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Seavey Snags Two First Time at Port Royal Speedway; Macri Survives Contact to Win Winged Race



Photo: Paul Arch

PORT ROYAL, PA (June 18, 2022): Logan Seavey scored a pair of wins in his first trip to Port Royal Speedway. In the USAC National Sprint Car Series, he romped to an easy win. However, in the USAC Silver Crown 50 lap nightcap, he made a bold last lap pass to steal the victory from journeyman racer Matt Westfall.

“I knew that this would be a track that I would pick up fast and that I would enjoy driving at,” Seavey said after his first win. He added after the second one, “I figured that this would drive a lot like Eldora.” Although Port Royal Speedway has considerably less banking than the House that Earl Built, it does share one thing in common with the Ohio speedplant: The fast line is high up against the wall and racers need to carry a lot of momentum. Seavey executed the plan to perfection in the Sprint Car portion, but it was especially true for him in the Silver Crown race. Seavey explained that he told his spotter during a mid-race caution that he could not run the inside or the middle like most of his competitors. So, he made some changes to the cockpit adjustable shocks to free up the car so that he could maintain his pace up against the boards.

The first feature up was for the USAC National Sprint Car Series. Briggs Danner had the pole, with another young pilot, Emerson Axsom beside him. Brady Bacon was inside row two, next to Jake Swanson. Seavey was inside row three, with C.J. Leary in sixth. Mark Smith lined up seventh, beside Chase Stockon. Shane Cottle and Robert Ballou came from row five. The sixth row had Justin Grant flanked by Matt Westfall.

Danner rolled into turn one first, but he was pressured by Bacon, Axsom, Cottle, and Swanson. Danner moved to the top to try to break Bacon’s momentum on lap two. In the process, he banged off the cushion on lap two and packed the right rear with mud. The resulting vibration made Danner slow to a stop so that he could pit to allow the crew to remove the mud. They got most of it out before they had to send him back onto the track, but the car was still impaired.

Fortunately, another caution came just a few laps later for a flat tire on Grant’s machine. So Danner pitted again to replace the offending tire.

The remaining twenty-four laps ran off without any further interruptions. During that extended run, Grant moved up to third and Danner to tenth.
When Danner pitted on lap three, Leary inherited the lead, with Bacon, Axsom, Cottle, and Swanson falling in line behind him. In the brief time to the caution for Grant, Axsom raced to the front.

After the final restart, the driver on the move was Seavey. He moved up to third by lap ten. Within a couple of laps, he was fighting Axsom and Bacon for control. Soon after grabbing second from Bacon, Seavey executed a slider on Axsom in turn one to take the lead.

Alex Bright was another racer on the move in the middle stage of the race. After starting sixteenth, Bright was running in the middle of the pack. Grant’s misfortune moved him into tenth for the restart. In just a few laps, Bright was seventh and climbing. He reached fourth by the halfway mark. Over the next five laps, he dispatched Axsom and Bacon.

However, Seavey was very far ahead when Bright took up the chase. With no caution to bring Seavey back to Bright, the question was who would finish a distant third. For most of the remaining laps, it appeared as though Bacon would take the last podium spot. However, Grant continued his charge, getting the position in the waning laps.

Seavey, Bright, and Grant made for an interesting trio. Bright was successful on the inside and middle lanes. He explained that he took his lessons from Lance Dewease, one of the most prolific winged racers at the Speed Palace. Bright also explained that his crew had to thrash to replace a blown engine after the heat race and the team was not sure what changes to make to the car for the feature. Whatever set-up they threw into the car obviously worked. Grant, who made the long climb to third, attributed his success to the fact that most of the racer he passed “didn’t want to mess with the fence, so I pretty much had that to myself,”

Bacon finished fourth. Axsom was fifth. Then came Westfall, Ballou, Stockton, Drevicki, and Danner.

