5/26/01, PORT ROYAL, PA -- To say that Rod Stroup has a highly funded race team would be in err but to not say that he demolished the field with what he had at Port Royal Speedway on Saturday night would be a pure shame. After starting on the ...
5/26/01, PORT ROYAL, PA -- To say that Rod Stroup has a highly funded race team would be in err but to not say that he demolished the field with what he had at Port Royal Speedway on Saturday night would be a pure shame. After starting on the outside of the front row, the Evandale driver came nowhere close to being challenged throughout the 25-lap sprint car feature as he dominated the event.
"I just can't believe it," said Stroup. "It's been a long time since we've been here!" In fact, it had been nearly five years since he last visited victory lane at the Juniata County oval.
Elsewhere, in stock car action, Kenny Dickson picked up his fifth Port win of the season in the Spring Championship for late models and Corey Kepner drove to victory in the pro stock division.
Coming up on June 2 at Port Royal, another three-division program of sprint cars, late models and pro stocks gets underway at 7 p.m. Sponsored by Grays Transmission Service of Industrial Park in Mifflintown, a complete program of bicycle, big wheel and bigfoot racing will be held for the kids as well. In business for 45 years, Grays Transmission Service is the areas leader in Automatic Transmission rebuilds.
Outside front row starter Stroup of Evandale rocketed into the lead at the start of the 25-lap sprint car feature and appeared unbeatable. Stroup masterfully led the field through traffic during the early and mid to late stages of the race and was on his way to victory by a straightaway with six laps to go when Macungie's Len Thompson flipped his No. 10 in the first turn, halting the non-stop barnburner event.
After starting 10th, Thompson was up to the fifth spot and appeared ready to overtake Mark Smith for fourth before losing control of his racer. Luckily, Thompson climbed from his racer but the stoppage regrouped the field for a six-lap dash that found Dave Hahn, Brook Weibley, Smith and Mike Walter trailing Stroup for the restart. After the volley of non-stop green action, speedway powerhouses Todd Shaffer, Keith Kauffman and Lance Dewease lurked just outside the top five for the new green.
But the powerhouses were not even a factor in this one as Stroup demolished the field when green replaced the yellow, streaking away from the rest of the field leaving them to race for a top five. In the end, Stroup was unbeatable and drove to his second career speedway win by a near straightaway over Brook Weibley, who moved into second with three laps to go. "I never seen the checker, I saw the white but never the checker," exclaimed
the happy winner. "One thing we have on this team is the element of surprise. We are a better team than what we've been showing. This Garrett motor is six years old but it still hits hard."
"For all you fans heading home out Route 35, If you could do me a favor," said the jovial winner. "If you could lay on the horn in Mcalisterville, Evandale and Mt. Pleasant Mills, I'd appreciate it!"
Following Weibley to the line was Todd Shaffer, Mark Smith, Keith Kauffman, Lance Dewease, Dave Hahn, Shawn Keen, Todd Hestor and Alan Cole. Keen, Stroup and Kevin Schaeffer picked up sprint car qualifying events. In the 30-lap championship event for the late models, polesitter Mike Hess led the first circuit before giving way to McClure's Tim Wilson on the second lap. Wilson looked strong early but fell off the pace on the seventh lap, slowing the race pace and handing the lead over to Tim Gray. Wilson tagged to the rear for the restart.
Gray's run at the front was short lived however as Hamburg driver Scotty Haus made an inside turn two pass just three laps later to take control and begin driving away. Twelfth starter Haus looked headed to an easy win before disaster struck with eight to go in the form of a flat tire. Haus's bad luck proved to be Kenny Dickson's good fortune as the McVeytown driver assumed command after moving into second over Gray on lap-13. After inheriting the lead, Dickson handily drove to the $1,500 victory ahead of Steve Campbell, Gray, Travis Dillman, Jere Wierman, Wilson, Hess, Mike Atherton, Mike Lupfer and Tony Adams.
Haus and Dave Kepner won late model heats. Mifflintown driver Corey Kepner took the lead at the halfway point of the 12-lap pro stock feature and then held off the late challenges of Peanut Heintzelman to record his second Port win of the season. After starting eighth, Kepner won by less than a car length. Heintzelman rode home second followed by Jason Schmidt, Todd Snook and Donnie Hughes. Sixth through tenth went to Glenn Miller, Gary Beward, John Walborn, Matt Parks and Scott Dorman.
<pre> RACE SUMMARY Sprint Cars -26 -entries Heat winners: Shawn Keen, Rod Stroup, Kevin Schaeffer. Feature finish: 1. Stroup, 2. Weibley, 3. Shaffer, 4. Smith, 5. Kauffman, 6. Dewease, 7. Hahn, 8. Keen, 9. Hestor, 10. Cole, 11. Kevin Schaeffer, 12. Mike Walter, 13. Troy Whitesel, 14. Joe Deihl, 15. Ron Rough, 16. Joe Zap, 17. Kyle Ganoe, 18. Todd Lynn, 19. Ryan Lynn, 20. Nathan Gramley, 21. Len Thompson, 22. Von McGee, 23. Chris Strait, 24. Jim Roush, 25. Jay Reichard. DNS - Mike Erdley. Late Models -18 - entries Heat winners: Scotty Haus, Dave Kepner. Feature finish: 1. Dickson, 2. Campbell, 3. Gray, 4. Dillman, 5. Wierman, 6. Wilson, 7. Hess, 8. Atherton, 9. M. Lupfer, 10. Adams, 11. Eric Kauffman, 12. Steve Earnest, 13. Scott Lupfer, 14. Scott Flickinger, 15. Scotty Haus, 16. Rodney Turner, 17. Dave Kepner, 18. Jeff Bryner. Pro Stocks -15 -entries Feature finish: 1. Kepner , 2. Heintzleman, 3. Schmidt, 4. Snook, 5. Hughes, 6. G. Miller, 7. Beward, 8. Walborn, 9. Parks, 10. Dorman, 11. Jim Palm, 12. Scott Bargo, 13. Tim Krape, 14. Bob Baumgardner, 15. Tracker,