MECHANICSBURG – Brian Montieth shot from fourth to first on the opening lap and went on to win the Tommy Hinnershitz Memorial Spring Classic Friday night at Williams Grove Speedway.
For Montieth, the driver of Jerry Parrish’s No. 21, the win was his 21st at the track and worth $6,000. It was his first Grove win of the season.
He started fourth, drove by Ryan Smith in turn two, and then by Danny Dietrich in turn four to take the lead on lap one of the 30-lapper.
With five laps completed, Montieth led Dietrich and Smith by 1.881 seconds as he reached the back of the field. Greg Hodnett had moved by Lucas Wolfe and into fourth.
“I got awful close to Ryan in that first corner,” said Montieth. “I beat him to the apex, but not by much. To me, I had to run there. That was the race for me. Other than that, just going out to time trial and not messing up. There’s too many good cars behind me. You mess up, you’re going to get passed.”
“We haven’t been good,” said Montieth. “My boys have spent a lot of time in the shop tearing this thing apart and putting it back together. I don’t think we’re good enough to win every night yet, but we’re making progress. We lucked out with (Dale) Blaney breaking. That moved us up. All the cards played the way they needed to play.”
Dietrich would close as Montieth negotiated lapped traffic. Montieth was racing hard and sliding by slower cars in the corners to keep Dietrich in second.
Montieth momentarily cleared traffic at the halfway point to give him some breathing room over Dietrich. Hodnett, meanwhile, raced around Smith for third.
With 10 laps to go, Montieth had a two-car cushion on Dietrich and was racing in clean air. Hodnett would pass Dietrich in turn two.
Hodnett’s pass by Dietrich wouldn’t count as the yellow flew as point leader Doug Esh did a 360-spin at the end of the frontstretch. He kept going, but the field was slowed with Montieth leading Dietrich and Hodnett with eight laps to go.
Hodnett looked low on Dietrich for a lap after the restart, but the outside groove was too fast and he moved back up to the cushion.
The final lap saw Montieth check-up entering turn three due to a lapped car. He moved low to block Dietrich’s attempt at a slider. The Phoenixville racer would get the win by 0.760 seconds. Dietrich, Hodnett, Stevie Smith and Ryan Smith completed the top five.
Esh, who got his spot back after the yellow, Alan Krimes, Freddie Rahmer, Lucas Wolfe and Cory Haas rounded out the top 10.
Hodnett set fast time over the 26-car field with a lap of 16.971 seconds. S. Smith, Montieth, Wolfe, and R. Smith completed the top five qualifiers. Drivers were given only one lap in time trials due to the impending weather.
The eight-lap heat races were won by Dietrich, Esh and Ott. No consolation was needed as Dale Blaney and Jay Galloway scratched for the night after mechanical problems in their heat races. The show was moved along fast as rain was in the area.
Mike Potts won the 15-lap street stock feature over Kory Sites, Craig Morgan, Chris Derr, Dalton Frye and Chris Heller.
The Grove returns to action next Friday night with the 410 and URC 360-Sprint cars on the schedule. In two weeks, the 358 Sprints return, along with the third Yellow Breeches 500 race for the 410 Sprints paying $500 to start a regular 25-lap feature.
Sprint Car Feature (30 laps): 1. Brian Montieth. 2. Danny Dietrich. 3. Greg Hodnett. 4. Stevie Smith. 5. Ryan Smith. 6. Doug Esh. 7. Alan Krimes. 8. Freddie Rahmer. 9. Lucas Wolfe. 10. Cory Haas. 11. Aaron Ott. 12. Pat Cannon. 13. Frankie Herr. 14. Brock Zearfoss. 15. Joe Trenca. 16. Austin Hogue. 17. Troy Fraker. 18. Rodney Westhafer. 19. Dave Blaney. 20. Matt Campbell. 21. Brent Marks. 22. Steve Buckwalter. 23. Lance Dewease. 24. Tim Glatfelter.
DNS – Dale Blaney, Jay Galloway.
Street Stock Feature(15 laps):1. Mike Potts. 2. Kory Sites. 3. Craig Morgan. 4. Chris Derr. 5. Dalton Frye. 6. Chris Heller.