PORT ROYAL, Pa. — Logan Wagner scored his first win for the Zemco No. 1 racing team at Port Royal Speedway on Saturday night by upending Greg Hodnett in thrilling and dramatic fashion for the $3,600 payday after drag racing him down the frontstretch to the finish line on the final lap.
Polesitter Jared Esh zoomed into the lead at the start of the 25-lap feature, circling the high side of the track ahead of Blane Heimbach.
With Heimbach in second, Esh entered lapped traffic on the eighth circuit while Wagner was racing third with Hodnett running fourth.
The first caution flag of the race appeared with 10 laps down when Cale Conley came up with a flat front tire, wiping out Esh’s lead of nearly two seconds.
Hodnett got under Wagner for third on the restart but another yellow bunched the field a lap later.
And on the restart, Wagner returned the favor and reclaimed third from Hodnett while Heimbach took his shots at the leader by throwing his machine deep into the third corner.
Esh was circling the track higher and higher each time and the line finally caught up with him with 11 laps to go when he took a bite into the outside first turn fence, taking himself out of the race.
This gave Heimbach the lead with Wagner and Hodnett following.
Heimbach held sway over the field for the next six laps until Wagner mustered enough speed to bolt by with five laps to go.
And then as Heimbach tried to come back on Wagner, Hodnett also got by for second.
Running the inside line, Hodnett tracked down Wagner with two laps to go and drove underneath for control and that seemed to put Wagner’s elbows up even higher, along with his car’s line on the track and the race was on to the finish.
Refusing to give up, Wagner thrust his No. 1 boldly around the ragged outside lip and just after the white flag, he was able to circle the outside lane and get back into a narrow lead as the pair shot down the backchute.
Hodnett then dove low into the third corner and as soon as he passed Wagner, Wagner abruptly lifted and turned the car dramatically off of the cushion before the pair hit the middle of the turns.
And then as Hodnett slid sideways up across the track to catch the cushion and try to run to the win, Wagner sped along side of him as they raced onto the frontchute through the middle of the fourth corner.
It was anybody’s race during the final few seconds as the pair drag raced down the straightaway with Hodnett outside and Wagner inside and at the line, Wagner nipped Hodnett by a scant .212-second advantage.
Heimbach rode home third followed by 11th starter Dylan Cisney and Mike Wagner.
In the 22-lap super late model main, Coleby Frye took his first win of the year, holding off a charge by Andy Haus to pick up the win.
The 22-lap econo late model championship race was won by Derick Garman while Bill Powell won his third oval race of the year in the xtreme stock division.