Steve Buckwalter Makes Late Decsion to Head to Port Royal Pay Off With Sixth Career Win; Ken Duke Jr. and Jason Shultz also Win During Open Wheel Madness 1

By- Justin Snyder

Port Royal Speedway- PORT ROYAL, Penn. (April 25, 2021)- Steve Buckwalter didn’t plan to be at Port Royal Speedway on Saturday. However, when incoming rain forced the start time to move two hours up and with his shop close by, they made the decision to press their luck and head to Juniata County.

Buckwalter made the decision pay off with his sixth career trip to victory lane at the Speedway as he held off a hard charging Dylan Cisney to bank the $4000 payday by a margin of .70 seconds.

“We were supposed to be at Lincoln, but with the time change we were not going to make it in time,” said Buckwalter. “So we made the decision to shoot on over to Port and I guess it was the right move.”

Tyler Reeser and Kody Lehman led the Weikert’s Livestock 410 Sprint Car field to the green flag with Reeser getting the early jump to lead the opening circuit. Sixth starter Buckwalter was already up to fourth at the completion of lap one.

Buckwalter got by Lehman for third on lap three and five laps later he disposed of second place Justin Whittall five laps later and set his sights on the point. One lap later the Royersford Rocket used a slide job entering turn three to take the lead on lap nine.

Whittall got by Reeser for the runner up spot with 12 laps to go and eighth-starter Cisney used a two-for-one move in turn’s three and four to go form fifth to third. Cisney moved into the runner-up spot and Tyler Bear slid into third and was heavy in pursuit of Cisney.

However, Buckwalter was in control and at one point he held a near three-second advantage on the field as he entered lapped traffic. Glued to the bottom, Buckwalter was struggling to pass the lapped cars and it allowed Cisney to close over the final handful of circuits.

However Buckwalter was not to be denied as he crossed under the checkered flag for his first win of the season. Cisney took second followed by Whittal, Bear and 11th-place starter Danny Dietrich.

“This is why I’m hired and that’s to win races,” said Buckwalter. “I feeel like we should be winning more than we are. It’s tough up here and It’s just so damn slick. We had some motor issues here the past few weeks and I talked to Tim at HP and we worked through it and got it running now.”

For Cisney he felt he needed to get to the front earlier as he knew the bottom would be the place to be and it would be tough to make a move later.

“I was trying to get to the front early as I knew with the way the track was it was really my only shot to maybe get a win,” he said. “We struggled pretty badly last week, so to come out of here with a second is something we’ll take and try and get better.”

Anthony Macri finished sixth with a charge from the 14th starting spot to earn the $200 Valley Supply Hard Charger Award. Blaine Heimbach, Logan Wagner, Gerrard McIntyre and Lehman rounded out the top-ten. Ryan Smith earned the $1000 Warrior Award courtesy of J&S Fabrication after finishing 24th and a random draw in victory lane drew number 24.

Weikert’s Livestock 410 Sprint Car Feature Finish, 25 Laps: 1. Steve Buckwalter; 2. Dylan Cisney; 3. Justin Whittall; 4. Tyler Bear; 5. Danny Dietrich; 6. Anthony Macri; 7. Blane Heimbach; 8. Logan Wagner; 9. Gerard McIntyre Jr.; 10. Kody Lehman; 11. Mike Wagner; 12. AJ Flick; 13. Lucas Wolfe; 14. Jeff Halligan; 15. Justin Peck; 16. Jared Esh; 17. Mike Walter II; 18. Tyler Reeser; 19. Brent Marks; 20. Curt Stroup; 21. Jeff Miller; 22. Rick Lafferty; 23. Michael Bauer; 24. Ryan Smith.

Penns Valley Meat Market PA Sprint Series 305 Sprint Cars

Ken Duke Jr. lead wire to wire to collect the Penns Valley Meat Market PA Sprint Series 305 Sprint Car victory for his first Port Royal Speedway victory of the season. The win was Duke’s third career Speedway triumph and moved him into a four-way tie for 9th all-time on the Speedway winners list..

Lining up from the outside front row, Duke blasted out to the early lead in the 20-lap race. However it was 14th starter Kassidy Kreitz that had the fans on their feet as she raced into the top-five by lap three.

