By Louis Long for Pittsburgh Racing Now
Amid speculation that the threat of caronavirus would cause a halt to dirt track racing, three Central PA speedplants completed their programs. The 410 Sprint Car division was the center of attention at all three speedways, with Super Late Models and Legends Cars in the mix as well.
Lincoln Speedway: Alan Krimes and Joe Ryan Osborne
Steady Alan Krimes was the fourth and final driver to lead the feature for the 410 Sprint Cars. He inherited the lead from Ryan Smith with five laps to go in the matinee show, when Smith tangled with a lapped car and spun to the inside of the track midway down the backstretch.
Cale Thomas led the early going and it looked as though the Indiana driver might notch his first win in Posse land. But Thomas bent his right rear wheel when he struck the wall coming through turn four with seven laps in the books. Thomas was attempting to avoid the overturned car of Dylan Norris at the time.
That handed the lead to Jimmy Siegel. Siegel led the next eleven rounds. Toward the end of his tenure as the race leader, Siegel was being chased by Smith. Siegel was using a pick maneuver to pin Smith behind a lapped car. While that strategy worked for a couple of laps, it backfired on Siegel once. The lapper came up the track a bit in turn one and that slowed his momentum in the middle groove. It also opened the inside lane for Smith, who scooted past with ease.
Smith’s misfortune came just two laps later. He was trying to put Thomas a lap down when the incident occurred.
Krimes was able to complete the rest of the race without incident. Siegel held on for second. Then came the Rahmer brothers, first Freddie and then Brandon, who sits atop the track points standings. Brian Montieth was fifth. Adam Wilt, Billy Dietrich, Scott Fisher, Chad Trout, and Tyler Walton completed the top ten.
Joe Ryan Osborne made the long tow from North Carolina pay off, as he was victorious in the Legends Car undercard. Surprisingly, it was only his fourth start on a dirt surface. Brian Racine, Bill Diehl, Zachary Settle, and Chris Transeau rounded out the top five. Chandler Pagnotta had a horrific crash on the frontstretch in his B Main, but he was unhurt.
There were 24 Sprints and 39 Legends Cars on hand.
Lincoln will return to action this Saturday with a 6 p.m. start. On the card will be 410 and 358 Sprint Cars.
Port Royal: Lance Dewease and Donnie Lingo
To the north, Port Royal dropped the green with a 4 p.m. start, making it impossible for any of the Sprint Car racers to try the double.
Lance Dewease led wire to wire in the the non-stop 25 lapper for the 410 Sprint Cars. Dewease started on the pole and had a lead of almost nine seconds late in the race. The victory was number 113 for the Hall of Fame driver. Two-time and defending track champ Logan Wagner was a distant second. Danny Dietrich, Lucas Wolfe, and Mike Wagner completed the top five. Then came Brock Zearfoss, Jeff Halligan, Brent Marks, Blane Heimbach, and Kody Lehman.
A.J. Flick was eleventh in his second start at the Port this season. George Hobaugh, Jr. retired early and was scored in twenty-second. Not making the show were Brent and Brandon Matus, and Jonathan Jones.
Donnie Lingo led his fellow first stater, Ross Robinson, to the checkers in the Late Model go. Opening day winner, Trevor Feathers, was third. Mike Lupfer and Tim Smith, Jr. were fourth and fifth. Scott Flickinger, teenager Drake Troutman, Dan Stone, Dylan Yoder, and Colton Flinner were the next five finishers.
There were 33 Sprints and 29 Late Models signed in.
Port Royal has a two-day event this coming weekend. Sprints and ULMS Late Models will be on tap Saturday at 4 p.m. The ULMS Late Models will be joined by the Short Track Super Series Modifieds Sunday, with a 2 p.m. start.
Williams Grove: Carson Macedo
For the second week in a row, a California driver reached victory lane in the midstate. This time, it was World of Outlaws driver Carson Macedo who claimed the victory, his first ever at Williams Grove Speedway. Macedo was slated to race with the WoO in Texas, but when that event was cancelled due to the caronavirus pandemic, his team headed north for some action.
Macedo took the lead away from Ryan Smith, who led from the start. Smith had some bad luck in this contest as well, getting into a slower machine and having his nose wing collapse.
Danny Dietrich chased Macedo to the finish. Lance Dewease brought his wounded car home in third. Dewease started fourteenth and had one of the fastest cars on the track in the first half of the contest. Brent Marks and Smith were the next finishers.
Freddie Rahmer, Gerard McIntyre, Jr., Brian Montieth, Anthony Macri, and Rick Lafferty held down positions six through ten.
George Hobaugh, Jr. won his heat and logged a top fifteen run in the feature. Brandon Matus held off Dewease to earn a pill draw finish for his heat, but he dropped out after going a lap down in the feature. Brent Matus was sixth in the B Main and did not make the big dance.
