BECHTELSVILLE, PA (June 30, 2020 Pittsburgh Racing Now) – Kyle Larson finally broke through the barriers that kept him from reaching victory lane so far in the 30th Annual Pennsylvania Sprint Car Speedweek. He scored his third win in four years on the high banks of Grandview Speedway, earning $10,000 in the process. Larson also left the speedway with the points lead heading into round six at Port Royal Speedway. He took the lead with just two laps remaining in the contest foiling the bid by third generation driver Freddie Rahmer, Jr.
“Owen (Larson’s son) has been giving me a lot of crap the last few nights about finishing second and then sixth,” the happy victor said. “I guess he won’t have too much to say on the ride tonight,” he added with a laugh. When asked why he has had so much success at Grandview, Larson noted “well, it IS the shortest track in PA, and that helps coming from California.”
Larson was chasing Rahmer as the laps wound down. He tried two sliders entering turn one on successive restarts, but he was unable to make them stick. “I knew that I couldn’t pass him because he was setting such a good pace,” Larson said. “On the restarts, I didn’t want to follow him off the top and go over the shelf and I could come off two (on the bottom) and leave myself some room,” he explained. Larson then added that he was concerned that if he left the bottom line open, Sammy Swindell might have been able to pass him.
The front half of the field was laden with talent for the 35 lap race. Christopher Bell drew the pole and Rahmer was next to him. Larson lined up third with Swindell beside him. Then came Aaron Reutzel and Danny Dietrich. Brock Zearrfoss and Ryan Smith were in row four, followed by Logan Wagner and Anthony Macri. Lucas Wolfe and Lance Dewease, two pre-race favorites, were mired in rows six and seven, respectively.
As expected, Bell blasted into the lead when the green light flashed on. He immediately opened up a comfortable margin over Rahmer, Swindell, Larson, and Dietrich. Smith and Reutzel kept Zearfoss and Wagner at bay.
Bell had everything going his way for the first five laps. That is, until Kyle Reinhardt slowed in turn one immediately ahead of him. Bell had nowhere to go and clipped Reinhardt’s disabled racer as he went by. Bell sustained a flat right rear and pitted for a new tire. However, other damage was too severe to be fixed, so he was out for the rest of the race.
That handed the lead over to Rahmer for the restart. Swindell lined up behind him, followed by Larson, Dietrich, and Smith. When the green came out Swindell looked to the inside but he was unable to get by Rahmer. The wily veteran was looking for an opportunity to make the pass, but another caution slowed the pace. Reinhardt was involved in a turn three shunt with Rico Abreu and both were eliminated. Robert Ballou also spun but he was able to resume the race.
The racers got six more laps recorded before the next stoppage for Brett Michalski slowing in turn four. Rahmer held sway throughout while Swindell and Larson were starting to mix things up. Dietrich and Smith likewise were racing side by side when the caution was displayed.
The top five stayed in that order for the next twelve circuits. However, at the end of that run, Larson zipped by Swindell for second and Smith worked his way past Dietrich for fourth. It was during this portion of the race that Dewease started his march forward. He reached seventh before the caution came out.
Larson’s dive bombing runs into turn one did not pay off on the restarts. He chased Rahmer until lap 33, when he was able to make the low side work to his advantage. He slid up ahead of Rahmer and it was all over but the victory celebration.
Rahmer followed Larson across the finish line. Swindell turned in his best run of the week so far, nabbing third. Smith held off Dietrich for fourth. Dewease made one more pass to earn the sixth spot in the pay-off line. Zearfoss, Reutzel, Macri, and Logan Wagner completed the top ten.
Smith, Swindell, Zearfoss, and Dietrich copped the preliminaries. Rico Abreu dominated the B Main. Bell was the night’s fastest qualifier turning in a lap of 11.552 seconds.
The track’s 358 Modifieds provided the support tonight, and it was outstanding. Ryan Watt battled the early leader, Kevin Hirthler, for nineteen laps. Lurking close behind were the likes of Craig von Dohren, Jeff Strunk, and Ryan Kressley. Unfortunately, Kressly got hooked up with a lapped car coming off turn four and they came to a stop entering turn one bringing out the first caution of the race. Another quick caution set up the stretch run for Watt with no traffic ahead of him. Strunk muscled by Hirthler, but he was no match for Watt. Von Dohren crossed in third, followed by Hirthler and Doug Manmiller.
