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
Kyle Larson Wins at Williams Grove
WILLIAMS GROVE, PA (April 16, 2021): Kyle Larson made his first 410 Sprint Car race of the season a memorable one, capturing the Tommy Hinnershitz Classic at Williams Grove Speedway. Larson, who admitted to having some rustiness earlier in the night, got better as the night went on. He won his Dash, which put him on the front row beside his good friend, Lance Dewease, and then he chased down the veteran who was seeking his 100th career win at the track. Larsen went on to score a convincing win.
Also getting to victory lane was the defending 358 Sprint Car champion, Derek Locke.
“I used to hate this place,” Larson said. His early struggles at the track were well documented. “But, now that I have a fast car here, it’s really fun.” Larson went so far as to say that Williams Grove is now one of his favorite venues. And, why not? In the last twelve months, he tabbed three wins at the track. Larson clearly enjoys racing at Williams Grove and going head to head
with his pal.
“I knew that I had a really good car,” Larson noted. “I was catching (Dewease) at both ends. I showed him the nose in three and he was getting tight.” Larson sailed by Dewease on the outside of turns one and two and never looked back. Still, Larson was concerned that the wily veteran might chase him down in traffic. “He has a lot of laps here,” he explained.
Indeed, Dewease was closing in on Larson until he encountered the lapped car of T.J. Stutts. It took Dewease several laps to get past Stutts and, by then, Larson’s lead was insurmountable. Dewease noted that his car got really tight as the race went on. “We weren’t very good after that red flag with three laps in. He (Larson) got by me and he checked out.” So Dewease must wait a little while longer to claim the big win.
Dewease and Larson had the front row by virtue of their respective Dash wins. Freddie Rahmer, Jr. and Ian Madsen were in the second row, with Anthony Macri and Tim Shaffer right behind. Kerry Madsen rolled off from row four, along with Tony Stewart, the surprise winner the night before at Virginia Motor Speedway. Tyler Courtney and Zeb Wise were in row five and Paul McMahan and Zach Hampton started from the sixth verse.
Dewease fired first and opened a three car length advantage over the NASCAR star. Ian Madsen held down third, ahead of Rahmer, Shaffer, Macri, and Wise. Dewease maintained his advantage through the first three laps before the red was displayed for Stutts, who turned his car over midway down the backstretch. The damage was minimal, and Stutts was able to pit for some repairs to enable him to continue.
After that stoppage, Dewease resumed command. However, Larson was stalking him and he made several aggressive runs to the inside of turn three. With each successive lap, Larson drew closer. He did pull alongside Dewease in three with nine laps completed and he made the winning move at the opposite end of the track on the tenth circuit.
Soon thereafter, the only caution was displayed for Cap Henry’s spin between turns three and four. Dewease got to start on Larson’s tail, but he could not capitalize on that opportunity. Larson rolled into turn one without any threat from Dewease and he completed the remaining 20 laps without seeing any light blue flashing next to him.
After the caution, the driver making progress was Rahmer. After falling back a few spots in the first third of the race, Rahmer found some speed in the middle stage of the contest. He regained the third position on lap 12 and he began to close in on Dewease. “The middle part of the race we were really good,” Rahmer commented. “We left a little on the table though.” While Rahmer made things interesting, he could not get close enough to Dewease to challenge for second.
While Rahmer was coming forward, Shaffer started to fall back. Shafer raced in fourth in the early going but gave up several positions over the second half of the race.
At the checkers, it was Larson, Dewease, Rahmer, Ian Madsen, and Macri. Tony Steward was sixth, followed by Shaffer, Kerry Madsen, Courtney, and McMahan.
The heat winners were Ian Madsen, Stewart, Kerry Madsen, and Shaffer. Brett Shearer took the B Main over Danny Dietrich, who made his second engine change of the night in time to start the A Main. Dewease was the night’s fastest qualifier with a lap of 16.316
“It was good to get the year started right,” Derek Locke said about his victory. After starting in the eighth spot, he steadily advanced to the second spot in the early going. He chased Tyler Brehm for five or six laps. The leaders were dicing in traffic and narrowly avoided a spinning car in turn three near the halfway mark. For the restart, Locke slid the wing back a bit and he was able to drive past Brehm easily in turns one and two.
Brehm followed Locke the rest of the way. Chris Frank, Cody Fletcher, and Kyle Denmyer completed the top five. Chad Criswell, Brett Wanner, Matt Findley, Scott Fisher, and Zach Newlin were the next five across the finish line.
Wanner, Brehm, and Denmeyer won their heat races. There was no B Main.
Williams Grove will return to action next week with a Yellow Breeches 500 race night featuring the 410 and 358 Sprint cars. Then, on April 30, the ASCS National Tour will invade the speedway, along with the United Racing Club. These organizations will bring some of the best 360 Sprint racers in the country. The 410 Sprints will also be on the card.
Opening Night At Lernerville Speedway Postponed
SARVER, PA (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – Western Pennsylvania dirt track racers and fans were revving up their engines in preparation for Friday night’s opening night at Lernerville Speedway but Mother Nature had other plans.
Lernerville announced Friday morning that opening night has been postponed due to weather.
With saturated grounds from late Thursday night and early Friday morning rains, and no sunshine or warm temperatures in tonight's forecast to assist with getting a safe and racy surface prepared, we have been forced to cancel tonight's racing program.
See you next Friday! pic.twitter.com/JYVk3txcxo
— Lernerville Speedway (@Lernerville) April 16, 2021
Opening night will now be Friday April 23 with Fab4 racing revved up by Marburger Farm Dairy.
