Shaffer Returns To Port Royal Victory Lane After Near Two-Year Absence, Dickson Wins Number Four In Late Models, Beward takes pro stocks. 5/19/01, PORT ROYAL, PA -- It took nearly two years, but Millerstown's Todd Shaffer found his way back to...
Shaffer Returns To Port Royal Victory Lane After Near Two-Year Absence,
Dickson Wins Number Four In Late Models, Beward takes pro stocks.
5/19/01, PORT ROYAL, PA -- It took nearly two years, but Millerstown's Todd Shaffer found his way back to Port Royal Speedway victory lane on Saturday night. Amazingly, "Mr. Excitements" last win at the Juniata County oval occurred on August 7, 1999. The two-time track champion left little doubt that he has not forgotten how to find the winner's circle on Saturday night however as he drove past Mike Walter on the seventh lap and then cruised to his 66th career speedway win and his first of the 2001 season overall. .
"It seems like everywhere I go, people remind me that I haven't won since 1999, but I have," said Shaffer. "Its just been that long since I won here!" Elsewhere, in stock car action, Ken Dickson recorded his fourth win of the season in the late model division and Gary Beward picked up the win in the pro stocks.
Coming up on May 26 at Port Royal will be a three-division program of sprint cars, late models and pro stocks, with the late models taking center stage. The wide-body stock cars will compete in a 30-lap championship event sponsored by Beer and Soda City of Burnham, paying $1,500 to the winner and $125 to take the green flag.
An autograph session with sprint car drivers Mark Smith and Kevin Schaeffer, and stock car pilots Ken Dickson, Jere Wierman, Corey Kepner and Gary Beward is also on tap and gets underway behind the new grandstand at 5:30 p.m before racing action at 7. Speedway officials hope to officially open the new seating in a ceremony presided over by State Representative Dan Clark, whom was instrumental in securing state funds to obtain the new structure. Penns Creek's Mike Walter jumped from the outside of the front row to lead the first six laps of the 25-lap sprint car feature before eighth starter Shaffer took over the top spot with a low move in the second corner.
Wheeling the Leiby's Mobile Home Sales sponsored 88, Shaffer had already worked his way up to third after the completion of the first circuit. Shaffer was driving off from the field when Dave Hahn rolled to a stop just after he had taken the lead. The Millerstown pilot picked up where he left off when action resumed by jumping to the cushion and streaking away, amassing a straightaway lead before the halfway point.
The leader's pace was halted with six to go when Kittanning's Kevin Schaeffer flipped his mount in the third turn. Separated from his nearest competitor, Brook Weibley, by four lapped machines for the new green, the restart proved to be academic as Shaffer ran his fashionable high groove to a convincing win of more than a straightaway over a rebounding Keith Kauffman of Mifflintown who tagged to the rear early after suffering a flat tire.
"I told mechanic Jim Russel, 'we were pretty good in the heat and I'm going out and we're going to the front or coming in on the hook in the feature,'" exclaimed an obviously jubilant Shaffer. "I want to thank my fans for staying with me through this dry spell, I hope we are here a lot more!"
Todd Hestor of Middleburg rode home third followed by Weibley, York Springs; Lynton Jeffery, Sydney, NSW; Mike Wagner, Harrisonville; Shawn Keen, Carlisle; Len Thompson, Macungie; Mark Smith, Newville; and Jay Reichard, Hagerstown, MD.
Joe Deihl and Todd Shaffer picked up sprint car qualifying events. In the 20-lap late model feature, Sunbury's Tony Adams passed polesitter Travis Dillman to lead the first lap before caution appeared for a spin by Mike Hess. On the restart, seventh starter and three-time 2001 winner Dickson moved into third and then tracked down the leader to be on his tail with six away.
The McVeytown veteran then drove side by side with Adams on the seventh circuit before taking the lead with an outside turn two pass on the eighth go around. Dickson was slowed moments later for a spin by Scott Lupfer but drove off when green replaced the yellow.
In the end, Dickson recorded his 49th career speedway win by a straightaway over Adams and defending track champion Chris Shuey of Orefield, who started 11th and moved into third with eight to go.
Shuey was followed to the line by Steve Campbell, Mike Lupfer, Jere Wierman, Jeff Bryner, Mike Atherton, Dave Kepner and Dillman. Jeff Bryner and Tim Gray won late model heats.
Third row starter and defending track champion Gary Beward of Thompsontown zoomed into the lead on the first circuit of the 12-lap pro stock main. After demolishing his racer a week earlier, Beward then held off the challenges of Jason Schmidt to record his third speedway win of the season. Beward and Schmidt raced wheel to wheel over the final circuits before Beward pulled out to two-car length advantage at the finish line. Jim Palm rode home third followed by Peanut Heintzelman and Scott Bargo. Sixth through tenth went to Corey Kepner, Tracker, Mark Aucker, Todd Snook and Scott Dorman. Jason Schmidt and Gary Beward won heats for the pro stocks. <pre> RACE SUMMARY
Sprint Cars - 24 - entries Heat winners: Joe Deihl, Todd Shaffer.
Feature finish: 1. Shaffer, 2. Kauffman, 3. Hestor, 4. Weibley, 5. Jeffrey, 6. Wagner, 7. Keen, 8. Thompson, 9. Smith, 10. Reichard, 11. Mike Erdley, 12. Daryl Stimeling, 13. Alan Cole (Gangemi 84), 14. Von McGee, 15. Ron Kramer, 16. Kyle Ganoe, 17. Michael Allman, 18. Dave Hahn, 19. Mike Walter, 20. Kevin Schaeffer, 21. Rod Stroup, 22. Joe Deihl, 23. Danny Bolger, 24. Jim Campbell.
Late Models - 21 - entries Heat winners: Jeff Bryner, Tim Gray.
Feature finish: 1. Dickson, 2. Adams, 3. Shuey, 4. Campbell, 5. M. Lupfer, 6. Wierman, 7. Bryner, 8. Atherton, 9. Kepner, 10. Dillman, 11. Steve Earnest, 12. Tim Wilson, 13. Scott Flickinger, 14. Tim Gray, 15. Eric Kauffman, 16. Mike Hess, 17. Rodney Turner, 18. Scott Lupfer, 19. Ron Spearing, 2 0. Tom Merryman, 21. Dave Shulski.
Pro Stocks - 21 - entries Heat winners: Jason Schmidt, Gary Beward.
Feature finish: 1. Beward, 2. Schmidt, 3. Palm, 4. Heintzelman, 5. Bargo, 6. Kepner, 7. Tracker, 8. Aucker, 9. Snook, 10. Dorman, 11. Matt Parks, 12. John Heane, 13. Bob Baumgardner, 14. John Wert, 15. Roger Stutts, 16. John Walborn, 17. Stu Miller, 18. Glenn Miller, 19. Mitch Miller, 20. Tim Krape, 21. Donnie Hughes .