Logan Sevi’s fee (5) under Brady Bacon at Port Royal Speedway. (Photo by Dan DeMarco)
PORT ROYAL, Pennsylvania – Port Royal Speedway proved to fit in Logan Seavey style as the California auto racer won the USAC AMSOIL Sprint Car National Championship Saturday night with a portion of the Open Wheel Madness over a half-mile dirt oval.
This is Sephie’s second victory on the Eastern Storm Tour after his victory on Wednesday at Bridgeport Motorsports Park.
“It’s hard to beat the guardrail at a big, fast half-mile,” Seevi said. “I knew this was a place I’d grab fast and I’d enjoy racing.”
Seavey started in fifth, but immediately dropped to seventh during the opening two circuits before firmly forming the ground in the following laps. Poulsiter Briggs Danner ran into the early lead and dominated the first two laps before marking the pad at the top of Turn Two on lap three, which collected his right rear wheel full of mud and forced him into the work zone for repairs from which he will recover from 10th.
Fast qualifying CJ Leary had set a quick tempo early into the advantage after the sixth start, worked his way up to second by the end of the first lap and then took over at the helm of the group when Danner had his problems.
Bacon became the first to challenge Leary for the lead on lap four but was unable to complete the pass. This opened the door for an abrupt Emerson Axum who shot to the bottom and swerved in front of Bacon to take second, thus, advancing the race on lap six between Turns 1 and 2.
The winner the night before on a dirt oval somewhat similar to a half-mile from Williams Grove Speedway was Justin Grant who, while finishing seventh in Port Royal, slowed with a flat right rear tire on lap six. His car was pushed into the work area where he received extensive assistance from his crew, Dylan Cook as well as rival racing team Brady Bacon Dynamics, Inc. Where everything was on board.
Starting on the seventh lap replay, Bacon and Sephie, along with Shane Cottle, were pressured by second-placed Leary who fell from second to fifth in no time. Bacon quickly closed in on Axsom shortly thereafter and was able to get straight to his rear bumper on lap 12 but was unable to pass.
The door opened wide for Seavey at that exact moment, allowing him to rip Bacon a second time using a one-turn master slider. As the new second-place Axom car challenges Seavey for pole position halfway, on lap 15, Bacon closed himself in Axsom for the second time.
Alex Bright, seemingly out of nowhere on the second night in a row, flew from his sixteenth starting point past Bacon in third on lap 18 and second on lap 19 by Axum using the patented Port Royale post to get the task at hand. However, Sefi maintained a large and almost direct lead over Bright with 10 points remaining.
Meanwhile, Grant, who finally restarted after his tire blew out on lap seven, exploded almost the entire field as he climbed to fourth on lap 26 with an outside pass from Axsom in turn two, then did a better job on the last lap when Bacon slipped in turn three. To achieve the third and last place on the podium.
Up and out in front of these two, Port Royal debuting Seavey was a stunning and resounding success as he finished off his first-ever Port Royal appearance with his maiden voyage to Victory Lane in a scenic setting above Bright, Grant, Bacon and Axsom, while leading by a huge margin. It’s 5.407 seconds at the finish line.
“I had no idea how big a bullet I had,” Seavey admitted. “I knew I had a good pace, but I didn’t feel like I was running that hard. I feel like the harder I ran, the more I hit the pad and it kind of came. I had a different kind of line at the bottom at three and four and I noticed it was pretty flat near I was working on it, and then it bounced off the wall and turned down. I was just looking for any kind of grip we could find in there. (Crew chief) Ronnie Gardner owned this car really, really good.”
Bright changed the engine early in the night and then ripped off 16The tenth to second place, equaling his first-place finish in the USAC National Sprint Car Championship.
Grant drove a miracle to finish third in this feature after pitting for a flat right rear tire on lap seven.