PORT ROYAL, Pa. - The air might have been cold but the racing action was hot at the Port Royal Speedway season opener on Saturday night as both the sprint car and late model mains dished out exciting battles for the lidlifter victories with Blane Heimbach scoring in sprints and Tim Wilson scoring in late models.
In the River Valley Builders 305 sprint main, Tyler Bear wired the field for a 20-lap victory.
The Aumillers Insurance 410 sprint main found Trey Starks of Puyallup, Wash., and Chad Layton on the front row with Heimbach lining up fourth for the start.
Layton jumped out to the lead immediately when the race got underway with Heimbach moving into third behind Starks. Cautions regrouped the field on the first and third laps before a longer green flag run took the field up to the seventh circuit with Heimbach moving by Starks for the runner up spot on the restart.
By the time the yellow flag again appeared with seven laps down, Heimbach had begun challenging Layton for control. Mike Erdley lined up third for the restart but was unable to challenge for the lead as this race was to be decided between Layton and Heimbach.
The pair ran closely together for the next few laps, changing lanes at will in each corner as each driver tried to outfox the other and come away with firm control. Heimbach finally got the run he needed with nine away to drive into control and immediately begin pulling away before entering traffic with 11 laps to go in the 25 tour main event.
The mid stages of the race was all Heimbach as Layton tried to just keep him in sight but after the five lap sign had been displayed Layton began reeling in the pacesetter. With two laps to go it appeared the finish would be close as Layton consistently gained valuable ground each time the pair raced off of the second corner.
Going down the backchute for the final time, Layton was close enough to try a last corner swoop around the top to try and come up with the victory however he came up short at the line and instead finished a challenging second.
Heimbachs $3,300 win was the ninth of his Port Royal career, tying him with Jan Opperman and Rick Lafferty on the all time win list.
Erdley rode home third followed by a close race for fourth that saw 12th starter Brent Marks secure the spot with 15th starter Greg Hodnett coming home fifth. Sixth through 10th went to Justin Barger, 18th starter Nate Snyder, Trey Starks, Steve Buckwalter and Mike Wagner.
Heats for the 25-car field went to Buckwalter, Heimbach and Erdley.
Andy Haus started on the pole of the Jakes Golf Carts late model main and led the first three circuits before fourth starter Brett Schadel took control.
Tim Wilson started second in the field and although he was passed by Schadel early, he refused to fall off the pace and once able to heat up his tires he began pressuring for the win. He got by Haus for second with nine laps to go and quickly closed in on leader Schadel.
The leader entered the rear of the field on the 12th tour and was a comfortable distance out in front when a caution regrouped the field with four laps to go. That started a string of three yellow flags on consecutive laps that allowed Wilson to work on Schadel for the win.
Wilson drew alongside Schadel and sometimes nosed ahead in the corners during the final two miles only to see Schadel lead at the stripe.
But as the pair headed for the final corners, Wilson set up for a final attempt at the lead entering the third corner and he made good on the effort by bolting underneath Schadel deep in the third turn to steal the victory by .142 seconds at the finish.
Haus was third with Matt Parks fourth and Scott Haus in fifth. Sixth through 10th went to Jim Yoder, Mike Lupfer, Chad Hollenbeck, Bryan Bernheisel and Mitch Hack.
Heats for the 23-car field went to Hollenbeck, Parks and Schadel.
Bear started second in the 20-lap 305 sprint main and led the entire distance for the victory that was the fifth of his career at the oval.
Kody Lehman moved into second at the start and finished there with fifth starter Alex Schanz pulling off third at the finish after battling for a top five with Jeff Miller and Nathan Gramley.
Miller settled for fourth with Gramley taking fifth at the finish.
Heats for the 26-car field went to Jason Bergstresser, Bear and Erin Statler.
Bergstresser was running in the top three for a good portion of the race before dropping out with eight laps to go.