SELINSGROVE, Pa. – Danny Dietrich made it back-to-back Pennsylvania Speedweek presented by Red Robin victories in a fast and furious 30-lap feature Sunday night at Selinsgrove Speedway.
After redrawing the pole, Dietrich’s road to victory was nearly flawless, as he led 27 of the 30 laps around the lightning-quick half-mile oval and won the Jan Opperman/Dick Bogar Memorial by a mind-boggling 5.115 seconds.
His only blemish during the main event was a slight misstep in lap traffic, which allowed Rico Abreu to slide him for the race lead. Abreu led laps 13 through 15 before Dietrich got back past and took off.
“I wanted to make sure I got the jump and got out in clean air,” said Dietrich in victory lane. “Getting some heat in (the tires) to where I wasn’t sliding across the track was a key, because a bit harder tire is easier to seal over sometimes. … I was just setting the pace; I didn’t hear anyone for a while, and then all of a sudden, there was Rico.
“I thought for sure I’d hear people, but I never saw Anthony (Macri); I only ever saw the 24 (Abreu),” Dietrich added. “Hats off to my crew and everyone that works on this thing. This is pretty cool and I’m hoping we can go out tomorrow and get three in a row.”
The third round of Speedweek ran caution-free and was finished in a scant nine minutes and 59 seconds.
It was an exhilarating run of multi-groove racing that, at times, saw as many as four cars within a second battling across as many as three distinct grooves to try and gain supremacy over the pack.
But the night belonged to Dietrich and the Gary Kauffman Racing No. 48 in the end, as the Gettysburg, Pa., veteran pulled away down the homestretch while Abreu, Kyle Larson and Anthony Macri dueled for second behind him.
“The good thing is that I didn’t have to watch too much of (the battles),” Dietrich noted with a chuckle. “I only saw the 24, like I said. That was a heck of a race for Rico, though. We had a close call probably two or three times. It’s fun when you can race really, really clean, though. Everyone’s got a lot of respect for one another right now, and that can always change, but right now everyone is driving fair.
“It allows us to put on really great shows and hopefully that continues as the week goes on.”
Abreu eventually came home with the runner-up spot, snapping Larson’s incredible run of 16 straight top-two finishes on the dirt – dating back to May 30 – by relegating Larson to a third-place finish.
Anthony Macri rebounded from missing Saturday night’s Speedweek feature at Lincoln by coming home with a stirring fourth, while Brock Zearfoss filled out the top five.
Crossing sixth through 10th were Freddie Rahmer, Brent Marks, Ryan Smith, Blane Heimbach and Logan Wagner.
With his victory Sunday, Dietrich unofficially took over the Speedweek point lead by 43 over Larson.
Pennsylvania Speedweek continues Monday night at Lincoln Speedway with a $7,000-to-win feature.
1. 48-Danny Dietrich, 2. 24r-Rico Abreu, 3. 57-Kyle Larson, 4. 39m-Anthony Macri, 5. 3z-Brock Zearfoss, 6. 51-Freddie Rahmer, 7. 5m-Brent Marks, 8. 72-Ryan Smith, 9. 12-Blane Heimbach, 10. 1-Logan Wagner, 11. 1s-Sammy Swindell, 12. 5-Dylan Cisney, 13. 24-Lucas Wolfe, 14. 99m-Kyle Moody, 15. 55-Mike Wagner, 16. 33-Jared Esh, 17. 91r-Kyle Reinhardt, 18. 75d-Chase Dietz, 19. 33w-Mike Walter II, 20. 67-Justin Whittall, 21. 11-TJ Stutts, 22. 19-Curt Stroup, 23. 1x-Chad Trout, 24. 38-Mark Smith.
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