By JUSTIN SNYDER
PORT ROYAL, PA – Continuing a tradition that began in 1981, when Lynn Paxton won the first ever All Star Circuit of Champions sanctioned event at ‘The Speed Palace’, Port Royal Speedway is proud to once again host the Ollie’s Bargain Outlets All Star Circuit of Champions presented by Mobil 1 during the 2021 race season.
The series will visit the Juniata County oval three times in 2021 for a combined six nights of racing action. Unique to this season though will be an increased purse for all events highlighted by the Bob Weikert Memorial paying $29,000 to win for the finale and the 54th annual Tuscarora 50 paying a record $54,000 to win. These two races are the highest paying winner’s shares on the 2021 All Star schedule at the moment.
Formed in 1970 as the first ‘Outlaw’ Sprint Car organization of the modern era, the All Stars series has been a staple in the Central Pa. region for decades past. In its current form, the series is owned by motorsports legend Tony Stewart (since 2015) and features some of the best drivers in winged sprint car action that the sport has to offer.
As customary, the series first visit to the speedway will occur Saturday, April 17th, with the sixth annual Keith Kauffman Classic paying $8000 to win for the sprint cars. This is a $2000 increase on last year’s race, which was postponed until June as a result of Covid-19. The event honors Kauffman, a 24-time All Star winner and the Port Royal Speedway all-time leading feature winner.
Joining the 410 Sprint Cars on the schedule for the night will be the Limited Late Models racing for a $1500 winner’s share.
Dale Blaney picked up the first ever event checkered flag in 2016, followed by three straight victories for local legend Lance Dewease from 2017-2019. Last season Anthony Macri broke Dewease’s stranglehold on the event as he scored his first career series victory over a charging Kyle Larson and Danny Dietrich.
A little over a month later, the series will return as the speedway will hold the annual Bob Weikert Memorial. The two-day event will occur May 29-30 and will pay $10,000 to win for the first night, followed by a race-record $29,000 on Saturday. This is an increase of $19,000 from last year’s winner’s share, with the 29 representing the famed Weikert sprint car’s number. Night one will feature the PA Sprint Series 305 Sprint Cars also on the card while the Wingless Super Sportsman will tag along for the night two finale.
The annual red, white and blue event has been held since 2003 and is a Memorial Day weekend staple that honors the legendary car owner, Bob Weikert. Last year’s event was moved to mid-July as a result of Covid-19. The event first became a two-day spectacle in 2016 and the coveted ‘Steer Head’ trophy is one of the most sought-after trophies for drivers. Last year served as a return to the event for the All Stars after most recently sanctioning it in 2015 and the purse increase only guarantees that the race will remain a premier event in the area.
Last year Kyle Larson swept the weekend to earn the overall championship and the trophies. Fred Rahmer (2), Todd Shaffer, Lance Dewease, Greg Hodnett (6), Jeff Shepard, Stevie Smith, Doug Esh, Cody Darrah, Lucas Wolfe (2), Danny Dietrich and Logan Wagner have all earned victories in the event.
Lastly, the crown jewel event of the season, the 54th Annual Tuscarora 50, will once again be All Star sanctioned and will be held Sept 9-11th. This will be the second consecutive season that the event will be three days and is one of the most tradition-laden races in the Keystone state. Thursday night’s preliminary will pay $8000 to win, which is a $2000 increase form 2020. The Pa Sprint Series 305 Sprint Cars will also be on the card. Friday night’s ‘Night Before the 50’ will pay $10,000 to win, which is also an $4000 increase from 2020. The Super Late Models will also be on the card. Finally, representing the 54th annual running of the event, the Saturday night finale will pay a whopping $54,000 to the winner, which is a $1000 increase from last year. As customary there will be a non-qualifiers feature that night as well.
Last year Cory Eliason and Lance Dewease (Night Before the 50) scored preliminary victories before Dewease etched his name further in the record books with his seventh career triumph in the event. The win gave Dewease an unprecedented win in the event in four consecutive decades.
Other past winners of the event are Mitch Smith (3), Smokey Snellbaker (2), Lynn Paxton (3), Kenny Weld, Steve Smith, Jim Nace, Gary Howsare, Keith Kauffman (2), George Ferguson Jr, Bobby Allen (2), Dave Blaney, Doug Wolfgang (4), Stevie Smith (2), Todd Shaffer (3), Len Krautheim III, Don Kreitz Jr. (3), Fred Rahmer (4), Greg Hodnett (4), Doug Esh (2), Mike Erdley, Brian Montieth, Brent Marks, Donny Schatz and Aaron Reutzel.
Stay tuned to our various social media outlets and visit our website www.portroyalspeedway.com for more information regarding the events and look for a full schedule shortly. We thank you for supporting the speedway and look forward to seeing you in 2021!