Port Royal – AJ Stroup of Richfield claimed the 12th annual Deryl Stong Memorial for pro stocks on Saturday night at Port Royal Speedway, pocketing $730 for the 20-lap victory including $120 in lap money he collected.
Greg Hodnett of Thomasville won the fourth sprint car feature of the season in the 25-lap main event at the track after taking the lead from Dave Ely.
In the 20-lap late model main, Brett Schadel of Herndon came out on top of another outstanding event for the division to pick up his first ever victory at the oval.
Derrick Garman picked up the make up pro stock main held over from March 31.
Port Royal Speedway is in action twice during the upcoming week, first on Thursday night with the Smokey Snellbaker Classic for 410 sprints as part of the Keystone Cup Series along with the super sportsman.
The oval then returns on Saturday, May 26 with twin 15s for the late models along with 305 sprints, pro stocks and an enduro dash plus racecar rides for kids ages 11 and under. It will also be Camera and Autograph Night for general admission fans as they have access to the pit area until practice laps at 6:30 pm.
Stroup started his No. 26 in third spot for the Miller’s Auto Parts Stong Memorial but it was Jason Davis who took the immediate lead as Stroup came to second on the first lap.
Davis was up to Stroup’s challenge on a lap four restart and drove away while stacking up lap money but with seven down Stroup was breathing down Davis’ neck for the lead.
As the pair raced off of the fourth corner to complete lap eight, Stroup nosed ahead at the line after running up the inside.
One time 2012 winner Jeff Bryner drove into second with eight laps to go but never got close enough to Stroup to challenge, even with a final restart with a pair of laps left.
Stroup’s win was the first of his career at the oval. Bryner finished the race second while Davis ended up third after collecting $70 in lap money.
John Heane was fourth and Keith Garman rode home fifth.
Twin heats worth $25 each went to Heane and Garman. Heane set a new one lap pro stock track record in the first heat only to see Garman break that record in the second heat by posting a mark of 23.710 seconds.
Contingency sponsors for the Stong race were BDR Products, BT Truck Service, Fox’s Pizza, Geedy’s Garage and Towing, Dave’s Auto Body, Casner’s Service Center and HP Engines.
Bryner earned an extra $50 as the first HP Engine to cross the finish line while Shawn Stahl claimed the Hard Charger Award from BDR Racing Products.
The initial start of the Aumiller’s Insurance sprint car main was slowed when sixth starter Doug Esh clouted the backstretch wall and bottled up the field in an incident that saw Michael Ruttkamp, Dave Hahn and Brian Ehrenzeller pile in.
When action resumed polesitter Dave Ely set a torrid pace with the lead as Hodnett made a sweeping outside turn one move to blast into second on the first circuit.
In a quest for his third career Port Royal win, Ely was leading when he lost power in his No. 55 just before lap five could be scored, giving way to Hodnett’s No. 39.
The yellow flag unfurled for a stopped Bob Howard with seven laps down, placing third starter Chad Layton directly behind Hodnett for the restart.
But no one really had anything to say about Hodnett winning on this night despite the fact that he got held up in lapped traffic just past the halfway point.
Layton tried to close in and was successful for a while but once Hodnett broke free, he handily drove to his 28th career checkers at the track.
Layton finished second followed by Blane Heimbach, Mike Wagner and 11th starter Lance Dewease.
Heats for the 25 car field went to Wagner, Esh and Bob Bennet.
Polesitter Chad Hollenbeck took the lead in the 20-lap AB Auto Glass late model main at the start and pulled out to a sizeable advantage over the early going of the event, much like he did when he last raced at the track two weeks earlier.
Third starter Schadel was placed on Hollenbeck’s bumper for restarts with five and seven laps away but failed to challenge.
However once the race entered lapped traffic, it was a different story as working the rear of the field produced hectic action that cost Hollenbeck his victory, which would also have been a career first at the track just as Schadel’s.
Boxed in behind four slower cars, Schadel jumped at the chance to drive to Hollenbeck’s outside in turns one and two to take control with two laps to go.
Hollenbeck tried to mount a comeback on a last lap restart but to no avail, instead settling for second place.
The balance of the top five finishers were Andy Haus, Chris Casner and Derek Byler.
Three heats for the 27 car field went to Scott Flickinger, Mike Lupfer and Hollenbeck with Tim Fedder taking the consolation race.
Nate Fisher led the first nine laps of the make up pro stock main before Garman took over for his 17th career win at Port Royal.
Fisher gave way to AJ Stroup for second late in the race. Fisher was third with Harold Ranck fourth and Keith Garman fifth.
May 19, 2012 Feature Finishes:
410 sprints, 25 laps: 1. Greg Hodnett, 2. Chad Layton, 3. Blane Heimbach, 4. Mike Wagner, 5. Lance Dewease, 6. Rick Lafferty, 7. John Brennfleck, 8. Cliff Brian, 9. Keith Kauffman, 10. Curt Stroup, 11. Nate Snyder, 12. Ryan Taylor, 13. Dan Shetler, 14. Mike Erdley, 15. Joey Hershey, 16. Justin Henderson. 17. Bob Bennett, 18. Bob Howard, 19. Dave Hahn, 20. Dave Ely, 21. Brian Ehrenzeller, 22. Doug Esh, 23. Michael Ruttkamp.
Late models, 20 laps: 1. Brett Schadel, 2. Chad Hollenbeck, 3. Andy Haus, 4. Chris Casner, 5. Derek Byler, 6. Bob Dunn, 7. Tim Wilson, 8. Derrick Casner, 9. Eric Zembower, 10. Mike Romig, 11. Waylon Wagner, 12. Tim Burkholder, 13. Tim Fedder, 14. Steve Stitt, 15. Mike Mort, 16. Mitch Hack, 17. Harold Ranck, 18. Scott Flickinger, 19. Patrick Bryner, 20. Terry Naugle, 21. Mike Lupfer, 22. Todd Snook, 23. Scott Haus, 24. Pancho Lawler
Pro stocks, 20 lap Stong Memorial: : 1. AJ Stroup, 2. Jeff Bryner, 3. Jason Davis, 4. John Heane, 5. Keith Garman, 6. Harold Ranck, 7. Matt Hornberger, 8. Dan Berry, 9. Shawn Stahl, 10. Dave Berry, 11. Scott Landis, 12. Lucas Bryner, 13. Shaun Miller, 14. Dave Brouse Jr., 15. Nate Fisher, 16. Jamon Chapman, 17. Andrew Shoop, 18. Jason Schmidt
March 31 make up pro stock , 15 laps: 1. Derrick Garman, 2. Stroup, 3. Fisher, 4. Ranck, 5. K. Garman, 6. Hornberger, 7. Dan Berry, 8. Heane, 9. Landis, 10. Brouse Jr., 11. Bryner