S-3 at Winchester.
On the Saturday slate, Wrightsville’s Bobby Abel won at Lincoln in his own No. 2 for his 15th win of the season, while at Selinsgrove, Bobby Brymesser parked Ken Appler’s No. 77 in victory lane for the third time that season. At South Penn in Everett, it was Muss Weyandt who scored his fifth win of the season in the No. 5.
On Sunday at Susquehanna, Bobby Gerhart put his Davey Brown-wrenched No. 5 in victory lane for the fifth time that season, and at Hagerstown, Jack Denniston parked the $ in victory lane for his sixth win of the season.
Bryan Householder writes about dirt-track racing for The York Dispatch. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
2016 SPEEDWAY MOTORS/CHAMPION RACING OIL
CENTRAL PENNSYLVANIA SPRINT CAR SERIES
PRESENTED BY HOSEHEADS.COM
1. 27 Greg Hodnett 1423 14
2. 48 Danny Dietrich 966 5
3. 1 Lucas Wolfe 681 2
4. 19M Brent Marks 650 2
5. 21 Brian Montieth 615 3
6. 69K Lance Dewease 569 8
7. 07 Doug Esh 523 2
8. 87 Alan Krimes 503 1
9. 51 Freddie Rahmer 408 1
10. 94 Ryan Smith 399
11. 25 Aaron Ott 375 1
12. 51s Stevie Smith 364
13. 3z Brock Zearfoss 341 1
14. 11c Cory Haas 314
15 52 Austin Hogue 292 1
16. 17B Steve Buckwalter 236 2
17. 12 Blane Heimbach 220 1
18. 15 Adam Wilt 204
19. M1 Mark Smith 202
20. 16 Gerard McIntyre Jr 201
20. 55k Robbie Kendall 201
22. 55 Mike Wagner 189
23. 8 Billy Dietrich 179 1
24. 59 Jim Siegel 174
25. 9 Daryn Pittman 170 2