From Tyler Altmeyer | Tezos All Star Circuit of Champions presented by Mobil 1
PORT ROYAL, Pa. (September 8, 2023) - A surefire frontrunner for “Race of the Year,” Port Royal Speedway’s annual The Night Before The Tuscarora 50 gave fans more than they bargained for, not only witnessing multiple lead changes and a chaotic race to the finish, but ultimately a first-time Tezos All Star Circuit of Champions presented by Mobil 1 winner at the notorious “Speed Palace.”
“Sunshine” Tyler Courtney, the reigning two-time All Star Series champion and ace of the well-known NOS Energy Drink No. 7BC, came out on top Friday night at the Juniata County Fairgrounds halfmile, earning command for the second and final time on lap 22 before racing on to a $10,000 score. Although leading the last third of the 30-lap contest, Courtney faced multiple challenges, forced to fend off not only an All Star championship rival in Zeb Wise, but also 11 track championships, six of which belonging to Fayetteville’s Lance Dewease with the remaining five owned by Logan Wagner.
Dewease, who drove into second on lap 26, did everything he could to gain the extra spot, but Courtney proved to be too strong, even withstanding one final single file restart as the result of a caution on lap 27.
“Lance [Dewease] is really good at getting guys to run a little too hard. I wasn’t trying to do that, while still getting into the corner low enough to take away his air. My car was just so good…I could stick it anywhere,” Courtney explained. “We’ve been close here so many times, but we always seemed to fade at the end. Tonight, I felt like we kept getting better as the race went on. This makes me very excited for tomorrow.”
Zeb Wise, who started second on the A-Main grid, led the first 10 circuits of The Night Before The 50, eventually losing command to Clute, Texas, native Aaron Reutzel after accidental contact with a lapped car ruined his momentum.
Meanwhile, Courtney put himself into a pouncing position by lap 17, first climbing ahead of Wise, then setting his aim on Reutzel. A cushion slip by Reutzel allowed Courtney to scoot by the three-time All Star champion on trip 20, only to lose the lead to the Texan the following lap. By the exit of turn two on lap 22, Country was back in control, once again taking advantage of a cushion mishap by Reutzel, this time in turns one and two.
Logan Wagner and Lance Dewease each made their presence known during the back half of the 30-lapper, both getting by Wise and Reutzel before beginning their quest for the point. The aforementioned caution on lap 27, which ended up involving early race leader Aaron Reutzel, stirred-up the final running order. Dewease held on to finish second, followed by Wise, with a final lunge for third over Logan Wagner, and Cory Eliason.
The 56th running of the prestigious Tuscarora 50 on Saturday, September 9: 50-laps, $56,000-to-win.
For those who can not witness the All Star Circuit of Champions live and in person, FloRacing.com, the official media partner and broadcast provider of the All Stars, has you covered. To access live and on-demand racing action from the All Star Circuit of Champions, visit FloRacing.com and become an annual PRO subscriber. Race fans can see all the USAC and dirt late-model action they want in addition to Eldora Speedway’s slate of races and those of the All Star Circuit of Champions. The subscription unlocks access to premium content across the entire FloSports network. Watch the events across all screens by downloading the FloSports app on iOS, Android, Apple TV, Roku, Amazon Fire and Chromecast.
Tezos A Feature (30 Laps):
1. 7BC-Tyler Courtney; 2. 39M-Lance Dewease; 3. 26-Zeb Wise; 4. 69K-Logan Wagner; 5. 11-Cory Eliason; 6. 9P-Parker Price Miller; 7. 48-Danny Dietrich; 8. 19-Brent Marks; 9. 5-Dylan Cisney; 10. 55-Kerry Madsen; 11. 33M-Gerard McIntyre Jr; 12. 11T-TJ Stutts; 13. 55W-Mike Wagner; 14. 45H-Jeff Halligan; 15. 13-Justin Peck; 16. 42-Sye Lynch; 17. 21-Brian Brown; 18. 6-Ryan Smith; 19. 17B-Steve Buckwalter; 20. 70-Kraig Kinser; 21. 45-Kyle Reinhardt; 22. 20-Ryan Taylor; 23. 1-Hunter Schuerenberg; 24. (DNF) 23-Devon Borden; 25. (DNF) 8-Aaron Reutzel; 26. (DNF) 71-Anthony Macri; 27. (DNF) 47K-Kody Lehman; 28. (DNF) 4-Chris Windom LAP LEADERS: Zeb Wise (1-10), Aaron Reutzel (11-19), Tyler Courtney (20), Aaron Reutzel (21), Tyler Courtney (22-30)
2023 All Star Circuit of Champions OWNER Standings (As of 9/8):
Clauson Marshall Racing - 4986
Rudeen Racing - 4972
Vermeer Motorsports - 4854
Lane Racing - 4698
Bryan Grove Racing - 4546
Bill McCandless Ford - 4246
Seeling Motorsports - 4278
D3 Motorsports Group - 3898
Premier Motorsports - 2724
2023 All Star Circuit of Champions DRIVER Standings (As of 9/8):
Zeb Wise - 4862
Chris Windom - 4698
Tyler Courtney - 4183
Sye Lynch - 3990
Conner Morrell - 3898
J.J. Hickle - 3840
Tim Shaffer - 3756
Kerry Madsen - 2468
Parker Price-Miller - 2466
Scotty Thiel - 2368
See the latest from the Tezos All Star Circuit of Champions presented by Mobil 1:
Photo's: Tezos All Star Circuit of Champions presented by Mobil 1 | Chad Warner