Port Royal – When Port Royal Speedway opens for the 2013 season on March 16 at 6 pm, it will mark the beginning of a new chapter in the career of 410 sprint car driver
Doug Esh of Lancaster.
After more than a decade of piloting the Leach Motorsports No. 30 sprinter in the area, Esh will start anew with the Chiapelli Motorsports No. 98 team.
Team owners Tom and Fran Chiapelli paired with Esh back in November and since that time, the new team has spent the off season working toward this upcoming opening day at Port Royal Speedway.
And Esh has some goals in mind as the season dawns.
“I wanna’ be on the front of the schedule next year, that’s my plan” Esh said recently, referring to the fact that the season sprint car champion usually gets his photo on the cover of the Port Royal printed schedule of events.
The 41-year old pilot is the reigning Tuscarora 50 champion at Port Royal, taking his second win in the prestigious event last September.
Esh says that based on the teams resources, the depth of the manpower of the team itself and his racing resume, he feels his goal is within reach in 2013, despite starting fresh with a new team.
“I think I have enough experience around there that it’s a realistic goal,” he says of racing at Port.
The Esh/Chiapelli team will focus on racing at Port Royal in 2013 and throw a few special events in the area into the mix as well.
And that same focus will be shared by Selinsgrove’s Blane Heimbach and the Jeff Creasy-owned No. 12 sprint team in 2013.
Heimbach and Creasy plan on spending nearly all of their Saturday nights at Port Royal Speedway this season, competing in the 410 sprint division where they took a pair of wins in 2012.
Also frequent 2013 visitors to the track will be the new team of six-time track champion Lance Dewease and No. 27 car owner Mike Heffner.
All three of these teams and drivers will join other regulars like defending track champion Chad Layton, perennial track titlist Keith Kauffman, Mike Erdley, Mike Wagner and more in the pits weekly as the season gets going at Port Royal Speedway.