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Spithaler Sprint Star at Tri-City Raceway Park

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Photo Courtesy: Mark Swanson

FRANKLIN, PA (June 14, 2020): Brandon Spithaler scored an impressive 410 Sprint Car victory in the second round of action at Tri-City Raceway Park on Sunday evening. Joining him in celebrating wins were Tom Holden in the 358 Modifieds, Rod Laskey in the Pro Stocks, and Dillon Speer in the Mini Stocks.

Under Tri-City rules, the first several rows of each feature event consist of the drivers who excel in their respective heat races. Brandon Spithaler wound up on the pole courtesy of Brandon Matus who was tasked with the responsibility to pull the pills that determined the starting order for the Sprint Cars. “I knew when I pulled the number one pill for him that he was going to be tough,” lamented Matus. His concerns were indeed valid, as Spithaler absolutely dominated the race from start to finish.

“This track was perfect tonight,” Spithaler said. “If Tri-City was like this every week, I would love it.” Conditions were much more to his liking compared to the previous week, when the track was smooth and slick, and he struggled to a sixth place finish. Sunday’s track was moist and a little choppy, giving Spithaler the opportunity to “cowboy up” as one of his competitors put it.

Spithaler jumped out front at the drop of the green. Tim Shaffer moved from fourth to second on the opening lap. However, Spithaler knew that the Steel City Outlaw was stalking him when he saw Shaffer’s number 28 on the scoreboard while the field was pacing under a caution. That did not rattle Spithaler, though. Instead, it incentivized him. He drove even harder to keep Shaffer at bay. Spithaler’s car worked to perfection regardless where he put it as he picked his way through lapped traffic during the second half of the race. His pace was so frenetic that he lapped all the way through the fifth position!

Following Spithaler and Shaffer were Jack Sodeman, Jr., Lee Jacobs, and Dan Kuriger. Once again, Kuriger passed plenty of cars. He started deep in the pack, eighteenth to be exact. Unfortunately for him, there was no hard charger award given this night.

Brandon Matus, Jared McFarland, Cody Bova, Gary Kriess, Jr., and Darren Pifer completed the top ten.

Heat wins for the 28 cars on hand were won by Brandon Matus, Jacobs, and Shaffer. There was no B Main as promoter Merle Black once again allowed all cars to start the feature event.

Tom Holden scored the emotional win in the 358 Modifieds. He dedicated the triumph to two family members who recently passed. One of them was his father, a former sprint car driver who never won a race at Tri-City despite years of trying. Holden’s car carries a picture of his late father on the right rear quarter panel, and Tom proudly said that his dad finally made it to victory lane at the track.

To earn the win, Holden had to pass Eric Beggs, who led from the start. Holden got his chance following a restart on lap twelve. Beggs entered turn one on the inside groove and Holden drove by him on the outside. That surprised Beggs, as Holden had been using the low line prior to the restart and Beggs changed up his own line in an effort to slow Holden’s advance.

Taking third was Travis Shingledecker, who was subbing for his brother, Jeremiah, who had other commitments for the evening. Kevin Green scored his second top five finish of the season, followed by Jeff Schaffer, Jr.

Three Rivers Karting

Positions six through ten went to Richard Whitney, Ryan Riffe, Shawn Fleeger, D.J. Schrader, and Brandon Ritchey.

Schaffer and Beggs were victorious in their heats. There was no B Main. Last week’s winner, Kyle Fink, was the first driver eliminated from the race when he struck the water barrels lining the outside wall between turns one and two.

In the Pro Stock contest, Curtis J. Bish took the early lead from last week’s winner, Josh Seippel, and then he had to hold off Rod Laskey. Although Laskey was scored as the leader on one lap in the middle of the race, it was Bish who seemed to have control. But, Laskey was determined and he came storming back on the final lap. He made a bold move coming through turn four on the final round to steal the win from Bish.

While Bish and Laskey were fighting for the lead and the win, Jackson Humanic was lurking in third. Neither of his rivals faltered, and Humanic was forced to settle for the podium finish. Curt Bish was fourth and Seippel crossed in fifth.

Tyler Wyant, Pat Fielding, Blaze Myers, Josh Blum, and Chase Lambert completed the top ten.

Heat wins went to Custis J. Bish and Bobby Whitling. There was no B Main.

The Mini Stocks got to open and close the racing action this night. First up was the remaining ten laps from last week’s feature for the class. That race had to be cut short due to a power failure that darkened the long back stretch. The winner of that event was Dillon Speer, and he would go on to claim the honors in the nightcap as well. Speer also won his heat race, making for a clean sweep of Mini Stock action.

In the opener, Kyle Janas was second, but he crashed in the final event of the night. Emily Stoyer was third, followed by Shane Shook and Jesse Armstrong.

