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Racing Notebook – Friday, May 8: Lernerville Postpones Opening Night again, plus PA Red-Flags Selinsgrove and more.

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Lernerville Speedway

SARVER, PA (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – Lernerville Speedway has canceled their season opener…again and Selinsgrove Speedway’s hope to reopen gets the red flag from Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf’s “Stay-at-home” order plus the World of Outlaws gets ready for some invitation-only fun in Knoxville.

Lernerville Postpones Opening Night…..again:

  • Lernerville Speedway has postponed opening night, again, due to COVID-19.  The original opening night of April 24th was pushed back to May 8, but Butler County was not on Governor Wolf’s initial list of counties scheduled to “reopen” under the State’s “Yellow” designation and series of protocols. Lernerville remains committed to starting the 2020 season as soon as the Governor reopens the County and allows the track to safely provide for the drivers, teams and track employees.  Opening night at Lernerville could take place as early as Friday, May 15.  The Tomson family and Phil DiLucente are deferring “Pad the Purse” monies from April 24 and May 8 to special Fab4 events on the 2020 schedule including Opening Night, the Mid-Season Championships, Christmas in July and Championship Night.

Selinsgrove Speedway Shown The Red Flag:

  • Selinsgrove Speedway’s hope to re-open this weekend was quashed by Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf’s office.  The track went about their business about hosting an event without fans but even that caught the attention of Harrisburg.  Here’s what the tracks Twitter account had to say Friday afternoon.
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World of Outlaws Sprint Cars Roll Into Knoxville:

  • The World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series rolled into Knoxville this afternoon for the World of Outlaws’ official “Return to Racing” with a “Behind Closed Doors” event at the “Sprint Car Capital of the World.” The $10,000-to-win Invitational presented by McKay Insurance will see 48 of the most elite Sprint Car drivers in the world, including reigning Series champion Brad Sweet, 10-time Series champion Donny Schatz, 2019 Knoxville Nationals winner David Gravel as well as team owners Kyle Larson and Kasey Kahne.

 

Local Racing

Montgomery and Lynch Celebrate Holiday at Roaring Knob Motorsports Complex; No Race Until June 5

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MARKLEYSBURG, PA (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – Roaring Knob Motorsports Complex held a Memorial Day doubleheader weekend. On Saturday evening, Flyin’ Ryan Montgomery had a perfect night in the Super Late Model division, setting the fastest time and sweeping his heat, the dash, and the feature event. On Sunday night, third generation driver Sye Lynch won the 410 Sprint Car race. Both drivers received $3,000 for their wins. However, after four successful programs over a three-week period, Roaring Knob will be dark this weekend, as Pennsylvania State Police asked the speedway to shut down. The track plans to resume racing on Saturday, June 5.

Other winners on Saturday included Braeden Dellinger in the Fastrak Crate Late Models and Drake Troutman in the E-mods. Joining Lynch in victory lane Sunday were Garrett Bard in the Allegheny Sprint Tour 305s and Corey Myers in the 270 Micros.

Montgomery’s Magic

Ryan Montgomery and Tyler Carpenter were on the front row for the Late Model main, with Matt Sponnaugle and Michael Lake right behind them. Brian Bernheisel and Shawn Jones were in the third row, with Andy Anderson and Doug Eck in the fourth row. Ken Schaltenbrand and Travis Stickley made up row five.

It took two tries to get the race going, but when the laps started counting, it was clear that Montgomery was the man to beat this night. While he was able to lead the way, he could never break free form Carpenter, especially in the first half of the race. Numerous cautions for minor skirmishes kept giving Carpenter opportunities to challenge but he could not cash in on any of them.

Sponnaugle raced along in third the entire distance. But, behind him, things were pretty intense.
Lake and Bernheisel were mixing things up with Stickely, Jones, and Anderson. In the middle stage of the race, Bernheisel got to the fourth position. He started to close in on Sponnaugle in the second half of the contest, but he ran out of laps.

Drake Troutman came on strong in the second half as well. Starting in row seven, it did not take the young man very long to crack the top ten. He made it up to seventh or eighth and it looked as though that would be his place in the final running order. But then he found something extra and started his march toward the front, reaching fifth by the time the checkers waived.

