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Indiana’s Peck Scores First Port Royal Victory

By DREW PELLMAN
PORT ROYAL — There certainly have been no shortage of storylines over the first two weekends of racing at Port Royal Speedway. After Lance Dewease captured the 2021 Opening Day feature last week — his 116th career triumph which is second all-time at the track — the Juniata County oval saw a first-time winner on Saturday night.
Justin Peck — a native of Indiana — is driving full-time this season with the All-Star Circuit of Champions in the Tom Buch-owned No. 13 sprinter. Buch’s cars have longstanding Pennsylvania roots, and fans can expect to see the team back in the area this weekend until the All-Star schedule roars to life. While Peck ran a partial Pennsylvania schedule last season in John Trone’s No. 39, the historic Central PA speedways certainly demand some seat time to get up to speed. But make no mistake about it, Peck seems to be managing that — and his early-season expectations — just fine.
“This is awesome. As a kid you dream about racing professionally and you dream of going to the big stage,” Peck explained after the win. “There’s no All-Star racing going on right now and the Outlaws are elsewhere, so what’s the next biggest thing? We’re out here in Pennsylvania with the Posse. Our mindset and our mentality is that we need to get going and start out hot. Everything kind of worked out for us tonight and we ended up on top.”
Peck started fifth in his heat race and managed to work his way up to second — securing a coveted spot in the feature redraw in the process. Luck was on his side from there, as he pulled the No. 2 pill out of the bag for a front-row starting position beside Dylan Cisney.
It didn’t take long for the first caution flag to fly in the main event, as Dewease and Pat Cannon tangled on the backstretch on the first lap of the race. Cannon was able to re-join the field, but Dewease headed pitside with damage too severe to continue on.
On the ensuing restart, Cisney took a slight advantage into turn one, but Peck ducked to the low side coming off the second turn and secured the pass for the lead on the backstretch. It was clean and green from there until lap 8 when Jason Shultz and Tyler Reeser — both running in the top 10 at the time — got turned around in between the first and second turns. At the time, Cisney still had the second spot secured, but there was plenty of action right behind him. Anthony Macri — who arguably had the most dominate car at Port Royal last season — and three-time defending champion Logan Wagner were closing quickly in pursuit. The race wouldn’t see another stoppage from there, forcing Peck to be on top of his game as he carefully worked his way through lapped traffic.
“I heard some guys back there, but I didn’t know if they were lappers or some guys trying to pass me for the win,” Peck said. “Then I saw Macri stick his nose in there a few times and it worried me a little bit. I didn’t know exactly where I needed to be on the racetrack. I think I might’ve made a few little mistakes, but we put ourselves in position and passed the lapped cars when we needed and ultimately that’s what decided the race.”
It did, indeed, and it’s a great way to start the season for Team 13.
“You know when you come in and race the Posse that these guys are top notch,” Peck said. “They all know what they’re doing. It seems like everybody that’s anybody comes out here to race, so you’ve got to prove yourself. That’s kind of what I’ve felt like I’ve been doing the last year or so.”
And you can feel the confidence growing between Peck and crew members Sean Strausbaugh and Kurt Williamson.
“I think we’re just a good match for each other,” Peck said. “I know I’m going to get 100 percent out of them and they know they’re going to get 100 percent out of me. We’re back here next weekend (Willliams Grove Friday, Port Royal Saturday, Selinsgrove Sunday) and then we’re off to the All-Star stuff, so we’ll put our best foot forward and try to get some more wins and maybe a championship.”
Macri and Logan Wagner crossed the line second and third respectively, while Cisney fell to fourth and Mike Wagner rounded out the top five. Blane Heimbach was sixth, Ryan Taylor finished seventh, George Hobaugh charged through the field to take eight, Halligan secured ninth and Mike Walter II completed the top 10.
Heat races for the 33-car field at Port Royal were won by Cannon, Macri, Jeff Halligan and Cisney. Hobaugh won the B-main.
Also Saturday night, Gregg Satterlee won the ULMS late model feature and Mark Parks picked up the limited late model feature.
Port Royal will be back in action Saturday at 4 p.m. with the same three divisions. Start times will shift to 6 p.m. in two weeks.
