By Justin Snyder
PORT ROYAL, PA –After 135 long days without racing activity, the sounds of engines are set to return to the Juniata County air this Sunday, March 5th, as the Weikert’s Livestock 410 Sprint Cars and the Selinsgrove Ford Super Late Models take to the track for the 81st Annual Port Royal Speedway Opening Day presented by Packer’s Concessions, LLC..
In what has been a recent tradition, the Speedway will again utilize a Sunday opener where the Sprint Cars will compete for a $5000 winner’s share while the Super Late Models will race for a $4000 to-win prize.
Pit gates open at 11A.M and general admission gates open at Noon. Racing is set to kick off at 2 P.M. Adult admission is $25, while students are $10. Pit admission is $35.
Last year, Lance Dewease scored his fifth career Opening Day triumph over Mike Wagner, Justin Peck, Danny Dietrich and Logan Wagner.
Wagner enters 2023 as the series defending champion after scoring a record fifth consecutive track points championships last season. Wagner’s championship last season bested all-time winningest driver, Keith Kauffman, as the only driver to go five-in-a-row. Speaking of Kauffman, Dewease sits 8 back of the ‘Man from Mifflintown’ on the career wins list with 121 victories and will be looking to chip away at that total for his sixth career opening day trophy.
The last driver to triumph on opening day and go on to claim the season ending track points title was Todd Shaffer in 2008.
In Super Late Model competition, Colton Flinner scored the opening day triumph over Kyle Hardy, Gary Stuhler, Trever Feathers and Kyle Lee. Flinner went on to score the season ending points championship in a nail-biter that went down to the final turn of the season over Gary Stuhler, Chad Myers, Mike Lupfer and Jason Schmidt.
The Super Late Models have been a part of opening day festivities yearly since 2013 and Feathers joins Andy Haus and Jason Covert as drivers with two career triumphs in the event. Other drivers to claim victory in the division on opening day are Tim Wilson, Mike Lupfer and Rine. Rine turned his triumph into a track championship in 2018.
For fans choosing to watch from home, racing activities will again be available via PPV streaming on FloRacing and information regarding purchase can be found at www.floracing.com.
Fans in attendance will also receive 2023 magnet schedules at the front gate courtesy of Juniata Beverage – Tyson Hill.
Weather permitting, there will also be an open practice at the Speedway on Saturday, March 4th from 1-4pm. The session is open to any division cars participating at the Speedway in 2022 and grandstand admission is free for any fans wishing to catch a glimpse of the facilities/cars. Gates open at Noon.
Saturday – March 4, 2023
Gates – Noon
Racing: 1-4 PM
Grandstand Admission: FREE
Pit Admission: $25
Sunday- March 5, 2023
Gates:11 AM (Pit), GA- Noon
Racing 2 PM
Adult General Admission: $25
Ages 12-18: $10
Pit Admission (all ages): $35
Ages 11 & Under: FREE General Admission