At the finish, it was Montgomery by several car lengths over Carpenter. Sponnaugle, Bernheisel, and Troutman rounded out the top five. Lake faded to sixth. Dylan Lewis, Stickley, Kyle Knapp, and Clinton Herst were the rest of the top ten.

Heat winners were Montgomery, Anderson, Sponnaugle, and Carpenter. Montgomery won the dash. He also turned in a lap of 15.580 to get the bonus money put up for the fast time.

Trevor Collins jumped out to an early lead from his second starting spot in the Fastrak feature. However, Breaden Dellinger moved into second and he chased Collins for the first seven or eight laps. Just before the midpoint of the race, Dellinger made his move in turns three and four. He ducked under Collins to take the lead.

Dellinger then had to fend off the challenges of two-time winner Joe Martin over the second half of the race. Logan Zarin advanced from row six to the third position. Collins held off Michael Duritsky for fourth. Steve Lowery, John Over, Ryan Frazzee, Jennae Piper, and Andy Spooner were the next five finishers.

Collins, Over, and Martin prevailed in their preliminaries.

Drake Troutman went wire to wire in the E-mod fearure. Mitch Thomas rallied from an early spin to claim the second position. Darcy Rex fell back to third in the waning laps. Greg Hauger and Amber Mills completed the top five. Troutman was the heat winner as well.

Lynch’s Luck

A draw for the first two finishers from each of the four 410 Sprint Car heats put Landon Myers on the pole with Bradley Howard next to him. Sye Lynch lined up in third, flanked by Billy Dietrich. Then came Shelby Sheffer and A.J. Flick. Tim Shaffer shared row four with Chase Dietz, while Trey Jacobs was paired up with Danny Smith in row five.

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Myers got out to an early lead, followed by Howard, Flick, Lynch, and Dietz. They maintained that running order through the first five laps. That was when Tyler Ross rolled to a stop on the backstretch. That stoppage enable Lynch to bolt into second on the restart. Shaffer followed into the fourth spot.

The field completed another five rounds before Danny Smith spun in turn two. The restart saw another move in the lead group, as Shaffer passed Howard for third in turn one after taking the green flag.

Myers continued to set a torrid pace, while Shaffer began to close in on Lynch. Another caution came out just after the halfway mark, as Flick slowed. He drove off the track in turn two, ending his bid for a top ten finish.

Myers completed three more laps as the leader when he, too, suddenly slowed. He came to a stop midway down the backstretch, handing the lead over to Lynch.

Lynch held control for the remaining ten laps of the contest. Although Lynch was able to gain some separation in the race’s longest green flag run, Shaffer came storming back in the last few laps. Lynch had caught some slower traffic and that enabled the veteran to close the margin substantially.

When the lead duo took the white flag, Lynch’s lead had shrunk to just a car length or two. Shaffer tucked in behind Lynch as they raced through turns one and two, and he moved around on the backstretch searching for a spot to make a pass for the win. Shaffer dipped to the inside coming off turn four, while Lynch stayed in the middle of the track. Shaffer got to Lynch’s left rear wheel just as the checkers waived.

Behind Lynch and Shaffer was Billy Dietrich. Dietz turned in a creditable run for fourth. Fifth was Cole Duncan, who passed twelve cars to gain the hard charger bonus for the race.

Jeff Halligan was sixth, followed by Howard, Tyler Walton, Jack Sodeman, Jr., and Ross.

The heat winners were Flick, Lynch, Dietrich, and Sheffer. T.J. Michael looked like he would join that group, but a hard crash in turn one on the final lap eliminated him from further competition. he was unhurt. The pair of B Mains went to R.J. Jacobs and Dylan Cisney.

Layton Wagner and Jason Dolick also flipped in turn four in separate incidents, but neither of them were injured. Wagner was able to make repairs and started his heat and the B Main. Dolick was done after his heat race miscue.

In the Allegheny Sprint Tour feature, Bard made his big move on the opening lap wrestling the lead away from Jake Frye as they raced through turns one and two. Kyle Keen and Brandon Hawkins had ringside seats for that display of power. Kyle Colwell and Justin Clark raced along from their third row starting positions.

