Logan Seavey (5) charges under Brady Bacon at Port Royal Speedway. (Photo by Dan Demarco)
PORT ROYAL, Pa.. – Port Royal Speedway proved to fit Logan Seavey’s style when the California sprint car racer won the USAC AMSOIL Sprint Car National Championship on Saturday night as part of the Open Wheel Madness in the half -mile dirt oval.
This is Seavey’s second victory on the Eastern Storm tour after he won Wednesday at Bridgeport Motorsports Park.
“Hammering the guardrail at a big, fast half mile is hard to beat,” Seavey exclaimed. “I know it’s a place I’ll pick up quickly and I’ll enjoy the race.”
Seavey started in fifth, but immediately fell to seventh in opening two circuits before finally recovering in the ensuing laps. Polesitter Briggs Danner ran the early lead and controlled the first two laps before tagging the cushion at the top of turn two on lap three, which wrapped his right rear tire full of mud and forced him to go to work for in the repair of which he Will recover from to 10th.
Fast-qualifier CJ Leary set a fast pace early in the feature after starting in the 6th, finding his way to second spot at the end of the first lap and then taking his role as leader of the pack when Danner had a problem.
Bacon was the first to challenge Leary for the lead on lap four but he didn’t complete the pass. That opened the door for a sudden peeping Emerson Axsom who shot below and deflected Bacon for the runner-up position and, then, the race was ahead in the sixth lap between one and two.
The winner last night at the somewhat similar half-mile dirt oval of nearby Williams Grove Speedway was Justin Grant who, while running seventh at Port Royal, slowed down with a flat tire in the rear on the sixth lap. His vehicle was pushed to the workplace where it received extensive assistance from its crewman Dylan Cook as well as rival Dynamics, Inc. crew. Racing by Brady Bacon where everything is hand on deck.
Starting with the lap-seven restart, Bacon and Seavey, along with Shane Cottle, were zipped by second-running Leary who dropped from second to fifth shortly after. Bacon quickly shut down Axsom after a while and was able to get right to his rear bumper on lap 12 but he couldn’t pass.
The door opened wide for Seavey at that exact moment, allowing him to tear Bacon apart for a second using a key slider on one. While Axsom’s new second-place car challenged Seavey for the top spot at half-time, lap 15, Bacon himself shut out Axsom for second.
Alex Bright, who seemed out of time for the second straight night, flew from 16th starting spot past Bacon for third on the 18th lap and second on Axsom’s 19th lap with a patented Port Royal slide job to do the work at hand. However, Seavey still maintained a big, near-straight lead over Bright with 10 more.
Meanwhile, Grant, who last restarted after his tire blew on the seventh lap, was beaten up almost the entire field when he climbed to the fourth on lap 26 with Axsom’s outside pass on turn two, then made a more great on the last lap when he slipped Bacon on turn three to take third and final spot on the podium.
Ahead of those two was Seavey who made his Port Royal debut a surprising and resounding success when he finished his first appearance at Port Royal on his first trip to victory lane at the beautiful venue over Bright, Grant, Bacon and Axsom, while leading by a whopping 5.407 second margin at the finish line.
“I had no idea how much I was ahead,” Seavey admits. “I knew my speed was good, but I didn’t feel like I was running that fast. I feel like the harder you run, the more you hit the pillow and it kind of eats you up. I had a weird line there at three and four and I noticed it was pretty flat next to the wall. I do that, then I bounce off the wall and turn around. I’m just looking for any kind of grip we can find there. (Crew chief) Ronnie Gardner has this car really, really good. ”
Bright changed engines at night and then romped from 16ika in the second, equal to his best career in the USAC National Sprint Car finish.
Grant made a magical drive to finish third in this feature after pitting for a flat tire on the rear right on the seventh lap.