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Local Racing In a Holding Pattern Amid COVID-19 Concerns

BY DREW PELLMAN
Here in Central Pennsylvania, area race fans are rarely surprised when they’re told that the weekend racing schedule is not going to take place early in the season. After all, when you’re attempting to beat Mother Nature in late-February and March, there’s a fair chance that cold weather, rain and even snow could put a halt to the scheduled races at area tracks such as Lincoln, Port Royal and Williams Grove.
However, when we think back to 2020 in a few years, it will certainly be remembered for something completely different. At the current time, all the aforementioned mid-state speedways have closed their respective gates for this weekend — and perhaps for several more weekends to come — after state Governor Tom Wolf requested that all nonessential businesses do so in an attempt to combat the spread of the coronavirus that has been causing trouble worldwide for a couple of months.
Locally, Port Royal Speedway has had nearly perfect weather and was able to get both of its two scheduled races in the books. California invader — and current member of the All-Star Circuit of Champions — Cory Eliason picked up the victory in front of the largest opening-day crowd in track history on Sunday, March 8th. Following the Rudeen Racing No. 26 to the line was Brent Marks, two-time and defending track champion Logan Wagner, Lance Dewease and Anthony Macri in a field that saw 46 410 sprinters sign in for competition. Eliason, Jeff Halligan, Danny Dietrich, Ryan Smith and Marks each were heat winners, while Paulie Colagiovanni took the checkers in the B-main.
This past Saturday, it was Dewease who led from start to finish to pick up his 113th career victory at the Juniata County half-mile. The Fayetteville native is now just 16 victories shy of Mifflintown’s Keith Kauffman atop the list of all-time feature winners. Logan Wagner settled for second, more than seven seconds off the blistering pace set by the familiar baby blue No. 69K. Dietrich was third, Lucas Wolfe crossed fourth, and Mike Wagner completed the top five. Four heats for the 33 410 sprints signed in were won by Gerard McIntyre Jr., Blane Heimbach and Logan Wagner and Dewease. Anthony Macri won the B-main.
Port Royal has already announced its intentions to stay dark for the next two weekends, with a goal of returning to racing action on April 4th. The 410 sprints and super late models are back on the schedule that evening, as well as the first appearance of the season by the 305 sprint cars.

Other Area Winners
Lincoln Speedway: Danny Dietrich (Saturday, February 22), Dylan Cisney (Sunday, March 1), Brandon Rahmer (Saturday, March 7) and Alan Krimes (Saturday, March 14)
Williams Grove Speedway: Carson Macedo (Sunday, March 15)

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