PORT ROYAL, PA (August 22, 2020): Five different Sprint Car drivers visited victory lane at the Speed Palace. Grabbing the $10,000 paycheck in the Legends Dream Race was Anthony Macri. Also winning in the 410 Sprint class were Logan Wagner and Blaine Heimbach. The 305 Sprint winner was Nitro Nick Sweigart. Alex Bright won his first ever Sprint Car race for the USAC East Coast wingless Sprints.
The first feature to hit the track was the make-up race from the Living Legends Night. It was a 30 lap contest. Former champions Logan Wagner and Brock Zearfoss had the front row, with current points leader Brent Marks flanked by perennial favorite and former champ Lance Dewease in row two. Tyler Bear and Anthony Macri lined up next. Steve Buckwalter and T.J. Stutts were in row four with Ryan Smith and Ryan Taylor in row five.
Logan Wagner zoomed into the lead at the drop of the green, followed by Dewease, Zearfoss, Macri, Marks, Stutts, and Bear. Dewease showed Wagner his nose on several occasions, including the charges into turn one following restarts on laps four and nine. However, the outside line was the fastest way around the big track, and Wagner was able to keep his momentum, and the lead.
Macri also found the high line to his liking and he chased down Dewease for second with eleven laps in the books. Meanwhile, Marks moved up an notch in the running order, while Zearfoss kept Stutts, Heimbach, and Taylor at bay. Macri began to close in on Logan Wagner as the race neared the midpoint. On lap 18, Macri slid by in turns one and two to grab the lead. Dewease had a comfortable margin over Marks, who also had distanced himself from Zearfoss.
The final caution on lap 20 set up a ten-lap run to the checkers. Macri was fastest in the clean air and he pulled away from Wagner with ease. Dewease challenged Wagner for second in the closing laps, but he could not make the pass when it counted. Marks and Zearfoss rounded out the top five. Stutts held off a charge from Jeff Halligan, who started 18th on the grid. Heimbach lost a couple of positions in the final laps. Taylor and Dylan Cisney completed the top ten.
Macri rebounded from two weeks of disappointments to celebrate his fifth win at Port Royal this season. “It feels good to get a win again,” he noted. “The last two weeks we felt like shit. We didn’t do well at Knoxville and we junked a car last night.” Fortunately, Macri and his team assembled this machine this week and tested it at Port Royal on Thursday night. “Normally, I don’t like a new car, but this one feels pretty good.”
The second 410 feature race was the third main event to pull onto the track. It was a make-up from the previous week when rains came during a clean-up of a wreck on the opening lap of the race. The restart line-up had Logan Wagner on the pole again with Cisney next to him. Taylor was paired up with Mike Wagner in the second stanza. Heimbach and Paulie Colagiovanni were in row three, with Lucas Wolfe and Tyler Bear in row four. Halligan and Curt Stroup were in row five for the start.
Wagner again assumed command, running the high groove. This time, however, he was never headed as the racers ran off all 20 laps without a single interruption. Cisney raced along in second but never was a contender for the win. Mike Wagner held third, with Wolfe completing the distance in fourth. Heimbach maintained his fifth place position throughout as well.
Ryan Taylor fell back to sixth. Brent Marks put on quite a display coming from the eleventh row, as he was one of the cars involved in the opening lap crash last week. Halligan, Colagiovanni and Stutts completed the top ten.
“I can’t believe it, here we are!” exclaimed Wagner after the victory. “We went half this season and here we are in the new victory lane.”
The final feature of the night was the regularly scheduled 410 A Main. This time, Jeff Miller was on the pole and Ryan Taylor had the second position. Heimbach and Tyler Reeser were in the second row. Wolfe and Cisney had the third row. The Wagners, Mike and his son, Logan, were in the fourth row, with Macri and Dewease in row five.
Taylor took the lead in this race, which also went non-stop. Miller settled into second, followed by Reeser, Heimbach, Wolfe, and Cisney. By lap five, Heimbach reached second and he was charging after the leader. Miller, Cisney and Logan Wagner were mixing things up for top five spots.
Heimbach caught Taylor by the halfway mark. He slipped by on the insuide of turn two a few laps later. Taylor continued in second until just a handful of laps were left in the race. Logan Wagner sailed by and he set his sights on Heimbach. While Wagner was able to get the fans excited by closing in on the leader, he could not pull off the double this night. He crossed the finish line several car lengths behind Heimbach.
Taylor held on for third. Marks came from the middle of the field to get fourth. Wolfe crossed in fifth with a sour engine. Macri and Dewease were next. Reeser, Cisney, and Mike Wagner completed the top ten.
The four heat winners for the regular show were Miller, Halligan, Logan Wagner, and Taylor. A.J. Flick won the B Main.
