Story By: BRETT DEYO / SHORT TRACK SUPER SERIES – PORT ROYAL, PA – The much-anticipated return of the Modifieds to Port Royal Speedway takes place this Friday, October 12.
The ‘Speed Showcase’ features Bob Hilbert Sportswear Short Track Super Series (STSS) Fueled By Sunoco big-block/small-block Modifieds making their first-ever appearance on the ‘Speed Palace’ half-mile oval. Modifieds have not hit the track at Port Royal in more than 30 years, contributing to this much-anticipated return.
STSS Modified competitors race 40 laps for $5,000 to win, $1,000 for 10th and $400 just to take the green flag. This marks event No. 6 of the series’ Velocita-USA South Region.
A ‘race fan’s dream’ program also includes 410 Sprint Cars competing for $4,000 to win in a 25-lap A-Main.
Matt Sheppard of Waterloo, N.Y., leads the STSS Velocita-USA South Region standings into Port Royal. With a conflicting Super DIRTcar Series event in Ontario, it is unlikely Sheppard will participate in the ‘Speed Showcase’ leaving the title fight wide open.
Only two events, including Port Royal, remain on the 2018 agenda for the $10,000 top prize.
Poised to capitalize is current point runner-up Ryan Watt of Boyertown, Pa., who opened the season with a victory in March at Georgetown (Del.) Speedway. Watt is currently 41 points behind Sheppard (491-450).
New Jersey’s David Van Horn, always consistent in the Fred Vahlsing-owned No. 323ov, sits third in points with 414 markers accrued. Fourth in points is Oley, Pa., driver Craig Von Dohren (401 points), who is a past winner at Port Royal back on March 28, 1987 while driving the Shuman No. 5s.
Ryan Godown of Ringoes, N.J., is fifth in points with 388 points to his credit. Godown will be in the field with the Lincoln Auto Body, Dieter Schmidt-owned No. 5.
Currently sixth through 12th, respectively, are Duane Howard in Oley, Pa., in the Norm Hansell-owned No. 357 with 383 points; Anthony Perrego of Montgomery, N.Y., with 375 points; Andy Bachetti of Sheffield, Mass., with 372 points; Jeff Strunk of Boyertown, Pa., with 339 points; Billy Pauch Jr. of Frenchtown, N.J., with 328 points; Rick Laubach of Quakertown, Pa., with 316 points; and Danny Bouc of Pipersville, Pa., with 300 points.
Other series competitors expected to participate include Mike Gular of Boyertown, Pa.; Jimmy Horton of Neshanic Station, N.J.; Jordan Watson of Milford, Del.; Brandon Grosso of Montgomery, N.J.; veteran Billy Pauch of Frenchtown, N.J.; Ryan Krachun of Branchburg, N.J.; Jim Britt of Broomall, Pa.; Roger Manning of Wrightstown, Pa.; Matt Stangle of Neshanic Station, N.J.; and more.
The phone has been buzzing at STSS headquarters and there could be some surprises and invaders in the field.
For the ‘Speed Showcase’ pit and grandstand gates will open at 4 p.m. Heat in the motors and hot laps hit the track at 6:15 p.m. Racing begins at 7 p.m.
Adult admission is $25. Students (ages 12-18) pay $15. Kids 11 and under are FREE. Pit admission is $35, with no license required.
There is a scheduled rain date for this event of Sunday, October 14.