PORT ROYAL, PA (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – Port Royal Speedway swung open the gates for the first time in 2020 this weekend. A banner field of 73 cars checked in, 46 in the 410 Sprint Car division, and another 27 in the Super Late Models. Among the entrants were a number of Western Pennsylvania drivers making their first appearances of the season in the sprints and two others, one in a Sprinter and one in the Late Model, making their first northern starts.
Cory Eliason, from Visalia, CA romped to the win in the Sprint Car ranks. A front row starting spot made life quite a bit easier for him. The same was true for Trevor Feathers, as the Winchester, VA driver dominated the Late Model finale.
Finishing behind Eliason were Brent Marks, Logan Wagner, Lance Dewease, and Anthony Macri. Trailing Feathers were Dan Stone, Jason Covert, Andy Haus, and Ross Robinson.
A.J. Flick, who plans to make Port Royal his Saturday home in 2020, put on an inspired drive in his heat race. Coming from ninth to fourth on a slick daytime surface was really impressive for the third-generation driver from Apollo. Mired deep in the pack for the feature, Flick kept his nose clean and logged a sixteenth place finish.
Chad Kemenah and Johnny Garvin were on hand in the team cars fielded by Liz Matus. Kemenah made the show and was right behind Flick at the finish. Garvin struggled all day, and did not finish his heat or the B Main due to mechanical woes. They will chase the All Stars in 2020.
George Hobaugh had a prime starting spot for his heat race, but he faded to eighth at the finish. He retired early from the B Main and was given credit for 17th. Hobaugh will also be making the rounds with the All Star Circuit of Champions again in 2020.
Irvona’s Jonathan Jones made his first 410 start at Port Royal. Jones, who spent the last few seasons aboard a 305 Sprint, did not finish the B Main.
The surprise of the day was the return of the 98 fielded by Tom and Fran Chiappelli of Cairnbrook. They had Kyle Reinhardt behind the wheel. Reinhardt survived an incident in his heat, spinning while running fourth, but managed to keep the car going, so he was not charged with the caution. The New Jersey transplant was fifteenth in the feature. Look for this new team to be regulars at Port Royal. Reinhardt will pilot the familiar 91 at other venues.
Colton Flinner was the lone Late Model driver to venture east this weekend. Flinner was caught up in a multi-car jingle in the feature, but kept moving and was given his position back for the restart. He charged hard on the top in the final seven laps in the feature to take sixth.
Port Royal will be back in action Saturday evening with a 4 p.m. start. Sprints and Late Models will be on tap. The following weekend will have the first two-day event at the Speed Palace. Sprints and Late Models go Saturday, along with Limited Lates. Late Models and Modifieds take to the track Sunday.
Racing Notebook – Ohio Racing Gets Red Flagged; New Series from Stewart and Evernham plus Weekend Winner Recap
PITTSBURGH, PA (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – Monday’s Pittsburgh Racing Now Notebook has details on new restrictions placed on events in Ohio plus Tony Stewart and Ray Evernham are teaming up to start a new series and we look back at the winners on track this past weekend.
New Restrictions On Events In Ohio:
- The Ohio Department of Health has mandated activities to be limited in the state of Ohio due to the continued COVID-19 pandemic. These restrictions are forcing Sharon Speedway to cancel this Saturday’s events, including the RUSH Late Model Series “Bill Forney Memorial”. Sharon Speedway plans on resuming their 2020 schedule of events when the restrictions are lifted.
Tony Stewart and Ray Evernham Starting New Series:
- NASCAR Hall of Famers Tony Stewart and Ray Evernham are teaming up to start a new racing series. The Sports Business Journal first reported the deal, which includes former NASCAR executive George Pyne and sports agent Sandy Montag. The Superstar Racing Experience (SRX) will feature six races on short tracks and will include top drivers from a variety of backgrounds. The SRX will be similar in scope the defunct IROC Series and is set to debut in 2021 and will be televised by CBS Sports.
Cole Custer Gets 1st Career Cup Win At Kentucky:
- Stewart Haas Racing’s Cole Custer picked up his first career NASCAR Cup Series victory Sunday at Kentucky Speedway winning a thrilling battle on the last lap with saw Custer four-wide with Kevin Harvick, Martin Truex Jr and Ryan Blaney. Truex held on for second and Matt DiBenedetto finished third.
One of the wildest late-lap battles for the lead in recent memory! 🤩
— NASCAR (@NASCAR) July 12, 2020
Chip Ganassi Racing Sweeps Road America:
- NTT DATA Chip Ganassi Racing’s Felix Rosenqvist passed Arrow McLaren SP’s Pato O’Ward with 2-laps remaining to win Race 2 of the REV Group Grand Prix at Road America to pick up his first career INDYCAR win. The victory was the fourth straight NTT INDYCAR SERIES win for Chip Ganassi Racing. Scott Dixon led the weekend sweep by parking the No. 9 PNC Bank Honda in Victory Lane after winning Race 1 on Saturday.
