From Shawn Brouse
MECHANICSBURG, Pa. (June 30, 2023) — Brent Marks won another battle between he and Anthony Macri to claim the $20,000 Pennsylvania Speedweek 35th annual Mitch Smith Memorial for sprint cars at Williams Grove Speedway on Friday night.
Both Marks and Macri have been battling each other all speedweek long with thrilling displays at the front of the field and Friday night at the Grove was no different.
In fact, the duo even started the 30-lap event presented by Pennsy Supply on the front row.
At the finish Marks would be scored as the leader of all 30 circuits for his second win of the 2023 series but Macri nearly stole the win with two laps to go.
The initial start of the prestigious race was called back when Justin Peck bicycled hard in the first turn before coming to a stop.
Marks then blasted into the lead when the first lap was scored with Macri in tow.
The leaders quickly entered the backmarkers on lap five thanks to the blistering speeds they were achieving on the tacky track.
But the pace slowed shortly after for a stopped Lucas Wolfe.
The remainder of the race would go non-stop with Marks again entering traffic on lap 13.
Tanner Thorson lost third to Chase Dietz with 13 laps to go but that would be as far as the York driver would advance.
As traffic got heavier and heavier during the final third of the event, Marks had to work harder and harder to get by each car and that allowed Macri to close the gap that he had allowed to develop between them.
By lap 25 Macri had run down the pacesetter and as the pair crossed the line with three laps to go, they were nose to tail.
That’s when Macri bolted to Marks’ inside in the first and second turns and briefly took control as Marks hooked the cushion to pull back even with his challenger.
A lapped car directly in front of Macri was enough to allow Marks to take advantage and roll back into control as the pair blasted onto the backchute.
Marks then raced to stay ahead of the lapped car to take the win by .426 seconds.
“We just set this thing up so when we got to traffic we could maneuver out around them,” Marks said of his No. 19M.
“I just had to pick my moves wisely.”
Macri was second followed by Dietz, Thorson and Dylan Norris.
Sixth through 10th went to Kyle Reinhardt, TJ Stutts, Lance Dewease, Devon Borden and Dylan Cisney.
The victory was the second of the season at the track for Marks and his second in a row in the Mitch Smith Memorial.
Marks has now won two of the ovals most prestigious races two years running after scoring the Tommy Hinnershitz classic in 2022 and in 2023 as well as the Mitch Smith Memorial both years.
The overall start of the racing event was delayed nearly two hours thanks to a late afternoon deluge.
Heats went to Marks, Thorson and Billy Dietrich with Troy Wagaman Jr. taking the B Main.
Fast time was set by Macri with a lap of 16.665 seconds.
410 sprints, 30 laps: 1. Brent Marks, 2. Anthony Macri, 3. Chase Dietz, 4. Tanner Thorson, 5. Dylan Norris, 6. Kyle Reinhardt, 7. TJ Stutts, 8. Lance Dewease, 9. Devon Borden, 10. Dylan Cisney, 11. Mike Wagner, 12. Justin Peck, 13. Billy Dietrich, 14. Justin Whittall, 15. Kyle Moody, 16. Cameron Smith, 17. Freddie Rahmer, 18. Troy Wagaman, 19. Skylar Gee, 20. Ryan Taylor, 21. Tyler Reeser, 22. Danny Dietrich, 23. Lucas Wolfe, 24. Steve Buckwalter
DNQ: Cody Bova, Ryan Smith, Austin Bishop, Derek Hauck, Eddie Lumbar