There were 32 cars in the pits.
Williams Grove will have its first night show this Friday, with 410 Sprints and the ULMS Late Models.
Rahmer Rapid at Williams Grove
WILLIAMS GROVE, PA (September 25, 2020): Freddie Rahmer, Jr. won the final tune-up at Williams Grove Speedway before the World of Outlaws invasion for the National Open to be held on October 2-3. The win was Rahmer’s third of the season, and him gave him some much-needed breathing room in the points standings. Seeking to regain the track title, Rahmer saw his lead dwindle in recent weeks.
“We got it pretty good from where we were earlier in the summer,” Rahmer noted in Victory Lane. “We are getting close. I don’t know how good I was with the lapped cars. We had a few things go our way tonight.”
One thing that definitely went Rahmer’s way was the dash. His win over Robbie Kendall put him on the pole for the A Main, which Rahmer led from start to finish. T.J. Stutts lined up beside Anthony Macri, who is still searching for his first career win at the speedway. Brian Montieth and Lance Dewease were in row three. Dewease, who is seeking career win 100 at the track, was unable to finish the dash and his crew had to hustle to make repairs before the feature started. Brent Marks and Brian Brown occupied row four, with Chad Trout and Dylan Cisney in row five.
Rahmer jumped out front at the drop of the green for the 25 lap race. He never looked back and he never slowed down, as the race ran without interruption.
Stutts moved into second on the opening lap, but Kendal got his momentum going on the top, and he was able to take over second just a few laps into the contest. Macri rode along in third, with Brown, Montieth, and Dewease fighting for position. That race within the race would not last for long as Dewease pulled in soon after the halfway mark.
Danny Dietrich, Rahmer’s biggest challenger for the track title, did a 360 in turn two with just a couple of laps remaining. That miscue was costly, as he lost several positions in the running order.
In the final rundown, it was Rahmer over Macri, Marks, Kendall, and Montieth. Stutts led the next quintet, which included Brown, Matt Campbell, Dietrich, and Kyle Reinhardt.
Heat wins went to Rahmer, Dewease, and Macri. The B Main winner was Jeff Halligan. The evening’s fastest qualifier was Stutts, with a lap of 16.629 seconds.
In the 358 Sprint undercard, Derek Locke won the battle and the war. His third season win clinched the track championship. His challenger, Kevin Nouse, led the early stages of the race and went on to second. The 2020 Sportsmanship Award winner, Brett Wanner, was third. Steve Owings and Alyson Dietz were fourth and fifth. Billy Heltzel had a vicious crash at the start of the B Main, and he was transported to a local hospital for observation.
Lysakowski Named New Lernerville Speedway General Manager
SARVER, PA (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – Lernerville Speedway officials announced the hiring of Mike Lysakowski as the new track manager in a podcast after the World of Outlaws Commonwealth Clash on Saturday night. Lysakowski, who takes over on October 1, follows Fr. Tim Tomson, who resigned midway through the Covid-adjusted season to devote more time to his ministry.
Lysakowski first met members of the Tomson family soon after they acquired Lernerville Speedway from the World Racing Group. “They attended the promoter’s workshop and I spent a lot of time with them that first year in between the seminars that I was teaching. I wanted to help introduce them to different people in the industry.”
But, as has been the case with other Tomson business ventures, members of the family took an active role in speedway operations. Hence, the appointment of “Padre,” as he is affectionately called, to be the general manager even though he was not familiar with the quirky world of racing.
“We started talking before Tim left,” Lysakowski said. At that time, he was not looking for a major career move, and the Tomson family was not planning any changes either. “I was talking to them about doing programs for the track.” One of Lysakowsi’s many accomplishments in racing is the production of programs for several Western Pennsylvania facilities under his Motorsport Aspects banner. But, the tenor of the discussions changed after Padre’s unexpected departure.
Other than some one-off appearances on the microphone at area tracks, Lysakowski noted that he has never had a racing job so close to his home in New Castle, PA. Most recently, he served as general manager at Jennerstown Speedway and as the announcer at Tri-City Raceway Park.
Lysakowski was unsure how he would adjust his busy schedule. However, he was emphatic that Lernerville Speedway would be his “first priority,” and that he planned to devote his full-time attention to it. “I will be in the office five days a week, 52 weeks per year.”
Lysakowski did concede that he will cut down on his travel. For years, he traveled far and wide to broadcast races or to call the action. “I don’t want to be on the road traveling any more. It’s OK when you are young and looking for opportunities.”