“We were better all night tonight,” Heimbach said. “Tonight, every time we were out on the track, we got a little better.” He explained that he made small changes to the car as the night went on. “We just made little changes, you’ve got to make small changes so you don’t take yourself out of it,” he explained. Heimbach was relieved to get the win, as he has been struggling for most of the season. Heimbach was quite tired, noting that the heat took its toll. “We just had to keep moving, we didn’t have much of a break between races.”
The 305 Sprint feature was a quick one as well. Nick Sweigart took the lead and set a fast pace. “It’s nice to start up front every now and then, and I got to capitalize on it tonight.”
While Sweigart ran out front, multiple winner Garrett Bard pulled into second with six laps remaining. He was able to close in on the leader, but he could not make a bid for the win. Dave Grube, Doug Dodson, and Domenic Melair rounded out the top five. Larry McVay, Kassidy Kreitz, Landon Price, Erin Statler, and Devin Adams ran sixth through tenth.
Preliminaries went to Bard, Melair, Jimmy White, and Dodson. Dylan Smith won the B Main.
In the USAC East Coast 360 Sprints, Alex Bright went from fourth to second on the opening lap. Soon thereafter, he was in the lead. It was not easy for him, though, as Steve Drevicki followed him into second. Drevicki and Bright went at it the rest of the way, as they were easily the class of the field.
“This was just the third race with the car,” Bright commented. “It was fun racing with Drevicki just like we did with the ARDC (Midget club). I knew I had to get a good start. It was shoving just a bit and I knew I was going to get a slider from Drevicki and that yello (on lap 24 of 25) guaranteed it, but we got a good start.”
Following the former Midgeteers was Davey Franek, Billy Vaninwegen, and Chris Allen, Jr. Bill Unglert, Christian Bruno, Shawn Donath, David Swanson and J.R. Berry were the next five to cross the line.
Heat wins wentto Drevicki, Franek, and Kevin Nouse. There was no B Main for the wingless racers.
Port Royal will host the biggest Late Model Race in the mid-state next week. Starting Thursday and continuing through Saturday, the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series will be in town. Set to make his Dirt Late Model debut is the nation’s hottest open wheel racer, Kyle Larson! Can he master yet another dirt track discipline? Come out to find out for yourself.
All Star Circuit of Champions returning to Lernerville Speedway for 2-events including Don Martin Memorial
SARVER, PA (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – The All Star Circuit of Champions (ASCoC) is returning to Lernerville Speedway in 2022 for two nights of action including the Don Martin Memorial XXXI.
The All-Stars will make their first appearance at ‘The Action Track’ on Friday, April 29. The appearance will mark the series return to Lernerville for the first time since 2019 as COVID-19 cancelled their 2020 appearance and rain washed out this year’s visit.
On July 6th the All-Stars will return for the $25,000-to-win ‘Don Martin Memorial Silver Cup XXXI’, one of the most prestigious Sprint Car events in the history of the sport.
“We’re very excited to bring in the All-Stars and their thrilling brand of high-level Sprint Car racing” said Lernerville Speedway General Manager Mike Lysakowski said in a statement. “I have always been a fan of the All-Stars and for 2022, we had more freedom in choosing a date for this year’s Silver Cup. We believe we have chosen a date that is very conducive to bringing both national and regional Sprint Car aces to Lernerville.”
Western PA Speedweek to return in 2022
SHIPPENVILLE, PA (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – Western PA Speedweek is returning for 2022 following a successful reboot earlier this year.
The five consecutive nights of winged 410 Sprint Car action will see the best regional drivers vying for an A-Main feature purse that is increasing to $14,000 with $3,000 going to the winner each night and a $300 minimum to start!
The action takes place Wednesday, June 1st through Sunday, June 5th at Michael’s Mercer Raceway (Mercer, PA), Thunder Mountain Speedway (Brookville, PA), Lernerville Speedway (Sarver, PA), Sharon Speedway (Hartford, OH) and Tri-City Raceway Park (Franklin, PA), with the round-trip total clocking in at exactly 259 miles from beginning to end.
The group time trial format used last season was extremely popular with both drivers and fans alike, and will also be utilized again in 2022.
Ryan Smith of Fleetwood, PA is the defending Speedweek Champion after winning two features and a podium in three events in 2021.
Lernerville Speedway not on World of Outlaws schedule in 2022
SARVER, PA (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – Lernerville Speedway, a fixture on the World of Outlaws tour since their inception in 1978, is not on the Outlaws schedule for 2022. The fate of the Don Martin Silver Cup is unknown at this time.
Lernerville officials were planning for two NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car events as well as a World of Outlaws Late Model event for 2022 and were shocked and surprised when the schedule was released on Monday.
Pittsburgh Racing Now has reached out to World Racing Group, the parent company of the World of Outlaws, for comment but have not received a response as of publication.