Port Royal Speedway race report 2001-04-14

Kauffman claims Port Royal marathon thriller at line over Thompson. Dickson and Kepner also win. 4/14/01, PORT ROYAL, PA -- One lap at a time, that's how Mifflintown's Keith Kauffman seemingly won his 250th overall career sprint car feature...

Kauffman claims Port Royal marathon thriller at line over Thompson. Dickson and Kepner also win.

4/14/01, PORT ROYAL, PA -- One lap at a time, that's how Mifflintown's Keith Kauffman seemingly won his 250th overall career sprint car feature event at Port Royal Speedway on Saturday evening. After enduring a marathon event in which he lost the lead with two to go then reclaiming the lead at the checkered flag, the win was the 50-year-old veterans first of the 2001 season and his 101st career Port victory.

Picking up wins in the stock car divisions at Port Royal were Ken Dickson in the late models and Corey Kpener in the pro stocks. Coming up next week at Port Royal will be another three-division program of sprint cars, late models and pro stocks getting underway at 7 p.m.

Macungie's Len Thompson got the drop on fellow front row starter Todd Shaffer at the start of the 25-lapper for the sprints as third starter Kauffman roared into second aboard the Middleswarth Potato Chips No. 7. Thompson's pace was slowed on the second lap for a spin by George Kulp.

The race was stopped a lap later when Mike Erdley snap-rolled his mount on the frontchute. Erdley was transported for observation. Kauffman snared the top spot from Thompson on the ensuing restart when the leader moved down to block, surrendering the point to a rim riding Kauffman on the fourth lap. The new leader was halted a lap later when Sean Michael jumped the cushion in the first turn, rolling the No 1 but escaping injury. Lance Dewease then stopped while running seventh one go around later, bringing out yet another yellow before Bob Beidelman and Chris Strait connected in turn one.

Kauffman appeared ready to check out on the field during the mid stages after green finally remained in the air but Thompson tracked down the leader in traffic with two to go to reclaim the lead. Thompson then raced wheel to wheel with the cagey driver on the final lap, losing the win at the checkered flag by mere inches.

Thompson rode home the closest of seconds only to hop Kauffman's wheel in turn one at the finish and destroy his No. 10, taking out part of the first turn tin fence. Shaffer finished third followed by Brook Weibley, Shawn Keen, opening day winner Alan Cole, Mark Smith, Mike Wagner, Shawn Stidfole and Rod Stroup.

Smith, Dewease and Erdley won heats for the sprint cars. Kevin Scheaffer of Kitanning took the consolation event.

In the 20-lap late model feature, Sunbury driver Tony Adams led the first 13 laps only to lose the lead to Port Royal's own Jeff Bryner. Adams dropped out of the event with four laps to go after suffering a flash fire aboard his Sunbury Motors 88.

Bryner then lost the lead to seventh starter and opening day winner Ken Dickson of McVeytown with two to go. Dickson cruised to the easy win after finding traction in the outside slick ahead of Bryner, Steve Campbell, Tim Wilson, Jere Weirman, Mike Lupfer, Scott Flickinger, Eric Kauffman, Chris Wilkinson and Steve Earnest.

Mike Lupfer and Dickson picked up heats in the late model division. Mifflintown's Corey Kepner wired the field for his ninth career win in the pro stock feature. Kepner was followed closely to the line by Jim Palm, who moved into second with two to go. Matt Parks, Jason Schmidt and Scott Bargo rounded out the top five.

Don Hughes and Peanut Heintzelman won heats for the pro stocks.

-Shawn Brouse

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Series Sprint , Stock car