ABBOTTSTOWN, PA (June 29, 2020 – Pittsburgh Racing Now): An invader finally triumphed in the 30th Annual Pennsylvania Sprint Car Speedweek. Rico Abreu, who hails from St. Helena, CA, dominated round four held at the at Lincoln Speedway. The win was worth $7,000 to the popular driver who held off another visitor, Aaron Reutzel, the current points leader with the All Star Circuit of Champions series.
“It was a lot of fun, and fortunately there was not a lot of traffic,” Abreu said. “I had good entry to center speed and I could get a launch off the corner, especially off turn two.” Abreu explained that he just waited for the lapped cars to drop down in the corners and then “I could rocket right by them.” Abreu commented that “Lincoln is a tough track even without the World of Outlaws being here. But the track was awesome tonight.”
With the win, Abreu positioned himself to be the only driver eligible to claim a $5,000 bonus offered by Drydene. To do so, Abreu must also win the Drydene 40, a non-sanctioned event added to the Lincoln Speedway schedule for July 29, and the Seventh Annual Dirt Classic coming up at the speedway in September. When asked if he would compete in those shows, Abreu said, “I will be here if you (pointing to the enthusiastic fans in the grandstand) come back too.”
Abreu had the prime starting position for the 30 lap contest, but he had Reutzel positioned next to him. Ryan Smith and Christopher Bell were in row two. Kyle Larson and Cory Eliason were in the third row. Brent Marks and Danny Dietrich had row four covered. Brock Zearfoss and Brian Montieth were in the fifth row.
Abreu basted out to an early lead and Reutzel fell in behind him. Smith and Bell raced side by side, with Larson looking for an opening. He found it on the second lap and moved into fourth. While Abreu and Reutzel set a blistering pace, Larson and Bell began swapping the third position.
Robbie Kendall brought a halt to the action with ten laps down. Soon after the restart, Larson slid high in turn four while fighting with Bell for third. Larson nearly spun out, but he saved the car and did not lose a position. He was not as fortunate coming off turn two, though, and this time he did lose a couple of spots in the running order. It took him several laps to get them back.
The second and final caution was displayed on lap 19 when Zearfoss brought his car to a stop in the fourth turn. The restart line-up had Abreu out front, with Reutzel and Bell ahead of Larson and Marks, and the fans were all primed to see a heavyweight clash for the final eleven laps.
Unfortunately, that never materialized. Abreu got away cleanly and Reutzel could do nothing but watch the blue machine pull away from him. He was able to open up a margin of his own over Bell. Larson began to fade from contention in the last third of the race. However, Freddie Rahmer, Jr. provided some excitement. The third generation driver was sitting in tenth for the restart, up eleven spots from his starting position, and he still had some moves to make. Rahmer did pick up a few places before the checkers flew.
Abreu sailed under the victory bunting with almost a two second advantage over Reutzel. “He did a hell of a job, he set a great pace,” said the tall Texan. “I could see that he was having some trouble getting off the corners late in the race, but I needed heavier traffic to have a shot at him. He was just too good tonight.”
Bell crossed in third and seemed to be pleased with the outcome. “I’m just glad to be here, this is a real hotbed for Sprint Car racing.” Bell explained his plans to race in the next two rounds of Speedweek before heading out to Indianapolis Motor Speedway for his next NASCAR event. “I love to do this and I don’t get the chance to do it enough,” he added.
Marks and Smith completed the top five. Larson fell to sixth at the finish, his worst finish in several weeks of action. Dietrich was right behind him, though, so do not expect to see much if any changes in the Speedweek points heading into the next event at Grandview Speedway. Rahmer was eighth. Eliason and Tim Wagaman rounded out the top ten.
Larson, Bell, Smith, and Eliason were the heat race winners. Rahmer was best in the B Main. Larson was the evening’s fastest qualifier, turning in a lap of 13.564 seconds to lead Group A. Reutzel was tops in Group B at 13.841 seconds.
