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Larson Wins Hodnett Classic and Speedweek Title at Port Royal

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Port Royal Speedway

PORT ROYAL, PA (July 4, 2020 – Pittsburgh Racing Now) – Kyle Larson put an exclamation point on the 30th Annual Pennsylvania Sprint Car Speedweek. Although he clinched the Speedweek title simply by timing in for the night, Larson did not rest on his laurels. He went out and won his heat race and then he captured the Greg Hodnett Classic. It was Larson’s first career victory at the ‘Speed Palace’, Port Royal Speedway. Larson earned in excess of $11,000 for the effort, including a bounty of more than a thousand dollars for halting Anthony Macri’s winning streak. Larson also picked up the $5,000 point title for his eight days of racing in the area.

Larson was excited to get his fourth win of Speedweek and he was pleased that it came at another track that he had yet to conquer. “This place has probably turned into my favorite track,” Larson said enthusiastically. He gave props to Steve O’Neil, the promoter, and the entire Juniata County Fair Board for the amazing improvements that have taken place over the years. “They put every dollar that they earn back into the facility and it shows.” Larson was also complimentary of the track conditions, noting that the track retained some moisture, which helped the performance of his car. “What an amazing race car Paul Silva gave me. I had a lot of grip.”

While Larson said that he was looking forward to taking on the All Stars for several rounds of the Ohio Sprint Car Speedweek, he coyly admitted that he may be returning to Port Royal for some more action. Coming up soon will be the Bob Weikert Memorial with each race paying $10,000 to the winner. The big payday of course will be the Tuscarora 50 in September.

Two-time and defending track champion Logan Wagner obtained the pole position in the re-draw for starting positions. Brent Marks was beside him. Rico Abreu and Larson were in the second row, with Macri and Mike Wagner in the third row. Ryan Smith, sporting a Hodnett tribute wing, was in row four along with Kyle Reinhardt. Freddie Rahmer, Jr. and Lance Dewease were next on the grid.

At the drop of the green, Wagner and Marks charged into the first turn, with Larson, Abreu and Smith in tow. With one lap in the books, Kyle Moody flipped his racer in turn one, collecting Justin Schultz. Neither driver was injured, but they were both out for the rest of the race.

Wagner and Marks repeated their performance on the restart. However, once things got rolling, Marks and Wagner began exchanging slide jobs for the lead. Soon Larson was part of the battle for the lead. He grabbed second when Marks missed a slider on Wagner and scrubbed off some speed.

Three Rivers Karting

Larson stalked Wagner through lap nine. He pulled off a slider of his own to assume the lead in turn one. Marks soon followed suit to regain the second position. Now, he was chasing Larson, one of the hottest Sprint Car drivers in the country.

On lap 12, Marks caught Larson and pulled the trigger on a slider in turn three to take the lead away. Larson rallied though and returned the favor at the other end of the speedway. This time, Larson began to pull away from Marks.

Larson’s advantage was wiped out by a caution on lap 25 when Danny Dietrich was unable to get his faltering machine into the infield completely. Marks would get another shot at Larson three laps later when Macri was also unable to exit the speedway when his racer broke down. On neither occasion could Marks pull off a pass for the win.

Larson got away cleanly both times and led the remaining laps without any interference. Marks held on for second, followed by Abreu. Brock Zearfoss was fourth. Lance Dewease made up considerable ground in the last third of the race, coming home in fifth. Logan Wagner, Mike Wagner, Smith, Reinhardt, and A.J. Flick completed the top ten. Dylan Cisney picked up the hard charger award by climbing from the last row to eleventh at the finish.

Heat victories went to Larson, Abreu, Reinhardt, and Marks. The B Main went to Danny Dietrich, who entered the night with a theoretical chance to tie Larson for the Speedweek title. However, Dietrich had multiple problems over the course of the night ending his bid for a fifth Speedweek championship. The fastest qualifier on the night was Macri, who led Group A with a lap of 15.826. Logan Wagner topped the second flight with a time of 16.118.

Port Royal will return to action next Saturday, July 11, with 410 Sprints, Super Late Models, and Limited Late Models. The Super Late Models will context their Summer Championship, paying $3,000 to the winner. Then, on July 18 and 19, the All Stars will invade the speedway for the Bob Weikert Memorial. Support classes have yet to be determined for those races.

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Dirt Racing

Chappel, Duritsky, Ruhlman and Wolbert winners on Friday at Lernerville

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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.

Three Rivers Karting

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.

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Dirt Racing

Li’l Haud Happy at the Grove

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Photo: Paul Arch

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.

Three Rivers Karting

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.

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Dirt Racing

Sweet Scores Before Rain Hits Lernerville

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Photo: Paul Arch

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.

Three Rivers Karting

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.

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