By Shawn Brouse
Port Royal – Mike Erdley of Elizabethville took the lead late and went on to win the 25-lap Aumillers Insurance 410 sprint car feature at Port Royal Speedway Saturday night.
In the 20-lap AB Auto Glass late model main it was McClure’s Tim Wilson winning his first of the year after bad luck struck leader Gary Beward while Tyler Bear dominated to win the 305 sprint main. Adam Yetter won the enduro dash.
Erdley started on the pole of the 410 sprint main but lost the lead before the first lap was completed to early season point leader Ryan Taylor, who started second.
Taylor set a pace unreachable by Erdley during the first half of the event when even with a restart on the fourth circuit Erdley failed to mount a challenge.
Laps five through 16 went nonstop with Taylor working through traffic followed by Erdley and fifth starter Keith Kauffman.
But Taylor’s pace was slowed with nine laps left when Kauffman came up with a flat tire on his No. 8H.
Erdley found what he called a “sweet spot” on the inside of the second corner over the waning stages and used it to challenge for the lead with five laps to go.
He missed the spot a lap later and lost ground to Taylor but settled back in for another run, which he completed with two laps to go when he drove up off of the bottom in the second corner to draw even with Taylor as the pair raced down the backstretch.
Erdley used his momentum to bolt deep into the third corner moments later and slide up in front of Taylor as they headed through turn four to take the two to go sign.
It was Erdley’s career fifth victory at the oval, worth $3,000.
Taylor was second followed by Lance Dewease, Justin Henderson and Rick Lafferty.
Sixth through 10th went to Mike Wagner, who crashed in his heat race, Curt Stroup, Davey Sammons, Kauffman and Dave Hahn.
Heats went to Lafferty, Erdley and Kauffman.
Gary Beward was leading the way, appeared headed to his fourth late model win of the season when his car broke on a lap 12 restart and caused an accident that collected third place runner Bryon Sipe and that nearly took out the eventual winner.
Wilson was lined up behind Beward for the return to action and hit Beward’s racer from behind when green replaced the yellow and Beward didn’t take off.
Wilson managed to keep going and inherited the lead but Sipe wasn’t as lucky, getting sidelined for the balance of the event.
Wilson cruised unchallenged to the victory after taking control.
Mitch Hack was second followed by Chris Shuey, Scott Haus and Andy Haus.
Sixth through 10th went to Waylon Wagner, Mike Lupfer, Mike Hess, Bob Dunn and Derrick Casner.
Heats went to Shuey, Wilson and Hack.
The start of the 305 sprint main was marred by a crash at the end of the frontstretch that collected nine cars.
Once the race got underway only caution flags could slow Bear down as he dominated for the 15-lap victory.
Billy Ney was second followed by Jason Bergstresser, Tom Worrick Jr. and Nathan Gramley.
Sixth through 10th was Matt Mountz, Steve Kennawell, Ryal Lynn, Erin Statler and Brian Walker.
Heats were won by Ney, Jim Kennedy and Bergstresser.
Yetter started fifth to win the enduro dash sponsored by Juniata Tire Sales.
One-time 2011 winner Jason Zook challenged Yetter for the win but fell short at the finish, instead ending up second.
Jen Powel was third followed by Ricky Adair and Craig Imes.
Feature Finishes: July 16, 2011 –
410 sprints, 25 laps: 1. Mike Erdley, 2. Ryan Taylor, 3. Lance Dewease, 4. Justin Henderson, 5. Rick Lafferty, 6. Mike Wagner, 7. Curt Stroup, 8. Davey Sammons, 9. Keith Kauffman, 10. Dave Hahn, 11. Joey Hershey, 12. Daryl Stimeling, 13. Bob Howard, 14. Brian Ehrenzeller, 15. Chad Layton, 16. Mark Zimmerman, 17. Nicole Bower, 18. Jim Campbell Jr., 19. Josh Dressler, 20. Mike Walter II., 21. Steve Buckwalter