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Blair Wins Night One of Lernerville Fircracker Amid Controversy

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Stivason Photos/Lernerville Speedway

SARVER, PA (Pittsburgh Racing Now – June 25, 2020) – Max Blair was the winner of the opening round of the Firecracker weekend at Lernerville Speedway. His third career World of Outlaws Late Model Series victory was a controversial one. After losing the lead on the backstretch on what should have been the final lap of the race, Blair made contact with the new leader, Brandon Sheppard, in turn four with the checkered flag in sight. Sheppard was sent to the rear for the restart, and Blair inherited the lead for the green-white-checkers finish.

Blair acknowledged several mistakes in his post-race interview and he was contrite. “I definitely got into him. I feel terrible about it,” Blair confessed. “I’ll go see Mark (Richards, the owner of Sheppard’s Rocket house car) and apologize. I hope he’s ok with it.” Blair went on to explain that his mistakes began with his entry into turn one on the last lap. “It was a driver error getting pinned down there in one.” Blair was stuck behind a slower car and lost some momentum, thus enabling Sheppard to get a good run on him down the backstretch. That was where Sheppard gained the lead. Then, Blair drove hard into turn three and Sheppard appeared to slow down on the inside line leading to the contact in turn four.

Blair started the race in fifth position, but he quickly moved into third at the drop of the green. The polesitter, Cade Dillard, grabbed the lead and held control through the first 17 laps of the race. Michael Norris settled into second, but he got shuffled back a spot on a restart following a skirmish in turn one with two laps in the books. Norris’ hopes for a third WoO preliminary night victory at his home track vanished when his car drifted out over the lip of turn two with 14 laps in the books. Norris lost three positions in the process. He eventually faded to tenth in the final run-down.

Dillard and Blair were dicing for the lead as they approached lapped traffic. When Dillard gave up the high line, Blair was quick to pick it up and he used it to his advantage. Blair rode the rim in turns one and two to build momentum. He surged into the lead as the duo charged off turn two with 17 laps complete.

Blair seemed to have control of the race from that point on. Dillard continued in second but Sheppard moved into third when Norris jumped the cushion. In the final five laps of the race, Sheppard came to life and he passed Dillard with two or three laps remaining. Sheppard continued his charge and e grabbed the lead on the final lap when Blair “got pinned,” as he put it.

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Another driver making his presence known in the waning laps was Ricky Thornton. He climbed from sixth to third in the last five circuits. One must wonder what Thornton would have done had he not been disqualified from his heat race transfer due to illegal deck height. Thornton easily made the race through a B Main and he came from 23rd on the grid to get the podium finish.

At the checkers, it was Blair, Dillard, Thornton, Scott Bloomquist, and Chase Junghans. Chub Frank led Ashton Winger, Jason Covert, Mason Zeigler, and Norris to the finish line.

Heat winners were Blair, Norris, Sheppard, Bloomquist, Dillard, and Chris Madden. Zeigler, Russell King, and Thorton won their respective B Mains. Blair was the fastest qualifier on the night, topping Group A with a lap of 15.125 seconds. Bloomquist was best in Group B at 15.236.

Ricky Weiss was a late arrival due to problems with his tow rig. He arrived just as the B Mains were finishing. He used a provisional and a borrowed car to start the feature. He drove the Colton Flinner mount to a 21st place finish.

World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Models Results:

  1. Max Blair
  2. Cade Dillard
  3. Ricky Thornton Jr.
  4. Scott Bloomquist
  5. Chase Junghans
  6. Chub Frank
  7. Ashton Winger
  8. Jason Covert
  9. Mason Ziegler
  10. Mike Norris
  11. Rick Eckert
  12. Chris Madden
  13. Alex Ferree
  14. Doug Drown
  15. Dan Stone
  16. Darrell Lanigan
  17. Shannon Babb
  18. Russ King
  19. Brent Larson
  20. Dennis Erb
  21. Ricky Weiss
  22. Brandon Sheppard
  23. Boom Briggs
  24. Pearson Williams
  25. Matt Cosner
  26. Colten Burdette
  27. Will Thomas
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Local Racing

Sye Lynch Partnering With Baughman Motorsports

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APOLLO, PA (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – Sprint Car driver Sye Lynch is partnering with Baughman Motorsports for the 2021 racing season.

Lynch, the third generation 410 Sprint Car driver, and his team plan to enter around 80-events as part of this partnership with Josh Baughman and Baughman Motorsports.  Longtime Lynch partner Mosites Motorsports joins new marketing partners Fischer Body Shop of Missouri and Hollywood Blasting and Coating of Odessa, Texas as part of the arrangement.

“I couldn’t be more excited,” said Lynch. “To have Fischer Body Shop and Baughman Motorsports join our efforts at Sye Lynch Racing is pretty special. We’ve been working on these plans for over four months. I’m not sure how we were able to keep it a secret this long, but it’s out there now. I’m ready to get started.”

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Lynch’s schedule is still being finalized but highlights include some of sprint car racing’s premier showcases like the Kings Royal at Eldora Speedway (July 15 & July 17) and the Knoxville Nationals at Knoxville Raceway (August 11-14).

“We are still working out the logistics side of things,” said Lynch. “I hope to have a complete plan of attack released in the coming weeks. I just want to thank all of my partners for their dedication and support. Our goal is to go out every night and put on a show. I’m confident we have what it takes to do that.”

