Danny Dietrich ended a nearly two-year drought at Williams Grove Speedway on Friday night. (Photo by Dan Demarco)
MECHANICSBURG, Pa. – Danny Dietrich hit a nearly two-year losing streak at Williams Grove Speedway Friday night.
His last win at the track was July 31, 2020.
The first Bill Gallagher 5G To Win Main for USAC East 360 Sprints was scored by Alex Bright for his third Circuit win of the year.
Bright’s victory was exciting as the fight for the lead intensified in the final eight rounds of the feature.
Dietrich would end up wiring the field from pole for the 25-lap win in the 410 sprint car, but he had his challengers, both of whom met ill fates late in the race.
Coming to the rear of the field on lap seven, Dietrich initially struggled to lap the cars before breaking free and extending a lead of more than five seconds on lap 10.
However, by this point fourth starter Anthony Macri was in second place and catching him, and by lap 15 Dietrich’s lead had dwindled to 1.5 seconds.
With traffic still on with four laps to go, the leader’s advantage had shrunk to less than half a second as Macri aimed for an overtake.
But then, coming to the strip with three laps to go, his car suddenly sputtered and slowed as third runner Brent Marks almost rolled him over as the pair sped down the front straight.
Then Marks revved up his car and took aim at leader Dietrich.
With two lapped cars between him and the leader, Marks drove all of his number 19 car into the first corner to put both cars behind him.
However, his move backfired and he almost wiped out the lappers instead while also spinning mid-corner just to keep going.
His spin left Macri for second place as Dietrich raced to the Dames in the Kauffman No. 48 to take the win by 3.183 seconds.
It was the 26th win of his career at Williams Grove.
Marks was third, followed by Freddie Rahmer and Kyle Moody.
Mark Smith started the 30-lap USAC East Gallagher Memorial on pole and took command of the field while Kenny Miller and Mike Thompson gave chase.
Smith was immediately leading on lap eight when the first warning flag of the race appeared due to a flat tire on Steve Wilbur’s racer.
Miller fought for the lead at the restart before Smith broke loose and went off the field again, only to be slowed again with a lap to go.
Miller, Joey Amantea, Steve Drevicki and Alex Bright followed for the reboot.
Drevicki took a big step as the action returned to ride the low lane to second while Bright moved up to fourth.
And then the red flag came out with 12 laps to go as both Mike Thompson and Amantea jumped off the speedway and came out at turn four.
Both drivers got out of their cars shortly afterwards.
At the restart, Drevicki, Bright and frontrunner Briggs Danner were all chasing victory.
Drevicki pounced on Smith on the new green and took the lead on lap 20.
Smith briefly regained the lead during the lap, but Drevicki would maintain control before Smith slowed with three laps to go.
This run saw Bright, Danner and Kody Swanson give chase at the restart.
And Bright was up to the challenge, switching inside Drevicki as the pair sped down the tailslide on Lap 24 before dipping into first place as the pair put their cars into turn three.
Eyes then turned to Danner as he came forward to slide past Drevicki.
However, he ran out of time to go around Bright and instead crossed the finish line second.
Drevicki, Miller and Swanson completed the top five finishers.
Feature (25 laps): 1st Danny Dietrich, 2nd Anthony Macri, 3rd Brent Marks, 4th Freddie Rahmer, 5th Kyle Moody, 6th Devon Borden, 7th Lucas Wolfe, 8th Aaron Bollinger, 9th Tyler Ross , 10 Justin Whittall, 11 Dylan Norris, 12 TJ Stutts, 13 Chase Dietz, 14 Dylan Cisney, 15 Steve Owings, 16 Dwight Leppo, 17 Bryn Gohn, 18 Anthony Fiore, 19 Chad Trout , 20. Brent Scherer, 21. John Walp