The three heat winners were Bacon, Seavey, and Mark Smith. There was no B Main, as only twenty-one cars registered. Leary was the fastest qualifier, at 18.617 seconds.

In the USAC Silver Crown fifty lapper, Leary had the pole by setting the fastest time in that class as well. His time was 21,402 for the lumbering beasts. Next to him was Bacon. Jake Swanson and Matt Westfall were in the second row, Kody Swanson and Logan Seavey lined up in the third row. Shane Cottle and Justin Grant were next. Mark Smith and Shane Cockrum were in row five. Row six had Dallas Hewitt and Brian Tyler.

Leary led Bacon into the first turn. Jake Swanson, Westfall, Seavey, Cody Swanson, and Cottle followed. They ran in formation through the first several laps. Westfall picked off Jake Swanson just before lap ten went onto the board.

Westfall was getting stronger as the race went on, He passed Bacon for second by lap fifteen. On the next round of the speedway, he blasted by the leader, Leary, going down the back stretch. Bacon made the same maneuver on lap seventeen.

Three Rivers Karting

Westfall began to stretch his lead through the middle stage of the race, while Bacon continued in second. Cottle moved into third with twenty-seven laps complete, but he was still a significant distance back from the leaders.

A caution brought Westfall back to the others with twenty-nine laps in the books. While Westfall got away cleanly, Bacon and Cottle had to contend with Seavey when the green light came on again. The veterans stayed low, while Seavey was committed to the top. He took third from Cottle almost immediately and then he began to battle with Bacon. Meanwhile, Westfall was getting away again.

Seavey was into second by lap thirty-five and he began to reel in the leader. Westfall was running the bottom and Seavey remained up top. Slower cars ahead slowed Westfall’s pace, and Seavey was within a couple of car lengths with ten laps remaining.

Two laps later, Seavey made a big move coming off turn two. Be passed Westfall heading toward turn three. Westfall stayed close though.
Jake Swanson spun in turn three two laps later, which gave Westfall a chance to get a run on the leader. He entered turn one low and grabbed the lead. Now, Seavey was the pursuer again.

Coming through turn one with two laps to go, Seavey lost a wheel cover when he banged off the cushion. The caution for debris west up a two lap dash for the $8,000 to prize.

Westfall set the pack, but Seavey was flogging the cushion trying to build up his momentum again. He had a full head of steam entering turn one for the final time, but Westfall still had the advantage. Coming off turn two, Westfall left the high line open. Seavey took advantage and sailed into the lead. He dropped to the inside entering turn three to make sure that Westfall could not try a slider. Seavey allowed his car to drift up to the cushion and Westfall made a lunge to the inside. But Seavey had momentum working off turn four and he led Westfall to the checkers in a thrilling finish.

Behind Seavey and Westfall were Bacon, Hewitt, and Leary. Cottle was shuffled back to sixth. Cockrum picked up seventh. Kody Swanson, Jason McDougal, and Carmen Perigo completed the top ten. Perigo was named the hard charger, advancing nine positions in the contest.

The Semi was won by Chase Stockon.

The 410 Winged Sprints were the meat between the USAC slices of the program. A pair of Tylers, Reeser and Bear, led the way. Steve Buckwalter and Mike Walter started behind them. Mike Wagner and Jeff Halligan were in row three. Logan Wagner and Anthony Macri were in the fourth row. Dan Shetler and Blane Heimbach were paired in row five. The sixth stanza had the duet of Trenton Shaeffer and Kassidy Kreitz.

Bear looked strong once again in his new ride, the Chiappelli 98. He led Mike Wagner, Walter, Reeser, Halligan. And Logan Wagner through the first lap. He continued to lead after a quick caution, but Mike Wagner was applying the pressure. Halligan moved into third, bringing Logan Wagner along.

On the lap twelve restart, Mike Wagner ran through the middle of turn one to take the lead While Halligan mounted a charge on the outside. Bear was able to fend off his advance. Successive cautions on laps thirteen and fourteen produced no major changes in the running order, except for Macri’s entry into the top five.

