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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.

Three Rivers Karting

“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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Dirt Racing

Marks Takes Third Win of Speedweek

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HAGERSTOWN, MD (June 30, 2022): Brent Marks was the first driver to gather three checkered flags during the Pennsylvania Speedweek. He chased down leader Kyle Larson during the long green flag run that lasted until lap twenty-eight of the thirty scheduled laps. The win fortifioed his points lead over Anthony Macri and Justin Peck, both of whom finished in the top ten.

“I never expected the track to get like that,” Marks said. “I thought that it (the moisture applied just before feature time) would last about ten laps and that everybody would go to the bottom. But it stayed good up top.” Indeed, the groove that Marks and Larson preferred was way up top, just inches from the fences at both ends of the speedway.

Marks explained how he was able to pass Larson for the lead. “Kyle threw a slider (on the lapped car of Freddie Rahmer, Jr.) and scrubbed a lot of speed off and I could stay up top and I could get a run on him into (turn) one.” Marks used a slider of his own to get past Larson and then he proceeded to pull away.

Larson got another shot at Marks after the lap twenty-eight caution, but Marks was in full defensive mode. “I was just trying to block him the last two laps,” Marks admitted candidly. “I could hear him but I didn’t know where he was. I couldn’t go to the top on the restart, I had to build my momentum to get up there,” he explained.

Larson felt that he was a little short. “Brent was really good, for sure. I couldn’t clear Rahmer and I knew that a run was coming,” Larson noted. As for the restart, Larson said that he was running the middle and that Marks “closed it off.”

Larson teased Marks by suggesting that he should go on the road more often and “beat up on guys like Gravel, and Sweet, and Macedo, so I can get a few more wins when I come here.” Larson added that he plans to be back in Pennsylvania in a couple of weeks, presumably for the World of Outlaws appearances at Port Royal Speedway and Williams Grove Speedway.

Macri, who was the hard charger and third place finisher, noted that his car was not good at the beginning of the night and that “it took a while for us to get the car better.” When asked if he thought that he couple capitalize on the restart, he thought that he could maybe get by Larson, but then he realized that his tires got too cold and they sealed over under the caution. “So, I got defensive and went for the points.”

Tanner Thorson and Larson brought the field to the green flag. Marks and Rico Abreu were in the second row. Devon Borden had his best starting spot of the week, fifth, with Peck beside him. Ryan Smith and Dylan Cisney had the final pill draw positions. Then came Rahmer and R.J. Stutts. Row six belonged to Danny Dietrich and Sye Lynch.

Three Rivers Karting

Although Thorson reached turn one first, he was never scored as the leader of the eveny. Larson rode the rim to take the lead comining off turn two and Marks followed him into second. Smith also got by the defending Chili Bowl champion on the opening lap. Abreu and Dietrich followed him.

During the long green flag run, Larson and Marks disappeared from the other racers. Smith and Thorson battled with Abreu for third, with each of them holding it at various times.

Macri was on the march. He advanced from thirteenth on the grid to the top ten within the first five laps. By lap fifteen, he was into the top five. He was running third at lap twenty-five, but he was very far behind the leaders.

Larson and Marks had lapped all the way up to the eighth position by the time that the caution came out. Rahmer, who was solidly in the top ten, was one of the lapped cars and he broke Larson’s momentum, enabling Marks to make the pass for the lead with twenty-two laps in the books.

When the green flag waived for the final two-lap dash, Marks got awya cleanly and Larson stayed close, hoping for a mistake. Macri did take a peek inside of Larson coming off turn four, but he spun the tires and Larson got away.

At the finish, it was Marks, Larson, Macri, Dietrich, and Smith. Abreu got shuffled back to sixth. Borden, Lucas Wolfe, Chase Dietz, and Rahmer completed the top ten.

Thirty-six Sprints registered for the race. The four heats went to Thorson, Larson, Abreu, and Borden. The B Main winner was Ryan Timms. The evening’s fastest qualifier was Smith, who turned a lap of 15.824 seconds.

Marks leads Macri by 62 points and Peck by 130 heading into the Mitch Smith Memorial at WIlliams Grove Speedway. Wolfe and Stutts are fourth and fifth. Dietrich is sixth, followed by Freddie Rahmer, Jr., Dietz, Larson, and Ryan Smith.

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Dirt Racing

Macri Makes it Two in Speedweek

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Lincoln Speedway

ABBOTTSTOWN, PA (June 25, 2022): Anthony Macri dominated round two of Pennsylvania Speedweek held at the Fabulous Lincoln Speedway. It was a similar script for him: he was the fastest qualifier, he transferred from his heat, he picked the pole for the feature, and he led wire-to-wire. His second win of the season in the Pigeon Hills was also his fourteenth at all venues. This one was worth $9200 in honor of the late Kevin Gobrecht. What is more, the win turned out to be a 39th Wedding Anniversary for his parents.

“We started on the pole and we set a pretty good pace, but we still had to pass the lapped cars,” Macri observed. While he had difficulty with that Friday night, it was an easier task on this occasion. Then he turned introspective. “That was win number fourteen. We started six years ago and I never thought that we would be where we are. We’re having a hell of a year. It’s nice to be here.”

This time, Macri had a different wingman, Troy Wagaman, Jr., for the thirty lap finale. Freddie Rahmer, Jr. and Chase Dietz were in row two. Jeff Halligan and Justin Peck were in the third. Lucas Wolfe and T.J. Stutts were in row four. Brent Marks and Lance Dewease were in row five. Jimmy Siegel and Dylan Norris were in the sixth.

