Layton tops 410 field at Port
PORT ROYAL – Some 78 sprint cars filled the Port Royal Speedway pits on Saturday night for Open Wheel Madness where Chad Layton, Randy West and Eric Parker came away winners of the 410 sprint, URC sprint and 305 sprint features, respectively.
Layton started on the pole of the 25-lap 410 sprint main and after a few attempts at getting the first lap recorded he led the field back to the stripe.
One of the initial restarts came after Dustin Baney flipped wildly out over the third turn guardrail, escaping injury.
With Layton the leader, second starter Mike Erdley was running well and kept Layton in his sights along with third starter Dylan Cisney and when leader Layton entered the backmarkers on the eighth tour, the pair was there to keep him honest.
Competitive traffic on the slick surface forced Layton to search around for a line to clear the slower cars and Erdley was there to take a stab at the win just before the halfway point.
The Elizabethville driver went out front on the 11th tour but then he too had to deal with slower cars just in front and that allowed Layton to stay close.
Two laps later when Erdley got bottled up trying to clear the backmarkers is when Layton put himself back out in front to end up leading the final 12 laps.
During the final 10 laps, a quickening pack of cars including Lance Dewease, Cisney and Blane Heimbach began punching their way through to the front in the non-stop feature event.
With six laps to go Cisney cleared Erdley and could see Layton out front but he was never quite able to muster enough strength to close substantially.
Layton got his fourth of the year by 1.266 seconds.
Erdley began drifting backward late in the race as point leader and 14th starter Heimbach really chewed away at the front-runners before finishing third in the order.
Eighth starter Dewease rode home fourth with Erdley in fifth. Sixth through 10th went to Keith Kauffman, Brock Zearfoss, Brian Leppo, Joey Hershey and Cliff Brian. Heats for the 28-car field went to Layton, Erdley and Cisney with Daryl Stimeling taking the consolation race.
The 25-lap URC sprint feature saw polesitter Brian Carber lead the first four laps before sputtering to a stop on a lap four restart.
Prior to that Carber held a healthy lead over Josh Weller in second.
Weller then restarted with the lead and Chad Trout in second but eighth starter West of Boyertown blasted into second on the restart and set his sights on Weller.
With eight laps down West went into control and began heading into the backmarkers.
Meanwhile 13th starter Aaron Ott began challenging URC point leader JJ Grasso for fourth with he got with 11 laps to go.
He then ran down Trout to take third with two laps left but by then West was gone to a 4.649 second victory over Weller.
Trout was fourth with Grasso in fifth. Sixth through 10th went to Mark Smith, Dave Ely, Robbie Stillwaggon, Curt Michael and Davie Franek.
Heats for the 26-car field went to Carber, West and Andy Best with Jim Stitzel scoring the consolation race.
Kody Lehman took the field to the green from the pole in the 305 sprint main and led until the 19th tour when Eric Parker surprised the front runners with a run through the middle groove to win his second of the year at the track.
The first 17 laps of the race went non-stop until Jim Kennedy saw a move for third spot take out himself and Nate Gramley.
Mike Wagner II lined up second for the restart with Scott Ellerman in third and Parker in fourth.
Ellerman withdrew when action resumed making Parker third and with a sudden burst of speed Parker drove to the outside of both Wagner and Lehman in consecutive laps to take control.
A final restart with a lap to go allowed Lehman to race closely for the win through the final turns but he came up .582 seconds short at the finish.
Wagner was third followed by Jason Bergstresser and 25th starter Logan Wagner. Sixth through 10th went to Mark Watkins, Alex Schanz, Zach Newlin, Ryan Lynn and Paul Snyder.
Heats went to Schanz, Ellerman and Kennedy.