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.
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.
Michael Norris wins night two of Bill Hendren Memorial at PPMS
IMPERIAL, PA (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – Michael Norris doesn’t race every week at Pittsburgh’s Pennsylvania Motor Speedway but ‘The Crusher Kid’ may want to add a few more visits to dirt’s ‘Monster Half Mile’ in 2022 after winning the feature in night 2 of the ‘Bill Hendren Memorial’.
Norris’ victory was his 2nd straight RUSH Late Model Touring Series win at PPMS and third in four events. Norris also won the ‘Jook George Steel City Classic’ in August and in 2020.
“Kyle (Lukon) got out there and was setting a pretty good pace,” said Norris. “I kind of got in line behind him and didn’t know if I had anything for him in clean air, but I figured once we got to lapped traffic we’d see what we’re both made of.”
Norris made his move on lap 11 and passed Lukon for the lead. Norris masterfully worked lap traffic over the remaining laps to capture the checkered flag and another win in a signature local event.
“It means a lot to win these memorials,” said Norris. “Any memorial means the person was pretty significant and were pioneers in the sport. I appreciate you guys putting this on, and I just love coming here any chance I get- I’ll run lawnmowers around here I don’t care.”
Kyle Hardy, Friday night’s winner, tried chasing down Norris over the final 17-laps but settled for second place and the RUSH Late Model Touring points lead.
“I didn’t have anything for Michael,” said Hardy. “We would have liked to have won tonight, but always have the big picture in the back of our minds. Not a bad weekend at all.”
Joe Martin was third for the second straight night. It was Martin’s fifth straight Tour podium finish, 10th straight top six, and 13th top six in the last 14 events as he maintains runner-up in the standings.
“Bill Hendren Memorial” Night 2 (30 laps, $3200 to-win): 1. MICHAEL NORRIS (51) 2. Kyle Hardy (99) 3. Joe Martin (Snyder 10s) 4. Colton Flinner (Chernik 5x) 5. Daryl Charlier (Centerline 114) 6. Logan Zarin (1z) 7. Levi Crowl (5) 8. Michael Duritsky, Jr. (90J) 9. Jacob Gunn (14G) 10. Garret Paugh (03) 11. Tony Musolino (Dobnak 42) 12. Bud Watson (225) 13. Ray Love, Jr. (08) 14. Zach Gunn (17G) 15. Tom Klein (77) 16. Tom Duratz (55D) 17. Ryan Frazee (11F) 18. Bill Kessler (09) 19. Kassidy Kamicker (72B) 20. Zach Kane (10) 21. Dan Lepro (2L) 22. Kyle Lukon (184) 23. Cole Petrelle (84) 24. Eddie Carrier, Jr. (Lukon 184X).
Non-Qualifier (6 laps, $500 to-win): 1. Philip Bubeck (Tennant 2) 2. Dave Goble (20G). DNS: Nick Love (38), Jeremy Wonderling (3J), Grant Garrison (1), Zach Morrow (Bentz 60), Tim Shaffer (45), Andrew Squatriglia (115).
Macedo Makes History at the Grove
WILLIAMS GROVE, PA (October 2, 2021): Carson Macedo earned his biggest career win in the 59th National Open held at Williams Grove Sppedway. He picked up $75,000, the largest payday ever doled out at the historic venue.
“This is the biggest win of my career,” Macedo said. “This is really cool. When I started coming here, I couldn’t get ahold of this place.” Well, Macedo grabbed control of the race on lap 36 and he did not let go. That was when he made the winning move in turn one, sliding past leader Logan Schuchart. “The lapped cars were holding up Logan. I just drove really hard. I slid across and the wing held me.”
Schuchart, who suffered perhaps the biggest disappointment of his budding career, was philosophical about the outcome. “All in all, two, second place finishes this weekend are pretty good for me. I’ve got a lot of years ahead of me. Carson ran a great race. I thought I could maybe rip the top on him.” But Schuchart’s attempted counter attack never materialized.
Brent Marks had the pole for the 40 lap affair. Schuchart was on his right. Sheldon Haudenschild and David Gravel were in row two. Anthony Macri and Carson Macedo continued the youth movement by starting in row three. Six-time Open champion, Donny Schatz and Justin Peck were in row four. Kasey Kahne and Lance Dewease started in row five, with James McFadden and Brian Brown in the sixth row.
