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Macri Takes Two at Port Royal

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PORT ROYAL, PA (July 1, 2020 – Pittsburgh Racing Now) – Anthony Macri found the cure for the embarrassment of failing to qualify for two of the first five rounds of the 30th Annual Pennsylvania Sprint Car Speedweek. Go to a big, familiar track. Macri scored his fourth consecutive 410 Sprint Car victory at Port Royal Speedway and then he backed it up with another win against the United Racing Club 360 Sprint Cars. It marked the first time in more than a decade that a driver won four straight in the headline class at the spacious Juniata County oval. His combined take for the night exceeded $9,000.

“This is a grueling week, one of the hardest, and my crew has been working very hard,” Macri said. “We were struggling at the small tracks, and we tore that care apart and got a new one out for Grandview and it seemed to work a little better.” But, this night, Macri raced his tried and true big track car. However, he changed up his strategy for the race because of the extra distance. “I played it cool and kept my tires under me. I ran a little harder in the second half. Still, I had some problems the last two laps, so I just pushed the gas a little harder.”

Macri, who was scheduled to start in the fifth spot, got a break when the pole sitter, Christopher Bell, lost oil pressure while the field was forming up. That moved Macri up a row. So, the pole went to Brock Zearfoss, with two-time and defending track champ Logan Wagner next to him. Paired up with Macri was Lance Dewease. Cory Eliason and Kyle Larson were in row three. Ryan Smith and Aaron Reutzel were in row four and Danny Dietrich and Rico Abreu had row five.

Although Dewease had a great start, challenging Wagner and Zearfoss for the lead, it was negated by a crash in turn one that eliminated Robbie Kendall and Cory Eliason. On the second try, Wagner and Zearfoss set the pace, but Macri slid into third ahead of Dewease, Reutzel, Abreu and Larson.

Wagner began to flex some muscle in the early laps, opening a considerable lead over Zearfoss. Dewease was on the charge and he took over second with seven laps in the books. Macri and Zearfoss were in a battle for third, while Reutzel and Larson stayed close.

Dewease was starting to close in on Wagner who was having some difficulties dealing with the lapped traffic. However, Macri went to the whip and took over the second spot just before the caution came out on lap 13. Although that alleviated Wagner’s problem with the slower cars, it also opened up a lane for Macri, and he swooped into the lead on the ensuing restart.

Three Rivers Karting

Macri was firmly in command the rest of the way. Wagner continued in second, but Reutzel moved into third. Dewease fell to fourth in the middle stage of the race. He came back strong in the final ten laps, though, and climbed back to the second position at the checkers. As quickly as Dewease moved forward, Wagner fell back.

At the finish, it was Macri ahead of Dewease, Reutzel, Larson, and Wagner. Dietrich was sixth. Then came Smith, Brent Marks, Freddie Rahmer, Jr., and Zearfoss.

The four heat winners were Dewease, Wagner, Zearfoss, and Bell. Alan Krimes picked up the B Main. Kyle Larson was quickest in Group A with a lap of 16.246. Macri topped Group B with a round of 16.495.

In the nightcap for the URC 360 Sprints, Macri had to track down Dallas Schott and Jonathan Preston to get the victory. Macri had to pass his adversaries twice to make it count, as his initial bid for the lead was nullified by a caution. Taking fourth was Derek Locke and fifth went to Josh Weller. Steve Buckwalter came from deep in the pack to get sixth. Heat wins went to Preston, Macri, and Austin Bishop. There was no B Main.

Port Royal will close out Speedweek on Saturday with the Greg Hodnett Classic paying $10,000 to the winner. The Late Models will race for $2,500 to win. Speeweek moves south of the Mason Dixon line for the annual stop at Hagerstown Speedway on Thursday night. It will be the Johnny Grum Memorial. There also will be an exhibition of vintage racers provided by the Eastern Museum of Motor Racing.

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Dirt Racing

Opening Night At Lernerville Speedway Postponed

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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.

Three Rivers Karting

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.

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Dirt Racing

Shaffer Scores Again at Lincoln

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Lincoln Speedway

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.

Three Rivers Karting

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.

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Dirt Racing

Billy Dietrich holds off Brother Danny at Lincoln

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Photo: Lincoln Speedway

ABBOTTSTOWN, PA (April 3, 2021): For the second week in a row, a veteran driver got a long-overdue win at the Fabulous Lincoln Speedway. This time, it was Billy Dietrich who last went to Victory Lane five years and three weeks ago. The Biglersville driver scored his third career 410 Sprint Car win to go along with nine in the 358 Sprint division.

Another veteran also scored at Lincoln Speedway this week. Jeff Rohrbaugh earned his seventeenth career victory in the 358 ranks. He has the most wins in that class since its inception.

