By- Justin Snyder
Port Royal Speedway- PORT ROYAL, Penn. (April 4, 2021)- Lance Dewease celebrated Easter a day early by picking up his 117th career Weikert's Livestock 410 Sprint Car victory Saturday night at Port Royal Speedway after starting from the fourth starting position.
The win was Dewease's second of the season at the Juniata County oval and came over a hard charging Logan Wagner and Anthony Macri. Dewease's triumph was worth $4000 and moved him within 12 of all-time track winner Keith Kauffman on the all-time win list.
"I honestly didn't realize I had won that many races here, but it means the everything to me," said Dewease. "We're here to win races and we're not here to run 10th or fifth. We were kind of doing some R&D earlier this year and we're done with that, so we're back to working on our racecar and making it fast to win races."
Jeff Miller and Lynton Jeffrey led the field to the green-flag and it was Miller getting the early jump. However it was Macri on the move early as he used a great start to go from fifth to second on the opening circuit.
One lap later Dewease used the bottom in one and two to overtake Jeffrey for third and carried that momentum into turn three where he slid under Macri for second. It only took two more turn's for Dewease to track down Miller for the lead as he pulled alongside the young gun on the backstretch to take the top spot to lead lap three.
Macri got by Miller for second using the extreme top of the Speedway two laps later and set his sights on Dewease, while eighth-place starter Logan Wagner entered the podium one lap later. Chicora, Pa. native George Hobaugh followed suit into fourth as well.
With clean air in front of him, Dewease was cruising up front. But as he entered lapped traffic on lap eight, Macri and Wagner began closing in on the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame driver. Three laps later Macri had cut the distance in half and Wagner was lurking not far behind.
However the caution flew three laps later when Matt Farnham blew a tire on the Speedway and again gave Dewease open air in front of him. Dewease capitalized on the restart and again took off. Four laps later the final caution of the event flew when TJ Stutts blew a right-rear tire and set up a seven lap dash for the win.
"Anthony and Logan, those guys are pretty quick and they've been really good here all season," said Dewease. "But when the track get slick like this, I just feel really good out there and I felt pretty good about my chances with clean air."
Dewease was flawless on the restart and he again controlled the pace, but Wagner was all over Macri for second as he slid under him for the runner-up position exiting turn two. Macri used a run entering turn three to take the position back headed to the start-finish line and the two drivers swapped positions multiple times over the next two laps. Wagner was finally able to edge ahead to take the runner-up spot with four to go, but the battling allowed Dewease to be in cruise control out front.
All Wagner could do was hope for an Easter miracle, but it wasn't in the cards as Dewease crossed under the line by an advantage of 1.654 seconds to take the checkers. Behind Wagner and Macri, Hobaugh and Jeffrey rounded out the top five.
Mike Wagner, last week's winner Dylan Cisney, Ryan Smith, Jeff Halligan and Kerry Madsen finished out the top-ten. Halligan earned the Valley Supply $200 Hard Charger Award by advancing 13 positions after he was forced to qualify for the feature via the B-main after he broke a left front wheel earlier in the night during a heat race. Justin Whittal earned the $1000 J&S Fabrication Warrior Award presented by Jim & Sandy Kline after Dewease drew the number 17 in victory lane and Macri earned an addition $103 for his third-place finish courtesy of the Port Royal Race Chasers.
"We were pretty good here opening day and last week I put us in a bad position and bent a car up, so this is a new car and it's just been perfect since we rolled it out," said Dewease. "We got ourselves a new Rider engine in the car and it’s ran flawless and it's just been a great start to the year already winning two races and I can't wait for the All Stars here in a couple weeks."
410 Sprint Car Feature Results: 1. Lance Dewease; 2. Logan Wagner; 3. Anthony Macri; 4. George Hobaugh; 5. Lynton Jeffrey; 6. Mike Wagner; 7. Dylan Cisney; 8. Ryan Smith; 9. Jeff Halligan; 10. Kerry Madsen; 11. Jason Shultz; 12. AJ Flick; 13. Jeff Miller; 14. Blane Heimbach; 15. Jared Esh; 16. TJ Stutts; 17. Justin Whittall; 18. Rick Lafferty; 19. Pat Cannon; 20. Michael Bauer; 21. Drew Ritchey; 22. Curt Stroup; 23. Kody Lehman; 24. Matt Farnham.
River Valley Builders Super Late Models
Mason Zeigler scored his fourth career River Valley Builders Super Late Model triumph at the Port Royal Speedway during a caution free feature event over Colton Flinner and Ross Robinson. The win was worth $3000 for the Chalkhill, Pa. native.
"We didn't get a really good start and actually fell back to like fourth on that opening turn, but coming out of two we were in the lead so we have a pretty good piece here," said Zeigler. "We're still real tight and can’t really get around the middle and bottom like we need to, but luckily we were able to get around the top like we need to and here we are."
Austin Berry and Scott Flickinger led the field to the green-flag, but after a chaotic scramble it was Zeigler coming from the third starting spot to lead lap one. By lap five Zeigler held slightly over a two second advantage over fourth starter Mike Lupfer and he looked to be in control of the race.
