By- Justin Snyder
Port Royal Speedway – PORT ROYAL, Penn. (June 6, 2021) – Jared Esh capitalized on a front row startiing spot to score his second career Port Royal Speedway Weikert's Livestock 410 Sprint Car victory during Bobby Rahal Toyota of Lewistown night on Saturday.
The win was his first at the helm of the Golden Flavor Sesame Sticks No. 98 since taking over the reigns of the sprinter last season and achieved a personal goal for Esh in scoring a win in the same car his father Doug drove years ago to victory at the Juniata County oval as well.
"When I got in this car last season I made it a goal to get a win in this car as I don't know if any father and son have ever won races in the same car at the same track before," said Esh. "This is a pretty cool deal for me and I'm just really happy to be sitting in victory lane again."
Esh lined up on the front row alongside of Tyler Bear for the 25-lap feature and jumped out to the early lead over fourth-place starter Justin Whittall.
Sixth-place starter and early season winner Jeff Halligan was an early mover as he moved into the fourth position on lap two and two laps later he cracked the podium. One lap prior, track points leader and eigth-place starter Logan Wagner moved into the top-five.
Esh was setting sail on the field and was in heavy lapped traffic by lap 8. One lap later Halligan got by Whittall for the runner up spot and two laps later Wagner dispatched of Whittall for the third spot.
With 12 laps remaining, Esh held a neatly 3 second advantage over the field but as lapped cars battled in front of the leaders Halligan cut two seconds off the lead with 10 to go.
"I kept a good pace there in lapped traffic and I felt like we were checked out pretty good," said Esh. "I really just needed to stay in a rhythym and not give it away. I got in the fence there a couple times running the top and I was just trying to stay patient. They were going to have to slide me to get by me."
Esh was able to to put a few lapped cars in between him and Halligan, which allowed him to extend his advantage to nearly two seconds with six laps to go. However, the advantage was wiped out two laps later when Whittall, who was running fourth at the time, blew a tire on the frontstretch and brought out the caution.
Halligan tried a slider in turn's one and two on the restart, but Esh was too good on the top and drove away.He tried the move again in turn's three and four, but again Esh pulled away to lead the lap. One lap later the final caution of the event flew when Trenton Sheaffer got turned around in turn one.
Halligan again tried the bottom on the restart and the move opened the door for Wagner to pull alongside of him for the runner up spot down the backstretch. The battle for secone was just what Esh needed as he pulled away with ease.
Esh would go on to take the checkered flag by an dvantage of 2.430 seconds over Wagner, Halligan, Mike Wagner and Dylan Cisney.
"This has been about the most trying season of my career and we pulled out a new car ladt week and found some speed and ended up hitting the wall and my guys worked up to 2am last night to get this car ready to race," said Esh. "This means so much to me to see the hard work pay off and I just can't thank my guys enough for giving me the opportunity and helping to make this a reality."
For Wagner, it was another runner-up finish for the points leader and his third consecutive at the Speedway. Wagner has been a mark of consistancy this season with 10 total top-five finishes in 11 starts this season.
"I'm really happy for our Zemco team as it's always good to be on the podium and here standing on the frontstretch at the end of the night," said Wagner.
"Our car is so good right now, but ultimately Jared had the best car and we just needed to get up there earlier to have a shot at the win.”
Gerrard McIntyre, Tyler Reeser, Mike Walter II, Lucas Wolfe and Bear rounded out the top-ten.
Reeser earned the Valley Supply Hard Charger award by passing seven cars and 14th-place finish Tyler Walton earned the $1000 Warrior Award courtesy of J&S Fabrication by random draw as well.
410 Sprint Car Results- 1. Jared Esh 2. Logan Wagner 3. Jeff Halligan 4. Mike Wagner 5. Dylan Cisney 6. Gerrard McIntyre 7. Tyler Reeser 8. Mike Walter II 9. Lucas Wolfe 10. Tyler Reeser 11. Curt Stroup 12. Kody Lehman 13. Pat Cannon 14. Tyler Walton 15. Rick Lafferty 16. Trenton Sheaffer 17. Justin Whittall 18. Drew Ritchey 19. Zach Newlin
Super Late Models
Jason Covert used a first turn slidejob to go from third to first and led all 25 lap to earn his fifth career River Valley Builders Super Late Model victory at the Port Royl Speedway.
"As bad as we've been the last year and a half, it;s so nice to be in victory lane," said Covert. "We've been struggling so much lately and it's just a relief to put a solid night together and get a win."
Jami Lathroum and Dan Stone led the field to the green flag and the two were side by siude exiting turn two. Third-place starter Covert pulled alongside both cars entering the backstretch and he slid up ahead of Stone to take the lead. Both cars made brief contact with Covert holding on to lead lap one.
Stone was all over Covert with 20 laps to go and fourth-place starter Jeff Rine had moved into the third position. Three laps later after multiple attempts, Stone took the lead by a nose at the line form Covert.
