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Wagner bests Macri after late restart

Harrisonville native wins first of season

Sentinel photo by MIKE GOSS
Briella Reich (age 4) and Ziva Yerger (age 5) of Selinsgrove root for the favorite driver during racing action at Port Royal Speedway, on Saturday.

PORT ROYAL–In a thrilling finish, Logan Wagner turned back 21st starter Anthony Macri following a late-race restart to win the Keith Kauffman Classic for the Sprint cars, Saturday night at Port Royal Speedway.

For the three-time and defending speedway champion, his first win of the season and 10th of his career at Port Royal was worth $10,000. It was Wagner’s second career win versus the All Star Circuit of Champions.

Wagner, 30, of Harrisonville, took the lead from Tyler Courtney with eight laps to go and was cruising toward the checkered flag, but instead the yellow flag flew setting up the dramatic finish.

Macri set quick time, but a heat race crash sent him to the B-main, which he won and then charged through the field and was up to second for the green, white, checkered finish.

Wagner got a great restart keeping Macri from trying a first turn pass, but the yellow flag flew again.

Sentinel photo by MIKE GOSS
RIGHT: Anthony Macri (39) bounces off the fence as Bill Balog (17) moves by during the second 410 heat.

The next time, it was Macri getting the better restart. He blasted under Wagner as they raced into turn one trying a slider for the win. Wagner stayed up against the fence and on the gas. Macri slid up the track, but Wagner squeezed by him on the outside. They were side-by-side banging wheels down the backstretch. Wagner took the bottom line away entering turn three preventing another slider from Macri and controlled the final lap scoring a huge victory.

“I knew he was coming,” Wagner said. “I knew he was fourth (on the yellow with six to go). Then we run five laps and I’m coming down for the checkered and sure as sh**, the yellow comes out. I haven’t seen him run the bottom up here all year, so I figured if I stick to the top, I’ll be alright.”

“The first restart was great, but the second I got tight, and then the third restart, I wanted to make sure I didn’t get tight, and I rolled the wing forward, but it didn’t help and the car pushed like a dump truck up across the track and I’m on the brake, on the gas, and there he comes and he usually goes to the wall, but I’ve got to go to the wall, too. We both went to the wall and banged wheels and I’ll admit I ran him clean down to the inside fence going into three, but I had to win that race. I told him in victory lane, I said you’d done the samething to me.’ That’s racing. He said, ‘yeah I probably would.’ I had the nose on him and it helped getting into three and ultimately that’s what won us the race.”

The soft-spoken 21-year-old from Dillsburg was speechless afterward.

“I knew we could come up far, but I didn’t think we could come up to second,” Macri said. “I definitely had a fire under my a** after the heat race. Stupid ordeal. Kind of my fault; kind of his. Is what it is. We had a torn-up racecar and got it fixed and put on a show. The car was as good as last week if not better. I got underneath him. I knew what he was going to do, so I tried to back out earlier and get to the top, but right as I backed out of the gas, it started sputtering because we ran out of fuel. At that point, my mind went from winning the race to holding onto a podium. We got it done.”

Tyler Courtney started on the pole and controlled much of the race even through heavy lapped traffic. Jeff Halligan and Jacob Allen made contact racing for second resulting in top wing damage for Halligan.

Fourth starting Wagner passed Halligan then traded second with Allen for several laps as Courtney held a comfortable lead.

After finally securing second, Wagner went after Courtney for several laps before getting the top spot with eight laps left.

Meanwhile, Macri was up to fourth when the first yellow flew with six to go. He passed Allen and Courtney on the restart.

Allen and Courtney battled for third when Courtney hit the right rear against the fence.

Wagner took the white flag and was nearly at the checkers when the second yellow flew for Dylan Cisney setting up a green, white, checkered finish under All Star rules.

Wagner controlled this restart, but the yellow flew for Blane Heimbach.

Courtney’s great run came to an end under this yellow as he pitted with a flat right rear.

This set up the dramatic final run between Wagner and Macri.

