Lance Dewease, Tim Gray & Todd Snook win season openers at Port Royal. Port Royal, PA Lance DeWease of Fayetteville, PA drove the Manheim Auto Auctions/Hamilton Motorsports no. 77 to victory lane Saturday afternoon April 12 at Port Royal, PA ...
Lance Dewease, Tim Gray & Todd Snook win season openers at Port Royal.
Port Royal, PA Lance DeWease of Fayetteville, PA drove the Manheim Auto Auctions/Hamilton Motorsports no. 77 to victory lane Saturday afternoon April 12 at Port Royal, PA Speedway. DeWease started second and dominated the event on the tough daylight racing surface. Greg Hodnett of Memphis, Tenn. started eleventh and charged through the pack to finish second aboard the Apple Chevrolet no. 12. Hodnett almost caught DeWease entering turns one and two while racing through lapped traffic on lap twenty two. The turn one battle was halted when Sean Michael of Allentown, PA slowed on the backstretch and was towed to the pit area. Michael was done for the day and the break was all DeWease needed to stay out front to the checkered flag. For DeWease it was his eighty first career win at the Juniata County oval.Following DeWease and Hodnett was Brook Weibley of York Springs, PA. Mike Wagner of Harrisonville finished fourth and Salfordsville's Fred Rahmer came from seventeenth position to finish fifth. Sixth through tenth were Rick Lafferty, Don Kreitz, Todd Hestor, Len Thompson and Todd Shaffer. Heats for the twenty three car field were won by Kreitz, Thompson and DeWease.
DeWease told PA Director Craig Rutherford in victory lane, " Hodnett was better than us right before the yellow came on. I couldn't move my wing back and he almost had us. When I was out front it was ok, but I couldn't run real good in traffic. The track crew is trying real hard here. Today's Deal wasn't their fault. The weather's been tough on every one." DeWease was referring to the start of the Aumiller & Associate Sprint Car feature.
Track conditions were tough. While the grounds and speedway started the day wet, wind quickly dried the daylight surface. The track became very dry during intermission and President Tom Little went to the speedway for a thumbs up or down from the drivers before green flagging the feature race. Drivers gave the thumbs up sign and the green flag came out. Heavy dust caused near zero visibility on the start and a car spun on the front stretch as a result. Little immediately ordered the race stopped as a safety precaution and the cars were sent back to the pit area. After watering the speedway, the race resumed with out any major problems.
Little announced next Saturday's race was being moved from afternoon to evening to eliminate any further incidents. The four card program of Aumiller & Associate Sprint Cars, AB Auto Glass/Ramsey's Car Wash Late Models, Stong's Auto Parts Pro Stocks and Pizza & Sub Shack Enduro Cars will now start at 7 P.M. Gates open at 5 P.M. A Kids Easter Egg Hunt will be held in the speedway infield at 6:30.
Tim Gray of Mifflintown, PA won his first ever AB Auto Glass/Ramsy's Car Wash Late Model feature. Gray started fourth and immediately went to the front. Scotty Haus of Hamburg, PA moved from fifth spot to second and pressured Gray through lapped traffic. Haus Salem RV Center no. 33 nearly got by Gray in turn one with three laps left. Gray stated in victory lane, " He (Haus) had us. If the caution hadn't came on I wouldn't be standing here. I moved out and changed my line after that. I tried to make my car wider in the turns." Following the pair were rookie Matt Parks in third. Dan Stone and Eric Kauffman completed the top five. Sixth through tenth were Steve Campbell, Jere Wierman, Wayne Walls, Harold Ranck, and Jim Yoder. There were twenty three cars. Dan Stone, Yoder and Campbell won qualifiers.
Todd Snook won the 15 lap Stong's Auto Parts Pro Stock event over Scott Spahr. Jim Palm, Eric Cauffman and Chuck Bryner rounded out the top five. Sixth through tenth were A. J. Stroup, Alex Frey, Brad Trump, Ken Stitt Jr., and Steve Stitt. Heats were won by Gary BeWard and Dave Leahy.
Snook said " The view was good out front." Behind him it was another story. Pro Stock racers went to war with each other with numerous bumping incidents around the track. Seven of the original twenty one car field completed all fifteen laps.
Racing returns next Saturday night at 7 P.M. Gates open at 5 P.M. Enduro racers are reminded to register their cars. The entry fee is $ 35 dollars. General Admission will be $ 13 dollars with students 12-17, 8 dollars. Pit Passes remain $ 18.
Persons seeking information may call the speedway office at (717)-527-2303. Office hours are Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. Hours are 9-12 A.M. and 1-3 P.M.