Hanover, PA — (July 11, 2014 — Everyone could see it coming. And it finally did for New Oxford’s Dwight Leppo, who held off the repeated challenges of all-time Trail-Way winner Brad McClelland to claim his first career “358” sprint car victory in the 25-lap feature Friday night.
“It feels good to finally be here!” exclaimed Leppo upon exiting his family-owned Auchey Body Shop/Leppo’s Garage #4 in victory lane, “I knew Brad would be right there. I’m glad he didn’t get me this time.”
Leppo started beside polesitter Denny Gross and led every lap.
Gross brought out the red flag when he flipped in turn two of lap four.
McClelland had some problems of his own, bouncing several times and losing third place to Seth Kearchner in turn four of the second lap. Once the race restarted after the Gross flip, McClelland reclaimed third from Kearchner on lap six, and then passed Isaac Sneeringer on turn two of an 11th-lap restart.
McClelland closed quickly on Leppo and was challenging for the lead by lap 15. Over the next five laps, the two leaders pulled away from the rest of the field. They actually made contact on the backstretch of lap 20, sending McClelland into the infield, but McClelland saved it and hung onto to the runner-up spot. Though he closed on the leader again, he was not able to make the pass.
Sneeringer hung on for third, with hard charger Robbie Kendall from 12th starting spot to cross fourth and Cody Fletcher fifth.
Heats for the 12 “358” sprinters were won by McClelland and Gross.