Racing roundup: Cory Eliason wins at Port Royal Speedway
It was the Tuscarora 50 weekend and the action started Thursday where Cory Eliason — who had kicked off the 2020 racing season at the Speedway with a victory during opening day back in March — bested Australian invader Kerry Madsen and the legendary Tony Stewart to pick up the Ollie’s Bargain Outlets All Star Circuit of Champions night one opener of the 53rd Annual Tuscarora 50 at Port Royal Speedway.
The win was worth $6,000 and came on an incredibly fast track that saw a handful of drivers get upside down and suffer flat tires throughout the feature.
Then it was the “Night Before the 50” and Lance Dewease outdueled Anthony Macri and Kyle Larson to pick up the the victory. The win was the 40th career All Star triumph for the Keystone state favorite and the 114th all-time victory for Dewease at the Juniata County oval.
Jeff Rine capitalized on a front row starting spot to pick up the River Valley Builders super-late model feature win over pole sitter Trent Brenneman and Gary Stuhler. The feature event win was worth $3000 and moved Rine solely into 10th all time on the wins list of the speedway in late model competition with 25.
Saturday was the race we all came to see and it didn’t disappoint when Lance Dewease added his name in the history books of sprint car racing and Port Royal Speedway as he bested Anthony Macri and Dylan Cisney and the All Star Circuit of Champions to pick up his record breaking seventh Tuscarora 50 title. Dewease has now won Tuscarora 50 titles in four decades (1990s, 2000s, 2010s and 2020s). The Fayetteville legend brought the record-setting crowd to it’s feet as he crossed the checkered flag on top for the second consecutive night. The win was worth an all-time high $53,000 plus $1275 in lap money.
Macri, Cisney, Larson and Eliason completed the top five while Logan Wagner, Tyler Courtney, Spencer Bayston, Kerry Madsen and Freddie Rahmer made up the rest of the top- 10.
“Sometimes you have the best car and don’t win and sometimes things fall your way and it seemed tonight it was just meant to be,” said Dewease. “We haven’t had a season up to our standards this year and it just seems that we haven’t been real good. I think people may have underestimated us a bit, and this is just a really special night.”
Earlier in the night Lucas Wolfe picked up $2000 during a non-qualifier feature event that lasted 20 laps. Wolfe also earned a guaranteed spot in next years Tuscarora 50, which be a three-day show and have an increased purse.
While down at Lincoln Speedway the super-late models made their second appearance of the season Saturday. A strong field of 21-cars was in the pits to vie for the $3,000 prize. After taking over the lead on the back stretch on lap 1, Bryan Bernheisel wired the field to claim his first super-late model victory at the track. Bernheisel held one win in the limited-late model division entering Saturday.
Not only did Brett Wanner win his second feature event of the season at Lincoln on Saturday, he also claimed the 358 Sprint Summer Series Championship.
Gene Wrightstone started on the pole of the 20-lap Vintage Outlaw Racing Series feature. Wrightstone led the field into turn 1 with Mark Hahn and Jeff Paulson in tow. Paulson got by Hahn for second and Mike Stofflet followed taking third.
Wednesday, Lincoln Speedway is back in action with the Weldon Sterner Memorial.
At Hummingbird Speedway, a very special night of racing closed out the 2020 season with the running of the Spider Barnett Memorial. Spider was a legendary Hummingbird driver who passed away earlier this year. The night started off with special parade laps led by Jeremy Ohl, who was driving a tribute car in honor of Spider Barnett. His car contained an urn that had Spider’s ashes in it for the parade laps. Ohl was joined on track by other Battle Chassis cars from both the super- and semi-late model divisions. The BWP Bats super-late models competed in a 40-lap, $4,000 to win race.
Also, the semi-late models did battle in a 25-lap, $1,000 to win special. The Young Guns Jr. sprints raced for the final time this season with Mason McAndrew taking the win in the stock class and Sam Darby picking up the win in the open class.
Alex Ferree claimed the big payday in the Spider Barnett Memorial and Rich Wicker took home the big check in the semi-late special. Ferree led green to checkers and took home the $4,000 check, $1,100 in lap money and $400 from winning the Sub Hub Dash for Cash for a $5,500 payday.
The pure stocks, street stocks and four-cylinders were also on the card with Tim Steis, Brandon Connor, and Blake Joiner winning in their respective divisions.
At Clinton County Speedway, the champions were decided in all six divisions Friday. Two drivers drove to victory lane to secure their championships. Garret Bard was victorious in the RaceSaver sprint cars and Williamsport’s Matt Cochran earned a win in the limited-late models. Other winners of the night included Tommy Dawson in the pro stocks, Johnny Smith in the 600 micro sprints, Nick Whitesel in the 270 micro sprints and Blake Snyder in the four cylinders.
The Clinton County Speedway switches to Saturdays for the final two races of the 2020 season. Coming up Saturday is the Nittany 40 Championship for the RaceSaver sprint cars, paying $800 to win and $400 to start. The event is co-sanctioned by the Allegheny sprint series, the Laurel Highlands sprint series and the PA sprint series. Drivers will qualify through time trials and heat races.
A non-qualifiers event is also on the schedule. In addition, the pro stocks will compete in the C.W. Smith Memorial 40 lapper paying $1,800 to win. Pro stocks will also qualify with time trials and heat races. The 270 micro sprint and the four cylinders will complete the four division show.
If you love the asphalt, television cameras (MAV-TV) were rolling at the Jennerstown Speedway Complex on Saturday as the “Must See Sprint Car Series” brought open-wheel racing to the Laurel Highlands for the third consecutive year. Veteran Brian Gerster won the sprint car race, defeating a field of drivers from six states.
Defending Jennerstown champion Teddy Gibala won for the second time in 2020, after a memorable duel in the late-model division of racing.
Also celebrating in Victory Lane were Anthony Aiello (modifieds), Aaron Van Fleet (street stocks), Steve Singo (chargers), and Michael Saler (four cylinders).
Saturday the 2020 racing season comes to a close. The final night of “5 Division Racing” will decide the Jennerstown champions, when the action begins at 6pm.
See you at the races!