ROSSBURG, OHIO (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – Level Green’s Norm Benning is hoping to make history again tonight as the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series makes its annual visit to Eldora Speedway for the Eldora Dirt Derby Thursday night.
Benning, an independent, old-school driver, made Truck Series and NASCAR history by his sheer determination to get into the main event during the finish of the inaugural last chance race in 2013.
While Benning was conducting his post-race television interview, crews from other teams rushed to Benning’s truck to begin making repairs to his damaged truck.
“Norm, you just made this show a success,” Eldora Speedway owner Tony Stewart said at the time.
Stewart purchased Benning’s truck from that race and put it on display at Eldora.
“It was important to me just because of the history of the event,” Stewart told The Sporting News. “I don’t know that everybody remembers who won the race as much as everybody remember Norm Benning’s last couple laps just to get in the race in the last chance race.”
Eldora is the only non-paved venue that one of the NASCAR national series visits. The half-mile dirt track also is the only race that sets the field through five qualifying races and the last chance qualifying race that Benning helped make historic.
Benning is one of thirty-two drivers are entered into Thursday night’s race along with defending race-winner Chase Briscoe, who was only in the race as a one-off for his ThorSport Racing Team. Briscoe edged out teammate Grant Enfinger in a door-to-door battle to the finish.
Enfinger is looking for a win in 2019 along with Truck Series regulars Matt Crafton and Stewart Friesen. A win would lock one of those drivers into the NASCAR playoffs.
Friesen finished third last year and sat on the pole position at Eldora in 2017. Friesen sits 13-points ahead of Harrison Burton, who sits in ninth place in the points standings, one spot outside the final qualifying spot for the playoffs.
Burton’s Kyle Busch Motorsports teammate Todd Gilliland sits 85-points behind the final spot held by Friesen so his only hope to get in with two races left before the playoffs.
Spectator gates open at Noon with Super DIRTcar Big Block Modified practice at 6:30 followed at 7 p.m. by the NASCAR Heat races. The Super DIRTcar Big Block feature starts at 7:55 p.m. with the NASCAR Last Chance Race beginning at 8:15 p.m. followed by driver introductions at 8:40 p.m. and race at 9:00 p.m.
The race will be televised by FS1 beginning at 8:30 p.m. and can be heard on the Motor Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.
Alex Ferree, Sye Lynch, Rex King Jr and Andrew Gordon claim wins at Lernerville
SARVER, PA (September 3, 2021; Pittsburgh Racing Now) – Alex Ferree took the lead from the start and survived a late restart to pick up the win in Friday night’s Precise Racing Products Late Model Feature at Lernerville Speedway.
Ferree built up a lead of over 5-seconds when the caution flag flew on lap 23 due to a spin by Clayton Kennedy. On the restart Colton Flinner tried to get the jump on Ferree but jumped the start three times and was moved back a row. Logan Zarin moved up to the front row but did not have enough for Ferree, who picked up his second feature win at ‘The Action Track’. Zarin finished second followed by Flinner.
“It’s tough racing here and the restarts can always throw a little wrench at you,” said Ferree. “Colton (Flinner) tried a couple different times and went a little early there, it just worked out in my favor at the end.”
Sye Lynch made it back-to-back wins at Lernerville after taking the Peoples Natural Gas Sprint feature. Lynch started on the pole position led the first eleven laps. On lap 12 A.J. Flick passed Lynch for the lead off turn two but two laps later Lynch’s slide job in turn 4 put him back out front. Lap traffic thwarted Flick’s chance to get back around Lynch before the checkered flag.
“(A.J.) Flick drove a great race and got around me,” explained Lynch. “I knew I had to run harder, it was one of those deals where you’re battling for the lead and working through lapped traffic, you just never know when is too hard or not hard enough. It was a very tricky race, but the car was great all night long, we’ve been trying a bunch of things and it’s just clicking.”
Rex King Jr. came out victorious in the Diehl Automotive Big Block Modified feature. Steve Feder led early while a furious battle was taking place behind him between King, Brian Swartzlander and Jeremiah Shingledecker. The trio eventually caught Feder to make it a 4-car battle for the lead. King was able to pass Feder for the lead on lap 18 and Shingledecker was able to grab 2nd on lap 22.