Covert stayed on the bottom of the track and didn;t divert from his plan and five laps later he took the lead back exiting turn four.
"Once Dan (Stone) got by me I knewq it was time to go and I needed to really get up on the wheel and get my tires hot," said Covert. "I didn;t really want to change what I was doing behind the wheel and I jut tiried to keep my tires straight and stay smooth."
Stone’s hopes for a win came to a close when he got into the outside guardrail exiting turn four and slowed in turn one with a right rear flat tire. That moved fifth-place starter Colton Flinner into the runner-up spot and again Covert jumped out to the lead at a return to gree-flag racing.
Covert stayed glued to the bottom of the speedway and rolled the middle in turn's three and four, while Flinner was ripping his patented outside line at both ends of the Speedway. Flinner stayed close enough that any mistake he could capitalize on, but Covert was consistent as they closed on lapped traffic.
Jeff Rine brought out the caution with eight to go as he came to a slow on the frontstretch. On the restart Flinner again tried the top, but it opened up the door for seventh-place starter Gary Stuhler to take the runner up spot. Flinner took the spot back a few laps later, but the battle enable Covert to cruise to the victory.
He crossed under the checkered flag by 2.016 seconds over Flinner, Stuhler, Dylan Yoder and Ross Robinson. Dillan Stake earned the hard charger presented by Geroge's Used Cars by advancing 10 positions to finish in sixth.
Jim Bernheisel, Lathroum, Nick Dickson and Marvin Winters completed the top ten.
"We've really just been off this year and that was about as good as we've felt car wise all season," said Covert. "We felt really good in warm ups and in the heat race and I knew if we stayed tue to the plan we were going to be tough to beat."
Super Late Model Results- 1. Jason Covert 2. Colton Flinner 3. Gary Stuhler 4. Dylan Yoder 5. Ross Robinson 6. Dillan Stake 7. Jim Bernheisel 8. Jamie Lathroum 9. Nick Dickson 10. Marvin Winters 11. Jim Yoder 12. Tyler Bare 13. Hayes Mattern 14. Kirk Baker 15. Brett Schadel 16. Austin Berry 17. Tim Wilson 18. Scott Flickinger 19. Jason Schmidt 20. Roy Deese 21. Shaun Jones 22. Jeff Rine 23. Andy Huas 24. Dan Stone
Limited Late Models
Devin Hart and Shawn Shoemaker earned a pair of 18-lap Selinsgrove Ford Limited Late Model feature wins as part of a twin 18's night for the divison. For Hart it was his fourth vistory of the season in what has been a dominant year in the divison for Hart, while Hart capitalized on a six-car invert for the second feature after finishing fifth in the first race.
Hart started eighth on the grid for the first feature and by lap two he was already up to second. With 10 laps to go, he was all over the leader, Jared Fulkroad, and the top three were under a blanket on the backstretch.
Two cars spun out right in front of the leaders to bring out the caution and set up an eight lap dash for the win.It only took one lap for Hart to dispatch of Fulkroad for the lead and he held on for the victory by .710 seconds at the line.
Fulkroad, Derick Garman, Kenny Yoder and Shoemaker filled out the top-five.Hart drew a number six to invert the second feature, which put Casey Steinhoff and Shoemaker on the front row for the second feature.
Shoemaker, who passed eight cars in the first feature, took no time in the second feature by going to the lead right away. He went on to lead all 18 laps to score the victory over Steinhoff, Hart, Yoder and Barry Miller.
Steinhoff was found to fail post-race inspection and was ultimately disqulified and forfeited his position as a result.
Limited Late Model Feature 1- Devin Hart 2.Jared Fulkroad 3. Derick Garman 4. Kenny Yoder 5. Shawn Shoemaker 6. Casey Steinhoff 7. Barry Miller 8. Todd Snook 9. Ryan Zook 10, Trent Brenneman 11. Drew Weisser 12. Bob Dunn 13. Joe Lusk 14. Samuel Bryant 15. Kyle Bachman 16. Mike Smith 17. Cayden Ramck 18. Trevor Collins 19. Andrew Yoder 20. Steve Todorow 21. Ethan Beasom 22. Caz Buchinsky 23. JR Toner 24. John Schoch 25. Dalton Bigler 26. Danny Snyder
Limited Late Model Feature 2- 1. Shawn Shoemaker 2. Devin Hart 3.Kenny Yoder 4. Barry Miller 5. Jared Fulkroad 6. Todd Snook 7. Derick Garman 8. Ryan Zook 9. Trent Brenneman 10. Bob Dunn 11. Dalton Bigler 12. Drew Weisser 13. Mike Smith 14. Ethan Beasom 15. Trevor Collins 16. Cayden Ranck 17. John Schoch 18. Andrew Yoder 19. Joe Lusk 20. Kyle Bachman 21. Chaz Buchinsky 22. Samuel Bryant DQ- Casey Steinhoff DNS - Steve Todorow, JR Toner, Jason Davis, Danny Snyder