Hometown Sports
Don't Miss

Pellman -Dietrich, Wagner Score Wins During Weikert Weekend

By Drew Pellman
PORT ROYAL — The Bob Weikert Memorial — named in memory of one of Central Pennsylvania’s most successful car owners — began at Port Royal Speedway in 2003. The event has grown into one of the premiere springtime races in the East, and one that every driver wants to check off their list of accomplishments. The 2019 version didn’t disappoint on or off the race track. In fact, the biggest challenge was presented to speedway personnel in the form of challenging weather. When all was said and done, however, each scheduled race got completed and weekend champions were crowned.

Danny Dietrich — who has gotten off to a very fast start in 2019 — had made no secret that one of his goals this year was to win one of the “Bull Head” trophies that is presented to all the weekend winners of the Weikert Memorial. He did just that on Saturday night, as a late-race caution flag allowed the driver of the Weikert’s Livestock No. 29 to get past race-long leader Logan Wagner to grab the victory in the 30-lap main event.

Wagner — the 2018 track champion and current speedway point leader — was the beneficiary of the re-draw and started the race on the pole. He led the first 20 laps before Tyler Bear’s machine slowed to a stop to bring out the caution. But just as the Harrisonville driver looked like he may have staved off Dietrich’s challenges, Tyler Reeser’s machine blew a tire three laps later. That proved to be the winning moment for Dietrich on the ensuing restart. As it turned out, Wagner’s job was made even more difficult than normal due to a broken left-rear shock on his Zemco No. 1 machine.

Ryan Smith followed the lead duo to finish third, Lance Dewease was fourth and Lucas Wolfe completed the top five. Sixth through 10th went to Anthony Macri, Ryan Taylor, T.J. Stutts, Jared Esh and Mike Wagner. Esh, Taylor, Reeser and Rick Lafferty won heat races for the 30 410 sprints in attendance, while Tony Fiore paced the B-main. Ryan Smith turned the fastest lap of the evening in qualifying time trials with a 16.087-second circuit.

The good news for Wagner was that Sunday was a new day, and this time he took full advantage of another opportunity to park his car on Port Royal’s victory stage. Making it even more special was the fact that he passed his father Mike for the race lead on lap 14 en route to the victory.

Before that, however, it was A.J. Flick in his No. 2 that jumped out to the early race lead until Wolfe — who was looking for his third straight victory in the Bob Weikert Memorial — slowed to a stop on lap eight with a flat tire after he had advanced to the third spot from sixth. On the ensuing restart, Mike Wagner maneuvered around Flick to take the top spot. Flick then suffered the same fate as Wolfe — a flat tire that brought the yellow back out on lap 13. When the green flag came out once again after an open red flag for fuel, that’s when the younger Wagner made his race-winning move.

Dietrich motored through the field from his ninth starting spot to secure the runner-up spot at the end of 30 laps — a run good enough to make him the overall champion of Weikert weekend. Dewease improved one spot from Saturday night to finish third, Kyle Reinhart took fourth, and Mike Wagner faded to fifth. Esh finished sixth, Dylan Cisney crossed seventh, Taylor was eighth, Wolfe recovered for ninth and Smith rounded out the top ten.

Mike Wagner, Wolfe, and Stutts won the three 410 heats for the 27 cars that returned on Sunday. Freddie Rahmer’s lap of 17.519 seconds was good enough for quick time during qualifying.

In the late model portion of the Bob Weikert Memorial, Mason Zeigler was victorious in the Saturday night portion of the weekend — a race that was completed on Sunday due to heavy rain that hit the Juniata County oval just as the 410 feature finished up the night before. Rick Eckert then won the regularly scheduled Sunday night feature event.

Port Royal returns to action this Saturday with the “Twin 20s” for 410 sprints. Each feature will pay $3,000 to the winner. Also in action will be the 305 sprints and xtreme stocks.

Williams Grove: 410 sprints — Danny Dietrich; 358 sprints — Kevin Nouse
Lincoln: 410 sprints — Anthony Macri; 358 sprints — Cody Fletcher
Selinsgrove: 360 sprints: Rain
Trail-Way: 358 sprints — David Holbrook

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *