PORT ROYAL, Pa. – Since Logan Wagner took over Zemco Racing’s iconic No. 1 in 2018, he’s carried the team’s traditional black color scheme.
This year, though, Wagner has his own look and, for the first time since Sean Michael drove the car in 2002, the Zemco machine sports a white livery. If there’s a year for the three-time reigning Port Royal Speedway track champion to earn a signature look, it’s this one.
The 29-year-old has a shot to join Keith Kauffman as only the second driver in the history of the half-mile dirt track to win four straight sprint car track titles.
Kauffman accomplished the feat from 1978-’81.
“Our other cars were traditionally based around other people’s designs that used to drive the old Zemco car,” Wagner said. “They were like, ‘we want you to have your own car.’ I like it. It has a little sex appeal. A little pink. Some white lightning. I’m into it.”
Wagner’s new-look ride is one of the sleekest in the Port Royal pits. The number is a metallic gold and the pink lightning bolt along the wing panel is different from the car’s previous lightning bolt variations.
It’s a refreshing change for Wagner. While he has a shot to make history alongside Kauffman, one of the greatest sprint car racers central Pennsylvania has seen, he’s trying to significantly improve on a one-win season from a year ago.
“It’s just fun,” Wagner said. “The whole crew is a lot of fun. It makes my job fun.
“We had the consistency, but we didn’t have those feature wins,” Wagner added. “Looking at last year, we need to learn from it and build off it. We need to come back into this year and say, ‘Hey, we have a new hotrod, we have a new car, and we’re going to be that much better.’”
So far, Wagner is off to a solid start. In two races this year at Port Royal, he’s finished fifth and third. Most importantly, he’s had shots to win.
“The Zemco crew does a lot of work,” Wagner said. “And I get to reap the benefits: have fast race cars.”
After a three-win debut season in the Zemco car in 2018, Wagner busted onto the scene with six wins in 2019. Five of those wins came at Port Royal and the sixth was the prestigious Jim Nace Memorial National Open at Selinsgrove Speedway. Last year, though, the long layoff from COVID-19 and stiffer competition toughened things for Wagner.
This year, Wagner is focused on bettering his car control and, like any racer, adapting faster to track conditions.
Depending on how things are going, he and the Zemco team may attempt the 60th running of the Knoxville Nationals and the Kings Royal at Eldora Speedway.
For now, the focus is Port Royal, where Wagner has the opportunity to put himself in special company by the end of the year.
“I just go week-to-week, and if I can capitalize on the features [at Port Royal] then the championships will follow,” Wagner said. “We just need to hammer down feature wins and then get those championships.”