Macri edges Marks to win feature
PORT ROYAL–Anthony Macri knew a good start was going to be key to winning the 25-lap Sprint car feature Saturday night at Port Royal Speedway.
Macri started sixth, but wasted no time getting to the front and streaking away from the field. He did survive a late-race challenge from Brent Marks in lapped traffic eventually scoring the $4,000 win-his second of the season at Port Royal and third overall.
“I knew it was between me, Brent, and Lance (Dewease); whoever got out front first was probably going to win it,” Macri said. “Brent gave me a run for my money. We honestly didn’t have the best car. We tried to work on it under the red. It got better for about two laps and it went away and I had to adjust my driving to keep my pace up.”
Michael Walter II and Jeff Miller led the field down to start the 25-lap main event
Miller grabbed the initial lead, but Walter squeezed around him as they raced off turn two.
Macri, of Dillsburg, wasted no time blasting forward from his sixth starting spot. He squeezed by fourth starting Marks off the top of turn two for third on the opening lap.
Miller was racing low and Walter was on the top as Macri shot between them both racing off turn two taking the lead with one big move the following lap.
“I knew those guys were going to wear each other out trying to get the lead,” Macri said. “Everyone wants to win when you start up there. I seen them both peel-down off the top a little bit. I wanted to do the same thing on Walter that I did on Brent on the start, but he slid up faster and shut the door, and I had to get on the brakes and get the car turned and I had to watch that Miller didn’t come up too high and pinch me into Walter. Luckily, that played out.”
Marks passed Ryan Smith for the fourth spot and then an inside move in turn three by Walter got him into third.
Marks passed Miller in turns three and four, but Miller got back by him down the frontstretch. Marks tried a slider to take the spot, but Miller held onto second.
Meanwhile, Macri was pulling away and began lapping slower cars. Marks finally made the pass of Miller taking over the runner-up spot.
Eighth starter Lance Dewease was up to third now, but was well behind Marks.
Marks was trying to keep pace with Macri slicing through lapped traffic. Both were doing a flawless job getting by the slower cars.
Macri’s 3.5-second lead was erased with 12 laps to go when the red flag stopped the race for a nasty crash in turn two involving Miller. He flipped high enough to knock a hole in the tin fence. He had been racing fourth. He got out of the car under his own power.
Macri controlled the restart as Dewease ducked under Marks for second. Mark had too much momentum off the cushion for Dewease to get by on the bottom. Ninth starter and point leader Logan Wagner had charged into fourth spot while Dylan Cisney and Ryan Smith swapped fifth.
The top three were strung out now with nine to go with Macri and Marks pounding the top and Dewease working the middle.
They reached slower traffic and Marks gained on the leader. Macri tried to split two slower cars in turns three and four losing a lot of momentum. Marks turned inside of him off turn four and down the frontstretch. Marks was in position to take the lead, but a slower car was on the bottom of turn one. He had no choice but to check-up allowing Macri to retake the top spot as he stayed to the outside of Marks and the slower car.
“I was struggling really bad,” Macri said. “I was worrying myself. I could hear him back there. I didn’t want to pull the trigger too soon on some of the lapped cars. I didn’t want to sit there and spin my tires in the middle. Going down the frontstretch, I seen Brent show his nose. I knew I had to make something happen and I split those two cars getting into one and two and I was hoping he didn’t stick the bottom and get a good run. After that I drove as hard as I could without blazing the tires off of it.”
“Anthony got out to a really big lead,” Marks said. “Once we got into lapped traffic, I was starting to run him down. I could see him getting closer and closer and then we had that red flag. It helped me out a little. I made a couple adjustments. I wasn’t feeling all that great prior to that. I was trying to use that one lapped car as a pinch for him, but he cleared that, and there was another lapped car. It didn’t work out for me, but all-in-all, it was a good run for us.”
That was the final challenge as Macri pulled away from there, winning by 1.2 seconds. Marks, Dewease, Wagner and Smith completed the top five and Cisney finished sixth. Jeff Halligan raced from last to seventh. He had to make major repairs after slamming the first turn wall during his heat race. Mike Wagner, Mike Walter II and Gerard McIntyre Jr. rounded out the top 10. Dewease and L. Wagner won heat races for the 20 cars.
Sprint Car Feature (25 laps): 1. Anthony Macri. 2 Brent Marks. 3. Lance Dewease. 4. Logan Wagner. 5. Ryan Smith. 6. Dylan Cisney. 7. Jeff Halligan. 8. Mike Wagner. 9. Mike Walter II. 10. Gerard McIntyre Jr. 11. Jared Esh. 12. AJ Flick. 13. Justin Whittall. 14. Kerry Madsen. 15. Tyler Bear. 16. Trenton Sheaffer. 17. Curt Stroup. 18. Tyler Reeser. 19. Kody Lehman. 20. Jeff Miller.
Dave Grube came out on top of a three-car battle for the win in the 20-lap main event for the 305 Sprint cars. Grube and Ken Duke Jr. shared the front row with Grube getting the jump. He ran the top while Duke ran the bottom. Duke drew even with him a few times but couldn’t make the pass. The yellow flew with 12 laps to go when third place Kassidy Kreitz stopped on the backstretch. The leaders were just about to enter slower traffic.
Kenny Heffner blasted around Duke on the restart and went after Grube. He nearly made the pass for the lead. The leaders made contact racing off turn four with Duke a close third.
Duke got back under Heffner for second and was next to Grube again for the lead, but Grube slammed the door entering turn one.
Grube held on for about a 1-second win over Duke and Heffner. Devin Adams and Justin Mills completed the top five. Garrett Bard, Drew Young, Erin Statler, Austin Reed and Dakota Schweikart rounded out the top 10.
Drew Young, Austin Reed, Justin Mills, and Dave Grube won heat races for the 44 cars. Doug Dodson won the consolation.
Rick Eckert held off Ross Robinson to win the super late model feature. His first of the season at Port Royal. Eckert controlled the race, but Robinson worked inside of him in every set of corners over the final laps. Eckert had just enough momentum to keep the lead.
Eckert started second grabbing the lead with Gary Stuhler moving into second and challenging for the lead.
Stuhler took the lead at one point, but a yellow negated that pass. Dan Stone got turned into the backstretch as Colton Flinner tried to squeeze between Stone and a slower car. He made hard impact, but was okay.
From there, Eckert had to deal with Robinson, but was able to hold on. Former champion Dylan Yoder raced from 15th to third and 10th starter Tyler Bare finished fourth with Stuhler completing the top five. Jeff Rine, Marvin Winters, Austin Berry, Jason Covert and Hayes Mattern rounded out the top 10.
Eckert, of York, earned $3,000, for his 11th career Port Royal win and first of the season.
Heat races were split into six-lap segments with the line-up inverted for the second segment. Passing points were awarded and used to line-up the feature. Dillan Stake and Jason Covert won heat one segments. Nick Dickson and Stuhler heat two, Robinson and Eckert heat three and Dan Stone and Jim Yoder heat four. Mike Lupfer won the consolation.