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.
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.
— FloRacing (@FloRacing) July 2, 2020
— FloRacing (@FloRacing) July 2, 2020
Weekend Racing Preview: Fab 4 at Lernerville; RUSH Late Models at PPMS and more
PITTSBURGH, PA (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – A full weekend of racing both locally and nationally and Pittsburgh Racing Now has a sneak peek of the action on the track.
Fab 4 Racing Friday Night At Lernerville:
- All Fab 4 Racing Divisions are racing tonight at Lernerville. Carl Bowser leads the Peoples Natural Gas DIRTcar Sprints standings with an 18-point over AJ Flick. Colton Flinner leads the Precise Racing Products DIRTcar Late Model standings by 11-points over Tyler Dietz. In the Diehl Automotive DIRTcar Big Block Modified division Garrett Krummert leads John Mollick and Brian Swartzlander by 12-points. Tyler Dietz holds a 9-point lead over Corey McPherson in the Millerstown Pic-A-Part DIRTcar/RUSH Pro Stocks division. Gates open at 5 p.m. and tonight is “Big Rig Night” sponsored by Trans Edge Trucking.
Williams Grove Postpones Billy Kimmel Memorial:
- Williams Grove Speedway has cancelled tonight’s racing program due to rain and the forecast for more rain throughout the evening. Williams Grove will be back in action next week with the Lawrence Chevrolet 410 Sprint Cars, USAC East Coast, 358 Sprints. The Billy Kimmel Memorial has been added to next week’s program.
— Williams Grove (@WilliamsGrove) August 7, 2020
Jook George Steel City Classic Saturday At PPMS:
- The annual “Jook George Steel City Classic” for the RUSH Late Model Touring Division takes place on Saturday at Pittsburgh’s Pennsylvania Motor Speedway (PPMS). The track and sanctioning body are expecting between 40-and-50-entries for the event, which will pay a minimum of $6,010 to the winner with an additional $1,000-bonus to a driver/team who contributes to the purse. Check out our preview here.
Motor Mountain Masters Saturday at Jennerstown:
- The biggest event of the year for Jennerstown Raceway’s Martella’s Pharmacies Late Model division takes place with the third annual Motor Mountain Masters Saturday. The crown jewel event will bring drivers from the New England states, the South and from the Midwest to battle the area’s regional stars in a 150-lap race. The Stoystown Auto Wreckers Modified division will also compete. “The Masters” has quickly become one of the most talked about races in the United States. Last year, Todd Stone of Middlebury, Vermont, wore the red sport coat in Stoney’s Beer Victory Lane.
Hank Gentzler Memorial Saturday At Lincoln Speedway:
- Lincoln Speedway hosts the Hank Gentzler Memorial Manufacturer’s Appreciation Night. Gentzler was a speed shop owner who started the Manufacturers’ Night and always got parts and gift certificates to pass out to the racers. Gentzler’s widow continued things until she sold the business to Pancho Lawlor, who puts the show on in Gentzler’s memory. Saturday night’s program will include the 410 and 358-Sprints and the Vintage Outlaw Series. Racing starts at 7:30 p.m.
“Tribute to Curt Hershey” Along With Salute to the Military Night At Port Royal:
- Port Royal Speedway on Saturday will host a Salute to the Military Night along with a “Tribute to Curt Hershey”. Hershey was an engine builder in Central PA that passed away in June. Saturday night’s schedule includes a Pre-race concert along with 410 Sprints, Late Models and the PASS/IMCA 305 Sprints. Admission is $20, $10 for students, pits $30 and the racing starts at 7:00 p.m.
Michaels Memorial Saturday At Mercer:
- Saturday at Mercer it’s the Michaels Memorial Show featuring the BRP Big Block Modifieds $ 5,000-to-win; 410-Sprint Cars $2,000-to-win, the 305 sprints, FASTRAK modified and the mighty Mercer mini stocks.
Grandstand Admission is $20 for adults and $17 for seniors. Pit Passes are $35 for adults, $30 for seniors.
Pit gates open at 4 p.m., Grandstands at 5 p.m. with the racing starting at 7 p.m.
Sunday Thunder At Tri-City Raceway Park:
- Sunday at Tri-City Raceway Park it’s the Shawgo Real Estate Sprint Cars, Modifieds (358 cubic inch engines), 4-Your-Car-Connection Mini Stocks, Modified Lites, and Non-Wing Crate-Engine Sprint Cars. Adult General Admission is $15. The gates open at 4pm with racing at 6pm
USAC Sprints At Selinsgrove Speedway:
- Selinsgrove Speedway on Sunday plays host to the USAC Silver Crown Champ Car Series in the Bill Holland Classic. Holland was a Philadelphia, Pennsylvania native who won the Indianapolis 500 in 1949 and finished second in 1947, 1948 and 1950. He also won the first-ever event at Selinsgrove. Racing starts at 7:00 p.m.
The “Jook George Steel City Classic” Roaring Into Pittsburgh’s PA Motor Speedway
IMPERIAL, PA (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – The “Jook George Steel City Classic” presented by Zarin Truck and Auto for the RUSH Dirt Late Model Touring Series roars into Pittsburgh’s Pennsylvania Motor Speedway this Saturday night.