Kreitz took second on lap five and stayed glued to the bottom of the Speedway in chase of Duke. With 12 laps to go, Duke was in heavy lapped traffic and two laps later Kreitz was all over the tail tank of the savvy veteran.

Coming out of turn two with eights laps to go, Kreitz streaked under Duke down the backstretch, only for the pass to be negated as a car caught fire in turn two to bring out the red flag. The restart gave Duke the clean air he desperately needed and he went on the lead the final eight laps to score the victory by a margin of 2.760 seconds over Kreitz.

Dave Grube, Garrett Bard and Austin Reed rounded out the rest of the top-five. Doug Dodson, pole sitter Rowdy Heffner, Mikkell McGee, Nick Sweigart and hard charger Jeff Weaver completed the top ten. Weaver earned an additional $100 courtesy of Penns Valley Meat Market as he went 25th to 10th and was the biggest mover,

“It seems like forever since we won a race and the track was really to our liking,” said Duke. “We got lucky and got started on the front row, but lapped traffic was hurting us. Kassidy has us beat and luckily that caution came out and we got clean air and we were good from there.”

305 Sprint Car Feature Finish, 20 Laps: 1. Ken Duke; 2. Kassidy Kreitz; 3. Dave Grube; 4. Garrett Bard; 5. Austin Reed; 6. Doug Dodson; 7. Rowdy Heffner; 8. Mikell McGee; 9. Nick Sweigart; 10. Jeff Weaver; 11. Andrew Boyer; 12. Justin Mills; 13. Roger Irvine; 14. Jimmy White; 15. Austin Graby; 16. Tom Wise; 17. Mike Melair; 18. Josh Bricker; 19. Kenny Heffner; 20. Mike Alleman; 21. Drew Young; 22. Dustin Young; 23. Donny Wise; 24. Will Brunson; 25. Domenic Melair; 26. Ian Detweiler.

URC 360 Sprint Cars

Jason Shultz charged from the sixth starting position to overtake Anthony Macri and Ryan Smith to score the $2000 Port Royal Speedway victory. The win continued a trend of 410 Sprint Car drivers winning in the division at ‘The Speed Palace’ and came by 1.187 seconds.

“There was a little bit of rubber down there and usually Macri is beating down the outside fence, so we were beating down the inside fence,” said Shultz. “Macri tried the outside there, but ultimately the bottom was the place to be and we ended up here tonight.”

Smith and Macri both pulled double duty for the night and they led the field to the green flag. Macri got the jump form the outside front row and he led the opening 10 laps of the race. However he struggled in lapped traffic and allowed Smith to sneak under him exiting turn two to take the lead and lead lap 11.

The caution flew for a car slowing in turn four and Macri tried to use the outside during a double wide restart to take point, but couldn’t complete the pass. Shultz capitalized and was able to go from fourth to second and set his sights on Smith.

With six laps to go, Shultz was all over the tail tank of Smith and the following lap he snuck under the leader to grab the point with five laps to go. A caution with three laps to go set up a late dash for the win, however Shultz was not to be denied as he cruised home to the victory aboard the Ritter Racing No. 35.

Smith, Macri, Adam Carberry and Micheal Walter rounded out the top-five while Robbie Kendall, Andy Best, Kyle Smith, Pauly Colagiovanni and Jordan Thomas completed the top-ten.

“We havn’t won too many times and with my kids here I guess this is a good time to win,” said Shultz. “There is a lot of people here tonight and it looked like it was going to rain, so I just got to thank everyone for sticking it out and making this happen.”

URC 360 Sprint Car Feature Finish, 25 Laps: 1. Jason Shultz; 2. Ryan Smith; 3. Anthony Macri; 4. Adam Carberry; 5. Michael Walter II; 6. Robbie Kendall; 7. Andy Best; 8. Kyle Smith; 9. Paulie Colagiovanni; 10. Jordan Thomas; 11. Joe Kata; 12. Shawn Donath; 13. Derek Locke; 14. Connor Leoffler; 15. Tyler Denochick; 16. Brian Carber; 17. Cody Fletcher; 18. Denny Pebbles; 19. Tyler Brehm; 20. Dallas Schott; 21. Ryan Stillwaggon; 22. Mike Koehler; 23. Brandon McGough; 24. Tyler Templin; 25. Ed Aiken; 26. Chuck Hebing.