Last weekend one of the seasons most important races on the US Sprintcar calendar took place at Williams Grove Speedway. The National Open is a traditional clash between the Pennsylvania Posse and the World of Outlaws. The race with a big purse is a magnet for many Teams outside of the Outlaws and Posse groups
The National Open this year was an opportunity for race fans, Teams and Speedway officials to honor the recent death of Outlaw Star Jason Johnson and the very recent death of loved Posse member Greg Hodnett.
The emotional week end saw an outpouring of respect for the two Champions of the Sport with many race Teams and fans showing their support and respect in many ways.
Logo and messages on Race Cars and fans taking up the opportunity to buy merchandise to remember their lost hero.
Bragging right this week end are sought by the Posse and the Outlaws. The Outlaws are recognized across the Speedway World as the premier Sprintcar group, but the Posse fans and officials dispute this at every opportunity, this race week end is the perfect place to settle the argument where it matters on dirt at Williams Grove the home of the National Open,
Night one of the National Open went to the amazing teenager 16-year-old Giovanni Scelzi aboard the Indy Race Parts #71. The youngster became the youngest ever winner of a World of Outlaws A Main and on his way passed Outlaw star David Gravel to collect $10K for the win. Gio also clocked the fastest time during qualifying.
At this point of the meeting it was Posse Nil, World of Outlaws Nil and the invader from Indiana 1
Night two and the Teams regroup totally focused on preparing their race car for the big money on offer for the race win and the National Open Title, not the mention the bragging rights for the next year.
The pressure was intense with $56K up for grabs for the winners.
Night two started for the youngster in the Indy Parts #71 just like it ended the previous night with Giovanni Scelzi again posting the fastest time during qualifying. A strong second place in the dash gave Giovanni a start from P3 for the Main event and every chance to collect the $56K.
The competition on night two was going to be much harder with improved qualifying by many of the top Outlaws as well as the driver with the most wins at Williams Grove Lance Dewease in the Don Kreitz #69K.
Brock Zearfoss was on pole with lance Dewease on his outside. Scelzi in row three. Zearfoss won the start and lead the race for 23 laps before Dewease made a sensational pass between Zearfoss and lapped car. Dewease had dogged Zearfoss for most of the 23 laps and always looked in control. It’s a pity young Scelzi got lost in traffic and struggle and could not reproduce the sizzling pace and control of night one.
As the race continued Dewease strengthen his position and put space between his 69K and chasing Outlaw Pittman.
With the checker out Dewease easily cross for his fourth National Open win ahead of Pittman and Monteith who had been on the pace early challenging both Zearfoss and Dewease for the early lead.
Dewease and Kreitz Jr a team without the Glitz, glamour, fancy Transporter but with an imposing record.
Lance dedicated his win to his friend the late Greg Hodnett.
AS the lights fade at Williams Grove the Posse take the shine off the Outlaws, but they are very much aware of the talent that awaits them the next time they come up against Giovanni Sceliz and the Indy Race Parts #71.
Race Results Night one:
Feature (27 Laps): 1. 71-Giovanni Scelzi [$10,000]; 2. 5-David Gravel [$5,000]; 3. 24-Lucas Wolfe [$3,000]; 4. 51-Freddie Rahmer [$2,700]; 5. 2-Shane Stewart [$2,500]; 6. 44-Trey Starks [$2,200]; 7. 21X-Brian Montieth [$2,000]; 8. 49-Brad Sweet [$1,800]; 9. 21-Brian Brown [$1,600]; 10. 15-Donny Schatz [$1,450]; 11. 9-Daryn Pittman [$1,300]; 12. 19-Brent Marks [$1,200]; 13. 18-Ian Madsen [$1,100]; 14. 69K-Lance Dewease [$1,000]; 15. 27-Paul McMahan [$950]; 16. 17-Sheldon Haudenschild [$200]; 17. 11-T.J. Stutts [$850]; 18. 48-Danny Dietrich [$750]; 19. 1X-Chad Trout [$25]; 20. 1A-Jacob Allen [$700]; 21. 49X-Tim Shaffer [$700]; 22. O7-Gerard McIntyre [$700]; 23. 39-Cory Haas [$]; 24. 55K-Robbie Kendall [$700]; 25. 41-Carson Macedo [$700]; 26. 94-Ryan Smith [$700]; 27. 1S-Logan Schuchart [$700]; Lap Leaders: David Gravel 1-15, Giovanni Scelzi 16-27; KSE Hard Charger Award: 15-Donny Schatz[+12]
Race Results Night two:
Feature (40 Laps): 1. 69K-Lance Dewease [$56,000]; 2. 9-Daryn Pittman [$12,000]; 3. 21X-Brian Montieth [$7,500]; 4. 49X-Tim Shaffer [$4,000]; 5. 94-Ryan Smith [$3,500]; 6. 21-Brian Brown [$3,000]; 7. 11-T.J. Stutts [$2,700]; 8. 27-Paul McMahan [$2,500]; 9. 2-Shane Stewart [$2,200]; 10. 1S-Logan Schuchart [$2,100]; 11. O7-Gerard McIntyre [$2,000]; 12. 39-Cory Haas [$1,650]; 13. 71-Giovanni Scelzi [$1,550]; 14. 15-Donny Schatz [$1,200]; 15. 51-Freddie Rahmer [$100]; 16. 5-David Gravel [$1,050]; 17. 17-Sheldon Haudenschild [$1,000]; 18. 24-Lucas Wolfe [$]; 19. 18-Ian Madsen [$1,000]; 20. 41-Carson Macedo [$1,000]; 21. 19-Brent Marks [$1,000]; 22. 1A-Jacob Allen [$]; 23. 55K-Robbie Kendall [$1,000]; 24. 11K-Kraig Kinser [$]; 25. 15G-Jordan Givler [$1,000]; 26. 4-Brock Zearfoss [$1,000]; 27. 49-Brad Sweet [$1,000]; 28. 1-Logan Wagner [$1,000]; Lap Leaders: Brock Zearfoss 1-23, Lance Dewease 24-40; KSE Hard Charger Award: 2-Shane Stewart[+13]
Photos credit : Williams Grove,World of Outlaws and Jack Kromer Photography