Marks blasted into the lead, followed by Schuchart, Gravel, Macedo, Haudenschild, Macri, and Schatz. Before Marks could build upon his early advantage, a red flag stopped the race after just two laps. Brian Brown spun and collected Daryn Pittman, who turned over from the contact. Freddy Rahmer, Jr. was also involved in the melee. No drivers were injured, but all three were eliminated from the contest.
Marks assumed control again when the race resumed. He began to pull away from Schuchart as the laps clicked off. Marks’ bid for a second win in the Open ended when he got into a lapped car and spun in turn two. He was able to restart the race, but his quest for the victory was over.
That handed the lead to Schuchart. He was able to maintain control for the next twenty-three laps despite a second red flag on lap 12. Robbie Kendall flipped after he tangled with T.J. Stutts between turns one and two. Again, neither driver was hurt, but Kendall was done for the night.
While Schuchart led Macedo, Haudenschild, Macri, and Gravel, the battle was for the sixth spot. Schatz and Dewease were mixing things up until lap 27, when Schatz took the position once and for all.
Schuchart got into traffic and kept his advantage over Macedo. However, in the final ten laps, Macedo began to close on the leader. He made his winning move on lap 35, and led the final four laps. Schuchart made a desperate bid in the final corners, but came up a tad short.
Following Macedo and Schuchart were Haudenschild, Macri, and Gravel. Schatz was sixth. Then came Dewease, Kyle Larson, McFadden, and Brad Sweet.
Macri received a $1,000 bonus for the highest finishing PA Posse driver. Sweet grabbed $559 as the hard charger. He advanced nine positions during the race.
The heat wins were chalked up by Schatz, Macedo, Gravel, and Haudenschild. Dewease set the fast time again, this time topping Group B with a lap of 16.774 seconds. He failed to lock into the dash when Macri swept by him in turn one following a restart with two laps to go in the third heat. The B Main winner was Jacob Allen, and Devon Borden took the checkers in the C Main.
Kyle Hardy wins night one of the ‘Bill Hendren Memorial’ at PPMS
IMPERIAL, PA (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – Kyle Hardy picked up his first win at Pittsburgh’s Pennsylvania Motor Speedway by grabbing the feature victory in night one of the ‘Bill Hendren Memorial’.
“What a race- it was super fun out there,” said Hardy. “I can’t thank my crew to get this car so good to where I could steer across the middle of the race track. What a car we’ve had all year.”
Hardy held off PPMS track Champion Daryl Charlier in a thrilling side-by-side battle for several laps around dirt’s ‘Monster Half Mile’.
“If you had a camera or mirror on me you’d have seen how freaked out I was just trying to get where I needed to be to win this thing,” said Hardy.
The victory was not a surprise as Hardy was the runner up when the RUSH Late Model Touring Series visited PPMS twice earlier this season for the ‘Herb Scott Memorial’ and ‘Jook George Steel City Classic’.
Charlier brought it home in second place and earned $1,500 for his efforts.
“If I’m going to finish second I guess I’ll finish second to Kyle Hardy- he’s the top dog in the crates and especially the RUSH Series,” said Charlier.
RUSH Late Model Touring Series “Bill Hendren Memorial” (30 laps, $3000 to-win): 1. KYLE HARDY (99) 2. Daryl Charlier (Centerline 114) 3. Joe Martin (Snyder 10s) 4. Eddie Carrier, Jr. (Lukon 184X) 5. Jeremy Wonderling (3J) 6. Jacob Gunn (14G) 7. Bud Watson (225) 8. Garret Paugh (03) 9. Logan Zarin (1z) 10. Levi Crowl (5) 11. Ray Love, Jr. (08) 12. Zach Kane (10) 13. Michael Reft (9R) 14. Colton Flinner (Chernik 5x) 15. Michael Duritsky, Jr. (90J) 16. Tony Musolino (Dobnak 42) 17. Zach Gunn (17G) 18. Kyle Lukon (184) 19. Ryan Frazee (11F) 20. Zach Morrow (Bentz 60) 21. Bill Kessler (09) 22. Justin Kann (66) 23. Philip Bubeck (Tennant 2) 24. Tim Shaffer (45).
DNQ: Dan Lepro (2L), Tom Duratz (55D), Grant Garrison (1), Kassidy Kamicker (72B), Tom Klein (77), Rob Coffaro (24), Dave Goble (20G), Nick Love (38), Noah Brunell (31), Zach Crawford (c4), Ben Policz (14B).