PORT ROYAL, Pa. — Despite having to wait an extra day due to Mother Nature, the “Myerstown Missile,” Brent Marks, never lost his touch, ultimately sweeping the UNOH All Star Circuit of Champions Tuscarora 50 weekend at Port Royal Speedway.
Including lap money, Marks earned $12,625 for the 50-lap victory; a third consecutive Port Royal win for Marks.
Marks took command on lap 26, charging forward from a 13th starting position to lock himself into the history books. Sheldon Haudenschild rallied 12 positions to finish second, followed by a ninth-starting Dale Blaney. Brent Marks is the first driver to sweep the “Night Before The 50” and “Tuscarora 50” since Fred Rahmer in 2005.
“Oh man, this is awesome,” Marks said. “This is a race I’ve wanted to win and this is a race I said we could win. We’ve gone so long without a win this year and now to pull off three in a row is just unbelievable. I just hope I wake up tomorrow and it wasn’t a dream. This has been an awesome, awesome week for us. We’ve been working so hard and this car has been working so good. It was an amazing night.”
After a red flag on the initial start involving a spinning Greg Hodnett, who collected Ryan Smith and Curt Stroup, feature competition officially ignited with Ryan Taylor and Doug Esh on the front row. Ryan Taylor earned the early advantage and officially led lap one of the 50-lap program.
Doug Esh made an early move on lap two to take over the top spot, keeping control until the event’s first fuel stop with seven laps in the books. Three early cautions, including the initial red flag, forced officials to allow teams to refuel with just seven recorded circuits.
Esh brought the field back to green with Danny Dietrich and Mike Wagner in tow. After the restart, Dietrich would make a strong move to the front around Doug Esh, officially leading lap eight. Contact between Dietrich and Esh on lap nine would send Esh hard into the backstretch, inside guardrail, bringing out another caution. Dietrich would also be forced to go pit-side with a damaged right-rear wheel due to contact with the No. 07 of Esh. Mike Wagner would inherit command.
Taylor and Haudenschild, who started 14th, chased Wagner back to gree” with eight laps in the books, but not for long. Haudenschild rolled around Taylor and eventually Wagner to take command and officially lead lap nine.
The 22-year-old kept control until the event’s scheduled red flag with 25 laps in the books. Brent Marks, who started 13th on the main event grid, worked his way to second by the 25-lap break, followed by Blaney, who started on the inside of row 10.
Haudenschild brought the field back to green flag conditions for the second, 25-lap segment, but had company in a hurry. Marks utilized the top -side of the speedway to work around Haudenschild for the lead.
Marks beat Haudenschild to the checkered flag with Blaney third.
“We got up front pretty quick there and we had a really good car,” said Haudenschild. “We put a lot of hard work into this deal and to not get the win after leading is a bummer. Congrats to Brent Marks…definitely happy for those guys. He did a great job. I kinda messed up on that restart, but we won’t let that happen again.”
Brent Marks, Sheldon Haudenschild, Dale Blaney, Greg Wilson, Danny Dietrich, Mike Wagner, Stevie Smith, Ryan Taylor, Blane Heimbach, Steve Buckwalter, Aaron Ott, Greg Hodnett, Logan Wagner, Lance Dewease, Dave Ely, Rodney Westhafer, T.J. Stutts, Todd Shaffer, Jac Haudenschild, Lucas Wolfe, Mike Erdley, Doug Esh, Dylan Cisney, Cody Darrah, Ryan Smith, Curt Stroup.