PORT ROYAL, Pa. — Chad Layton finally put a bright spot into his season of struggles aboard the Middleswarth No. 7 sprint car when he found his way to victory lane at Port Royal Speedway on Saturday night to claim his first win of the year.
In the 25-lap late model championship event Jeff Rine invaded and picked up the $2,000 win after trailing Port Royal point leader Mike Lupfer for the first half of the race.
And in the 355 econo late model main Tim Krape picked up his first win in the new division at the track.
Polesitter Mike Wagner held off Laytons attempt at taking control on the start of the 25-lap 410 sprint car main and pulled away early with Layton falling in line second.
Wagner, in a fight for his third career track title, entered the backmarkers on the sixth tour with Layton in tow and Curt Stroup in third.
Sixth starter Greg Hodnett pushed his way into third just shy of the halfway point and thats about the same time that Layton began closing on the leader.
Wagner struggled with lapped traffic at times as a hectic pace was set around the track and Layton put on a dive deep in the third corner that netted the lead as he slid up and caught to cushion to get control.
The race went nearly non-stop but a caution flag unfurled with just two laps to go for a four-car tangle in the third and fourth turns that saw point leader Blane Heimbach sitting against the outside rail albeit minus a front wheel. Also involved was Scott Wilson, Ryan Taylor and Dylan Cisney.
Wagner tried a slider for the lead on the restart but a clean race between he and Layton allowed Layton to claw his way back in front as the pair raced toward the white flag.
Layton ended up taking the checkers by 1.110 seconds ahead of Wagner with Hodnett crossing third followed by Doug Esh and Stroup.