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Saturday, June 9 – It was a beautiful Saturday, sunny, 80’s and no chance of rain and it would be our first visit to Port Royal Speedway for 2012. The USAC sprints were finishing up their Eastern Storm tour at the ½ mile oval. There was a lot of sprint car racing in Central PA as the All Stars were running at Lincoln and we were sure Tony Stewart would be showing up as he did the previous night at Williams Grove. But since we were going to be heading west to Indiana for the USAC midgets we thought it would be good to start the wingless process today. Of course Bruce had already seen the USAC sprints at Grandview and Big Diamond earlier in the week but work commitments kept me from both events. Also the ride up Route 322 to Port Royal was beautiful as always.
We arrived early at 5:15 as the plan was to tour the pits to see how many sprints were on hand as well as the ARDC midgets. It was a total wingless night. We counted 23 sprints and 21 midgets before heading back to the grandstands. The crowd was great considering the other big event at Lincoln. I am sure they also had a great crowd. This just shows that sprint car racing is alive and well in Central Pennsylvania. Time trials for the sprints started at 7:25 and Bryan Clauson set fast time at 19.080. After a break in the action the first of two ARDC midget heats took the green at 8:22.
There were two ARDC midget heats, three USAC sprint heats and two pro stock heats. After this there was an exhibit of restored cars narrated by Lynn Paxton that was quite interesting. Leroy Felty at age 82 was out there in a restored car that he ran back in the day and he was getting around the track pretty good.
The 30 lap feature paying $6,000 to win for the USAC sprints took the green at 10:00 and it was a good race. There was a lot of competition and hard racing. It looked like the race was going to run non-stop. Darren Hagen appeared to be on his way to victory as the battles for position were all behind the leader. Unfortunately there was a caution and that caution was for Hagen as he hit the wall in turns three and four after jumping the cushion ending his quest for victory. Damion Gardner inherited the lead and the win. All eyes turned to Tracey Hines to see if he could pull off the pass for the lead but it was not to happen. Gardner took the win with Hines, Jon Stanbrough, Robert Ballou and Dave Darland rounding out the top five. This was the first time the USAC sprints ever ran at Port Royal. From the size of the crowd and the roar of the crowd I am sure it will not be the last.
But, the wingless show was not over. ARDC midgets still had their 20 lap feature to run and up to this point not a one car got upside down. This ended on lap 2 when Drew Heistand drove up over a wheel and flipped in turn two on lap two. He was OK after his scary ride. Back underway again Trevor Kobylarz came from fifth to first in one lap and took command. Alex Bright broke out of the pack and took up chase. He closed for a while but Kobylarz remained on top. Two cautions at lap 8 and 18 bunched the field but Kobylarz was up to the challenge and pulled away both times. At the checkered at 11:10 Trevor Kobylarz took home his second career win in ARDC, both this year, over Bright with Bruce Buckwalter Jr. claiming the show position.
It was a good solid night of racing not fabulous but entertaining run on a good surface.
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