Lysakowski was appreciative that there would be a few more weeks of racing at the Action Track so that he could familiarize himself with the ownership group, the staff, and the facility. “I have been coming to Lernerville since I was a child. I grew up in the grandstands here.” Lysakowski was proud that, on report card day, his good grades in school would give him more leverage with his parents to attend the weekly programs. His attendance at Lernerville declined as he began working in motorsports media and promotion. But, “I was still coming to Lernerville as a fan.” He knows that things will be different now.
“This is a place that doesn’t need change,” Lysakowski said. He has been in that situation before, when racing series or speedways would reach out to him to rehabilitate their images or improve their attendance or programs. “Everything is on the right course here. I’ve been brought into so many series or places that needed change. This bus doesn’t need a mechanic, it needs a driver,” he summed up.
Lysakowski added, “I don’t see challenges here, I see opportunities for growth.” He plans to use his contacts to the Butler area business community to help promote the speedway. He has established relationships with the Butler Chamber of Commerce and he was a founding member of the Butler Young Professionals, “back when I was young and professional,” he said with a laugh. He believes that his contacts and his enthusiasm can help bring new fans to the speedway.
Gravel Seizes Opportunity to Win Commonwealth Clash at Lernerville Speedway
SARVER, PA (September 26, 2020): David Gravel capitalized upon the misfortune of Sheldon Haudenschild to win the Commonwealth Clash at Lernerville Speedway. It was the Connecticut driver’s fourth World of Outlaws win at the Action Track.
“Sheldon was the class of the field, until he blew the tire we were going to run second,” Gravel observed. “I didn’t know where he was racing, he must have been setting a torrid pace around the top.” Indeed, Haudenschild was doing just that. He had amassed a lead in excess of seven seconds moments before the right rear tire let go with just over a lap and a half remaining in the contest.
“Ten years ago, I would have been running around the top until I went off the track,” Gravel noted. “But, after watching Donny (Schatz) and Brad (Sweet) win races here, I learned to race this track like they do.”
Gravel also noted that the car was not very good when they unloaded this night, but the crew kept adjusting and it was very comfortable for him come feature time.
Kerry Madsen and Sheldon Haudenschild were on the front row for the 35 lap A Main. Daryn Pittman and James McFadden held the second row, with Kraig Kinser and Gravel in row three. Carson Macedo and Brad Sweet were in row four, while row five belonged to Parker Price-Miller and Logan Schuchart. Shane Stewart and Jacob Allen had row six reserved.
Haudenschild wasted no time blasting into the lead. James McFadden followed him on the rim into the second spot, but he could not maintain the rapid pace set by the leader. Madsen settled into third, with Pittman, Kinser, Macedo and Schuchart in tow.
Haudenschild was quite comfortable riding the outside groove around the track. McFadden kept him in sight, but he was no factor to challenge for the lead.
With Haudenschild and McFadden racing all alone out front, the battle was for the third position between Madsen and Pittman. Pittman, recently reunited with his former car owner, Mike Heffner, claimed the third position by lap ten and he was hustling around the inside trying to make up ground on the leaders. Gravel was following him in the march toward the front.
While they succeeded in closing in on McFadden, Haudenschild’s car was getting smaller and smaller as the laps clicked off. “I lost my rhythm in the middle part of the race,” McFadden explained. He was being pressed by Pittman and later, Gravel, for the second position.
Gravel moved into the second spot on lap 33, moments before Haudenschild’s tire exploded. He got the point for the restart, but he still had to hold off McFadden and Pittman for the remaining two laps.
“I lost some air pressure in the (right rear) tire under he caution, and the car was better after that on the restart,” McFadden commented. While he was able to maintain pace with Gravel, he could not mount a challenge for the victory.
After Gravel and McFadden came Pittman. “We’re thrilled with that,” he said. “For us, it’s like a win.
There were a couple of mistakes that I’d like to clean up,” he added. But, he did not get the opportunity to do so in the pair of laps left in the dash to the checkers.
Logan Schuchart was fourth, with Madsen crossing in fifth. Sweet was sixth, followed by Kinser, Macedo, Allen, and Schatz.
The hard charger was Cap Henry, who was plus eight on the night.
Heat winners were Daryn Pittman, Carson Macedo, David Gravel, and Kerry Madsen. Madsen was the dash winner. Carl Bowser topped the C Main. The B Main went to Cale Thomas. The evening’s fastest qualifiers were Price-Miler, who topped Group A with a lap of 12.746, and Kinser, who was best in Group B with a round of 12.961.
Justin Clark won the 20 lap A Main for the Allegheny Sprint Tour 305 feature. The midwest invader prevailed over Ryan Lynn, Dylan Shatzer, Robbie Bartchy, and Jimmy Morris. Heat wins went to Bartchy, Clark, and Shatzer. There was no B Main.