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Lernerville Speedway Crowns Four Track Champions

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Scott Stiller/Pittsburgh Racing Now

SARVER, PA (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – History was made Friday night at Lernerville Speedway with Brian Swartzlander picking up his eighth track Championship and two drivers picking up their first.

Swartzlander entered the night tied with Rex King Jr in the Diehl Automotive Big Block Modified standings so every position had an impact on the title fight.  Jeremiah Shingledecker set the early pace with Swartzlander behind him in second place.  Swartzlander took a couple of looks underneath Shingledecker but couldn’t make the pass allowing Shingledecker to remain out front to grab his fourth win of the season.  Swartzlander’s second place finish locked up the big championship prize, the eighth of his Hall of Fame career, the most of any driver in the 50-years of racing at Lernerville Speedway.  King Jr couldn’t match the pace of Shingledecker or Swartzlander and came home with a sixth-place finish.

“It was nerve-wracking tonight,” said Swartzlander.  “You’d think after winning some championships, I think we’ve won 15 or 16 (total), it wouldn’t be nerve-wracking.  I was nervous all night tonight.  One little thing can cost you.  I had to be a little careful, but Jeremiah was pretty good.  The Championship was first.  This is pretty exciting.  It doesn’t get old that’s for sure.”

In the Peoples Gas DIRTcar Sprint feature, it didn’t take Sye Lynch long to get his Mosites Motorsports machine out front, grabbing the lead and setting the early pace.  Championship contender Carl Bowser was flexing his muscle as well, quickly moving up to second place with his sights set on Lynch. Points-leader Jack Sodeman Jr and AJ Flick, who was third in points coming into the evening, made steady progress up through the field into the top 5.  Midway through the feature Bowser caught Lynch and the pair traded slide jobs, even making slight contact at one point.  Lynch managed to hold off Bowser, who at that point had to contend with Flick. Flick got around Bowser for second as Lynch took home the checkered flag.  Sodeman Jr came home with a solid fourth place finish to pick up his second championship, his first coming in 2016.

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“We did what we needed to do there in the feature,” said Sodeman, a second-generation racer whose father Jack was a wheelman in his day.  “We weren’t the fastest car.  We didn’t win the battle, but I guess we won the war.  We had a little bit better luck than some of the other guys.  It always feels good when you end (the season) on good terms.”

In the Millerstown Pic-A-Part DIRTcar/RUSH Pro Stocks main event, Tyler Dietz held a four-point lead over defending champion Corey McPherson, who started on the pole position. McPherson bolted out to the early lead as Dietz methodically worked his way through traffic.  Dietz caught McPherson and passed him for the lead on lap 9. McPherson was able to get close a couple of times but never mounted a serious challenge as Dietz took home the victory and his first track championship.

“It means a lot to me,” said Dietz from Terry Bowser Excavating Victory Lane.  “I grew up down the road and now I’m a Champion.”

Ken Schaltenbrand also picked up his first track championship, locking up the title last weekend, so Friday night was all about the race win.  Colton Flinner must have got the message as he led all 25-laps to pick up his second victory of the season.

“I’m just happy and so glad it’s all over and the pressure is off me now,” said Schaltenbrand.  “Early in the year we broke a driveshaft and I thought we were done right there as far as points and it started turning around and we came and back here we are.  It feels awesome.”

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The Pittsburgh Racing Now Podcast – Episode 007

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PITTSBURGH, PA (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – This week on The Pittsburgh Racing Now Podcast, we talk with W Series and Indy Pro 2000 Championship Presented by Cooper Tires driver Sabré Cook, who is also an engineer.  We also talk with 3-time Lernerville 410-Sprint Car division Champion A.J. Flick.  Sit back, relax and enjoy!

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IndyCar

Racing Notebook – Thursday, March 19: F1 Postpones Monaco; WoO Postpones Races and more

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Formula 1

PITTSBURGH, PA (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – Formula One and the World of Outlaws are the latest sanctioning bodies to postpone races because of the coronavirus outbreak.  The RUSH Sprint Car Series gets a new points fund sponsor and “Super Tex” taking care of his employees during a difficult time.