PORT ROYAL — There certainly have been no shortage of storylines over the first two weekends of racing at Port Royal Speedway. After Lance Dewease captured the 2021 Opening Day feature last week — his 116th career triumph which is second all-time at the track — the Juniata County oval saw a first-time winner on Saturday night.
Justin Peck — a native of Indiana — is driving full-time this season with the All-Star Circuit of Champions in the Tom Buch-owned No. 13 sprinter. Buch’s cars have longstanding Pennsylvania roots, and fans can expect to see the team back in the area this weekend until the All-Star schedule roars to life. While Peck ran a partial Pennsylvania schedule last season in John Trone’s No. 39, the historic Central PA speedways certainly demand some seat time to get up to speed. But make no mistake about it, Peck seems to be managing that — and his early-season expectations — just fine.
“This is awesome. As a kid you dream about racing professionally and you dream of going to the big stage,” Peck explained after the win. “There’s no All-Star racing going on right now and the Outlaws are elsewhere, so what’s the next biggest thing? We’re out here in Pennsylvania with the Posse. Our mindset and our mentality is that we need to get going and start out hot. Everything kind of worked out for us tonight and we ended up on top.”
Peck started fifth in his heat race and managed to work his way up to second — securing a coveted spot in the feature redraw in the process. Luck was on his side from there, as he pulled the No. 2 pill out of the bag for a front-row starting position beside Dylan Cisney.
It didn’t take long for the first caution flag to fly in the main event, as Dewease and Pat Cannon tangled on the backstretch on the first lap of the race. Cannon was able to re-join the field, but Dewease headed pitside with damage too severe to continue on.
On the ensuing restart, Cisney took a slight advantage into turn one, but Peck ducked to the low side coming off the second turn and secured the pass for the lead on the backstretch. It was clean and green from there until lap 8 when Jason Shultz and Tyler Reeser — both running in the top 10 at the time — got turned around in between the first and second turns. At the time, Cisney still had the second spot secured, but there was plenty of action right behind him. Anthony Macri — who arguably had the most dominate car at Port Royal last season — and three-time defending champion Logan Wagner were closing quickly in pursuit. The race wouldn’t see another stoppage from there, forcing Peck to be on top of his game as he carefully worked his way through lapped traffic.
“I heard some guys back there, but I didn’t know if they were lappers or some guys trying to pass me for the win,” Peck said. “Then I saw Macri stick his nose in there a few times and it worried me a little bit. I didn’t know exactly where I needed to be on the racetrack. I think I might’ve made a few little mistakes, but we put ourselves in position and passed the lapped cars when we needed and ultimately that’s what decided the race.”
It did, indeed, and it’s a great way to start the season for Team 13.
“You know when you come in and race the Posse that these guys are top notch,” Peck said. “They all know what they’re doing. It seems like everybody that’s anybody comes out here to race, so you’ve got to prove yourself. That’s kind of what I’ve felt like I’ve been doing the last year or so.”
And you can feel the confidence growing between Peck and crew members Sean Strausbaugh and Kurt Williamson.
“I think we’re just a good match for each other,” Peck said. “I know I’m going to get 100 percent out of them and they know they’re going to get 100 percent out of me. We’re back here next weekend (Willliams Grove Friday, Port Royal Saturday, Selinsgrove Sunday) and then we’re off to the All-Star stuff, so we’ll put our best foot forward and try to get some more wins and maybe a championship.”
Macri and Logan Wagner crossed the line second and third respectively, while Cisney fell to fourth and Mike Wagner rounded out the top five. Blane Heimbach was sixth, Ryan Taylor finished seventh, George Hobaugh charged through the field to take eight, Halligan secured ninth and Mike Walter II completed the top 10.
Heat races for the 33-car field at Port Royal were won by Cannon, Macri, Jeff Halligan and Cisney. Hobaugh won the B-main.
Also Saturday night, Gregg Satterlee won the ULMS late model feature and Mark Parks picked up the limited late model feature.
Port Royal will be back in action Saturday at 4 p.m. with the same three divisions. Start times will shift to 6 p.m. in two weeks.

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