Esh takes first at Bob Weikert Memorial in front of huge Port Royal crowd
PORT ROYAL – Doug Esh put on a dominating performance in winning the Bob Weikert Memorial for sprint cars at Port Royal Speedway on Saturday night.
Esh, of Lancaster, took home a hefty $12,200 payday in front of one of the largest crowds in recent Port Royal history.
Tom and Fran Chiappelli hired Esh to drive their western Pennsylvania-based car at Port Royal and he’s already won twice.
“In the winter, I thought maybe I’d be sitting not having anything to drive and they gave me an opportunity,” Esh said. “It’s just awesome to be associated with good people.”
Brad Sweet started on the pole of the 30-lap main event sanctioned by the All Star Circuit of Champions and grabbed the early race lead. A mistake in turn four allowed Tim Shaffer to drive by and lead lap six.
As the leaders reached lapped traffic, Esh began to show some muscle as he got by Sweet in turn two and then drove into turn three hard under Shaffer to grab the lead.
“I got to lapped traffic and we were way more maneuverable than those guys,” Esh said. “I wanted to win this for Pennsylvania guys and I didn’t have much help up there. We got it done and PA Posse stands victorious against the All Stars once again. There were some of the best racers up front there and it’s awesome to come out on top.”
Shaffer’s good run came to an end a few laps later as he made contact with a slowing sprinter that was trying to avoid Ryan Taylor’s disabled car.
A fuel stop was needed on lap 13 following another caution flag.
Rising NASCAR star Kyle Larson of Elk Grove, Calif. was making his Port Royal Speedway debut. After trouble during qualifying, Larson made the Weikert Memorial through the B-main and started 22nd. He was up to sixth when he spun out after driving too hard into turn three on lap 16.
That was the final caution flag as Esh would score a convincing win over Sweet and sixth starter Dale Blaney. Danny Lasoski and Cap Henry were in the top five. Mike Wagner, Lance Dewease, Jac Haudenschild, Steve Buckwalter and Blane Heimbach rounded out the top 10.
Tim Krape won the 15-lap pro stock feature over Scott Landis, Kyle Rapp, Andrew Shoop and Keith Garman. Jason Davis won the enduro dash.