When racing resumed, Mike Wagner led Halligan Macri, Logan Wagner, and Bear. It was a three car battle for the lead for a couple of laps. Macri moved into second and started to work on Mike Wagner. After he wrestled the lead away from Mike Wagner, the senior statesman of the speedway mounted a counter attack. He tried to squeeze between Macri and a lapped car coming down the front chute. There was contact between them, sending Wagner spinning across the track with a broken front end.

Macri’s car was not significantly damaged in the incident. He was able to complete the race in dominant fashion, fighting off an inspired Logan Wagner in the process.

Halligan was third, followed by Ryan Taylor, and Walter. Positions six through ten belonged to Justin Whittal, Bear, Reeser, Gerrard McIntyre, Jr., and Shetler.
The heat winners were Mike Wagner, Halligan, and Logan Wagner. There was no B Main, as all twenty-five racers were allowed to start the feature.

Port Royal Speedway will be dark on June 24 for Speedweek. Its Speedweek events will be Wednesday, June 29, and Saturday July 2. The URC Sprints will provide support for the former, and Late Models will back-up the 410s the night of the Greg Hodnett Classic. The Sprint Cars will return on July 9, along with the Super Lates and Limited Lates.

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Dirt Racing

Marks Gets Forth Speedweek Triumph and $15,000 at Williams Grove Speedway



Williams Grove Speedway

MECHANICSBURG, PA (July 1, 2022): Brent Marks captured his fourth victory of Pennsylvania Speedweek and tenth of the season when he went wire to wire in the Mitch Smith Memorial at Williams Grove Speedway. The win was worth $15,000, but two things meant more to Marks than the money.

Marks was appreciative of the history that abounds at Williams Grove Speedway and the important role that Mitch Smith played in writing that history. “It is a real honor to be standing here on the frontstretch where he and so many others stood,” Marks observed. “I hope that someday some youngster that was up there in the stands watching this can remember me in the same way.”

The other important aspect for Marks was the fact that he padded his points lead for the Speedweek title. “We have been close before, but we could not complete the deal.” Marks is extremely confident that this will be his year to claim the championship.

Marks admitted that he made a big mistake near the end of the race that almost cost him the victory. With two laps remaining, Marks got hung up behind some lapped cars and Anthony Macri was coming after him. “I made a mistake and got caught in the middle behind a lapped car.” Marks continued, “I knew that Anthony was going to slide me. I was just hoping that he wouldn’t hit me. Thankfully, he raced me clean.” Macri did indeed put a slider on Marks in turn three of the final lap, squeezing between that lapped car of Sye Lynch and Marks, who was ripping the lip. Macri was unable to carry enough speed to complete the pass, and Marks used the momentum off the cushion to preserve the win.

“This car is just really good,” Marks noted. “We felt a little off until we had that open red and we made some adjustments.” The open red came just ten laps into the contest and, to the naked eye, Marks did not seem to be having any trouble at all before the opportunity to tweak the car presented itself. But, it is safe to say that the car was quite strong after that caution, so some improvements were made.

In addition to being good, Marks was lucky this evening as well. He drew the pole and many of his rivals were buried deeper in the field. Next to him for the start was Dylan Norris. Behind him was Rico Abreu, flanked by Troy Wagaman, Jr. Robbie Kendall and T.J. Stutts were in row three. Next in line were Macri and Justin Peck. Lucas Wolfe and Ryan Smith were in row five and Freddie Rahmer, Jr. and Logan Wagner were in row six. Danny Dietrich and Lance Dewease were in row seven, while Chase Dietz was in the last row.

Marks flew into turn one and the battle was on for teh second spot. Norris, Abreu, and Wagaman were among the contenders for it and Abreu seized control in turns three and four. Kendall settled into fifth, followed by Stutts, Macri, Peck, Wagner, and Smith.

