Williams Grove: Friday Finale report
Last-Lap Pass Gives Kreitz Williams Grove Finale MECHANICSBURG, PA (May 28) -- Don Kreitz, Jr., made history Friday when he pulled off a last-lap pass of World of Outlaws Sprint Series points leader Steve Kinser to win the "A" Feature at ...
Last-Lap Pass Gives Kreitz Williams Grove Finale
MECHANICSBURG, PA (May 28) -- Don Kreitz, Jr., made history Friday when he pulled off a last-lap pass of World of Outlaws Sprint Series points leader Steve Kinser to win the "A" Feature at Williams Grove Speedway.
Kreitz and Fred Rahmer, who won Thursday's Preliminary Feature, became the first non-World of Outlaws Sprint Series regulars to combine for a double-feature sweep in its 26-plus-year history. Greg Hodnett, who set fast time and finished third in Friday's main event, won Preliminary and "A" Features in individual 2002 and 2003 events, while Lance Dewease swept the 1996 Williams Grove National Open.
Kreitz, who has won six World of Outlaws Sprint Series main events at Williams Grove Speedway, passed "The King of the Outlaws" early in the final lap and beat him under the checkered flag by half a car-length. The $12,000 victory was Kreitz's 50th at Mechanicsburg's legendary half-mile oval.
"That was cutting it too close!" Kreitz yelled to the partisan crowd. "I could see 'The King' starting to lose his tires there at the end. I don't know what (tire compound) he ran, but you could really see he was spinning his tires on the straightaways those last few laps. (Crew chief) Davey (Brown) and I talked about it before the race tonight. We set the car up to get down the straightaways when the track got slick, and it won us the race.
"It's hard to make up much ground in the corners here, but if you can get down the straightaways you can usually make a move. I didn't want to wait until the last lap to make my move, but I thought I screwed up by showing myself too early. I'm sure Steve knew it was me, and that's why he went to the bottom to try and block me. But there was a lot of dust down there in (turn) four, and when he got into that it let me get a run on the inside. I didn't get through three and four at all on that last lap, and I pretty much killed all of my momentum. I figured he would just wing it in on the top on that last lap, and I was just trying to get back up to speed off of the last corner. It just barely took off in time."
Kreitz, whose engine problems kept him from racing in Thursday's preliminary program, was Friday's third-fastest qualifier. The four-time Williams Grove Speedway track champion passed three cars in the Dash Race for the right to start the 30-lap "A" Feature outside the second row, and drove his #69K Knuckleheadz Bar & Grill Avenger past Donny Schatz, Rahmer and Kinser to win his ninth main event in World of Outlaws Sprint Series competition. Ten drivers have combined to win the 17 "A" Features the series has run in 2004.
Rahmer, who won the Dash Race, raced wheel-to-wheel with Kinser down the front straightaway as the green flag fell in the main event. Rahmer surged ahead in the second corner, but Kinser drove his #11 Quaker State Maxim into lead in the high groove between turns three and four late in the second lap.
Schatz, winner of three "A" Features at Williams Grove Speedway, won a backstretch drag race with Rahmer for second place five laps later. The 1997 Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year surrendered the position midway through the race, however, when rear end problems kept the #15 Parker Store J&J from continuing. Mechanical problems also forced Sammy Swindell into the pits during the 15th lap.
Jason Meyers, who started outside the 12th row, raced past 15 cars during the first half of the race. Meyers drove the #14 Elite Landscaping Maxim past Jason Meyers on the back straightaway within a lap after the race resumed, then took the low line through turns one and two past Mark Smith for seventh place two laps later.
"The King of the Outlaws" was 20 car-lengths ahead of Rahmer when he entered lapped traffic during the 24th lap. Kreitz and Hodnett used similar moves deep in the second corner to pass Rahmer for second and third place during laps 26 and 28.
Kinser's unsuccessful attempt at a slide job on Mechanicsburg's Brian Paulus during the 29th lap allowed Kreitz to catch him. Kreitz passed Kinser in the low groove between turns one and two early in the final lap. "The King of the Outlaws" raced wheel-to-wheel with Kreitz through the third and fourth corners, but was unable to regain the lead and was half a car-length behind at the checkered flag.
Hodnett finished in third place, ahead of Rahmer, McMahan, Meyers, Dewease, Smith, Jason Sides and 22nd-starting Jeff Shepard. Mark Kinser drove father Karl Kinser's #5M Sabko Maxim past 12 cars to finish 11th.
Hodnett paced the 35-car qualifying session with a 102.174-M.P.H. lap around the semi-banked, ½-mile oval.