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Buckwalter Best at Williams Grove

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Steve Buckwalter Twitter

WILLIAMS GROVE, PA (Pittsburgh Racing Now – July 10, 2020): The “Royersford Rocket,” Steve Buckwalter, blasted away from the pole position in the Sprint Car feature at Williams Grove Speedway. Although he led the entire distance, he had to fend off several challenges from Kyle Reinhardt in the early going and the fast-closing Matt Campbell in the final laps.

Although Buckwalter had a good starting spot for the companion feature for the United Racing Club’s 360 Sprint Cars, he was unable to duplicate the feat. He finished a distant second to another moonlighting driver, Anthony Macri, from nearby Dillsburg, PA. Surprisingly, it was Macri’s first career feature win of any sort at the famed half mile.

Buckwalter lapped cars early and often. “The traffic, we got into it pretty quickly, and being first sucks becasue you don’t know where to go sometimes,” Buckwalter said. He admitted to being “too cautious” becasue he didn’t want to get into a lapped car. Although he got hung up once or twice, it never put his lead in jeopardy. “I heard somebody back there, but I didn’t know if it was a lapped car or second place.” As it turned out, it was Campbell, the second place driver who came on strong in the last five laps to cut the lead to .223 seconds at the checkers.

Buckwalter and Reinhardt had the front row for the 25 lap affair. Adrian Shaffer and Campbell had the second row, and Brent Micahlski and Ryan Smith were in row three. Brian Montieth and Landon Myers were in the fourth row. Danny Dietrich and Anthony Macri were in the fifth row. Freddie Rahmer, Jr. was in the eleventh spot for the start and track points leader, Lance Dewease, was mired in nineteenth, both having trouble moving forward in the heat races as this was a track-handicapped show that inverts divers based on their average earnings. To get a prime starting spot, a racer must finish in the top three of a heat, and neither Rahmer or Dewease could make the grade.

Buckwalter’s initial lead over Reinhardt, Shaffer, Campbell, and Montieth was wiped out by a stalled car on the third lap. That turned out to be the only stoppage of the race as the remaining 22 laps were completed without a hitch.

Buckwalter again assumed command on the restart, but Reinhardt stayed close enough to challenge a couple of times in the early going. But, by the time that Buckwalter reached the slower cars–and it did not take very long to do so–he was able to stretch things out as he put the slower cars down a lap.

Midway through the race, Campbell and Reinhardt began to mix things up. They traded second several times. With seven or eight laps to go, Campbell seized the position for good and he set his sights on Buckwalter. Campbell chopped away at the lead and came up a few car lengths short at the conclusion.

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Following Buckwalter, Campbell, and Reinhardt were Smith and Brent Marks. Montieth crossed in sixth after racing as high as fourth in the early going. Dietrich was seventh. Then came Rahmer, Macri, and Dewease.

Heat wins were scored by Buckwalter, Reinhardt, and Shaffer. There was no B Main.

In the URC nightcap, Justin Barger and Macri paced the field. Series points leader, Josh Weller, and Buckwalter had row two. Jonathan Preston and Tyler Ross were in row three. Weller charged from third to first in the first two corners of the race and he set the pace through the first six laps. However, Macri overhauled him on the restart. Weller fought back once or twice thereafter, but Macri pulled away from him as the race went on.

Buckwalter and Ross had a tug of war going for the third position, but by the midpoint of the race, Buckwalter took over third. By lap 20, he was second, but Macri was too far out front for Buckwalter to be a factor.

At the finish, it was Macri over Buckwalter, Weller, Ross, and Jason Schultz. Derek Locke was sixth. Lucas Wolfe made up for his disappointing run in the 410s by taking seventh. Paulie Colagiovanni, Adam Carberry, and Justin Barger completed the top ten.

“It feels good to win someplace other than Port Royal,” Macri said. He had reeled off four straight in the 410 division at that track and added a URC feature for good measure. It was his third outing in Sean Michael’s machine and he has scored two wins. Macri also has a URC triumph with his family-owned machine.

Williams Grove Speedway will host the Tommy Classic next week featuring the All Stars Circuit of Champions. The race honors the Hall of Fame driver, Tommy Hinnershitz, who won the very first race held at the speedway some 81 years ago. Also on the card will be the 358 Sprint Cars.

Dirt Racing

PPMS, Latrobe and Lervnerville Cancel Saturday Events

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PITTSBURGH, PA (May 25, 2024) A forecast calling for thunderstorms after 3 p.m. with gusty winds and possible hail throughout areas of Western Pennsylvania on Saturday is forcing local tracks to cancel their Saturday nights events.