Macri swooped into tun one on the opening lap. Rahmer was close behind, but it did not take long for Macri to begin to stretch his lead. Wagaman held third, with Peck, Dietz, Halligan, and Stutts following. A three-car tangle in turn two claimed Alan Krimes, Justin Whittal, and Landon Myers. That gave Rahmer another shot at Macri, but the Concrete Kid was up to the challenge.

Over the next seventeen laps, Macri ran alone out front, as Rahmer lost sight of the leader. Midway through that run, Peck caught Rahmer and the two put on a spectacular battle for second as they negotiated the slower traffic. Another caution cleared the track for them, but the contest for second continued unabated. Peck eventually grabbed the position and he held it to the finish.

Three Rivers Karting

After the final restart, Marks also set Rahmer back another notch. Dietz was coming on as well, but he ran out of time to chase down Rahmer. Wagaman held on for sixth. Dewease picked off a couple of cars in the final run, but he could not reach Wagaman. Stutts, Wolfe, and Devon Borden completed the top ten.

Four heats were run, with wins going to Troy Wagaman, Jr., Halligan, Dietz, and Wolfe. The C Main went to Robbie Kendall. Chad Trout, who was one of the evening’s fastest qualifiers, recovered from a heat race mechanical failure to get the checkers in the B Main. Macri’s overall quick time was set in Group A, at 13.285 seconds. Peck topped Group B with a time of 13.647 seconds.

A broken oil filter on Danny Dietrich’s car on his first time trial lap caused some concern in his pit, but repairs were made and he was able to post a time at the end of his group. He failed to transfer from his heat but did earn a starting spot through the B Main. Dietrich was fourteenth in the feature.

Macri enters round three of Speedweek with a healthy 63 point lead over Peck. Marks, Dewease, and Stutts make up the rest of the top five. Rahmer, Wolfe, Dietz, Norris, and Borden are next.

Hunter Fulton captured the flag in the Extreme Stock undercard. Bob Scott, Jr., Sam Rial, Marshall McMullen, and Justin Yohn rounded out the top five. Fulton and McMullen won the preliminaries.

Lincoln Speedway will host its second Speedweek contest on Monday night, June 27. It will be a Sprint Car only program. The Monster Trucks will invade the speedway on July 2. The Central PA Legends will also be in action. The Sprint Cars, both 410 and 358 varieties, will be back on July 9 and 16. The Super Sportsmen Tour will be added to the card on July 16.

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Dirt Racing

Weather Claims Another Victory at Tri-City Raceway Park

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FRANKLIN, PA (June 26, 2022): With a forecast that included mid-afternoon thunderstorms continuing well into the night, Tri-City Raceway Park canceled the racing program set for Sunday, June 26. “We did not want to expose our fans, racers, and staff to any dangerous weather conditions,” said track owner Merle Black. “We want everybody to be safe and ready for the big event coming up over the July 4 holiday weekend.”

Activity will start at the Venango County oval on Friday, July 1, with a practice session for all classes that will be in competition, and there will be lots of those! Grandstand admission will be free on Friday night. Racing will take place on Saturday, July 2, and Sunday, July 3.

The Shawgo Real Estate, LLC 410 Sprint Cars will see action on both nights. Complete programs will be presented for the winged warriors each night.
The Donovan & Bauer Auto Group 358 Modifieds will race on Saturday, but many of those racers are expected back for the Sunday showdown with the Big Block Modifieds of the BRP Modified Tour. Many race fans can remember when Gary Smoker turned away the Big Block Mods at Tri-City with his 358 Modified! Will it happen again?

Also doing double duty will be the 4 Your Car Connection Mini Stocks. Levi Maskal has been unbeatable so far this season. Will his hot streak continue?
The Saturday racing card will also include the qualifying for the Penn-Ohio Pro Stocks racing under the banner of Hovis Auto & Truck Supply. The 40 lap feature for that class will be held on Sunday night.

And, let’s take a page from the past. On Saturday, the Vintage Modifieds will take to the track. This is not just an exhibition run for these seasoned machines! There will be no holds barred competition.

Three Rivers Karting

Sunday’s program will include a look into the future. The Junior Sprints will take to the track. Many of the racers in that class are youngsters getting their first taste of auto racing. Current driver Chase Metheney got his start in this division several years ago and now he sits second in the championship standings for the Shawgo Real Estate, LLC 410 Sprint Cars. Who will be the next budding star to showcase his or her talents?

In addition, the RUSH non-wing Sprints will race on Sunday.

As is customary for July 4 celebrations, there will be Fireworks during Sunday evening. Then, after the races that night, there will be a big bonfire and a DJ will be spinning the tunes.

Camping will be free for the weekend at Tri-City Raceway Park. There will be no hookups provided.

If you cannot make it to the track for the July 4 Weekend Bash, mark your racing calendars for July 10 when Tri-City Raceway Park will present a Sunday Thunder racing program. Double points will be offered that night, so the racing will be intense in all of the track’s regular divisions.
Watch the website and social media platforms for any changes.

Further information about Tri-City Raceway Park can be obtained by calling the track office at 724-967-4601, or by e-mailing the office at tricityracewaypark2020@gmail.com. Or, you can check the web at Tri-CityRacewayPark.com, or the Facebook page at Tri City Raceway Park. Tri-City Raceway Park is located just a few miles north of Franklin, PA, at 3430 State Route 417 in Oakland Township.

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