Division champs feted by track
PORT ROYAL – A capacity crowd filled the Port Royal Community Building Saturday night to honor Port Royal Speedway’s best performers of the 2013 season.
Titlists in all five regular divisions at the track were presented with championship rings to go along with their payoff checks and trophies.
Blane Heimbach of Selinsgrove and the Jeff Creasy No. 12 410 sprint car team accepted laurels as the sprint car champions while confirming plans to return to the track in 2014.
Heimbach had five wins on the season while qualifying for all 21 shows that he entered at Port Royal, finishing outside of the top 10 only once in those shows while earning an average feature finish of fifth.
The balance of the top 10 in the sprint standings honored were Chad Layton, Mike Wagner, Dylan Cisney, Mike Erdley, Doug Esh, Lance Dewease, Keith Kauffman, Cliff Brian and Davey Sammons.
Port Royal’s Cisney took home Most Improved honors, posting an average finish of eighth in all 21 shows that he entered.
Kauffman, the most prosperous driver in the history of the track who has now retired from the sport, was declared the sportsmanship honoree and drew a standing ovation from the entire room upon taking to the stage.
Kauffman will represent the oval at the upcoming Auto Racing Club of Hagerstown banquet.
Mechanicsburg’s Rodney Westhafer was awarded Rookie of the Year honors with a 17th place finish in the points and an average feature finish of 10th.
Local Terry Naugle likewise drew raucous applause from the crowd upon taking ownership of the late model championship trophy for his No. 71 team.
The title is the third overall of Naugle’s career at the track having also taken an enduro division crown in 2008 and a pro stock title in 2009. Naugle pocketed a single victory on the season and three runner-ups while qualifying for all 16 point shows conducted.
His average feature finish was seventh.
Aside from Naugle, remaining late model honorees were Brett Schadell, Mike Lupfer, Tim Wilson, Matt Parks, Mitch Hack, Chad Hollenbeck, Mike Mort, Patrick Bryner and Trent Brenneman.
With a fifth in the point chase, Parks earned Most Improved Driver honors with an average feature finish of third.
Finishing 11th in the points, Jason Schmidt won Rookie of the Year laurels.
Hollenbeck earned Port Royal sportsmanship honors while Brenneman will represent the late model division as the sportsmanship driver at the ARCH banquet.
Tim Krape took home the title of pro stock champion for the fourth time in his career since the division began in 1998. Krape’s average finish in the 12 shows he ran was 1.3 with nine victories bolstering his average.
Scott Landis, Nate Fisher, Andrew Shoop, Kyle Rapp, Nate Stroup, Chase Bowsman, Dan Berry, Dave Berry and Tim Fedder rounded out the top 10 honorees.
Fedder earned sportsmanship honors while Rapp took Rookie of the Year with an average feature finish of fourth to his credit.
The top five point earners in the enduros and 305 sprints also were honored.
Deron Henry won the enduro dash title with a lone victory and an average finish of fourth. Jared Fulkroad was declared the sportsmanship award winner.
Logan Wagner accepted honors as the first ever 305 sprint series track titlist. Wagner qualified for all seven 305 shows conducted, earning a trio of wins and an average finish overall of fourth.
The Harrisonville driver announced he will compete in weekly 410 sprint action at Port Royal in 2014.
Separately, the governing body of Port Royal Speedway and the Juniata County Fair recently completed its yearly reorganization and restructuring. Re-elected to a fourth term as president of the society was Juniata County native and second-generation president Donald Clark.
Re-elected as vice president was Richard Aumiller. Pattie Brenneman was officially elected as treasurer of the agricultural society, a role she has fulfilled as a designee since March 2013.
The board announced that the promotional team of PRS Promotions headed by Steve O’Neal, which includes Shawn Brouse and Shane Armstrong, has been retained to manage, conduct and oversee racing at the revived fairgrounds oval for a new five-year term beginning with the 2014 season.
Underway currently at the fairgrounds and speedway is the widening and recontouring of the first and second corners of the oval. Widening of the turns has now been completed so as to match the same effort that was completed in the third and fourth corners late in 2012.
In addition improved drainage systems have also been installed inside the corners, again to match that which was installed late last year at the opposite end of the track.
Resurfacing of all four corners of the speedway is next on the agenda along with total replacement of inside and outside guardrail from the end of the frontstretch, thorugh the corners to the beginning of the backstretch.
Port Royal Speedway will open the 2014 season with a Test and Tune session on March 8, a week before opening the season. Season seats and passes for 2014 will go on sale Dec. 2.