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Buckwalter Best at Williams Grove

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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.

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Local Racing

Weekend Racing Preview: Fab 4 at Lernerville; RUSH Late Models at PPMS and more

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Steve Skarupa Photography

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.

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.
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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.
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Local Racing

The “Jook George Steel City Classic” Roaring Into Pittsburgh’s PA Motor Speedway

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Pittsburgh Racing Now

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.”

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“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.

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Local Racing

Weekend Racing Notebook

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Paul Arch

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.
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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:

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