Pittsburgh’s Pennsylvania Motor Speedway made the decision early to cancel their Choice for Change Action Event with the RUSH Sprint Cars.  All tickets purchased for the event are eligible for a full refund.  Next up at PPMS is the Western PA Speedweek event on Thursday with UEMS Racing Series.

Penn Ohio Pro Stock Touring Series and Latrobe Speedway officials are also postponing the tour’s season-opener because of Mother Nature.  The good news is the delay is only one week.

Three Rivers Karting

“Despite the unfortunate weather forecast that canceled our fourth race in a row, we have a silver lining,” said SNB Promotions Dennis Bates. “Thankfully, we were able to reschedule the Homak Penn Ohio Pro Stock Tour for the following Saturday, June 1. Providing a new opportunity for our stakeholders to enjoy a modified six-division event. Most Homak Penn Ohio Pro Stock touring teams have more than a two-hour drive to the speedway, so it made sense to postpone the race.”

The modified six-division show will also include the K2 Engineering FASTrak Pro Late Models, Joe’s Body Shop & Towing Pure Stocks, Special T Metals LLC Modified 4 Cylinders, the Marilungo Disposal LLC Strictly Stock 4 Cylinders, and the Dean Pollock Hobby Stocks.

The grim forecast is also causing Overdrive Monster Truck and Lernerville Speedway officials to postpone tonight’s event. The show will now take place on Sunday, May 26 with VIP gates opening at 2 p.m.  The grandstands will open at 2:30 p.m. with a scheduled start of 6 p.m.  All tickets purchased in advance will be honored for May 26.

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Dirt Racing

Red-Hot Spithaler Continues His Winning Ways At Lernerville

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SARVER, PA (May 24, 2024) There its not a hotter driver in the local 410 Sprint Car ranks than Brandon Spithaler.  One week after finishing fourth in the World of Outlaws A Main at Attica Raceway Park, Spithaler picked up the checkered flag in the People’s Natural Gas feature Friday night at Lernerville Speedway.

Spithaler started eighth in the 19-car field and held off Bradon Matus and Michael Bauer to pick up the win.  AJ Flick finished fourth and hard-charger Dan Kuriger rounded out the Top 5 after starting 18th.

Flick remains atop the Championship standing followed by Carl Bowser, who trails flick by 16-points.  Bauer and Matus each sit 19-points back of Flick with Baurer holding down third in the standings by virtue of his 2-Top 5 finished.  The victory moves Spithaler to sixth, 29-points back despite participating in only 2-events.

Tyler Dietz started on the front row and took home the victory in the Precise Racing Products Late Model feature.  Colton Flinner finished second followed by Michael Norris and John Garvin Jr.

Norris remains atop the Championship standings with Flinner in second, 1-point behind.  Garvin is 7-points behind in third and Dietz’ victory leaves him sitting in fourth, 13-points behind.

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Garrett Krummert is your winner in the Diehl Automotive Big Block Modifieds.  Krummert started seventh and expertly worked traffic to get past second-place starter and finisher Rex King Jr.  Jeremiah Shingledecker finished third followed by Will Thomas in fourth.  Ayden Cipriano rounded out the Top 5.

The Top 4 finishers are your Top 4 in the Championship standings with King Jr 5-points behind Krummert.  Shingledecker sits third, 16-points back and Thomas is only one point back of third, 17-points behind Krummert.

Pole sitter Chris Schneider held off a hard-charging Dietz to win the Millerstown Pic-A-Part Pro Stocks feature.  Christian Schneider came home third after starting sixth followed by Corey McPherson in fourth and Jason Fosnaught in fifth.

Dietz and Christian Schneider are tied atop the Championship standings with 113 points each.  Chris Schneider is third 9-points back in a battle that is bound to go down to the final weekend.

Saturday night’s Overdrive Monster Trucks event has been postponed to Sunday due to the forecast.  VIP Gates will open at 2 p.m. with grandstands opening at 2:30 p.m.  The event will start at 6 p.m.  All tickets purchased in advance will be honored for May 26.

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Dirt Racing

Dietrich Does It At The Grove

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Williams Grove Speedway

MECHANICSBURG, PA (May 24, 2024): Danny Dietrich got a break at the start of the John Trone Tribute A Main at Williams Grove Speedway, and he made the most of it. Dietrich fell in behind Lucas Wolfe on the initial green, but a multi-car crash before the entire field crossed for lap one necessitated a complete restart. Dietrich was better prepared for the second try, and he was able to keep Wolfe behind him motoring down the long straightaway. Still, Dietrich had to fend Wolfe off once or twice during the contest to ensure the $10,039 win. Wolfe slid out of the rubber once in the late going, and Spencer Bayston scooted by for second.