As the field began to string out, Logan Wagner entered the picture. However, while running ninth, he broke the rear axle to bring out the first caution of the race.

Three Rivers Karting

On the ensuing restart, the front runners got away cleanly. But, in the middle of the pack, there was a lot of commotion. Rahmer and Dewease got together coming off turn four, and Dewease spun midway down the frontstretch. He struck the inside guardrail and severely damaged the front end of his car. Repairs could not be made and the defending event champion was out of the race.

Further difficulties took place on the restart. Several cars in the middle of the pack got together, with Austin Bishop and Lucas Wolfe being removed from the track. Peck was involved as well and he pitted for repairs. While he was able to rejoin the field, Peck was at the tail and he had to hustle to keep his string of top ten Speedweek finishes intact.

Marks, who is the only other racer in contention for the ten-for-ten bonus, dominated after the green light flashed on again. Abreu ran in second, but Macri came to life, chasing down Abreu after the halfway mark. Macri took second with five laps remaining.

It appeared as though Marks had an insurmountable lead. But when encountered some lapped cars near the end of the race, he proceeded cautiously and that enable Macri to close in.

The drama unfolded with two laps remaining. Macri was on the charge. When Marks floated along in the middle coming off turn two behind a lapper, Macri was ready to pounce. He attempted the slider in turn three on the last lap. He could not get the nose of his car ahead of Marks and, to his credit, he avoided contact with the leader. Marks came off four with a slight advantage and beat Macri to the scoring loop by 1.122 seconds.

Abreu was third, followed by Norris and Dietrich. Kendall, Wagaman, Rahmer, Smith, and Peck completed the top ten.

Heat winners were Norris, Abreu, Kendall, and Wagaman. Stutts was the fastest of the thirty-two entrants. The B Main victor went to Kyle Reinhardt. Dewease was unable to take time due to a mechanical problem with his car. He started last in his heat race and finished third to transfer to the A Main.

The Speedweek points, with two races remaining, find Marks at the head of the class. He has eighty counters more than Macri. Peck is nearly 200 points behind the leader. Dietrich moved ahead of Stutts. Wolfe and Rahmer remain close and could move ahead with a good finish.

Williams Grove will present 410 Sprints and the USAC East Coast 360 Sprints on July 8. The World of Outlaws tune-up will be June 15, featuring the 410 and 358 Sprints. The Summer Nationals, pitting the World of Outlaws against the PA Posse, will be held July 22 and 23.

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Dirt Racing

Marks Takes Third Win of Speedweek



HAGERSTOWN, MD (June 30, 2022): Brent Marks was the first driver to gather three checkered flags during the Pennsylvania Speedweek. He chased down leader Kyle Larson during the long green flag run that lasted until lap twenty-eight of the thirty scheduled laps. The win fortifioed his points lead over Anthony Macri and Justin Peck, both of whom finished in the top ten.

“I never expected the track to get like that,” Marks said. “I thought that it (the moisture applied just before feature time) would last about ten laps and that everybody would go to the bottom. But it stayed good up top.” Indeed, the groove that Marks and Larson preferred was way up top, just inches from the fences at both ends of the speedway.

Marks explained how he was able to pass Larson for the lead. “Kyle threw a slider (on the lapped car of Freddie Rahmer, Jr.) and scrubbed a lot of speed off and I could stay up top and I could get a run on him into (turn) one.” Marks used a slider of his own to get past Larson and then he proceeded to pull away.

Larson got another shot at Marks after the lap twenty-eight caution, but Marks was in full defensive mode. “I was just trying to block him the last two laps,” Marks admitted candidly. “I could hear him but I didn’t know where he was. I couldn’t go to the top on the restart, I had to build my momentum to get up there,” he explained.

Larson felt that he was a little short. “Brent was really good, for sure. I couldn’t clear Rahmer and I knew that a run was coming,” Larson noted. As for the restart, Larson said that he was running the middle and that Marks “closed it off.”