Larson and Conley Take Sharon Speedway wins:
- Sharon Speedway played host to the Ollies Bargain Outlet All Star Circuit of Champions this past weekend. Cale Conley picked up the victory in Saturday’s “Lou Blaney Memorial”. Kyle Larson took the victory in Sunday’s “Justin Snyder’s Salute To The Troops.“
Saturday Winners At Pittsburgh’s PA Motor Speedway:
- Chas Wolbert picked up his second straight win taking the RUSH Sportsman Modified 15-lap main event. Keith Barbara picked up his first win of the season in the RUSH Late Model Dirt Series 20-lap feature. Jason Fosnaught was victorious in the PPMS Pro Stock division. Stephen Shelpman continued to dominate the Keystone Coach Works Hobby Stock division with another victory. Philip and Noah Bubeck were each victorious in the Four Cylinder and Young Guns divisions respectively.
Saturday Winners At Jennerstown Speedway:
- Defending Track Champion, Teddy Gibala won for the first time this season in the Martella’s Pharmacies Late Model division of racing, becoming the fourth different winner in four events. Also celebrating in Stoney’s Beer Victory Lane were R.J. Dallape (Stoystown Auto Wreckers Modifieds), Aaron Van Fleet (Ron’s Collision Center Street Stocks), Dale Kimberly (Farmers Union Co-Op Chargers), and Evan Nibert (Somerset Trust Company Fast ‘n Furious 4-Cylinders).
Matt Kenseth’s New Colors For All-Star Race:
- Wednesday’s NASCAR Cup Series All-Star race at Bristol Motor Speedway is going to feature a different style paint scheme that fans are not used to seeing on race cars. The number and some sponsor placement is moving. Here is a look at the McDonald’s Chip Ganassi Racing No. 42 of Matt Kenseth:
— Chip Ganassi Racing (@CGRTeams) July 13, 2020
Larson Caps Ohio Sprint Speedweek With A Win At Sharon Speedway
HARTFORD, OH (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – Kyle Larson capped off Ohio Sprint Speedweek by winning the Ollies Bargain Outlet All Star Circuit of Champions feature at Sharon Speedway on Sunday.
The victory was Larson’s third Ohio Speedweek victory and seventh All Star victory of 2020.
“This place is awesome,” said Larson. “Especially when it gets glass slick to the fence. I really enjoy coming to Ohio and running Ohio Speedweek. A big thanks to all of the fans for coming out and supporting your local dirt track racing.”
Skylar Gee started on the pole and led the first nine laps before hitting the wall and ending his night, which gave Larson the lead for good.
Two time defending All Star Champion Aaron Reutzel was Larson’s biggest challenger. Reutzel chipped away at Larson’s near-two second lead as lap traffic and a tap of the wall by Larson helped Reutzel’s cause. A last minute slider by Larson on lap 29 to put a lapped car between himself and Reutzel sealed the deal for the Paul Silva-owned No. 57.
“To watch him run that close to the wall and make contact and keep going is just crazy,” said Reutzel. “I think I needed a caution-free run and additional traffic if I was going to get by Larson. I think I was a little better than he was in those long runs.”
Next up for the All Stars is a three race sweep through the Keystone State starting Friday night at Williams Grove.
Cale Conley Wins Lou Blaney Memorial At Sharon Speedway
HARTFORD, OH (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – Cale Conley led wire-to-wire to win Saturday’s Ollies Bargain Outlet All Star Circuit of Champions “Lou Blaney Memorial” at Sharon Speedway.
The victory was a family affair as Conley is married to Blaney’s granddaughter Emma. The win was also Conley’s first All Star victory.
“It took us a while, but I’m so happy to win here during the Lou Blaney Memorial,” said Conley. “It’s such a special night for my wife’s family. Our little boy’s name is Louie, so this is really cool. To get my first All Star win in front of such an awesome crowd is cool.”
Cory Eliason finished second followed by Rico Abreu and Aliquippa’s Tim Shaffer. Danny Dietrich rounded out the Top 5.
Erick Rudolph picked up third straight BRP Modified Tour win. Rudolph started 11th and held off challenges from Garrett Krummert and Brian Swartzlander. Rex King Jr. finished fourth and Brad Rapp completed the Top 5.
Sharon will return to action tonight with Justin Snyder’s “Salute to the Troops” paying $6,000 to-win for the All Star Sprints in the finale of Ohio Speedweek. The non-wing RUSH Sprint Cars will also be on the card racing for $600 to-win.
Gates open at 3 p.m. with warm-ups at 6 followed by qualifying and racing at 7. General admission for those 14 and over is $25, which includes the infield fan zone. All veterans of war receive $10 off general admission. Kids 13 and under are free. Pit passes are $35.