In the finale, Dillon’s cousin, Dalton Speer, was the runner-up. Patrick Hanlon crossed in third, with Bondy Stoyer and Justin Bailey rounding out the top five.

Dillon Speer and Patrick Hanlon captured the preliminaries. There was no B Main.

Tri-City Raceway Park will be in action again on June 21, with 410 Sprints, 358 Modifieds, and Mini Stocks topping the card. Joining the fun will be the Vintage Modifieds. In celebration of Father’s Day, all men will get a free popcorn.

Dirt Racing

Michael Norris wins night two of Bill Hendren Memorial at PPMS

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RUSH Racing Series

IMPERIAL, PA (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – Michael Norris doesn’t race every week at Pittsburgh’s Pennsylvania Motor Speedway but ‘The Crusher Kid’ may want to add a few more visits to dirt’s ‘Monster Half Mile’ in 2022 after winning the feature in night 2 of the ‘Bill Hendren Memorial’.

Norris’ victory was his 2nd straight RUSH Late Model Touring Series win at PPMS and third in four events.  Norris also won the ‘Jook George Steel City Classic’ in August and in 2020.

“Kyle (Lukon) got out there and was setting a pretty good pace,” said Norris. “I kind of got in line behind him and didn’t know if I had anything for him in clean air, but I figured once we got to lapped traffic we’d see what we’re both made of.”

Norris made his move on lap 11 and passed Lukon for the lead.  Norris masterfully worked lap traffic over the remaining laps to capture the checkered flag and another win in a signature local event.

“It means a lot to win these memorials,” said Norris. “Any memorial means the person was pretty significant and were pioneers in the sport. I appreciate you guys putting this on, and I just love coming here any chance I get- I’ll run lawnmowers around here I don’t care.”

Three Rivers Karting

Kyle Hardy, Friday night’s winner, tried chasing down Norris over the final 17-laps but settled for second place and the RUSH Late Model Touring points lead.

“I didn’t have anything for Michael,” said Hardy. “We would have liked to have won tonight, but always have the big picture in the back of our minds. Not a bad weekend at all.”

Joe Martin was third for the second straight night. It was Martin’s fifth straight Tour podium finish, 10th straight top six, and 13th top six in the last 14 events as he maintains runner-up in the standings.

“Bill Hendren Memorial” Night 2 (30 laps, $3200 to-win): 1. MICHAEL NORRIS (51) 2. Kyle Hardy (99) 3. Joe Martin (Snyder 10s) 4. Colton Flinner (Chernik 5x) 5. Daryl Charlier (Centerline 114) 6. Logan Zarin (1z) 7. Levi Crowl (5) 8. Michael Duritsky, Jr. (90J) 9. Jacob Gunn (14G) 10. Garret Paugh (03) 11. Tony Musolino (Dobnak 42) 12. Bud Watson (225) 13. Ray Love, Jr. (08) 14. Zach Gunn (17G) 15. Tom Klein (77) 16. Tom Duratz (55D) 17. Ryan Frazee (11F) 18. Bill Kessler (09) 19. Kassidy Kamicker (72B) 20. Zach Kane (10) 21. Dan Lepro (2L) 22. Kyle Lukon (184) 23. Cole Petrelle (84) 24. Eddie Carrier, Jr. (Lukon 184X).

Non-Qualifier (6 laps, $500 to-win): 1. Philip Bubeck (Tennant 2) 2. Dave Goble (20G). DNS: Nick Love (38), Jeremy Wonderling (3J), Grant Garrison (1), Zach Morrow (Bentz 60), Tim Shaffer (45), Andrew Squatriglia (115).

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Dirt Racing

Macedo Makes History at the Grove

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Paul Arch

WILLIAMS GROVE, PA (October 2, 2021): Carson Macedo earned his biggest career win in the 59th National Open held at Williams Grove Sppedway. He picked up $75,000, the largest payday ever doled out at the historic venue.

“This is the biggest win of my career,” Macedo said. “This is really cool. When I started coming here, I couldn’t get ahold of this place.” Well, Macedo grabbed control of the race on lap 36 and he did not let go. That was when he made the winning move in turn one, sliding past leader Logan Schuchart. “The lapped cars were holding up Logan. I just drove really hard. I slid across and the wing held me.”

Schuchart, who suffered perhaps the biggest disappointment of his budding career, was philosophical about the outcome. “All in all, two, second place finishes this weekend are pretty good for me. I’ve got a lot of years ahead of me. Carson ran a great race. I thought I could maybe rip the top on him.” But Schuchart’s attempted counter attack never materialized.

Brent Marks had the pole for the 40 lap affair. Schuchart was on his right. Sheldon Haudenschild and David Gravel were in row two. Anthony Macri and Carson Macedo continued the youth movement by starting in row three. Six-time Open champion, Donny Schatz and Justin Peck were in row four. Kasey Kahne and Lance Dewease started in row five, with James McFadden and Brian Brown in the sixth row.