Ian Madsen finished third with Allen fourth and 13th starter Lance Dewease fifth. Danny Dietrich, Tony Stewart, 14th starter Mike Wagner, Rico Abreu and Cory Eliason rounded out the top 10.

Macri set quick time over the 44-car field with a lap of 15.606. Eliason, Abreu, Halligan, Allen and Kerry Madsen won the heat races. Macri won the B-main after trying to avoid a sideways Bill Balog and smacking the first turn fence in his heat race. Courtney and Halligan won the twin dashes.

Sprint Car Feature Keith Kauffman Classic (30 laps): 1. Logan Wagner. 2. Anthony Macri. 3. Ian Madsen. 4. Jacob Allen. 5. Lance Dewease. 6. Danny Dietrich. 7. Tony Stewart. 8. Mike Wagner. 9. Rico Abreu. 10. Cory Eliason. 11. Steve Buckwalter. 12. Brock Zearfoss. 13. Justin Peck. 14. AJ Flick. 15. Pat Cannon. 16. Bill Balog. 17. Tyler Courtney. 18. Zeb Wise. 19. Jeff Halligan. 20. Brent Marks. 21. Lucas Wolfe. 22. Paul McMahan. 23. Hunter Schuerenberg. 24. Dylan Cisney. 25. Blane Heimbach. 26. Kerry Madsen.

B-main (12 laps /top four transfer) 1. Macri. 2. Balog. 3. Schuerenberg. 4. Wolfe 5. Jared Esh. 6. Sye Lynch. 7. TJ Stutts. 8. Gerard McIntyre. 9. Zach Hampton. 10. Jason Shultz. 11. Tyler Bear. 12. Cisney. 13. Tyler Reeser. 14. Michael Bauer. 15. Cap Henry. 16. TJ Michael. 17. Drew Ritchey. 18. Kyle Reinhardt. 19. Heimbach. DNS: Kody Lehman, George Hobaugh, Alex Bright, Ryan Smith, Dallas Schott.

Limited Late Models

Port Royal’s Trent Brenneman led all 20 laps in winning the limited late model feature and setting a track record of 7:08.42.

Brenneman grabbed the lead as Daulton Bigler raced second ahead of a three-car race for third. Defending track champion Andrew Yoder took third from Donnie Farlling. Brenneman led by 4-seconds as Yoder took second at the half-way point.

Brenneman had to deal with lapping slower cars during the second-half of the main event. Devin Hart, who won the last two races, took third from Bigler as Yoder chipped away at the lead.

Brenneman’s final margin of victory was 1.466 over Yoder. Hart, Shawn Shoemaker and Barry Miller completed the top five. Bigler, Greg Moore, Derick Garman, Donnie Farlling and Taylor Farlling rounded out the top 10. Yoder, D. Farlling, and Hart won the heat races and Todd Snook won the B-main.

“Track position means everything here,” Brenneman said. “We’ve hadgood cars this year just bad luck, bad pill draws. We finally started getting some good pill draws. I got a new pill draw guy. It definitely makes a difference and helped us tremendously tonight. These limited late model races aren’t any easier than the super ones. Anybody that tells you it gets easier after the first one – I don’t believe them anymore. It doesn’t. You have to work for it. You can have your tail between your legs one week, and up on top the next week with this racing.”

Limited Late Models (20 laps) 1. Trent Brenneman. 2. Andrew Yoder. 3. Devin Hart. 4. Shawn Shoemaker. 5. Barry Miller. 6. Daulton Bigler. 7. Greg Moore. 8. Derick Garman. 9. Donnie Farlling. 10. Taylor Farlling. 11. Todd Snook 12. Casey Steinhoff. 13. Kenny Yoder. 14. Ryan Zook. 15. Brian Booze. 16. Jared Fulkroad. 17. Bob Dunn. 18. JR Toner. 19. Steve Todorow. 20. Ryan Walls. 21. Khi Swanger. 22. Kyle Bachman. 23. Jennifer Lesher. 24. Chase Bowsman. DNQ: Jim McBee, Cayden Ranck, Ethan Beasom, Danny Atherton, John Schoch.

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