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Pellman: Port Royal Set for Green on 2022 Season

PORT ROYAL — For area race fans, the upcoming weekend is one that is heavily anticipated all winter long. Sunday afternoon will mark the beginning of the 80th season of racing at Port Royal Speedway, and fans are sure to turn out in droves for the 2022 lid lifter that features the 410 sprint cars and super late models. Port Royal has a jam-packed schedule planned for the new season, one that will again see visits by the World of Outlaw sprint cars, Lucas Oil late models, All-Star Circuit of Champion sprint cars, World of Outlaw late models, and much more.

In the sprint car division, Logan Wagner will be looking to do something that’s never been done at the Juniata County half-mile by capturing a fifth consecutive 410 track title. His 2021 championship tied him with legendary driver Keith Kauffman who won four straight from 1978 through 1981. Wagner will be back in the familiar Zemco No. 1 for 2022, owned by John & Pee Wee Zemaitis.

Speaking of “The Man From Mifflintown,” who still sits at the top of Port Royal’s all-time win list with 129 triumphs, Kauffman — who has been retired since the end of the 2013 campaign — has seen his lead in that department decrease over the last several years. Lance Dewease comes into the new season with 119 victories, just 10 shy of a mark that most diehards didn’t think would ever be broken. Dewease will once again be aboard another of Central Pennsylvania’s most recognizable racecars — the Kreitz Racing No. 69K — with thoughts of shrinking that deficit even more in 2022.

After Dewease, Mark Smith is the next active driver on Port Royal’s all-time win list, currently sitting 12th with 33 career victories. Many of those came aboard the aforementioned Zemco No. 1 machine. Blane Heimbach (14 wins), Mike Wagner (13 wins), Brent Marks (12 wins) and Lucas Wolfe (12 wins) are the next closest active competitors in the wins department at the track.

Dylan Yoder will look to defend his track championship in the late model division, after narrowly beating out Gary Stuhler for the top spot in the final event of 2021 last fall.

Scotty Haus (96 wins) still has a commanding lead in the all-time super late model wins list. As far as active drivers are concerned, Jeff Rine sits 10th with 27 career Port Royal victories.

Opening Day activities will kick off at 2 PM on Sunday, with gates opening at 11 AM. The speedway shifts back to its traditional Saturday programs next week (March 12th, 4 PM) with the 410 sprints and late models on the card once again.

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