Last year's track champion, Andy Haus, moved by Lupfer for the runner-up spot one lap later, while seventh start Flinner was on the move and slid into third on lap six. Two laps later Flinner got by Haus for second, but by lap ten Zeigler still held a 2.259 second advantage.
With Zeigler struggling in heavy lapped traffic, Flinner was able to close the gap quickly and with ten laps to go in the 25-lap A-main he ducked under Zeigler and briefly took the lead exiting turn two. However Zeigler used a head of steam down the backstretch to gain momentum in turn's three and four to re-take the lead at the line.
"My guys were signaling to me that I had a nice lead and out of nowhere I saw Colton there under me and he definitely made me pick up the pace there late," said Zeigler. "Luckily we still had a little bit left there in the tank and we were able to fight back and hold him off."
Over the final 10 circuits, Zeigler would again stretch his lead, but with a handful of laps remaining he was buried deep in two-wide lapped traffic. Flinner stayed patient on the bottom of the track and again tried to reel him in. He made several attempts in the middle of turn's one and two to pull even with Zeigler, but Zeigler was too good on the top and powered away.
When he crossed under the checkered flag, he held a .612 advantage. Behind Flinner and Robinson, Dylan Yoder and two-time 2021 winner Gregg Satterlee rounded out the top-five. Tyler Bare, Jeff Rine, Haus, Opening Day winner Trevor Feathers and Nick Dickson finished up the top-ten.
"I was just trying to conserve and keep my tires under me there for a while, but once I caught those lapped cars they were battling hard in front of me and I didn’t want to push the issue if I didn’t need to," said Zeigler. "I just had to just get up and defend around the top and hopefully lapped traffic would play into our favor once Colton showed us his nose. The car was good and we're going home winners in one piece and we'll come back next week."
Justin Weaver picked up the $200 George's Used Cars Inc. Hard Charger Award by passing nine cars enroot to a 15th-place finish.
Super Late Model Feature Results: 1. Mason Zeigler; 2. Colton Flinner; 3. Ross Robinson; 4. Dylan Yoder; 5. Gregg Satterlee; 6. Tyler Bare; 7. Jeff Rine; 8. Andy Haus; 9. Trevor Feathers; 10. Nick Dickson; 11. Gary Stuhler; 12. Mike Lupfer; 13. Kyle Knapp; 14. Austin Berry; 15. Justin Weaver; 16. Jon Lee; 17. Scott Flickinger; 18. Jim Yoder; 19. Roy Deese; 20. Andrew Yoder; 21. Tim Wilson; 22. Jamie Lathroum; 23. Trent Brenneman; 24. Billy Wampler.
Penns Valley Meat Market PA Sprint Series 305 Sprint Cars
Nick Sweigart powered forward from the fifth starting position to claim his fifth career Penns Valley Meat Market PA Sprint Series 305 Sprint Car victory at Port Royal Speedway Saturday night.
The win moved him into a five-driver tie for fourth all-time on the win list at the Speedway in the division with Logan Wagner, Mark Watkins, Mike Wagner II and Tyler Reeser.
"It was a lot of fun out there racing with those guys," said Sweigart. "It was hard racing, but it was good racing and we put it all together."
Austin Reed and last year's track champion Garrett Bard led the field to the green flag with Bard jumping out to the early lead. Third-place starter Dave Grube moved into second on the opening circuit and exiting turn two it appeared he was going to overtake Bard for the top-spot when two cars got together on the frontstretch and brought out the red-flag to negate the pass.
Bard set the pace on the restart and on lap five, Grube again pulled alongside of the leader and this time was able to pull ahead slightly at the line to lead the lap. However, it was short lived up top for Grube as Sweigart was in heavy pursuit on the top of the track and he got around Bard for second on lap seven and then cruised around Grube for the lead on lap eight.
Grube fought back on the inside to lead lap nine, but again Sweigart used momentum on the top side to exit turn four the following circuit to lead lap 10. One lap later the leaders hit lapped traffic and from there all Sweigart had to do was stay patient.
Grube tried his hardest, but the night belonged to Sweigart as he crossed under the checkered flag by an advantage of 3.679 seconds. After Grube and Bard, Justin Clark and Ken Duke rounded out the top-five. Devin Adams, Reed, Nick Tucker, Drew Young and Doug Dodson completed the top-ten.
"We had some issues earlier in the night with the fuel pump and we kind overcame that to get here," said Sweigart. "We've come so close these last few years to coming out and winning our first night out and I just said this is going to be the year and I'm thrilled."
305 Sprint Cars Feature Results: 1. Nick Sweigart; 2. Dave Grube; 3. Garrett Bard; 4. Justin Clark; 5. Ken Duke; 6. Devin Adams; 7. Austin Reed; 8. Nick Tucker; 9. Drew Young; 10. Doug Dodson; 11. Branston Shue; 12. Mikell McGee; 13. Christian Rumsey; 14. Kassidy Kreitz; 15. Kenny Heffner; 16. Dakota Schweikart; 17. Mike Melair; 18. Steven Glover; 19. Jake Waters; 20. Will Brunson; 21. Austin Graby; 22. Jimmy White; 23. Dave Wickham; 24. Jermai Hanson; 25. Andrew Boyer; 26. Josh Bricker