Larson teased Marks by suggesting that he should go on the road more often and “beat up on guys like Gravel, and Sweet, and Macedo, so I can get a few more wins when I come here.” Larson added that he plans to be back in Pennsylvania in a couple of weeks, presumably for the World of Outlaws appearances at Port Royal Speedway and Williams Grove Speedway.

Macri, who was the hard charger and third place finisher, noted that his car was not good at the beginning of the night and that “it took a while for us to get the car better.” When asked if he thought that he couple capitalize on the restart, he thought that he could maybe get by Larson, but then he realized that his tires got too cold and they sealed over under the caution. “So, I got defensive and went for the points.”

Tanner Thorson and Larson brought the field to the green flag. Marks and Rico Abreu were in the second row. Devon Borden had his best starting spot of the week, fifth, with Peck beside him. Ryan Smith and Dylan Cisney had the final pill draw positions. Then came Rahmer and R.J. Stutts. Row six belonged to Danny Dietrich and Sye Lynch.

Three Rivers Karting

Although Thorson reached turn one first, he was never scored as the leader of the eveny. Larson rode the rim to take the lead comining off turn two and Marks followed him into second. Smith also got by the defending Chili Bowl champion on the opening lap. Abreu and Dietrich followed him.

During the long green flag run, Larson and Marks disappeared from the other racers. Smith and Thorson battled with Abreu for third, with each of them holding it at various times.

Macri was on the march. He advanced from thirteenth on the grid to the top ten within the first five laps. By lap fifteen, he was into the top five. He was running third at lap twenty-five, but he was very far behind the leaders.

Larson and Marks had lapped all the way up to the eighth position by the time that the caution came out. Rahmer, who was solidly in the top ten, was one of the lapped cars and he broke Larson’s momentum, enabling Marks to make the pass for the lead with twenty-two laps in the books.

When the green flag waived for the final two-lap dash, Marks got awya cleanly and Larson stayed close, hoping for a mistake. Macri did take a peek inside of Larson coming off turn four, but he spun the tires and Larson got away.

At the finish, it was Marks, Larson, Macri, Dietrich, and Smith. Abreu got shuffled back to sixth. Borden, Lucas Wolfe, Chase Dietz, and Rahmer completed the top ten.

Thirty-six Sprints registered for the race. The four heats went to Thorson, Larson, Abreu, and Borden. The B Main winner was Ryan Timms. The evening’s fastest qualifier was Smith, who turned a lap of 15.824 seconds.

Marks leads Macri by 62 points and Peck by 130 heading into the Mitch Smith Memorial at WIlliams Grove Speedway. Wolfe and Stutts are fourth and fifth. Dietrich is sixth, followed by Freddie Rahmer, Jr., Dietz, Larson, and Ryan Smith.

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Dirt Racing

Marks Makes it Two at Port Royal Speedway



Brent Marks

PORT ROYAL, PA (June 29, 2022): Brent Marks became the second driver to double up during Pennsylvania Speedweek, winning the first of two events to be hosted at the Port Royal Speedway. In the process, Marks moved into the points lead for the mini series.

Also scoring at Port Royal was Mark Smith in the United Racing Club 360 Sprint feature.

“I got lucky,” Marks said. “I ran out of fuel just as I crossed the line.” Marks also had some good fortune during the race. “I was happy with the yellows becasue I didn’t have to race the lapped cars. The yellows fell my way for a change.” The night before, at Grandview Speedway, he made a move on the leader but a caution nullified his passing attempt.

The front row paired Anthony Macri with Marks. The second row belonged to the Wagner family, with dad, Mike, inside son, Logan. The third row had Kyle Larson matched with Dylan Cisney. Christopher Bell and Lance Dewease were in brown four. The fifth row had Justin Peck and Ryan Timms, who was making his first Speedweek start. Blane Heimbach and Rico Abreu were in row six.

