PORT ROYAL, Pa. – Logan Wagner felt the magnitude of Saturday’s All Star Circuit of Champions triumph at Port Royal Speedway.
The term big win is used often in racing, but for Wagner, this really was just that. It marked his first national touring series victory at the track where he’s won three straight championships.
Wagner did it over Port Royal’s winningest driver from a year ago in Anthony Macri, in the race dedicated to Keith Kauffman, the man he’s trying to join as the only drivers in Port Royal history to win four straight track titles.
It’s also a needed boost for the Pennsylvania Posse, which could say it passed its first true test of the new racing year against a revamped All Star Circuit of Champions lineup.
“It’s monumental,” Wagner said. “Just on behalf of Keith Kauffman and their entire family, knowing their entire family and knowing them for years with my dad. And then racing for that fourth championship this year and knowing the only person that has done that is Keith. It’s a staple win in my book.”
The $10,000 prize also felt a little sweeter considering last year produced just one win for Wagner. Even then, Wagner never felt he was that far off. He just needed to position himself.
On Saturday, he did just that.
“We knew we were fast,” Wagner said. “We knew we had to position ourselves. … Last night, we learned we could position ourselves. We weren’t up against any slouches.”
Wagner qualified fastest in his heat group that featured Kerry Madsen and Brock Zearfoss, locking himself into the dash, where he finished second to start fourth for the 30-lap main.
He raced by World of Outlaws regular Jacob Allen for second with 17 laps to go, then set his sights on leader Tyler Courtney not far ahead. With nine laps to go, Wagner had reeled in Courtney and set up the winning move in turns one and two.
Wagner made most of his ground up on the bottom, and when Courtney slipped to the middle of the track, Wagner skirted by and took off.
A green-white-checkered finish tested Wagner one more time, but he staved off a near slide job from Macri on the race’s final restart.
After that, the fun began.
“It’s always a party when we’re winning at Port Royal,” Wagner said.
The timing couldn’t have been much better for Wagner. His lone win last year came late in the season on August 22.
This one came six races into the new year and in front of a national audience.
“The timing is perfect,” Wagner said. “You always want to pick a win off early. If you win early in the season, the rest of the season is a breeze, honestly, because everyone is chasing that first one. Traditionally, you get more wins. Characteristically, you get more wins if you win early.”
Wagner showed that fact in 2019. He rolled to the $10,000-to-win Bob Weikert Memorial in May and uncorked six victories that year. One of those wins included the prestigious $20,000-to-win Jim Nace Memorial at Selinsgrove Speedway.
On Saturday, Wagner celebrated the night away. The tension to win again on the big stage was released.
“The weight is off our back now,” Wagner said. “We can go out now and have fun.”