PORT ROYAL - Doug Esh survived the challenges of hometown driver Dylan Cisney to record his first regular event sprint car victory at Port Royal Speedway on Saturday night in an exciting, suspenseful race worth $3,000 to the winner.
In the late model main, it was Huntingdon's Jeff Miller who scored his first ever Port Royal victory, leading all 20 laps for the win while racing behind him in the top five was action packed.
The pro stock main went to Tim Krape for his first victory of the season at the track.
Sentinel photo by TIM SHUMAKER
Doug Esh takes the turn at Port Royal Speedway Saturday to win his first sprint car race at the speedway.
It was Race To Cure Cancer Night at the track, with proceeds from portions of ticket sales as well as other donations going to the American Cancer Society.
More than $3,000 was gathered for ACS, including $300 for the auction of a pink Susan G. Komen Race For A Cure VP Racing Fuels canister autographed by the drivers in competition.
Royersford's Steve Buckwalter and Fayetteville's Lance Dewease started on the front row of the 25-lap sprint car main and Buckwalter took control when the feature got underway.
Last week's winner, Rick Lafferty dropped out of the event on just the second circuit and by that time, fifth starter Esh was already up to third behind the front row duo.
Esh drove by Dewease with four away and began running down Buckwalter as Cisney entered the top four.
The leader entered traffic on the seventh tour and that's when Cisney really began closing.
After driving by Dewease on the sixth lap, he began closing on the leaders while running the high line around the speedway as Esh continued to stalk Buckwalter.
All three drivers were within a turn of one another with 12 laps to go when Buckwalter's motor expired on the backstretch, causing the race's first yellow flag period.
Esh inherited the lead and Cisney kept him close on the restart but couldn't quite pull the trigger for the lead, but another chance for Cisney was in the offing.
With 10 laps to go, Mike Ruttkamp and Daryl Stimeling connected in the second turn and on the ensuing restart Cisney brought the fans up off their seats when he pounced on the low side entering the first corner.
A big old slide job netted Cisney the lead as he exited the second turn and headed down the backchute.
Not giving up, Esh surged onto his rear bumper as the pair headed for the third corner and Esh drove deep into turn three to return the favor and reclaim command.
Cisney quickly turned the car in an effort to shoot back in front as Esh composed himself to turn the car down the frontstretch, but after getting back in front, it seemed Esh turned the wick up to drive off to the victory.
"Man, that kid wanted to win," Esh said in victory lane. "He's really good."
It was the Lancaster driver's third overall win at Port Royal.
Cisney finished a career best of second at age 20, some .771 seconds behind, followed by Mike Wagner, Chad Layton and Dewease.
Sixth through 10th went to Davey Sammons, Mike Erdley, Joey Hershey, Blane Heimbach and Cliff Brian.
Triple heats for the 22-car field went to Dewease, Buckwalter and Lafferty.
Miller started on the pole of the late model main and wired the field for the $1,500 victory.
His pace at the front was slowed quickly on the second lap when Brett Schadel fell out of the event, slowing on the track.
Third starter Sam Schaffer drove into second on the restart with Steve Campbell in tow and the race entered the backmarkers on the ninth tour.
Chris Casner raced with Campbell during the mid stages of the race and for a time secured third before last week's winner Matt Parks entered the fray after starting ninth.
A restart with six laps to go moved Parks into second but instead of being able to focus on Miller for the lead, Parks had to contend late in the event with a hard charging Tim Wilson, who started 10th.
Wilson bolted into fourth with three to go and blistered by Parks with two to go.
Wilson ran out of time to get to the leader by the finish however and Schaffer drove by Parks with two to go as well.
Miller took the win by .646 second over Wilson, Schaffer, Parks and Campbell.
Sixth through 10th went to Casner, Mike Lupfer, Chad Hollenbeck, Mitch Hack and Bryon Sipe.
Triple heats for the 25-car field went to Parks, Justin Kann and Derek Byler.
Andrew Shoop led on the first lap of the 15-lap pro stock main before Krape took over for the victory.
The event went non-stop with opening day winner Keith Garman driving into second on the fourth circuit but failing to close on the leader.
Dusty Baker was pressured for third by Nate Fisher at different times during the race but secured the spot at the finish.
Shoop ended up fourth followed by Fisher.
Sixth through 10th went to Kyle Rapp, Dave Kepner, Nate Stroup, Dave Berry and Scott Landis.
Twin heats went to Krape and Garman.