Monday, August 23, 2021

Anthony Macri, Briggs Danner and Dave Grube Find Victory Lane During Open Wheel Madness Tribute to the Military Night at Port Royal


Port Royal Speedway – PORT ROYAL, Pa. (August 22, 2021) – Fresh off a first career victory at Williams Grove Speedway on Friday night, Anthony Macri swept the weekend by picking up his fourth Port Royal Speedway victory of the season Saturday night.

The win came over Steve Buckwalter and Curt Stroup and was worth $4300. Macri earned the additional $300 as a result of winning form the ninth position.

"I'm speechless. I don't think we've  ever gotten two wins in one weekend," said Macri."It's pretty cool. My guys worked their butts off to get this car ready for today and it just finslly all paid off."

The night began with a salute to the military and a free concert with Sgt. Bob presented by Planet Fitness and with 100 total sprint cars in attendance across all three divisions.

Stroup and Pat Cannon led the field to the green flag and it was Stroup jumping out to the early advantage on lap one. Eighth-place starter Logan Wagner was on the move  early as he was up two spot to sixth on the opening circuit and challenging for a top-five spot as well.

Third-place starter Buckwalter got by Cannon for the runner-up position on the backstretch on lap three and one lap later Wagner cracked the top five as well.

By lap eight Stroup was in lapped traffic, but held a little more than a 2.0 second advantage over Buckwalter. Wagner continued his march to the front as he he took the third position two laps later and at the same time Macri was making his presence known as he cracked the top-five on the same lap.

Buckwalter cut the deficit in half on lap 11, but two laps later it was Wagner sliding around Buckwalter for the runner-up position and putting Stroup in his vision. Wagner and Stroup crisscrossed lines on lap 14 and it was Stroup leading the lap in a drag race to the line. However, the caution halted Wagner's momentum as Tyler Walton came to a slow on the Speedway.

While everyone was watching to see what Wagner would do on the restart, it was fourth-place running Cannon who brought the fans to their feet as he used a three-wide move to go to second in turn's one and two. Buckwalter was able to regain the spot entering turn three, while Wagner seemed to be struggling with his car as he fell to fifth.

Macri entered the podium for the first time the following lap as he got by Cannon for third and two laps later he got by Buckwalter for the runner-up position in turn's one and two. However, as the cars behind him jockeyed for position it was Stroup who was benefitting as he held more than a 2.0 second advantage with only eight laps remaining.

Within three laps, Macri was in hot pursuit on the high-side of the track as he cut a full second off the advantage. With five to go he was all over Stroup's tail tank and one lap later Macri made the winning move for the lead.

"He was out front and I didn't really know what to do to try and catch him," said Macri. "I tried the bottom and I tried the top and I was able to close on him and get him. I talk to those guys and they've come a long way and are definitely fast."

Stroup tried a pair of slider the next two laps, but Macri was too strong off the top of the Speedway. It appeared Macri was going to go untested for the victory, however their would be one last test as track points leader Logan Wagner slowed to a stop on the backstretch setting up a one lap shootout.

Stroup's best chance was to go to the bottom on the restart, but Macri took the line away in turn's one and two. The move allowed Buckwalter to get around Stroup for the runner-up spot entering turn three, but the race was Macri's as he cruised home to the checkered flag by 1.588 seconds.

Buckwalter, Stroup, Gerrard McIntyre and Cannon rounded out the top five. Mike Wagner, Blane Heimbach, Justin Whittal, Dylan Cisney and Ryan Smith completed the top-ten. 11th-place finisher Jared Esh earned the Valley Supply/Mike Cleck Paving $5000 Hard charger after starting 22nd on the grid, while 15th-place finisher Connor Leoffler earned the $1000 J &S Fabrication Warrior Award via random draw.

 "I think we learn something every time we hit the track. I've been trying to get better as a driver and figuring out how to better run the bottom," said Macri. "I'm always searching around for speed and I've had the mentality lately to just get better for these big races and it seems we found something."

410 Sprint Car Feature Finish, 25 Laps: 1. Anthony Macri; 2. Steve Buckwalter; 3. Curt Stroup; 4. Gerard McIntyre; 5. Pat Cannon; 6. Mike Wagner; 7. Blane Heimbach; 8. Justin Whittall; 9. Dylan Cisney; 10. Ryan Smith; 11. Jared Esh; 12. Jason Shultz; 13. A.J. Flick; 14. Kody Lehman; 15. Connor Leoffler; 16. Trenton Sheaffer; 17. Tyler Reeser; 18. Mike Walter II; 19. Drew Ritchey; 20. Logan Wagner; 21. Jeff Halligan; 22. Tyler Bear; 23. Tyler Walton; 24. Dan Shetler.