Grandview Speedway will be in action Saturday night with the Freedom 40 for the Sportsmen Stock Cars. The 358 Modifieds will also be on the card. Speedweek will resume at Port Royal Speedway for round six on Wednesday. Joining the 410 Sprints will be the 360 Sprints of the United Racing Club.
Marks Gets Forth Speedweek Triumph and $15,000 at Williams Grove Speedway
MECHANICSBURG, PA (July 1, 2022): Brent Marks captured his fourth victory of Pennsylvania Speedweek and tenth of the season when he went wire to wire in the Mitch Smith Memorial at Williams Grove Speedway. The win was worth $15,000, but two things meant more to Marks than the money.
Marks was appreciative of the history that abounds at Williams Grove Speedway and the important role that Mitch Smith played in writing that history. “It is a real honor to be standing here on the frontstretch where he and so many others stood,” Marks observed. “I hope that someday some youngster that was up there in the stands watching this can remember me in the same way.”
The other important aspect for Marks was the fact that he padded his points lead for the Speedweek title. “We have been close before, but we could not complete the deal.” Marks is extremely confident that this will be his year to claim the championship.
Marks admitted that he made a big mistake near the end of the race that almost cost him the victory. With two laps remaining, Marks got hung up behind some lapped cars and Anthony Macri was coming after him. “I made a mistake and got caught in the middle behind a lapped car.” Marks continued, “I knew that Anthony was going to slide me. I was just hoping that he wouldn’t hit me. Thankfully, he raced me clean.” Macri did indeed put a slider on Marks in turn three of the final lap, squeezing between that lapped car of Sye Lynch and Marks, who was ripping the lip. Macri was unable to carry enough speed to complete the pass, and Marks used the momentum off the cushion to preserve the win.
“This car is just really good,” Marks noted. “We felt a little off until we had that open red and we made some adjustments.” The open red came just ten laps into the contest and, to the naked eye, Marks did not seem to be having any trouble at all before the opportunity to tweak the car presented itself. But, it is safe to say that the car was quite strong after that caution, so some improvements were made.
In addition to being good, Marks was lucky this evening as well. He drew the pole and many of his rivals were buried deeper in the field. Next to him for the start was Dylan Norris. Behind him was Rico Abreu, flanked by Troy Wagaman, Jr. Robbie Kendall and T.J. Stutts were in row three. Next in line were Macri and Justin Peck. Lucas Wolfe and Ryan Smith were in row five and Freddie Rahmer, Jr. and Logan Wagner were in row six. Danny Dietrich and Lance Dewease were in row seven, while Chase Dietz was in the last row.
Marks flew into turn one and the battle was on for teh second spot. Norris, Abreu, and Wagaman were among the contenders for it and Abreu seized control in turns three and four. Kendall settled into fifth, followed by Stutts, Macri, Peck, Wagner, and Smith.
As the field began to string out, Logan Wagner entered the picture. However, while running ninth, he broke the rear axle to bring out the first caution of the race.
On the ensuing restart, the front runners got away cleanly. But, in the middle of the pack, there was a lot of commotion. Rahmer and Dewease got together coming off turn four, and Dewease spun midway down the frontstretch. He struck the inside guardrail and severely damaged the front end of his car. Repairs could not be made and the defending event champion was out of the race.
Further difficulties took place on the restart. Several cars in the middle of the pack got together, with Austin Bishop and Lucas Wolfe being removed from the track. Peck was involved as well and he pitted for repairs. While he was able to rejoin the field, Peck was at the tail and he had to hustle to keep his string of top ten Speedweek finishes intact.
Marks, who is the only other racer in contention for the ten-for-ten bonus, dominated after the green light flashed on again. Abreu ran in second, but Macri came to life, chasing down Abreu after the halfway mark. Macri took second with five laps remaining.
It appeared as though Marks had an insurmountable lead. But when encountered some lapped cars near the end of the race, he proceeded cautiously and that enable Macri to close in.
The drama unfolded with two laps remaining. Macri was on the charge. When Marks floated along in the middle coming off turn two behind a lapper, Macri was ready to pounce. He attempted the slider in turn three on the last lap. He could not get the nose of his car ahead of Marks and, to his credit, he avoided contact with the leader. Marks came off four with a slight advantage and beat Macri to the scoring loop by 1.122 seconds.
