Port Royal – Bad Chad Layton of Harrisburg overcame the odds Saturday night at Port Royal Speedway to pocket the 25-lap 410 sprint car feature after a duel with Mike Erdley that came down to the checkered flag.
Layton, driver of the Dave Middleswarth, Middleswarth Potato Chips No. 7 and former World of Outlaws Champion Danny Lasoski started on the front row of the sprint feature and Layton took command immediately when the green flag fell.
The race entered the backmarkers on the fifth circuit but shortly after a caution flag slowed the pace, regrouping the field with six away.
Layton dropped the hammer again when action resumed, getting away from the field as Erdley and Lasoski raced hard for the 2nd spot, last week’s winner Doug Esh raced into fourth from his ninth starting spot.
The leaders again entered the rear of the field, lapping cars on the 11th circuit and that’s when Erdley began trying to cut down Layton’s leading distance by slicing across the bottom of the corners.
But still, Layton didn’t miss a trick in traffic, staying just free enough of Erdley as the race wound down, appearing headed easily to his ninth career checkers at the track but that was before the race hit the two to go point and he started to develop a right rear flat.
It was then that Doug Esh and Cliff Brian brought out the red flag after contact in the fourth turn resulting in fuel being spilled onto the track. The red was closed which meant no crew members were allowed on the track for adjustments or in this case air for Laytons quickly deflating tire.
And when the race resumed, Erdley seemed to have new life with air in all four of his tires, first trying a move low in the first and second turns before tucking in behind Layton as the pair navigated through three and four, headed for the white flag.
And then when Layton went low into the first corner, Erdley rolled the top and whisked by exiting the second corner with the lead.
However, a stopped Dave Hahn moments later in the second corner brought out the caution flag instead of the checkers and the one lap dash to the finish found Layton back in control for the new green with only enough air in the tire to hold it up.
Layton made his car wide heading into the first corner, leaving Erdley to try another run around the top that put him to the leader’s inside as the pair raced down the backchute with Layton continuing stay in control.
Erdley backed out of the inside run as Layton moved lower on the track and a mad run around the top of turns three and four by Erdley found him swerving to the inside of Layton as the pair took the checkers with Layton holding on for the victory.
Erdley finished .297 seconds behind followed by Lance Dewease, Lasoski and 13th starter Rick Lafferty.
Heats for the 25 cars in competition went to Layton, Lasoski and Ryan Bohlke.
The Middleswarth Team will be back in action again this saturday night at Port Royal Speedway where you can catch all of the action.
Chad would like to thank the Middleswarth family and all of there sponsors, Middleswarth Potato Chips, Don Ott Racing Engines, Simpson Safety Products, Butler Built Seats, Ultra Lite Brakes, Trades Auto Sales, Wholesale Auto Racing, ProMotion Graphics, Bud Godeck Auto Body, Rat-Fab, long time friend and sponsor Todd Acri (High Tech Metals) and WRT Web Designs & Fast Tees for making this all possible!
Special thanks to the crew, Jim, Rat Fab, Little Mikey, Army Mike, Doc, Blake, Brian & Lou for all the hard work. This team could not be what it is with out you!