For tickets and more information visit www.lernerville.com.
Shaffer Scores Again at Lincoln
ABBOTTSTOWN, PA (April 10, 2021): Tm Shaffer became the first repeat winner of the season in the 410 Sprint division at Lincoln Speedway. Shaffer caught a break with eight laps remaining in the contest when Chase Dietz failed to clear the leader, Aaron Bollinger, in a daring two for one slide job attempt in turns three and four. Shaffer was able to turn under the wreck in progress and assumed the point for the restart. He was never headed.
Also grabbing checkers this night were Hayden Miller in the 358 Sprint Cars and Scott Shaffer in the Outlaw Vintage Racing Series Modifieds.
Shaffer proclaimed that his new pairing with Heffner Motorsports has the makings of a great team. And, he should know. The Hall of Fame driver has been part of several championship caliber combinations over the years.
“The 16 (Bollinger) was putting a good pace on and I was just waiting for lapped traffic but he was getting away,” Shaffer said. Shaffer called upon his vast experience to get the victory. “Sometimes you just have to wait for it to come to you and it did.” Dietz, however, was impatient, and it cost him dearly. “I hated to see that,” Shaffer said of the accident that handed him the win. “This can be a humbling sport.”
Scott Fisher and Bolliger were paired up on the front row for the start of the 30 lap event run under the track handicapping system. Glendon Forsythe and Dylan Norris were in the second row. Tim Glatfelter and Shaffer occupied row three. Opening day victor, Tim Wagaman, lined up beside Dietz, while Austin Bishop and Tyler Ross started in row six. Poor heat race performances relegated Kyle Moody, Brandon Rahmer, Jimmy Siegel, Freddie Rahmer, Jr., Matt Campbell, and points leader Alan Krimes to the second half of the starting order. Also mired in the back of the field was Danny Dietrich who arrived late after racing at Port Royal Speedway earlier in the night. Dietrich was able to tag the tail of the third heat and wound up seventh in his qualifier.
Bollinger seized the early lead and it looked as though he was going to give himself a belated birthday present. He raced out front up until the mishap with Dietz on lap 22. Shafer bolted into second on the opening lap and he chased the younger driver throughout. Fisher, Norris, Glatfelter, and Forsythe followed.
As Fisher was falling back, Dietz was coming forward. He reached the top five with just five laps down. In five more rounds, he was fourth. At the halfway mark, he was third and gaining on the leaders.
Dietz was certainly on the charge as the race entered the stretch run. He got a tremendous run down the backstretch and swooped under Shaffer in turn three. Dietz was carrying plenty of momentum and, when Bollinger bobbled just a bit, Dietz saw an opportunity. Instead of sliding up behind the leader, Dietz continued on the low line and tried to slide him as well. He drifted up as Bollinger was regaining control coming off the cushion. There was impact. Hard impact. It carried both cars up to the wall in turn four. Shaffer was able to check up to avoid the accident.
Shaffer led Glatfelter the rest of the way to get his second victory of 2021 at Lincoln. Norris held off Freddie Rahmer, Jr., who climbed up from fifteenth on the grid. Ross turned in a creditable job to nail down fifth.
Tim Wagaman, Kyle Moody, Landon Myers, Billy Dietrich, and Bishop completed the top ten. It was Myers’ first start of the season and he came from the tail after pitting for an engine problem as the field was pushing off. Also making his first start of the season was Cory Haas in his new ride, the Buzz Wilson 38. Haas also endured a sour motor, but his problem was not corrected and he placed last in the race.
Heat wins belonged to Forsythe, Norris, and Bollinger. There was no B Main.
In the 358 Sprints, fans expected to see a repeat win by Jeff Rohrbaugh, who started on the outside of row one. But it was the youngster, Miller, who won the race into turn one.
Miller was anxious before the race began. “Before I went out there, I was shaking so bad. I was pacing in the trailer,” he explained. But the nerves never got to him once he was inside the car.
Rohrbaugh fell back to fourth on the opening lap, and would never contend for the victory.
Steve Owings slid into the second spot and he challenged Miller occasionally during the 20 lap affair. However, Zane Rudisill was the one who had the fans excited in the final laps.
Rudisill picked off two racers to get into third on a restart with just a handful of laps remaining. Then he took second and began to close in on Miller. A final caution with three to go gave him a shot at the leader, but Miller was up to the challenge.
“I raced with Zane in the 600s at Path Valley and I know how tough he could be,” Miller said. “The last three or four laps I made the car as wide as possible.”
After Miller and Rudisill came Owings, Kody Hartlaub, and Cody Fletcher, the points leader. Another Cody, Phillips, led the next group of five to the finish line. Jordan Strickler, Matt Findley, Justin Foster, and Riley Emig were next across.
The race was stopped twice for violent flips by Jon Stewart and Brett Strickler, both between turns three and four. Neither driver was hurt.
The three heat winners were Rohrbaugh, Hartlaub, and Jordan Strickler. Jacob Balliet scored in the B Main.
Scott Shaffer charged from eighth to get the Vintage Modified main win over Wes Cassel and Mark Hahn.
Next week, Lincoln Speedway will present the 18th Annual Weldon Sterner Memorial. The race will pay $6,900 to the winner. Sterner is remembered as the owner of the potent 69 cars driven by Van May. He was also a promoter of Lincoln Speedway for a number of years. Joining the 410 Sprints will be the 358 Sprints. On April 24 there will be a triple header for the 410 Sprints, Central PA Legends Cars, and Mid Atlantic Modifieds.