Hodnett takes first at Port Royal

by Brad Vores for The Sentinel

Greg Hodnett has been consistently fast all season long in his first season driving for car owner Mike Heffner.

But that first win as a team has eluded them despite many top five finishes heading into Saturday night’s All-Star Circuit of Champions sanctioned Bob Weikert Memorial at Port Royal Speedway.

The Thomasville driver started second and got the jump at the start and then came out on top of a close four car battle to score his first win with Heffner and his fourth career Weikert Memorial feature win.

“We’re still not as good as we can be, but I guess we didn’t suck as bad as I thought,” said Hodnett after earning $13,400 which included $10,000 for the 29-lap feature win, $290 in lap money and $500 for the fast time award. “Them watering the track gave us a whole new life so I’ve got to thank the track crew for the job they did for trying to recover the track in really adverse conditions.”

Hodnett was referring to the blustery conditions that kept the track crew on its heals attempting to produce a good racing surface.

The event’s lone caution came out on Lap 3 for Danny Dietrich, who was sporting the Weikert Livestock No. 29 colors for the event. Dietrich’s car stopped on the track after motor problems.

Hodnett maintained the point as last week’s winner Dale Blaney stayed within striking distance of Hodnett as the pair raced through lapped traffic.

Blaney actually got by Hodnett on the 15th lap with a move off Turn 2, but Hodnett blew back around the current All-Star point leader in the third turn to regain the top spot.

Hodnett and Blaney had Brent Marks and Shane Stewart close in to make a close four car battle as they again worked through lapped traffic as lap after lap Hodnett began to increase his advantage aboard the Lelands.com, Trone Outdoor Advertising, Eagle Steel No. 27.

As the race wound down, Hodnett drove away from the field as Stewart had momentarily took second spot in the newly formed Kyle Larson/Justin Marks owned sprinter. Stewart would fade to fourth at the finish as Blaney, of Hartford, Ohio, and Marks, of Myerstown, took the second and third spots at the checkered flag.

“I really screwed up there in traffic a couple times and I thought I could throw the flyer, but I didn’t want to crash anybody so I kind of just did an easy deal and just got out of position and Dale was right there and I knew I had to get a couple of good corners after that to at least give me some breathing room,” Hodnett said following his 34th career Port Royal feature win. “Dale is running exceptionally well this year so I’m very proud to be able to run with him. Just proud of Mike and (crew chief) Ryan (Hand) and all the guys for doing a great job. It’s a great honor and I’m very fortunate and very blessed.”

Following Stewart in fourth was Pittsburgh’s Danny Holtgraver followed by Chad Layton, Lucas Wolfe, Mike Wagner, Ryan Smith and Logan Wagner.

Hodnett paced the 36-car field in time trials with a lap of 16.666 seconds while heat races went Logan Wagner, Tim Shaffer, Pat Cannon and Mike Wagner. Dietrich won the B-Main.

Port Royal Speedway

29-lap Bob Weikert Memorial

1. Greg Hodnett, 2. Dale Blaney, 3. Brent Marks, 4. Shane Stewart, 5. Danny Holtgraver, 6. Chad Layton, 7. Lucas Wolfe, 8. Mike Wagner, 9. Ryan Smith, 10. Logan Wagner, 11. Aaron ott, 12. Jac Haudenschile, 13. Blane Heimbach, 14. Mike Erdley, 15. Doug Esh, 16. Tim Shaffer, 17. Justin Barger, 18. Dave Ely, 19. Trey Starks, 20. Rick Lafferty, 21. Davey Sammons, 22. Ryan Wilson, 23. Pat Cannon, 24. Danny Dietrich.

Did Not Qualify: Steve Buckwalter, Curt Michael, Dylan Cisney, Rodney Westhafer, Lance Dewease, Caleb Helms, Joey Hershey, Nicole Bower, Curt Stroup, Jon Brennfleck, Andrew Parker, Chad Kemenah

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Pennsylvania Super Saturday Raceday to take place Saturday at Millerstown Moose

Photo and article by Jeremy Elliott for Pennlive.com Penn Live


If you are a dirt-track racing fan and are in hibernation or have cabin fever, you can get your fix this Saturday.

