Hammer Time at the Port
PORT ROYAL, Pa. (April 1, 2017) – Doug Esh outran Greg Hodnett to win the 25-lap sprint car feature at Port Royal Speedway on Saturday night, holding Hodnett off as the pair raced in and out of traffic at lightning fast speeds.
And the 18-lap 305 sprint main went to Tyler Reeser in what was a crash-filled event.
Esh’s run to victory was anything but easy from his pole starting spot as no less than three restarts took place with Hodnett glued to his tail on the extremely fast speedway surface.
The leader hit the backmarkers on the fourth lap of the main just before the first caution flag unfurled and after the restart Esh again hit traffic on the 10th tour.
And the two leaders were darting through traffic when Esh narrowly avoided disaster in the fourth corner when he came up on a suddenly slowing Eric Tomecek, all but looping the car in evasive action.
Another restart with 11 laps to go after Ryan Smith stopped on the track set up the final run to the checkers with Hodnett leaving absolutely no breathing room for Esh.
The pair again entered lapped traffic with five laps to go with Esh holding just a few tenths of a second advantage over Hodnett.
At no time during the race was Esh’s advantage more than .7 seconds over Hodnett and even those few tenths evaporated as the pair shot off of the fourth corner for the checkers when Esh swung wide in traffic allowing Hodnett to close to within .101 seconds as the pair crossed the finish line.
The win was the eighth of Esh’s career at the track.
Rick Lafferty rode home third followed by Aaron Ott and Steve Buckwalter.
Sixth through 10th went to Ryan Taylor, Cole Duncan, Brock Zearfoss, Logan Wagner and Dylan Cisney.
Heats went to Esh, Smith and Hodnett.
Esh set a new one-lap track record in the first heat race with a mark of 15.011 seconds while Hodnett set a new eight-lap track record in his heat with a time of 2:02.587.
The crash-laden 305 sprint main saw Tyler Reeser wire the field after starting the race in fourth.
Cale Reigle took second spot on the third lap but failed to snare the lead despite several attempts at gaining the top spot.
Red flag stoppages marred the event on the second, fifth and 10th lap.
Reeser took the win by 3.229 seconds over Reigle, Mark Watkins, Drew Ritchey and Colby Dice.
Sixth through 10th went to Zach Newlin, Reed Thompson, Kassidy Kreitz, Andrew Hake and Fred Arnold with only those 10 cars finishing the event.
Heats went to Jeff Miller, Nathan Gramley and Thompson.
Reeser set a new one-lap track record in the feature with a lap of 17.583 seconds, overtaking a new mark set by Miller in the first heat race.
Sprint Cars, 25 laps: 1. Doug Esh, 2. Greg Hodnett, 3. Rick Lafferty, 4. Aaron Ott, 5. Steve Buckwalter, 6. Ryan Taylor, 7. Cole Duncan, 8. Brock Zearfoss, 9. Logan Wagner, 10. Dylan Cisney, 11. Kody Lehman, 12. Mike Wagner, 13. AJ Flick, 14. Carl Bowser, 15. Gary Kriess, 16. Tyler Esh, 17. Nicole Bower, 18. Curt Stroup, 19. TJ Stutts, 20. Ryan Smith, 21. Cale Grubb, 22. Tyler Bear, 23. Eric Tomecek, 24. Ralph Engel, 25. George Streaker Jr., 26. Vince Daugherty
DNS: George Streaker
305 Sprints, 18 laps: 1. Tyler Reeser, 2. Cale Reigle, 3. Mark Watkins, 4. Drew Ritchey, 5. Colby Dice, 6. Zach Newlin, 7. Reed Thompson, 8. Kassidy Kreitz, 9. Andrew Hake, 10. Fred Arnold, 11. Dave Grube, 12. Erin Statler, 13. John Walp, 14. Jeremy Hill, 15. Jeff Miller, 16. Nathan Gramley, 17. Dylan Shatzer, 18. Jaremi Hanson, 19. Scott Ellerman, 20. Samantha Lieberman, 21. Darren Miller, 22. Kyle Ganoe, 23. Ron Aurand
DNS: Jacob Gomola, Ken Duke
(Trent Gower photo)
From Port Royal Speedway PR