“That was a hell of a race,” Billy Dietrcih exclaimed after climbing from his car. “We’ve been creepin’ up on it,” he added, noting his consistent finishes so far this season. He attributed his success to improvements in the engine department over the off-season. “We also had a good time trial lap.”

The race was run under the PA Speedweek rules. Under that regime, the fastest qualifier in each heat race are slotted into fourth starting position and the remainder of the cars start heads up. The heat race winners and the fastest qualifiers from each heat get to re-draw for starting spots at the front of the field. The lone exception is if the heat winner happens to be the fastest car to advance. In that case, only one car would make the re-draw.

Dietrich, the third-fastest qualifier on the night, easily made the transfer to the A Main. He then had the good fortune to pull pill number two. Joining him on the front row was Chad Trout, who set the second fastest time of the night. In row two were Danny Dietrich and Troy Wagaman, both of whom won their respective heat races. Row three had the other heat winner, Tim Shaffer, flanked by the night’s quick timer, Robbie Kendall. The current point leader, Alan Krimes, was paired up with Matt Campbell in row four. Last week’s winner, Jimmy Siegel and Chase Dietz started in row five. the Sixth stanza had Freddie Rahmer, Jr. and Tim Wagaman, Jr., the Icebreaker 30 winner.

While Trout led the parade to the first turn, Billy Dietrich rode the rim in turns one and two to grab the lead. Troy Wagaman and Danny Dietrich fell in line, followed by Shaffer, Dietz, Krimes, Campbell, and Siegel.

Wild Bill sailed along out front and began lapping cars early in the contest. Despite encountering the slower traffic so soon, Dietrich was able to stretch his advantage while picking his way through the back markers.

Meanwhile, Trout was holding off the leader’s brother. Dietz was making headway, and reached the fourth spot by the time that the crossed flags were shown to Billy Dietrich. Troy Wagaman and Shaffer were fighting for fifth, with Krimes lurking in their shadows.

The only caution of the race came with 22 of the 30 laps complete. There was debris in turn two.

On the restart, Danny Dietrich blasted into turn one on the outside, while Trout hugged the inside rail. The powerful move put the brothers first and second. Danny closed in on his sibling and he tried both high and low lines to try to overtake Billy.

Three Rivers Karting

“I figured that he was coming,” Billy said about his brother’s challenge. “I was staying on the bottom no matter who was there.” Danny did roll up beside Billy in turns one and two several times in the waning laps, but the better grip was low in those corners. Ironically, the outside line was faster for Billy in turns three and four, and Danny could not get hooked up on the inside at that end of the speedway.

Billy took the checkers as the sixth winner in six races at Lincoln. Danny was second, followed by Trout, Dietz, and Troy Wagaman. Shaffer was sixth, ahead of Krimes, Freddie Rahmer, Jr., Campbell and Siegel.

Glendon Forsythe was the B Main victor. Kendall’s quick time was 13.409 seconds.

Rohrbaugh decided to go racing on Friday. “We pulled the car down from the shelf and put the motor in yesterday,” he explained. “It’s great to be back. A lot of guys said ‘it’s good to see you,’ I said, ‘it’s good to be seen,'” he added with a laugh. Of his seventeen triumphs, Rohrbaugh noted “I’ve been doing it longer than the rest of them, I get one a year or so.” His goal, he added, was to reach twenty, which may be good enough to call it a career.

Riley Emig, a 358 Sprint rookie, had the pole and he jumped out to the early lead. Rohrbaugh quickly moved into second from his fourth place starting spot and he was in position to grab the lead when Emig drifted a bit too high in turns three and four with four laps down.

Rohrbaugh led Emig, Cody Fletcher, Brett Strickler, and Jon Stewart. Fletcher had a scare when his car had an oil leak develop into a flash fire which quickly subsided. Track officials threw a yellow flag, though, because Fletcher dropped enough fluid onto the speedway. Fletcher was able to retain his starting position, though, and he would go on to complete the contest.

Emig’s impressive run came to an end just before the halfway mark. He spun in turn one for the only other interruption in the race.

Rohrbaugh cruised to the win, followed by Brett Strickler, Fletcher, Stewart, and Jordan Strickler. Brett Wanner, Tyler Esh, Kody Hartlaub, Kyle Denmyer, and Wyatt Hinkle completed the top ten.

Heats for the 358 Sprinters went to Stewart, Jordan Strickler, and Rohrbaugh. Mike Bittinger won the B Main.

Next week, the same two divisions will be in action, along with the Outlaw Vintage racers. The scheduled starting time will be 7 p.m., but be sure to check the track’s social media to determine if the start time will be moved up due to adverse weather. The following week, the track will host the annual Weldon Sterner Memorial for the 410 Sprints. Sterner was a long-time car owner and a former promoter at the Pigeon Hills oval.

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