Abreu was third, followed by Norris and Dietrich. Kendall, Wagaman, Rahmer, Smith, and Peck completed the top ten.
Heat winners were Norris, Abreu, Kendall, and Wagaman. Stutts was the fastest of the thirty-two entrants. The B Main victor went to Kyle Reinhardt. Dewease was unable to take time due to a mechanical problem with his car. He started last in his heat race and finished third to transfer to the A Main.
The Speedweek points, with two races remaining, find Marks at the head of the class. He has eighty counters more than Macri. Peck is nearly 200 points behind the leader. Dietrich moved ahead of Stutts. Wolfe and Rahmer remain close and could move ahead with a good finish.
Williams Grove will present 410 Sprints and the USAC East Coast 360 Sprints on July 8. The World of Outlaws tune-up will be June 15, featuring the 410 and 358 Sprints. The Summer Nationals, pitting the World of Outlaws against the PA Posse, will be held July 22 and 23.
Marks Takes Third Win of Speedweek
HAGERSTOWN, MD (June 30, 2022): Brent Marks was the first driver to gather three checkered flags during the Pennsylvania Speedweek. He chased down leader Kyle Larson during the long green flag run that lasted until lap twenty-eight of the thirty scheduled laps. The win fortifioed his points lead over Anthony Macri and Justin Peck, both of whom finished in the top ten.
“I never expected the track to get like that,” Marks said. “I thought that it (the moisture applied just before feature time) would last about ten laps and that everybody would go to the bottom. But it stayed good up top.” Indeed, the groove that Marks and Larson preferred was way up top, just inches from the fences at both ends of the speedway.
Marks explained how he was able to pass Larson for the lead. “Kyle threw a slider (on the lapped car of Freddie Rahmer, Jr.) and scrubbed a lot of speed off and I could stay up top and I could get a run on him into (turn) one.” Marks used a slider of his own to get past Larson and then he proceeded to pull away.
Larson got another shot at Marks after the lap twenty-eight caution, but Marks was in full defensive mode. “I was just trying to block him the last two laps,” Marks admitted candidly. “I could hear him but I didn’t know where he was. I couldn’t go to the top on the restart, I had to build my momentum to get up there,” he explained.
Larson felt that he was a little short. “Brent was really good, for sure. I couldn’t clear Rahmer and I knew that a run was coming,” Larson noted. As for the restart, Larson said that he was running the middle and that Marks “closed it off.”
Larson teased Marks by suggesting that he should go on the road more often and “beat up on guys like Gravel, and Sweet, and Macedo, so I can get a few more wins when I come here.” Larson added that he plans to be back in Pennsylvania in a couple of weeks, presumably for the World of Outlaws appearances at Port Royal Speedway and Williams Grove Speedway.
Macri, who was the hard charger and third place finisher, noted that his car was not good at the beginning of the night and that “it took a while for us to get the car better.” When asked if he thought that he couple capitalize on the restart, he thought that he could maybe get by Larson, but then he realized that his tires got too cold and they sealed over under the caution. “So, I got defensive and went for the points.”
Tanner Thorson and Larson brought the field to the green flag. Marks and Rico Abreu were in the second row. Devon Borden had his best starting spot of the week, fifth, with Peck beside him. Ryan Smith and Dylan Cisney had the final pill draw positions. Then came Rahmer and R.J. Stutts. Row six belonged to Danny Dietrich and Sye Lynch.
Although Thorson reached turn one first, he was never scored as the leader of the eveny. Larson rode the rim to take the lead comining off turn two and Marks followed him into second. Smith also got by the defending Chili Bowl champion on the opening lap. Abreu and Dietrich followed him.
During the long green flag run, Larson and Marks disappeared from the other racers. Smith and Thorson battled with Abreu for third, with each of them holding it at various times.
Macri was on the march. He advanced from thirteenth on the grid to the top ten within the first five laps. By lap fifteen, he was into the top five. He was running third at lap twenty-five, but he was very far behind the leaders.
Larson and Marks had lapped all the way up to the eighth position by the time that the caution came out. Rahmer, who was solidly in the top ten, was one of the lapped cars and he broke Larson’s momentum, enabling Marks to make the pass for the lead with twenty-two laps in the books.
When the green flag waived for the final two-lap dash, Marks got awya cleanly and Larson stayed close, hoping for a mistake. Macri did take a peek inside of Larson coming off turn four, but he spun the tires and Larson got away.
