Spahr in right place at right time to capitalize at Keystone RaceSaver Challenge 

Logan Spahr became the 10th different winner of the Keystone RaceSaver Challenge after he was in the right place at the right time to capitalize on a lap 21 opportunity in the IMCA Sprint Car special at Port Royal Speedway. (Photo by Frank Buhrman)

By Frank Buhrman

PORT ROYAL, Pa. (Oct. 21, 2022) – Logan Spahr put himself in the right position to take advantage of Kenny Heffner’s misfortune, then kept his car in the right position despite a determined challenge by Garrett Bard, and those moves earned him the Keystone RaceSaver Challenge victory Friday at Port Royal Speedway. 

Also known as the Blue Collar Classic, the Keystone race ended the 2022 season for the IMCA RaceSaver Pennsylvania Sprint Series and capped a tremendous finish to the season for the former micro-sprint champion.

A third-place finish in the season opener at Lincoln Speedway in March showed the team’s potential, but an early summer run of mechanical woes threatened the positive outlook. 

That all turned around in August, and at the end of that month, Spahr claimed the team’s first victory, at Selinsgrove Speedway, then added another Selinsgrove win four weekends later.

After struggling most of the season at Port Royal, there was a fourth-place finish two weeks ago, setting the stage for Friday’s race. Still, it might not have happened had Kenny Heffner and Drew Ritchey not been in the wrong place at the wrong time in the 30-lapper.

After fighting off an opening-lap challenge from Ritchey, Heffner seemed in control of the Keystone, building a couple of comfortable leads and still in command when the leaders began to encounter traffic.

Then on lap 21, Tyler Snook and Doug Dodson tangled in the third turn, leaving both heavily damaged cars blocking the top of the track. Heffner and Ritchey were unable to avoid the wreck and joined it, eliminating all four cars. 

Spahr had prevailed in a fierce and prolonged battle with rookie Seth Schnoke for third place, so when the race re-started, he was the new leader. Schnoke, who was having an awesome run, was right behind Spahr. Perhaps more ominously, Bard, the three-time PASS champion who had already won 12 events this year, was now third after having started 10th.

Schnoke gave it a shot on the restart, but he soon was preoccupied with Bard, who eventually claimed the runner-up spot but was unable to overcome Spahr’s lead. The final victory margin was 1.27 seconds. 

After Bard and Schnoke, Tim Iulg claimed the best finish among the approximately 15 regulars from other IMCA RaceSaver regional groups with fourth and Justin Clark, the now two-time IMCA RaceSaver Sprint Car national champion and defending Keystone winner, was fifth after starting 12th.

Spahr became the tenth different winner in the Keystone RaceSaver Challenge. Only Jeff Miller owns a pair of victories.

The evening also included inductions of three new members of the Pennsylvania RaceSaver Hall of Fame: the late engine builder Curt Hershey; former driver and unofficial 2012 PASS champion Mark Watkins, and longtime competitor and current driver Reed Thompson, who was among the entries for the race.

Feature results – 1. Logan Spahr; 2. Garrett Bard; 3. Seth Schnoke; 4. Tim Iulg; 5. Justin Clark; 6. Christian Rumsey; 7. Josh Spicer; 8. Mike Melair; 9. Greg Dobrosky; 10. Zach Rhodes; 11. Ken Duke; 12. Logan Jones; 13. Scott Frack; 14. Dustin Young; 15. Jarrett Cavalet; 16. Fred Arnold; 17. Jimmy White; 18. Erin Statler; 19. Rick Stief; 20. Kenny Heffner; 21. Drew Ritchey; 22. Tyler Snook; 23. Doug Dodson; 24. Jeff Poulson; 25. Jason Roush; 26. Derek Hauck.