Port Royal, PA – July 7, 2022
by Addicted2Dirt PR & Media Management
Feature Photo Credit: Jeremy Zarfos Photography
Jeff Halligan’s approach to the 2022 season has been one of phases, each culminating with an event that is of key importance to the team. The approach has similarities to high school. Do your homework and study for weeks, then periodically you are tested.
Risser Motorsports and Halligan have passed their first two tests of the season with flying colors. They netted a top-10 finish in the Keith Kauffman Classic and the Bob Weikert Memorial ended with Halligan on the podium. Now it was time for the mid-term of Pennsylvania sprint car racing, PA Speedweek.
2022 Pennsylvania Speedweek Quick Results
6/24: Williams Grove Speedway / 29 cars, Qualifying 21st, Heat 6th (7), A-main 16th (18)
6/25: Lincoln Speedway / 47 cars, Qualifying 4th Flight A, Heat 1st (1), A-main 12th (5)
6/27: Lincoln Speedway / 42 cars, Qualifying 4th Flight A, Heat 1st (1), A-main 6th (6)
6/28: Grandview Speedway / 31 cars, Qualifying 21st, Heat 9th (6), B-main 1st (2), A-main 17th (21)
6/29: Port Royal Speedway / 39 cars, Qualifying 9th Flight A, Heat 5th (5), A-main 12th (19)
7/2: Port Royal Speedway / 33 cars, Qualifying 15th, Heat 4th (3), A-main 21st (15)
Halligan kicked off his Speedweek along with 28 other teams at Williams Grove Speedway for the first of the ten race series. The Grove has been the scene of hot and cold nights for the Ephrata, PA resident this season. Early season struggles and missed shows turned to a podium finish in recent weeks. Night number one proved to be a more average outing, as Halligan recorded a 16th place finish in the main event.
The Risser Motorsports team and Halligan entered both the Saturday and Monday events at Lincoln Speedway. The two nights were both successful outings and were nearly identical statistically. On both nights, Halligan timed 4th quickest in Flight A, then went on to win his heat from the pole. The only negative to the two nights was Saturday’s 5th place start that transformed into a 12th place finish. Monday night Halligan redeemed himself by starting outside row three and bringing home a 6th place finish.
Halligan’s heat races at Lincoln were especially notable. On Saturday, he kept the legendary 69k of Lance Dewease at bay through multiple restarts to capture the win. On Monday, Jeff drove out to convincing lead of 2.3 seconds in just a few laps and survived a late restart to win easily.
Halligan’s apparent potential at Grandview Speedway never materialized at Tuesday night’s show. Despite good speed in hot laps, a bobble during time trials and contact in traffic during his heat race turned a promising night into an uphill battle just to survive for a 17th place finish.
Wednesday night the Risser Motorsports team returned to their most familiar turf, Port Royal Speedway. This is where Jeff Halligan and crew chief Kyle Defibaugh expected to make the biggest impact given the team’s recent success at the Juniata County Fairgrounds half-mile.
The competition is tight and the fields are deep during Speedweek. Every decision and every move matters. Halligan’s qualifying effort was just 0.003 seconds short of making his path for the rest of the night a lot easier. Instead, he settled for an eventual 5th place finish in the second heat race, then worked hard to convert his tenth row starting spot into a 12th place finish in the A-main.
Although it was in their original plans, Halligan and the Risser Motorsports team opted to skip Friday night’s event at Williams Grove Speedway to focus on preparations for Saturday’s Greg Hodnett Classic at Port Royal Speedway, which offered a tidy sum of $10,000 to the victor.
Halligan took to the track on Saturday night as the 33rd and final car for time trials and registered a respectable 15th quickest time. A 4th place finish in heat number three put him 15th on the grid for the 30-lap finale but Halligan was forced to exit the event when something sliced the main radiator line. It brought an end to his 2022 PA Speedweek with a disappointing 21st place finish.
“It wasn’t the week we envisioned, but we had a good week. There were positives. We made all six features, including both races at Lincoln, which was unexpected to be honest after we struggled and missed the shows there last year.”, Halligan shared.
“It was also a frustrating week. We were really quick at Grandview, but I made a mistake in time trials that changed our whole night, and we were not as good at Port Royal as we should’ve been, so we certainly didn’t expect that either. We weren’t bad though. We were less than a tenth of a second from a front row starting spot on at least two nights. We just expected a little more of ourselves.“
“We learned some things from Speedweek. We will take that and keep working hard to move our program to the next level. Hopefully we can rebound this week at Port (Royal).”
The Risser Motorsports / TheTreeCenter.com / Victory Auto of Lewistown / EMM Sales & Service / Jake’s Golf Carts / Pine Hill Trailers / Keystone Ag Spraying, No.45 will be back at Port Royal Speedway this Saturday night, July 9th, for Kid’s Night.
There is a lot riding on a rebound this weekend for Halligan. The next phase of his season is a short one and the test at the end of it is only two weeks away. This Saturday is the final opportunity to prepare for the upcoming World of Outlaws event, which takes place on July 20th at ‘The Speed Palace’.
25 races, 1 win, 8 top 5’s, 13 top 10’s, 18 top 15’s
As always, thank you to all our sponsors and partners, including our silent partners who do everything they can to help but ask for nothing in return! Below are the businesses…the people…the families…that make what these teams do possible. PLEASE take the time to browse this information and help the teams by giving your business to these partners.
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Victory Auto of Lewistown, PA
EMM Sales & Service, Inc.
Jake’s Golf Carts
Scheaffer’s Racing Oil
Newlin Bar Service
Alloy Wheel Repair
Pine Hill Trailers
Keystone Ag Spraying
RV 4 Wheel Drive & Performance Automotive
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