PORT ROYAL, Pa. – Jason Covert made his first career Port Royal Speedway late model win a big one on Saturday night when he won the annual Butch Renninger Memorial in a Three State Flyers Series event for the division at the track.
Covert took home $3,696 for the victory after leading the final 10 circuits of the event.
In the 410 sprint main it was point leader Blane Heimbach wiring the field for his fifth win of the year at the oval and expanding his lead in the points with just three full point races left on the season.
Tim Krape won the Renninger Memorial for pro stocks on the night while Jason Zook won his second enduro dash of the season in honor of Renninger as well.
The 33-lap late model Renninger Memorial go started on a rough note when the second attempt at a start saw the backstretch get blocked after an eight-car pile up.
Covert started seventh in the field and watched as Justin Kann took the lead from the pole when racing finally got started with Andy Haus running second. However Three State series regular Kenny Pettyjohn, who started eighth, was fleet aboard his black racer and he was already up to second on the second circuit when a restart regrouped the field.
Kann could only hold on two more laps before Pettyjohn took the lead with five down to begin streaking away as he entered the backmarkers on the 12th tour. Pettyjohn looked headed to a sure victory with 11 laps to go when his right rear tire exploded on the backchute, forcing him to the pits for new treads.
And just before the caution for Pettyjohns stopped racer, Covert had rallied to surpass Haus for second which wound up to be the winning pass after the leaders bad luck. Covert had his hands full with Haus on the restart as the Hamburg driver wanted the spot back.
Haus got under Covert on the restart and again on a restart with six laps to go, forcing Covert to sit up in the seat to thwart his attacks using outside momentum. Haus actually got by for the lead on the 29th loop but Covert recovered to preserved the lead at the line.
And then late in the event all eyes turned to a rebounding Pettyjohn of Millsboro, Del., who had went to the rear after getting a new tire to come blasting back through the pack. He got by Matt Parks for third with three laps to go but ran out of time to enter the race for the win.
Covert took the checkers by 1.379 seconds over Haus, Pettyjohn, Parks and Kann.
In victory lane veteran Covert mechanic and car owner Gary Klinedinst dropped a bombshell by announcing his retirement from the sport at the end of the season.
Heimbach led start to finish for the $3,000 win in the 410 sprint feature after an inversion of six put him on the pole for the 25-lapper.
His pace was halted with two laps down and again on lap three, both time with Brent Marks restarting in second.
Heimbach entered the backmarkers with nine laps in the book and by the halfway point he had Doug Esh in third with Lance Dewease in fourth.
Just as it appeared the race was going to end cleanly the red flag appeared with just two to go for Joey Hershey who slammed into the outside turn four retaining wall, taking a nasty pounding while bouncing back across the pit entrance.
Dylan Cisney was motivated late and blasted by both Dewease and Marks on the restart to ride home third with Esh just ahead, also having gotten marks in the final mile of racing.
Dewease was fourth followed by Brian Leppo.
Tim Krape took the lead from Derrick Garman on the fifth lap of the 15-lap pro stock main to win his ninth pro stock main of the year. Garman rode home second with Kyle Rapp in third.
Devin Hart, Jared Fulkroad and finally Jason Zook led in the 20-lap enduro dash to get the victory.
Zook, who started sixth in the field, took the lead from Fulkroad with three down to hold of Bill Powell during the final laps for the victory.
Fulkroad settled for third with Mark Goodwin fourth and Pete Leiser in fifth.