Craig Rutherford and Jed Donahue from the Pennsylvania Sports Network have put together “Pennsylvania Super Saturday Raceday,” which begins 10 a.m. Feb. 1 at the Millerstown Moose.

The racing public will be able to mingle with drivers and ask questions after a short media session. Food and drinks will be available at a charge.

Sprint Car drivers Greg Hodnett, Doug Esh and Dylan Cisney are scheduled to be in attendance. Late Model drivers Mike Lupfer, Tim Wilson and Waylon Wagner are also slated to come to the event. More drivers could appear.

Racetracks will also take part. Williams Grove, Lincoln, Port Royal, Bedford, America Raceway Park and Jennerstown will be represented.

Lynn Paxton is also scheduled to appear. Alan Kreitzer will be representing the Eastern Museum of Motor Racing.

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20120910_063329_1b_dewease_mug__200Lance Dewease, All Star Circuit of Champions- Eastern Champion and Williams Grove Speedway Champion for 2011, has been named lead driver of Heffner Racing Enterprise’s Lelands.com-sponsored #27 car for the upcoming season.

The three-time National Open winner’s first race for the team will be the All Star Circuit of Champion Third Annual Winter Freeze on Thursday, Feb. 7, at Screven Motor Speedway in Screven, Georgia. The team will continue on to Florida to compete with the All Stars at Bubba Raceway Park in Ocala on Friday and Saturday, Feb. 8 and 9, and Volusia Speedway Park near Barberville on Feb. 9. The team will remain in Barberville to compete agianst the World of Outlaws Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 15-17 for the UNOH Dirtcar Nationals. Dewease and crew will then return north for the start of the Central Pennsylvania racing season, following a schedule similar to last year, running local events, the All Stars Eastern Series, select World of Outlaw shows and several shows in the Midwest including the Knoxville Nationals and Knoxville 360Nationals. Other special 360 events will be on the schedule also.

“Mike Heffner [team owner] has done some wonderful things for our sport and Heffner Racing is a top notch team that’s been real competitive. I am excited about joining the team and look forward to continuing their winning ways right out of the box,” said Dewease.

Dewease, who suffered a broken spine from a crash late in the 2011 season, replaces driver Daryn Pittman, 2012 All Star Circuit of Champions- Eastern Champion. Pittman piloted the #27 for three seasons before returning to the World of Outlaw circuit as a member of Kasey Kahne Racing.

Team owner Mike Heffner took his time choosing Pittman’s replacement. The relatively young team is fortunate to have worked with some of sprint car racing’s best and most respected drivers.

“Lance is a natural fit for our team. He knows the car, knows the engine builder and will be bringing his mechanic along, so there won’t be any big changes or too many different things to adapt to. Plus, Lance is a fan favorite and well respected in the sport, which is very important to me,” said Heffner, himself considered “one of the nicest owners” in sprint car racing.

Though he has won nearly 300 races in his career, Dewease admits that the past year was “off” for him.

“It took time to get back to race mode after my injury; the year started a little slowly. But we got our speed back at the end of the year, ran well at Knoxville and now my goal is simply to be very competitive and win as much as we can,” concludes Dewease.

The team will be utilizing Rider Racing Engines and Maxim Chassis.  Supporting us will be:  Lelands.com, Conduit Connections, Pasquirellos Auto Shop, Penske Racing Shocks, Wings Unlimited, Brown and Miller Racings Solutions, Keizer Wheels, DMI Racing Components, Schoenfeld Headers, Hanks Performance Products, FK Rod Ends, Viper Venom fuels, ATL Fuel Cells, Schaeffer Racing Oils, Astro Titanium, Tom Shockey Collision, Kirkey Racing Seats, Michael Graphics, Valley Forge Inc, WRT web design and WRT Speedwerx photos.

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2012 Results for the #27
Starts Wins Top 5s Top 10s
97 7 49 74