Lincoln Speedway will host the 358 Sprint Car Summer Series this Saturday, July 4, along with the 305 Sprints and two additional divisions. Round five of Speedweek will be held on the high banks of the Grandview Speedway.
— FloRacing (@FloRacing) June 30, 2020
Chappel, Duritsky, Ruhlman and Wolbert winners on Friday at Lernerville
SARVER, PA (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – Issac Chappel passed Carmen Perigo on Lap 6 and never looked back to take the win in the BOSS Wingless Sprint Car Series 25-lap main event. The win was the fifth in-a-row for Chappel in the BOSS Series.
Mike Duritsky picked up his first career win at ‘The Action Track’ by holding off Will Thomas and Logan Zarin to capture the RUSH Late Model Series feature. Daryl Charlier and Joe Martin rounded out the Top 5.
Chad Ruhlman fought off Blaze Myers to pick up the win in the RUSH Sprint Car Series feature. John Mollick was third followed by Gale Ruth and one of several drivers pulling double-duty, Zach Morrow.
Chas Wolbert collected his 40th career feature victory going wire-to-wire in the RUSH Sportsman Modified feature. Ben Easler was second. Justin Shea rounded out the podium.
Li’l Haud Happy at the Grove
WILLIAMS GROVE, PA (July 23, 2021): Sheldon Haudenschild took his career first checkered flag at Williams Grove Speedway on the opening night of the Summer Nationals. While the driver from Wooster, OH gladly took the $10,000 purse, current Williams Grove points leader, Lance Dewease, won the hearts of the Pennsylvania faithful with a remarkably strong run from seventeenth to second.
Haudenschild, who joined his father, Jac, as a World of Outlaws victor at the Grove, expressed relief that he was finally able to get a win at the speedway. “I feel like I have a lot of laps around this place, but I could never get that win. We’ve been close, but it feels great to finally pull one off. Makes it sweeter that the 69 (Dewease) was behind us.”
Haudenschild had the pole for the twenty-five lap preliminary feature. Anthony Macri had the local contingent stoked with his second place starting spot. James McFadden lined up third, with David Gravel in fourth. Chad Trout rolled off in fifth, with Donny Schatz next to him. Aaron Reutzel and T.J. Stutts made up row four, with Brent Marks and Kraig Kinser in row five. The sixth row belonged to Brad Sweet and Logan Schuchart.
Haudenschild blasted off turn four into the lead, while Macri had some difficulty getting up to speed. Gravel and McFadden got by him by the first corner and Schatz and Stutts were hounding him. A quick caution for Jeff Halligan facing the wrong way in turn two caused a realignment, but Haudenschild again got away cleanly.
Macri lost another position in the early going, this one to Schatz, but his misfortunes continued. By lap five, he dropped to seventh. But things would get worse for the driver seeking his first 410 win at the Grove. Aaron Reutzel got sideways coming through turn four and Macri clipped him as he went by. Macri spun to the inside and his car was struck by Stutts, who did a slow roll bringing out the red. None of the drivers were injured and both Reutzel and Macri were able to return after making some hasty repairs.
That stoppage proved to be the last of the contest. But it was significant for another reason. It moved Lance Dewease into the eighth position for the restart and it brought the rest of the field back to him.
When the green light came on again, Haudenschild resumed his lead and he continued to ride the cushion. McFadden stayed within striking distance, while Gravel was keeping Schatz at bay.
But all eyes were glued on the blue machine of Dewease. Using his customary low line, Dewease was making some progress until he reached the car of Carson Macedo. Macedo was using the low line as well and it took Dewease several laps to get by him. However, once he completed the pass, there was no stopping Dewease.
Dewease reached the top five on lap 18, and the best was yet to come. He caught and passed Schatz with two to go and he did the same to McFadden on the white flag lap. While Dewease was closing in on Hadenschild, the Posse fans were hoping for a caution that would set up a dash for the cash.
