By- Justin Snyder
PORT ROYAL, PA – Danny Dietrich powered forward from the seventh starting position to pick up the Foss Jewelers, Inc. 70th Annual Labor Day Classic presented by Tedd Reitz feature event Monday at Port Royal Speedway during the Juniata County Fair.
The win was worth $6000 and was Dietrich’s fourth career triumph in the annual Labor Day event.
“Early on we were kind of going around the top in one and two, but I knew the rubber was going to come in,” said Dietrich. “I thought for sure when the caution came out and I drove past Logan and Brent that I knew we weren’t going to be able to do that again. Luckily we were able to get to the front early and we just had to hold one from there.”
Doug Hammaker and Hunter Schuerenberg led the field to the green flag and after multiple failed attempts to start the feature, it was Schuerenberg getting the jump through the middle of turn’s one and two. He’d lead lap one, but the feature was again halted after one lap when Tyler Walton spun around in turn one.
Schuerenberg again took off on the restart and he was in control early as fourth-place starter Brent Marks moved into second. Fifth-place starter Logan Wagner moved into a podium spot on lap four, while Dietrich followed suit and slid into the fourth spot as well.
One lap later it was 10th-plce starter Aaron Reutzel moving into sixth, but the caution again flew when Devon Borden got into the outside gaurdrail in turn two and came to a stop on the backstretch.
Marks saw his chances of a Labor Day triumph come to a screeching halt on the restart as he got sideways in turn two and did a 360 to bring out the caution and had to go to the rear of the field. Dietrich was able to capitalize on the restart and he slid under Wagner for the runner-up spot, but the caution would again fly as Wagner did a 360 after contact with Justin Peck in between turn’s three and four.
Dietrich completed his march to the front after the restart as he got by Schuerenberg on the bottom of the track, while Reutzel got by Peck on lap seven for third. One lap later Reutzel got by Schuerenberg for the runner-up position, but with 15 laps to go Dietrich had already raced out to a 1.786 second advantage.
Marks frustrating evening came to a close two laps later as he spun out in turn four and he would retire from the event as a result. Dietrich got an excellent restart at the return to green, but racing would again come to a slow when 11th-place running Anthony Macri got on his side in turn four to bring out the red flag. He would be ok and retire form the event as a result.
An open red fuel stop would be an opportunity for all the challengers to improve their cars to take a shot at Dietrich, but with the rubber coming in at the bottom of the track and tire management a concern it was clear it was Dietrich’s race to lose.
One more red flag would fly for a four-car incident in turn one after the restart, but a long green flag run to close the event gave Dietrich the needed space to rest easy up front. With five laps remaining, Dietrich’s advantage over Reutzel was at 3.727 seconds and at the completion of the 25 lap event Dietrich crossed under the checkered flag by a 2.980 seconds amount.
Reutzel, Schuerenberg, Gerard McIntyre and Jeff Halligan rounded out the top five. Zach Newlin passed 17 cars to come home sixth and earn the $200 Valley Supply Hard Charger Award, while Spencer Bayston, Jared Esh, TJ Stutts and Mike Wagner rounded out the top-ten. Track points leader Logan Wagner rallied back for an 11th-place finish while 14th-place finisher Justin Peck earned the $1000 J&S Fabrication Warrior Award via random draw.
“It seems like every year we are really fast through the season, but come September and the month of money we tend to struggle,” said Dietrich. “Hopefully we’re beginning to hit our stride here and we can maybe pick up a few more of these wins. Fair week is always my favorite week of the year and the atmosphere in general at Port Royal is great. So we’re happy to be here and see all these fans on a Monday afternoon watching racing.”
For Reutzel, it was only his third race with a new race team and he was happy to come out of the event with a runner-up effort.
“I thought our car was great and that’s why we made the haul here to see how we were on a daytime slick,” he said. “If it would have maybe stayed green longer and not had so many yellow’s, I passed those guys a few times and we could have had a shot at the win. To run second, I feel like we might have something for next weekend and that’s why we’re here.”