At the finish, it was Marks, Larson, Macri, Dietrich, and Smith. Abreu got shuffled back to sixth. Borden, Lucas Wolfe, Chase Dietz, and Rahmer completed the top ten.
Thirty-six Sprints registered for the race. The four heats went to Thorson, Larson, Abreu, and Borden. The B Main winner was Ryan Timms. The evening’s fastest qualifier was Smith, who turned a lap of 15.824 seconds.
Marks leads Macri by 62 points and Peck by 130 heading into the Mitch Smith Memorial at WIlliams Grove Speedway. Wolfe and Stutts are fourth and fifth. Dietrich is sixth, followed by Freddie Rahmer, Jr., Dietz, Larson, and Ryan Smith.
Macri Makes it Two in Speedweek
ABBOTTSTOWN, PA (June 25, 2022): Anthony Macri dominated round two of Pennsylvania Speedweek held at the Fabulous Lincoln Speedway. It was a similar script for him: he was the fastest qualifier, he transferred from his heat, he picked the pole for the feature, and he led wire-to-wire. His second win of the season in the Pigeon Hills was also his fourteenth at all venues. This one was worth $9200 in honor of the late Kevin Gobrecht. What is more, the win turned out to be a 39th Wedding Anniversary for his parents.
“We started on the pole and we set a pretty good pace, but we still had to pass the lapped cars,” Macri observed. While he had difficulty with that Friday night, it was an easier task on this occasion. Then he turned introspective. “That was win number fourteen. We started six years ago and I never thought that we would be where we are. We’re having a hell of a year. It’s nice to be here.”
This time, Macri had a different wingman, Troy Wagaman, Jr., for the thirty lap finale. Freddie Rahmer, Jr. and Chase Dietz were in row two. Jeff Halligan and Justin Peck were in the third. Lucas Wolfe and T.J. Stutts were in row four. Brent Marks and Lance Dewease were in row five. Jimmy Siegel and Dylan Norris were in the sixth.
Macri swooped into tun one on the opening lap. Rahmer was close behind, but it did not take long for Macri to begin to stretch his lead. Wagaman held third, with Peck, Dietz, Halligan, and Stutts following. A three-car tangle in turn two claimed Alan Krimes, Justin Whittal, and Landon Myers. That gave Rahmer another shot at Macri, but the Concrete Kid was up to the challenge.
Over the next seventeen laps, Macri ran alone out front, as Rahmer lost sight of the leader. Midway through that run, Peck caught Rahmer and the two put on a spectacular battle for second as they negotiated the slower traffic. Another caution cleared the track for them, but the contest for second continued unabated. Peck eventually grabbed the position and he held it to the finish.
After the final restart, Marks also set Rahmer back another notch. Dietz was coming on as well, but he ran out of time to chase down Rahmer. Wagaman held on for sixth. Dewease picked off a couple of cars in the final run, but he could not reach Wagaman. Stutts, Wolfe, and Devon Borden completed the top ten.
Four heats were run, with wins going to Troy Wagaman, Jr., Halligan, Dietz, and Wolfe. The C Main went to Robbie Kendall. Chad Trout, who was one of the evening’s fastest qualifiers, recovered from a heat race mechanical failure to get the checkers in the B Main. Macri’s overall quick time was set in Group A, at 13.285 seconds. Peck topped Group B with a time of 13.647 seconds.
A broken oil filter on Danny Dietrich’s car on his first time trial lap caused some concern in his pit, but repairs were made and he was able to post a time at the end of his group. He failed to transfer from his heat but did earn a starting spot through the B Main. Dietrich was fourteenth in the feature.
Macri enters round three of Speedweek with a healthy 63 point lead over Peck. Marks, Dewease, and Stutts make up the rest of the top five. Rahmer, Wolfe, Dietz, Norris, and Borden are next.
Hunter Fulton captured the flag in the Extreme Stock undercard. Bob Scott, Jr., Sam Rial, Marshall McMullen, and Justin Yohn rounded out the top five. Fulton and McMullen won the preliminaries.
Lincoln Speedway will host its second Speedweek contest on Monday night, June 27. It will be a Sprint Car only program. The Monster Trucks will invade the speedway on July 2. The Central PA Legends will also be in action. The Sprint Cars, both 410 and 358 varieties, will be back on July 9 and 16. The Super Sportsmen Tour will be added to the card on July 16.