Their hopes were not fulfilled and Haudenschild streaked under the checkered flag for the win. Dewease crossed in second, making the fans wonder what might have been had he started closer to the front.
“The driver put us behind in qualifying,” Dewease confessed. “We were able to pass cars; we’ve been able to pass cars all year here. But, it was twenty-five laps, that’s all that matters, and Sheldon won it.” Dewease noted that he had some difficulty getting by Macedo and Schatz, both of whom were using his preferred line, but he was pleased to make his charge from the ninth row to second. He received a $250 bonus for beingthe hard charger. Dewease was grateful, but he proclaimed that he did not want that award again on Saturday night.
McFadden claimed the other podium spot, followed by Schatz and Marks. Positions six through ten went to Gravel, Macedo, Sweet, Schuchart, and Danny Dietrich.
The four heat wins went to Schatz, Trout, Stutts, and Macri. Haudenschild won the Dash and Wayne Johnson took the B Main. Haudenschild also set the fastest time of the night, 17.104 seconds. Trout was second, followed by Stutts and Macri.
Sweet Scores Before Rain Hits Lernerville
SARVER, PA (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – Grass Valley, CA driver Brad Sweet checked one off of his bucket list. He took the crown jewel event at Lernerville Speedway, the Don Martin Memorial, for the first time in his career. It was his third triumph at the track, the other two coming in the Fall’s Commonwealth Clash.
Sye Lynch was on the pole, with David Gravel next to him for the start of the 40 lap affair. Sweet lined up next to Aaron Reutzel in the second row. Carson Macedo and Donny Schatz were in row three with Christopher Bell and Sheldon Haudenschild in row four. The fifth row belonged to Brock Zearfoss and Logan Schuchart. James McFadden and Jacob Allen were in row six.
Lynch got the jump on Gravel and reached the top of turn one first. That gave him an advantage in the opening laps. Sweet settled into third and he seemed most comfortable running the low line around the speedway. Reutzel, Macedo, Schuchart and Bell followed.
Michael Bauer flipped between turns one and two with five complete. He was unhurt, but his car was pushed back to the pit area and he was finished for the night.
Lynch took off on the restart, but this time Sweet made a bold move on the inside of turn one. Sweet nosed ahead, but Lynch turned back under him to regain the lead. The two racers ran side by side for several laps before Lynch slid out over the cushion in turn two with twelve complete. Sweet was hard on the inside and powered to the front.
Sweet continued to lead, but he moved to the top side as he approached the lapped traffic. Sweet was just as quick on the high side and he built up his advantage to more than seven and a half seconds over Reutzel, who moved ahead of Lynch on lap fourteen.
The action was halted again on lap sixteen when Haudenschild flipped in turn three. Remarkably, his car landed on its wheels and sustained minimal damage. Haudenschild was pushed to the work area and he returned to the race. Despite his misfortune, he rallied in the last third of the race to get a top ten for his efforts.
While Sweet was completing the final rounds, the battle was for the second spot between Reutzel and Schatz. The seven-time Silver Cup winner made the pass with two to go.
Sweet was the winner, taking the checkers just moments before the rain inundated the speedway. Schatz, Reutzel, Gravel, and James McFadden were the top five. Shuchart, Macedo, Tim Shaffer, Bell, and Haudenschild rounded out the top ten.
Carl Bowser was the hard charger, passing thirteen cars on his way to an eleventh place finish.
After his Cinderella story came to an end, Lynch raced in the top ten until the stretch run. However, he faded to fifteenth at the finish. Lynch was attempting to join his father, Ed Sr., as a winner of the Don Martin Memorial.
Three of the four heat races were each won from the pole position. Victories went to Lynch, Gravel, Sweet, and Reutzel. The only pole sitter to miss grabbing the brass ring was Schatz. Lynch was the evening’s fastest qualifier, turning the track at 12.543 seconds and he also won the Dash. The B Main winner was Jason Sides.