Hodnett Wins Fourth Port Royal Tuscarora 50, Lafferty Earns Port Track Title

Dave Leidy gets econo late main

Port Royal – Greg Hodnett of Thomasville made a bold first lap, thread the needle move to take the lead in Saturday’s 47th annual Tuscarora 50 for 410 sprints at Port Royal Speedway to trump the field for the fourth 50 checkers of his career worth over $13,000.

Hodnett started fourth in the deep field that was whittled down from 41 entries in the All Stars event, with Danny Holtgraver and Lynton Jeffrey on the front row for the green flag.

And when the field roared down the frontchute into the first turn, Hodnett hung with his high line around the top and blasted to the outside of Pittsburgh’s Holtgraver as he came off of the second corner.

With Holtgraver racing just a car length or so behind pacesetter Jeffrey, Hodnett first got alongside Holtgraver and then weaved his No. 27 through the hole between the pair of leaders to drop to the inside of Jeffrey as the pair raced toward the backstretch scoreboard.

A battle of wills then found Hodnett throttling deep under Jeffrey as the pair entered the third turn to force Jeffrey up the track and give himself control of the event as the first lap was recorded.

A yellow flag regrouped the field with six laps down for debris on the backstretch, finding Hodnett holding sway over Jeffrey, Holtgraver, sixth starter Dale Blaney and eighth starter Dave Blaney.

The Blaney brothers prior to that time had blasted with relative ease into the top five while slinging around the top of the track.

The restart saw Dale Blaney overtake Holtgraver and then Jeffrey with eight down to take over second while brother Dave worked into third on the same circuit with 10th starter Stevie Smith now up to fourth.

Hodnett entered the rear of the field with 11 laps completed chased by Dale Blaney and Smith who was up to third.

It took until the 20th circuit for Smith to motor by Dale Blaney for second as the field negotiated heavy lapped traffic and shortly thereafter the lap 25 mandatory break for refueling reset the field.

However by this time, the track had begun to develop a strip laden with rubber around the inside of the oval due to tire wear, taking the edge off of the final 25 tours of the event.

Hodnett restarted with a pair of lapped cars separating himself from Smith, Dale Blaney, ninth starter Lance Dewease and Holtgraver.

The top five would continue running in that order until very near the end of the event when Dale Blaney’s motor began to sour, dropping him backward dramatically.

It was at that point that Dewease took over third, where he would finish, followed by Holtgraver and Lucas Wolfe.

Hodnett’s margin of victory in the prestigious event was 2.053 seconds over Friday night winner Stevie Smith.

The Thomasville speedster previously scored Tuscarora 50 laurels in 1998 and 2004 while driving for Bob Stewart in the No. 12 and again in 2009 while at the wheel of the No. 22 for Jim and Sandy Kline.

His 2014 victory tied him atop the Tuscarora 50 all time win list with four victories, joining other four time champions Dewease, Fred Rahmer and Doug Wolfgang.

The victory was a career first in the event for Hodnett’s current car owner Mike Heffner, who called the Tuscarora 50 checkers the biggest of his car ownership career.

Sixth through 10th in the event went to Ryan Smith, Blane Heimbach, Mike Erdley, Rick Lafferty and Brent Marks.

Lafferty closed the night by claiming the 2014 sprint car track title by a scant 10-point margin over Erdley.

Heats for the field went to Hodnett, Lafferty, Jeffrey and Dewease with Rodney Westhafer scoring the B Main.

Chad Layton earned a provisional starting spot in the event as the highest driver in Port Royal points who was running at the end of the B Main but who failed to qualify.

As the highest finishing Port Royal regular who failed to qualify in the B, Logan Wagner earned the $500 16th annual Will Gamble Memorial Determination Award in honor of the late speedway enthusiast.

Joey Hershey earned over $350 in honor of late speedway supporter Al Battista for crossing the feature finish line as the lowest finishing Port Royal regular in the 50 field.

Dale Blaney earned $300 for the Packer’s Concessions Fast Time Award after positing a lap in time trials of 16.776 seconds.

Dave Leidy led all 15 laps of the 355 econo late model feature with Andrew Yoder finishing second.

Trent Brenneman trailed Leidy for nearly the entire race before close racing quarters on the final lap found him yielding to Yoder for the second spot.

Brenneman rode home third followed by Eric Irvin and Tim Krape.

Krape sealed the 2014, inaugural track title for the new division.

Heats for the econos went to Krape and Shaun Miller.

 

Race Results:   9/6/14

410 sprints, 50 laps,: 1. Greg Hodnett, 2. Stevie Smith, 3. Lance Dewease, 4. Danny Holtgraver, 5. Lucas Wolfe, 6. Ryan Smith, 7. Blane Heimbach, 8. Mike Erdley, 9. Rick Lafferty, 10. Brent Marks, 11. Dave Ely, 12. Curt Stroup, 13. Lynton Jeffrey, 14. Doug Esh, 15. TJ Stutts, 16. Dale Blaney, 17. Chad Layton, 18. Rodney Westhafer, 19. Jac Haudenschild, 20. Brock Zearfoss, 21. Joey Hershey, 22. Dave Blaney, 23. Justin Barger, 24. Brian Montieth, 25. Tyler Bear

Lap Leaders: Greg Hodnett, 1 – 50

DNQ: Justin Henderson, Danny Dietrich, Curt Michael, Davey Sammons, Billy Dietrich, Dylan Cisney, Daryl Stimeling, Pat Cannon, Nate Snyder, Wayne Dadetto, Trenton Schaeffer, Logan Wagner, Kyle Moody, Ryan Wilson, Nicole Bower, Troy Fraker

 

Econo late models, 15 laps: 1. Dave Leidy, 2. Andrew Yoder, 3. Trent Brenneman, 4. Eric Irvin, 5. Tim Krape, 6. Jason Nace, 7. Shaun Miller, 8. Troy Miller, 9. Brett Hockenberry, 10. Lucas Bryner, 11. Danny Sollers, 12. Jason Peachey, 13. Garrett Gray, 14. Devin Hart

DNS: Jared Fulkroad