Port Royal race notes 2004-08-08

Len Thompson of Mcungie, PA dominated the 25 lap Aumiller & Associate Sprint Car Feature event Saturday night August 7 at Port Royal, PA Speedway. Thompson started fourth and grabbed the lead immediately exiting turn four. Several caution and two...

Len Thompson of Mcungie, PA dominated the 25 lap Aumiller & Associate Sprint Car Feature event Saturday night August 7 at Port Royal, PA Speedway. Thompson started fourth and grabbed the lead immediately exiting turn four. Several caution and two red flag periods gave the remainder of the field a chance to regroup, but no one was able to catch the Thompson Motorsports/Steve Swarmer Racing no. 10. Thompson led every lap en route to a $ 2,500 dollar pay day. Judi Bates of Spring City finished second aboard the Bates roofing no. 121. Mike Wagner of Harrisonville, PA started tenth in the Ott Bros./Clugston Lumber Co. no. 55 and finished third. Rick Lafferty of Pennington, NJ. was fourth driving the second Clugston sponsored car in the field. Mike Erdley's Lisi Shell no. 11 from Elizabethtown was fifth. Completing the top ten were Todd Hestor, Middleburg, Chad Layton, Harrisburg, Justin Seigler, Port Royal, Dave Hahn, Green Lane, and Rod Stroup, Evandale. Heat for the 27 car field were won by Randy Baughman, Hahn and Thompson. Dustin Hoffman won the consolation race.

The initial start saw seven time feature winner Mark Smith of Newville flip the Zemco Speed Equipment no. 1 in turn two. Smith was not injured. Upon restarting the event Thompson made a big move from fourth to first exiting turn four on the start. He drove off to a one half straight away lead before Todd Shaffer's Village Square Plaza/Leiby Mobile Homes no. 88 stopped on the back stretch with a broken bird cage. The lap eight caution forced Shaffer to the pit area on a wrecker. He was out of action for the night. Shaffer was running in eighth spot before mechanical problems struck. He was scored twentieth in the final run down. After restarting the event, Hurricane Mike Walter of Penns Creek and youngster Jimmy Seger of Morrisdale crashed in turn four. Walter's Affordable Home sales no. 49 was out for the night. Seger restarted and finished eleventh. The race resumed only to have the red light turned on when Dave Hahn spun in turn one and a fast approaching Keith Kauffman had no where to go. Kauffman flipped the Middleswarth Potato Chips no. 7 and was done for the night. Kauffman was not hurt. Alan Cole's H & H Disposal no. 35 was also involved in the skirmish and went to the pit area. Cole did not return to action. After each problem, Thompson stretched out big leads and was not challenged. He drove to a big win which was popular with the fans. Thompson was greeted by race night sponsors Rev. Rod Feltman of Grace Covenant Church in Thompsontown, PA and Rob Brenneman, of Professional Building Systems of Middleburg, PA. Both made presentations to the winning driver. Thompson spoke about his season. " This is the only motor we have so Thank God we made it here. My mom and dad aren't here tonight and this is also the first race I won that my wife isn't here." When asked about Steve Swarmer Racing being prominently displayed on his cars hood, Thompson replied, " You must have been reading my mind. I was going to talk about that. When I drove last year for Doc and Debbie Crawford, we got to know Steve and he fits in real good with our crew. We like having him around and he started helping us out. We're glad to have him". Swarmer is a former driver himself and the son of the late Champion Pete Swarmer. When asked about his involvement in the team, Swarmer replied, " This is a great bunch of people. I enjoy them. They could use your help. If there's any one out there that would like to be involved with a class act, these guys will represent you well. With some more help, you could be up here enjoying this too."