Baughman is stepping back from full-time competition in 2021 but plans to run 10-15 events in 2021.

“We are excited about this new venture with Sye Lynch,” said Baughman. “He’s a talented kid with the hunger to win and we’re proud to be affiliated. I think it’s safe to say that we are all anxious to get the year underway.”

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Dirt Racing

Schatz Scores Jean Lynch Classic Win at East Bay

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Photo: Chad Warner

GIBSONTON, FL (February 2, 2021): Donny Schatz scored an impressive win over the Madsen brothers, Ian and Kerry, in the second running of the Jean Lynch Classic for the All Star Circuit of Champions at East Bay Raceway Park. The All Stars’ visit to the ‘Clay by the Bay’ was cut to one night due to heavy rain that hit the track Sunday and continued into Monday. The speedway looked more like the fish farm that Jimmy Mingo and others converted into a racy oval over four decades ago. A substantial pond remained inside turn one on Tuesday but, fortunately, no Sprint Cars made a detour into that area.

“It’s been a long time since I was at East Bay,” Schatz said. He estimated that his last appearance at the track was in the early ’90s. “It’s really neat, tricky; it has some slick spots, some shiny spots.” Nonetheless, Schatz had no difficulty mastering the unfamiliar surface.

Ian Madsen and Cory Eliason paced the field for the 30 lap feature event named for the lady who was a former co-owner of the series and track manager at East Bay. Schatz lined up third, with Justin Peck beside him. Tony Stewart and Anthony Macri were in the third row, and Steve Buckwalter and Tyler Courtney in the fourth. The final dash participants, Kyle Reinhardt and Tim Shaffer, made up row five. Then came Jamie Myers and Gio Scelzi.

Eliason assumed command on the opening lap and he began to distance himself from Schatz, Ian Madsen, Peck, and Macri. However, just five laps into the race, Eliason collided with a slower car driven by Chris Windom. Eliason got a flat right front tire, but there was no other apparent damage to his car, so he was able to resume the race at the rear of the field.

Peck, who had slipped by Schatz on the last completed lap, took off at the drop of the green. Schatz raced along in second, followed by Ian Madsen, Courtney, Shaffer, and Macri. The man on the move, though, was Kerry Madsen, who was up to seventh from 17th on the starting grid.

A caution bunched things up at lap eleven. While the front runners did not change, Kerry Madsen made some aggressive moves to enter the top five.

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With fourteen laps in the books, Schatz was hounding Peck for the lead. He got a strong run off of turn two, but Peck moved up a lane to block his advance. Schatz deftly turned under Peck halfway down the back stretch and he was the new leader entering turn three. Peck no longer had the steam to race with the leaders and he slowly started to drift back in the running order after that.

The final caution was displayed on lap 17. Schatz continued to lead over Ian Madsen when racing resumed, but now the battle was for third. Courtney and Kerry Madsen were the contestants, with Shaffer looking for an opening. Madsen wrestled the spot away from Cortney in a few laps, and he set out after his brother.

The sibling rivalry intensified as the pair of Aussies picked their way through lapped traffic. “I didn’t know it was him,” Ian said of the driver pressing him for second. “I knew that he started pretty far back.” For his part, Kerry Madsen had to wonder how things would have played out differently if he had started closer to the front. “It was a great run, I had a great car and could go anywhere I wanted.”

Schatz maintained his lead to the finish. Ian held off his older brother for second. Courtney was fourth and Scelzi benefitted from a miscue by Shaffer on the final lap to gain the fifth spot. Shaffer, Peck, Stewart, Brent Marks, and Hunter Schuerenberg completed the top ten.

Kerry Madsen was the hard charger, advancing 14 positions.

Ian Madsen was the fastest qualifier of the night, turning in a lap of 12.680 seconds. Buckwalter, Courtney, Shaffer, and Schatz scored heat wins. The dashes belonged to Ian Madsen and Eliason. Terry McCarl captured the B Main.

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Local Racing

Western PA Sprint Speedweek Adds Another Sponsor

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SHIPPENVILLE, PA (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – Western PA Sprint Speedweek is adding another partner to the growing list of companies stepping up to support the five-race series this June.

J.S. Bova Excavating LLC has signed on to be a presenting sponsor of this summer’s upcoming five-race speedweek, scheduled to run from Wednesday, June 2nd through Sunday, June 6th.

J.S. Bova is a family-owned excavating company and general contractor known for its outstanding service, extensive expertise, steadfast reliability, and commitment to safety. J.S. Bova proudly serves the Eastern Ohio and Western Pennsylvania area out of their central Struthers, Ohio location.

“We’re excited to get behind the revival of Western PA Speedweek” said owner Joe Bova. “We believe the area sprint car competition and racetracks are underrated and on the upswing, and we want to be associated with the excitement that this event brings.”

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Joe and Sherri Bova founded their business in 2013 and worked together to build their organization from the ground up. In less than a decade they have expanded their portfolio to offer a wide range of services and have earned an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB).

Schaeffer’s Specialized Lubricants signed on to be the title sponsor of Western PA Sprint Speedweek last week.

Western PA Sprint Speedweek returns from a 20-year hiatus June 2nd-6th. Western Pennsylvania’s ‘410 Sprint Cars’ will compete for five straight nights with each show featuring a strong $3,000-to-win, $250-to-start purse.

Schaeffer’s Specialized Lubricants Western PA Sprint Speedweek presented by J.S. Bova Excavating Schedule:

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