Formula One Postpones Monaco Grand Prix:

  • Formula One has postponed three additional races because of the coronavirus pandemic including the Monaco Grand Prix.  Also postponed were the Dutch and Spanish GP’s.  The first seven races of the F1 season have now been postponed. The next race on the calendar is in Azerbaijan on June 7.  F1 has moved the mid-season break from August to March and April and has extended the break from 14 to 21 consecutive days. The F1 season is scheduled to end with the Abu Dhabi GP on Nov. 29, but could be extended to fit in some of the postponed races.
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World of Outlaws Postpones Races:

  • The World of Outlaws has postponed all NOS Energy Sprint Car and Morton Building Late Model races through March. The sanctioning body hopes to reschedule the World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Model Series races originally planned for Friday, March 27th at Volunteer Speedway in Bulls Gap, TN and Saturday, March 28th at Cherokee Speedway in Gaffney, SC. The World of Outlaws will continue to monitor developments across our nation and make decisions on future events when appropriate.

A.J. Foyt Racing To Pay Employees During COVID-19 Shutdown:

  • A.J. Foyt Racing is continuing to pay their employees despite temporarily shutting down their race shops in Texas and Indianapolis due to the coronavirus outbreak. “Our biggest concern is for the health of our communities and our employees, so we are closing the race shops for the time being,” said Larry Foyt, president of A.J. Foyt Enterprises, Inc. “I want to thank our partners and sponsors for their support and understanding during these extraordinary times. Many people will face some difficult challenges in the coming days. A.J. and I wish everyone the best, and we look forward to going racing again when the time is right.”

The RUSH Sprint Car Series Gets A New Points Fund Sponsor:

  • The RUSH Racing Series announced that Equipment Rental Options are stepping up to be the sponsor of the RUSH Sprint Car Series weekly championship points fund, replacing original points fund sponsor Bonnell’s Rod Shop.  The RUSH Sprint Car Series opens their 2020 season May 2 at Pittsburgh’s Pennsylvania Motor Speedway.  Read our complete story here.
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Equipment Rental Options To Sponsor RUSH Sprint Car Weekly Championship Point Fund

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PULASKI, PA (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – The RUSH Racing Series has announced the Equipment Rental Options has signed on to be the presenting sponsor of the Weekly Championship Points Fund for the RUSH Sprint Car Series.

The 2020 Equipment Rental Options Weekly Series Championship will feature 30 RUSH Sprint Car events concluding with the “Steel City Stampede” at Lernerville Speedway on October 17.

Equipment Rental Options is co-owned by current RUSH Sprint Car racer, Arnie Kent.  Kent, who got his start in Micro Sprints before moving up the Sprint Car ladder, won the division’s first ever race in 2018 at Lernerville.

“We’re very thankful Arnie has stepped up with his Equipment Rental Options so we can maintain the lucrative point fund,” said Vicki Emig, RUSH Racing Series Director.  “Arnie has been a longtime friend of both Mike (Leone, RUSH Director) and myself as well as many of our racers, and we’re really looking forward to being able to promote his growing business!”

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Equipment Rental Options currently has two locations in western Pennsylvania; one in Hermitage and another in New Castle; Equipment Rental Options will be moving into a larger facility at 3587 Clover Lane just off Wilmington Road (Route 18) in New Castle this summer.

Bonnell’s Rod Shop had been the presenting sponsor of the Weekly Series Championship during the first two years of the division’s inception. In fact, their sponsorship allowed the point fund to grow to more than $20,000 after the program was originally announced back in 2017.

“We have to thank Scott Bonnell for his unwavering support of the RUSH Sprint Cars,” said Emig. “Scott was behind the concept from day one, had a car in the Series, and offered financial support to grow the point fund without us even approaching him. We know he will remain a strong proponent of the Series.”

The RUSH Sprint Car Series Season Opener is scheduled for May 2 at Pittsburgh’s Pennsylvania Motor Speedway.

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