In the two previous visits to the Port Royal Speedway for the Rapid Tire USAC East Coast Wingless Sprint Cars, Alex Bright had gone a perfect two for two entering Saturday night. Determined to break the streak and break a tie between the two with seven wins this season with the series, Briggs Danner held off Bright to score his first career Port Royal victory and the $1500 that came with it.

"It was a really nice track out there and once I got out to the lead I was kind of taking it easy out there," said Danner. "It was a good race and I think I felt my tire going away there. He showed his nose a few times and I knew it was time to go."

Christian Bruno and Danner led the field to the green flag and it was all Danner form the drop of the green flag. Meanwhile, Bright started eighth and he was already up to fourth on the opening circuit.

One lap later Bright moved into a podium position and the following lap he drove his way into second. However Danner was in cruise control and had already worked up a 2.603 second advantage.

Danner stretched his lead to close to 3.0 seconds before Bright started reeling him in. By lap nine Bright had it down to just over 2.0 seconds and two laps later he cut another half a second and was closing fast. Two laps later Danner was in heavy lapped traffic and Bright had the deficit cut to 1.057 seconds.

With 11 laps to go, the pair was nose-to-tail coming to the start/finish line and Bright threw a slider entering turn one on Danner for the lead. He briefly held the top spot, but Danner cruised back by down the backstretch to lead again with 10 laps remaining.
Bright tried the move again in turn's three and four the following lap, but again Danner had the strength coming out of the turn to re-take the lead. Over the next eight circuits, Bright stayed patient and was reeling Danner back in.

Bright was really fast in turn's one and two, while Danner had the advantage at the other end of the Speedway. Entering turn three to take the white flag, it appeared Bright was setting Danner up for the pass, but the caution flew for a slowing car on the frontstretch to thwart the effort.

Bright's car stumbled on the restart and that allowed Danner to jump out to a hefty advantage as the pair came to the white flag. Bright would try and last ditch effort slider in turn's three and four, but Danner was not to be denied as he cruised under the checkers for the eighth time of the season with the series by an advantage of 1.085 seconds over Bright, Bruno, Tommy Kunsman and Eric Jennings.

Kenny Miller III, Nash Ely, Bruce Buckwalter, Ed Aiken and Mike Thompson rounded out the top ten.

"I knew Alex was going to try something and he kind of got into me a little on the start and that gave me some room to breathe," said Danner. "That really helped me get going and I'm just thankful for the opportunity and to find victory lane."

For Bright, he thought he had the best car, but was struggling on the restart.

"I thought that was fun and I hope the fans enjoyed it, but we gave that away on the restart," said Bright. "We got to get the stumbling part figured out, but ultimately he was fast and so were we and I'd have liked to seen how that played out in green flag action."

360 Non-Wing Sprint Car Feature Finish, 25 Laps: 1. Briggs Danner; 2. Alex Bright; 3. Christian Bruno; 4. Tommy Kunsman; 5. Eric Jennings; 6. Kenny Miller III; 7. Nash Ely; 8. Bruce Buckwalter; 9. Ed Aiken; 10. Mike Thompson; 11. Mark Bitner; 12. Damon Paul; 13. Colin White; 14. Aiden Borden; 15. Rich Carnathan; 16. Tom Savage; 17. Jason Cherry; 18. Troy Fraker; 19. David Swanson; 20. Jermain Godshall; 21. Billy Ney; 22. Jonathan Swanson; 23. Joey Amantea.

Dave Grube overcame multiple restarts on the opening circuit to go from fourth to first and picked up his second Penns Valley Meat Market PA Sprint Series 305 Sprint Car victory of the season at Port Royal Speedway.

However, the win didn't come without controversy as Grube and defending track champion Garrett Bard made contact in turn's three and four while battling for the lead on lap six, which sent Bard spinning and handed Grube the lead.

Grube would go untouched the rest of the way to score the victory over Domenic Melair, Kenny Heffner, Will Brunson and Fred Arnold. Larry Mcvay, Nathan Gramley, Steve Kenawell Jr., Roger Irvine and Austin Reed completed the top-ten. Bard would go on to finish 13th after rejoining the field.

305 Sprint Car Feature Finish, 20 Laps: 1. Dave Grube; 2. Domenic Melair; 3. Kenny Heffner; 4. Will Brunson; 5. Fred Arnold; 6. Larry McVay; 7. Nathan Gramley; 8. Steve Kenawell; 9. Roger Irvine; 10. Austin Reed; 11. Mike Melair; 12. Nick Sweigart; 13. Garrett Bard; 14. Erin Statler; 15. Logan Spahr; 16. Tyler Snook; 17. Jeff Weaver; 18. Doug Dodson; 19. Jared Zionkowski; 20. Mikell McGee; 21. Andrew Boyer; 22. Branston Shue; 23. Todd Lynn; 24. Jake Waters; 25. Kassidy Kreitz; 26. Devin Adams; 27. Rowdy Heffner; 28. Jerald Harris.

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