Leader of the pack
PORT ROYAL – Ryan Taylor scored the biggest win of his sprint car career with a dominating performance during the Living Legends Dream Race at Port Royal Speedway on Saturday night.
The 25-year-old from Perkasie (near Philadelphia) earned $11,580 for a night of racing in a car owned by his dad and the Taylor family.
He started on the pole and drove by Fred Rahmer on lap two and was never seriously challenged over the final 28 laps.
“When you have a track that’s this good, you’ve got to make your move right away, especially on someone like Fred who is so good,” Taylor said.
Rahmer started next to Taylor in second and grabbed the lead at the start and led the opening lap before Taylor drove by off turn two.
A heavy shower hit the track around 5 p.m. and made for a very fast racing surface all night long.
The red flag flew on lap seven for a third-turn crash involving Davey Sammons and Logan Wagner, who was making his first 410 start and got into the show as the 25th starter thanks to a fan vote. Both were uninjured.
Defending track champion and 2010 Dream winner Chad Layton won the first 16-lap semifeature and would drive by Rahmer and into second.
The caution flag flew for a frontstretch accident involving Keith Kauffman and Curt Stroup on lap 12.
Taylor had some trouble lapping Ryan Smith and that allowed Layton to close within striking distance. Taylor didn’t make a mistake though and kept the lead.
Taylor went low into turn three and Layton was on top and appeared ready to make a move for the lead when the caution flag flew for Lance Dewease with three laps left.
“The last thing I wanted to see with three to go was a caution,” Taylor said. “My guys told me to get up on the wheel and drive it like I was. I knew I had to put together three perfect laps.”
Taylor controlled the final three circuits and scored a huge win over Layton and Rahmer. Brian Leppo was solid all night and came home fourth. Point leader Blane Heimbach made a last turn pass to finish fifth.
“It’s disappointing,” said Layton, who earned over $7,000 for the night. “That’s the way racing is. It’s not the first time I’ve been dealt those cards before and it won’t be the last time. Ryan ran a good race. We gave it our all. I needed the race to go nonstop.”
Rahmer scored his 45th top five finish of the season in 46 starts.
“We were a little bit off,” Rahmer said. “It’s not what I do best on a track like this.”
Brian Montieth, second semifeature winner Doug Esh, hard charger Mike Wagner, Adam Wilt and Kyle Moody were in the top 10.
Mark Smith set fast time over the 45-car field with a lap of 15.478 at 116.294 mph.
Layton passed Rahmer on lap three and won the first 16-lap semifeature. Taylor, Rahmer, Steve Buckwalter and Dylan Cisney were in the top five. In the second semifeature, it was Esh scoring the win over Leppo, Dewease, Montieth and Heimbach. These races set the lineup for the Dream Race after the top three drivers from each race redrew for starting spots.
Smith won the B-main. Joey Hershey won the non-qualifiers race. The semis paid $2,000 to win, plus lap money.
In the 15-lap pro stock feature, Tim Krape won his seventh feature in 10 races. Scott Landis, Dan Berry, Andrew Shoop and Kyle Rapp were top five.