410 Sprint Car Results (25 laps)- 1. Danny Dietrich 2. Aaron Reutzel 3. Hunter Schuerenberg 4. Gerard McIntyre 5. Jeff Halligan 6. Zach Newlin 7. Spencer Bayston 8. Jared Esh 9. TJ Stutts 10. Mike Wagner 11. Logan Wagner 12. Jason Shultz 13. Tyler Reeser 14. Justin Peck 15. Mike Walter II 16. Dylan Cisney 17.Justin Whittal 18. Doug Hammaker 19. Anthony Macri 20. Landon Myers 21. Brian Brown 22. Brent Marks 23. Tyler Walton 24. Ryan Smith 25. Devon Borden 26. Syler Gee
Michael Smith capitalized on a front-row starting spot to score his first career Wingless Sportsman triumph at the Port Royal Speedway Monday. The win was worth $1000 and came over Kevin Gutshall and Paul Kline.
Kline and Smith led the field to the green-flag and it was Kline leading lap one hugging the bottom of the Speedway. A caution halted racing after one lap, but the restart proved key for Smith as he slipped around the outside of Kline for the lead exiting turn two.
The pass would prove to be the winning one, though it wouldn’t come without a challenge. With five laps to go in the 20-lap A-main the advantage for Smith over Gutshall was .471 seconds. For the next two circuits, Gutshall closed to the tail tank of the leader, but a minor slip up in turn’s three and four allowed Smith to stretch the lead again.
From there it was all Smith as the second-year driver crossed under the checkered flag by a margin of victory of .339 of a second over Gutshall, Kline, Steve Wilbur and Richard Mellor. Bob Gutshall, Gene Eppley, Jason Failor, Matt Cisney and Chad Thomas rounded out the top-ten.
“I can’t believe it and I never thought our first win would come here,” said Smith. “We’ve been working on this car and we definitely got the most out of the right rear. I’m honestly kind of speechless. I heard him towards the end and I was just trying to hit my marks there, so this is just wonderful.”
Wingless Sportsman Results (20 laps)- 1. Michael Smith 2. Kevin Gutshall 3. Paul Kline 4. Steve Wilbur 5. Richard Mello 6. Bob Gutshall 7. Gene Eppley 8. Jason Failor 9. Matt Cisney 10. Chad Thomas 11. Larry Drake 12. Jay Fry 13. Luke Lenker 14. Gary Houston 15. Steve Kennewell 16. Jason Fraker 17. Ricky Rutt DNS- Adam Meier
Adam Campbell led all 20 laps of the 4 cylinder feature event top cap off the regularly scheduled racing activities for the 70th Annual Labor Day Classic at the Port Royal Speedway. With 44 cars showing up at the Speedway to participate in the annual event for the division, head promoter Steve O’Neal chose to run a second non qualifier feature for the remaining 16 cars in attendance. Ricky Weaver Jr. picked up the winner take all event victory.
4 Cylinder Results (20 laps)- 1.Adam Campbell 2. Brandon Hoffner 3. AJ Hoffner 4. Eric Boozel 5. Tim Campbell 6. Jeff Foster 7. Chris Anderson 8. Travis Brown 9. Justin Oberlin 10. Bruce Betres 11. Bob Rudisill Jr 12. Noah Swnak 13. Justin Williamsom 14. Tim Raup 15. Justin Mong 16. Ryann Betres 17. Quinten Beeman 18. Spencer Utah 19. Tyler Ulsh 20. Shawn Stahl 21. Andrew Moist 22. Bryan Regitz 23. Terry Hartlaub 24. Kolton Wagner 25.Ernie Hewitt 26. Garrett Watkins 27. 22x 28. Jeff Erb
4 Cylinder Non- Qual Results (15 laps)- 1. Ricky Weaver Jr. 2. Travis Semple 3. Blake Snyder 4. Shaun Wise 5. Larry Bechler Jr. 6. Michael Hepler 7. Malachi Doyle 8. Jason Goss 9. Chloe Smith 10. Johnny Stringfellow 11. William Hassenplug 12. Courtney Ulsh 13. Jim Worthy Jr. 14. Melvin McCartney 15. Josh Bender 16. Roanld McCartney