Port Royal – Jeff Geiges of Hamilton, New Jersey, bested a 48-car field of RaceSaver 305 sprints to pick up the $1,000 victory in Saturday’s third annual Keystone RaceSaver Blue Collar Classic at Port Royal Speedway.
In the 410 sprint feature, Mike Erdley put an exclamation point on the end of his season as his car owner’s retirement nears with his second victory of the season at the track.
And in the xtreme stock main it was Todd Snook scoring the victory.
Tyler Bear of Elliottsburg, who entered the night tied with Jeff Miller Jr. for the point lead in the track 305 sprint series, started second and led the first lap of the Blue Collar Classic for the 305 sprints over fourth starter Adam Carberry of Bensalem. A slowing car on the frontstretch brought out the caution flag just as the first lap was put in the books. .
Carberry stayed right with Bear following the restart but as the laps started to click off, Bear began to pull away. A lap six caution flag brought Carberry back to Bear’s bumper.
Sixth starter Jeff Geiges powered under Carberry to take second on the restart. Logan Wagner –a 410 sprint car regular this season – passed Carberry for third as well during a rare 305 sprint start since moving out of the ranks for the bigger 410 sprint cars. .
The caution flag flew on lap 12 for a two-car crash in turn four, placing Geiges right on leader Bear’s bumper for the new green.
Geiges got a good restart and drove under Bear in bold style for the lead entering turn one . Wagner followed him by and into second but once in front, Geiges began to build a big lead.
After starting 14th in the field with his 2014 title hopes handing by a thread as Bear began at the front of the event, Jeff Miller Jr. raced into the top five with 10 laps to go as Geiges was in command of the field.
As Geiges raced under the white flag, the caution flag flew when defending Blue Collar Classic champion Jake Waters slowed to a stop entering the third turn.
On the restart, Geiges went low and Wagner went high in turn one, but then the red flag flew for a hard frontstretch crash involving Eric Parker and Roger Irvine. Both men were transported to a local hospital for evaluation.
Wagner put the pressure on Geiges on the final lap, but the New Jersey driver would hold on for the $1,000 win.
“I can’t believe it; this is huge,” said Geiges.
“To come out to central Pennsylvania and to be able to compete and beat these guys; this is legendary country. We had some problems Friday night, but we fixed it. Today, everything went perfect. My crew worked their butts off this weekend to get it faster and faster. The set-up was right, the motor was just struggling. I tried to be as smooth as I could. I’m going to relish this. It’s awesome.”
Wagner settled for second.
“There’s a lot of tough guys here tonight,” said Wagner. “My car came in a little bit too late. I’ve got to thank Rod Ort for letting me run this deal.”
Miller Jr. put on a terrific drive on the final lap after restarting two spots back of Bear to get by Carberry for fourth and then to nip Bear at the line for third, thus giving himself the 2014 track crown by the narrowest of margins, just five points and .17 seconds.
“I was a little scared starting 14th, but I knew we had a good car,” said Miller.
“Last night didn’t go the way I wanted it to, but we worked all night and got it done. This thing came on at the end. This is all I ever wanted to do was win a championship in a sprint car especially at Port Royal Speedway.”
Bear and Tyler Reeser completed the top five. Carberry, Shawn Kirkpatrick, Ken Duke Jr., Jordan Thomas and Cliff Brian rounded out the top 10.
Heat races for the 48-car field of 305 sprint cars were won by Anthony Fiore, Bear, Carberry, Geiges, Ryan Stillwaggon and Kirkpatrick. Colby Dice and Brian won the consolations.
Derrick Bowersox of Milton won the non-qualifiers Founder’s Cup race for the 305’s and is a guaranteed starter for next year’s event Classic a main. Cale Reigle, Reed Thompson, Erin Statler and Scott Ellerman were in the top five
Feature Finishes 10/11/14
305 sprints, 20 laps,: 1. Jeff Geiges, 2. Logan Wagner, 3, Jeff Miller Jr., 4. Tyler Bear, 5. Tyler Reaser, 6. Adam Carberry, 7. Shawn Kirkpatrick, 8. Ken Duke, 9. Jordan Thomas, 10. Cliff Brian, 11. Colby Dice, 12. Ed Newhauser, 13. Justin Hoffman, 14. Mike Wagner II., 15. Lance Newlin, 16. Jon Haegele, 17. Eric Parker, 18. Roger Irvine, 19. Jake Water, 20. Anthony Fiore, 21. Karl Freyer, 22. Mark Watkins, 23. Jim Kennedy, 24. Mike Shuckers, 25. Ryan Stillwaggon
DNQ: Derrick Bowersox, Cale Reigle, Reed Thompson, Erin Statler, Scott Ellerman, Scott Frack, Mike Alleman, Todd Lynn, Paul Snyder, Dave Guss Jr., Jef Vansteenburg, Daren Pifer, Kyle Lloyd, Ryan Lynn, Mike Esposito, Terry Schaeffer, John Bordlemay, Mike Kiser, Nathan Gramley, Brian Sweitzer, Joe Zap, Brad Franks, Matt Heimbach