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 Carquest Auto Parts Speed Week feature, leading all 30-laps of the event. For Kauffman, the win was worth a cool $5,000 and it was the 105th of his career at the Juniata County oval.
Coming up on July 7 at Port Royal will be the 35-lap, Beef Night Summer Championship for sprint cars along with the late models and the pro stocks, getting underway at 7 p.m. Paying $3,000 to win and $200 to take the green flag, the 35-lap championship for sprints will be a luck of the draw contest. Courtesy of Benners Beef Farm of Thompsontown and Middleswarth and Hartleys Potato Chips, the first 2,000 fans passing through the gates will receive free beef sandwiches and chips to kick off the night. Free ice cream will also be provided for the youngsters courtesy of the Juniata County Dairy Promotion Board and the American Dairy Council.
"I never thought I'd have five wins, much less 105," quipped Kauffman from the winners circle after smoking the field. "I have to say a special thank you to my guys because they put one heck of a race car together tonight." Indeed, veteran Kauffman left little doubt that he was the man to beat early on 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 Potato Chips 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 a lap later. After Len Thompson softly rolled his No. 10, both Mark Richard and speed week point leader and fourth place runner Lance Dewease piled in.
Diving to the bottom, Hestor was able to draw even with his teammate for the lead on the restart but Kauffman powered away from the competition moments later, kicking his car around the high side of the speedway. Running both sides of the track to perfection over the rest of the non-stop distance, Kauffman blasted in and out of traffic to pick up his second 2001 speed week series win and his fifth of the season at Port Royal over a surging Shaffer. After reclaiming second with 12 laps to go, Shaffer was able to close on the leader during the last five laps but fell short by at least 10-car lengths. Defending event winner, eighth starter Don Kreitz Jr. of Sinking Spring rode home third followed by Hestor of Middleburg and defending speed week champion Fred Rahmer of Salfordville, who started tenth.
Sixth through tenth went to a high flying Dewease, who appeared to have the fastest car on the track during the later stages, 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, Fayetteville's Dewease is in a quest for his third title while Kauffman, with 808, is seeking his second in the series 11-year run.
In track news, it has been announced that the pro stock division has been removed from the schedule for at least three upcoming dates, including the August 16 mid-week program, the August 25 Gumout World of Outlaws show and the September 8 Tuscarora 50 card.
QUALIFICATIONS: 1. Sean Michael, 16.390 (109.823 MPH), 2. Greg Hodnett, 16.477, 3. Todd Hestor, 16.483, 4. Lance Dewease, 16.498, 5. Keith Kauffman, 16.550, 6. Todd Shaffer, 16.550, 7. Darren Eash, 16.569, 8. Don Kreitz Jr., 16.597, 9. Curt Michael, 16.602, 10. Fred Rahmer, 16.750, 11. Cris Eash, 16.778, 12. Mark Smith, 16.807, 13. Jeff Rohrbaugh, 16.847, 14. Mark Richard, 16.868, 15. Alan Cole, 16.883, 16. Cliff Brian, 16.938, 17. Kevin Frey, 16.948, 18. Shawn Keen, 16.954, 19. Mike Erdley, 16.964, 20. Craig Eshenaur, 16.966, 21. Len Thompson, 16.983, 22. Brook Weibley, 17.030, 23. Joe Deihl, 17.089, 24. Mike Walter, 17.420, 25. Troy Whitesel, 17.439, 26. Kevin Schaeffer, 17.506, 27. Rod Stroup, 17.575, 28. Mark Coldren, 17.580, 29. Von McGee, 17.610, 30. Dave Hahn, 17.872, 31. Ronnie Rough, 18.658, 32. Ron Kramer, 18.985, 33. Rob Combs, 19.850.
HEAT WINNERS: Kevin Frey, Shawn Keen, Mike Erdley, Mike Walter. B-MAIN: Lance Dewease.
FEATURE FINISH: 1. Keith Kauffman, 2. Todd Shaffer, 3. Don Kreitz Jr., 4. Todd Hestor, 5. Fred Rahmer, 6. Lance Dewease, 7. Mark Smith, 8. Cris Eash, 9. Sean Michael, 10. Alan Cole, 11. Greg Hodnett, 12. Brook Weibley, 13. Jeff Rohrbaugh, 14. Shawn Keen,m 15. Darren Eash, 16. Curt Michael, 17. Mike Erdley, 18. Kevin Frey, 19. Mike Walter, 20. Cliff Brian, 21. Mark Richard, 22. Len Thompson, 23. Troy Whitesel, 24. Craig Eshenaur.
LAP LEADER: Keith Kauffman, 1-30.