Port Royal, PA Newville's Mark Smith roared to his third win of the year Saturday night May 1 at Port Royal, (PA) Speedway. Smith drove the Zemco Speed Equipment no. 1 to victory dominating the entire field. Second place finisher Todd Shaffer of...
Port Royal, PA Newville's Mark Smith roared to his third win of the year Saturday night May 1 at Port Royal, (PA) Speedway. Smith drove the Zemco Speed Equipment no. 1 to victory dominating the entire field. Second place finisher Todd Shaffer of Millerstown, PA was almost a straight stretch behind at the finish. Jeff Shepard of Upperco, MD. was third with Todd Hestor of Middleburg fourth. Mike Wagner from Harrisonville filled out the top five. Sixth through tenth were Mike Erdley, Judi Bates, Richie Hartman, Rick Lafferty and Dave Hahn. Heats for the 23 car field were won by Shaffer and Shepard.
Smith took the lead on lap nine and withstood several caution flags to record the win. Spin outs and mechanical problems slowed the field on laps, five, six, seven, and nineteen. Justin Siegler spun in turn two on lap six. During the same yellow Lucas Wolfe stopped the Allebach 5w in turn four. Wolfe was out for the night. Todd Hestor had a flat tire and rejoined the field. Brian Bossinger spun one lap later in turn two and Chad Layton suffered motor problems on lap seven. The final caution came on lap nineteen when Curt Stroup and Keith Kauffman went to the pit area.
Smith said in post race ceremonies, " This team is awesome. Everything is working right now. I want to thank Penske shocks and John and Pee Wee Zemaitis for giving us what we need."
Scotty Haus won the 20 Late Model feature for the second straight week. Haus passed Nick Dickson of Strodes Mills for the win. The Hamburg, PA driver's margin of victory was over a half straight away. Steve Campbell of Danville was third with Scott Flickinger, Loysville, fourth. Bedford's Eric Zembower rounded out the top five. Sixth through tenth were Jim Yoder, Tim Wilson, Mike Atherton, Travis Dillman, and Eric Kauffman. Heats were won by Haus and Dickson. There were 18 cars.
The 15 lap Pro Stock feature was won by Scott Spahr, his first ever. Gary Beward and Bill Powell were second and third. The pair pressured Spahr through the second half of the race but could not get by. Todd Snook and Dave Bowsman completed the top five. Sixth through tenth were Eric Cauffman, Harry Peffer, Harold Ranck Jr., Neil Foust and Ken Stitt Jr.
Heats were won by Beward and Jim Palm.
The 30 lap Pizza & Sub Shack Enduro Dash was won by Scott Hopple. Bill Powell was second with Butch Renninger third. Adam Yetter and Steve Harlan were also in the top five. Sixth through tenth were Todd Eby, Karl Windish, Craig Imes, Herm Renninger and Jerry Blauch.
The Enduro feature was exciting with three cars dueling for third through fifth spots during the second half of the race. Butch Renninger, Adam Yetter and Steve Harlan put on a show for the fans dicing through traffic the final ten laps. The trio ran three wide with less than two laps remaining through turns one, two and down the backstretch. Renninger out dueled them on the high side to grab third spot. Adam Yetter was fourth and the pair waged war on the final lap. Renninger and Yetter made contact coming off turn four to the checkered flag with Renninger holding off Yetter for the position.
Tragically it was the final checkered flag of Renninger's long career which included a stint in Jack Kochman's "Hell Drivers", and numerous years of Late Model and Enduro racing. Renninger apparently suffered a massive heart attack following the race while setting in his car on the track's front stretch. He was with family and friends laughing and joking at the time. Rescue workers worked to revive him but were not successful. He was transported to Lewistown Hospital where he was later pronounced dead. He is survived by wife, Carol, children and grand children. Funeral arrangements are not finalized at this time.
Renninger enjoyed success at many area speedways. He won the Bedford track championship in 1966. His greatest success came at Port Royal where he was the 1966, 1967, and 1970 Semi-Late track champion. He also won the 2003 Enduro championship and is fourth on the speedways all time win list with 41 victories. Renninger served as an official at Port Royal and was on the Fair Board for many years. He will be remembered as one of the tracks most exciting drivers to ever race there.
The speedway returns to action Saturday night May 8 with a three division show of Aumiller & Associate Sprint Cars, Ramsey's Car Wash/AB Auto Glass Late Models and Stong's Auto Parts Pro Stocks. Gates open at 5 with racing at 7.