Story By: JUSTIN SNYDER / PORT ROYAL SPEEDWAY – PORT ROYAL, PA – All eyes will be on the Port Royal Speedway this weekend as the best drivers from across the country will gather to help close out the 165th Annual Juniata County Fair with the 52nd running of the Tuscarora 50, Sept 6 and 7.
Sanctioned by Tony Stewert’s Ollies Bargain Outlets All Star Circuit of Champions presented by Mobil 1, the annual spectacle is one of the most highly anticipated events in all the Sprint Car world.
Sponsored by Packer’s Concessions and Ramsey’s Car Wash & Garage, Saturdays finale will pay a whopping $52,000 to the winner and $1000 to start. Including C-Main, B-Main and A-Main payouts, the one-day purse currently sits at nearly $109,000, which is the largest ever offered in the history of ‘The Speed Palace’.
Last year’s event was sanctioned by the World of Outlaws for the first time ever after rain postponed the initial event and Donny Schatz picked up his first-ever win in the event over Freddie Rahmer and Daryn Pittman.
Nearly 50 years attended last year with more expected to attend this year in chase of the crown jewel event and the huge payday. Saturday’s event will also pay $300 to heat race winners along with bonuses for the top three-time trialers as well (1-$200, 2. $150, 3. $100) courtesy of Ted Reitz.
Past winners include Schatz, Lance Dewease (6-times), Brent Marks, Greg Hodnett (4-time), Don Kreitz Jr. (3-time), Doug Esh (2-time), Stevie Smith (2-time), Brian Montieth, Mike Erdley, Fred Ragher (4-time), Keith Kauffman (2-time), Tods Shaffer (3-time), Len Krauheim III, Bobby Allen (2-time), Doug Wolfgang (4-time), Dave Blaney, George Ferguson Jr, Smokey Snellbaker (2-time), Lynn Paxton (3-time), Gary Howsare, Jim Nace, Steve Smith, Kenny Weld and Mitch Smith (3-time).
Saturday will also be an Invitational show for the Selinsgrove Ford Limited Late Model series with the top 24 in series points being invited for a $1500 to win show. Drivers will participate in group time trials. Drivers outside of the top 24 are invited to attend with their cars and alternates will be chosen based on a needed basis.
Racing activities will begin Friday, as it will be the Weikert’s Livestock 410 Sprint Cars, the All Stars and a list of invaders from across the country taking part in ‘The Night Before the 50’. The 30-lap A-Main pays $5000 to win and I sponsored by Ted Reitz. Packer’s Concessions will also pay $100 to the fast timer Friday night.
Friday’s event will serve as a normal All Star point night and will also be the final points night for the Port Royal season championship. Logan Wagner wrapped up his second consecutive Weikert’s Livestock 410 Sprint Car Point Championship last weekend but there is still spots left to be decided behind him.
Last year Freddie Rahmer held off Tim Shaffer and Ryan Smith to pick up the Night Before the 50 for his first career Port Royal Speedway victory to take home the prize and he will be looking to repeat this season.
Also on the card will be the Grit House Rt. 35 Challenge Series Late Models racing for $3000 to win. This will also be a make-up for the Tri-Track Super Late Model Series and the final points event for the River Valley Builders Port Royal Super Late Model series standings as well.
In the Grit House Rt 35 series, Dylan Yoder currently holds a slim 5-point advantage over second place Bryan Bernheisel with Jeff Rine (-30), Hayes Mattern (-41) and Tim Wilson (-46) all making up the top five.
The six-race series between Selinsgrove Speedway and Port Royal features 3 races at each speedway and the champion will receive a $1000 bonus along with the top-10 receiving a point fund.
For the Tri-Track Series, this race is a make-up from June. The series features participating racetracks of Bedford, Williams Grove and Port Royal and the winner of the series will receive an automatic starting spot in Bedford’s annual $15000 to win Keystone Cup, paying a minimum $1000 to start along with a 2020 T-Shirt package including custom art, setup and 100 shirts.
Rick Eckert currently sits atop the standings with Dan stone tied at 725 points. Jason Covert (-40, Bryan Bernheisel (-95) and Andy Haus (-100) make up the rest of the top five.
In River Valley Builders track point standings, Dylan Yoder clinched the title last week as well. Haus, Rine, Nick Dickson and Tim Smith Jr. fill out the top-five.
For information regarding format and drivers attending, please check out the Port Royal Speedway Facebook page, Twitter and more for more info leading up to race day. Parking is free during the Juniata County Fair, but certain restrictions exist inside the fairground.
Reserved seats remain for Saturday’s portion of the Tuscarora 50 and they may be reserved by calling 717-527-2303 weekdays 8am-3p. Tickets will not be mailed and will be available for pick-up at will call the day of the race. Make sure to have your ID with you when picking up reserved seating tickets.
Friday’s event will not be available via reserved seating and only season reserved seats will be honored. There is no make up for Friday’s show.
Sunday, September 8th is the advertised rain date for the Tuscarora 50 if needed. Saturday tickets and wristbands can only be used for Sunday and cannot be refunded. Should both days rain out, normal cancellation policies apply.