Rain washes out Tuscarora 50; new date forthcoming

Sentinel photo by TIM SHUMAKER
Trey Starks qualifies Saturday at Port Royal.

PORT ROYAL — Rain continues to hamper local dirt track racing.

The latest race affected was the 51st annual Tuscarora 50 at Port Royal Speedway.

One of the highest paying sprint car races in the country was postponed after rain hit the track during heat races Saturday night.

The 50-lap main event was to pay $51,000 to win.

Close to 30 sprint car races have been rained out in Central Pennsylvania this season.

Qualifying time trials were completed for the 53 cars entered; Trey Starks set fast time with a lap of 17.417. Despite the weather, a large crowd was on hand.

The first heat race was on the track when light rain began to fall. They tried to keep racing, but the rain became too heavy and cars were sent back to the pit area. Officials eventually postponed it to Sunday, but that was quickly changed with heavy rain still falling Sunday morning.

As of Sunday evening, no make-up date had been announced but one is expected by Tuesday.

Fans and teams need to keep their admission raincheck wristbands and reserved seat tickets pending details of the make-up date.

Jeff Rine of Danville won the super late model feature late Friday night and in doing so also clinched his first career Port Royal track championship by only 10 points over Dylan Yoder, who finished second in the feature.

Rine took the lead from Gene Knaub following a lap 10 restart. It was his fifth win of the season.

Yoder, Andy Haus, Ralph Morgan Jr. and Kyle Lee completed the top five. Knaub, Roy Deese Jr., Tim Smith Jr., Marvin Winters and Shaun Jones rounded out the top 10.

Logan Wagner of Harrisonville won the sprint car track championship after Greg Hodnett was forced to a back-up car after destroying a car in the dash. Hodnett’s back-up car started the first time they tried it to warm-up the engine, but when they tried to start it for the main event, the car would not start and Hodnett received no feature points.

Wagner finished 10th in the feature beating Hodnett by 55 points.

Wagner won two races during the season as he gained confidence and got more comfortable in their car. He joins his father, Mike, as a Port Royal champion.

It’s the second straight season that Tuscarora 50 weekend determined the track champion. Dylan Cisney had the title in hand until a late-season surge by Brock Zearfoss, who then had a better finish in the T50. Wagner is also the eighth different champion since Steve O’Neal took over management of the facility.

Mike Wagner, Chad Layton, Blane Heimbach, Rick Lafferty, Lucas Wolfe, Doug Esh and Zearfoss are the recent champions.

Port Royal will take a few weeks off before returning to racing with a busy month of October ahead including a two-day World of Outlaws event at the end of the month.

Selinsgrove Speedway presents the Jim Nace Memorial National Open for the sprint cars Saturday night paying $10,000 to win.