PORT ROYAL - Dylan Cisney grew up watching sprint car races at Port Royal Speedway. And, someday he dreamed of racing there, too, and maybe standing on the historic stage after a win.
Cisney, who turns 22-years-old on April 30, ran the entire sprint car season at Port Royal in 2013 and scored his first career win there before finishing a career-best fourth in points.
He's a recent graduate of the University of Northwestern Ohio - a motorsports-based school - with a degree in high performance motorsports.
Sentinel file photo
Dylan Cisney, who grew up watching the races at Port Royal, is now making his name as a driver at the Juniata County oval.
"It was a pretty special experience," Cisney said. "It was something I dreamed of my whole life coming up through the ranks. I was real happy for my guys and everybody that stuck with me through the years."
Cisney did score a super sportsman win at Port Royal a few years back.
"We had a good car all year," he said. "We're very fortunate to have the people we have supporting us to keep the car going strong all year long. We didn't have hardly any failures all year last year. We had luck on our side for the most part and had a good consistent car week-in and week-out. That got us to fourth in points."
Since he was a college student, last year was Cisney's first crack at racing every week and it certainly helped him.
"That was definitely the key to getting where we are now," he said. "It's real difficult to be running on and off. To put a consistent effort together, you have to be at the track at least once a week. I was finally able to do that and we were able to click so much better. If something goes wrong, you only have to wait seven more days to work on it and try it again.
The 2014 season will be a lot like last year for Cisney and the family-owned No. 5.
"We're going to do the whole Port Royal schedule again," Cisney said. "We're probably looking at a 35-race schedule if everything works out alright. We hope to get to Williams Grove for a couple of regular shows and maybe a race or two at Selinsgrove. I plan to run the National Open at Williams Grove again, the Outlaw show at Port Royal of course and the World Finals at Charlotte (N.C.) again."
The speedway has always been part of his life.
"I grew up living in a house on Fourth Street right behind the backstretch," he said. "We'd walk over and watch the races from the top row of the covered grandstand and when the sprint feature was done, we'd walk back the alley to our house and I'd go up to my bedroom and lay there and watch the late model feature."
Cisney got to race against some of the drivers he idolized growing up.
"Keith Kauffman was always my favorite growing up and I also liked watching Lance (Dewease) run," he said. "Keith was from right here in Mifflintown. As a kid in the stands, hearing the reaction he got when he was introduced for a race or when he got a victory. It was special to be there at Port Royal when things like that happened."
Cisney has a degree in high performance motorsports and hopes to put that to good use some day in either the sprint car world or maybe NASCAR.
"I'm pretty much open to anything," he said. "I want to focus on my driving career as long as I can make that happen with a family-owned team. If I can't drive anymore, I could head south and work in NASCAR or go out on the road with a World of Outlaws team."