The $6,010-to-win and $400-to-start event also features a $1,000-bonus to the winning driver and team who has contributed to the event. Miley Motor Sports and race coordinator Branden Lockwich came up with the idea for the bonus last year, which has helped the event continue to grow.
The “Jook George Steel City Classic” became a RUSH Tour race for the first time in 2017 and drew 43 cars with Mike Pegher Jr capturing the $4,010 win. In 2018, a record 51 cars were on hand with Jacob Hawkins scoring the $5,010 win. Last year’s event was the richest in RUSH history as Kyle Lukon (pictured above) scored the $10,010 win and the extra $1,000 contributor bonus!
“Miley Motor Sports is ecstatic about the 31st edition of the RUSH Dirt Late Model Series ‘Jook George Classic’ to honor our great friend of racing, Jook George,” expressed PPMS promoter Matt Miley. “We can’t thank Brandon, the RUSH Team, and all who have contributed enough. It’s a win, win, win, win for racers, fans, sponsors, and the Speedway.”
“It’s really amazing how this event has grown and how so many people have gotten behind it to make this all possible,” expressed RUSH Director Vicki Emig. “Branden has led the efforts of transforming this from a special weekly event to what was a record breaking major Touring Series show last year. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic that set back Branden’s efforts, it’s unbelievable how this event is still going to turn out. We can’t thank the George Family, Miley Motor Sports, Branden and so many others for their amazing contributions, while allowing us to present this as RUSH Late Model Touring Series event.”
Lockwich is still soliciting contributions from any driver that still would like to expand the purse and be eligible for the bonus as well as contributions from individuals or business. You can contact Branden at 412-639-3723 or see him at the track on Saturday.
William Thomas “Jook” George had a brief driving career himself, but as he turned to car owner he chose, and had for most of his racing career, the #10 and that was in honor of his racing hero Lou Blaney. Blaney drove his car on a couple occasions. George’s most dominant stretch as a car owner came in the late ’70s when Earl Teeters was his driver. In 1990 George captured the track championship at PPMS in with John Beatty behind the wheel. In 1993 George won the Fall Classic in with Bill Yakin. George was also nominated as the Sportsman of the Year at PPMS and nominated into the Pittsburgh Circle Track Hall of Fame.
PPMS will also be featuring the Keystone Coach Works Hobby Stocks, the PPMS Pro Stocks, the Four Cylinders, and the Young Guns. Gates Open at 5 p.m., hot laps begin at 6 p.m., immediately followed by the RUSH Late Model Dirt Series qualifying. For more information visit ppms.com.
Weekend Racing Notebook
PITTSBURGH, PA (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – The weekend winners from around the world of motorsports including Local tracks plus the Ollie’s Bargain Outlet All Star Circuit of Champions, and IMSA.
Ollie’s Bargain Outlet All-Star Circuit of Champions Weekend:
- Cory Eliason picked up his first Ollie’s Bargain Outlet All Star Circuit of Champions victory Sunday night at the reopening of Huset Speedway. Dominic Scelzi finished second and Kerry Madsen rounded out the podium.
- Kyle Larson won his seventh straight Ollie’s Bargain Outlet All Star Circuit of Champions presented by Mobil 1 feature on Saturday night at Knoxville Raceway, setting a record with the series. Rico Abreu finished second and Gio Scelzi rounded out the podium.
- Larson also picked up the win in Friday night’s feature at 34 Raceway. Eliason finished second and Tucker Klaasmeyer finished third.
Acura, Corvette, Lexus Claim IMSA Wins At Road America:
- Helio Castroneves found traction with his Acura ARX-05 where others could not, as he and his Acura Team Penske co-driver Ricky Taylor prevailed in monsoon-like conditions in the final hour to win in the Daytona Prototype International Class in Sunday’s IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship race at Road America.
- DragonSpeed USA’s Ben Hanley and Henrik Heeman took home the victory in LMP2. Hanley switched from slick tires to rain tires as the No. 52 PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports ORECA, which was leading went off course due to the wet conditions. They rallied to finish fourth behind the No. 38 Performance Tech Motorsports ORECA and the No. 18 Era Motorsports ORECA.
- Corvette Racing scored a 1-2 finish at Road America in the GT Le Mans (GTLM) class. The No. 3 Vette with Jordan Taylor and Antonio Garcia finished first with the No. 4 of Oliver Gavin and Tommy Milner coming home in second place.
- Frankie Montecalvo and Townsend Bell parked the AIM Vasser Sullivan Lexus in victory lane in the GT Daytona (GTD) class. The victory was the third straight for the team. Mario Farnbacher and Matt McMurry finished second in their Meyer Shank Racing Acura NSX GT3 Evo.
Mother Nature Wins At Tri-City, PPMS, Jennerstown and Port Royal:
- Rains throughout Western Pennsylvania forced several area race tracks to cancel their programs. Tri-City cancelled their Sunday program while Pittsburgh’s Pennsylvania Motor Speedway (PPMS) and Port Royal had to throw the red flag on their programs Saturday night.
Norris, Flick, King Jr & Schneider Win At Lernerville: