“That’s By Far The Best Racetrack I’ve Ever Seen Here. That Thing Was Four Wide!” – Rick Eckert
Port Royal – And he wasn’t kidding either!
York’s Rick Eckert triumphed in the Appalachian Mountain Dirt Late Model Speedweek feature at Port Royal Speedway on Tuesday night, taking his third career oval win in an event that left most in attendance shaking their heads at what they had just witnessed.
In the record books, Eckert was scored as leading every lap but on the racetrack in front of the fans, some two to at times four cars dueled for the victory for over half the 40-lap event in what was a performance that is hard to put into words.
Eckert started on the pole of the $5,000 to win affair and drove into command over Dan Stone and Vic Coffey when the green flag unfurled.
The races first caution flag fell with seven laps down for a flat tire on the car of Steve Axtel.
A lap later Coffey got a flat and had to tag to the rear for the restart before the next nine circuits clicked off with Davey Johnson getting by Stone for second when action resumed.
Stone reclaimed the spot on the 12th tour and was sticking with Eckert when yellow again appeared with 23 laps to go.
For the restart, Monday night winner Greg Satterlee was up to fourth behind Stone and Johnson and he really got rolling when the cars took off again having just blistered by Austin Hubbard before the caution.
Satterlee was flying the high side of the track to perfection and worked his way up to third on the 22nd circuit and as laps 18 through 34 went non-stop, the race for the lead became dizzying as the pack worked through lapped traffic.
At one point, Satterlee drew to the inside of Stone on the frontchute in the race for second and the pair clamored off of one another at the flag stand after hard contact while racing in leader Eckert’s shadow.
Stone then pounced, taking over the lead briefly on the 33rd lap as Eckert and he motored off of turn two only to have Eckert roar back to the line still scored as the leader albeit by just .022- thousandths of a second.
And then along came Hubbard to make it a four-car battle at the front amid thickening lapped traffic with Eckert and Satterlee running the outside lane and Stone and Hubbard racing to their inside.
That’s when the four-wide formation took place between the leaders as they navigated off of turn four and onto the frontstretch and that’s also when something had to give.
And series point leader Dan Stone was the victim that gave, spinning out in the first turn with six laps to go after contact again between he and Satterlee.
Hubbard inherited second for the restart with Jamie Lathroum third, Johnson fourth and Satterlee back to fifth.
However Satterlee didn’t stay their long as he quickly battled back into contention for his second career Port win although he was unable to stay ahead of Hubbard in the end.
Eckert ended up crossing the finish line by .898 seconds ahead of Hubbard.
“I turned my car up,” said Eckert of his performance after Stone drove by for control.
“I could use a lot of race track. I was pushing it every lap. I knew Stoney was there.”
“That’s by far the best race track I’ve ever seen here. That thing was four wide!”
And indeed it was.
Satterlee crossed third, 1.522 seconds back of the winner, followed by Jamie Lathroum and Davey Johnson.
Coffey came from the rear on the eighth lap to finish sixth followed by Jason Covert, Jeremy Miller, Coleby Frye and Scott Lebarron.
Stone set quick time over the 42-car field with a lap of 20.332 seconds.
Heats went to DJ Myers, Coffey, Johnson and Lathroum.
Twin b mains went to Bryan Bernheisel and Tim Wilson.
Grant Adams took the lead from Travis Stickley on the 11th lap of the 20-lap limited late model main to score a $1,000 payday.
Chad Myers took second with seven laps to go but failed to challenge for the win.
After spinning on the initial start and going to the rear, Dave Leidy came back for third followed by Stickley and Billy Wampler.
Twin heats went to Adams and Ron Coleman.
June 4, 2013 finishes:
Late model feature, 40 laps, 42 entries: 1. Rick Eckert, 2. Austin Hubbard, 3. Greg Satterlee, 4. Jamie Lathroum, 5. Davey Johnson, 6. Vic Coffey, 7. Jason Covert, 8. Jeremy Miller, 9. Coleby Frye, 10. Scott Lebarron, 11. Kenny Pettyjohn, 12. Jeff Rine, 13. Matt Parks, 14. Jim Yoder, 15. JT Spence, 16. Dan Stone, 17. Steve Campbell, 18. Dale Hollidge, 19. Tim Wilson, 20. Bryan Bernheisel, 21. Terry Naugle, 22. DJ Myers, 23. Mike Lupfer, 24. Devin Friese, 25. Steve Axtel
DNQ: Dylan Yoder, Tyler Hershey, Lindsay Barton, Scott Flickinger, Danny Snyder, Brian Hack, Chris Casner, Derek Casner, Jerry Bard, Andy Haus, Kerry King, Patrick Bryner, Mike Altobelli, Rance Garlock, AJ Hoffman, Nick Dickson, Mason Zeigler
358 late models, 14 entries: 1. Grant Adams, 2. Chad Myers, 3. Dave Leidy, 4. Travis Stickley, 5. Billy Wampler, 6. Danny Snyder, 7. Tim Murphy, 8. Harold Ranck, 9. Ron Coleman, 10. David Latsha, 11. Ken Stitt, 12. Steve Bailor, 13. Steve Stitt
DNS: Ryan Walls