PORT ROYAL, Pa. Joey Hershey of Chambersburg was able to hold off the advances of Mike Erdley and then stay out front of Greg Hodnett just long enough to record his first ever Port Royal Speedway 410 sprint car win on Saturday night after years of trying to pick up a checkered flag.
In the special 30-lap Summer Championship for super late models, an epic battle throughout saw Selinsgrove?s Dylan Yoder score the $3,000 payday for his second Port win of the season, in as many weeks.
Twin 305 sprint mains were taken by Jeff Miller in a make-up main held over from May while Tyler Reeser won the regularly slated main.
In other news, an open bid auction of racing memorabilia and items along with spontaneous donations to benefit recently injured driver Jake Waters netted the local pilot over $11,000.
Hershey started on the pole of the 25-lap sprint car main and took the lead on the first lap over Mike Erdley before the races only caution flag unfurled.
Erdley chased Hershey into traffic several laps later and that?s when Erdley was able to close in however he was never able to get quite close enough to complete a pass.
Hershey blasted the top groove of the track with the lead while Erdley took his stabs on the low side and with 10 laps to go, Hershey appeared headed to his first victory.
However Hodnett gained speed as the race went on after starting eighth in the field and overtook Mike Wagner for third with eight laps to go.
Steadily over the final few laps, Hodnett ran down and caught Erdley, who at the same time was keeping Hershey in sight.
Hodnett motored by on the bottom for second with under two laps to go but by that time the white flag was waving and a smart move by Hershey in traffic as he entered the first corner on the final lap sealed the deal for the quiet pilot to become the 184th driver in history to win a super sprint car main at the historic oval.
Hodnett was second followed by Erdley, Brock Zearfoss and Doug Esh.
Sixth through 10th went to Lucas Wolfe, Curt Stroup, Mike Wagner, Ryan Taylor and Dylan Cisney.
Twin heats went to Cale Grubb and Hershey.
Andy Haus started on the pole of the 30-lap super late model main and threatened to make the race a yawner during the early going, pulling away with the lead.
However a number of cautions helped keep the field bunched and allowed the cream to rise to the top.
For the first nine laps Kyle Hardy chased leader Haus before succumbing to sixth starter Dylan Yoder for the spot.
By lap 11 Yoder had run down Haus? advantage and for the next 11 laps the pair ran virtually side by side for the lead with Haus using the top groove, forcing Yoder to work underneath.
For many laps, Yoder raced just a lane lower than Haus around the slickening oval with Haus always having just enough horsepower to keep a nose out front.
However as each lap clicked off, Yoder was able to get a little further around on Haus as the cushion kept working up the corners.
And that?s when Yoder was able to finally get the job done with seven laps to go, pulling the trigger with a low side blast into the third corner that saw him beat Haus off of the fourth corner to take the lead at the stripe.
Meanwhile, seventh starting veteran Gary Stuhler played the race slow and steady using his favored inside lane and during the final five circuits, Stuhler flexed his muscle, biting fast to get ahead of Haus for second.
However Yoder was by then pulling away for the victory to take the win by 4.163 seconds.
Haus held on for third followed by Kyle Hardy and Kenny Moreland.
Sixth through 10th went to Coleby Frye, Billy Wampler, Nick Dickson, Trent Brenneman and Patrick Bryner.
Heats for the 31-car field went to Mike Lupfer, Stuhler, Yoder and Troy Swindell. Bryner scored the consolation event.
Jeff Miller of Huntingdon led flag to flag to win the make up 305 sprint feature.
Mark Watkins moved up from fourth starting spot to claim second followed by point leader Nate Gramley, John Martin and Drew Ritchie.
The regularly slated 305 sprint main saw Tyler Reeser take the lead from Ken Duke Jr. on the fourth lap to run to the win.
Mike Kiser secured second from Duke on the eighth tour while Duke raced third to the finish line.
Jeff Miller and John Martin completed the top five.
Heats went to Miller, Duke and Mike Alleman.
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410 sprints, 25 laps: 1. Joey Hershey, 2. Greg Hodnett, 3. Mike Erdley, 4. Brock Zearfoss, 5. Doug Esh, 6. Lucas Wolfe, 7. Curt Stroup, 8. Mike Wagner, 9. Ryan Taylor, 10. Dylan Cisney, 11. Cale Grubb, 12. Davey Sammons, 13. Darly Stimeling, 14. Kody Lehman, 15. Scott Wilson, 16. Dave Dykstra, 17. Karl Baker, 18. Jack Thornton, 19. Dustin Baney
Late models, 22 laps: 1. Dylan Yoder, 2. Gary Stuhler, 3. Andy Haus, 4. Kyle Hardy, 5. Kenny Moreland, 6. Coleby Frye, 7. Billy Wampler, 8. Nick Dickson, 9. Trent Brenneman, 10. Patrick Bryner, 11. Rick Singleton, 12. Tim Smith Jr., 13. Scott Flickinger, 14. Andy Friese, 15. Troy Swindell, 16. Tim Gray, 17. Jerry Bard, 18. Larry Baer, 19. Glenn Elliott, 20. Mike Lupfer, 21. DJ Myers, 22. Jeremy Miller, 23. Tyler Horst, 24. Andrew Yoder
DNQ: Steve Bailor, Jason Schmidt, Matt Murphy, Brian Booze, Cody Robbins, Dave Brouse Jr., Vern Zerby
305 sprint make up, 18 laps: 1. Jeff Miller, 2. Mark Watkins, 3. Nathan Gramley, 4. John Martin, 5. Drew Ritchie, 6. Ken Duke Jr., 7. Cale Reigle, 8. Zach Newlin, 9. Scott Lutz, 10. Kyle Ganoe, 11. Dave Grube, 12. Ryan Lynn, 13. Scott Ellerman, 14. Jon Haegele, 15. Erin Statler
DNS: Geoff Gill, Alan Kumpf, Steve Storrie, Jake Waters
305 sprints, 18 laps: 1. Tyler Reeser, 2. Mike Kiser, 3. Ken Duke Jr., 4. Jeff Miller, 5. John Martin, 6. Mark Watkins, 7. Nathan Gramley, 8. Zach Newlin, 9. John Branett, 10. Kyle Ganoe, 11. Jon Haegele, 12. Cale Reigle, 13. Reed Thompson, 14. Scott Lutz, 15. Ryan Lynn, 16. Mike Alleman, 17. Erin Statler, 18. Dylan Shatzer, 19. Vance Berry, 20. Dave Grube, 21. Billy Burkholder, 22. Drew Ritchie, 23. Scott Ellerman