Port Royal Speedweek report 2001-06-30

Port Royal, Pa, - It was only appropriate that smoke poured out of Keith Kauffman's motor on Saturday night at Port Royal Speedway as his car came to rest in victory lane. After all, the 51-year old veteran had just smoked the field in the ...

Port Royal, Pa, - It was only appropriate that smoke poured out of Keith Kauffman's motor on Saturday night at Port Royal Speedway as his car came to rest in victory lane. After all, the 51-year old veteran had just smoked the field in the speedway's 30-lap Carquest Auto Parts Speed Week feature event. For Kauffman, the win was worth a cool $5,000 and it was the 105th of his career at the Juniata County oval.

"I never thought I'd have five wins, much less 105," quipped Kauffman from the winners circle. "I have to say a special thank you to my guys because they put one heck of a race car together tonight."

Indeed, Kauffman left little doubt that he was the man to beat in the sixth leg of the eight-night speed week series. Zooming off the outside of the front row at the drop of the feature green, "The Man From Mifflintown" immediately pulled out to a near straight-away lead over fellow front row starter Todd Shaffer of Millerstown.

Aboard the Middleswarth No. 7, Kauffman entered the backmarkers on just the fifth circuit and was working the pack with eight away when Curt Michael rolled to a stop in the 461. Just prior to the caution, Kauffman't teammate, Todd Hestor moved into second after starting fourth.

Kauffman drove off on the restart but was soon halted again, this time for a three-car tangle in turn two. After Len Thompson softly rolled his No. 10, both Mark Richard and speed week point leader and fourth place runner Lance Dewease piled in.

Hestor proved no contest on the lap-nine restart and Kauffman simply drove off from the competition when green replaced the yellow. Running both sides of the speedway to perfection, Kauffman blasted through traffic over the rest of the non-stop distance to pick up his second 2001 speed week series win over a surging Shaffer, who reclaimed second with 12 laps to go. Defending event winner, eighth starter Don Kreitz Jr. rode home third followed by Hestor and defending speed week champion Fred Rahmer, who started tenth.

Sixth through tenth went to a high flying Dewease, Mark Smith, Cris Eash, fast timer Sean Michael and Alan Cole.

Heats for the 33-car field went to Kevin Frey, Shawn Keen, Mike Erdley and Mike Walter. After leading his heat with a lap to go and blowing a tire, Dewease won the B-Main.

By virtue of his win in the feature, which ended near 1 A.M, due to a rain delay at the start of the night, Kauffman moved into second in the series points chase behind Dewease. With 824 points, Dewease is in a quest for his third title while Kauffman, with 808, is seeking his second in the series 11-year run.

-PRS

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