Bard , Frye, and Keen had a fairly easy time at the front of the field. Clark, Colwell, Hawkins, and Dave Brown were mixing things up for the next several positions. Their battle came to a halt when Colwell slowed for the second caution of the race, with just five laps to go. While the field was circulating under the yellow, Clark came to a stop as well, so two top contenders were eliminated.

Bard completed the final five rounds without incident, as did Frye and Keen. Hawkins crossed in fourth, followed by John Walp. The next five to the finish line were Brown, Larry McVey, Jacob Gomola, Tyler Cochran, and Don Melair.

The three heat winners were Frye, Hawkins, and Clark. Saban Bibent took his car back to Cincinnati with heavy damage as he crashed from the lead of the third heat. He, too, was unhurt. There was no B Main.

In the 270 Micros, Corey Myers easily outdistanced the other racers. But Brian Borawiec and Todd Ruesser put on quite a show fighting for the second spot, which ultimately went to Borawiec. Steve Dunmire was fourth and Ryan Fredericks was fifth. Federicks and Myers split the heats. There was no B Main.

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Local Racing

Montieth Dominates at Lincoln Speedway on Memorial Day

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Lincoln Speedway

ABBOTTSTOWN, PA (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – Racing resumed in the mid-state on Memorial Day. Lincoln Speedway hosted a 410 Sprint Car race, its first in 72 days. Seven-time track champion Brian Montieth earned $5,000 for his 66th career win in the Pigeon Hills.

The race was held contrary to the wishes of Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf and his Secretary of Health, Dr. Rachel Levine. However, the Pennsylvania Department of Commercial and Economic Development abstained from any enforcement action, stating that the matter fell within the jurisdiction of local law enforcement. No punitive measures were undertaken, however. To the contrary, three local politicians spoke to the crowd before the program started.

Fans were required to sign waivers to gain access to the speedway. Social distancing was achieved somewhat by requiring the fans to sit in every other row of the grandstand and bleachers. Extra seating was provided in turn one and the infield viewing area was expanded to give spectators more space to set up their lawn chairs. Hand sanitizer stations were scattered around the facility.

Montieth started on the pole, with Ryan Smith on his flank. Tim Shaffer was paired with Chad Trout in row two. Steve Buckwalter and Lance Dewease were in the third row. T.J. Stutts and Robbie Kendall came next and Billy Dietrich and Lucas Wolfe were in the fifth row. These starting positions were determined by the luck of the draw under the PA Speedweek format used for this special event.

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Montieth jumped out front at the drop of the green and was never headed. Shaffer slid into the second spot, followed by Smith, Buckwalter, Trout, and Kendall. Shaffer stalked the leader until he was collected along with Smith in an incident between turns one and two. Several other top contenders were eliminated along the way. Kendall spun between turns one and two just six laps into the race and Freddie Rahmer hit the inside guardrail on the frontstretch after he collided with Buckwalter in a battle for the second spot with just thee laps remaining in the contest.

Montieth led Buckwalter, Dewease, Stutts, and Anthony Macri across the finish line. Chase Dietz, Trout, Dietrich, Wolfe, and Smith completed the top ten.

Shaffer, Montieth, Stutts, and Buckwalter claimed the heat race victories. Dylan Norris topped the C Main, and Rahmer was best in the B Main. Dewease was the evening’s fastest qualifier, turning a lap of 13.309 in Group A. The fastest driver in Group B was Cale Thomas. 49 competitors participated in the evening’s festivities.

Lincoln Speedway will be back in action Saturday, May 30. The 410 Sprints will be joined by the 358 Sprint Car division.

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Local Racing

Sye Lynch Wins At Roaring Knob

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MARKLEYSBURG, PA (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – Sye Lynch is back in victory lane after taking the 410 Sprint Car win Sunday at Roaring Knob Motorsports Complex in Fayette County.

Lynch held off the “Steel City Outlaw” Tim Shaffer to claim the $3,000-prize on the one-third mile dirt oval.

Billy Dietrich finished third followed by Chase Dietz and Cole Duncan.

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Tough night for A.J. Flick, who started up front but fell out of the race late.

Roaring Knob held the event despite being in the State of Pennsylvania COVID-19 “yellow” phase, which does not permit gatherings of large crowds.

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