PORT ROYAL, Pa. – All eyes are on the race for the prestigious Tuscarora 50 this weekend at Port Royal Speedway, but Logan Wagner and Mike Wagner have a special battle of their own brewing.
Logan Wagner holds a 65-point lead in the track title chase over his father, Mike Wagner, heading into the final points race of the season Friday with the Ollie’s Bargain Outlet All Star Circuit of Champions.
Both Wagners have a pair of track championships to their name, with Logan eyeing his third straight and Mike trying to add to his titles from 1991 and 2011.
Since Brent Marks is 170 points behind Mike Wagner for second and 235 off the lead, the Wagners would finish first and second in the standings if they simply make the main event Friday, whichever way the dominoes fall.
“It’s really cool going into it, Wagner one and two,” Logan Wagner said. “I’m really embracing the time I get to race with dad and getting to run first and second with him.”
The points structure goes as follows: 250 points for a win, 235 for second, and 225 for third, with everything after moving down on a five-point scale. One-hundred show-up points are awarded on top of points earned in the feature.
Tiebreakers are total events entered, then wins, followed by top fives. Both Wagners have run all the events this year and have one win apiece. So, if there was a tiebreaker, it’d likely come down to top fives.
Logan holds the upper hand in that battle, with nine top fives compared to Mike’s four.
Mathematically, there are a lot of scenarios that could play out. If Logan finishes 10th or better Friday, the title is his no matter what. The title is also his if his father doesn’t finish 13 spots better while failing to win or finishing second.
So, for example, even if Mike Wagner finishes third, Logan Wagner just needs to finish 16th or better.
On the other hand, if Mike Wagner wins, he’ll storm to his third title if his son can’t finish 10th or better. If Mike Wagner finishes second, he’ll also take the title if Logan can’t finish 14th or better.
And while Mike probably doesn’t want to see this scenario play out, if his son happens to miss the main event, all he needs to do is finish 14th or better.
“Hopefully I make him work for it this year,” Mike Wagner said through a smile. “Personally, him winning it would mean just as much as me winning it. I have a couple new sponsors this year so I would like to win it for them. Bunch of the crew guys have worked hard all year. We’ve been up and down.
“We haven’t been as fast as we think we should have been, but we’ve been pretty decent the last week or so.”
Mike Wagner certainly has what it takes to take his son, a five-time winner at the speedway a year ago, down to the final lap. He will be rolling out a race car with just one race on it on Friday.
Wagner deployed the new ride this past Saturday and finished fourth while his son failed to finish the race in 23rd.
“He’s in contention to [win the title],” Logan Wagner said. “Anything can happen. It’s going to be really cool. … Our eyes on the [Tuscarora] 50, and if we can win the points that’d be a bonus.”
As for Logan Wagner, 2020 hasn’t been up to standards. He has just one win a season after rattling off six total victories last year, including the Weikert Memorial at Port Royal last May and the Jim Nace Memorial at Selinsgrove last September.
“It’s been terrible for us,” Logan Wagner said. “I feel like we’ve had a lot of top twos, top threes. … We’ve always been there. We’ve been in contention to do so, but unfortunate events happen. 2020 has been so weird for us. I’m thankful to be on top and have a good group of guys who work on the car.”
Marks does have an opportunity, if a long shot, to play spoiler. If Logan Wagner happens to miss the main event and Marks wins it, Marks would take the title by 15 points.
Otherwise, it’s a father-son duel for the Port Royal championship.
“We’re going to give it a whirl,” Mike Wagner said. “If we win it, that’d be great. If we come second, that’d be great, too.”