Port Royal – Greg Hodnett drove to his fifth sprint car win of the season in Thursday night’s 30-lap Smokey Snellbaker Classic at Port Royal Speedway to kickoff the 2012 Keystone Cup Series.
In the 20-lap super sportsman event, Russ Mitten picked up his elusive first ever Port Royal feature win.
Daryn Pittman and Pat Cannon started on the front row of the Snellbaker Classic for sprints and Cannon took the lead at the start.
Hodnett took the green from fourth and drove into second on the first lap.
Cannon was staying ahead of Hodnett when the races first caution flag unfurled with seven down for a spun Jordan Frontz.
Hodnett seized on his opportunity on the restart by ducking under Cannon in the first corner.
But Cannon surged back into a narrow lead as the pair raced down the backstretch only to see Hodnett bolt into the lead for good as the pair set their cars into the third corner.
Cannon’s good run ended on lap nine when he pulled pitside with mechanical ills.
Hodnett entered lapped traffic with 13 laps down and Lance Dewease on his trail.
Dewease was beginning to narrow the gap Hodnett had over the field when another caution regrouped the field with 12 laps to go for Rick Lafferty, who stopped on the frontstretch.
Hodnett had clear sailing when green reappeared but as the race passed the five to go mark, lapped traffic again loomed.
It was then that Dewease dramatically closed in for the lead and with one lap to go, no one was sure who would come out ahead at the finish.
In the end, Hodnett would hold off Dewease by just a few car lengths at the finish for his 29th career victory at the oval worth $5,000.
Danny Dietrich was third followed by 10th starter Alan Krimes and 14th starter Blane Heimbach.
Sixth through 10th went to 18th starter Brent Marks, Pittman, Mike Wagner, Sam Hafertepe Jr., and Aaron Ott.
Heats for the 37-car field went to Hafertepe, Dietrich, Krimes and Dewease with Mike Erdley taking the B Main.
Jac Haudenschild earned $100 from River Valley Builders for setting quick time over the field with a lap of 16.328 seconds.
Keith Kauffman earned $100 from Crankwerkz as the highest driver in Port Royal points to fail to qualify for the event.
Mitten of Newville began the sportsman feature from fourth and followed Jim Shuster for the first pair of laps before taking control with three away.
The race was red flagged on the first circuit for second place runner Scott Geesey who flipped in the third corner.
Mitten raced to stay ahead of Scott Dellinger until lap 14 when he began trying to outrun new runner up challenger Frankie Herr.
Herr started 10th in the field and steadily advanced until all that was left to pass was the leader.
But Mitten pulled away during the final five laps to pick up checkers.
Herr was second followed by Dellinger, Carmen Perigo Jr. and Jay Fannasy.
Sixth through 10th went to Shuster, Leroy Martin, Mike Enders, Chris Meleason and Dave Socks.
Martin got a $50 bonus from the York County Racing Club in honor of Smokey Snellbaker.
Heats for the 25 super sportsman cars went to Geesey, Herr and Mitten.
Port Royal is in action on May 26 with twin 15s for the late models along with 305 sprints, pro stocks and an enduro dash at 7 pm.
May 24, 2012 Feature Finishes:
410 sprints, 30 laps: 1. Greg Hodnett, 2. Lance Dewease, 3. Danny Dietrich, 4. Alan Krimes, 5. Blane Heimbach, 6. Brent Marks, 7. Daryn Pittman, 8. Mike Wagner, 9. Sam Hafertepe Jr., 10. Aaron Ott, 11. Logan Schuchart, 12. Jac Haudenshild, 13. Chad Layton, 14. Frank Cozze, 15. Justin Henderson, 16. Michael Ruttkamp, 17. Bob Bennett, 18. Fred Rahmer, 19. Mike Erdley, 20. Steve Buckwalter, 21. Rick Lafferty, 22. Nate Snyder, 23. Pat Cannon, 24. Jordan Frontz.
Super sportsman, 20 laps: 1. Russ Mitten, 2. Frankie Herr, 3. Scott Dellinger, 4. Carmen Perigo Jr., 5. Jay Fannasy, 6. Jin Shuster, 7. Leroy Martin, 8. Mike Enders, 9. Chris Meleason, 10. Dave Socks, 11. Rick Barr, 12. Gregg Foster, 13. Steve Fannasy, 14. Chad Criswell, 15. Stan Wanner, 16. Adam Gutshall, 17. Tom Wyckoff, 18. Tom Tomasko, 19. John Wolfe, 20. Ken Keyton, 21. Lanny Hake, 22. Bob Hockenberry, 23. Jaremi Hanson, 24. Cody Fairchok, 25. Scott Geesey