Port Royal honors popular car owner

PORT ROYAL — Bob Weikert was one of the most charismatic and successful car owners in the history of sprint car racing.

Weikert, who lived in Fairfield, not only made his mark in central Pennsylvania sprint car racing, but across the country fielding his famous Weikert’s Livestock No. 29 for some of the sport’s greatest drivers.

Weikert’s memory will once again be honored at Port Royal Speedway this weekend with races on Saturday and Sunday nights.

Among his Port Royal highlights are six Tuscarora 50 championships, including four straight with Doug Wolfgang from 1984-1987.

He won the Knoxville Nationals in 1972 and 1973 with Kenny Weld and again in 1984 and 1985 with Wolfgang. Weikert’s car won the Williams Grove National Open several times as well with Weld and Wolfgang. He won the King’s Royal in 1985 with Wolfgang.

The combination of Weikert, Wolfgang, with Davey Brown Sr. and Jr. working on the car were practically unbeatable for a time in the mid-’80s. They won more than 125 races.

Weikert first became an owner in 1971. He died in 2002. Port Royal has honored his legacy ever since.

Davey Brown Sr. will be on hand at the Weikert Memorial working on the Don Kreitz 69K driven by Lance Dewease. He is 84-years-old.

Weikert loved winning big races, and loved talking about it and firing up the crowd.

Both sprint car features will pay $10,000 to win and the super late model features will both pay $5,000 to win. This is a first for the speedway.

Mike Barshinger’s car driven by Lucas Wolfe is the two-time defending Weikert Memorial Champion. Barshinger has owned sprint cars for decades and was good friends with Weikert.

“Bob was a really good guy; good for racing,” Barshinger said. “He would probably get himself in trouble today because of the things he’d say in victory lane and in general. There’s nobody like him today. He’d win and say ‘that was nothing, wait until I get my big motor out next week.’ He’d get the people going. It brought people to the track. I don’t know how that would go over today. He’d probably get a fine.

“He was all about racing,” Barshinger said. “He loved to win and if he didn’t, he was trying to figure out why and be back the next week. He would do whatever it takes to go that next step.”

Barshinger is hoping they can win a third straight Weikert Memorial.

“The deal they do is awesome,” Barshinger said. “We’re looking forward to it. We’ve been fortunate to win two of them. We’re going to try like heck for three.”

Fayetteville’s Lance Dewease will be one of the favorites to win the Weikert. Early in his career, Dewease drove one night for Weikert at Port Royal. He won his heat race and the feature in 1991 before moving into Walter Dyer’s No. 461 the following week.

Todd Weikert and the Weikert family have become increasing involved with local racing once again over the past few years. They help sponsor Port Royal and have sponsorship on Danny Dietrich’s sprinter and David Gravel’s on the World of Outlaws tour.

Dietrich is on a roll heading into Weikert weekend. Dietrich beat the World of Outlaws Tuesday night at Bridgeport Speedway in New Jersey. Dietrich finished second and third at Williams Grove against the Outlaws last weekend. He’s a one time winner at Port Royal this season.

Dietrich and the Gary Kauffman team debuted a new car with a new engine last weekend. They have sponsorship from Weikert’s and will run a throw back Weikert Livestock 29 paint scheme for the weekend.

In 1998, Weikert was inducted into the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame in Knoxville, Iowa.

Saturday night is the Fallen Heroes Championship honoring drivers who’ve lost their lives while racing at Port Royal. Sunday night is the Weikert Memorial itself with large bull heads as trophies.

Gates open at 4 p.m. both days and racing starts at 7. Adult general admission is $30 both days.

Rick Eckert won both late model features last season, while Lance Dewease was the Saturday night sprint car winner and Wolfe on Sunday.

The late Greg Hodnett had the most success in the Weikert race. Fred Rahmer won the first one in 2003.

Plenty of prizes will be given to the fans, along with live music both nights. Winged Nation will present their show live from the track.

Logan Wagner is the defending track champion and current sprint car point leader while Dylan Yoder leads the late model standings.