Also grabbing a win was Logan Spahr in the PASS IMCA 305 Sprint undercard.

“We had a good draw, but we had a bad start,” the Gettsysburg pilot observed. “I like racing with Lucas (Wolfe) because he will always race you clean. Lucas got me, but we were better the next time.” Dietrich explained that there was some moisture in the middle of the track, and that was where Wolfe launched at the drop of the green. “I didn’t push him up enough, so the second time I moved up and I got a better run,” Dietrich added.

Dietrich started on the pole carrying the traditional red, white, and blue colors and the historic number 29 that always adorned the Bob Weikert-owned machines over the years. The next generation of Weikerts sponsor Dietrich’s car, owned by Gary Kauffman of Biglerville, and the Kauffman/Dietrich team pay homage to the iconic car and the famous owner over the Memorial Day Weekend. The same livery will be used in the two-day event at the Port Royal Speedway.

Wolfe was on Dietrich’s flank for the start of the twenty-five lapper. In the row behind were Devon Borden and Bayston. Row three paired up Chase Dietz and Cory Eliason. Anthony Macri and Rico Abreu made up row four. Next were T.J. Stutts and midwestern star Brian Brown. James McFadden and Kyle Reinhardt occupied row six.

The first lap melee eliminated several cars, including those of current points leader and defending champion Freddie Rahmer, Jr., and Lance Dewease.

After the failed attempt to start the race, Dietrich claimed the lead that he would never relinquish. Wolfe stayed close, particularly in the early going. He was followed by Bayston, Borden, Dietz, Eliason, Macri, Abreu, Brown, and Reinhardt. Dietrich had a comfortable margin eliminated on lap eleven when Austin Bishop stopped on the track for the first official caution.

On the restart, Wolfe drove in the middle grove entering turn one. He was able to get along side of Dietrich, but the bottom was the better line due to the accumulated rubber. So Dietrich was able to drive away from his challenger in turn two. Bayston remained in third, with Dietz and Eliason next.

Two laps later, Abreu spun himself out of the top ten. He managed to keep moving, so there was no caution but, now, Abreu was at the tail of the field. Bayston got a good run on Wolfe for second a lap later, but Bayston slid up the track and handed third over to Dietz. Bayston was able to regain the position by lap fifteen, when Abreu and Aaron Bollinger tangled in turn one.

Three Rivers Karting

On the restart, Dietrich continued to lead Wolfe and Bayston. Bayston was pressing Wolfe while Dietrich began to pull away. With just two laps remaining, Wolfe slid up off the rubber in turn one, losing second to Bayston in the process.

At the checkers, it was Dietrich by a wide margin over Bayston, Wolfe, Eliason, and Dietz. Macri, Borden, Reinhardt, Brown, and Stutts completed the top ten.

The four heat wins went to Abreu, Bayston, Wolfe, and Dietrich. Cameron Smith prevailed in the B Main. Eliason was the fastest qualifier this night, topping Group A with a lap of 17.898 seconds. Macri was best in Group B with a time of 18.278 seconds.

Josh Beamer had the pole for the twenty-lap nightcap for the PASS IMCA 305 Sprints. Beside him was Erin Statler. Row two consisted of Jason Roush and Spahr. The third row matched Andrew Boyer with Kenny Heffner. Drew Young shared row four with Mike Alleman. Owen Dimm and Danny Buccafusco raced from row five, and they were trailed by Landon Price and Mike Melair.

Beamer dashed out front, but Spahr was into second in no time at all. Roush, Heffner, Boyer, and Young followed closely. As the lap counter advanced, Beamer and Spahr separated themselves from Heffner, who raced alone in third. Positions four on back were hotly contested.

Spahr assumed the lead on lap eleven, just one round ahead of the lone caution of the race for Croix Beasom.

On the restart, Spahr got a tremendous jump on Beasom. Young lost several positions after the race resumed. Moving ahead of him were Christian Rumsey, Heffner, Melair, Statler, and Buccafusco.

Spahr showed no mercy to his competitors over the final eight laps. Beamer registered a second place finish, ahead of Rumsey, Melair, and Statler. Positions six through ten went to Heffner, Buccafusco, Young, Boyer, and Dimm.

Boyer and Heffner shared the heats. There was no B Main.

Next week, the 358 Sprints will return to support the 410 Sprints. The 358s will go for twenty-five laps with extra purse money on the line. The month of June will commence with the 410s and USAC East Coast Sprints in the Bill Gallagher Memorial. On June 14, the USAC National Sprints will be the added attraction, along with the 410 Sprints. June 21 will be the tune-up for Central PA Speedweek.

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