It’s Dewease In $53,000 Port Royal Score

Rico Abreu (24) chases Lance Dewease at Port Royal Speedway. (Dan Demarco photo)
Rico Abreu (24) chases Lance Dewease at Port Royal Speedway. (Dan Demarco photo)

PORT ROYAL, Pa. — Lance Dewease added to an already legendary career Saturday night at Port Royal Speedway, as the 54-year-old drove to his seventh Tuscarora 50 title in a race where he led 31 of 50 laps.

Dewease earned a 1.154-second victory over Anthony Macri and collected the hefty $53,000 prize. The win also gives Dewease Tuscarora 50 titles in four different decades.

Previously, he had won the event in 1994, 2001, 2002, 2006, 2016 and 2017.

“Four decades, that tells me I’m old,” Dewease said through a smile. “It also says I’ve been very successful at this race. To win it seven times is special.”

Dewease started on the pole and led the opening 17 laps before breaking his string of momentum in lapped traffic, and that allowed Rico Abreu to power out front.

“I got too cautious with those lapped cars,” Dewease said. “I did the cardinal sin by slowing down to the lapped cars speed. As soon as that happened, whoever that was, got by.”

Dewease has learned over these summer months, especially in the winning efforts by Larson and Macri, that pace is the name of the game at Port Royal.

“That’s what you have to do now,” Dewease said. “You have to hold momentum around this place.”

Abreu led the following six laps up to the lap 25 stop for fuel, where teams were allowed to also make changes for the second half of the feature. Dewease trailed Abreu as the second half of the race got underway, but on lap 37, a mechanical failure knocked Abreu out of the lead.

Dewease inherited the lead and staved off two restarts, one with 13 to go for Abreu and another with 10 laps left for Aaron Reutzel, to cruise to yet another crown jewel victory. Macri, who started sixth and ran second most of the night, finished runner-up in the Tuscarora 50 for the second year in a row.

All night long Macri chased Dewease around the half-mile but couldn’t quite draw close enough to pull the trigger. The second half of the feature went in green flag spurts of 12, three, and 10 laps, and it simply wasn’t enough time to let lapped traffic play a hand.

Lance Dewease (Dan Demarco photo)

“Never really got to Lance there,” said Macri, who won quick time with a lap of 15.271 seconds and raced to a heat win. “It was going to come down to lapped traffic for us to race him. Obviously, some cautions played out in his favor that we never got into lapped traffic. It is what it is.

“We weren’t as good as we normally are here,” he said. “I don’t know what else to say.”

Usually, Macri overwhelms the field with his pace and ability to keep momentum churning, but on Saturday, Dewease again matched this high-tempo style of driving.

On Friday, a win that marked six months between victories at the speedway, Dewease thought he executed his passing angles to perfection. While that wasn’t necessarily the case Saturday, it was still good enough to get the job done.

“Us older guys tend to be a little more cautious and under control,” Dewease said. “And we have to keep pace. I thought [Friday], I about drove a perfect race I could have. I didn’t have a dumb mistake I could think of. Tonight, I definitely made mistakes. But that’s our strong point. We learn from our mistakes.”

That really has been the story for Dewease and his No. 69k team all season long: win two weeks into the season, then watch Larson and Macri transform the path to winning at Port Royal, then adjust to win the crown jewel event.

“We don’t like to lose to anybody,” Dewease said. “I want to beat anybody, no matter who it is, Our program is built around a certain thing. And we had to stray away from that to get some speed and it showed.”

Dylan Cisney finished third. Kyle Larson charged to fourth from 22nd. Cory Eliason placed fifth. Logan Wagner, Tyler Courtney, Spencer Bayston, Kerry Madsen and Freddie Rahmer completed the top 10.

The finish:

Feature (50 Laps): 1. 69K-Lance Dewease [1]; 2. 39M-Anthony Macri [6]; 3. 5C-Dylan Cisney [5]; 4. 57-Kyle Larson [22]; 5. 26-Cory Eliason [10]; 6. 1-Logan Wagner [19]; 7. 7BC-Tyler Courtney [4]; 8. 39-Spencer Bayston [20]; 9. 2M-Kerry Madsen [8]; 10. 51-Freddie Rahmer [11]; 11. 5-Brent Marks [25]; 12. 48-Danny Dietrich [9]; 13. 14-Tony Stewart [7]; 14. 55-Mike Wagner [17]; 15. 9-James McFadden [14]; 16. 12-Blane Heimbach [21]; 17. 17-Ian Madsen [18]; 18. 3Z-Brock Zearfoss [23]; 19. 21-Brian Brown [16]; 20. 18-Gio Scelzi [13]; 21. 87-Aaron Reutzel [12]; 22. 13-Paul McMahan [15]; 23. 24-Rico Abreu [2]; 24. 11T-TJ Stutts [3]; 25. 98-Jared Esh [24] Lap Leaders: Lance Dewease (1-18), Rico Abreu (19-37), Lance Dewease (38-50)


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