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Redemption For Sheppard On Night Two of Lernerville Firecracker Weekend



Jason Shank

SARVER, PA (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – One night after contact ended his attempt at victory, Brandon Sheppard captured the checkered flag in the World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Model feature at Lernerville Speedway on night two of Firecracker weekend.

Sheppard survived a late race charge by Sarver’s on Mike Norris to claim his 60th career World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Models Series feature win.

“This track was definitely a lot different then what I’m used to, but we were still really good,” said Sheppard.  “I could run the middle-to-high real well, didn’t try the bottom too much, but I felt comfortable down there when I did.”

Sheppard started on the pole position and led all 25-laps en route to the victory.  The battle for the rest of the podium came down to a national legend and a two-time Lernerville track Champion.

Boom Briggs started in the second spot with Scott Bloomquist and Norris making up the second row.  Bloomquist quickly got around Briggs to move into second place.  Norris got around Briggs and set his sights on Bloomquist.

Norris passed Bloomquist on lap 15, much to the delight of the hometown crowd, and set his sights on the leader.  Meanwhile up front Sheppard was navigating lap traffic and “The Crusher Kid” kept hitting his marks, cutting Sheppard’s lead from 2.9-seconds to 1.2-seconds as the laps were winding down.

Sheppard managed to get through the lap traffic just quick enough to hold off the charge from Norris, who finished 10th on Thursday night after starting second.

“This is definitely a little redemption for us,” Norris. “It’s crazy to think that when we started we just wanted to make these features and now we’re disappointed with tenth-place finishes. Tonight felt really great though. We’re in pretty good company up here on this podium.”

Bloomquist brought it home in third position at a place where he’s the only 3-time winner of the Firecracker 100.

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“I love it,” Bloomquist said on Lernerville. “We’ve been coming here for a long time, we’ve had some good runs and won some races. We’ve been making some mistakes with tires that we need to fix tomorrow. Last night we put a hard tire on and that was wrong, tonight we put a soft tire and needed a hard one. At least we know what we’re getting into tomorrow. Hopefully the weather holds off and we can get up front.”

Norris also thinks he’ll have something for Saturday night’s $30,000-to-win feature.

“I think we’ll have something for them tomorrow,” said Norris.  “We’ll see what the weather brings and go from there.”

Sheppard will also be in contention as his car has been strong with a win and a near-win that some would argue was taken away Thursday night.

“I think tonight says a lot for tomorrow, because the big race will probably be a little bit more slicker and I don’t know if it will be this slick or not,” said Sheppard.  “I have a feeling we’ll be between last night and tomorrow on the track. Either way, it’s gonna be a great race.”

The 14th rendition of the Firecracker will conclude Saturday night at Lernerville. Tickets are still available for purchase at the gate.  If you can’t make it, the 50-lap main event will air LIVE on CBS Sports Network at 9:00pm ET.  If you can’t watch it live, set your DVR as Thursday and Friday night’s action was intense.

Morton Buildings Feature:

  1. 1-Brandon Sheppard [1] $6,000
  2. 72n-Mike Norris [4] $3,000
  3. 0-Scott Bloomquist [3] $2,000
  4. 97-Cade Dillard [5] $1,750
  5. 99b-Boom Briggs [2] $1,500
  6. 25z-Mason Zeigler [6] $1,400
  7. 22-Gregg Satterlee [13] $1,300
  8. 29v-Darrell Lanigan [15] $1,200
  9. 18-Chase Junghans [7] $1,100
  10. 0m-Chris Madden [9] $1,000
  11. 18b-Shannon Babb [8] $900
  12. 56-Russ King [10] $850
  13. 72-Jason Covert [11] $800
  14. 28-Dennis Erb [12] $775
  15. 10-Jared Miley [17] $750
  16. 12-Ashton Winger [23] $700
  17. 1x-Chub Frank [16] $660
  18. 20rt-Ricky Thornton [18] $640
  19. 111-Max Blair [20] $620
  20. 7-Ricky Weiss [22] $600
  21. 12d-Doug Drown [14] $600
  22. 2s-Dan Stone [21] $600
  23. B1-Brent Larson [24] $600
  24. 0s-Ryan Scott [19] $600

Lap Leader(s): Sheppard 1-25.

Hard Charger Award: 29v-Darrell Lanigan[+7]

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Local Racing

Sye Lynch Partnering With Baughman Motorsports



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



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



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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