Marks won the race to the first turn, Macri was second, pinned to the inside by his rival, Logan Wagner. Cisney, Larson, Mike Wagner, and Peck followed.
Logan Wagner made the move into second on lap three and he took off after Marks. Macri, Cisney, Larson, and Mike Wagner led Peck and Dewease in the early going.

A caution on lap seven bunched the field and Larson was able to gain a couple of spots on the restart. He closed in on Logan Wagner in a couple of laps and made his move into second on lap nineteen. Macri also passed Logan Wagner that lap.

Fans were expecting a three car battle, as Larson and Macri tightened things up. However, Macri detonated his motor on lap twenty-one and Justin Whittal spun in the oil dropped in turn four.

While the field was circulating under the yellow, Larson’s right rear tire started to lose air. He restarted the race and fought with Logan Wagner for second for a lap or so. Wagner gained the position and Larson began to fade. His tire let go just as Marks crossed for lap twenty-five.

Marks had the point for the five-lap dash to the finish. Logan Wagner led Mike Wagner, Dewease, Cisney, Peck, and Lucas Wolfe to the green flag.

Marks opened up a significant advantage over Logan Wagner, who was struggling now. Mike Wagner shot by in the middle groove to take second with a pair of laps remaining.

Three Rivers Karting

Marks took the checkers ahead of the Wagners–Mike then Logan–Dewease, and Peck. Cisney, Wolfe, and T.J. Stutts were the next three finishers. Abreu and Freddie Rahmer completed the top ten. Stutts was awarded the hard charger bonus, advancing fifteen positions in the race.

The four heat winners were Mike Wagner, Marks, Larson, and Macri. Larson and Macri were the first drivers this week to knock-out a driver from the re-draw. They started fourth to get their wins and consequently they split the $500 bonus provided by Whittal prevailed in the B Main. Logan Wagner set the fast time of the night. He was the only driver to turn in a time less than sixteen seconds, 15.954 to be exact. Larson was the best of Group B, with a time of 16.260.

Marks moved ahead of Macri in the Speedweek rankings, 748 to 693. Peck remained in third. Wolfe and Stutts complete the top five. Freddie Rahmer, Jr. holds down sixth, ahead of Danny Dietrich and Jeff Halligan. Lance Dewease returned to the top ten despite skipping one round. Chase Dietz is tenth heading to Hagerstown Speedway.

In the companion URC 360 Sprint feature, Josh Weller followed Frankie Herr for a lap before assuming command. Mark Smith used a couple of restarts to improve his track position. Indeed, following a lap six restart he executed a slider in turn three to take the lead from Weller.

Weller had a number of shots at Smith on the double file restarts that followed, but Smith was able to maintain his advantage each time.

Weller’s strong run ended on lap 24 when his left rear tire went flat. However, track officials displayed the caution and then the checkers as the midnight curfew was reached. Weller was credited with second.

Jason Schultz, the URC points leader, was scored third, ahead of Derek Locke and Dallas Schott. Herr, Mike Thompson, Mike Kiser, Devin Adams, and Cody Fletcher rounded out the top ten.

Nash Ely was unhurt in a spectacular crash atthe entry to turn one during the URC feature.

The three heat winners were Schott, Mark Smith, and Kiser. There was no B Main.

Anthony Macri blew the engine in the Sean Michael prepared 360 in his heat race.

Port Royal Speedway will be back in action Saturday for the ninth round of Speedweek. It will be the Greg Hodnett Classic paying $10,000. The Super Late Models will provide the support. July 9 will be a 410 Sprint program with both Super Lates and Limited Lates. Bicycle and power Wheel races will be held for the children as well. July 16 will be the return of the AMA Flat Track Motorcycles. Then, on July 20, the World of Outlaws will make their first appearance of the season at the Speed Palace. The Wingless Super Sportsmen will be on the card too.

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