“That was the most fun racing I’ve had here in a long time,” said King, Jr. “The only other time was when me and my dad (Rex King, Sr.) were battling here earlier in the year, and it was slick like that. The track was good, I think it was pretty racy, I seen Shingledecker passed a bunch of cars, I think dad passed a couple, it was a good race.”
Andrew Gordon started up front and held on following a late restart to win the Penn/Ohio Pro Stocks Feature. Gordon was comfortably out front when the caution flag flew on lap 23 for Bobby Whitling, whose car slowed on front stretch. Gordon got a great restart as Chase Lambert and Daryl Charlier battled for second place with Lambert prevailing when the checkered flag flew.
“This win is for my grandma up in the stands, she makes it to all the races, she’s been sick but on the (road to) recovery so, this one is for her,” said Gordon.
Precise Racing Products Feature: (1C) Alex Ferree, (1Z) Logan Zarin, (48) Colton Flinner, (29) Ken Schaltenbrand, (10) Gary Lyle, (91) Tommy Beck, (66) Todd Bachman, (9) Levi Yetter, (9K) Clayton Kennedy, (B1) Brandon Wearing, (26) Shawn Schaltenbrand, (11) Joshua Powell, (81) Mike Miller, (77) Tyler Dietz, (41) Tony Burke, (15*) Kelvin Kohan- Did Not Start
Peoples Natural Gas Feature: (42) Sye Lynch, (2) AJ Flick, (11) Carl Bowser, (23J) Jack Sodeman Jr., (46) Michael Bauer, (08) Dan Kuriger, (11J) David Kalb Jr., (12) Darin Gallagher, (40) George Hobaugh, (13) Brandon Matus, (33) Brent Matus, (55*) Matt Sherlock, (4K) Bill Kiley, (13B) Steve Bright, (29M) Logan McCandless- Did Not Start, (250) Jared McFarland- Did Not Start
Lernerville TV 35 – Diehl Automotive Feature: (165) Rex King Jr., (37MD) Jeremiah Shingledecker, (45) Steve Feder, (83) Brian Swartzlander, (61) Dave Murdick, (29) Garrett Krummert, (18) Colton Walters, (65) Rex King Sr., (4J) John Mollick, (32R) Chris Rudolph, (10) Chelsie Kriegisch, (35) Steve Slater, (22) Kevin Long, (56M) Jacob McElravy, (88) Shawn Fleeger, (64) Rodney Beltz- Did Not Start
Millerstown Pic-A-Part Feature ($3,500 to-win): (25G) Andrew Gordon, (22) Chase Lambert, (114) Daryl Charlier, (C33) Corey McPherson, (55) Chris Schneider, (63) Chris McGuire, (948) Joey Zambotti, (11B) Tim Bish, (45) Todd Weldon, (J19) Jason Fosnaught, (00X) Curt Bish Jr., (27) Jake Dietz, (10) Nick Kocuba, (81) Mike Miller, (0) Larry Kugel, (25) Brett McDonald, (84S) Josh Seippel, (26) Mike Bordt, (983) Zack Gustafson, (44) Jim Challingsworth, (4) Brett Hutira, (7W) Bobby Whitling, (29) Curtis J. Bish, (13J) Jordan Peters
Sye Lynch Wins Lernerville Speedway Sprint Spectacular
SARVER, PA (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – Sye Lynch survived contact with Tim Shaffer and held on to win Friday night’s $4,000 to-win Peoples Natural Gas Sprints Main Feature as part of Lernerville Speedway’s Sprint Spectacular.
Shaffer, who started 12th, passed Lynch for the lead on lap 28 but Lynch followed Shaffer down the backstretch and made a move to the inside to the lead back when contact sent Shaffer spinning and the caution flag flying. Shaffer was sent to the rear as the caution car.
Lynch grabbed the lead on the restart and crossed the finish line followed by Carl Bowser in second and Jack Sodeman Jr. in third.
