PORT ROYAL, Pa. — On a night where the surrounding communities were littered with rain, hail and more inclement weather, Port Royal Speedway stood clear to race with a mission to make Nicole’s Dream a reality.
With kids’ giveaways, an auction, and raffles to benefit St. Jude’s Childhood Cancer Research, and three divisions of race cars featuring 86 hungry drivers on hand, it was a perfect scenario for a good night.
Not only did the fans who came out get rewarded, but Devon Borden, Rick Eckert and Drew Young all scored victories. Also, more than $5,000 was raised to benefit Childhood Cancer Awareness.
Steve Buckwalter and Mike Walter II lined up on the front row for the Weikert’s Livestock 410 Sprint Car feature event and it was Walter getting the early jump to lead lap one.
T.J. Stutts, Blane Heimbach, Buckwalter and Logan Wagner rounded out the top five.
Heimbach, who started sixth for the 25-lap A-main, moved into second on lap two, while Logan Wagner took fourth. Walter quickly opened a 3.7-second advantage over the field, but racing was halted one lap later when Trenton Shaeffer went flipping in turn one with 22 laps to go. Shaeffer would walk away unhurt from the accident.
When racing returned to green-flag action, Heimbach attempted a slider in turn’s one and two. Walter kept his momentum on the top to hold onto the lead. Though the caution flew one lap later for a slowing Devin Adams on the frontstretch with 21 laps remaining.
Heimbach tried a slider on the restart, but Walter was able to cross back under to regain the top spot down the backstretch. Entering turn three, Heimbach tried the move again and he and Walter made contact exiting turn three.
Walter tried to cross back under down the frontstretch, but both cars spun into the outside guardrail. With a full field of cars behind them and nowhere to go, the incident collected Jeff Halligan (who flipped), Derek Hauck and Gerard McIntyre Jr. All five drivers were unhurt as a Stutts inherited the lead because of the wreck and the Liverpool, Pa native lead the field back to green with Logan Wagner, Buckwalter and Mike Wagner in tow. Borden, who started ninth in the feature cracked the top five and moved into fourth on lap eight.
Two laps later Logan Wagner made his play for the top spot in turn’s one and two, but Stutts was able to cross back under down the backstretch to hold onto the lead. Meanwhile, Borden continued his march to the front as he got by Buckwalter for third one lap later. The two briefly made contact, but both cars continued on.
Lapped traffic became a talking point with 12 laps to go and within three laps Wagner was all over the tail tank of Stutts. The five-time defending champion made his move with nine laps to go. Using a slider in turn’s one and two, Wagner took the top spot and started to race away.
However, Wagner’s reign on top came to an end four laps later as he came to a slow on the frontstretch while leading. For the second time of the night, Stutts inherited the lead, but this time he had a hungry Borden and Justin Whittall behind him.
Whittall, who started 15th on the grid, slipped by Borden for the runner-up spot on the restart. However, one lap later Borden regained the spot. It only took one more lap for Borden to grab the top spot and form there the Washington native went untouched for his second victory of the season.
After finishing third three times this season, Eckert broke through with his first win of the 2023 season in Selinsgrove Ford Super Late Model. The win was worth $4000 and moved Eckert into a four-way tie for 19th on the all-time win list at the Speedway with 14 victories.
Dylan Yoder, Dillan Stake, Trevor Feathers and Austin Berry rounded out the top five.