Port Royal race report 2004-06-12

Port Royal, PA. Mark Smith of Newville, PA won the 30 lap Pete Swarmer Memorial for Sprint Cars Saturday night June 12 at Port Royal, (PA) Speedway. Smith started eighth. The Zemco Speed Equipment driver earned $ 2,800 dollars while claiming his...

Port Royal, PA. Mark Smith of Newville, PA won the 30 lap Pete Swarmer Memorial for Sprint Cars Saturday night June 12 at Port Royal, (PA) Speedway. Smith started eighth. The Zemco Speed Equipment driver earned $ 2,800 dollars while claiming his fifth Aumiller & Associate Sprint Car feature of the season. The race was not easy as the entire fields torrid pace made navigating lapped traffic difficult. Smith explained, " Yea, it was tough out there with traffic, but it was pretty normal for this place. You have a lot of good cars here. Sometimes people don't think so, but there are. The track was real nice after they cut it and I just want to thank my owner and crew." Heavy rains which dumped over two inches Friday left the surface choppy in the corners and track crews worked hard all day just to get the surface into racing shape in time for the program. After additional grooming at intermission, the surface was smooth and fast the remainder of the night.

Dustin Hoffman started second and led the first seven laps before giving way to one time feature winner Craig Keel of Weedsport, NY. Keel took the lead coming off turn four and appeared to be headed to victory lane for the second time this season. Heavy lapped traffic produced a two lap shoot out which saw Keel and Smith trade the lead in traffic three times over the final lap. Smith regained the lead for good in turns three and four to record the win in front of an excited crowd. Caution flags came on lap two for Jimmy Seger who stopped entering turn three. Seger was out for the night. With nine laps complete Todd Shaffer and Mike Wagner tangled in turn four with Shaffer forced to pit and restart from the rear. Wagner had been in third spot before the skirmish and spun but did not come to a complete stop. He gave up much valuable track position and dropped to eighth spot for the restart. Mike Erdley's mount had suspension problems and was towed from the speedway with fourteen laps complete. Mark Secrest brought out the yellow with twenty two laps down while attempting to exit the race track with engine problems. Officials determined the race could not be completed with out a fuel stop and the red light came on. The wait was worth it as Keel and Smith had a spirited battle over the final laps. Young Lucas Wolfe was third with Kevin Nouse fourth. Nouse made his first Port Royal start in the Pete's Bridge Street Motors car. Chad Layton completed the top five. Sixth through tenth were Todd Shaffer, Keith Kauffman, Mike Wagner, Len Thompson and Dustin Hoffman. Heats for the 26 car field were won by Hoffman, Erdley and Wagner. No consie was necessary.

Eric Zembower of Bedford, PA won the 20 lap Ramsey's Car Wash/AB Auto Glass Late Model feature leading every lap. The $ 1,000 dollar win was Zembower's first ever at the Juniata County oval. Zembower dominated the race after starting off the pole and withstood several caution periods which bunched the field on his rear bumper. Zembower described the win as the highlight of his career to date. " This is what we were working for," he began, "we like coming here, I appreciate you guys, (Port Royal Speedway) for supporting the Late Models. You're good folks to race for." Zembower was followed to the checkered flag by Travis Dillman of Loysville. Jeff Bryner and Steve Campbell finished in a dead heat for third place. Scotty Haus was fifth. Sixth through tenth were Tim Gray, Jim Yoder, Nick Dickson, Jere Wierman, and Eric Kauffman. Wierman and Jim Yoder won heat races. There were 20 cars.

Bill Powell became a three time winner this year in Stong's Auto Parts Pro Stock action. Corey Kepner started on the pole and led the first five laps before giving way to Powell. Dave Bowsman finished second with Neil Foust third. John Heane and Harold Ranck Jr. followed. Completing the top ten were Scott Spahr, Tim Krape, Scott Bargo, Mark Auker, and Terry Norris. Todd Snook and Tim Krape won qualifiers.

Craig Imes was declared the winner of the 30 lap Pizza & Sub Shack Enduro Dash after post race inspection resulted in Don Murphy's car being disqualified. Murphy dominated the event and crossed the finish line first but was found with an engine which did not meet Port Royal specifications. Jan Powell was second with Adam Yetter third. Scott Hopple and Tommy Slanker were in the top five. Completing the top ten were Sam Rial, Steve Berry, Karl Windish, Jason Zook and Jason Snyder.

The evening was full of entertainment with great racing and the Penn Central Racing Association and William's Grove Old Timers reunion and exhibition. Jan Opperman Jr., visited the speedway and indicated he will be in the area for the next several weeks hoping to secure a ride in a 358 or 410 Sprint Car. The evening's racing was sponsored by Regester Chevrolet of Thompsontown. John Regester, was interviewed during the nights program and it was learned he has been named the Grand Marshall of the "Race Division" for the 150th annual Juniata County Fair parade which will take place Saturday September 4.

The Port Royal Speedway will be in action two times next week. Wednesday night June 16 the Silver Springs Super Sportsman tour visits the Juniata County oval. The Aumiller & Associate Sprint Cars, Stong's Auto Parts Pro Stocks and Parson's Auto Salvage/Casner Service Center 4 Cyl. Stock Cars also compete. Pro Stocks and 4 Cyl's will run feature events only. General admission is $15.00, students 12-17, $ 9,00, under 12 free. Pit Passes will remain at $ 20.00 for the show. Saturday night June 19 the Sprint Cars, Late Models and Pro Stocks are back in action with the York County Racing Club visiting. Club members save two dollars off the price of a general admission ticket by presenting their membership cards.

-prs-

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About this article
Series Sprint , Stock car
Drivers Lucas Wolf , Tim Gray