“I look up to him as a driver,” said Lynch. “We raced hard, misjudgment there in (turn) three and I own up to it. All race I drove hard, in a perfect world I would’ve loved to have won the race with no contact.”
Ruhlman Rules RUSH Sprints:
Chad Ruhlman grabbed the lead from the outside of the front row and never looked back taking the checkered flag in the 20-lap RUSH Sprint Car Series feature. The win was Ruhlman’s 31st RUSH Sprint win. Pole sitter John Mollick finished second followed by Rod George in third.
“I love everything about these cars (RUSH Sprints), they’re so much fun,” said Ruhlman. “This track tonight was right in my wheelhouse, I love the cushion right on the edge, it slicks up everywhere else. I just love this place.”
Dobrosky Takes Allegheny Sprint Tour 305’s:
Greg Dobrosky picked up his second Allegheny Sprint Tour win of 2021, holding off Steve Kenawell Jr. in the 305 feature. Kenawall Jr., came home second followed by Justin Clark in third.
“I think we could have run wherever we wanted to, I just tried to keep my momentum up around the top, that’s what you need to do when it’s this slick here,” explained Dobrosky.
Peoples Natural Gas Feature ($4,000 to-win): (42) Sye Lynch, (11) Carl Bowser, (23J) Jack Sodeman Jr., (6) Bob Felmlee, (22) Brandon Spithaler, (35) Jared Zimbardi, (40) George Hobaugh, (12) Darin Gallagher, (46) Michael Bauer, (08) Dan Kuriger, (C1) Clay Riney, (29M) Logan McCandless, (13) Brandon Matus, (33) Brent Matus, (28) Tim Shaffer, (7K) Dan Shetler, (55*) Matt Sherlock, (11J) David Kalb Jr., (2) AJ Flick, (4K) Bill Kiley, (21) Bryan Salisbury, (23) Darren Pifer- Did Not Start
RUSH Sprint Car Feature: (68) Chad Ruhlman, (14) John Mollick, (41) Rod George, (24) Gale Ruth Jr., (18) Arnie Kent, (43JR) Blaze Myers, (12) Ryan Frayley, (57) Tyler Newhart, (9J) Zach Morrow, (25) Nolan Groves, (40) Brad Church, (29) Brandon Shughart, (1T) Ricky Tucker, (62) Brian Cressley, (20) Jeff Metsger
Allegheny Sprint Tour 305 Sprint Car Feature: (88) Greg Dobrosky, (17K) Steve Kenawell Jr., (78) Justin Clark, (4J) Jake Gomola, (5) John Walp, (X7) Andy Cavanaugh, (16) Jim Morris, (21) Rob Felix, (56) Steve Cousins, (26) Ryan Lynn, (21C) Jarrett Cavalet, (20M) Vivian Jones, (25) Jarrett Rosencrance, (4G) Mike Hite, (34) D.J. Cassler, (80JR) Kyle Colwell, (12G) Tommy Jasen, (72) Mike Mathieson, (4B) Walt Tutak Jr., (82M) Roman Jones (DQ)
410 Sprints Highlight Saturday Action At Pittsburgh’s PA Motor Speedway
IMPERIAL, PA (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – A full slate of action is on tap Saturday night at Pittsburgh’s Pennsylvania Motor Speedway as the 410 Sprint Cars take center stage on dirt’s ‘Monster Half Mile’.
In addition to the Sprint Cars, Saturday night’s racing card will also feature the RUSH Sportsman Modified Series, the RUSH Late Model Dirt Series, the Penn Ohio Pro Stock Series as well as the Hobby Stocks, 4-Cylinders and Young Guns.
Gates open at 5 p.m., with hot laps starting at 6 p.m., and the racing action beginning will at 7 p.m.
For more information fans can visit the tracks website, www.ppms.com.
Last weekend, Monongahela’s Todd Weldon took home the checkered flag in the Wee Willie White Memorial in an intense battle with Nick Kocuba.
Cole Petrelle picked up his first career win in the RUSH Late Model Dirt Series. Petrelle passed Colton Flinner on lap six and survived a couple of late restarts to take home the checkered flag.
Kayla McManus also was a first time winner, grabbing the victory in the Hobby Stocks feature.