Since crowing Lance Dewease, Chris Shuey and Gary Beward track champions in the sprint car, late model and pro stock divisions respectively on Saturday evening, January 6th at the Port Royal Community Building, Port Royal Speedway has released a tentative 2001 schedule. The upcoming season will find the speedway in action with over 25 dates, starting on Saturday afternoon, March 17th at 1 P.M. and running through Thursday, September 27th.
After spinning off a pair of afternoon sprint car and late model shows in mid-March, the track moves to a 6 P.M. starting time on March 31st. The first promotional event of the season, in the form of an Easter Egg Hunt in the infield, will be held on Saturday, April 14th, when the racing program consisting of sprint cars, late models and pro stocks moves to a starting time of 7 P.M.
The first high profile motorsports event of the season is slated to take place at the Port Royal Speedway on April 28th when the Gumout World of Outlaws Division II sprint car series makes the third stop of its relatively short life at the Juniata County Fairgrounds oval. Don Kreitz Jr. of Sinking Spring claimed this event last season.
The late model stock cars find themselves squaring off in a 30-lap main event over the Memorial Day holiday weekend to end the month of May before the month of June kicks off on the 2nd with Bicycle and Big Wheel racing for all youngsters in attendance. KARS makes its first appearance of the season on June 23rd as the headline act while the super sprint cars take a break for Central Pa Sprint Car Speedweek. Port Royal hosts the 11th Annual Speedweek series on June 30th. Kreitz is the defending victor of this event as well.
The focus of action next shifts to Saturday, July 7th when the sprint cars will take to the track for a 30-lap summer championship race and equally exciting will be the event of the year for youth, Kids Night 5 on the 14th. July ends with the pro stocks vying in a 20-lap championship event on the 28th.
The month of August finds Port Royal Speedway respecting local agriculture with its annual Ag-Night promotion, honoring 4-H and FFA members, taking place on the 4th. Thursday, August 16th will find the speedway in competition with the first of only two mid-week shows on the schedule being run, on this occasion hosting the sprint cars and the popular super sportsman along with the pro stocks. The last point race of the season is spun off on the 18th, when the late models will compete in a Hub City Qualifier. August ends with the second appearance of the season by the Gumout World of Outlaws series on the 25th in which Upperco, Maryland pilot Jeff Shepard is the defending winner.
September marks a historic month in the history of the speedway as racing kicks off on Labor Day afternoon with the running of the 51st Annual Labor Day Classic as part of the 147th Annual Juniata County Fair. The fair climaxes on Friday and Satuday, September 7th and 8th when both the Tuscarora 50 preliminary (25 laps) and the tracks crown jewel, 34th Annual Tuscarora 50 will be contested. Salfordville, Pa speedster Fred Rahmer is the defending 50 champion.
The Tuscarora 50 does not mark the end of the season for Port Royal Speedway this year however, as has been customary in years past. What some are already billing as the biggest event of the season will unfold at the track on Thursday night, September 27th when for the first time in 14 years, the World of Outlaws will be in competition at the Port.
It was May 27th, 1987 when Ted Johnson's traveling band of Outlaws last visited Port Royal Speedway. Doug Wolfgang piloted the Weikert Livestock No. 29 to victory in that event ahead of Steve Kinser, Cris Eash, Brad Doty and Dave Blaney. The World of Outlaw event will mark the close of the racing season for the speedway.
Details of the 2001 Port Royal Speedway itinerary can be obtained by viewing the entire tentative schedule on the speedway website at www.portroyalspeedway.com. Schedules may also be obtained by visiting the speedway's display at the Pennzoil Motorsports show in Fort Washington, Pa this Friday, Saturday and Sunday, January 12th, 13th and 14th. Schedules will also be available at the York, Pa, Dirt Trackin' Show on January 26th, 27th and 28th and at Motorama in the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex in Harrisburg on February 16th, 17th and 18th.