By Shawn Brouse
Port Royal – Chad Layton held off Steve Buckwalter, Blane Heimbach and Danny Holtgraver to win his second Aumiller’s Insurance 410 sprint feature of the Port Royal Speedway season on Saturday night.
In the 25-lap Summer Championship for the AB Auto Glass late models, it was Brett Schadel taking the $2,000 payday, which was also his second win of the Port season.
Likewise, John Heane won for the second time this year in Miller’s Auto Parts pro stock action.
Layton started second in the 25-lap sprint car feature and while the record books would show him leading every lap when the race was over, he was highly pressured for the win during the race by the bunch that finished behind him.
First it was fourth starter Danny Holtgraver that gave it a shot as the frontrunners entered lapped traffic with just five laps down on the smooth, fast surface.
But as Holtgraver took his shots at Layton’s lead, he gave way to polesitter Steve Buckwalter with eight laps down as the Royersford driver pulled into second spot.
The front four cars of Layton, Buckwalter, Holtgraver and Heimbach were under a blanket in traffic one lap shy of the halfway point when the races first caution flag unfurled, clearing the track for Layton.
It took until lap 18 for the frontrunners to again enter traffic and as soon as they did, the trio behind Layton began again rapidly closing the gap.
With five to go in the event, Buckwalter was close enough to Layton to begin searching for a way around and as Layton battled traffic, Buckwalter applied enough pressure to force the leader to pull a make-or-break move to put Luke Bowey a lap down with two laps left.
But Layton’s attempted slide job on Bowey in the third corner failed when Bowey was forced up the racetrack and into the outside wall, sending him flipping and bringing out the red flag.
Fifth-place runner Greg Hodnett got a piece of Bowey’s flipping car and ended up sidelined because of the incident.
Heimbach pulled a smooth lowside move to drive by Holtgraver on the restart and then Layton got away to the finish, taking his seventh career checkers at the track by 1.314 seconds over Buckwalter.
Heimbach ended up third followed by Holtgraver and Doug Esh,
Sixth through 10th went to Mike Wagner, Dave Ely, Lance Dewease, Frank Cozze and Mike Erdley.
Heats for the 29-car field went to TJ Stutts, Hodnett and Holgtraver with Bobby Howard taking the consolation.
A six-car battle for the win in the late model championship unfolded with Schadel leading the way from the outset over Steve Campbell.
A challenging Campbell disappeared from the event when the races first caution flag came out with 11 laps to go and he pulled pitside with a flat tire.
Meanwhile, third starter Coleby Frye took over second and hounded Schadel to the finish with Donnie Schick, Tim Wilson, Jim Yoder and Mike Lupfer all giving chase.
At times during the event, the front six cars were all in the same set of turns, looking for the lead.
A final yellow flag with two laps to go put Frye squarely on Schadel’s bumper for the final circuits but Schadel was up to the challenge for the victory.
It was not only the second win of the season at the track for Schadel but also the second of his career after beginning to call the speedway home in 2012.
Schadel credited his tire choice for allowing him to pick up the victory and hold off the stacked deck behind him to the finish.
Frye settled for second followed by Schick, Lupfer and Yoder.
Sixth through 10th went to 16th starter Scott Haus, Chad Hollenbeck, a faltering Wilson, Todd Snook and Andy Haus.
Heats for the 28-car field went to Tim Fedder, Frye and Campbell with Chris Casner taking the consolation races.
Heane started second in the 15-lap pro stock main and took the lead on the start with Harold Ranck just behind him.
But as Ranck worked the second lap, he and Jason Davis got together on the backstretch, collecting several other cars and bringing our the first of two cautions in the event.
Jason Schmidt took over second for the return to action and became faster than Heane as the race wore on.
He was finally able to muster enough outside momentum to ride the cushion by Heane for the lead with five laps to go.
But then with a pair of laps to go, Schmidt began falling backwards before stopping on the track on the final lap, setting up a last lap restart.
However a light rain that hit the track just before action restarted forced the checkers to fall on the event, allowing Heane record his second win of the year at Port Royal.
Dan Berry was second followed by 16th starter AJ Stroup, a rebounding Jason Davis and Matt Hornberger.
Sixth through 10th went to Ranck, Andrew Shoop, Dan Condo, Dave Berry and Schmidt was credited with the finish.
Heats for the 17-car field went to Ranck and Keith Garman.
July 14, 2012 Feature Finishes:
410 sprints, 30 laps: 1. Chad Layton, 2. Steve Buckwalter, 3. Blane Heimbach, 4. Danny Holtgraver, 5. Doug Esh, 6. Mike Wagner, 7. Dave Ely, 8. Lance Dewease, 9. Frank Cozze, 10. Mike Erdley, 11. TJ Stutts, 12. Joey Hershey, 13. Dave Hahn, 14. Jordan Frontz, 15. Rod Stroup, 16. Cliff Brian, 17. Greg Hodnett, 18. Luke Bowey, 19. Josh Dressler, 20. Rick Lafferty, 21. Bob Bennett, 22. Keith Kauffman, 23. Nate Snyder, 24. Bob Howard
DNQ: Jum Shuster, Vince Snyder, Trenton Scheaffer, Brian Ehrenzeller, Duane Troutman