By Shawn Brouse, image courtesy of Rick Rarer/sprintcarnews.com
Port Royal, PA – Blane Heimbach of Selinsgrove won the first Port Royal Speedway sprint car feature of his career Saturday night by claiming the 2011 season opener for the division.
In the companion 358 sprint feature, Pat Cannon wired the field for the victory from the pole for his second victory in as many days, also a career first for the Etters driver at Port Royal.
The 410 sprint main got underway with defending event winner Rick Lafferty leading the first lap over Todd Shaffer, who made a big move from the sixth starting spot to blast into second on the first circuit.
Heimbach was running third, where he started, when the races first caution flag unfurled with two away in the 25-lapper.
Under the yellow, Lafferty withdrew from the event, handing the lead to Shaffer, who pieced together an 11th hour deal late in the week to have a car in the field at the opener.
Driving again for Gary and Patty Beam, Shaffer held sway on the restart over Heimbach and seventh starter Daryn Pittman before another crash with three complete brought out the red flag.
The cars of Joey Hershey, Cliff Brian, Bill Jones and John Brennfleck tangled in turn four, without any injuries.
The next seven circuits clicked off nonstop with Heimbach staying within striking distance of Shaffer before driving by with a low pass in the first corner to lead the eighth tour when Shaffer slipped on the high cushion.
Two laps later, Shaffer disintegrated a right rear tire in the first corner and clouted the wall, forcing him from the event.
Stevie Smith, who started 11th, was the man on the move from that point forward, blasting around the outside and moving from fourth into second within two more laps before trying to run down Heimbach.
But even a final caution with five laps to go couldn’t help Smith as Heimbach proved up to the test, pulling away to the somewhat upset victory worth $3,000 aboard the Jeff Creasy owned No. 12.
Smith settled for second followed by 16th starter Mark Smith, Tyler Walker and Lance Dewease.
Sixth through 10th went to Mike Wagner, Mike Erdley, Ryan Taylor, Davey Sammons and Pittman.
Heats went to Lynton Jeffrey and Dewease.
Cannon was never heeded in his run to the checkers in the 20-lap 358 sprint main.
Third starter Nate Hammaker did get by Steve Buckwalter for the second spot before the finish with fourth starter Logan Schuchart ending up third.
Buckwalter ended up fourth with Matt Horst fifth.
Sixth through 10th went to Nate Snyder, Colby Womer, Ted Thomas, Steve Storrie and Dale Hammaker.
Heats went to Cannon and Schuchart.
Port Royal returns on March 26 at 6 PM with another twin bill, featuring the 410 sprints and the first show of the year for the late models. Pit gates open at 3 PM with general admission gates opening at 4 PM.
Adult admission is $15.00 with students admitted for $10.00
March 19, 2011 Feature Finishes:
410 sprints, 25 laps: 1. Blane Heimbach, 2. Stevie Smith, 3. Mark Smith, 4. Tyler Walker, 5. Lance Dewease, 6. Mike Wagner, 7. Mike Erdley, 8. Ryan Taylor, 9. Davey Sammons, 10. Daryn Pittman, 11. John Brennfleck, 12. Brian Ehrenzeller, 13. Keith Kauffman, 14. Todd Shaffer, 15. Lyton Jeffrey, 16. Cliff Brian, 17. Joey Hershey, 18. Bill Jones, 19. Rick Lafferty, 20. Chad Layton, 21. Justin Henderson (DNS)
358 sprints, 20 laps: 1. Pat Cannon, 2. Nate Hammaker, 3. Logan Schuchart, 4. Steve Buckwalter, 5. Matt Horst, 6. Nate Snyder, 7. Colby Womer, 8. Ted Thomas, 9. Steve Storrie, 10. Dale Hammaker, 11. Eric Tomecek, 12. Jason Cherry, 13. Brian Garland, 14. Rodney Westhafer, 15. Duane Mausteller, 16. Joe Trone Jr., 17. Rich Eichelberger,18. Tim Wagaman, 19. Aaron Eichelberger, 20. Billy Dietrich, 21. Brook Weibley.