MECHANICSBURG — Danny Dietrich pounced on the slightest of openings left by Greg Hodnett to steal the victory in Friday night’s Pennsylvania Speedweek Mitch Smith Memorial for sprint cars at Williams Grove Speedway, worth $10,000.
Elsewhere in the PASS 305 sprint main, Aston’s Dave Brown went wire to wire for the 20-lap victory.
Greg Hodnett and James McFadden started on the front row of the 30-lap speedweek Mitch Smith Memorial with McFadden holding off Hodnett only two laps before the Spring Grove driver got by for the lead.
McFadden proved a staunch competitor however as he briefly reclaimed the lead in the first corner before pinching Hodnett down hard in the third turn in an attempt to reclaim and maintain control.
Hodnett was not to be held back however as he firmly took control with five away with fourth starter Dietrich racing third behind McFadden.
With Hodnett running the top groove, Dietrich blasted by McFadden for second on the ninth tour and then drove down Hodnett to get underneath for the lead on the first occasion as the pair raced through the first and second turns on the 11th tour.
Dietrich’s attempt on the low side however simply prompted Hodnett to move down on the racetrack and take his line away and this forced Dietrich to follow the leader as the pair hit lapped traffic with 13 laps recorded.
At the halfway point of the 30-lapper, Hodnett held sway over Dietrich, Doug Esh and McFadden.
Dietrich chased Hodnett through traffic, keeping pace with the leader as the race hit the ten to go mark and shortly thereafter, Dietrich saw an opportunity to seize command and took it with a low side dart in the third corner when Hodnett surprisingly seemed to falter or hesitate just the slightest bit.
And in the blink of an eye, Dietrich pushed his No. 48 through the opening left between Hodnett and the inside rail to drive into command and then drive away once at the front.
The races only caution flag unfurled with three laps to go for a flat right rear tire on Esh.
Dietrich drove off to the win when action resumed to take the victory, his first of the season at the oval, by 2.522 seconds.
“It was an easy decision for me,” said Dietrich to push through the hole that opened up.
“I don’t evern know if he (Hodntt) left the whole lane open but I took it,” Dietrich said.
Eighth starter Brian Montieth rode home third followed by Alan Krimes and a strong performance by McFadden.
Sixth through 10th went to Ryan Smith, Lance Dewease, Dave Blaney, Stevie Smith and Freddie Rahmer.
Heast for the 32-car field went to McFadden, Hodnett, Montieth and Dylan Cisney with Steve Buckwalter taking the consolation race.
Ryan Smith set fast time over the field with a lap of 17.603 seconds.
Dietrich leads the PA Speedweek points over Hodnett, Lance Dewease, Brent Marks and Alan Krimes with just two races left in the 2016 series.
Dave Brown wired the field for the PASS 305 sprint feature victory, his second of the season overall on the circuit.
Scott Ellerman rode home second followed by Drew Ritchie, Scott Frack and Zach Newlin.
Heats went to John Martin, Newlin, Alex Potosky and Colby Dice with Jaremi Hanson taking the consolation race.
July 1, 2016 Feature Finishes:
410 sprints, 30 laps: 1. 48 Danny Dietrich, 2. Greg Hodnett, 3. Brian Montieth, 4. Alan Krimes, 5. James McFadden, 6. Ryan Smith, 7. Lance Dewease, 8. Dave Blaney, 9. Stevie Smith, 10. Freddie Rahmer, 11. Tim Shaffer, 12. Brock Zearfoss, 13. Austin Hogue, 14. Brent Marks, 15. Cory Haas, 16. Dylan Cisney, 17. Doug Esh, 18. Trey Starks, 19. TJ Stutts, 20. Mike Wagner, 21. Bryan Clauson, 22. Steve Buckwalter, 23. Lucas Wolfe, 24. Aaron Ott
DNQ: Frankie Herr, Matt Campbell, Troy Fraker, Cody Fairchock, Jay Galloway, Rodney Westhafer, Wayne Dadetto, Adam Wilt
305 sprints, 20 laps: 1. dAve Brown, 2. Scott Ellerman, 3. Drew Ritchie, 4. Scott Frack, 5. Zach Newlin, 6. Colby Dice, 7. Stephanie Dodson, 8. Cale Reigle, 9. Kyle Ganoe, 10. John Bordlemay, 11. Rick Steif, 12. John Martin, 13. George Riden, 14. Jon Haegele, 15. Erin Statler, 16. Jay Krout, 17. Alex Potosky, 18. Mike Alleman, 19. Jaremi Hanson, 20. Ian Detweiler, 21. Daren Bolac, 22. Zack Burd, 23. Tom Worrick, 24. Geoff Gill, 25. Austin Burke, 26. Chad Koch
DNQ: Kevin Fletcher, Terry Schaeffer, Tyler Reeser, Samantha Leiberman, Eric Mathiet, Kirsten Hess.