PORT ROYAL, Pa. – Anthony Macri had high hopes rolling into Pennsylvania Speedweek, having won three races in a row and feeling as confident as ever ahead of the nine-race, nine-day swing.
But through the first five Speedweek races, some of that confidence had taken a hit, as he failed to qualify for two shows, all but nixing his title hopes.
On Wednesday though, Macri stared down his biggest letdown of the season to date and not only showed resolve, but accomplished a rare feat.
Macri won his fourth Port Royal Speedway race in a row Wednesday night during round six of Pennsylvania Speedweek, leading the final 15 laps to secure a .861-second victory over Lance Dewease.
“It lit the fire under my ass a little bit more and [put on] a show, and show we can race even though we were beat down,” Macri said. “Today was a new day. We left Lincoln behind us. … It hasn’t quite set in yet [that we’ve won four races in a row].”
Macri started his night by winning quick-time in flight two with a lap of 16.495. He finished third in his heat, setting himself up to draw fifth in the re-draw. And because Christopher Bell, who slated to start on the pole for the 30-lap event, pulled into the pits because of mechanical troubles, that moved Macri to the third starting position.
Reigning two-time track champion Logan Wagner took charge early, leading the first 15 laps, but on a restart with 13 laps to go, things swung Macri’s way.
Moments before the caution for a slowing Tyler Bear on the frontstretch, Macri powered around Dewease, who struggled with lapped cars on bottom, along the fencing for second.
That’s when Macri turned the tide on the race’s second and final restart, dialing the wing back and driving it in as hard as possible, sliding in front of Wagner to jockey for the top spot.
Wagner quickly cut it back to the inside and led the next two laps, but the move helped Macri gain position and the 21-year-old eventually cleared him off turn four on lap 15.
“He really didn’t take off all that well on the restart and I knew I had to go,” Macri said. “I knew I had to pounce in one and two.”
Reutzel and Dewease challenged in the closing laps, but this one, like Macri’s previous three wins at Port Royal Speedway, was never really in doubt.
“Tomorrow is just another day,” Macri noted. “Get up, go to work, because we have another race tomorrow.”
Kyle Larson finished fourth and unofficially extended his Speedweek series lead to 47 points over Danny Dietrich, who placed sixth.
If winning in the 410s wasn’t enough, Macri swept the night by also winning the United Racing Club 360 sprint car feature as well, leading the final six laps in that 25-lap contest.
Macri passed Dallas Schott on lap 20 and then beat him to the finish line by 3.780 seconds. Jonathan Preston filled out the podium, followed by Derek Locke and Josh Weller.
Pennsylvania Speedweek continues Thursday night at Hagerstown (Md.) Speedway.
1. 39m-Anthony Macri, 2. 69k-Lance Dewease, 3. 87-Aaron Reutzel, 4. 57-Kyle Larson, 5. 1z-Logan Wagner, 6. 48-Danny Dietrich, 7. 72-Ryan Smith, 8. 5m-Brent Marks, 9. 51-Freddie Rahmer, 10. 3z-Brock Zearfoss, 11. 24r-Rico Abreu, 12. 55-Mike Wagner, 13. 24-Lucas Wolfe, 14. 87k-Alan Krimes, 15. 47k-Kody Lehman, 16. 98-Kyle Reinhardt, 17. 39-Sammy Swindell, 18. 2-AJ Flick, 19. 14t-Tyler Walton, 20. 11-TJ Stutts, 21. 25-Tyler Bear, 22. 26-Cory Eliason, 23. 55k-Robbie Kendall, 24. 21-Christopher Bell.
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