Nick Dickson of Strodes Mills won the 20 lap Ramsey's Car Wash/AB Auto Glass Late Model feature. It was Dickson's first win ever at Port Royal and third career win overall. Dickson has previously won two races at Bedford Fairgrounds Speedway, one in 2003, and 2004. Dickson emerged from his Holderman Trucking/Dickson Alignment/Exhaust no. 17 with a big smile and composure of a seasoned veteran. " I wanted to win one here and we did. I want to thank my sponsors and my dad and uncle. It's a family deal." Father Ken, the all time leading feature winner at Port Royal stood on stage with a big smile. Earlier in the evening, he hot lapped a new race car for his first laps around Port Royal since retiring from competition in 2002. Dickson joked later, " I was thinking about racing again when I got out there but when Nick won, I'm probably retired again."

Dickson's win was not a gimme. Despite leading every lap he was pressured first by six time winner Scotty Haus of Hamburg, PA who went to the bottom of the speedway while Dickson stayed on top. Haus was close on several occasions, but could not get past and faded late race with problems finishing eighth. Current track champion Steve Campbell, moved in and tried the bottom of the rack track but ran out of time. Following a lap sixteen restart which came after Tim Gray's no. 91 spun in turn three, Dickson made his winning move on the restart by going low in turn one which broke Campbell's line. Dickson got off the second turn with some extra room and went on to the win. Gray's Speed Equipment and Licensing/Title Mount was towed to the pit area after the caution. The only other yellow came for a five car pile up on lap three in turn one. Randy Hoffman, Tony Smith, Tim Gray, Mike Hess and Jere Wierman were involved. Hess, Hoffman and Wierman were out of the event.

Following Dickson and Campbell were Eric Zembower of Bedford. Scott Flickinger of Loysville was fourth and Jeff Leiphart of York was fifth. Sixth through tenth were Dave Kepner, Travis Dillman, Scotty Haus, Eric Kauffman and Scott Sipe. Heats for the 22 car field were won by Haus and Dickson.

The 20 Lap Stong's Auto Parts Pro Stock Championship was won by Todd Snook of Mifflintown. Snook started third and waited until lap nine to take the lead. John Heane started on the pole and led the first lap aboard the Royer's Demolition/Jake's Carts no. 17. Heane's car lost a wheel and turn two and Heane was out of action for the night. Bill Powell jumped into the lead with Snook's Ramsey's Car Wash/AB Auto Glass no. 23 in hot pursuit. Snook got by after racing side by side for several laps. The race had a number of caution periods and each time the pair raced each other hard and clean. Snook said after the race, " It's fun racing with someone who runs you clean. I want to thank all my sponsors and crew."

Following Snook and Powell were five time winner Gary Beward and Dave Bowsman. Jim Palm was fifth. Rounding out the top ten were Dave Brouse, Jr., Glenn Miller, Craig Imes, Jason Davis and Doug Albeck. Heats for the 23 car field were won by Snook and Beward.

Port Royal Speedway returns to action Saturday night August 14 with a five division program of Aumiller & Associate Sprint Cars, Ramsey's Car Wash/AB Auto Glass Late Models, Stong's Auto Parts Pro Stocks, Parson's Auto Salvage/Casner Service Center 4 Cyl. Stock Cars and, Pizza & Sub Shack Enduro Cars. The Auto Racing Club of Hagerstown, MD will have their fan club night. All ARCH members save two dollars off a general admission ticket. Kids are reminded there will be a huge candy scramble in the infield prior to the nights action. Over $ 600 dollars of candy will be placed on the ground for kids to hunt. 60 kids bicycles will be given away later that night.

The Late Models compete in the Hub City Qualifier. The winning driver is a guaranteed starter in the Hagerstown Speedway's Hub City Open held later this year. Gates open at 5:00 P.M. with racing at 7.

Fair and World of Outlaws race tickets are now on sale and will be held for two weeks for season ticket holders. Outlaw tickets will be sold on a first come first served basis after that. Ticket holders should contact the speedway office at 527-4414 to confirm their seats. Office hours are currently Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 8:00 A.M. until noon and 1:00 P.M. until 4. Purchases may be charged using Master Card or Visa.

-prs-

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series Sprint , Stock car
Drivers Tony Smith , Tim Gray