Marks blasted into the lead, followed by Schuchart, Gravel, Macedo, Haudenschild, Macri, and Schatz. Before Marks could build upon his early advantage, a red flag stopped the race after just two laps. Brian Brown spun and collected Daryn Pittman, who turned over from the contact. Freddy Rahmer, Jr. was also involved in the melee. No drivers were injured, but all three were eliminated from the contest.

Marks assumed control again when the race resumed. He began to pull away from Schuchart as the laps clicked off. Marks’ bid for a second win in the Open ended when he got into a lapped car and spun in turn two. He was able to restart the race, but his quest for the victory was over.

Three Rivers Karting

That handed the lead to Schuchart. He was able to maintain control for the next twenty-three laps despite a second red flag on lap 12. Robbie Kendall flipped after he tangled with T.J. Stutts between turns one and two. Again, neither driver was hurt, but Kendall was done for the night.

While Schuchart led Macedo, Haudenschild, Macri, and Gravel, the battle was for the sixth spot. Schatz and Dewease were mixing things up until lap 27, when Schatz took the position once and for all.

Schuchart got into traffic and kept his advantage over Macedo. However, in the final ten laps, Macedo began to close on the leader. He made his winning move on lap 35, and led the final four laps. Schuchart made a desperate bid in the final corners, but came up a tad short.

Following Macedo and Schuchart were Haudenschild, Macri, and Gravel. Schatz was sixth. Then came Dewease, Kyle Larson, McFadden, and Brad Sweet.

Macri received a $1,000 bonus for the highest finishing PA Posse driver. Sweet grabbed $559 as the hard charger. He advanced nine positions during the race.

The heat wins were chalked up by Schatz, Macedo, Gravel, and Haudenschild. Dewease set the fast time again, this time topping Group B with a lap of 16.774 seconds. He failed to lock into the dash when Macri swept by him in turn one following a restart with two laps to go in the third heat. The B Main winner was Jacob Allen, and Devon Borden took the checkers in the C Main.

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Dirt Racing

Kyle Hardy wins night one of the ‘Bill Hendren Memorial’ at PPMS

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RUSH Racing Series

IMPERIAL, PA (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – Kyle Hardy picked up his first win at Pittsburgh’s Pennsylvania Motor Speedway by grabbing the feature victory in night one of the ‘Bill Hendren Memorial’.

“What a race- it was super fun out there,” said Hardy. “I can’t thank my crew to get this car so good to where I could steer across the middle of the race track. What a car we’ve had all year.”

Hardy held off PPMS track Champion Daryl Charlier in a thrilling side-by-side battle for several laps around dirt’s ‘Monster Half Mile’.

“If you had a camera or mirror on me you’d have seen how freaked out I was just trying to get where I needed to be to win this thing,” said Hardy.

Three Rivers Karting

The victory was not a surprise as Hardy was the runner up when the RUSH Late Model Touring Series visited PPMS twice earlier this season for the ‘Herb Scott Memorial’ and ‘Jook George Steel City Classic’.

Charlier brought it home in second place and earned $1,500 for his efforts.

“If I’m going to finish second I guess I’ll finish second to Kyle Hardy- he’s the top dog in the crates and especially the RUSH Series,” said Charlier.

RUSH Late Model Touring Series “Bill Hendren Memorial” (30 laps, $3000 to-win): 1. KYLE HARDY (99) 2. Daryl Charlier (Centerline 114) 3. Joe Martin (Snyder 10s) 4. Eddie Carrier, Jr. (Lukon 184X) 5. Jeremy Wonderling (3J) 6. Jacob Gunn (14G) 7. Bud Watson (225) 8. Garret Paugh (03) 9. Logan Zarin (1z) 10. Levi Crowl (5) 11. Ray Love, Jr. (08) 12. Zach Kane (10) 13. Michael Reft (9R) 14. Colton Flinner (Chernik 5x) 15. Michael Duritsky, Jr. (90J) 16. Tony Musolino (Dobnak 42) 17. Zach Gunn (17G) 18. Kyle Lukon (184) 19. Ryan Frazee (11F) 20. Zach Morrow (Bentz 60) 21. Bill Kessler (09) 22. Justin Kann (66) 23. Philip Bubeck (Tennant 2) 24. Tim Shaffer (45).

DNQ: Dan Lepro (2L), Tom Duratz (55D), Grant Garrison (1), Kassidy Kamicker (72B), Tom Klein (77), Rob Coffaro (24), Dave Goble (20G), Nick Love (38), Noah Brunell (31), Zach Crawford (c4), Ben Policz (14B).

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