PORT ROYAL – On a night celebrating the career of retiring Hall of Fame sprint car driver Keith Kauffman, it was one of the sport’s young drivers who stole the show at Port Royal Speedway on Saturday night.
Hanover’s Logan Schuchart battled Brent Marks and then defending track champion Chad Layton before finally securing the lead on lap 27 to eventually score a 2.192 margin of victory over Layton and Marks.
His first career Port Royal win was worth $5,000 and gave him two wins on the weekend after scoring the second twin 20 at Williams Grove Speedway on Friday night.
“It was a great race with Chad Layton,” Schuchart said. “He’s always fast up here. We tried a different setup tonight. We had to focus on getting it right for the feature. I’ve been good in time trials, but couldn’t get it right for the feature. We’ve been running this new setup and I think we found something that I’m comfortable with. I never get to race with Keith Kauffman much, but everybody knows who he is. He’s a heck of a driver. I’m glad to win this race.”
Marks started on the pole of the 33-lap Kauffman Tribute Race and led the first lap before Layton drove by and began building a lead.
Schuchart started sixth after setting quick time and it didn’t take him long to catch Marks. The two young drivers went back and forth for several laps as they battled for the second spot.
Layton, of Harrisburg, was racing in heavy lapped traffic and Marks and Schuchart were able to close and make it a three-car race for the lead.
The top three finally broke free of the traffic and were racing in clean air.
Schuchart went after Marks for second once again and this time made the move work off turn two.
Layton was pounding the cushion as Schuchart worked the bottom and middle of the corners. Schuchart put a slider on Layton in turns one and two. They were side-by-side down the backstretch and into the third turn.
Schuchart was scored the leader of lap 22, but Layton drove back around him and into the lead. The only caution flag of the race flew on lap 23.
Layton had a single lapped car between himself and Schuchart for the restart. Both drivers raced low in three and four, while Layton continued to race the top in turns one and two and Schuchart in the middle.
They were inches apart off turn two and Schuchart grabbed the lead in turn three with 26 laps completed. Layton tried to take the lead back again, but this time, Schuchart stayed out front.
He drove away from Layton over the final seven laps to score the win. Layton settled for second ahead of Marks, Lance Dewease and point leader Blane Heimbach.
Greg Hodnett, Mike Erdley, Rick Lafferty, Doug Esh and Brian Leppo completed the top 10.
A special ceremony was held at intermission honoring Kauffman. This included the unveiling of the Keith Kauffman Family Section of the speedway’s main grandstand.
Schuchart set fast time with a lap of 16.420. Esh, Leppo and Marks won the 10-lap heat races. Cliff Brian won the consolation.
Terry Naugle of Port Royal won his first career late model feature over Mike Lupfer, Coleby Frye, Lindsey Barton and Matt Parks. He led all 21 laps and earned $2,100. Naugle also extended his lead in the championship standings to 235 points.