Port Royal, PA – April 5, 2022
by Addicted2Dirt PR & Media Management
Feature Photo Credit: WRT SpeedWerx / Chris Hockley
There were a lot of smiles in the Risser Motorsports pit after Jeff Halligan’s top five effort at Port Royal Speedway Saturday night. They had waited a long two weeks to get back to the track.
It was a different scene than two weeks earlier. That weekend the team missed the show at Williams Grove Speedway, then watched a promising third place starting spot at Port Royal slip away when Halligan ended up turned the wrong direction and in the fence on a chaotic initial start.
When the Risser Motorsports / TheTreeCenter.com / Victory Auto of Lewistown / EMM Sales & Service / Jake’s Golf Carts, No.45 finally rolled out of the trailer again at Port Royal Speedway on April 2nd, Halligan was more than ready to strap back in and turn the page.
April 2: Port Royal Speedway / Port Royal, PA
(30 cars, Qualifying 2nd in group, Heat 4th, A-main 5th)
Due to forecasted chilly evening temperatures, the start of Saturday’s show at ‘The Speed Palace’ was moved up to 4pm, meaning teams would be treated to another tricky daytime surface. Thirty teams signed in for the group time trial format show.
Halligan kicked things off on a positive note for Risser Motorsports by laying down the 2nd quickest lap in his group. As a result of the 4-car inversion used to set the heat race lineups, Jeff lined up 3rd for his 8-lap heat race. While the top six finishers would transfer to the A-main, the real goal was to finish top two. Only those two would participate in the redraw, ensuring a starting spot in the first three rows for the day’s finale.
The car wasn’t quite where it needed to be for the tricky surface and Jeff slipped back a spot on the start. He was never able to close the gap and had to settle for a 4th place finish, which translated to a 10th place starting spot in the 25-lap feature. It wasn’t the redraw spot they were aiming for, but on the bright side, they were in the race and they knew what they needed to change.
Halligan’s machine was noticeably stronger when the green flag waived on the main event. He surged into 7th by the completion of the opening lap, continued his charge into 5th with two laps complete, and reached 4th by lap six. Over the next few laps, four cars waged a heated battle for two positions. On lap 9 Jeff emerged from the exchange in 5th. He held that spot to the checkered flag, sealing his first top-5 of the 2022 season.
“I felt like I left a couple spots on the table. The guys gave me a really good car. I made a couple decisions that I wish I could go back and change. I got myself in dirty air and lost ground I had made up. Port (Royal) is slick but it always has multiple grooves. It’s tough to make up ground on a daytime surface “, Halligan explained.
“We just need to race the track, make the car better, and be ready to seize opportunities that come to us. It will help when we can race more. It’s been tough to get in a rhythm and learn a lot this Spring with the weather we’ve had here in PA, but we’re getting there. I’m pretty happy with where we are so far “, Halligan commented.
While they may not have the finish to prove it, they also feel they were good enough for a podium finish before the crash a couple weeks ago at Port Royal. Halligan also said the team learned a few things at Williams Grove back in March, so they are looking forward to their next trip to the legendary Mechanicsburg, PA oval.
With over 6 months of racing ahead of them this season, it’s highly likely this team will make some headlines in Central PA in 2022.
Jeff and the Risser Motorsports team will be back in action at Port Royal Speedway on Saturday, April 9th when the 410 sprint cars race for a $5,000 top prize as part of the Open Wheel Madness show that also features the URC 360 and PASS/IMCA 305 sprint cars.
JEFF HALLIGAN RACING
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